It’s not even Halloween yet, but big box stores nationwide have already started to put their Christmas wares on display with visions of a lot more than sugarplums. They see black ink – that mythical time of year when their revenue budgets turn all smiley-faced. And if you haven’t already begun to see holiday-themed ads online, you will very soon. And for good reason! Online behavior not only drives online sales, but recent data touted by Mediamath shows the internet has a bigger-than-ever influence on in-store sales as well.

As a digital advertising strategist I am always looking for new, exciting and effective ways to help my clients reach their target market. I genuinely want them to succeed – both professionally and personally. I take great pride in helping one of my friends achieve their goals. So, as I contemplated a recent ad campaign and thought about how I would answer the client’s questions about optimizing keywords and achieving best-possible focus, I became excited.

As I meet with local business owners and managers – and I've met with A LOT lately - I am struck by how many SMBs have failed to take the most basic steps to ensure their potential customers are able to find them online. Yes, I am talking about the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Yes, SEO can be complicated – even nebulous. That does not make it negligible or unimportant. Nor does it have to be as complicated as some SEO companies make it out to be. In fact, there are several steps even the smallest of businesses can take today that will go a long way toward making sure their website gets found by major search engines, and thus by potential customers.

I regularly scroll through several industry sites, blogs and social channels, so why don't I share the best of what I find with you? Well, duh! Today I found some interesting write-ups on programmatic TV, when to change out creatives in an ad campaign, and the problem with ad agencies today. My favorite happens to be a piece about the death of "snackable" content.

I came across this article from Cathy Crosett on the website, Media Sales Today, that addresses Facebook's push to take ad dollars away from TV. She quotes an upcoming report from Sales Development Services that says 37 percent of broadcast TV sales managers believe its getting harder to compete against Facebook and Google.

Our friends at Simpli.fi published an eye-opening infographic this week that shows the popularity and effectiveness of video advertising - particularly programmatic video advertising. Simply put, it works. It works because more people than ever are watching video online, and more reliable data is becoming available with which to target viewers.

At C2, we believe pairing a robust programmatic video campaign with a well-formed programmatic banner campaign is the best use of digital advertising dollars. Reach and effectiveness of a campaign can be further boosted by running a matching campaign on traditional media (i.e. radio, TV and print).

A recent statistic about the importance of properly built mobile websites hit me like a ton of bricks the other day. Yes, we all know that in the marketing world "it's all about mobile". It's been like that for at least the past three years, right? But stop and consider just how powerful mobile has become.

After watching the idea of geo-fencing swirl around our regional market in the Northwest for the past couple of years, it is exciting to see it is finally within reach of even the most modest small and medium sized businesses (SMB). C2 Connections added mobile geo-fencing to its product line in June, and the response has been promising to say the least.

Geo-fencing works by capturing mobile users' GPS locations, and then leveraging that data – and other information - to serve timely and relevant content to individuals who match the specified requirements.

Every year around this time – November to December-ish – bloggers everywhere take a few minutes to jot down their thoughts about where their industry is headed. Who can blame us, really?

I'm seeing a few interesting things to stay on top of this week – from Programmatic advertising to Reputation Intelligence. And MediaPost has the highlights of a recent survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau which should make you think about the future of mobile advertising - and all of its challenges. And did you here about what Facebook wants to do with news outlets?

We have spent a lot of time over the past 12 months talking to businesses and ad agencies in the Northwest about digital advertising and marketing services. We went in knowing the information and experience gained in 2014 would be invaluable – not only to us, but to our clients too. Now, after a year's worth of ups and downs, we're ready to roll.

Think back to those silly class presentations you did in high school, or those shallow speeches you crafted for your Communications 101 class in college. Totally worthless? Well, a series of experiences this week has reminded me of their importance.

Notable Quotes

  • Their expertise and their customer service really allowed me to create a package that fit OUR needs, but also our budget. Read More
    Nick Granier North Idaho College
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