On The Mark Blog for Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations and Robmark Interactive http://blog.robmark.com/ On The Mark http://blog.robmark.com/ http://blog.robmark.com/rss_icon.gif 150 132 Blog for Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations and Robmark Interactive January 19, 2017 - PoolerFunZone.com Now Live!  

 

A new year means new websites at RobMark and we are proud to announce another new website: PoolerFunZone.com!

 

With attractions from Go-Karts to Mini-Golf, an Arcade to Kiddy Land, the new Fun Zone website showcases amusement for the whole family with an eye-catching video header on its homepage and bright color design throughout the site. Along with providing fun for the entire family, Fun Zone serves food and drinks and offers various party packages for any occasion. The new website offers a clear display of pricing and gives visitors the ability to easily reserve their party online. The website’s live Facebook feed helps visitors keep up to date with events and announcements and visitors can also quickly view hours of operation thanks to the color-coded calendar.

 

Next time you are looking for something new and fun for the family, stop by the new PoolerFunZone.com!

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November 18, 2016 - Facebook Creates New Snapchat Clone  

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Well, CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to think it is. Facebook has announced its launch of another Snapchat-inspired design, but this time it’s a standalone picture and video-messaging app, complete with augmented reality filters. The new app Flash seems to be a clone of Snapchat’s design, but takes up less than 25MB of space on an Android phone. According to Facebook, Flash is about one-third the size of Snapchat and is an Android-first app, with no indication of an iOS release date yet.

It’s no secret Facebook has been trying to beat Snapchat by cloning the popular app’s features, such as Instagram’s Stories feature, or even by its attempts to buy its rivals outright. Facebook has a record of 12 Snapchat clone attempts to date. From stand-alone apps to cameras with AR lenses, from its clone of Snapchat Stories to attempted acquisitions; Facebook has shown to be very persistent. So is the 13th time the charm? More than likely this probably will not be the last time Facebook tries to crack the code to bring users back to its apps. However, Facebook has already had huge success with its record of 100 million daily users since Instagram Stories was released, proving Facebook is on the right track to a winning formula. 

Facebook has released the new app Flash in the Brazilian Play Store in hopes that the unreliable Wi-Fi access, stringent data caps, and underpowered smartphones will give them a step up against Snapchat in another country. Regardless, Facebook is determined to beat Snapchat in the race to become the number one app in all markets.

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October 27, 2016 - Tis the Season For Holiday Shopping 0 0 1 317 1808 Robmark Web 15 4 2121 14.0

 

With the holiday season approaching, shopping for your loved ones has become easier with the use of a smartphone. Catalogs and print ads are slowly becoming a part of retail history, while videos and display ads on mobile devices are becoming increasingly effective. Many shoppers depend on the Internet for feedback on products and to inform them on where these products can be found. According to Google, 64 percent of smartphone users search for gifts to buy before heading to the store. Buyers can save time by doing background checks on products and researching consumer reviews before entering retail stores. Sometimes images or static reviews are not enough; Retail Micro-Moments issued by Google calculated that 68 percent of smartphone shoppers use YouTube as a research tool when browsing for the perfect present to get a livelier feel of the product.

There are still those traditional shoppers who play it safe and continue to shop in store. Some stores give buyers the option to ship their purchase to their home or pick it up in store, which is very important to shoppers.  A Post-Holiday Shopping Intentions Study by Google found a free shipping discount is likely to catch the consumer’s attention when shopping online. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping holidays, with Cyber Monday bringing in 3 billion dollars alone last year. But is it worth standing out in the cold? Well, 60 percent of shoppers believe it is when asked in a survey directed by A.T. Kearney in the Future of Stores Study.  Luckily, for those who do not want to make the trek to storefronts during these shopping holidays, companies have made it extremely easy to shop those holiday sales online. Instead of using a browser to shop on a smartphone, some companies, such as Target and H&M, have apps so that users can easily make purchases with just one click. But beware, there could be an occasional delay for Cyber Monday due to items selling out more quickly. Whether you stay on the couch and buy gifts online or gather the family together for a field trip Thanksgiving night, great sales are waiting for you!

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September 27, 2016 - Attention Business Owners!  

Social media has developed into a very important marketing tool that can take all businesses to the next level if used correctly. Companies that do not take advantage of social media are missing out on a demographic that is fluid in the medium. In 2015, over 65 percent of adults in the U.S. were using different social media platforms and the number continues to grow. Not only does social media help get the word out, but it also builds a relationship with your target audience. Fans, followers, and future partners will have a way to keep in contact with your business via social media outlets. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat can assist with brand building in companies because the cost is very low. It allows corporations to advertise their products and content without having to pay to do so, which is great for small companies.

Hashtags help build brand awareness because they are used on multiple social outlets. That seems to work because users need quick satisfaction and their questions can be answered without having to read a large amount of content. With Facebook, you can upload a post to your newsfeed that viewers can share to their Facebook page, which will increase traffic to your profile. Smartphone users check their social media profiles daily, so becoming mobile-friendly will increase future sales because people will be able to access your business’s information on-the-go. As for the companies who have not hopped on the social media bandwagon, there is no better way you can increase your customer service reputation than by instantly replying to a client's question and receive quick feedback. So get social, and watch your business soar to new heights!

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September 15, 2016 - Rumor has it Snapchat might be developing AR glasses  

The popular disappearing photo app is reportedly working on its first augmented-reality product. Last month, Snapchat C.E.O. Evan Spiegel was photographed wearing what appeared to be a pair of dark, very circular smart-glasses prototype. 

This 20 billion company is best known for its unique and sometimes bold moves in content features, redefining journalism through their Discover page and attempts at event marketing through Stories. They've succeeded in software features, so now their next step may be towards hardware. 

Interest in developing its own wearable product was first noticed in 2014 during the last hype wave surrounding Google Glass. Snapchat acquired Vergence Labs, a startup that produced a pair of Google Glass-like glasses equipped with an embedded camera, for $15 million in March of 2014. 

Even more speculation began when Snapchat became a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which gives them the right to use Bluetooth technology to build hardware products. Also, they recently just hired new employees from major augmented reality groups, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, PTC’s Vuforia and eye-tracking tech maker Eyefluence.

All indications point to the idea that Snapchat might be using these new hires in attempts to learn more about augmented reality technology and more effectively alter a platform for developing a pair of smart glasses. These glasses could do away with the extra steps involved in snapping a shot, and that could encourage people to use the service even more than they already do. Meaning more money for Snapchat, who already makes money from sponsored images and photo filters. It’s still not certain if Snapchat will produce a pair of smart glasses, but guess we’ll just have to wait and see! 

 
 
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September 8, 2016 - The Importance of Blogging
If you haven’t noticed lately, blogging has become a marketing strategy that many businesses are putting into use. Blogging is used for many different reasons, but why has it become so important? Blogs give readers a conversational feel; it makes the company portray a more personal demeanor. Before you purchase any product, you want to be aware of the company you are buying from. Reading a company’s blog can help consumers familiarize themselves with that company. Blogging also allows businesses to show off their expertise in the industry.  The consumer’s ability to go on a business’s website and read blogs about the business, its products or services, and industry trends builds trust between the consumer and the business.
 
Future buyers also place their trust into numbers or data that focuses on the company they are interested in buying from. As Social Media Today states, companies that blog regularly generate 67% more leads a month than companies that tend to not blog. That’s a vast difference. If more businesses realized how much blogging could help grow their audience and increase sales, many would flock to this marketing strategy.  If companies continually generate fresh, engaging content via blogs, users will be able to develop a better understanding of all the company has to offer, even if they have never heard of the company. Blogging also improves SEO since a critical part of blogging is the keywords and the tags listed at the end of a blog. These features allow Google to rank each piece of content, making it easier for users to locate based on their searches. Many marketing methods go out of style, but blogging keeps information fresh and current and is a tried and true marketing method. 
 
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August 25, 2016 - Google Cracking Down on Mobile Intrusive Ad Placements

Image via Search Engine Land

It is obvious that mobile is skyrocketing. Fifty percent of searches are now done on mobile, and higher depending on industry. Because of this substantial and ever-growing increase, it is important to provide the best mobile user experience possible. Google has been guiding everyone in this direction for a few years, first by penalizing websites that were not mobile friendly. Now they are refining their algorithm to penalize sites that do not provide a good user experience, specifically with intrusive ads.

 
The web giant recently announced that starting January 10, 2017, they would be cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” because it prevents content from being easily accessible to a user from the mobile search results. The specific problematic placements include:
  • Popups that cover the main content.
  • Displaying standalone ads that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears to be a stand-alone ad, pushing the main content below the fold.
There are a few interstitials that would not be affected by this change if they are used responsibly. These include:
  • A popup that appears to be in response to a legal obligation, such as age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. 
Websites that use any of the intrusive interstitials after January 10, 2017, are risking a drop in rankings on Google’s search engine results pages. As it begins to roll out next year, we as users can anticipate a much easier mobile user experience, and for that we are grateful. 
 
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August 17, 2016 - Instagram Stories—Quick Success

Introducing Instagram Stories from Instagram on Vimeo

Adapt or die – that’s the way it works, right Blackberry? Well, Instagram must have seen the growing success of Snapchat and realized it must adapt. So they did with the recent launch of Instagram Stories, ripped right from the Snapchat experience. Launching just two weeks ago, Instagram Stories are already a favorite among brands. The concept of a story on each platform is a series of photos and 10-second videos that disappear after 24 hours.

The first day Instagram Stories were available, Nike generated 800,000 views within 24 hours. According to Nike’s social media agency, Nike’s best video on Snapchat only received 66,000 views. The sheer size of the platform also helps with the faster growth of Instagram Stories for marketing versus Snapchat. Instagram has around 300 million daily users, whereas Snapchat has approximately 150 million.

Countless other brands have joined Nike in taking advantage of reaching large audiences through the new Snapchat Stories, including Ketel One, E! News, BarkBox, J. Crew, Food Network, and more.

“Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform,” said Dan Grossman, Vice President of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia. “Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.” The brand-friendliness of Instagram provides a huge opportunity to communicate with fans on their terms.

Has your brand used Instagram or Snapchat for marketing? We'd love to hear about your experience!

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August 1, 2016 - AdWords Launches Expanded Text Ads AdWords, Google’s online advertising service, has recently announced a big change in its search engine advertising placements. The announcement earlier this week stated a new placement offering of expanded text ads. Prior to the announcement, the maximum length for text ads was a 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines. Instead of the 25/35/35, the new expanded text ads allow two 30-character headlines and a description line of up to 80 characters. That’s nearly twice as many characters! 

When creating a standard text ad, if you ended the first description line with a punctuation mark, it would move up a line and act like an extension of the headline, making it stand out over other ads on the page. The expanded text ads are designed to maximize your presence on search results, similar to how the punctuation trick did, which is important in this increasingly mobile-first world. The new update allows advertisers to create longer, more creative messaging. In addition, according to Google, advertisers may see an up to 20% uplift in CTR over existing text ads.
In order to upgrade your current ads to the new expanded format, it will take a little intervention on your part. It is suggested to create all of your new expanded ads and wait until they are approved before pausing your current ads. The AdWords Editor platform has also released an update that enables support for the expanded text ads, allowing your bulk changes to the new format to be made more easily and quickly. 
 
RobMark Web is a certified Google Partner with extensive knowledge in Google AdWords’ advertising services. For assistance in updating your current ads to the new expanded format or if you’re interested in starting a Google AdWords campaign to target the perfect customer, call (912) 921-1040. 
 
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July 21, 2016 - Pokémon Go Benefits Local Businesses  

Pokémon Go has quickly become the most popular smartphone gaming app, with an average of 26 million active daily users. It only took the gaming app 13 hours to reach the status of highest-grossing app in the U.S.  With such a phenomenon, it’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon, and some businesses have done just that.

Business owners have seen a unique opportunity to capitalize on this craze to increase business and have proven successful by using a simple rule of business: provide the customer with a product or service they need or want — in this case, Pokémon.

The location-based augmented reality game has been driving droves of people out into the real world on the hunt for their next catch. It is possible to attract Pokémon a few ways, including setting lure modules, which is what some businesses have done. You attract the Pokémon, you attract the people. The in-app purchase of only 99 cents allows its holder to better attract the creatures to a specific location. At just 99 cents, lures are a steal as far as advertising rates go. A pizzeria in New York told the New York Post that $10 worth of lure modules was enough to drive a 75% boost in foot traffic.

Local businesses that don’t often benefit from digital trends are reaping the benefit of the increased foot traffic the game as spurred. Eventually, Niantic Labs, the company behind the app, plans to offer “sponsored locations,” but until then, lure modules are perhaps the most cost-effective way for businesses to reach a younger audience, especially paired with special offers and real-time advertising. The customers are out there; can you catch them all? 

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