There’s a good chance you’re reading this article on a smartphone – 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018.  The popularity of smartphones means that they are the preferred way for users to get access to the information they want, when they want it.

So if a mobile user searched for your site, what would they find?

How ready is your website for mobile users?

A website that works well on computers, or even tablets, does not mean optimal user experience when on mobile phones. Especially with so many screen sizes.

A simple trick for anyone that is planning on developing a new website, or revamping their existing website, is to use a mobile optimised or responsive theme when using a platform such as WordPress. WordPress makes creating a new website easy and with the vast list of expertly crafted themes available, you don’t need to be a computer programmer or a tech genius to get a professional, fully functional, mobile friendly website going in a snap.

This is increasingly important these days, because when your website is not mobile friendly, Google will be less inclined to show it in searches, and even limit your ads to people using their mobile phones.


How to win friends and increase Google search ranking

You need to remember that Google’s primary goal is to help it’s users find the information that is most relevant to them. If they didn’t do that, people would start to use other search engines.

Part of helping users find the relevant information is also about how easily and effectively users can consume and understand the info. According to their own statistics, 40% of online smartphone users will be less likely to come back to a mobile site if it does not quickly satisfy their needs.

So if your website isn’t mobile friendly, takes too long to open on a mobile device, the buttons are too small to click making it difficult to navigate, and users are bouncing away and leaving it as soon as they get there, Google will take note and rather not suggest your site.


Smarten up for the smartphone users

So to help you on your way to making sure your site is optimised, and won’t chase away those all important mobile users, I’ve put together a list of some great, free tools:

1.   Google Mobile Speed Test

This tool will let you check what your site will look like, and how fast it will load, on a mobile phone using a 3g internet connection. What I like most about it is that it also gives you an estimation of the percentage of people that will not wait for your website to finish loading before they move on to another website. Find this super useful tool: here

2.   Google PageSpeed Insights

Another great tool from Google – this will analyze your site’s content and performance for mobile and web, and then give you a list of suggestions on how you can improve and optimise it. It will even fix and optimise files and images from your site that you can download and use immediately to improve speed issues. Find this free tool: here

3.   Free Toolbox from Bastion & Flowe

On our Bastion & Flowe Academy page, you’ll find digital advertising news, resources and insights. You’ll also find our collection of what we think are coolest free tools on the web, that can help any site improve its performance and optimisation. See the list of tools: here

Have fun, and enjoy the exciting opertunities offered by mobile advertising.

Are you remarketing yet? Have you cottoned on to one of the best and easiest routes to boosting conversion rates and driving sales? The intelligent way to re-engage customers and prospective clients? The great way to maximise on your current advertising spend?

Remarketing needs to be in your digital marketing mix – if not you’ll be doing your competitors a favour when they scoop up all the opportunities that could have been yours.


What is Remarketing?

Let’s begin with the basics: what is remarketing? In its simplest form, remarketing is a clever way to keep your business or brand visible to people who have visited your website, or used your app, and not taken the desired action. For example: they looked at a product on your app but didn’t make a purchase, or they visited your website but didn’t give your business a call or fill out a contact form. These desired actions, or conversions, are the goals of our advertising efforts and spending.

Businesses often end up spending a lot of money driving traffic to their websites or platforms, hoping that when users land on their pages they will purchase what’s on offer. However, these days consumers have a lot more resources to first do research, compare yours to other offerings and consider their purchase before making it. Getting them onto your page the first time is not guaranteed to end in a sale – in fact, this buying behaviour leads to a higher percentage of your first time visitors not making a purchase.

This is where remarketing comes in. Remarketing allows your offering, call to action, or ad, to follow that visitor around the internet, making sure your brand is visible and at the top of the customer’s mind when they are ready to commit. Remarketing allows you to deliver a visual ad or reminder of your offering, so the customer does not have to begin their search for your site or product again, and accidentally end up on one of your competitor’s sites.

Ultimately maximising your return on your current advertising spend.


How Does Remarketing Actually Work?

To get to the nuts and bolts of remarketing, we first need to talk about cookies.

Unfortunately not the delicious, yummy, baked kind: similar to the way every website you visit gets added to your web-browser’s history, websites also create “cookie” records for your browser. This web cookie helps websites to recognise and identify your individual web browser. Google and Facebook use the information in cookies to also determine what your interests are and what ads you may be interested in.
This may seem a little creepy to you, but cookie and interest-based marketing means that the ads and content shown to you online will be of more interest to you. Without it, you would be bombarded or overwhelmed with ads and messages about products or brands you have zero interest in. Cookies help to customise your online experience to your personal needs.

Lately, there has been some news and recent debate around privacy, cookies and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), but that’s a big topic for another day.

What you need to know right now – and what you need to know to improve the success of your business – is that remarketing uses cookies to offer website and app owners the opportunity to show targeted messages or ads to people who have visited specific products or sections of their site or app.

We call those specific people a remarketing audience: a list of people that have visited the specific section of your site/app in a specific time, that did not complete a specific action. That’s a lot of specifics to be sure, but that’s how targeted and personalised remarketing can be.


How Can Remarketing Help My Business?

This is where Bastion & Flowe come into the mix. Our remarketing strategy can serve up an ad tailored to a potential customer or “lost user” (a consumer who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase), with something you know they have already shown an interest in. This allows you to reconnect with consumers when they have more time to think about your offer, at specific times of day, when they are spending time on Facebook or Instagram, or even when they are nearer to your store.

Remarketing clients have reported an improved ROI (return on investment) of up to 60% on their current lost users. Remarketing ensures you, and your brand, are there when the customer is ready to buy and thus preventing your competitors from intercepting the sale.

Still not convinced? Not sure how remarketing could be applicable in your business? How about a practical description of remarketing in action? Let’s use the story of Joe’s Plumbing:

You know you have a leaking tap at home and you need a plumber. During your day at work you Google “plumbers in my area”. A Joe’s Plumbing Google ad comes up as the first result and you click on it (you should know Joe paid Google for that click). Just as the website opens, you get distracted: your phone is ringing and you’re now late for an important meeting. Plumbing needs will have to wait – you leave the tab open in your browser with every intention of calling Joe when you get back to your desk.

You’re back at your desk but your day hasn’t got any calmer. In a flurry of online activity, while busy with emails, you accidentally close the tab. Not the end of the world, you tell yourself, you can just find it again later.

It’s later now and you are back at home, scrolling through Facebook and guess what pops up in your feed? An ad for Joe’s Plumbing! It says: “Still looking for a plumber, why not book a callout on our website now!” And that’s what you do, the reminder comes at the perfect time (plus if you listen carefully you can actually hear the leaking tap in the other room), and you book a call out.

Without the well-timed remarketing ad there is a chance the customer in the story may have ended up forgetting to search Joe’s Plumbing by name, and ended up giving the business to another local plumber.

This same principle could be applied to any businesses that advertise online – the real moral of the story is, that if you are not using remarketing in your digital marketing mix, you are missing opportunities and your competitors will probably thank you for it.

Facebook Scrambles To Protect Users Data: What Effect Will This Have On Advertisers?

Anyone with access to the online world is well aware of the most recent news concerning Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s shenanigans. As a direct result of this “data scandal”, Facebook announced that they will be shutting down access to 3rd party data providers on its advertising platforms. This creates problems for advertisers and the obvious question is: Will advertisers be severely limited in their ability to reach a broad database of consumers on Facebook?

The short answer is “yes”.

Facebook’s updated privacy policy will be clamping down on advertisers. Subsequently, there will no longer be access to real-world data typically provided by Axiam, Visa and Transunion; resulting in a steep rise in the average cost per conversion. For those using Facebook’s advertising tools, this is already evident in the suspension of Facebook’s Analytics Insights.


All Is Not Lost For Advertisers

With Facebook assuring us that there will be greater clarity come the 2nd quarter of 2018, they will, as far as we can tell, continue to allow businesses to upload their own custom audiences and customer databases to the platform, but only if advertisers comply with new policies currently being developed.

This provides advertisers with a ray of hope as we will continue to be able to up-sell, cross-sell and re-market to existing customers. We will also have access to new customers that look similar in profile to existing customers. However, the social media enterprise will now be providing less information to help with targeting optimisation, as Audience Insights, Reach Estimations and Facebook Analytics are the first features to be removed and we are expecting many more dramatic changes.


Where To Go From Here As An Advertiser

With many aspects still in the dark when it comes to advertising on Facebook, we do know that custom audiences seem to be the answer when it comes to providing solid returns on marketing spend. However, most businesses simply do not have enough detail on their existing users to effectively match back to Facebook’s database with any sort of real accuracy.

In order to provide businesses with data insights and intelligence, Bastion & Flowe, a Cape Town based company, has developed a digital solution that allows companies to build highly responsive target audiences. Not only does the platform help identify your customers on Facebook it can also be used to enrich and update your existing customer base. This powerful data engine helps marketers enrich their existing customer base for a higher percentage match rate. It also helps with the creation of vitally important “exclusion audiences”, which ultimately excludes irrelevant consumers whilst securing improved results.

With Bastion & Flowe’s real-world data and bespoke propensity to purchase models, marketers can continue to achieve great results, notwithstanding Facebook’s new privacy laws.

Facebook’s most recent announcement of reducing sponsored content, now means that you can wave goodbye to copious adverts filling up your newsfeed and say hello to more personal posts. So how does this affect you as an advertiser? Well, its simple really – your followers are probably not seeing your message.

Why The Change?

Let’s go back to the beginning. Facebook’s original aim as a social media platform was to connect people across the globe allowing them to engage and interact with one another online. Fast forward a few updates; you may have noticed in the most recent months that your Facebook feed has turned more into an advertising platform than a place to socialise with your friends and followers. Facebook’s new effort has now been to “de-clutter” newsfeeds, reduce fake news and clickbait and drive more meaningful conversations.

What Does This Mean For Advertisers?

As a result of the overpopulation of advertisements on newsfeeds, most pages are overvaluing their page likes. If you are not engaging with your followers and utilising them as influencers to distribute your content there may be no point in posting to Facebook any more. Think about it this way: 1 million likes are useless on a Facebook page if you’ve only got 100 people interacting and engaging with your content.

Advertisers will most likely soon see more limitations from Facebook further impeding advertisers ability to organically distribute their content.

In an attempt to maintain the previous rate of reach and engagement, advertisers have resorted to spending larger budgets more frequently on boosting their content. However, most advertisers are unaware that Facebook has reduced the amount of advertising available in the Facebook newsfeed.

Because Facebook advertising works on an auction system, (where the highest bidders ads are displayed first) there has been an alarming increase in the cost of advertising in the higher quality inventory. Most advertisers are not aware of this, as their ads are instead displayed on cheaper real-estate on the Facebook family of apps; such as Instagram stories, App networks, in games and the annoying in-stream videos. Often these ads lack context and efficacy.

Is There A Solution For Advertisers?

Bastion & Flowe, a Cape Town based company, has developed a highly effective solution specifically for Facebook content management. Known as the IEMIE™ framework, it caters for any brand that wants to boost advertising budgets with organic content without the fear of overvaluing their page likes and interactions. Case history analysis of companies utilising the IEMIE™ framework shows consistent improvement in organic content distribution through the encouragement of user engagement.

Coupled with IEMIE is Bastion & Flowe’s bespoke Reach Gener8or™ platform which allows brands to offer their followers innovative content that drives engagements, which ultimately turns followers into influencers.