Christine van Reeuwyk
Oak Bay News
In this day and age digital devices – phones, computers, tablets, games and apps – are everywhere, and advertisers use the power of the Internet to target highly defined consumer audiences.
“Digital marketing has revolutionized the advertising industry because of its ability to target and measure results,” says Christine Scott, director of product development for Black Press, Vancouver Island South. “It levels the playing field, allowing advertisers to market in very precise ways, basically giving small and medium-sized businesses ‘rocket fuel’ for advertising.”
In April 2017, Black Press unveiled new community news websites to optimize the digital experience for readers while continuing to improve our online product, along with maintaining twice-a-week print edition here in Oak Bay.
The new site allows for up-to-the minute breaking news, community features, sports stories and opinion columns faster and easier than ever before.
Part of that push, allowed for optimized digital marketing in communities already engaged at the local level; community by community, regionally and across western Canada.
Businesses can reach an audience, ranging from Facebook and Twitter to local news sites. Digital marketing includes many platforms, for example digital display ads on private networks, such as Black Press.
“Our local news sites have highly targeted local readers who love community news; across our network we have 2.8 million users per month consuming millions of content pieces,” Scott says. “Beyond that, we have 430,000 social media followers to which we expose both news and branded content, and, through programmatic advertising, we have about 10,000 partner websites that we use to place highly targeted digital display ads.”
There are also forums for branded content that includes text and video; programmatic advertising, using behavioural, contextual and geotargeting; mobile marketing, which also uses geotargeting, and geofencing, among other tactics; social media marketing; and search engine marketing, including optimizing websites for SEO.
“Digital content consumption is now a 24-7 marketing opportunity. Some 91 per cent of North Americans sleep within an arm’s length of their smart phones, for example. Most stores and businesses have opened up ‘virtual storefronts’ and market their goods online, growing new profit centres and expanding their businesses,” Scott says. “As firms such as Amazon disrupt retail, sellers know that they have to reach consumers where they’re at – which is on their devices.”
For example, shoppers often check their phone to comparison shop while they’re in a store.
“Geofenced digital advertising allows marketers to target that consumer, and even track them to another store if a ‘conversion zone’ has been established by the advertiser,” Scott says.