Digital Marketing

Custom Location Targeting from Yelp, publishers bounce back: Wednesday’s daily brief

Good morning, Marketers, and channels are multiplying.

This is yet another thing we’ve been talking (and talking and talking) about for the last four or five years, but which is now taking off like a rocket. A truly multi-channel digital environment — and an interactive one at that.

Yesterday we wrote about Oracle Moat bringing metrics to video content on the Taboola ad platform. Today we’re noticing HubSpot, already in the newsletter business, launching a podcast network. Yelp (our first story) is a channel where local businesses and their customers talk to each other.

Sure, we’re still spending time on the web (increasingly the mobile web), but look around you and witness the rapid growth of other forms of engagement — each one representing marketing opportunities.

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

Yelp announces Custom Location Targeting, budget recommendations and more features to expand reach for local businesses

Yelp has announced a slew of updates aimed at giving business owners more control over their presence and reach on the platform. Custom Location Targeting (CLT) enables businesses to designate a specific location for ads to appear; previously, they could only advertise in a radius around their physical location. They can also use Yelp’s new machine learning-generated budget recommendations to optimize their campaigns.

These recommendations are based on the business’ profile, historical campaign performance and lookalike audience data. And, Yelp Connect’s new feature, Connect Audience Model, expands the publishing tool’s reach from people who’ve bookmarked or followed your Yelp profile to include people who’ve interacted with a similar business or searched a relevant category.

CLT has the potential to help businesses that operate in a geographic area different from their address, like home service providers or real estate businesses that offer virtual home tours. The Connect Audience Model can enable business owners to reach higher-intent audiences and the machine learning-generated recommendations may help advertisers optimize their budgets.

Read more here.

HubSpot launches a podcast network

The Boston-based inbound marketing, sales and service platform has announced the launch of The HubSpot Podcast Network, featuring shows aimed at educating and informing a business audience. Initially, the network will feature six programs covering topics like entrepreneurship, business infrastructure, leadership, sales, and marketing technology.

The network’s aim is not to disseminate HubSpot content. It’s onboarding independent podcast creators, like Emily Thompson, who has hosted “Being Boss” for more than six years. More are expected to be onboarded during 2021. This launch follows HubSpot’s February acquisition of The Hustle, a media brand that circulates a newsletter to more than a million readers.

Why we care. Multichannel digital experience is becoming a reality. Customers are watching videos, playing video games, talking to voice assistants and listening to podcasts. Over 100 million people listen to podcasts every month in the U.S. alone. If brands want to meet their customers, they’d better meet them where they are. Digital marketing isn’t just about delivering content to a website anymore, and HubSpot is setting the example by its interest in a diversity of platforms.

Ad sales are bouncing back for publishers

How are publishers recovering as the world opens back up? On average, they saw two-thirds of their revenue bounce back by last fall, according to the Media Ad Sales Trend Report, just released by CRM and order management platform Boostr. Ninety-four percent of publishers surveyed said their sales stabilized by the end of 2020.

The top publishers actually saw a high level of growth during these difficult times. For instance, the top 25% saw year-over-year growth of 26%, while the median growth rate was 8%. The top publishers also saw a shorter period of time for losses. Middle-of-the-road publishers saw losses from March to July, while the upper tier saw losses only in March and April.

Not surprisingly, performance varied from category to category. Tech and telecom was the only category placing in the top 5 for both YoY revenue and revenue share (up 31% and 16%, respectively). The travel category saw the steepest decline, with a 56% revenue decrease.

Why we care. Publishers, like other businesses, had to respond quickly to stop the bleeding. Those that did set themselves up to succeed by the end of the year. The top challenges among publishers, according to the study, were meeting revenue targets (19% cited this), working remotely (18%) and cancellation of in-person events (16%). These three challenges are closely tied to digital transformation.

Quote of the day

“I JUST NEED AN IN-PERSON EVENT. I can’t watch another 7-hour webinar. I’m wilting.” M.H. Lines, CEO, Stack Moxie 

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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