Conference series having become somewhat of a cult event classic, the question arises as to how it can continue to evolve into something that continues to deliver what has driven many of us to go every time one thing I am curious about is how many ADM members have been to more than one Digital Dealer Conference. How many Digital Dealers have you been to?
I have been to all 8 Digital Dealer Conferences, but I often wonder if that means I am a slow learner or just have too much free time on my hands...(NOT!) Neither is the case. The fact is that out of the 7 previous Digital Dealer Conference that I have attended, all 7 of them have delivered the goods for me. When I worked at Courtesy Chevrolet, the insights and knowledge that the 3 managers on my team picked up at 1st Digital Dealer Conference and the 2nd Digital Dealer Conference were a critical part of the inspiration we achieved that fired me and my team up to organize and operate one of the most successful Internet Sales Departments in the car business, before or since!
In fact, there was a general session presentation at the 1st Digital Dealer Conference by Dennis Galbraith from J.D. Power and Associates that helped my team realize in the flash of a PowerPoint slide that we had an additional 1,500 used car sales a year sitting right in front of us, that we had never previously realized. Prior to that first Digital Dealer Conference, we did not know how much we did not know!
So besides how many (if any), previous Digital Dealer Conferences you have attended, if you HAVE been to a Digital Dealer Conference please leave a comment below describing what you have gotten out of any Digital Dealer Conferences you have attended, what it will take to keep this classic conference event on your list of events to attend...
And most importantly, what would you like to get, bring back to your dealership or see come out of the 8th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition in Orlando starting on April 20 and finishing on April 22, 2010?
From The Digital Dealer Conference Chairman, Mike Roscoe:
The 8th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, April 20th-22nd, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. The last conference in Nashville in October drew over 540 dealership attendees and featured 46 exhibitors in over 60 booths spaces. Combined, the last two Digital Dealer Conferences drew just under 1,000 registered dealers, GMs, Internet Sales Managers, e-Commerce Directors and BDC/CRM Managers, and every one of them was there to learn more about Internet and technology-related issues, both from speakers and from exhibitors.
We expect 50 to 60 exhibitors and are once again expecting over 500 dealership attendees in Orlando this Spring. We’ve done seven of these now and have found the perfect balance of fulfilling both attendees’ and exhibitors/sponsors’ goals. There simply is no comparison or better value for your tight marketing/trade show dollars.
The speaking program will be heavy with practitioners who are having great success in their markets. We are bringing in speakers from outside the industry to help forward–thinking dealerships stay ahead of the curve. Once again, a half-day “newbie” class will be held before the program even starts so anyone new to this side of the business (including dealers themselves) can get up to speed quickly and get the most out of the two days of powerful sessions presented. And the super-successful Peer Networking Roundtables are going to take place immediately before the conference begins and immediately after it ends.
The exhibit hall is where all dining, break and social functions will be held with a single room big enough for 100 exhibit booths and over 1,000 attendees. Our focus is on getting maximum impact for our exhibitors by having the attendees in the exhibit hall for extended periods at breakfast, lunch and the evening receptions. And every one of them is a prospect for your company’s products and services…that’s why they are there. Plus we're ending the evening receptions earlier than in the past to allow you sufficient time to entertain customers and prospects. The Rosen Shingle Creek is a self-contained resort, with multiple options on-site for wining and dining clients and prospects.
Sponsorship opportunities abound, with multiple levels of sponsorship and opportunities to host private functions in conjunction with the show. Title sponsor, Leadership sponsor, Program sponsor, Track sponsor, Affiliated sponsor, food/beverage sponsor…sponsorship opportunities for virtually every size budget. There are opportunities for every size company to show you’re a “player” in the industry.
Digital Dealer Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Rosen Shingle Creek at the negotiated rate of $149.00. When calling for reservations, ask for the Dealer Communications' block to get the discount. Rooms are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The toll free number for reservations at Rosen Shingle Creek is 866-996-6338 (ask for Dealer Communications block)
Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando is situated on 230 acres of lush landscape and is Central Florida’s newest and most luxurious meeting destination. The history of Shingle Creek reveals the captivating tale of how its majestic cypress trees provided some much needed shelter for early settlers and their homes. Today, our stunning grand lobby welcomes you into a world of lavish choices, complete with luxury accommodations, enticing restaurants and a championship golf course.
You’ll find everything from the Orange County Convention Center, Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld® Adventure Park, Walt Disney World® to a variety of other Orlando Florida attractions nearby. And because we are conveniently located just off of Universal Boulevard, Orlando’s meetings, conventions, and popular attractions are all within reach.
CLICK HERE FOR DIGITAL DEALER REGISTRATION
Early Bird (Before March 5)
Before April. 16th.
Dealership Personnel AAISP Member*
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Join AAISP for FREE save $100
* Membership can be obtained for FREE to all qualifying dealership personnel, courtesy of Auto USA. To join simply go to www.aaisponline.org, click on "Membership". Auto USA Sponsor Code can be found under "Sponsor Code" on AAISP website.
PAYMENTPREMCOR, Inc., our program registration partner, is providing the online registration for this Conference & Exposition. Therefore, when paying via credit card, the charge for your registration will show a charge to PREMCOR, Inc., Marble Hill, Georgia. All on-line transactions are secure.
By registering you are hereby authorizing PREMCOR, Inc. to charge your credit card for the registration fee.
You will receive an E-mail confirmation confirming payment and registration information, including an ID number. When agenda and sessions are finalized you will receive an E-mail instructing you to return to the registration site and select your choices. You must have your ID Number to select your sessions.
ALL REGISTRATIONS MUST BE PREPAID WITH AMEX, MASTERCARD, VISA, OR CHECK.
CANCELLATION POLICYThere will be a cancellation fee of $50 if anyone cancels up to 60 days pre event, 50% of registration if cancelling between 60 and 30 days pre event, and 100% of registration fee if cancelling inside of 30 days pre event.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR DIGITAL DEALER
Exhibits/Booths Greg Noonan
listened to several speakers mention the use of microsites by dealers and attribute their knowledge of microsites to yours truly. I suppose being called the “Microsite King” (see www.MicrositeKing.com) can’t be all bad, but right here and right now I would like to set the record straight about the issue of whether or not using microsites is good or bad… The use of microsites should be considered as one facet of a multi-faceted and full featured digital marketing system. Microsites can have either a positive or negative impact on a dealership’s overall digital marketing results depending on how they are deployed and many other factors. The key to microsite success is the role they play in achieving a balance and synergy within the other components of a dealer’s digital marketing strategy. The goal of this article is to provide a foundational understanding of what microsites are, how they differ from landing pages and to share a few examples of the many uses of microsites that dealers and Internet Sales Managers can consider for potential deployment within their own digital marketing strategies.
During the Digital Dealer conference I was asked many questions about how microsites are used, what they were, where to get them and how much was the right price… I am going to outline a few of the questions and share my opinions as to the right answers. The following questions and my answers to them have been set up within the context of a “how to” and “why” perspective for use in developing a dealership’s digital marketing strategy and ongoing digital advertising campaigns.
1. What is the difference between a landing page, a microsite and a dealer’s normal web site?
I get asked this question all the time, so it must be fairly relevant to many people… First off, let me say that for all practical purposes every web site contains potential landing pages, but not all landing pages are part of a microsite or what I would call a full featured web site, some are just plain old single page “Landing Pages”. A Landing Page is whatever web page that a sponsored link, display ad, click-to-play video ad or any other type of online promotion points to… Single purpose Landing Pages can be a distinctly separate tactic used in addition to a dealer’s primary full featured web sites and microsites. Although a dealer’s primary web site typically has sections devoted to each dealership department, as well as access to the dealer’s full vehicle inventory, a microsite typically displays a limited number of pages primarily focused on a very specific and limited topic, such as a specific model of vehicle or a component of the vehicle buying process… Think of the traditional 4-square dealership worksheet and imagine a web site dedicated to each of the sections within that 4-Square. Each of them would be a microsite.
Now, I’ll describe microsites in terms that would be relevant to today’s sales management professional at a dealership engaged in Digital Marketing activities:
• A microsite index page is attached to a unique URL that is as descriptive of the microsite’s subject matter as possible and available to the dealership.
• The index page within a microsite that is accessed by the root domain of the URL can also be used as a campaign landing page because it is where the consumer “lands” when they click on an advertisement, text based sponsored link or search engine listing of that unique URL.
• In addition to the index page, which we call a home page when applied to a dealership’s full featured primary web site, a microsite has 1 or more daughter pages that are accessible from linked text or images shown on the index page (the microsite’s home page).
• A microsite’s daughter pages must be created within the same root domain structure as the index page’s URL. This is far different than the use of web pages hosted within another root domain structure, as when using links to a different web site’s sections, forms or pages.
• Each daughter page within a microsite will contain additional content relevant to the index page’s primary subject matter and is what qualifies the site as a “microsite” instead of a simple “landing page”.
Obviously, from the first part of my answer you already know that a landing page is a single web page connected to a unique URL, but without any additional pages of relevant content connected to it that are hosted within the same root domain structure. A good example, and the epitome of a “Microsite” (it’s even small in size), including rich media presentations and specific vehicle component sections along with daughter pages containing vehicle information, photographs and specifications can be seen at www.SanDiegoChevySilverado.com.
Conversely, a good example of a true “Landing Page” devoid of any other content within the same root domain structure is: www.ChevyPriceQuote.com. Please note that both landing pages and microsites typically feature multiple links to other web pages that are part of separate and distinct URL domain structures, usually within the dealer’s primary web site, also known as “Deep Links”.
The bottom line is that every microsite contains a landing page, along with one or more additional content pages, while the term landing page is also used to describe a single web page, usually with a form that is linked to advertisements and text based sponsored links and is distinctly separate from any other web site. Technically, any web page connected to outside links, such as banners and other forms of display advertisements shown within published web sites, as well as text based sponsored links and URL listings in SEM campaigns are “Landing Pages” because it is where the consumer lands when they click on the advertisement or listing… However, within the car business today, the most common use of the term landing page is to describe a single web page specially created for a specific advertisement, designed to convert visitors into electronic leads. Alternatively, Microsites require more content to set up properly than solo landing pages, which typically require a limited amount of text and an online form for customers to complete and submit.
2. When and How are Landing Pages and Microsites used?
Both microsites and landing pages are used for a variety of purposes by dealers, 3rd party lead providers, SEM services providers, dealer advertising associations, dealer groups and car companies. Compared to landing pages and depending on the richness of content they contain, automotive microsites usually show increasing levels of effectiveness in generating leads over time. There are 3 prevalent digital marketing campaign objectives that microsites and landing pages are used for within the car business today.
A. Generate sales leads in the form of completed online forms, incoming phone calls and showroom traffic… When used by SEM services providers, landing pages are typically designed to generate electronic leads and are optimized for the highest possible Visitor-to-Lead conversion rates.
B. Attract unique visitors using highly specific and limited subject matter content that is indexed by search engines as relevant to key word searches related to the site’s subject matter. When successful, a microsite’s title and description appear at the top of specific search engine queries based on richness of relevant content.
C. Generate online traffic to other dealership web sites through the use of linked objects displayed within the microsite, or within the text based content of the site. This objective is best met through the use of managed organic content that is search engine optimized around a subject matter that is popular among a targeted audience that will be searching for it. Otherwise, a microsite could be misconstrued as a link farm.
If you are like me, seeing a few examples really helps to clarify a concept. If you visit www.Chevy-Malibu.com you will see a microsite that is focused on the all new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and nothing else. It has lots of rich content relevant to the all new Malibu, including an interview with the dealership’s New Vehicle Director, Scott Gruwell. At the bottom of the landing page are links to content within the store’s primary full featured web site that supplement the forms and phone numbers within the microsite in seeking to convert visitors into leads and phone calls. 3 months after being launched, a search for “2008 Chevy Malibu” returned a world wide front page listing as follows:
2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid from Phoenix Arizona Chevy Dealer ...
2008 Chevy Malibu. Come and fall in love with the all new 2008 Malibu from chevrolet. Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix offers the best pricing and financing on ...
www.chevy-malibu.com/ - 19k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
The model specific microsite that has outperformed any other microsite I have ever seen in generating incremental eLeads and unique visitors to the primary web site operated by the dealership, visit www.2008ChevyCamaro.com . A Google search for 2008 Chevy Camaro returns the following listing at the very top of the world wide search results:
The All New 2008 Chevrolet Camaro from Courtesy Chevy in Phoenix ...
2008 Chevy Camaro. Your Valley Chevy Camaro Dealer located in Phoenix, Arizona, The New 2008 Chevy Camaro, Courtesy Chevrolet Camaro, 2008 New Chevy Camaro.
www.2008chevycamaro.com/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pages
In July 2007 the Camaro microsite attracted over 25,000 unique visitors, of which over 1,800 of them submitted an online lead form. This microsite also generated over 2,500 unique visitors to the store’s other web sites, which resulted in over 50 additional leads. Courtesy Chevrolet operates the 2008ChevyCamaro.com microsite and spends less than $100 a month hosting it. There was no paid advertising used to generate traffic, although the Transformers movie seemed to generate a big hike in Camaro related searches.
One of the first microsite’s I created is the popular www.Tahoe-Chevrolet.com. If you Google “2007 Tahoe” it shows up near the top of the search results as follows:
2007 Tahoe at Courtesy Chevrolet- The all new 2007 tahoe! Phoenix ...
2007 Tahoe by Chevy. Come and fall in love with the all new 2007 tahoe from Chevrolet. Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix offers the best pricing and financing ...
www.tahoe-chevrolet.com/ - 20k - Cached - Similar pages
You should click on the photo galleries and specifications pages within each of the above listed microsites to truly understand what differentiates a microsite from a landing page. I have never seen a landing page by itself generate any significant organic site ranking.
3. Who creates the online digital advertising that dealers would use to help drive traffic to microsites and landing pages?
Creating online advertisements that dealers can then place on various web sites or as sponsored links with paid search engine advertising is typically done by the dealership’s vendors. However, all too often vendors generate digital ads in either a size or format that is intentionally designed to prevent the dealer from using them elsewhere. That’s why I give Cars.com a lot of credit because even when they build a Flash based ad for the dealers that advertise on Cars.com, you can ask for the same ad in an animated GIF file format which they will provide. This allows the dealer to use that great looking ad created by Cars.com on other web sites and further leverages ROI from the dealer’s investment in Cars.com advertising. An example of a digital ad created for one of the dealers I work with in San Diego is shown below:
Another example of a dealership’s digital advertising as created by Cars.com is shown below:
In my new position as Director of Digital Marketing for ADP Dealer Services, I am spearheading a project where we will by supplying digital advertising content to dealers. Our first priority will be to provide digital advertising that has already been proven effective for dealers to those who have web sites supplied by an ADP Digital Marketing provider, such as BZ Results and ADP Dynamic Websites. ADP Digital Marketing is now providing digital advertising content for online promotions that comply with industry standards so that they fit into various web sites that a dealer may choose to advertise with. Digital Advertising assets (files) can be created by anyone using a PC with MS Office installed, but there is a ton of work and expertise that goes into making an effective digital advertisement. Here are a few prototype examples of the most basic ADP Digital Marketing dealership ads:
We offer a wide variety of dealership digital advertising files in animated and dynamic versions; we even provide digital advertisements with lead forms built right into the ad itself.
When it comes to paid search advertising, text based sponsored links are usually created by a dealer’s SEM services provider. However, despite the fact that there a lot of very knowledgeable SEM services providers, such as BZ Results Search Engine Marketing, Clickmotive, Jumpstart and others, in my opinion this is a bad practice. Outsourcing the thinking and creative promotional exercises that have historically been done either in-house or in conjunction with a dealer’s ad agency is more likely to result in a failed digital advertising campaign. This happens because separating digital advertising from the other forms of dealership promotional activity leads to a disconnect with the dealership’s marketing strategies. I recommend that each dealer and management team control and monitor their digital advertising with the same diligence and direct participation that they use for TV, Radio, Newspaper, Outdoor, Direct Mail and all other media. Over two thirds of all car shopping is done online, does it really make sense for a dealership’s management team to pay so much attention to the ads placed in media used by a minority of car buyers and then ignore the ads seen by the majority of automotive shoppers?
4. Does a dealer have to use an outside supplier to do this, or is it something dealers can do on their own? How do dealers organize to do this?
All or part of a dealer’s digital marketing activities can be managed in-house. Alternately, a dealer may choose to pick and choose which components are executed in-house and which are to be outsourced, or a combination of both. I am currently engaged in a consulting relationship with a Chevrolet store in Northern California that has never done digital advertising before I started working with them. Their Marketing Manager, who creates all their newspaper advertising and works with their TV and Radio suppliers, is doing a fantastic job of using his skills to create digital advertising campaigns. ADP’s own BZ Results has created a portfolio of microsites and landing pages for their use in online advertising campaigns. Our ADP Digital Marketing Consultants have taught their managers to create online paid search text ads and create campaigns using Google’s AdWords applications (which are free to advertisers) to serve them up to car buyers in their market area. Their training and consulting services were delivered by our ADP Digital Marketing Catalysts over the course of 2 visits, 2 days each. As a result of this consultative engagement, the dealership’s Internet and Marketing Managers place the digital ads they create in over 800 web sites where these ads are seen only when the store’s local residents visit those sites. Of course, these are very successful car guys who know what it takes to get a car shopper’s attention, and they have years of experience using radio and newspaper to sell cars, but wouldn’t you rather have these people managing your digital ad campaign investments than a bunch of geeks that have never sold a car?
Yes, it takes focus, time and effort, and although all of a dealer’s digital advertising needs can be outsourced to save time, this typically results in the managers being disconnected and removed from the store’s digital advertising initiatives. Outsourcing digital advertising concept creation can result in a lack of commitment to making the sales to the leads generated that is required to get the ROI results. I recommend learning how to do it, then doing it long enough so that if the dealer decides to outsource the work, they at least know what it is, how to measure it and what it takes to do a good job. Now that I work for ADP Dealer Services, I would much rather sell Digital Marketing products and services to dealers who know what it is and how it works, than to those that do not know what they are buying. Other considerations are the ability to adjust campaigns daily, even hourly and saving money. Most stores can save thousands of dollars by managing their online campaigns and by knowing how to evaluate a supplier for the portion of the digital ad budget that is outsourced. Generally speaking, I consider a blended approach of both in-house and outsourced digital advertising to be the best of both worlds, and it keeps the vendors honest when you compare their results with the in-house results. The blended approach also allows a dealer to shift dollars from in-house to the out-house as resources and budgets fluctuate.
5. How can dealers manage multiple URLs? How do dealers ensure they get ranked by the major search engines?
As far as acquiring and using domain names (URL’s), although a lot of dealers use low cost domain management service providers such as www.GoDaddy.com and www.PowerPipe.com, I feel most comfortable going directly to the source by using www.NetworkSolutions.com where dealers can buy a domain and web forwarding services (if needed) for less than $47 a year. Significant discounts apply if registering for 3 years or more. Since it can take up to 3 months to get a new microsite organically ranked for free search engine traffic, I recommend creating a Google AdWords account and building a paid search marketing campaign using keyword bidding on text based sponsored links that point to the dealer’s new microsite. This gets traffic going to a microsite right away, and then if the site is built well enough to be considered relevant to the intended sales, parts or service shoppers, you can back down the paid traffic after 3 to 6 months and let the organic relevancy of your microsite do its magic by attracting search engine generated traffic. The people at Google have told me about a 3 month period after a new microsite goes live as being “in the sandbox”, where it will not get organically ranked, but I have seen exceptions made for really good microsites that covered a topic that does not have a lot of competition for relevancy in search results. The Camaro site I previously mentioned is one of those… After your microsite is up and running, copy the actual URL string of characters from your browser’s address bar when viewing the site, then go to http://www.google.com/addurl and paste the microsite’s domain based URL string into the field for the site address. Then type in a description of the site using no more than 20 words into the text field set up for it. Next, try to decipher the garbled up characters that Google displays to keep bots from being able to do this and type these weird looking characters displayed into the indicated form field… If you are successful in translating the garbled up letters, when you hit the submit button you will get a confirmation page that says your site will be queued up for crawling and indexing by Google’s spider bots. I know it sounds like a bunch of hassle, but anyone who can figure out how to use GM’s Dealer World, Honda’s Interactive Network, Toyota’s Dealer Daily or Ford’s FMCDealer.com can ace this stuff.
6. How can the dealer make sure that their landing page/microsite strategy actually delivers desirable content to automotive Internet users, and that the landing page sites deliver on any promises made in the ads themselves?
Dealers should be consistent and transparent in their digital advertising campaign messages. In the case of paid search campaigns, why would you want to attract clicks from people that don’t want to buy a vehicle, order parts or get their vehicle serviced? Only if you are an SEM services vendor who is evaluated by traffic and leads generated! (oops, that one slipped out) When doing it yourself, make sure the ad contains verbiage that describes the landing page’s content that you are linking it to. For example, if your ad says something like “Chevy Price Quotes… Get Discounted Prices on a New Chevy from Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix” and it points to www.ChevyPriceQuote.com you can be pretty certain that the people clicking on the ad are interested in getting a price quote on a new Chevy and that they are willing to buy it in Phoenix, AZ (duh!). The landing page gives them the instructions and the form to complete that are in sync with the ad’s message, so it is a no brainer for the customer to fill it out the form and find out how your store will respond.
A good example of this is a microsite I built for a Free Gas advertising campaign that you can visit at www.ChevyGas.com . This microsite has a built in calculator that asks the customer how many miles they drive every week, then how many miles per gallon their current vehicle gets. It then shows the customer how much money they will spend in a year. The customer is then invited to enter a contest to win a free gas card, or to register to receive a year’s worth of gas at no additional charge when they buy a new Chevy from Courtesy Chevrolet. This is then promoted using the following image ads:
If you look at the ads shown above and then you visit the web site by clicking on the ad, you can’t help but see that the site delivers on the promises made in the ad itself. If the ads were linked to my primary web site’s home page, and the consumer was then expected to find the free gas special offer from there, then it would not be delivering on the promise implied by the ad and it would fail to produce any results. Online advertisements should be directly linked to single click access to the promised content.
7. How does a dealer incorporate the use of microsites into their existing CRM tools and processes to maximize the ability to track and manage results?
Forms, phone numbers and links… This is one of the most important aspects of any microsite because ultimately the volume of forms submitted, phone calls generated and traffic linked to other sites operated by your dealership is how you will evaluate your microsites. The forms used to submit leads from a dealer’s microsite must be set up to be submitted into the dealer’s lead management tool in XML/ADF format. Each form should be tagged to display the lead source as that microsite’s description in the dealer’s lead management tool. Each microsite will have its own source tag so that leads and sales generated can be logged and traced to that source. It is the same process as tracking leads from a third party lead provider, then calculating the ROI… The only thing missing is the profit requirements of the lead provider! When done properly, microsites generate more ROI than when splitting the pot with a lead provider that uses the same methods to generate leads and then sells them to multiple dealers at a profit. It is important that the dealership’s staff that will be handling leads from a microsite be shown the ads and site content used to generate those leads, so they can respond appropriately. A best practice is to have campaign and microsite specific email templates and auto responders. Until recently, if you submitted a lead through www.2008ChevyCamaro.com you would have see that the emails coming back are specific to that microsite. Don’t worry about costing the dealer any money, because incremental leads from microsites don’t cost any money… They make money.
8. How can dealers measure the results of digital ad campaigns that make use of microsites? What are the most common and useful metrics?
As I mentioned in the last section, microsites should be evaluated based on several Key Performance Indicators (KPI), a few examples of these are:
• Lead Forms Submitted + Phone Calls / Unique Visitors = Conversion Rate
• Unique Visitors Referred to Primary Sites / Microsite Visitors = Referral Rate
• Organic Unique Visitors / Total Unique Visitors = Organic Penetration
Be sure to display (big and bold) a unique toll free AdTracker phone number on your microsites to track incoming calls generated, and make sure your microsite supplier embeds site visitor tracking software such as Omniture’s SiteCatalyst into the site. One of the most useful reports is the Referring Domains reports which show how many leads were submitted by the URL used to link an advertisement to the microsite. I use multiple URL’s for each microsite and then monitor each ad group by using distinct URL’s as the pointing web address that then shows up in the Omniture reporting.
Whether it is a microsite, any other site or simply an online advertising campaign to deep links within your primary web site, here’s the metrics I find most useful:
Analysis Subject Cost Unit Description
Advertising Impressions $2.16 Per Thousand People
Microsite Visits $2.43 Per Visitor Session
eLeads and Phone Calls $31.94 Per Lead
Appointments Generated $12.78 Per Dealership Appointment
Vehicles Sold $412.65 Per Vehicle Retailed (PVR)
We then use the above metrics to calculate the following cost effectiveness analysis
Metric Description Actual Case Study Example:
Total Cost of Ad Campaign and Microsite: $71,801.30
Advertising Impressions Generated: 33,257,657
Microsite Visits Generated by Ads: 29,528
eLeads and Phone Calls Generated: 2,248
Appointments Generated from Leads: 562
Vehicles Sold to Site Visitors: 174
9. Will an LP/MS strategy work for both long-term sales campaigns, and short-term promotions? Are there circumstances in which LP/MS might not be an appropriate solution?
Microsites can be used for current promotions and then left intact for long term use in generating organic traffic and leads after the current month’s ad campaign is finished. Sometimes keeping them updated can be a chore, but what isn’t? I have used them for both long and short term campaigns and objectives, as well as modified short term campaign microsites to be relevant after the campaign is over. Usually the monthly hosting fees are low relevant to the set up costs, so why not let your microsites collect organically generated traffic and produce leads as an ongoing yield from their hosting fees? As for when they are or are not appropriate… Plenty of dealers look at other dealer advertisements in every media channel and criticize or applaud those ads. Microsites and their cheaper cousins (landing pages) are the same way. I could show you some truly tacky looking microsites that generate plenty of leads and sales for their dealer, but which other dealers will say “that’s terrible, he shouldn’t be allowed to do that” or “I would never use something that looks that hideous”… Beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to microsites and landing pages. The metrics tend to show whether they should or should not have been used. Keep in mind that microsites are never appropriate without the dealer’s commitment to invest money in marketing and promoting them. Individual results may vary, and runaway successes like www.2008ChevyCamaro.com are only available to those dealers who try multiple microsites. Anyone who tells you that microsites are a “sure thing” or “guaranteed to produce sales” or that they can duplicate the success of some of these microsites on an “at will” basis is either lying or does not have any experience doing it. Microsites are a form of communication and depend upon online advertising and search engines for their success… This means they must be conceived, gestated, born and raised. At the end of the day, some will work better than others. Just remember, nothing is better than rich and relevant content that people are looking for and which search engines can index… Especially when served up free from the clutter and distractions of other subjects, products and services. And THAT is what creates the magic of microsites!
10. What about the costs of creating and hosting microsites? What kind of initial investment is required, and what does it cost to keep them up and running?
Different microsite suppliers charge different fees. At ADP Digital Marketing we have not yet established our microsite pricing matrix, but they will be completed by the time this article is published. We are still assessing the typical costs involved, but we have sold, designed and delivered microsite prototypes to our pilot dealers on the following cost basis:
Design and Setup: 3 microsites package = $1,995.00 one time fee
Monthly Hosting: 3 microsites package = $595.00 monthly
Alternately, we have sold prototype microsites to other dealers as follows:
Design and Setup: 5 microsites package = $0 one time fee
Monthly Hosting: 5 microsites package = $3,000.00 monthly
I have personally used some smaller independent microsite designers that charged $750 per site as a one time set up fee and $75 per month to host them. And, I have seen some of the large enterprise dealer groups purchase microsites from ADP for as little as $295 a month per site with a $595 set up fee. It is safe to say that costs are reasonable for the sites themselves, but it is usually the advertising campaigns are where the real money is spent. As for staff and overhead, well… Tina Pratt, the GSM at People’s Chevrolet in Chula Vista builds her own microsites and uses the store’s digital advertising budget for pure advertising buys, which I taught her to do herself and she does a heck of a job for that store. I have recently been hired on a consulting basis to compete with her and she wins the search engine placement battle quite frequently. But, that is when the teacher shows the student how it’s done and I usually come right back at her with an online ad campaign for Courtesy Chevrolet in San Diego that kicks her butt, until we run out of budget. Ahhh, the car business… You gotta love the competitiveness of it all!
11. How about some Case studies; one or two brief examples (with details) where LP/MS made a difference. What was done, and what were the results?
There are so many examples of microsites being used to make a difference in a store’s success that it is difficult to pick one in particular, but let’s take a look at the www.PHXfinance.com microsite I designed for Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix. After you look at this very basic, and not so elegant special finance site, take a look at the advertisement we placed in over 60 bus shelters around Phoenix in August 2006, which is shown below:
Imagine sitting in a bus shelter, in 100+ degree temperatures and staring at that life sized poster twice a day, five or six days a week… To say it generated a few phone calls and visits to the microsite is an understatement. The bus shelter ads cost about $5,500 per month, and was used as part of the budget previously spent with BarNone for special finance leads. Combined with the online advertising, which was $4,500 per month, we set up a $10,000 a month “eFinance Department” total advertising budget. The PHXfinance.com microsite was, and remains able to receive organic ranking in a highly competitive subject matter area and appears as a first page search engine query result, for “phoenix auto finance” as shown below:
Phoenix Finance, Do you have Bad Credit and want a Used Car? at ...
Courtesy is the Phoenix Valley’s only car dealer that has been nationally recognized for their leadership in the area of credit repair by hiring and ...
www.phxfinance.com/ - 10k - Cached - Similar pages
The astute reader will notice the bus shelters display the URL: www.PHXfinance.com whereas some of the organic search results list PhoenixAutoFinance.com. PhoenixAutoFinance.com was used for the original root domain URL, which was indexed by search engines, and PHXfinance.com was used as a special, shorter and easier to remember URL for specific ad campaigns where we wanted people to go directly to the advertised URL. This allowed us to evaluate the effectiveness of the ad campaigns by looking at the referring domain reports for the microsite. The Courtesy Chevrolet eFinance team really hit its stride in September 2006 when they sold 57 cars. When we examine the metrics around the use of the eFinance microsites, here is what the results were:
PHXfinance.com Results Cost Unit Description
Advertising Impressions $4.57 Per Thousand People
Microsite Visits $3.72 Per Visitor Session
eLeads and Phone Calls $17.71 Per Lead
Appointments Generated $48.10 Per Dealership Appointment
Vehicles Sold $178.07 Per Vehicle Retailed (PVR)
We then use the above metrics to calculate the following cost effectiveness analysis:
eFinance Digital Marketing Metric Description Actual Case Study Example:
Total Cost of Ad Campaign and Microsite: $10,150
Advertising Impressions Generated: 2,221,168
Microsite Visits Generated by Ads: 2,729
eLeads and Phone Calls Generated: 573
Appointments Generated from Leads: 211
Vehicles Sold: 57
Given the low cost per vehicle retailed (PVR) we initially were very excited by these results and by the integrated nature of the promotion with more phone calls generated than electronic leads. However, once we started counting up all the expenses paid in the form of lender fees, we realized that generating special finance leads online is a lot cheaper than getting the deals bought! Our process for handling the incoming phone calls was to get callers to either schedule an appointment to come in right away, or if they wanted to know for sure whether they were pre-approved, we asked them to complete a credit application, such as the one at www.SDCreditApproval.com which is a completely different dynamic online credit application. We set up SDCreditApproval.com to quickly access a deep link connected to an easily remembered URL. The talking credit application is provided by DealerCentric and hosted within a BZ Results web site. So, yes the microsite made a difference in this case study, but it was used in conjunction with online and offline advertising, combined with a very talented crew of automotive professionals made up of Ron Daly, Scott Daly and Barbara Mason. In the interest of proper disclosure, I will also report that by January 2007 we completely reconfigured the eFinance Team because of the high bank fees and the need to properly compensate some of the most talented car people I have ever had the privilege of working with.
Ultimately, a dealer’s use of microsites is not a silver bullet in the world of digital marketing and advertising. It is another tool that savvy dealers can use to get an unfair competitive advantage… Combined with the right people, lead management processes and technology, the use of microsites is one of many digital marketing tactics that separate some of today’s most successful dealers from those that would like to get there.
Director – Digital Marketing
ADP Dealer Services
sion. My responses to Mark are my own professional opinions, they are not facts... So, I would like other ADMers to provide their own opinions in response to Mark's question, copied and pasted below:
Mark King said… So on with the discussion, during business hours., what should be an expected response time? Let's face the music, if we don't have a measured and stated goal, that means to car sales persons that it's not important. A clear process is more important than response time, the combination of both are the key!
Comment BackView Thread Send MessageRalph Paglia's Response to Mark King: Mark, you may as well be asking "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin", but if you are not Catholic you may not know what I am referring to... OK, you want to get real? Here it is, NO LENGTH OF TIME beyond an immediate and high quality response to a customer's inquiry is better than a span of time that is any amount less... Think of "Live Chat" and you get the picture.
Now, if you want to set minimum lead response time performance standards and benchmarks for managing Internet Sales Specialists or BDC reps responding to Internet Leads, I recommend that you establish 5 levels of performance, which I have listed and defined as follows: 1. Unacceptable Performance; Immediate Intervention Action / Shut Off from Leads
2. Acceptable; Must Improve to Good Level by Next Month / Not Eligible for Bonuses-Spiffs
3. Good; Requires Mandatory Meeting Attendance/Online Training / Eligible for Bonuses-Spiffs
4. Superior; 1 Mandatory Meeting Waiver / Online Training Required / Bonuses-Spiffs @ +10%
5. Excellent; Mandatory Meetings and Online Training "Optional" / Bonuses-Spiffs @ +20%
If you want to implement an objective performance benchmark based management system such as the one listed above, then you had better start measuring BEFORE you determine what those benchmarks are going to be, or the metrics based rules you implement will be pure unadulterated BULLSHIT, and will not be credible... Which means the stated consequences will not be enforced and your plans to implement an objective and dynamic metrics based performance incentives program will simply fail. Let me paraphrase what I believe to be a better question to ask... "How do you set lead response time and quality performance benchmarks after you get the dealership or group's historical lead response time performance data?" Great question, glad you asked... Here are a few guidelines: 1. The data you use to establish a dealership's initial lead response time performance and quality benchmarks should be sourced from the same system (CRM, Lead Management Tool, OEM reports, etc.) that will be used going forward to measure, monitor, evaluate, plan and coach the people tasked with handling Internet leads and responding to them.
2. Use AT LEAST 3 months of data to determine historical performance levels, if you have more, up to the previous 12 months would be preferred. Resist temptation to use last month by itself, or to cherry pick a particularly good month from last year. The key is to have the best measurement of where your team is at today, based on enough data generated over a long enough recent time period to qualify it as being indisputable. You want the historical data that shows how your team performed while getting to where they are today over the past 12 months, but at least 3...
3. Generate and export to Excel the Average Lead Lead Response Time for all leads that were assigned to THE PEOPLE WHO THE BENCHMARKS WILL BE APPLIED TO... Do not include leads routed to the floor because they came from previous customers, Service and Parts, or Commercial/Fleet if you are setting benchmarks for an Internet Sales Team that has not been handling those leads.
4. Generate and export to Excel an individual report showing (same as #3) Average Lead Response Time performance metrics for each individual user who handled at least 100 leads in same time period (3-12 months). I recommend >100 leads as a statistical qualifier.
5. The Average Lead Response Time for the individual performance measured (subject to qualifiers in 1-4) that is the longest amount of time, or the slowest (biggest) average response time to Internet leads now becomes the Performance Level Benchmark for "Unacceptable Performance". This benchmark is a level that triggers disciplinary action when an Internet Sales Specialist drops to this level or falls below it for either a month or the most recent 100 leads. The "Unacceptable Performance" benchmark is the level which results in an Internet Sales Specialist being suspended from receiving new leads by being pulled from lead routing rotation until corrective action is taken. An individual performing at or below this level is no longer qualified to serve as an Internet Sales Specialist/Manager.
6. The Average Lead Response Time for the individual performance measured (subject to qualifiers 1-4) that is the shortest amount of time, or the fastest (lowest) average response time to Internet leads becomes the initial Performance Level Benchmark for "Excellent Performance". Performing above this benchmark qualifies an ISS or ISM to receive a bundle of rewards and preferred status in lead routing rotation, mandatory meetings and whatever is determined by management to reward and encourage this level of performance. An individual performing at or better than this level is qualified to lead and train others to become an Internet Sales Specialist/Manager. This benchmark should be periodically reviewed and adjusted when metrics used for initial benchmark indicate higher performance has normalized.
7. The Average Lead Response Time for the aggregated total of individuals who are the top third (33%) in performance measured (subject to qualifiers) for shortest amount of time, or the fastest (lowest) average response time to Internet leads becomes the initial Performance Level Benchmark for "Superior Performance". Individuals that perform at or above this level, but below "Excellent" are in the "Superior Performance" lead response category.
8. The Average Lead Response Time for the entire team, after removing the bottom third (33%) of individual performance measured (subject to qualifiers 1-4). Removing the bottom third who have the longest average response time, the slowest (biggest) average response time to Internet leads is used to establish the initial Benchmark for "Good Performance". Individuals that perform at or above this level, but below "Superior" are rated as being at the "Good Performance" level of lead response performance.
9. Performance levels above "Unacceptable" and below "Good" benchmark levels are "Acceptable"... The "Acceptable" rating and range of performance benchmark should be used to indicate a need for performance improvement. The "Acceptable" benchmark becomes unacceptable when an individual performs at this level without improvement or a plan to improve.
QUALIFIERS ARE CRITICAL TO SUCCESS
Establishing a set of performance benchmarks to use in determining levels that result in either rewards, improvement coaching of disciplinary action can be very counter productive if the minimum standards for what constitutes an acceptable quality level of that response are not implemented and monitored.
Responding to leads quickly, but not providing the customer with all the information requested, and following the established dealership process defining what is included in an Internet Sales Specialist's email sent in response to that lead, DISQUALIFIES THAT LEAD RESPONSE FROM "STOPPING THE CLOCK" WHEN DETERMINING AVERAGE LEAD RESPONSE TIME.
This can be done, I have personally been successful by spot checking the responses that have been sent and defining EXACTLY what must be included, as a minimum level of content in each ISS/ISM first response to every lead, by category of lead based on source, form completed and what the customer's expectations are as indicated the web page they used to submit that lead.
Ford has established a set of standards for a "First Response Quality" that is based on the performance metrics and attributes that measurement proves are what determines whether or not a sale is made... These lead response QUALITY attributes have been simplified and boiled down to the five most important criteria, and executing at least the items numbered 3, 4 and 5 on the list below should be considered as a qualifier for each initial lead response to "Stop the Clock" when measuring average response time:
Another approach is to use a point system for qualifying "First Response" to Internet leads, which can be applied to a dealership as a whole, and individual ISM's lead responses, or each individual response to a lead. Here is an example of a point system:
Based on the following categories and point system, check the boxes that correspond to initial Lead Management Process as is actually being performed. Then, tally up the total score and enter that score into the box provided at the bottom of the section.
Average Personalized Email Response Time to New Leads:
6 Hours or Greater…… 0 Points
Under 6 Hours……….... 1 Points
Under 3 Hours………… 2 Points
Under 1 Hour…………... 5 Points
Add the indicated points if the dealer, ISS, ISM or BDC Rep provides the following information in their initial personalized Email Response:Confirm Availability (Specific Vehicle)…............... 1 Point
MSRP (Reference Price)………….…...........………. 1 Point
Selling Price……………….....……..................……... 1 Point
Price “Good Until” Date…….....….………..……….. 1 Point
Hyperlinks to dealer web site features….............. 1 Point
Provide info on at least 3 additional vehicles as alternatives in addition to the information (price quote) for vehicle customer inquired about in their Lead....................................... 15 Points
Dealership reviews each Lead, details and comments submitted by customers, then answers specific customer questions in the initial email response…….............. 5 Points
Dealership’s Autoresponse and the first personalized email advises customers why direct contact (phone) is a benefit, and that phone contact will be attempted........................ 5 Points
Call each customer (look up number) after sending email, with the call made on SAME DAY lead received.......... 15 Points
ALTERNATIVE TO SAME DAY; call made to customer on next day after lead received and email sent.................. 5 Points
Total Lead Management Process Points (50 Maximum)
any website, including Car Dealer websites. the information appearing in them comes directly from the social network their code was provided by... When it is a Facebook Social Plugin — they're just an extension of your dealership's Facebook page and the Facebook user experience.
Plugins were designed so that the dealership website they are plugged into receives no information about the Facebook user who has not yet consented to providing your dealership with their personal profile information.
Your customers who use Facebook will only see a personalized experience with their friends if they are logged into their Facebook user profile. If the automotive consumer visiting your dealership's website is not already logged in, they will be prompted to log into Facebook so they can use the plugin added to your dealership's site.
At a technical level, social plugins work when a car dealership website puts an iframe provided by Facebook.com on their site, almost as if the dealership is agreeing to give Facebook some real estate on their various automotive websites. When you visit one of these sites, the Facebook iframe can recognize if you're logged into Facebook. If you're logged in, it’ll show personalized content within the plugin as if you were on Facebook directly.
Even though the iframe isn't on Facebook, it's designed with all the privacy protections as if it were.
Watch this video to learn more about the Facebook Like button...
Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
Now that you know these Facebook supplied tools can generate more leads and inquiries from automotive consumers, you will start to see various types of sharing buttons from Facebook and other social networks. Let's take a look at the different types of Facebook social engagement apps that are already installed at other dealership.
We will see ways to place them into your dealership's websites and how social plugins let your dealership's customers take their friends with them around the web... Including when they visit any of your dealership's websites.
Let people share pages and content from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click, so all their friends can read them
Allow people to share to Facebook, share with particular friends or with a group. Alternatively, they can share in a private message.
Embedded Posts let you add any public post from Facebook to your blog or web site.
The Comments plugin lets people comment on any piece of content on your site.
Let people privately send content on your dealership's website to their friends.
Let people subscribe to public updates on Facebook.
Displays the most interesting, recent activity taking place on your site.
Displays the most recommended content on your site.
Let people like content, get recommendations, and share what they are reading with their Friends.
A special version of the Like Button only for Facebook pages.
Display the profile photos of the people who have connected with your Facebook page or app.
Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
Sharing Checklist Follow our sharing best practices.
More Info on Social Plugins for Car Dealers
Let your dealership's website visitors "Like" and share stuff from your websites with their friends (and automotive consumers) who also use Facebook.
Why Would a Car Dealer Use Social Plugins?
Social plugins are tools that dealership websites outside of Facebook can use to provide their customers who are already Facebook users with personalized and socially enabled experiences. When customers interact with social plugins on your dealership website, they typically share their experiences with their friends, coworkers and others on Facebook.
The Four Most Popular Social Plugins that Facebook Provides Car Dealers include:
Like button: Click Like to share and connect with things from other websites that you find interesting. Learn more.
Share button: Click Share to write something about a link and then post it to your Timeline.
Embedded posts: Add any public post from Facebook to your blog or website.
Comments box: Publicly comment on another website using your Facebook account.
If you're an automotive website developer, click here to learn more about implementing these features within a single line of HTML.
Sharing Best Practices
We want car dealers who have created news sites, automotive consumer targeted magazines, monthly dealership newsletters, dealer maintained and published blogs, and other types of specialized automotive microsites to easily reach their existing Facebook fans and grow their Facebook Page fan base. This way, people can get the most engaging experience, both when they are inside of Facebook, and when they are on any of your dealership's websites.
Here’s what you can do:
Learn who your Facebook using customers are and what they want to share
Make sure the Facebook Crawler can access all of your dealership's websites
Use proper Open Graph tags to drive distribution
Use images that are at least 1200x630 pixels to generate great previews
Use Facebook debug tool to debug your Open Graph Tags
Encourage your dealership's content creators to turn on Follow
1. Learn what your customers want to share
Having great content is necessary, but it’s not the only thing that gets people to share your content.
Track the success of your dealership's posted content with Facebook Insights. You can view the reach of particular stories, understand the demographics of who is sharing and engaging with your content and optimize future efforts based on this understanding. Robust data is available online on a Real-Time basis through an API for automotive website developers.
2. Facebook Crawler access
The Facebook Crawler fetches content from your site and generates a preview for people on Facebook. When someone shares a URL on Facebook and Likes or Recommends a page on your site using a plugin, it activates the Facebook Crawler. If your content is publicly available, we should have no problem accessing it.
If your content requires someone to login or if you restrict access after some amount of free content has been consumed, you will need to enable access for the Facebook Crawler. This access is only used to generate previews, and Facebook will not publicly expose your private content.
There are two methods to give Facebook’s Crawler access to your content:
IP whitelisting, which is more secure, but requires upkeep
User agent whitelisting, which is less secure, but requires little to no upkeep)
Your engineers can allow the following IP addresses access to pages that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public.
18.104.22.168/21 22.214.171.124/18 126.96.36.199/20 188.8.131.52/20 184.108.40.206/19 220.127.116.11/22 18.104.22.168/22 22.214.171.124/18 126.96.36.199/22 2401:db00::/32 2620:0:1c00::/40 2a03:2880::/32
Please note that these IP ranges can and do change regularly, so you should periodically run the following command to receive an updated list
whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS32934' | grep ^route
User agent whitelisting
Your engineers can allow the following user-agent access to pages that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public. We rarely update these user-agents, and users can spoof them. But since only a very small percentage of users know how to change their browser’s user-agent, the expected number of users who would exploit this is very low. Additionally, you also do not need to include all the URL's regular content to our crawler, just a valid HTML document with the appropriate meta tags.
Facebook’s Crawler crawls with: facebookexternalhit/<version_number>, where <version_number> is either 1.0 or 1.1, as of March 2013.
3. Use proper Open Graph tags
Open Graph tags are included in your page’s HTML and allow the Facebook Crawler to generate previews when your content is shared on Facebook.
We give examples below, but the basic Open Graph tags you should implement are:
og:title – The title of your article, excluding any branding.
og:site_name - The name of your website. Not the URL, but the name. (i.e. "IMDb" not "imdb.com".)
og:url – This URL serves as the unique identifier for your post. It should match your canonical URL used for SEO, and it should not include any session variables, user identifying parameters, or counters. If you use this improperly, likes and shares will not be aggregated for this URL and will be spread across all of the variations of the URL.
og:description – A detailed description of the piece of content, usually between 2 and 4 sentences. This tag is technically optional, but can improve the rate at which links are read and shared.
og:image – This is an image associated with your media. We suggest that you use an image of at least 1200x630 pixels.
fb:app_id – The unique ID that lets Facebook know the identity of your site. This is crucial for Facebook Insights to work properly. Please see our Insights documentation to learn more.
In addition, you might consider implementing some other types to improve distribution and engagement:
og:type - Different types of media will change how your content shows up in Facebook's newsfeed. There are a number of different common object types already defined. If you don't specify a type, the default will be website. You can also specify your own types via Open Graph.
og:locale - The locale of the resource. The default is en_US. You can also use the og:locale:alternate to reflect that you have other available language translations available as well. See our Internationalization and Open Graph Internationalization pages for examples and information.
article:author - This property links to the authors of the article. The target of this can be either a Facebook Profile or a Facebook Page and Facebook will likely offer a chance to follow that author when it's displayed in the news feed. (Note that your authors should have follow enabled so that people can follow them.)
article:publisher - This property links to the publisher of the article. The target of this property must be a Facebook Page. When displayed in the News Feed, Facebook may offer the ability to like the publisher. Note that this tag is only available to media publishers.
Example 1: GOOD
A clear title without branding or mentioning the domain itself.
<meta property="og:title" content="Workday Sets Price Range for I.P.O." />
A site name:
<meta property="og:site_name" content="My Favorite News"/>
A URL with no session id or extraneous parameters. All shares on Facebook will use this as the identifying URL for this article.
<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.myfavnews.com/2013/1/1/workday-price-range" />
A clear description, at least two sentences long.
<meta property="og:description" content="Workday, a provider of cloud-based applications for human resources, said on Monday that it would seek to price its initial public offering at $21 to $24 a share. At the midpoint of that range, the offering would value the company at $3.6 billion. Like many other technology start-ups, Workday, founded in 2005, will have a dual-class share structure, with each Class B share having 10 votes. Its co-chief executives, David Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft, and Aneel Bhusri, who was chief strategist at PeopleSoft, will have 67 percent of the voting rights after the I.P.O., according to the prospectus." />
Unique ID that identifies your domain to Facebook.
<meta property="fb:app_id" content="[FB_APP_ID]" />
The type of object:
<meta property="og:type" content="article" />
This article has some translations:
<meta property="og:locale" content="en_US" /> <!-- Default --> <meta property="og:locale:alternate" content="fr_FR" /> <!-- French --> <meta property="og:locale:alternate" content="it_IT" /> <!-- Italian -->
This article has an author and a publisher:
<meta property="article:author" content="https://www.facebook.com/fareedzakaria" /> <meta property="article:publisher" content="https://www.facebook.com/cnn" />
Example 2: BAD
The title should not have branding or extraneous information.
<meta property="og:title" content="MyFavNews.com – Business Section- Workday Sets Price Range for I.P.O." />
This URL has extraneous information that changes from user to user, resulting in likes/shares spread across multiple URLs, instead of being aggregated for all users sharing this article.
<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.myfavnews.com/2013/1/1 /workday-price-range?user_id=1234" />
This is a generic description that will not entice users to click.
<meta property="og:description" content="MyFavNews is the best source for your favorite news." />
This is a generic image that will look the same for all stories. It is only 100px by 100px, which will not be usable on higher resolution displays.
<meta property="og:image" content="http://graphics.myfavnews.com/images/logo-100x100.jpg" />
Don’t forget the fb:app_id, article:author and article:publisher tags!
4. Use images that are at least 1200x630 pixels
Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images.
If your image is smaller than 600 x 315 px, it will still display in the link page post, but the size will be much smaller.
We've also redesigned link page posts so that the aspect ratio for images is the same across desktop and mobile News Feed. Try to keep your images as close to 1.91:1 aspect ratio as possible to display the full image in News Feed without any cropping.
5. Use Open Graph Debug Tool
Facebook has a very simple debug tool on our developer site that lets you debug Open Graph tags on your website. All you have to do is plug in your URL and it will give you results with hints on what you need to fix.
6. Encourage your content creators to turn on Follow
Follow lets content creators share public updates with their followers, while saving personal updates for friends only. For example, journalists can allow readers or viewers to follow their public content, like photos taken on location or links to published articles. Follow is a simple, effective way for your audience to connect with you and keep up with your content, without adding you as a friend.
Get started with Follow:
Enable Follow - Go to your Account Settings and click on the Followers tab. Check the box to allow followers, and if you’d like, you can adjust your settings for follower comments and notifications.
Fill out your timeline - Make sure your timeline looks professional: add a cover photo, your title and work history, key career milestones, and life events.
Observe – Follow other journalists, photographers, authors, and anyone else who has built up a large follower base. Visit their timelines and check out the types of content they share.
Post to your followers - Share interesting photos, links to your content, and updates about what you’re working on, etc. Any post you set to Public will be shown to your followers in News Feed.
Be Authentic – Post in your own voice, use photos you’ve actually taken, and be honest.
Use Facebook Insights to understand the sorts of content your users share.
Whitelist the Facebook Crawler IP addresses or User-Agent.
Make sure og:url tags do not have changing parameters, session info, etc.
Use high-resolution images (preferably 1500 pixels wide). Use multiple images if you want to give us multiple thumbnail candidates.
Use long, descriptive og:description.
Use the fb:app_id and enable Facebook Insights for your website.
Use article:author and article:publisher to generate follows and subscriptions.
Encourage your authors, photographers, and others affiliated with your site to enable Follow on Facebook and start reaching their fans directly. Authentic, direct communication with content creators will drive brand loyalty, awareness, and traffic.
Facebook Portal for Media Publishers
Facebook News, Media, and Publishing Group
Open Graph Overview
Facebook Insights Overview
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