In this episode, we will discuss news and updates for digital platforms, namely Google Ads, Google My Business, and the social media platform that is making Netflix and every other streaming platform shake, TikTok.

Grace and Liel initiate their conversation regarding Google My Business’s new redressal complaint form that gives users the ability to report a business as non-existent. A reminder of why firms shouldn’t forget that there is way more to Google My Business than just reviews. It is expected to be a clear and accurate registry of everything related to your business.

TikTok has only continued to grow and earn more popularity since the beginning of the year. Their marketing platform is keeping up with the platform growth and the success of its creators, more recently announcing the launch of Pulse: a new placement opportunity that could have your sponsored videos showing in between the 4% top-performing videos on the platform. Can you afford not to try getting on board?

Liel explains why the latest and soon to become only search ad format in Google Ads is a positive move and fantastic use of AI to increase the click-through rate of your search campaigns, as long as you follow the steps mentioned in our conversation.

Resources mentioned in our episode:

  1. Google My Business Business Redressal Complaint Form
  2. TikTok Pulse Annoucment
  3. Responsive Search Ads the new ad format you have to know

Send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com

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Transcript

Liel: [00:00:00] In September 2021, Tiktok’s parent company Bytedance, reported that they had hit the 1 billion mark a 45% increase since July 2020 compared to Facebook and YouTube, which both took eight years to hit a billion users. Tiktok made it in just five years. What’s more, TikTok is expected to reach 1.5 billion users by the end of 2022. I’m Liel Levy the co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And this is in camera podcast where we say, found your audience where they are. Welcome to In-Camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations. Grace Welcome back. How are you today?

Grace: [00:01:07] Good. How are you, Liel?

Liel: [00:01:09] Great. Grace can’t complain. Actually, it’s been a busy week and I think it’s been a busy week for you as well, right?

Grace: [00:01:17] Oh, goodness. Yeah. For both of us, for sure.

Liel: [00:01:20] Yeah. And part of your team is also mass torts Puerto Rico, correct?

Grace: [00:01:26] That’s right. They’re actually returning today. But yes, they are in Puerto Rico at mass torts Puerto Rico currently.

Liel: [00:01:31] That’s a first, right? It’s the first time that they do mass torts Puerto Rico, if I’m not mistaken.

Grace: [00:01:36] This was our first time sponsoring as a pretty major sponsor, part of the mass torts Puerto Rico event. So my understanding is that there was a lot that went on, a lot of mass, like the leadership committees, a lot of people in leadership that are on the MDLs and that type of stuff went to Puerto Rico for the mass torts Puerto Rico event. So it was interesting.

Liel: [00:02:01] Do you do you have an idea what’s the difference between this one, for instance, and mass torts made perfect. Like what? How they are refocusing one from the other to kind of like be relevant, yet cover the same topics up to a certain extent. And, and it’s really surprising because it’s really back to back like it hasn’t even been a whole month separation between MTP and mass torts, Puerto Rico.

Grace: [00:02:26] So I’d say this is definitely more of a mass tort new type of style than then really a whole lot of vendors. There wasn’t a ton of vendors that were there. It was pretty much the primary focus was about learning and networking with other mass tort attorneys. So it was it was very different in that respect. It did cover probably the same topics, I’d say, but the atmosphere and the even the location. Right, is different in that Puerto Rico is a little more laid back, right, in terms of the culture and the way the events go there. So the event was a lot more laid back than a standard mass torts made perfect Las Vegas event because it was way shorter and it was meant for them to network with each other more than anything.

Liel: [00:03:14] I like my LinkedIn timeline is full of videos of lawyers at basketball events like that as part of the of the of the event. So it certainly seems like they’re having a good time there. So Grace, let’s go back to what we’re going to be discussing in this conversation, and we’re going to be focusing on digital marketing. We’re going to be talking about a few new updates. And so let’s get started with the first one that we have here, which is about business redressal complaint form in Google my business. So there’s been an update there. So let’s first start with establishing what is the business redressal complaint form. So you know Grace, when you go in the Maps app or you’re in a Google my business profile and you see information that you think may not be accurate, like, for instance, it tells you that a certain place is open on a certain day, at a certain time, and you get there and it’s not actually open. You can report that to Google, right? You can let them know the schedule is incorrect. The telephone number is not the right one or that business doesn’t exist in that address. Right. So that last one is one that was not possible until very recently. Previously you were able to report things like the name of the venue was incorrect. The address was incorrect, the phone number was incorrect, the website was incorrect. But now you can actually also report that the business does not exist and you do it through this form, which is called the Business Redressal complaint, and that’s accessible to any user and they can access it through the Maps app. And Grace. The reason why this is so important, A.I think it comes down to the amount of focus that Google is putting on local search into their maps app and the fact that it actually gives a lot of power to the user.

Liel: [00:05:24] Right. You need not to forget that the same way like we were discussing in our previous episode. Anyone can go and draw for review on your Google my business. Anyone can go and really initiate a business redressal complain on your business. And so my biggest takeaway from bringing this up is that Google seems to be focusing more and more and more in giving users a lot of power from the standpoint of enabling them to share information about businesses. And you, on the other hand, as a business owner, need to be very, very closely monitoring any activity related to your Google my business so that you can on a very timely manner disavow it right up to a certain extent. So Google will send you a notification if somebody is telling data claim business on Google my business or on the map is not telephone number is incorrect or the website is incorrect will send you a notification. Ontario is this correct? Is this complaint valid? Are you permanently closed? Is your website being recently changed in such right? And so you get an opportunity to set the record right. But if you do not do it in a timely manner and that timely manner, I believe it’s seven business days, Google will just override your existing profile set up and we’ll apply the changes suggested by the user. And so we’re now talking about potential closing down of profiles and that’s obviously, you know, just raising more awareness about the importance that there is in being. Monitoring all these types of notifications and proactively making sure that your profiles are up to date.

Grace: [00:07:29] So it’s kind of funny. I guess it must have been something that’s been on the horizon for a while because I have been getting some notifications as to, you know, you might want to take a look if there’s anything that needs to be updated on your profile for profiles that I manage for other companies that I used to work with, you know, and so I started getting those notifications and I actually took the time to go through and send it back to the owner and say that the Google Maps, that that location is no longer open, you know, things like that, that that’s basically what this is, right? You know, it’s there’s always some kind of a spam or fraudulent information that appears next to a Google map. And we as like business owners or consumers even, we do have the ability to tell Google that there’s a problem. Now, this is I feel like this is going to help everybody, because if that phone number is incorrect and being spammed and added to somebody’s business listing, that could be a huge problem, right? You could lose business. No, you not could. You will lose business. So I feel like that this new way of of submitting an issue and with the particular Google map listing, I feel like it’s going to help people a lot. I really don’t.

Liel: [00:08:48] I mean, obviously, Google is making this change because it thinks that there is an increased amount of invalid and spam activity on listings. And obviously I think it is in everyone’s best interest to maintain the integrity of this platform since a lot a lot of businesses are relying on the visibility that they get through local searches at the same time. Right. It is it is very critical for for you just to remember that your your Google my business profile is not something that just exists there for you to go and collect reviews, but you periodically need to just make sure that all of the information in there is still matches everything that is applicable in your law firm, whether those are in, obviously this will depend depending on your practice areas, but from the payment methods that you take to your covered policy all the way down to accessibility features, for instance, right? So it’s just a matter of not forgetting being there. And you’re very right, Grace. I mean, if you’re one of those persons that have the need to access your Google my business on a daily or weekly basis, you’re constantly going to be seeing pop ups, asking you to verify your opening hours, to confirm that your COVID policy policy is still applicable and so forth and so on.

Liel: [00:10:10] But if you’re not if you’re if you’re one of those persons that haven’t been in the Google my business for the past few months, I would strongly recommend you to pay a visit to your profile settings and just make sure that everything continues to look as it is. Because Google my business, even if you have a platform like EX, Google my business is one of those platforms that you cannot just match and lock and prevent changes from happening. Google will still allow and apply changes suggested by users as long as they feel they’re legitimate. So Grace. That’s an update on Redressal complaint. But the next topic that we’re going to be talking about is going to take us completely to a different platform on digital. And this is TikTok, right? I think, you know, I was listening earlier this week, the number of downloads that TikTok has had just year to date. So in the last four or five months this year, you want to take a guess, Grace, on how many number, how many people have downloaded the app just over a period of five months.

Grace: [00:11:28] Five months, I’d say it’s going to be in the millions because.

Liel: [00:11:32] Tik Tok A quarter a billion, a quarter billion Grace. And that’s just that’s just over the past five months. Right. And so. I think, you know, we’ve been talking a lot here about and not just here, but in general, the legal conversation in terms of brand building in TikTok is been very focused on the organic side of things, right? On playing the TikTok game and trying to create content that’s going to make you go viral. And I think that’s amazing. I think it’s very legitimate and I still think that brands like law firms that are really trying to get in front of consumers and large audiences, they definitely need to try hard to be successful at it, I really think. But here is the other side of it that’s been less talked about, and that’s TikTok as an actual paid marketing platform. And I really think with this growing number of users in it on all age groups, right, because we’re now we’re used to think the the normal thought process about TikTok is because of its popularity amongst younger demographics. People tend to think, well, I don’t know if the average TikTok user is going to be the type of user that I can make a client in my firm.

Liel: [00:12:59] But that’s no longer the case. You have pretty much every single age group now in TikTok, and I know there are still people that are not on the platform, but this is changing and it’s evolving. And as you’ve just heard, a quarter of a billion new TikTok users over just a period of five months, and that’s quite significant. Grace So what TikTok recently announced is that starting in June, they’re going to have a new product in their marketing platform that’s going to call it’s going to be called TikTok Pulse. And what TikTok pulls does a little bit different than their current paid platform for running ads is that it actually is going to put you on the top 4% of videos that are performing well on TikTok. And this is a tremendous opportunity because you’re really able to not just increase your reach, but be have placement right in between content that is performing outstandingly well.

Grace: [00:14:08] I have to say, since the day. They came out. Tick tock. I downloaded the app as soon as it came out. It’s just. It’s my nature, right? I mean, marketing when it comes to new apps, new technology, I kind of want to be one of the first. It’s just how I am. So, you know, I have to say, I probably have very few followers. It’s just family because we share mostly videos between each other and nothing that I really want anybody else to see. So, you know, I think what they’re doing is very intelligent. I think that it’s very intelligent the way they’re rolling it out. And I really like the concept of the contextual advertising solution that they’re providing, right? Because that whole YouTube situation with your content showing up next to potentially something that is way off brand, we all know that that that happened. Right. And it continues to happen potentially in some cases. So it’s it’s a good thing to know, you know, that you’ll be on board 100%.

Liel: [00:15:06] And so here’s the thing. Let’s let’s go over it. So so Paul’s the new advertising product of TikTok will allow you to segment your audience by interests. Right. And so those are going to be five beauty and personal care, fashion, cooking and baking, automotive and gaming. So Grace, here is the kicker, right? You may be thinking, well, but I’m a personal injury lawyer. Right. Which in which one of them should I fit? Now you need to do an introspective assessment on your brand. Are you as a brand, as a lawyer? Do you have an affinity towards any one of these things? Right. Obviously, nowadays we’re starting to see lawyers that are much into fashion, much into personal care and fitness. Right. We’ve seen we’ve seen that there is there’s lawyers that are mixing their content that is legal, related with their hobbies and things that they’re passionate about. And so obviously, if you are in one of those categories, it’s kind of maybe more easy for you to identify to what type of audience you’re going to be, more relatable, you’re going to be more relevant, you’re going to have a bigger impact. But if you’re like some other law firms that you could really pretty much be applicable to any of them, then you need to shift their idea into, okay, how can I create content that can be put up in between beauty and personal care videos that will not completely alienate the audience, but actually. We’ll bring the message across in a way that it will still be well received by this audience. Right. And that’s where you can use font, you can use humor. You can be creative about the way that you want to present your messaging. But keeping in mind to whom you are talking.

Grace: [00:17:14] With tick tock pulse, the idea is to be able to reach out to who you want to reach out to and leave everybody else out. Right. And I mean, any advertising you do that is the goal is to hit the target demographic for your brand. So especially if you have a particular line of products, let’s say, in the beauty space that you want only people that are interested in lipsticks to deal with, you know what I’m saying? So yeah, no, I completely, I like where they’re going with it and I kind of like the idea that they’ve rolled this out slowly and that they weren’t just kind of throwing out the fact that they did advertising the way most of the platforms out there did. They wanted to do it. Smart is what it feels like anyway.

Liel: [00:17:58] That’s really a good point that you’re bringing up. Dear Grace And I’m going to enter into that just for one moment because their revenue share. The model is really unique, right? So what TikTok and this is and this is applicable at all levels. What TikTok is doing here as a social media platform is it’s learning from the mistakes that previous ones made. So one thing TikTok seems to be doing better than, for instance, platforms like Instagram is the content. Moderation is making sure that the platform is a better environment, has an overall better quality in the type of content that it’s available in there. It’s not as polarizing as you can find in platforms like Facebook and Instagram. So that’s number one. Number two, it is primarily platform that is handling only video, just like YouTube, right? But YouTube has a very bad reputation from not really acknowledging creators to the level that they should be acknowledged and enabling them to monetize ads that are showing up during their content. They do get some sort of payment, but not to the level of what TikTok is wanting to offer here, which is a 5050 split between creators and between them. The platform. And I think this obviously is not just going to make creators extremely happy, but it’s going to potentially also keep the quality of the content that is in the platform high. And that’s really the secret of TikTok, is that people get super engaged and absorbed into it and they can spend an hour easily just.

Liel: [00:19:49] Watching video after video after video. And so not to leverage positioning your brand dare thing is I think is is going to be a missed opportunity. I think at this point whether you’re working the tick tock or organic strategy, that’s great. Nobody says you need to stop that, but still you need to have your paid advertising for for your ask, for your sale, for generating awareness about your brand. Right. And I think that’s super, super valid. And I think it’s a very necessary strategy. It’s going to be a very necessary strategy moving forward. And, you know, again, TikTok is giving you here different ways to to segment your audience. And you can certainly you can certainly just get a little bit creative and come up with really easy to execute ideas. If you’re one of those lawyers or if you have a team that can create these type of videos in a way that they can be self produced, you can 100% just go after it, right? Whether whether you you want to target the audience that it’s after automotive and you just happen to also be a fan of cars and you know, a person or somewhere in your neighborhood. There’s a very fancy Ferrari and you just kind of go and stand outside of that Ferrari and just shoot it and then start talking to your audience.

Liel: [00:21:20] That’s great. That’s really that’s really what all of these videos do, right? And they have thousands of thousands of views. So don’t overcomplicate. It is just a matter of thinking, well, what your message is going to be, what the hook is going to be to keep the audience engaged during those first 3 seconds. Right. And what’s going to be the visual that’s going to enable you to create the impact for that particular demographic group? Obviously, we’re not talking here about how to create video content in TikTok, but we’re primarily talking about marketing opportunities inside of TikTok. And I think we need to stop looking at it like, Oh, no, no, no, TikTok should be just a platform where you go in and test your content before you go and upload it and run it as ads in other platforms. You should start running your content potentially as paid ads as well in TikTok and products like Paul’s that are just giving you kind of like an assurance that your content is going to be running, your ads are going to be running right in between the most, the better. Performing videos in the platform is is a big promise. So, Grace, before we wrap up today’s conversation, there’s one more thing that I want us to mention, which we may have briefly touched on at some point in a previous Google ads conversation over the past few months.

Liel: [00:22:42] But what is coming up in the month of June is responsive search ads as the only type of ads that you can run on search. And why does this matter? Grace Well, this matters because it takes a lot of the manual work that used to go into creating a campaign in Google. So responsive search, that’s basically what it allows you to do is to provide Google with up to 15 different headlines. And up to four different descriptions. That Google will then take and mix and match them depending on what the search intent of the user or the query is and potentially increase your click through rate. Whereas before the previous version was and it used to called expanded text ads. Required for you to manually write everything each part of the ad, and it will remain static. So now basically you’re kind of like giving Google the ingredients one by one, and then Google uses its AI to mix and match them and find the combinations that are working the best and at the same time test different combinations against each other. So the best performing ones are the ones that are being served with more frequency. But then again, also shifting according what is the search query or where is it coming from? So what are your thoughts on these Grace?

Grace: [00:24:28] So. Let’s repeat the last thing, if you don’t mind, that you just said I don’t want to jump off of that.

Liel: [00:24:37] Yeah. So about use Google starting to. Really force users to use their AI capabilities to create dynamic ads as opposed to the user having to create manual ads and then having to test them themselves.

Grace: [00:24:57] I think that they’re trying to make it easier for people to create ads with with little technical knowledge is basically where it’s been going, honestly. And I recently had a call with the Google ads professional actually, because I had set up an ads for pest control company that I work with. And they what I had was driving to the website more click to call type of ad. When I spoke with the Google professional, they said that they believe that a search ad, the responsive search ad was a better model. And so they had actually switched it over and it does seem to have increased it by potentially two or 3%, which, you know, that’s significant. Yeah. Yeah. It’s significant gains in something that, you know, it’s a call is worth about 300 bucks for this person. So, you know, it did really well. And so I understand why they’re doing this, because they’re trying to make people kind of have more control in a way with less control in the back end as to what’s going to happen. So.

Liel: [00:26:07] Absolutely. Grace And so, again, to summarize here, what are the benefits of sponsored search ads is that you’re no longer need to take the complexities of testing ads. Right. And measuring and see which ones work best and then try to mix and match and see did you improve results or they’re still pretty much the same as you had before. Now Google is doing it all for you through A.I., so I think that’s fantastic. But now you may be wondering, okay, but what will happen with my existing expanded text? That’s not a problem. You can continue to run that ad group as well along the responsive search ads. And so you can compare between these two, but you’re not going to be able to create new ones or make changes like edits. Now, here is another thing, right? For those of us who’ve had accounts that have been running for years, in case you do not have responsive search that’s already set up on your search campaigns, well, you can look at the data of your expanded text ads or ETAs, like they call them abbreviation and actually see which ads, which combinations have been working the best and use those same components when you are actually creating your responsive search ads. So your best performing headlines right, your best performing descriptions and so forth and so on. And so that’s definitely a great opportunity to use your available data and implement it into the into this new strategy. Now here is a few other very cool things that this new feature has. It actually gives you live a Google ad strength score. So as you’re actually preparing your campaign and you’re providing Google with all of this information, you know, like when you have when you’re setting up a new password in some websites and it gives you kind of like a metric as to how safe or secure your web your password is.

Liel: [00:28:02] Well, it’s pretty much the same thing that Google is now doing for your ad setup. It’s telling you how good is the headlines and the descriptions and all of the information that you’re providing for the campaign. And it’s giving you live feedback as to what are the things that you should consider adjusting or adding to have better a better mix for them to be able to work with. So I think. Grace Yes, Google is making it easier for those who are setting up and running their own campaigns to be able not just to set up a campaign a little bit easier, but also to be able to optimize the campaign in in at a level that they probably wouldn’t have been able to do. So if it wasn’t because of A.I, I would just end up here with one more thing and it’s adding extensions as well. Write your responsive search ads. You should also have extensions so that this could a obviously make your ad bigger, more interactive. It’s just an enhancing feature at the end of the day. But just remember, right, to make these ad extensions relevant, probably ad no, no more general than campaign level and potentially at ad group level. So there are extremely specific depending the different types of campaigns you’re running. So Grace, let’s now go into our takeaways because we cover it here. Three very interesting updates and I think we can get three very good takeaways out of them. So what’s going to be your first takeaway?

Grace: [00:29:42] My first. Takeaway I think has to be keep an eye on your Google my business you know keep an eye on the phone numbers. Check the actual phone numbers. Call them. You know, I know this seems so simple, but it’s something that I actually have to do constantly because we always have tons of numbers as a software company. So when it comes to numbers, I have a regular process for constantly checking them, checking emails, checking everything that has to do with my Google, my business in particular.

Liel: [00:30:12] Definitely. You want to make sure that you are. Making sure that your Google my business number is correct. Such a small thing, but it’s an easy edit that could actually been adjusted or suggested by a different user. You definitely want to make sure that I would recommend Grace, as a matter of fact, for law firms to consider tracking calls like if you have cold rail to to create a static number to track all of your Google my business calls and I know it may create some sort of conflict for some that are thinking, well, but what about my nap cleaning, right? How do I make sure that my number on my Google, my business is consistent in all other directories? If I’m going to be using a call tracking number? And basically the only thing that you need to do is you add the call tracking number as an additional phone number and then just make sure that calls are going routed there and you do not remove the main number from the account. So you have both numbers listed in there and then your you’re not cleaning is still consistent. But I think it’s a great and very effective way to making sure that your Google my business is not down. Obviously you’re going to have alerts being sent out to you when Google. My business identifies that someone’s been making a suggestion and they may want to corroborate with you before they apply a change. But another way of because what happens is sometimes this Google my business settings there are linked to kind of like generic business accounts, email accounts that nobody’s checking the email ever. Right. And it has happened like these things may have gotten unnoticed. So this is a good way like, oh, wait a second, when was the last time Google the last time we received a Google my business call. Here’s the reason why. Okay. So, Grace, let’s now talk about our second takeaway.

Grace: [00:32:08] So my second takeaway has to do with the tick tock pulse. You know, if you have over 100,000 followers and it’s not so easy when it comes to legal, we all know that. And I don’t know if they’re even going to allow. Legal as a brand to do ads. However, if you have a personal brand, you could potentially utilize this as a lawyer if this is something that seems to make sense for your brand. So my suggestion and my take away from this is take a look at tick tock pulse. It may work for you. It may not if TikTok is the avenue you want to go into. But I think it is something worth taking a look at.

Liel: [00:32:50] Absolutely. And very, very good point there that you’re bringing race. Tiktok’s being tough handed about who can advertise and who cannot. And my guess is that at some point they’re potentially going to enable and allow for other brands to get visibility in there that may not have necessarily been able to advertise up until now. As I’ve said, TikTok is taking a little bit more conservative steps in comparison to how other social media networks have approached advertising. They certainly do not want to make the mistakes that have generated a lot of controversy for existing social media platforms. So I think it’s just important that, as you’re saying, very well, Grace, do not leave or do not take your organic strategy out of the picture. Just start looking at the opportunity and start watching closely as to what are the chances for you to be able to create sponsored content in TikTok as well and just be able to get more visibility with it. So, Grace, our last and final takeaway.

Grace: [00:34:00] So for me, the last and final takeaway has to do with the Google responsive search ads. And it’s not even specific to that. Right. It’s keep an eye, as always, as we always say on this, on all the Google trends and things that are changing, they they were very clear that they were going this route anyway. So I think it’s important that any changes that are happening, you stay on trend with it because it’s generally speaking for the better. But it does make a difference as to what’s happening, whether you should set it up a certain way or not. So it’s important to keep track, know what changes were made in Google for your ads, and just make sure that you adjust accordingly if necessary. So, you know, it’s nothing constant but change in this world, as I like to say to everybody in my in the law firm, because that is what we are always doing. Right? It’s shifting, changing. And all you have to do is be as agile as you can be as a business in order to shift and change with the changes that are happening.

Liel: [00:34:57] Absolutely. Grace. Totally. And then again, you know, I think there has been. There’s been an argument about how sometimes artificial intelligence may not necessarily be the best way to go for certain practices about running your campaigns. But sometimes, hey, it just works and it actually can be very advantageous. And I think when we’re looking at something like responsive search ads, we’re certainly looking at a great tool that is very likely to increase your click through rate without necessarily putting a lot of the hard work that usually goes into testing creatives. So in case you haven’t activated them, you should definitely do so because not only not only will it potentially help your campaigns perform better, but you’re not going to be able to create your next campaign using the expanded text stats format after June 30th. Grace, thank you so much for a great conversation. And we’ll be back next week.

Grace: [00:36:09] Right next week it is, Liel.

Liel: [00:36:11] All right. Take care. Bye.

Grace: [00:36:13] You too. Bye bye.

Liel: [00:36:21] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers, leave us a review and send us your questions at: ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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