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Creating everyday social media marketing content for a real estate agency?

Creating everyday social media marketing content for a real estate agency?

We recently had the opportunity to assist a local real estate agency with their social media marketing.

The agency’s question was “How do you create everyday social media marketing content for a real estate agency”.

Our response …. the key was audience engagement.

We outlined a social media marketing plan with actions for the agency.

Here plan at a high level:

  1. Create still images or 360 property videos/virtual tours (inside and outside) to promote sales/rental listings with some commentary – intention is to secure buyers
  2. Post property hints and tips such as how to prepare a home for sale or things buyers need to look out for in appraisals etc. demonstrate expertise, knowledge and experience
  3. Post office photos with staff – demonstrate company culture
  4. Post a question and get feedback from followers about something particular in property
  5. Run an education event or webinar about property
  6. Run a competition about property
  7. Highlight upcoming listings
  8. Post staff achievements and industry awards
  9. Offer free appraisals
  10. Address property pain points that relate to buyers or sellers with a benefit as an end result
  11. Target first time buyers
  12. Highlight recent sales in an area
  13. Highlight customer reviews
  14. Highlight lifestyle appeal

And always ask followers to like and share each post.

We hope you found this short post useful and if you run a real estate agency, you can start implementing these steps straight away.

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Case Study: Google Ads Boosts Sales Leads

Case Study: Google Ads Boosts Sales Leads

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This case study demonstrates how Google Ads was used to effectively boost sales leads across a 2 month period while achieving lower costs to maximise return on ad spend.

The success of the campaigns was as a result of sticking to a proven routine of doing things the right way with very regular monitoring to identify improvement opportunities. Small, incremental changes can add up to significant improvements over time.

Read on to find out how we did it.

The Background

Our client, Kennedys Aust Pty Ltd, is a family business operating in Victoria Australia. Their core business service offerings are commercial plumbing and asbestos removal. They operate a number of strategically located branches in Victoria. The business has a comprehensive website with web forms and excellent relevant web content including case studies with rich videos.

The objective of this Google Ads project was to boost their sales leads at their Geelong branch and surrounding areas as soon as possible over a 2 month run window.

The Challenge Ahead

Challenges Requirement
Restricted Budget Spend $25/day
Campaign Type Search Only
Duration 2 months
Audience Geography Location restricted to 50 kms radius of Geelong, Victoria
Ads Campaign Focus Commercial plumbing and asbestos removal
Conversion As many and as fast as possible
Target Market Highly competitive narrow B2B commercial plumbing and asbestos verticals saturated with many small to medium sized businesses
Brand Recognition Zero brand recognition or brand awareness for commercial plumbing and asbestos in Geelong

The Results

After the first month run, the campaigns yielded 3 conversions. Refer to the snapshots from Google Ads below.

The second month campaign run yielded 7 conversions, more than double of that in the first month.

The snapshots above highlight the following key achievements in comparison to the previous period: –

  1. Clicks grew by 62%
  2. CTR improved by 50%
  3. Impression grew by 8%
  4. Conversions grew by 133%
  5. Conversion rate improved by 44%
  6. Average Cost decreased by 5%
  7. Search impression share decreased by 23% but still produced more conversions

The Solution

To meet the challenges and deliver the positive results, we implemented a number of creative and innovative techniques to maximizing Return On Ad Spend (ROAS):-

  1. All campaigns used manual bidding as this strategy offered the best method to control cost per click to fit in with the limited daily budget of $25. This technique also allowed us to get the best out of Google Ads. With manual bidding, we adjusted bids to minimize spend simultaneously maximizing impressions, clicks, conversions and lowering CPC.
  2. Ad group relevance and highly targeted Ad creatives that focused on commercial plumbing and asbestos removal were created. Each Ad creative included a Call-To-Action. Ads comprised of a combination of Expanded Text Search Ads and Responsive Search Ads.
  3. To further enhance Ad strength, Ad extensions were implemented including Sitelink, Structured Snippets, Call-Out, Location and Call extensions.
  4. Implemented landing page split testing using the existing company website and custom landing pages with web forms.
  5. Organised campaigns using different geographic implementation techniques including location restricted by postcodes, location restricted by radius and Melbourne wide with further restrictions in some campaigns using a combination of in-market and affinity audiences, and profitable keywords.
  6. Ads split testing with different creatives to keep the campaigns fresh to overcome any Ad fatigue.
  7. Extensive keyword research lead to a combination of broad, broad modified and phrase match relevant targeted keywords that were implemented across the campaigns.
  8. Set up conversion tracking for web form submissions, call from Ads, calls from extensions and calls from website.
  9. Implemented shared budget that spread the $25/day budget across all campaigns.
  10. Daily campaign monitoring and optimization to identify problems and opportunities for overall improvement.
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Case Study: Facebook Marketing

Case Study: Facebook Marketing

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Who is Freeflo?

Freeflo Plumbing and Gas was launched in 2017 with the intention of becoming the #1 plumbing and gas maintenance services provider in Perth West Australia. Freeflo’s client base consisted of both commercial and residential customers.

In late 2018, Freeflo engaged Valles Digital Media to undertake a major brand awareness campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to engage with as many potential customers as possible by demonstrating its capability, experience, expertise and value. Freeflo’s business website formed an integral part of the campaign. Freeflo understood who their customers were but the business was unclear on how to further raise their online presence:

  1. What messages would most resonate?
  2. Where best to advertise online?
  3. Which digital advertising platform is most suitable?

The Action

As Freeflo already had a Facebook business page, the business decided to use this platform as the base for their brand awareness campaign.

The campaign consisted of:

  1. Strengthening their Facebook business page including updating it with relevant company details, services, images and contact information.
  2. Creating and posting 16 value-add page posts with images over a 3 month period that demonstrated their technical capability, skill and experience:
      – On average there were 5 posts per month.
      – 30% of posts demonstrated actual completed work.
      – 70% knowledge base posts aimed at educating followers and potential customers about plumbing.
  3. Undertaking a 3 month Facebook Ads brand awareness campaign involving 15 Ads to further boost their presence on Facebook and generate website traffic. The Ads ran daily with targeted audiences. On average, there were 5 Ads running in any month including A/B Testing. The Ads were grouped under the following topics:
      – Emergency Plumbing
      – Local Plumber
      – Hot Water System Installation
      – Water Filter Installation
      – Drain Camera Services

The Result

Before the campaign, Freeflo Facebook page had 119 followers.

After the campaign:

The above results highlight that if used strategically, Facebook is an excellent platform to grow brand awareness not only for page followers but more importantly potential customers. With the short 3 month campaign, we believe the key objectives of increasing Freeflo’s Facebook presence and website traffic were met. Freeflo experienced a 23% increase in contact requests from their website since the campaign ceased. Fast-forward to today, Freeflo’s Facebook page now has 529 followers and growing. That is a whopping 184% growth in page followers since the campaign ended.

We’ve been really pleased and grateful to have assisted Freeflo. The extended market reach through a combination of Facebook Page posts and Ads have boosted Freeflo’s good name, capability, experience and skills in the market.

For the visually impaired, here is an audio version of this blog.

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Business Intelligence and Social Media

Business Intelligence and Social Media

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When Valles Digital Marketing was established way back in 2013, all we had was a very simple website built using Microsoft Sharepoint with very minimal content. We did not have any information about website usage statistics or how the external world viewed our brand then. Fast-forward 6 years to 2019, our company website is now in its fourth version, much more advanced than our first.

Like every business owner including us, we need some form of business intelligence about our brand. Our websites play a key role in demonstrating our capability and allows us to engage with potential clients.

Reviewing website usage statistics does not necessarily provide all the answers. If your website is linked to Google Analytics, it can reveal a lot of information including bounce rate, site sessions, site pageviews, sources of traffic (i.e. country, city etc.), web browsers used, engagement channels (i.e. organic, social, direct or referral), search terms used that displayed impressions of the website and many more. The challenge with this kind of traffic information is that it does not necessarily enlighten a business about how its’ brand is perceived in the marketplace.

This is where social media can offer a different perspective. Every business should consider using social media to promote their brand, product or service. Requirements vary from business to business but social media is a very handy tool.

The 2018 Yellow Social Media Report from Sensis highlighted some interesting facts:

  1. 79% participation rate (8 in 10 people).
  2. 59% of people accessed social media every day or most days.
  3. 71% use social media in the evening while 57% use it first thing in the morning.
  4. Facebook has a 94% market share followed by Instagram (46%), Snapchat (40%), Twitter (32%), Linked (18%), and Pinterest (10%).
  5. 64% of customers will trust a brand if there is positive social media interaction with the brand.
  6. 47% small and medium businesses are on social media, 49% for medium businesses and 60% for large businesses.
  7. 79% of Australians are on social media.
  8. 26% of small business advertised on social media, 35% for medium businesses and 42% for large businesses.

The statistics above strongly suggest that using social media to promote your brand is a worthwhile effort. Furthermore, social media allows businesses to interact with potential customers to build trust and this will eventually lead to sales opportunities.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest offer social media analytics data. The analytics data draws a picture about how a brand is performing. Facebook calls it Insights, Twitter offers Analytics and Pinterest includes an Analytics feature.

Facebook

To access Facebook Insights, navigate to your Facebook business page and click on Insights on the top menu. Insight offers a number of key metrics about a Facebook business page:

  1. Actions on Page – The number of clicks on the Page’s contact information and call-to-action button.
  2. Page Views – The number of times the Page’s profile was viewed by logged in and logged out people.
  3. Page Likes – How many people liked your page.
  4. Post Reach – How many people saw all the posted content.
  5. Post Engagements – How many people liked, shared, or commented on posts.
  6. Page Followers – How many people are following the page.

See the example below.

If your business posts regularly on Facebook, Insight also shares the performance of every post. Below is a snapshot from our Page.

Twitter

To access Analytics on your Twitter business page, click Profile and Settings icon on the top menu next to the Tweet button. Below is an example of our Twitter Analytics page:

Over a 28-day period, we submitted 18 tweets that generated 2,503 impressions. Tweet impressions metric refers to the number of times a tweet shows up in somebody’s timeline. We also had 16 visits to our profile and secured 4 new followers in the period. We also got 2 mentions i.e. someone tweeted and included our username.

Pinterest

On Pinterest, navigate to your business page. Click Analytics on the top left of the menu bar on your Pinterest business hub page (see below example). For each of your Pins, we get:

  1. Impressions – The total number of times your Pins were shown.
  2. Engagements – The total number of engagements on your Pins. This includes saves, closeups, and link clicks.
  3. Closeups – The total number of times people viewed a close-up version of your Pin.
  4. Saves – The total number of times people saved your Pins to a board.
  5. Link clicks – The total number of times people have clicked through to your destination URL on your Pin from Pinterest.

Business Intelligence Process

As outlined above, these social media platforms do provide useful metrics for any business to analyse. Use these metrics to develop trends (trends, user interaction etc.). It allows a business to build a holistic picture of their brand and how the market perceives the brand.

At Valles Digital Marketing, we have an overall business intelligence process model (see below), which has social media analytics as a key component. Without relevant and accurate social media analytics data we are missing key relevant facts about our brand. We cannot make informed decision about the business and our brand.

Intelligence gathered has helped us to shape our social media marketing strategy and campaigns to target segments of the market where our potential customers are. Our social media content creation is now targeted and relevant to our target audience. We optimize our social media advertising for maximum impact in the pursuit of qualified leads.

We used the intelligence data to enhance our internal processes for efficiency. Feedback from customers and interactions with followers allowed us to modify our operations to focus on customer satisfaction and retention. We also modified our service offerings in line with customer and market expectations.

As a result of this process, we now have in place a simple customer relationship system (CRM). This CRM will allow us to reach our customers and followers through future email marketing and social media advertising including promotions.

The process model has allowed us to be competitive in the marketplace with social media playing a key role in understanding how our brand performs and is perceived. We repeat the process regularly to review and strategise with the aim of becoming the #1 web design, graphic design and digital marketing agency in our geographical region.

So if your business is not on social media, it is time to jump on the bandwagon. Use social media to supplement your brand development. If your business is already creating content and marketing on social media then take advantage of the social media analytics data freely available in these platforms to build a picture of your brand and its’ affinity in the marketplace. Getting it right will ensure your social media content marketing gets in front of the right audience at the right time with the goal of securing qualified leads.

For the visually impaired, here is an audio version of this blog.

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What are the Digital Marketing Strategy Components?

What are the Digital Marketing Strategy Components?

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Our previous blog gave an insight into why a business needs a digital marketing strategy. In today’s blog, we briefly examine the components of a typical digital marketing strategy. How do we know? Well, like any business, Valles Digital Marketing had to develop our own digital marketing strategy to promote our brand, capability and services.

Prior to developing such a strategy, it is important for any business to understand the path being undertaken:

Define Goals and Objectives

Define what your strategy goals and objectives are. The strategy should outline the what, when and how. The outputs will help shape your business’s digital marketing activities.

Target Market Analysis

Spend time analysing your external environment. Look at what your competitors are doing in the digital space. What channels are they using and how are they getting their messages out to their customers? How do they generate and maintain brand recognition and loyalty? How are they selling their products? Also examine your target market. Who are your target customers and what are they looking to buy?

Value Add

Once you have an idea of what the target market wants or needs are, think about how your business can add value to that market. Do you need to differentiate from your competitors? How would you differentiate?

Budget

Define a digital marketing budget. This not only defines a marketing spend limit but also allows a business to analyse return on investment on digital marketing activities.

Ownership

Assign a project sponsor within the business to own the effort. This ensures accountability and ownership of the entire digital marketing effort including reporting to senior management.

With the objectives and direction defined, the next step is to decide on the strategy implementation components. These should include the use of the one or more of these digital platforms:

1. Create a website that reflects your brand and that contains relevant content. Relevant content refers to images, video, sound or text that is relevant to your business and prospects. It is important to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) principles during website development. This ensures that when the website is submitted to the Google Search Engine, it is optimised for organic searches. Organic search results are SERP (Search Engine Result Page) listings generated using Google Search when someone searches for a term, keyword or phrase. The key is to include relevant keywords, terms or phrases in your website content that may match searches so that your website will be part of that listing. SEO is part science and art. If you are interested in more detailed SEO, feel free to read this article.

2. Facebook is by far the most used social media platform. There are no costs associated with it. By creating Facebook Pages for our business, we have a great opportunity to engage and communicate with our clients and prospects to build a following. With some planning in developing an editorial calendar and creating relevant content, we can use this platform to share our knowledge, expertise, offers and achievements, and engage with our followers all in text, image or video posts. External links can also be included in posts. We can also run paid Facebook Ads to further promote our brand. The key point about Facebook Ads is that everything can be controlled and targeted including content, interest, spend, duration, demographics, location and audiences.

3. Like Facebook, Instagram is another great free social media platform that is entirely visual oriented. It allows users to share only images and video to their audiences. Instagram is a great tool to showcase new products. A lot of businesses use Instagram influencers to help endorse their products. Like Facebook, Instagram requires the need to build followers. Facebook owns Instagram and both platforms are linked. The same Facebook Ads can also be replicated in Instagram.

4. Twitter is another free social media platform that only allows a maximum of 140 character postings also known as tweets. Like Facebook and Instagram, we have to build a following and tweets are seen by followers only. Within each tweet, we can embed videos or other website and article links. It is a great tool to promote blog stories, articles and news stories.

5. Pinterest is another social media platform that is focussed on enabling people to explore ideas and inspiration from their hobbies and interests. It is free to join. The platform can be used for any subject matter and external links can be embedded in each Pinterest post. From a business perspective, it is another repository that can be used to find products or information that people are looking to acquire.

6. Linkedin is very much a free business-networking/sharing platform. It allows career and business professionals to connect, seek support and resources and potentially build relationships with clients, customers and suppliers. The platform also allows posting of text, image and video with external links. As it has a business focus, recruiters use it to headhunt, companies can post job listings, professionals can obtain endorsements, join groups of like minded professional groups and share business or company news. Linkedin also offers paid ads.

7. Google My Business is a free tool offered by Google to businesses and organisations that are interested in managing their organic online presence on Google Search and Maps. The platform allows businesses to describe who they are and what they do by including service offerings, address, operating hours, post images, offers, events and obtain reviews. Given it is a Google offering, any listing engagements must be done via a gmail account. Google My Business is a great tool for prospective customers to find location based service or product solutions.

8. Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising. These are the most common digital paid advertising platforms. Google Ads are digital Ads that appear at the top and bottom of Google’s organic SERP listings, in Youtube videos and in many other websites that Google have partnerships with. There are 4 main types of Ads offered by Google Ads: text, display, video and shopping. For simplicity, these paid Ads are based on a complicated machine-learning auction system that matches search keywords to paid Ads. Google Ads allows granular Ad targeting based on location, duration, demographics, keywords, audiences, devices and budget. Microsoft Advertising is Microsoft’s equivalent of Google Ads. Both operate on separate networks and are slightly different although similar in concepts. Given most people search using Google, Google Ads is the more popular platform than Microsoft Advertising. Paid digital Ads are a great way to advertise your business and increase brand awareness without having to rely on organic search results.

9. Youtube is Google‘s platform for sharing videos. There are all sorts of videos on Youtube ranging from music videos, movies, courses, recipes and much more. Audiences can subscribe to Youtube channels. Google Ads can appear on Youtube. Youtube is a great tool to showcase products or expertise through carefully curated videos.

10. Email marketing is an activity of sending relevant emails to customers as a way to maintain engagement with them on an ongoing basis. Email marketing uses a company’s CRM or some other contact database. This activity can be done using any email system (e.g. Outlook etc.) however it is best to use a dedicated email marketing system such as Mailchimp that offers email design and automation. With careful planning, email marketing can be a very powerful tool to maintain brand awareness including showcase new products or services, offers, company updates, achievements and demonstrate knowledge/expertise.

11. Blogs are typically informational in nature and normally presented as a webpage consisting of written material like a journal. People use blogs as a way to document some knowledge that they are passionate about for wider sharing on the internet. Blogs can be written by anyone.

12. Affiliate advertising is a form of advertising that uses sponsored links that are placed on high traffic websites. Owners of these high traffic websites earn a small commission when someone visiting their website clicks a sponsored link. Many companies are willing to incur a small commission payout to website owners to offer a sponsored link. It is great way to generate brand awareness.

The most important requirement is to evaluate all these platforms carefully and decide which of these products best fit your digital marketing strategy. At a minimum, a company must have a website. All the other platforms listed above assume that a website already exist. Select the right platform that best meets your strategy requirements. Note that each platform requires initial and ongoing resource commitments. As a result, it is important to spend the necessary time required to evaluate each platform. Select a platform or a combination of platforms that will best generate brand awareness, showcase product or service, demonstrate expertise and engage with prospective and current customers.

The end outcomes of the digital marketing effort are:

1. Brand interaction with followers ( call to action)
2. Grow audience and followers
3. Customer loyalty and advocacy
4. Promote services, products and capability
5. Increase sales and improve revenue

Finally, it is important to continually monitor the performance of the implementation activities and fine tune as required to achieve desired targets.

Talk to us about how we can expand your business’s digital marketing footprint to improve your brand, service and product awareness, deliver qualified web traffic and boost cost effective leads. Get in touch with us today. Send us a message using our form below and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

For the visually impaired, here is an audio version of this blog.

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Digital Marketing Strategy Or Not?

Digital Marketing Strategy Or Not?

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Does your business need a digital marketing strategy or not?

If you think not, then you’re in trouble. Your business needs a digital marketing strategy now more than ever as all our customers own mobile devices and they all consume information on the go. Traditional print advertising is slowly on the way out. It is all about adapting to a changing market. Refer to the chart below:

Without a digital marketing strategy in place, your business will not be easily found on the internet. Your prospects will not know that you exist even if you are technically advanced and capable in solving all their challenges. As a business owner, you need to also stay ahead of competition.

The internet is your window to the world. These days pretty much everyone is on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We get updates of all types including latest news, someone sharing some information, images, jokes, perspectives and last but not least advertising.

Print media advertising typically costs thousands of dollars for the mass market. You also don’t have control over newspaper distribution meaning no control over target market advertising.

With digital marketing, you can control your target market reach including narrowing down to the age group, subject market interest, day and time, location, gender and advertising duration. More importantly, you can also set a budget spend. How good is that! This way you expend your advertising budget wisely therefore improving Return on Investment (ROI). All the digital marketing platforms such as Facebook and Google have excellent reporting capabilities that provide progress updates on the marketing campaign.

Compared to print advertising, you can’t do any of the above. From an all inclusive marketing solution for today’s technology savvy customer, digital marketing is the way to go. It is fast and can be a cost effective solution if your digital marketing strategy is well defined and properly implemented.

Check out our next blog where we discuss the key elements of a digital marketing strategy.

For the visually impaired, here is an audio version of this blog.

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Branding

Branding

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Why is branding important for any business?

A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of these that identify and represent a seller/s regardless of good or service sold. A brand allows a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. Furthermore, a brand is a seller’s promise to deliver to customers to a certain standard (e.g. features, services, benefits, quality).

Articulating your brand involves investing time and energy in defining the brand attributes, benefits, values and personality. The challenge of branding is to develop a deep set of meanings for the brand. Once articulated, the next key step is to define the brand strategy i.e. how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages.

A key component of your branding strategy is to promote your brand into the marketplace.

So how do you do it? Do it the BRAND way.

  1. B – Develop a bold statement about your brand. Be proud and forward looking. Be different from your competitors. This could be your tagline.
  2. R – Be real and authentic about your brand message. In other words, believe and do in what you say in all your dealings. Deliver on your promise.
  3. A – Develop an association with your brand. What are the basic tenets of your brand? What do you believe your brand e.g. honesty, integrity, professionalism etc.
  4. N – How do you generate awareness of your brand name? First, develop an elegant and effective website that integrates with your logo, key messages, tagline and service offering. A captivating website draws the attention of prospective buyers. Next, design and develop templates for all internal and external marketing material to promote brand consistency (i.e. business cards, letterheads, flyers). Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout to ensure consistency. Once your business is ready to hit the open market, spread the word. There are so many platform these days to promote a brand. The most common one are Facebook Ads, Facebook Pages, Youtube, Google Ads, Linkedin, radio, billboards, TV, flyers etc. Choose the platform that works best for your business and develop a plan on how to use them effectively. Digital marketing (Facebook Ads & Google Ads) is fast replacing traditional methods such as radio, prints and TV. Digital marketing is very effective compared to traditional advertising as it allows greater control over the audience, spend, message, location, time, placements, devices and demographics.
  5. D – Have distinctiveness about your brand. Create a great company logo that stands out from the crowd. Integrate your logo in all your business dealings.

In closing, the BRAND method is simple and clear. It offers a framework to follow. Spend time articulating and documenting each part as it will help you establish your brand story.

At Valles Digital Marketing, we are certified and experienced in digital marketing. We take pride is what we do and always strive do the best for our clients, i.e. fast lead generation and effective return on ad spend. If you’d like to talk to us this blog or would like us to help you with your digital marketing efforts, feel free to drop us a line by using the form on our website. We’ll endeavour to revert back as soon as possible.

For the visually impaired, here is an audio version of this blog

This blog article was also published in https://medium.com/@leslie_20196/how-to-use-brand-to-promote-your-business-b0f1c61eb483

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