Never before in history has a more powerful form of marketing existed.
Never before in history has a more powerful form of marketing existed.
Through social media marketing brands can connect and advertise in a way that consumers want to consume. The barrier to entry is low, targeting and psychographic data is more accurate than ever, and actionable data on how demographics respond to different messages can be captured in real time. Despite all this, most social media marketers still struggle to find success. In our opinion, lack of success is a result of not understanding the complete digital landscape.
How We Do It
Social Media Marketing has changed drastically over the last few years, and by understanding how the landscape has evolved into what it is today, brands can build better campaigns.
You can understand paid social through learning the fundamental conflicts that social media platforms face when selling ad inventory, the new funnel, and how they can trick marketers into thinking that they are more successful than they really are.
Social Media platforms make money by selling ad inventory. The longer that a user stays on the platform, the more ads seen, the more money they will make. However, there’s a problem. Every time that a customer clicks a link on an ad they get taken off of the platform. While this makes the platform money right away, it detracts from potential income as the person continues to scroll. The Facebook platform, including Instagram, and the audience network, has evolved to combat this issue. With options such as lead generation, canvas ads (essentially a mini website that lives within Facebook), and messenger ads, users can convert without ever leaving the platform. The golden rule is to, as often as you can, use strategies that keep users on the platform because both the users and platform are kept happy. This offers much less expensive cost per leads when done correctly.
But there’s more....
Social media platforms are absolutely saturated with “special offer this” or “limited time offer that,” so even if you have a better product, how can you stand out among the crowd? Even worse, less than 2% of people convert on their first visit to a site. Knowing these two things, how can you adapt? By following the platform’s golden rule and building a funnel that relies mostly on engagement on the platform itself, we can overcome both low conversion rates and the high costs associated with ads that send users away from the platform.
Lastly, it is important to understand how social media platforms “optimize” a campaign to make the marketers happy, once this is understood, our paid social strategy begins to make a whole lot of sense. Social Media platforms offer a number of “types” that relate to a KPI. These include clicks, video views, engagement, reach, conversions and many more. The social media platforms have one goal, reach your metric, with your specific audience, at the lowest cost. For example, if a brand’s objective was to target 18-29 year olds to buy socks, they could target the audience they think fits most closely to their ideal customer and choose their objective as “clicks.” The Social Media platform would use the algorithms they have spent hundreds of millions to develop, algorithms that take into account the individual’s buying history, location, whether or not they are laying down, how long they have been on the platform that day, when the last time they clicked on an ad was, and thousands more points of data to target the people they believe will give the marketer the lowest cost per click. This makes the marketer happy, and the more clicks they see at that low cost, the more money they will pour into the platform.
There’s a problem with this.
Most consumers don’t click willy nilly on ads.
The consumers that do click on a bunch of ads aren’t likely spend as much money as “selective clickers.”
There is a solution:
1. Ties a brand back the platform’s golden rule
2. Recognizes the new funnel
3. Leverages a social media platform’s campaign goals
The consumer you want to reach is incredibly engaged on Social Media, but they don’t click on every ad. How do you reach them?
A successful paid social strategy needs to respect context, emphasize quality, entertaining content, and have a purposeful funnel.
Step 1: Reach, engage, and seperate.
The more entertained that individuals are on the social media platform, the longer they will scroll, and the more money that the platform will make. It follows, that if your primary goal is to entertain with your paid ad, the platform will show you to more people at a lower cost because you are making their platform a better place. The compound effect of reaching the right person at a artificially lowered price means that lists can be developed extremely inexpensively. Through this strategy, the brand has gotten in front of people in a quality way, and everyone who has interacted with their content can be retargeted with more brand messaging.
Step 2: Build a Relationship
Before publishers got in the way, Social Media was exclusively built to connect with people that we knew. Everyone could continue their offline relationships online, connect to long lost friends, and make new friends. Social Media still exists primarily for this reason. While most marketers would call this the “consideration” phase, a more accurate term would be “trust building.” Through different pieces of media with goals of engagement, trust can be built, and leads will grow in their affinity towards the brand.
Step 3: Cash in the trust
Remember the scenario that I built of the brand trying to sell socks? They were stuck getting low quality traffic from “high clicking” people who knew nothing about them. In this new scenario, we have built an audience that trusts the brand, has been exposed to it very inexpensively, and will be incredibly receptive to buying a product. This leaves the last question of how do we convert someone? Creating the ad itself isn’t difficult, but the true challenge lies in creating a beautifully functional, optimized website. How is that done? Check out our page on it here.
Wondering how this looks in action?
The fitness industry is a challenging one. The barrier to entry is incredibly low, the competition for online coaching, despite being a relatively new deliverable, is high, and the most qualified candidates aren’t likely to proactively search for the programs. Lastly, it’s a large financial investment to enroll in a program like this.
The first step, awareness, consisted of targeting fitness enthusiasts that are highly likely to embrace new technology, use credit cards frequently, and have credit card data showing they have a gym membership. Very few of the people in this group are likely to go through with getting an online coaching membership, so a “callout” video to seperate high quality from low quality leads was in order. This piece of content directly confronted the pain points of working out without a plan, the drawbacks of cookie cutter weight training programs, and finally offered a solution in the form of their deliverable.
While the first step socialized the idea of hiring an online coach, the second step provided social proof, legitimacy to the brand and their coaches, and showed exactly how the people could be helped through these programs. Video testimonials that led into canvas ads about individual’s progress, videos of specific coaches talking about their philosophies, and finally use cases of the program were all shown to prospects. These videos turned the brand into an authority on the topic of online coaching.
For the conversion stage, everyone was primed and ready to make the jump, they just needed a strong enough offer to change how they work out. The offer came in the form of a 15 minute free consultation with a coach to be booked via a lead generation form in Facebook.
This entire campaign took place within the bounds of the Facebook platform, solved all the problems that face traditional social media marketing, and converted in the easiest possible way.