You Like me…you really Like me. Wait. Maybe you don’t really Like me after all. According to our Facebook engagement metrics, only 1% of you actually react when we post. So, to keep the numbers up, our team posts more often, asks questions, runs polls, curates content, introduces more and more contests, and asks for your help to submit your pics and videos as part of our “user-generated” content campaigns. We measure success by the Likes, comments, shares, the number of conversations, and reach. While the Likes are rising, we’re starting to recognize the pattern…I guess we never really defined why you should “Like” us beyond the initial click. We just took for granted that a Like equated to an opt-in.
This general scenario is more common than you may think. That’s all about to change however. Marketers must now rethink their Facebook strategy to define click paths and results. As Josh Constine recently reported, Facebook is now giving advertisers access to its API to improve post-click actions. In his post, Constine walks through a series of various scenarios for brands, developers and also local businesses to take advantage of the new Ads API. Here, we’ll talk more about how to start with strategy.
With the updated Ads API, advertisers must now think beyond the “Like.” Facebook’s Ads API will allow advertisers to present ads most likely to take specific post-click action such as content sharing, in-app purchases, Facebook Offers, among a list of other actions (see below). In the great pursuit of ROI, Facebook is also taking a lot of the guesswork out of ad campaign development and deployment to enhance desired performance. The new improvements give Facebook advertisers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with specific market segments based on intelligence to introduce more informed campaigns that trigger relevant clicks, conversions, and return.
What does “more informed” actually mean? Facebook is studying the behavior of its consumer population and as it does, it will provide deeper insights to brands seeking specific actions, such as those who are more likely to be a virtual good buyer, someone who actively shares content, who attends events, individuals who appreciate deals and offers. Over time, ads can be optimized for audiences based on this behavior as well. As such, brands must not only compete for attention and clicks, but also context and relevance based on behavior and preferences.
For brands and agencies, advertising based on keywords is no longer good enough. Now that you have a better shot at reaching the right people based on behavior, advertisers must now also become architects of experiences and outcomes.
Now advertisers can specifically optimize for…
1. People talking about this page
2. Page likes
3. Page post likes
4. Page post comments
5. Page post shares
6. @ mentions
8. Photo tags
9. Offers shared
10. Offers claimed
11. App installs
12. App used
13. Credit spend events (number of times someone uses credits in the app)
14. Credit spend amount (value of credits that were spent in the app)
15. Number of RSVPs
This is a click to action…
Designing campaigns now require brands and advertisers to think about the “click to action” they want to encourage. I refer to this as the A.R.T. of Engagement, where brands intentionally design campaigns to provoke relevant actions, reactions, and transactions. To take advantage of Facebook’s API, brands must now employ sophisticated advertising approaches that combine segment and contextual research, segment-specific strategies, app and channel development for each approach, UX, creative design, and real-time conversion metrics, review and optimization.
It’s more than Likes or forcing people through Like-gated apps or campaigns. Now it’s about performance and conversion science where…
1) Contextually relevant content appears in front of qualified and desirable audiences that…
2) Triggers a defined, useful action that…
3) Leads to optimized click paths that result in material content or activity, which then…
4) Motivates conversions to preferred outcomes and…
5) Delivers a more integrated, consistent, and efficient experience.
To engage more effectively through Facebook’s social advertising platform requires that all strategies and campaigns commence with a stated purpose. I believe that the best way to outline these scenarios is to begin with the end in mind and work backwards from there. By starting with the end in mind, the ability to research desired behavior and who to reach as a result becomes incredibly clear…and also inspiring.
The dimensions of engagement you’ll need to define are 1) what are you trying to accomplish, 2) what the experience looks/feels like, 3) what benefits you’ll offer and what they mean to the people you’re trying to reach, 4) the desirable outcomes you wish to measure, 5) How people feel as a result of the A.R.T. experiences you evoke, and 6) What the experience will look like in the most prominent channels of your connected customers.
This is why you’re now an architect of experiences and outcomes. It takes vision. It takes design. It takes measurement and optimization. The A.R.T. of Engagement is realized through a Social Experience Framework that starts with intentions and ends with resulting sentiment…not just the outcome.
There’s an old saying, “it’s not the gift that counts, it’s the thought behind it.” The same is true for social advertising, marketing and well, business overall. Intentions count for everything. Therefore your intentions must be realized as experiences where technology serves as the enabler to creatively and contextually engage to create experiences that meet or exceed expectations and ultimately inspire desirable outcomes.
For a lot of companies worldwide, moving their marketing to the social Web has got to be the most important decision they’ve made. Indeed it is, with all the benefits of leveraging on social media marketing tactics offering to make their businesses thrive online and get ahead of the competition. Because of this, more and more companies are getting onboard the online marketing train, learning the ropes, and finding the best ways to use the social Web’s real-time capabilities to achieve their goals.
An infographic published by VA Simple Services titled 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: Key Findings, lists down a rundown of important facts. For starters, it says that spending more time on social media platforms helps brands understand the medium and, therefore, can easily provide insights which are essential in planning social media campaigns, and ensuring they are effectively targeting accomplishing their objectives.
And with the social Web’s real-time capabilities and varied features, it should not be much of a surprise that the brand’s business exposure online is the biggest benefit businesses are reaping from their social media uses. Here, Facebook tops the list of most used social media sites, unsurprisingly followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube.
Coupons are a tremendous marketing tool for all businesses that are looking to increase customers, traffic and brand awareness. Even if you sell a product or service that doesn’t lend itself easily to coupons, you can take advantage of the messaging opportunities that a coupon offers. Whether you are a pizza shop with great carry out offers on Tuesday or an insurance agent representing a company that offers multi-policy discounts, you can use coupons as a messaging tool and direct traffic driver.
Keys to success:
Bigger tickets mean bigger profits. A big issue with many small business owners is the fear that their coupons are going to be used primarily by existing customers and that they are actually losing revenue and profits from folks that would have made purchases anyways. A way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to write coupons that promote bigger ticket sales than what that customer might normally purchase. Promotions like buy one get one half price, or buy two get one free ensure that you make your profit on the total order and still offer great value.
Another way to promote to existing customers is to promote products or services that they aren’t currently purchasing. Since most small businesses don’t have customer tracking, a great way to make this idea work is simply to promote products that are slow selling or to promote service during slower times. Examples are specials on last year’s models, early bird specials, lunch/happy hour/dinner specials on your two slowest days of the week. Don’t discount your meals on Friday night, discount your meals on Tuesday night or Monday at lunch.
Update your coupons weekly. One of the biggest mistakes I see with small businesses is that they have static coupons that never change. A coupon has value because it both promotes a good deal and because it has an expiration date. If you have the same coupons all the time, the expiration date becomes meaningless. You should have a rotation of coupons so that you customers know that if they don’t take advantage of this sale price soon, they will lose it.
Write better coupon offers. Make sure you are writing your coupons in an appealing and thoughtful way. This coupon is the window into your business and if it doesn’t elicit excitement and desire it won’t bring in new customers. Here are some helpful tips.
Getting started with coupons is easy…first, start with a great offer!
- Offer Discounts…”$50.00 Off!”, “60% Off!” (percentage discounts are only good when they are high percentages and the value of the product or service is well known.) Dollars Off discounts work best.
- Offer Bonuses…”Buy One/Get One Free!”, or “2 Free with Each Case Ordered!”, “Free Batteries When You Buy One Super Flashlight”, or “Free Drop Cloth with Each Gallon of Super Paint”, etc.
- Offer Premiums…Offer premiums for a presentation, for a trial order, for a subscription, for a demonstration, for a new customer referral, for an order amounting to $xxx or larger”, etc.
- Offer Free Information…”FREE booklet”, “FREE brochure”, “FREE estimate”, “FREE details”, “FREE samples”, “FREE trial”, “FREE consultation”, “FREE quote”, etc.
Use Bold, Commanding And Specific Headlines!
- “Save $50.00 on Any Portable TV….This Month Only!”
- “FREE BROCHURE…’Beauty Secrets for Career Woman’!”
- “Free Catalog Saves YOU 70% on Office Supplies!”
- “Rent Two NEW RELEASE Video Movies–Get One FREE!”
- “Buy One Dinner Entree–Get One FREE!”
- “Buy Five Cases of Copier Paper–Get the Sixth Case Absolutely Free!”
Sell The Benefits.
- Save time, save money, increase profits, protect your family, improve your standard of living, be happier, improve your health, increase your income, and increase your comfort, more convenient.
Make Effective Use Of The 17 Most Powerful Words In Advertising.
- Free, now, new, how to, save, guarantee, money, easy, simple, you, proven, love, results, discovery, fast, amazing, profit.
No one hit wonders! For coupon campaigns to be effective and profitable you must make sure that you generate repeat customers. You have done the hard part and gotten that new customer through your front door on the telephone…now make sure they come back. Collect their email and utilize an email marketing campaign to stay in contact with your customers. Email marketing is super easy to manage and can be free with programs like Mail Chimp.
Make sure your restrictions are clear and thorough. All coupons have restrictions. These restrictions can be used to promote specific products or services and to set an expiration date or limitation. Here are some great examples of restrictions that you might want to try:
- Expires on
- May not be combined with any other offer
- Must present coupon at time of order or mention coupon when scheduling your appointment
- Offer only valid Monday and Tuesday from 11 AM – 4 PM
- Offer not valid on ______ brands
- Half price item of equal or lessor value.
- New Customers Only
The final piece to coupon success is don’t stop! One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is they stop offering coupons after they start to work. Why? If you write targeted, well thought out offers, you will be increasing new customers, increasing frequency and ticket size of existing customers and increasing your bottom line profits. Don’t stop offering coupons, just stop offering bad coupons.
Between the rise in location-based social networks, like Foursquare, and the mobile market’s meteoric growth, a new marketing avenue has opened up. Location-based marketing is a nascent frontier, and marketers are clamoring to take advantage of it.
Already, about 30% of smartphone owners access social networks via their mobile browser, and that figure will continue to grow, according to an infographic by Microsoft Tag. So, if your marketing plans include location-based networks, below are five ways to get started.
1. Push Notification Integration
One of the big reasons people don’t use location-based apps like Foursquare or SCVNGR is simply because they forget. Integrating push notifications into a location-based app is a great and simple fix.
Marketers often use these notifications to highlight activity, specials, announcements, and to further promote the app as well as the business. Allowing users to alter these notifications is an important way to give your audience some power. That ensures your messaging makes it to their phone without being a burden.
2. Loyalty Programs
Giving rewards to loyal customers for continuing to check in via a location-based networks is a great option. Arby’s marketing team did this on Foursquare by offering special reserved seating to their Foursquare mayors at 30 restaurants and 50% off on purchases. Ideas like these drive competition and increase use, which leads to greater exposure for the business being marketed on these networks.
Geofencing has been around for some time, but it’s increasingly becoming incorporated in more location-based networks. For those who aren’t familiar, geofencing is a virtual boundary set around a location, like a store. One way marketers are using geofencing on location-based networks is by sending messages to users who’ve opted in to a particular service.
Lets use Starbucks as an example. If a person crosses a Starbucks geofence, they will receive a message from their location-based app highlighting an offer, coupon, or just a reminder to stop by. This is similar to the idea of a push notification, except it’s only triggered by a person who comes into a geofence around a specific location. This messaging is more relevant to a user and more effective for a company.
4. Mixed Media
Apps like GetGlue and Foursquare both give you the ability to check in and incorporate other media. For instance, GetGlue allows a user to check in and share a favorite book, song or TV show. Optimize your content and forge partnerships with companies like GetGlue as a way to extend your reach among users that are more likely to view your content if recommended by their friends.
5. Better Content
As the king of the location-based space, Foursquare helps set the tone for innovation in this industry. Recently at South by Southwest, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley spoke about the future of location-based apps and how the company’s focus is shifting from checking in to other features that their audience uses more and that will help the company become more mainstream.
For instance, Foursquare’s “explore” feature is fairly new and allows a user to discover food, nightlife, shops, and more based on broad categories. It aggregates suggestions based on your checkin history as well as information available on the network about a location. This is why any content you add to Foursquare and similar sites should be optimized.
Technology and consumers are conspiring to reduce your marketing effectiveness to next to nothing. Digital video recorders, on-demand cable and internet delivered television allows consumers to skip commercials, magazines and newspapers are being read digitally, where consumers have grown adept at clicking the little red x without even noticing your ad. The advent of online – on demand deals and coupons has reduced direct mail fliers and inserts to just slightly more than printed drivel. Don’t believe me, check the trash bin next to post office boxes on Wednesdays…it is full of expensive marketing messages. Traditional marketing methods are not nearly as effective as they were just a few years ago and smart marketers are adapting to a content driven marketing strategy.
Imagine if instead of your message being trashed or clicked to exit, that your prospects and customers awaited your message with baited breathe. If you build an effective content marketing campaign, they may even request your marketing message…and share it with their friends and fans! Don’t take my word for it. Top content marketing companies include P & G, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and John Deere.
Content marketing is an inclusive term that involves the creation and distribution of content in order to engage prospective and current customers. Content marketers believe that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers will drive profitable interaction, increase awareness and brand loyalty and drive social activity.
Content marketing can be used to achieve a variety of business goals including: lead generation, customer loyalty and retention, direct sales, driving brand awareness and expanding expression of your brand across multiple platforms and increased social activity and “free” advertising derived from viral traffic.
Eighty percent (80%) of decision makers prefer to receive information in a series of articles versus a direct advertisement, according to Roper Public Affairs. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company and 60% say the company content helps them make better product decisions.
Technology and consumer savvy continue to marginalize traditional advertising methods and open doors to highly effective and value oriented content marketing strategies. It is not a matter of if content marketing will be necessary for your business, but when. The good news is that the same technology and consumer savvy that is reducing the effectiveness of traditional advertising is making content marketing affordable, accountable, manageable and most importantly – EFFECTIVE!
About Resident Places
Resident Places is a zero cost amenity to residential and mixed use properties where residents receive valuable money saving offers from local businesses through a co-branded coupon portal. These neighborhood deals are made available without any sales activity by leasing staffs or IT teams. Every deal printed through the co-branded portal will include the name of the property and is shareable via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, which expands the reach and audience of the community’s brand to their residents, prospects and area businesses. For business owners, our unique offering gives access into a typically difficult advertising market – multifamily communities, with a low cost, high tech solution.