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The Director’s Guide to Advanced Facebook Marketing

Facebook Marketing Page

Even the smallest marketing team has a fundamental understanding that Facebook is a platform that holds tons of potential. After all, you want to put your materials where your audience is, and Facebook boasts over 2.4 billion active users. Also, there are a lot of different tools within the platform that can help you narrow down that audience to whom you think will fit your business best. 

Many companies are only scratching the surface of Facebook’s potential, focusing mainly on sponsored posts and trying to boost them. Here’s a more advanced look at the steps you can take to improve your Facebook marketing, as well as what to do when you reach the limit of your in-house team’s capability.

What Can You Do On Your Own?
A lot of internal Facebook marketing “teams” are a bit misled with the tools they have at their disposal. For example, you can put together a series of content, hit the “boost post” function, and feel as though you’re making a significant impact. However, if you’re trying to build an audience, this function won’t produce much. The boost post function is more for the benefit of Facebook rather than your business. A boosted post also circulates to your current followers, rather than touching new followers. To find options that can help you target outside of your current followers, you should be using the Facebook Ad Center and Facebook Business Manager.

A good way to think of your Facebook strategy is in terms of circles. Boosting a post is more about your existing circle, so it’s a small radius. Ad Center was developed with marketers in mind so that it can target a wider circle. Because Facebook Business Manager gives you the ability to create ads and use tools like pictures to track conversions that go much further than your existing fan base. The caveat here is the larger the span, the harder it is to master these tools. Many in-house teams don’t have the capacity or experience necessary to try and master the Ad Center or Business Manager fully.

So, with this in mind, what can teams that are just doing sponsored posts do to start moving into more advanced work? Here are some key suggestions.

Targeting: There are different goals that companies have for their Facebook marketing. In some cases, they are just looking to increase brand awareness. However, for the most part, you should be looking to drive actual action, with brand awareness as a side benefit. The Ad Center is your home base that helps set up pixels so you can track conversions and fine-tune your demographic and geographic reach. One thing to keep in mind is that different pixel setups are required for each type of website platform (WordPress, Drupal, etc.).

Using Instagram Wisely: Facebook and Instagram have a seamless integration that can allow you to create content for it and Facebook at the same time. For example, if you create a square image ad, you’ll have something that works for both platforms. Image quality is paramount with this platform, so if you can’t afford professional photography, you’re better off utilizing stock images. It also helps to orient your imagery per the specifications of the platform to allow for the best representation of your brand. For example, if you put content that’s not vertical or made for video on Instagram Stories, there will be unsightly black borders present.

Messenger Bots: One survey showed that 80% of all businesses on Facebook wanted chatbots in place by this year. Adding this feature is time well spent, as it can help customers get answers to quick and easy questions about your business. Also, one-third of all Facebook users employ this function regularly. To get started with these, you need to purchase software to develop your chatbox before linking it to Facebook Messenger. The good news is that this process has become much easier due to advancements within the technology.

Building Up Slowly, But Steadily: The shotgun approach rarely works when it comes to advanced Facebook Marketing. It’s better to pick a few areas to excel in then move forward. As an example, if you want to get into video, you need to build up a content library first. If you don’t, you pay for a video, people look at it, want to see more, and there’s nothing to keep their interest. Lack of consistency will cost you conversions. The same applies to Facebook or Instagram ads that go to pages with sparse or irregular content.

Use Online Resources: While you’re not likely to be as good as a Facebook marketer that’s been working in the platform for years, you can advance from the basics. There’s are a variety of online resources that can help you learn some fundamentals of the Ad Center and other Facebook features. Also, if you have an Ad Center account, Facebook itself is likely to reach out to you and provide support, including audits.

So, with this in mind, at what point do you bring in external help and stop handling Facebook marketing on your own? That decision starts with being realistic about your ROI and how Facebook works. Remember, while Facebook can provide data for you about your ad performance, they are mainly going to be charting impressions, not conversions. In some cases, like building brand awareness, Facebook can be a great platform. However, if you’re a retail business, brand awareness may not be your primary focus. If that’s the case, it would be best for you to focus on conversions. When conversions are your main focus, and you’re beginning to spend $1,000 or more to compete on Facebook, it’s time to start engaging professional marketers.

Moving Forward With Additional Support
When you’re looking for additional support, it’s essential that you partner with a company like Glint, that has an in-depth understanding of marketing integration and creative development. Expertise like this ensures your campaigns integrate with your overall marketing strategy. For example, you can reach out to a digital firm and have them set up and monitor the campaigns in addition to throwing some ads together. A full-service agency will create the ads to ensure they connect with your brand and resonate with the targeted audience. They will also help develop integration strategies to make sure the ads are converting properly and driving toward your other marketing channels. 

Red Flag Storm

Equally important is making sure you work with an agency that is going to set clear expectations. Some businesses expect a volume of work and ROI with a budget that isn’t feasible. It’s better to reach out to an agency that will tell you your budget isn’t enough for the task, rather than taking your money and, in-turn providing ineffective campaigns.

One other red flag that you want to look out for when working with an agency is if you’re required to work within their platforms. Often it’s best to do this; however, it shouldn’t be required. If the relationship changes, you should have access to your platforms and have the power to press a button to remove their access. 

If you’re interested in more facts about advanced Facebook marketing, here’s a link to our recent podcast on the subject. When you’re ready to bridge the gap with a third-party solution, Glint Advertising is the ideal choice. We can appraise the status of your current Facebook marketing efforts, in addition to others, and get the platforms and campaigns you need moving forward.

The Evolution of Consumer Purchase Behavior

Shopping_Behaviors

Way back in the year 2010, smartphones had only just started gaining popularity, and the first tablets were being unveiled. The stores that were scattered all across the country were regularly filled with motivated shoppers looking to spend some of their hard earned money. Nowadays, this is a sight that is usually only seen during special events like Black Friday with more and more purchases being made without ever stepping foot inside of a retail store.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth taking a look at how consumer purchase behavior has shifted over the last decade.

How Consumers Found Companies a Decade Ago
There were a couple of valuable marketing insights known as the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. These terms were first coined by P&G almost 15 years ago and were groundbreaking concepts when they first emerged. They referred to the process in which a consumer forms opinions regarding which companies they will develop loyalty towards.

In the world of business, brand loyalty is everything and accounts for an average of 65% of the business that a company gets. Therefore, if a company is not able to develop a close enough link to its customers, then its amount of repeat business will sharply decline.

This first moment of truth occurred when a consumer first encounters a product on a store shelf. They would use their senses to analyze the product and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Once they purchased it and brought it home, they would arrive at the second moment of truth which was determined when the consumer used the product and evaluated its effectiveness.

These two moments of truth would combine to form an opinion of the product, and therefore the brand, in the mind of the consumer. They would then use this opinion to judge whether or not they would continue to use the company’s products or not. With the rise of digital technology, these moments of truth no longer exist in this order.

How Consumers Find Companies Today
Although the first and second moments of truth are still more or less relevant, there is now a moment that occurs before either of those begins. It is what Google deemed the zero moment of truth. Instead of the first experience that a consumer has with a product being when they engage with it in a store, it now starts by looking at a screen.

Mobile Shopping on Phone

It is estimated that about 81% of all purchases begin with the consumer doing an online search, which is the zero moment of truth. This means that consumers are researching a product before the retailer even knows they are in the market for it, and they have to evaluate it on a picture and information alone. However, convincing a consumer to consider a product based off of only a picture and some basic information is only a small part of the challenge. The bigger struggle is getting the consumer to engage further with the product your company is offering.

When a consumer does an online search, they are using keywords to try and come up with the results that best relate to what they are interested in. The search engine results page is then presented to them with a list of different companies. If someone’s company is near the bottom of that first page of results, or on another page entirely, then it is very unlikely that it will be considered by the consumer. So even before a company has to worry about winning over the loyalty of a consumer, they have to worry about getting in front of a consumer.

How Consumers Decide Which Company to Choose
As previously mentioned, the end goal of a company is to get the consumer to form loyalty to their brand. A significant component of developing loyalty is being able to trust the company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust a company in any way, then chances are that they will never have loyalty towards them.

Trust is something that exists on a multitude of levels, so much so that even most consumers do not fully understand how they decide whether or not to trust a company. When it comes to doing anything that is at all risky, such as deciding which company to give their business to, consumers tend to rely more on their intuition than anything else. This can make it tricky for companies to figure out how to best display their website, products, and overall company image.

That does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to knowing how to develop trust between the company and its consumers. It just means that it will likely require a bit of trial and error. Companies should be putting effort into the obvious factors, such as website security certification and detailed return policies, but they should also be paying attention to less obvious factors as well.

While we have all been told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, that is exactly what many consumers are doing. They took a look at a company’s website for a few seconds and might read a couple of lines of text but are mostly just taking in the aesthetics of it before clicking away. So while having descriptive company and product information is important, the font type, background color, and images used tend to be even more critical.

The Consumerism Power Shift
A decade ago, companies had a much stronger influence over whether or not consumers bought their products and services. Simply plastering their name and image everywhere was usually enough to get a lot of sales. However, in the age of digital technology, that power dynamic has shifted, and it is now in the hands of consumers. Showing up with a decent product is no longer enough to win over the hearts of consumers.

Companies now have to be active about engaging with consumers and finding out what it is that they want to see in a company and product. They should then do their best to reflect those desires in their operations. Consumers are also becoming more able to assess whether or not a company cares about its customers or what it is doing. Therefore, a company cannot be trying to fake passion because consumers will see right through that.

Overcoming this may require making changes to a company’s staff, culture, and brand that can be reinforced by the majority of employees portraying passion around what they do. When an employee is miserable at their job, then it is bound to show up in the work they do. Once that work is put out into a product for consumers to see, they will be able to sense that lack of passion, and it will hurt a company’s chances of getting the sale. So in many ways, earning the business of consumers starts with developing a healthy workplace where employees are happy and have a passion for what they do.

The world of consumerism is an ever-changing one, and just like it has changed over the last decade, it will continue to do so in years to come. If you have questions or need help positioning your product or business, please contact Glint by emailing us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Creative Messaging Is Key To Success

Creative Success Messaging Graphic

When it comes to marketing in the online space, it can be easy to get lost in a pile. Think of the digital environment as a community of brick and mortar stores, not unlike what you see outside in the real world every day. In fact, the online shopping industry alone is growing 3x faster than traditional storefronts. Unsurprising, now that about 51% of the population prefer to shop online over visiting a store in-person.

This means we can apply a lot of the same tactics to both areas. A key difference to keep in mind though is that there is a lot more business in the digital community of stores then there are on a street and it is a lot harder to see all the business available in an online environment. This serves as a strong reminder that your competition is a lot larger than may you perceive when you just think of your local competition.

What tends to be the biggest factor of change when moving from physical to digital is not how we engage, but where. This is why you can find so many digital marketing agencies focused on things like behavioral targeting, banner ads, and automation. What most fail to take into account is that these companies are only providing you with where you’ll be shouting your message from, but if your message isn’t engaging, it won’t matter how many places you are displaying it.

The success of your marketing efforts, be it traditional or digital, will come down mostly to the strength of your message, creatives, and content.

Credit Card Computer Screen

Your Key Message and Why It’s So Important
Your key message is one of the most important aspects to consider. The first question you should be asking yourself is what your key message is. Organizations of all types have key messages intended to help them get across why you should use their product or service. While you likely could form a pretty long list around this, it’s best to whittle it down to one key message you want to use to define your business.

Essentially, your key message is what you want to be known for, and this message needs to be consistent across all your marketing materials and brand.

This will provide a certain level of control over how people talk about you, as we give them one simple thing to focus on. Having control of the conversation about your products or services can be invaluable if you push forward a clear and effective message about what you provide.

Tone and Style
As part of a consistent brand and key message, we need to make sure we have established a consistent tone and style. Your tone and style should fit in closely with your key message.

Writing is arguably the most shared form of content. Even if you are running image-heavy campaigns, you will likely find yourself in need of some written work for captions and social media posts. Whether you are writing for your company blog or just updating Twitter, you need to be sure you have the same style and tone all throughout.

Contrary to popular belief, tone and style are not the same things. A style is best applied to short, catchy sentences, great for social media posts. A tone conveys authority, it’s the vibe you give off and the feeling you get when you read something written by someone who knows their stuff. These two things intertwine and will eventually end up creating what we call your voice.

So, does it all matter? Absolutely. We are trying to convey a consistent message and to do that we need a consistent style, tone, and voice as well. They key to a great brand voice is first and foremost consistency, but being creative and different is key to standing out amongst the competition.

Search on Mobile

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If you take a moment to consider what actually makes you click an article, pick a video game, or buy a certain food item, you’ll likely come up with two answers, convincing written copy, like an article headline or catchy phrase that sticks with you, or the visual content associated with it.

Visual content accounts for so much of what your customers will perceive that it is arguably more important than your written content. Having the two work seamlessly together is the makings of a great piece of content.

To do this, we need to keep our images in line with the rest of our message. This means it should match our style, tone, voice and key message. This is going to require us to get pretty creative with our message and find ways to convey it visually.

The key to producing great image content is to focus on these key aspects while keeping your overall brand in mind at all times.

Capturing the Viewers Attention: Before we can start to convey our message to our target, we need to have their attention. Strong, eye-catching visuals that scream your message are perfect for drawing people into your other content. Afterall, 93% of communication between people is visual and 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

Claiming a Spot in Their Memory: What do you want people to walk away with? If I’ve viewed your ad, what types of things should invoke me to think about it again? The answer to both these questions is found in your key message and brand voice, as we want them to walk away with that being the takeaway point. Creative imagery can be far more effective than body copy for achieving this, as people tend to remember visuals more clearly.

Why Creativity is So Important
Being creative with your brand voice and key message is key to success. In a world where it gets harder and harder to compete and get noticed, you need something to make you stand out. A common mistake is to check out competitors and copy what they are doing, and while this can prove to be valuable, it can also hurt your overall exposure. Being unique is key to standing out amongst the crowd. If you plan your key message creatively, the rest should follow suit much more easily, setting you up to emerge at the end with a truly unique and creative brand that will stand out amongst your competitors, both online and offline. If you can achieve that, you’ll be well on your way to overall success.

None of This Changes Between Digital and Physical
The takeaway here is that no matter where your advertising is operating from, your campaign and business will benefit from creative messaging. We are trying to create a consistent voice and message for our brand, which means it needs to extend to both the online and offline spaces. It doesn’t really matter how targeted your ad is if your brand message is speaking to an entirely different group then you are targeting.

It’s important to distinguish that while digital and physical spaces require different strategies on a whole, your message should remain in use and unchanged. This makes implementing creative messaging into your materials a universal approach for both markets. In short, your message doesn’t change depending on whether you’re online or not, what does change is how you get that message delivered.

If adding a layer of support to your branding, advertising, or marketing would be beneficial, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

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The Reality of Social Commerce

Social media started out mainly as a platform for interaction; a means to communicate and connect with people who were not physically present but whose warmth we wanted to feel. It also was the avenue to meet new people from various walks of life and share experiences. Basically, it set out to help us feel more human. It was a world entirely free of business dealings and negotiations, and one which buying and selling of products and services were alien to. The e-commerce ecosystem was available for that.

Now, the story is completely different. Social media channels have now become commercial outlets for adverts, purchases, sales, etc. This change has produced the question of whether these social channels can compete with online powerhouses like Amazon, especially after the many, daily Amazon deals that social media is flooded with these days. Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that involves using social media channels to assist online buying and selling of products and services.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTS ABOUT SOCIAL COMMERCE:

Deciding what to buy and who to buy from
87% of customers say that social media helps them decide what to buy; 25% seek advice on social networks when choosing apparel; 90% of followers try to reach out to brands via social media.

Revenue made from adverts in 2017
Social network advertising revenue was $41 billion; Facebook’s ad revenue was $10.14 billion, and Instagram made $4 billion from mobile ad revenue.

Value of the average order on social networks
Instagram ($65); Facebook ($55); Pinterest ($50); Twitter ($46.29); LinkedIn ($44.2); Google+ ($40); YouTube ($37.63)

Top selling products on social media
Smartwatches, video doorbells, face masks, highlighters, phone cases, avocado oil, Bluetooth speakers, enamel pins, coconut oil, and virtual reality products.

Social media has taken over! Now, all kinds of brands and e-retailers have bought into the social media craze and are exploiting it to the fullest. You get the feeling that with time, judging from the increasing integration of social media into everyday life, social commerce may end up stealing the show entirely and absorbing everything into e-commerce.

See the chart below for a more in-depth view of social gateways and commerce timelines.

Graphic credit: 16best.net

Social E-Commerce analytics

 

Customer Journey Mapping

The Science Behind Cave Paintings & Storytelling

One of the oldest forms of human communication is not language, but rather storytelling in the form of cave paintings. For years, scientists believed storytelling to be strictly entertainment. But, as more great minds studied the science of storytelling, they discovered it to be an instrumental aspect of human and technological development.

Customer Journey

Listening to stories allows us to learn from other people’s failure and success, and even experience events we haven’t already experienced for ourselves. Take the above painting, for example; one can gather that this is a warning to the hunter, “Big prey can be dangerous, watch out for their horns.”

Storytelling is What Makes Customer Journey Mapping Invaluable. As a business, it is imperative that you take the time to step into your customer’s shoes and see the world through their eyes, experience their problems and feel their feelings — it’s a difficult perspective that can best be accomplished through the art of storytelling or in marketing, Customer Journey Mapping.

Customer Journey Mapping is the process of telling the story of your customer’s experience from Point A to Point B — in other words from the initial point of contact, through the transaction and finally to fostering a long and healthy business relationship.

You Need an Outside Perspective. This marketing and consumer behavior process is something that is practiced by the world’s largest brands and something you should consider utilizing within your own. But, in order to carry it out effectively, you should bring in an outside perspective that has no bias towards your customer base. At Glint, we have been conducting Customer Journey Mapping for years with brands interested in better understanding who they are selling to.

Our process of discovering the customer journey map is a story that consists of 4 parts:

1. Discovery.
Every relationship begins with an introduction of the plot and characters. There are two characters in this story — your brand and your customer. We work to deeply understand these two characters. Understanding you as a brand comes down to branding (which you can read more about here), but understanding your customer takes stepping into their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes.

2. Engagement.
After understanding the characters in the story, we need to understand how they interact and engage with one another. In other words, what is their relationship? And, how can we make this relationship better, more interesting and more valuable?

3. Conversion.
In a love story, often times relationships are unconditional. This is not the case in marketing and business, relationships are very conditional — your customers are paying you their hard earned money for value. They are paying you on the condition that you are providing value. During the conversion stage of our process, we discover what those conditions are. We then figure out ways to meet and exceed these conditions.

4. Reward.
If the reward section were in a story, it would be the finale, the end… the happily ever after. This is the section we sit down with you and answer one question — how can we make your relationship with your customer one that will last for years to come? Often, this is accomplished through ongoing value your brand provides in the form of rewards of some type.

Take Some Time to Better Understand Your Customer.

If you are interested in understanding your customer better, give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or send us a note here. If you haven’t take the time to step into your customer’s shoes, you need to… it’s what keeps you in business.