Want to See Your Competitor’s Facebook Ads? Now You Can.

August 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

dark-posts-1132x670Turns out all that Facebook transparency has an added benefit for marketers.  We can now see our competitors ads by just going to their Facebook page and looking under the heading that says Info and Ads.  On mobile, it is right under the header photo.  For instance, Panera is running ads about their new delivery program.

Why can we see them now?  The main reason for these new transparency tools is to provide more insight into how political advertisers are using social platforms to manipulate voter opinion, and promote certain candidates as a result.

Heard of dark posts?  Dark posts appeared on the news feeds of targeted users, but not on the company page of the brand that sent them.  But that’s all changed with this new ability to see what ads are running for Facebook Pages.

Facebook itself has previously described how its platform could be used to influence election outcomes, and with 2.2 billion users and growing, it’s a powerful tool of influence.  Women represent 52% of users and 78% of U. S. women are on Facebook, compared to 62% of  U. S. men.

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What Should Marketers Do About Facebook Third Party Data Changes?

April 4, 2018 § Leave a comment

The big stat:  83% of female internet users and 75% of male internet users are Facebook users. There are 207 million Facebook users in the United States. 

Are advertisers concerned about the Facebook scandal?  We should.  Some 45% Facebook users say they are going to use Facebook less.  And let’s be real here. We need Facebook users and their data.  Because without the data, it could limit our ability to target specific audiences on Facebook and Instagram.

One agency exec James Douglas, head of media at Reprise, a digital agency owned by Interpublic commented, “If advertisers were suddenly unable to target certain segments, because of regulation—such as political affinities, income or wealth accumulation, or race/age/gender—that might challenge advertisers to look elsewhere for options.”  We rely on data that can be anonymized and aggregated, and doesn’t infringe on users’ privacy.

As advertisers, we have been able to target audiences on Facebook using three sets of data –

  1. Data from Facebook, which collects user data and profile info.
  2. Data from the advertiser, such as email lists used in look-alike audiences.
  3. The Holy Grail Data from 3rd Party providers like Experian and Acxiom who provide purchasing behavior information.

With the new changes Facebook is implementing, marketers will be limited to using only their own data and Facebook data. The third party data (from groups like Experian and Acxiom) has provided behaviors such as income, people buying a house or people having a baby. Facebook has also announced it is dropping audience reach estimates for custom audiences.

So what should we be doing to get ready for these changes?

  1. Rely on your own data more. Marketers may need to depend on their own data and possibly find similar audiences on Facebook and target them. Growing your own email list and using that to define a look-alike audience has always been possible. With reach estimates going away, it will be necessary to watch campaigns closely to see the audience reach delivered. Over time Facebook will figure out how to expand their data.
  2. Don’t step away from Facebook,  but think about expanding your social media platform usage to insure reach.  Marketers need to include more media than just Facebook in the media mix. Now’s the time to think about Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Waze, Instagram and more.
  3. Use Instagram more if it fits your demographic. Instagram fits a young adult audience, it’s growing and currently represents 28% of Facebook mobile dollars. No doubt it will continue to grow in older age groups as Facebook fatigue sets in. Instagram purchasing is going to give marketers an enlarged audience and great info on buyers.
  4. Don’t panic.  Facebook is not going away even if some users begin to use it less.  It is the Gorilla.  In 2018, the number of Facebook users in the United States is 207 million.

 

 

Super Bowl Audience Drops

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

The football industry and women are having an interesting time.  This year’s Super Bowl saw their audience drop while still being one of the most watched events. The number is down 7% from the 111.3 million that tuned in for last year’s Super Bowl, making it the least-watched Super Bowl since 2009.

Half of the viewers of the Super Bowl are women.  But declining football viewership may have been affected this season by player protests, domestic violence reports and continuing health concerns about players.

Moms are beginning to hold their sons back from the sport.  Even Justin Timberlake said he didn’t want his son playing football.  Today Show reported the issue of allowing children to play football has become part of a national conversation over the safety of the sport, particularly among youth. Many parents have become skeptical about letting their kids play football because of numerous studies over the link between repeated concussions and lasting brain damage.

On the flip side, women are looking at football as a career.  Women make up roughly half of all NFL fans but currently just a third of league employees with no female head coaches or general managers.  But the NFL is helping women get on the path to a career in the game with forums on the finer points of coaching, scouting players, and more.

On the advertising side, the 3% Conference were rating the advertising to women.  The #3percentsb hashtag asked viewers to rate spots on whether there was a woman in the spot, whether she was defying stereotypes or was she the hero.  This year there were less women spokespersons and some tone deaf ads were panned like the Dodge Ram MLK spot.  One tweeter said @jtimberlake has more backup dancers and band members that are female than all of the Super Bowl advertisements that have aired so far, combined.

Facebook Losing Its Cool?

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Well, the facts don’t lie.  This year, for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook  at least once per month. New users being added to Facebook are from older age groups.  eMarketer estimates Facebook will lose 2 million users ages 24 and younger this year. Where are they going?

The move to Instagram by younger people seems the obvious answer but eMarketer said it expects Instagram to add only 1.6 million users under the age of 25 this year. Snapchat is expected to add 1.9 million users in the same demographic and by year’s end, it’s expected to be the leader in users in the 12 to 24 age group.

And for those older users who never quite got Snapchat, the platform is being redesigned for easier use.  Of course, if older folks find Snapchat, younger users might move on like they did on Facebook.

Another issue that Facebook is facing is the backlash from advertisers threatening to pull ads from both Facebook  if the platform continues to provide a space for hate, creating division or failing to protect children.

Staying cool is hard.  And as always, marketers need to stay on top of these changes and experiment with new media to reach their audience.

What Marketers Need to Do About Facebook’s New Changes

January 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Manu Fernadez)

Facebook announced significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will make it harder for pages to be seen in news feeds. Translation:  Organic reach will drop.

How low is it already? Currently Digiday reports organic reach for Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 fans has hovered around 10 percent for some time.  That means that for every 700 people who liked a business page, for example, roughly 70 people would see a post in their news feeds organically without the company having to pay for the post to appear. The latest change drags that reach down to virtually zero, bringing it more in line with what larger brands have contended with for years.

So what are marketers to do?  Here are some suggestions from my Women in Digital peers, media experts and even Facebook.

Advertise.  Of course.  Currently only about 4% of businesses on Facebook advertise. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  But Facebook is still currently a low cost alternative to other forms of advertising.  Use Facebook advertising for awareness and promotions.

Get users to mark you as ‘see first’.  Okay, this is a bit of a stretch and a type of double opt-in but if you can get users to do it, it will help your content appear in their news feed.  Ask your users to choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they will see your posts.
Create better content that invokes engagement.  Facebook’s change effectively means that posts that receive more comments carry more weight than ever, reducing likes and shares to vanity metrics.  So the quality of content and ways to create conversation become important.  When explaining these changes, Social Media Examiner asked for people to comment on their post so more people would see it.  And it seems that long comments are more important than a short comment.
Use Facebook Live more.  Videos usually elicit comments, so creating weekly Facebook Live events will help.  Facebook said Live videos are totaling six times the interactions of non-Live videos. Episodic videos will help as well.  Think storytelling for your brand.
Set up a Group.  Facebook groups usually inspire lots of meaningful content.  Is there a way to create a group around your product?
Start using Instagram more, and/or use influencers.  For the present, Instagram and influencers may offer an assist for brands.  Influencers are not currently penalized as businesses and may be a window of opportunity.  It’s time to experiment with other social sites.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

 

 

Women and their Love-Hate Relationship with Brands

July 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

635948590805299733-1825250646_e451f-love-over-hate1New Research Study Will Be Revealed at Red Letter Day.  Here’s a Preview.

Women have always had an ambiguous relationship with brands. Why? Women expect things that brands don’t deliver.

In at time, where marketers wax poetic about brand love, we are on a mission to find out what separates the famous love couple. Well, as they say, it’s complicated.

Brand Wise and Lipstick Economy just completed a study of 3,390 women representing the three most active buyer generations – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers. We wanted to find out why 90% of women think brands don’t understand them.

And the results are fascinating. Women actually like to get information from brands. Only 13% of women are really annoyed at brands that are on social media. And more than 90% of women sign up for emails from brands.

Maybe women see shopping as part of their role in life. Women currently make 85% of all consumer purchases and they are the primary shopper for a myriad of expected categories like food and clothing. But women are the primary shopper of most categories, including 79% of healthcare decisions, 76% of travel and vacation decisions, 72% of housing decisions, 70% of restaurant decisions, 67% of financial decisions, and 53% of automotive decisions.

Our research shows that the biggest gap in this brand relationship tends to be over chronic issues: truth and accuracy, customer service, a realistic view of women, respect for women’s intelligence and an understanding of the multi-faceted lives women lead today.

I know this reads like a romance novel. The issues around trust run deep. Women expect deals, promotions, ideas and authenticity. So they seek out advice from their own experiences, friends and families and even online reviews.

To learn more about this research study and more ways that brands are hitting the market with women, sign up here for the Red Letter Day Marketing to Women Event, August 5 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Social Media Advertising in 2016: Don’t Be Scared!

January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

So, the Force has awakened!social_media_freak No, not Star Wars; it’s social media advertising. While we were posting our holiday pictures, social media has moved from a “free” social platform for conversation and awareness to a bona fide advertising medium.

Social media is now a performance-driven marketing channel that delivers highly targeted audiences, new ad formats and a wide variety of measurement tools. On Facebook, desktop ads have 8.1X higher click-through rates and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads. And Promoted Tweets have shown average engagement rates of 1-3%, much higher than traditional banner ads.

Here’re the facts:

  • According to Pew Research, 65% of all adults use social media.
  • Women still lead men in the use of social media but barely. Since 2014, the differences in usage by gender have been modest. Today, 68% of all women use social media, compared with 62% of all men.
  • Marketing will spend 13.2% of their budgets on social media this year. And of the $137.53 billion global digital ad expenditures in 2014, $16.1 billion was spent on social media, a 45% increase over 2013.

Targeting is key and social media has acknowledged their fierce advantage in geography, specific target audiences and engagement.

Facebook and Instagram are serious contenders for video advertising. Since the two share the same advertising platform, it’s important to look at them together. Oh, and Facebook has been tweaking its news feed algorithm in the past year, favoring videos users are more likely to watch. Facebook reports users view about four billion videos on the social network each day.

Twitter is also making changes that will bode well for advertisers. Twitter is the second-most popular social media platform among marketers with 77% of B2C and 83% of B2B marketers using the network. The new news for Twitter is their testing of displaying tweets based on curation rather than chronological order. Curation could help brand engagement. Twitter is also looking for the video audience and is providing new ad options.

Pinterest added buyable pins last year but is still struggling to make pins into sales conversions. Pinterest seems to be more aspirational than real like Instagram.

So what to do in 2016?

Here are some tips. Make sure you are spending a portion of your advertising dollars in social, testing the effectiveness for your business and honing your messages to your target audiences.

  1. Know your campaign objectives. Are you wanting to increase conversions on your website, promote your social media page or get your content seen by your target audience?
  2. Have relevant content. Use your free social media to beta test relevant social ads. Figure out what is resonating the most with your customers and build social ads around these topics.
  3. Know your customers so you can use the amazing targeting features of social media.
  4. Rotate messaging to mitigate ad fatigue and test content.
  5. Design content for the social media you are using and the engagement you desire. Create a video strategy.
  6. Think mobile. Most social media is consumed on our smartphones so make sure you social media ads are optimized for mobile.

 

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