Tag

Instagram Archives - acronym

Five Ways to Boost Your Brand’s Engagement on Instagram

By Paid Media, Social Media

Instagram is a powerful platform for businesses looking to increase engagement and reach a wider audience. With over one billion monthly active users, it’s crucial to find ways to stand out and make your content memorable.

Here are five ways to significantly boost engagement on Instagram:

  1. Use hashtags to reach a wider audience: By using relevant hashtags, you can expand the reach of your content and connect with your target demographic. It’s important to utilize the This is a quick and efficient way to increase engagement and get your voice heard on social media.
  1. Post content that is interesting and visually appealing: To keep followers coming back for more, create content that is entertaining, informative, and visually appealing. By combining interesting facts with attractive graphics or visuals, you can create content that is both engaging and memorable.
  2. Engage with other users by liking and commenting on their posts: By actively participating in conversations on Instagram, you can create authentic connections and identify shared values, interesting points of view, and helpful tips. This is a valuable exchange that can help you gain valuable feedback and knowledge while also helping others.
  3. Run contests or giveaways to encourage people to follow you: Offering contests or giveaways is a great way to create interest in your page and build up your customer database. Just make sure that the content is relevant to your business and audience interests to ensure continued engagement.
  4. Use Instagram Stories to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look: Instagram Stories are an excellent way to provide unique and special content that gives followers an inside look at your life or business. With their limited 24-hour time frame, these stories create a sense of urgency and make followers feel valued. They’re also a great platform for brand storytelling and can help set you apart from the competition.

By implementing these strategies and consistently posting high-quality content, you can significantly boost engagement on Instagram and stand out from the competition.

Remember to experiment with different types of content to see what resonates most with your followers and keep at it even when you don’t see immediate results.

In fact, META now allows you to target those users who are following your Instagram account within your campaign setup, expanding the media mix for campaigns. This is useful for those looking to expand audiences and create lookalikes off these segments. We recommend you test this audience in the mix, to see how it performs, particularly against the Facebook counterpart/other engagement audiences.

If you’d like assistance running your Instagram campaigns – or with any other integrated media strategy, please contact us today. We’re here to help.

Social Media Predictions for 2023

By Social Media

As 2022 comes to a close, we are keeping an eye on the emerging trends and tools and tactics that will matter in 2023.

Facebook Leverages AI To Keep People Interested.

As Facebook continues to lose users to TikTok, the platform is using AI to send more content from Pages and people’s content through Feeds.

Mark Zuckerberg explained in a recent interview with The Verge that:

“What’s basically going to happen is that, over the next year or two, we’ll start showing more recommended content in the Feed. And we’ll know that we’re doing a good job because the content in the beginning is going to displace some other content, and either displacing that content is going to lead to negative feedback from people, and lead to people connecting with each other less in all the metrics that we focus on, or it will actually lead to people connecting more and being more satisfied with the product.”

Zuckerberg’s view is that 40% of the content in your main Facebook feed will come from Pages you don’t follow.

For brands, that could also mean expanded opportunity, as Facebook’s algorithms will look to show your best-performing posts to even more people, even those outside of your current audience.

Facebook Is Moving Away From Promoting External Links

Facebook is placing a lower priority on content that promotes external links because they want more people to spend more time on the platform.

While this will cause some frustration for brands seeking to drive views to their websites, we recommend brands focus on content that generates more engagement on Facebook, likes memes and audience questions. This could help marketers that might then boost brand awareness and increase their following.

Continued Push for Avatar integration on Facebook

Despite a lack of user interest and an unimpressed industry, Meta is still trying to get users excited about the metaverse. So, you can expect to see more digital avatars popping up on the app.

Meta Avatar store

Although, we are far from reaching critical mass in the VR-enabled metaverse, there are expanded opportunities in sponsored items for avatars, themed costumes, and some new ways to connect and engage within the digital space.

Expect Meta to start pushing avatars as a key way to connect and engage, from video chats to posts, to status updates, and onto the metaverse itself.

More AI-recommended Instagram Content – and More Reels

Just like Facebook, Instagram is likewise hoping AI content recommendations will maximize user engagement as the platform struggles to keep up with TikTok.

Meanwhile Reels remains Instagram’s its fastest-growing content format, so you can expect to see more random updates, and more Reels, in more places in the app.

Like Facebook, it’s not clear yet that this will work for IG. But they’re going to push it either way.

We also expect Instagram will revisit its full-screen feed test, maybe with selected users who engage with Reels/Stories more often.

More Brand Engagement with Creators

We expect Instagram to add-in new forms of content creation in 2023, including AR and 3D posts, further integrate NFT art, and other new content forms that can be showcased in the app.

By providing more ways for creators to create directly on Instagram, Meta hopes to guide them to the metaverse. So you can expect to see new creation tools, like GIFs generated from Live Photos on IG, and also, the integration of 3D creation tools from its Spark AR platform directly into Instagram itself.

Spark

AR and More Interactive Ads

Other platforms are already experimenting with this, and as Meta seeks to guide users into the next stage, we expect to see more more 3D models for the metaverse space, including new AR ad formats cwith enhanced scanning tools and ingestion processes to help more brands lean into this next-level shift.

Twitter Will Continue to Experiment to Regain Market Share

Elon Musk has laid out various vague plans as he tries to right the seemingly sinking ship. From subscriptions to today’s news that he will no longer remove misinformation about COVID-19, we could see anything from Twitter transforming to a pay-to-play platform to a return to robust analytics. (Twitter removed a lot of analytics features back in 2020, and never replaced them.

If Musk were to improve Twitter Analytics offering, and presented that as a service, that would likely be something for which many businesses would be willing to pay.

Pinterest Will Continue to Grow and Gain Greater Influence

Pinterest has been on a more steady upward trajectory now.

We expect this trend to continue with greater international expansion. Pinterest is doing well in its key markets, but it still has a lot of growing to do in other regions.

Pinterest Q3 2022

As you can see in these charts, Pinterest’s income from North American users literally towers over what it makes in other regions. Pin ads are still not available in all markets, and while Pinterest is still growing, it needs to work on building its ad opportunities to maximize its potential in this respect.

Improved Search and Discovery on Pinterest

Discovery is the backbone of Pinterest’s operation and we expect to see new improvements in highlighting the most relevant products via improved search tools and processes.

Pinterest continues to make progress on this front, by adding in more personalized discovery tools, and you can expect to see Pinterest continue to refine and improve its processes to help maximize product discovery, in alignment with personal usage habits and preferences.

Also, expect to see Pinterest add in more product comparison options, to help users find the best deals in the app. Pinterest also needs more products, and as such, you can also expect to see the platform continue to improve its catalog ingestion tools, and help more merchants list their items as Buyable Pins.

Live-Stream Shopping

Pinterest is also testing the waters on live-stream shopping, and if that does become a bigger trend, you can expect the platform to make a much bigger push on integrating live shopping into the app.

We expect Live shopping to be more effective on Pinterest than other platforms at the moment simply because of the nature of content and the way users currently engage with products on the app.

LinkedIn Will Leverage Better Data, Video and Audio in 2023

LinkedIn already owns the largest database of professional and career insights ever created, and it’s slowly integrating new ways to use this to help people maximize their opportunities.

We expect this to continue in 2023, with more links to LinkedIn Learning so users can obtain the skills needed to land their dream jobs.

Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has seen more people consuming more video content in the app, and we expect the platform to add in more video tools, expanding on its existing intro video and video chat features.

In fact, we more people are accustomed to virtual conferences and events now, we imagine LinkedIn will enhance its Event features with more Zoom-like features for in-platform video meetings and live streams.

Similarly, as podcasts continue to become the preferred content type for Millennials and GenZers, we expect to see LinkedIn embrace audio events – perhaps even by creating an in-platform podcast offering like BuzzSprout and others.

Either way, we expect to see audio rooms in groups, audio meet-ups among your connections better highlighted in the app, and more sections highlighting audio events.

TikTok Will Embrace Social Commerce

The current social unrest in China could result in TikTok being banned throughout the country. However, the success of the app around the rest of the world, along with the increasing need for Western brands to monetize their presence on the app, leads us to expect social commerce to grow on TikTok.

To-date, western users haven’t exactly warmed to live-stream shopping, at least not in the way that some Asian regions have, but TikTok is determined to make it work, as a means to both maximize revenue and provide another monetization opportunity for creators.

Because right now, creators can’t make as much money on TikTok as they can on YouTube, TikTok’s trying out various solutions on this front, but the platform has had the most success with live-stream commerce, so it’s safe to expect this to become a more prominent feature in 2023.

If you need assistance with your social media strategy in 2023, please contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

Instagram Rolls Out New In-App Post Scheduling Tools

By Paid Media, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Instagram is rolling out its new in-app post scheduling tools to all professional accounts in the app. The new option enables brands to schedule photos, carousels and Reels directly in the app, as much as seventy-five days in advance.

Here is how you can schedule Reels:

  • In the creation flow, tap ‘Advanced Settings’ before sharing the post
  • Tap ‘Schedule this post’
  • Select the time and date you want it to go live
  • Tap ‘Schedule’ in the post composer

Functionally, this doesn’t add anything new as users have been able to schedule posts via Creator Studio since 2020

But it could make it easier to manage your content on the go, and with the ability to schedule Reels so far in advance, this feature could help you maximize your content performance.

Instagram says that the option is rolling out from today, so if you don’t have it yet, you will shortly.

As usual, if you have any questions on how to get the most out of Instagram or any other media platform, please contact us today. We are here to help.

Reels Generate The Most Reach on Instagram

By Social Media No Comments

Video remains a focus for Instagram and videos in the Reels format drive the most engagement across the platform.

In fact, the HypeAuditor team analyzed 77.6 million Instagram posts throughout July 2022 to measure the engagement trends, based on format. They found that:

  • The most commonly posted type of content on Instagram remains image posts, at 42% of all posts. Carousels came in second, at 26%
  • But look at that ‘Estimated Reach’ bar – Reels, despite being the third most popular post option, are seeing the most reach on the platform, by a notable margin. HypeAuditor measured relative Reach by analyzing the number of people who saw each post, based on public data
  • Reels are also generating a lot more Likes, though image posts still generate more comments, at least based on this sample set

The data consistently shows that Reels are the best current option for maximizing reach and engagement. Despite this, most users are not posting Reels as yet. This could present significant opportunity to get more attention for your Reels content in short-form clips.

Here are a few statistics on Instagram Reels from Meta:

  • The Instagram Reels feature generates 67% more engagement than standard Instagram videos. 
  • 70% of marketers surveyed said they plan to boost their video content on Instagram.
  • Brands receive more engagement on Instagram Reels than on TikTok by 387,000 more likes.
  • 9 out of every 10 Instagram users watch videos each week.
  • Instagram Reels video provides 8% more real estate than TikTok does.

Here are a few expert tips to supercharge your Instagram Reels:

  1. Use a call to action asking viewers to DM you using a keyword.
  2. Ask viewers to mention you in their Instagram Story.
  3. Be sure to use the proper 9:1 dimensions and vertical format.
  4. Unless you really have to, never delete your Instagram Reels.
  5. Run a Giveaway or Contest with Instagram Reels.

If you need assistance leveraging Reels in your social media strategy, please contact us today. We are happy to help.

The Digital Marketing Trends Shaping New Customer Experiences

By Brand Engagement, Content Marketing, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Uncategorized No Comments

It can be increasingly challenging to keep up with digital marketing trends as they change so quickly.

To help marketers and digital leaders navigate this new landscape, we’ve identified the key trends to help you improve engagement and drive conversions this year.

1. SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS

TikTok Will Continue to Grow & Brands Need to Take it Seriously

The rapid rise of TikTok has seen the app reach 1 billion users and counting. The platform has enormous engagement (U.S. users spend up to 850 hours a month on the platform) and enables brands to create hyper-personalized content that truly connects with customers.

In terms of the platform’s revenue, TikTok was the top-earning non-game app in 2021 with more than $110 million spent by users. This just shows the earning potential of the app for marketers looking to drive sales amongst young consumers. 

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

Influencers have also played a role in TikTok’s rise with many earning huge amounts through sponsorship deals. Battisby believes that brands are now taking notice of influencer marketing on the platform.

In the platform’s early days, it seemed to be a place for kids and teens and the influencer who want to reach them. But, today, we are seeing influencers like Gordon Ramsey and financial influencers like @johnefinance and @breakyourbudget who help GenZers learn about planning for their financial futures.

Social Commerce Will Become Seamless

During the pandemic, social commerce took off and is expected to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025 according to an Accenture study – a growth that’s three times faster than traditional ecommerce, aided by hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

2022 is set to see the experience of social shopping evolve as platforms work behind the scenes to enable customer payments without leaving social media apps, creating a seamless customer experience. Gen Z and Millennials are predicted to be the biggest spenders as they will account for 62 percent of global social ecommerce revenue by 2025.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

The key to driving engagement is for brands to create compelling shop windows on Instagram. It’s no longer enough to rely on one great image, companies need to have multiple images per product and add keyword-rich descriptions. Video is also crucial as the popularity of the format  – as witnessed by TikTok’s growth and Instagram’s recent transition – is exploding across all audiences. 

YouTube Advertising Will Explode

YouTube is going to explode in terms of investment from advertising in 2022. As more people move away from linear TV, fragmentation with subscriptions, and streaming services all means that more advertising spend is going to move to YouTube.

Last year YouTube’s global revenue (through its parent company Alphabet) grew to nearly $29 billion, up almost 46 percent from 2020. This level of revenue puts the social media platform on par with Netflix and is a result of the rise in more traditional TV advertisers on the channel, direct response ads, and brand advertising.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

2. DIGITAL MARKETING JOB TRENDS IN 2022

Marketers Need to Upskill in Digital

As brands clamor to engage, promote, and convert successfully online, the need for digital talent across industries is intense.

A recent whitepaper, ‘Perpetual Evolution’, from The Economist Group, revealed that securing talent with the right skill set is the number one challenge that the digital marketing industry faces, while the lack of training to upskill marketers ranks seventh.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

This demand is great news for marketers but poses a challenge for many in the industry who lack digital know-how or experience in digital marketing. So what digital marketing skills will be in demand in 2022? Social media skills remain in high demand, along with SEO and SEM.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

The Digital Gig Economy is on the Rise

Over the past decade, many workers are pursuing a more flexible ‘gig’ lifestyle for their professional lives. The emergence and rise of online services and apps such as Airbnb and Deliveroo have offered new ways of working for people rather than a 9 to 5 traditional job.

In fact, according to a recent Mastercard study, half of the U.S. population will do gig work by 2028.

This gig economy opens up the door for marketers with in-demand skills. We are seeing more creative or digital marketing professionals choosing the digital nomad route as this enables them to dictate their own working hours and have flexibility.

3. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN 2022

The Metaverse Will Become a Marketer’s Playground

While it has existed and evolved for years, the metaverse saw a boost in interest after Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta in October 2021.

This move, according to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is because “the metaverse is the next frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when we got started. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”

So what is the metaverse? Basically, it’s virtual worlds in 3D that people can connect through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Imagine having an avatar that looks exactly like yourself with you exact measurements shopping in a virtual store. You would be able to try on clothes and see what they look like on your body from the comfort of your own sofa.

While we are still a few years away from reaching critical mass with the metaverse, brands are beginning to embrace it now to build on their customer experiences.

According to eMarketer research, there will be 65 million people that use VR and 110 million using AR every month in 2023. That’s a lot of potential young customers to have in one space.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

Artificial Intelligence Will Hinder & Help Data Privacy

Privacy issues continue to plague brands as more customers demand transparency and control over their own data and we are seeing increasing concerns as AI continues to evolve the customer experience.

According to a Gartner study, 40% of privacy compliance technology will use AI by 2023 while global spending on privacy is expected to reach $8 billion by 2022.

However, companies can use AI in their data privacy initiatives to classify sensitive data and use it to search data to identify individuals that have asked to be forgotten (a specification covered under privacy regulations like GDPR).

The bottom line is the digital marketing space is changing rapidly and brands need to ensure they are testing new tactics and technologies while building the right presence across these new channels. If you need assistance taking a future-forward look at your brand’s digital presence and engagement, contact us today. Our experts are here to help.


Tis the eCommerce Season: Prepare Now for the 2022 Holidays

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Social Commerce, Uncategorized No Comments

Holiday season and social climate:

The last few years have been atypical to say the least and eCommerce/shopping was greatly affected by the social climate. During the pandemic-driven hibernation in 2020, eCommerce was thriving because there was less opportunity for travel and subsequently more funds for purchases; particularly in demand for at-home use (candles, athleisure, office supplies) and digital education/fitness apps.

Starting in 2020, COVID was the catalyst for the change in consumer behavior. We began to see some relaxed restrictions with a slow return to offices, and more customer demand for Airbnb/staycation/travel experiences as well as general in-person activities with family/friends. Still, the landscape was not quite identical to pre-pandemic behaviors, and in tandem with this shift, modeled META data, the looming threat of cookie deprecation, shipping/demand issues and rising CPMS, there are additional layers of changes bringing a new transformative time in the industry.  

With all these social changes, platform nuances and industry transformations, how do we use the data we have to better inform our holiday strategy and prepare for 2022?

Evaluating 2021

To look ahead to this year, we need to evaluate 2021. The prior holiday season had the “strongest retail growth in more than 20 years” due to increasing customer spending. The expectation is for this metric to grow to 1.262 trillion in 2022, with 15.5% coming from e-commerce, while brick-and-mortar is expecting 1.026 trillion.

The 2021 Review

  • Fewer users shopped Cyber Monday/Black Friday overall and most shopped earlier to avoid inventory/supply chain issues and subsequent shipping delays.
  • Spending increased, particularly at brick-and-mortar retail stores, as there was a large appetite for in-person shopping/consumers were in a better place financially than the prior year. This included in-store shopping for apparel for in-person events/office usage.

Key stats (eMarketer 2022 Preview Report)

  • Retail spends grew 16% YoY to 1.221 trillion.
  • Mobile e-commerce accounted for 45.9% of sales, and 61% of digital visits and is projected to be almost 50% in 2022.
  • Brick & mortal sales increased 17.3% to 1.017 trillion.
  • Cyber Monday had the highest spending day online.
  • Black Friday inched up to .3% while Thanksgiving grew 2.3%.

What should you do with this data?

  1. Ensure your holiday planning/creative is approved assets to be ready for an earlier time in market and to be seen among the clutter as many brands will be present earlier.
  2. Invest in video assets because these have higher costs, but they see great LTV/revenue and work well with static.
  3. 2022 will have a longer holiday cycle, with less spend during the typical post-Thanksgiving period. So, you’ll want to ensure you have a strong evergreen presence. You should release seasonal/holiday messaging earlier to align with consumer demand. No longer do you need to save funds for the holiday spending all in late Q4.
  4. Consider starting early and implementing flat spending if it aligns with your business. Last year there were Black Friday promotions as early as October, and in general, holiday discounting was only 9% in 2021, vs. 14% in 2020, so monitor competitors/trends to see if this continues into 2022.
  5. Because brick-and-mortar sales increased, you should consider setting up store locator ads and ways to track your in-store or online ads. “Click to collect” drove 1 in 4 online transactions, so, if possible, you will want to set this up, and run CTV ad campaign tests.
  6. Cyber Monday should still be priority and if you have an offer; be sure to showcase/be present as this is still an instrumental day.
  7. As there are significant mobile visits and share of revenue, you will need to ensure your ads and user experience is mobile friendly. Invest in app/shops, in preparation for this influx.
  8. To drive purchases and rise above the clutter, ensure each receives a specific user journey and relevant messaging for where they are in funnel (new user vs. returning) and start soft vs. heavy copy to drive user to convert.
  9. Invest in your CRM data and learn from it as well as promote to repeat customers from these list with special offers to drive loyalty and continued purchases. Consider establishing a program/reward for these users.
  10. Test influencer marketing, that way your product is top of mind and when they are ready to purchase, you aren’t as affected by audience modeling.
  11. Ensure you utilize the shop features and continuing to monitor new features (i.e.: FB/IG shop, and enabling checkout within platforms, dynamic ads for hyper targeting ads to users that have seen specific products etc.) of the platforms and ensure you have an integration with a tool like Shopify, so you’re accurately tracking performance.
  12. Consider using a listening tool, to continue to meet consumer expectations and change messaging/strategy based on feedback, with a tool like Sprout Social.

With eCommerce growth back to mid-teens, rising 15.5% to 235.86 billion, the channel is back to pre-pandemic levels. However, we still anticipate earlier holiday shopping to stick as demand will occur earlier in the holiday season, and these habits were established for several years now. Profitero’s Black hypothesized:

“October will be the permanent new kick-off for the holidays, because it feels normal now after two years and it gives retailers three months to make their number versus two. ”

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be in market during the big three (Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving) but the strategy should start earlier while we monitor trends/industry changes.

Of course, it’s early and there are several factors to look out for, as we move toward the early holiday season, that will impact projections/spend.

  • Inflation/Labor Market Changes and General Economy health (i.e.: if gas prices go up, users will have less discretionary income).
  • If stores close, during Black Friday for social climate changes, this will impact spending.
  • If Prime Day (Apple) or large brands (Amazon, Walmart etc.) change their holiday calendar, it is likely to have a trickledown effect.
  • COVID/Social Landscape.

There is no one-stop solution. So, it’s important to speak with experts like us so you consider historical performance, creative and the audience targeting that out-performed. With previous insights/data and the above, you are set up for another successful holiday season.

POV by: Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social

Making the Social Commerce Landscape Work For You

By Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

This year, change has been a constant in the social media world. In addition to media measurement changes, increasing privacy concerns, pandemic shopping fluctuations, platforms are leaning into their product capabilities. These changes, spurred by iOS 14.5 – such as decreased audience sizes, reduced targeting capabilities, and increased platform costs – have ushered in 2022 as a major transition period for social.

While there have been stock fluctuations, new modeled data, and much adversity for social platforms (especially Meta), there have also been improvements in the eCommerce world. And, social’s role is now recognized as not just a view-through channel, but as an important part of the user journey that is instrumental to product success.

Covid-19 expedited the online shopping experience and created digital touchpoints that bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping. Thirty-three percent of sales are made through e-commerce this year, whereas this metric was twenty-three percent pre-pandemic.

Customer Experience

Social media is a channel that showcases customer experience, feedback & engagement. The unsolicited communication of messages on social platforms and at-mentions (i.e.: Twitter) are great ways to get learnings/insights from customers and because it is self-reported, it increases the authenticity of the data. By keeping open communication/transparency, social provides an avenue to obtain direct product feedback for improvements to eCommerce features. Consumers will create their own path to purchase, and social provides guidelines regardless of where they are in the process (discovery, or ready to buy immediately.) Therefore, it’s important to create experiences that lead to brand recall; experiences like sharing recipes/coupons for a restaurant brand to drive users to dine (WARC guide)  

Social Listening tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite can help you search for keywords, monitor trends, and develop content capable of impacting messaging and ultimately guiding product success; an example of this has been the impact of users’ feedback on corporate sustainability and ultimately consumer responsibility. 4.62 billion of the world’s population is on social and the incremental reach/impact with this platform is unparalleled. One out of every two consumers look for deals specifically on social, making this a great channel to tout promotions and special products and offers.

With data depreciation, first-party data, lookalike modeling & customer personalization are the keys for customer success in a cluttered landscape. You need to define your key audience, use contextual marketing insights, and use the top performing segments for retention, re-engagement and brand loyalty. Be sure to store this data in a compliant way and check you are targeting the correct user on the right platform.

Online channels are now the primary driver for social eCommerce, with over 60% of customers saying they find browsing online easier than being in store. The ease of use of social media lends itself as a great discovery channel. “Online window shopping is also higher,” with sixty-one percent browsing online and only thirty-four percent in store. Correlate store locator data with Snapchat/Meta, but make sure the online experience continues to be king.

While there is no one-shop answer and users will still probably want to buy a significant number of mattresses/televisions in-store, brands can create digital touchpoints that lend to effective shopper journeys, as well as incorporate assets that are engaging, snackable, and drive performance.

Social is growing

In 2020, the average person spent three hours a day on social, vs. 90 minutes in 2012.

Messaging has grown forty percent since 2020, and mobile is key at over 4 hours of activity on average per day.

There is unparalleled time spent on these apps, and you want to make sure your products are being shown and you are fully monetizing on this growth of online activity and subsequent shopping behaviors. Social is not just a place for discovery/awareness: fifty-one percent of users said content they find on social media sites does lead to them to buy a product, adding social to the mid-funnel success, consideration phase.

More than 80 million people made purchases via social in 2020, and the projection is set to be 101.1 million by 2023.

Even industries like travel, which have faced major struggles from the pandemic, have increased their usage of eCommerce investments and tools. This is partly due to demand, but also consumer willingness to employ new tactics like virtual shopping and live streaming, the latter of which has attracted the likes of retail brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton.

There is less and less separation between in-store and online experiences; the two need to continue to merge and syndicate. In fact, specifically for higher priced, luxury brands like Burberry, customers are coming back eight times to research products, so you want to make sure there is a personalized, robust customer experience, that takes individuals through the funnel while listening to customer needs/expectations.

Platform Capabilities are Growing

Facebook and Instagram (Meta) developed Shops in 2020, bringing stores where users can make purchases to the platform. IG Shop Tags and posts were also developed, so users can have seamless clickable access to products based on the ads they see. There is already a beta with live shopping/influencers on the platform; with the rise of these features in Meta, we anticipate more AI/shopping capabilities as well as integrations with feeds/user behaviors through platforms like Shopify that are not as affected by cookie-based marketing. FB/IG Shops make purchasing an item seamless and the tie-in with influencer marketing is specifically large with Instagram. Even though Facebook has seen some dips in revenue/users, its shop capabilities are growing, and we do anticipate some virtual reality shopping features in the future.

A large part of influencer marketing success is through Meta, and this is set to grow to $15 billion this year. As platforms realize these results, they are expanding these features at an exponential rate. With social’s access to first and third-party data, as well as these new features at play, social helps guide the user purchase.

Pinterest integrates the same shopping feed as “Meta,” allowing you to retarget/remarket those that have added a product in the cart, viewed products or actively searched for relevant keywords. You can customize your collections within product groups, ensuring personalization in tandem with dynamic retargeting, and use a Shopify integration to import seamlessly, while implanting conversion API.

Twitter, like Meta, has dabbled in Live Shopping, and has tested e-commerce for organic tweets that drive tweets to a shop button with product, shop name price, and product details. This is also a great area for customers to @ your brand and share e-commerce feedback/information.

TikTok is impacted largely by the influencer market, as well as YouTube. Now, just like with Pinterest, there is a Shopify Integration, so users don’t have to exit the app to explore products. In addition to live stream integrations, TikTok shopping has been piloted, allowing for shopping tabs on the profile, like with Meta.

LinkedIn is a great platform for niche audiences, especially in verticals like education. The first-party data and self-identification for member groups helps reach a professional audience, which can be used for e-commerce. For instance, if you are selling software to teachers, you can schedule appointments with “lead generation” or “start conversations” forms. This is a great place to nurture those relationships.

As you can see, most of the platforms use similar features. For a good e-commerce strategy, it is important to have strong creative assets, with a particular preference for video/short form; measure audience impact on each channel; and focus on multi-media measurement through another partner. If you can see where social lands in the user journey, and for what purpose, the impact from social on e-commerce is unparalleled.

Influencer Marketing is Key

With privacy as a key focus, it is more important than ever to show engaging, authentic, and personalized content, especially for the awareness and consideration phases of the funnel.

While users are likely to ad block/opt-out of traditional ads, this is not the case for influencer content, making this impactful during cookie deprecation.

Additionally, there is more clout when it comes to influencers. Forty-nine percent of Consumers depend on Influencer recommendations, and forty percent have purchased after seeing influencer content. In fact, ninety-two percent of consumers trust influencers more than traditional ads/celebrity endorsements, showcasing the effectiveness of the strategy. With a wide range of micro vs. macro influencers, there is certainly an engaged market by content type available for the taking.

This form of paid media continues to grow, and we anticipate this becoming an important phase of the e-commerce journey for social, especially considering growth trajectory. Influencer marketing has expanded exponentially over the past two years. Worth just $1.7 billion in 2016, the industry is set to reach $13.8 billion this year.

With the willingness of platforms to invest in influencer capabilities, and some even investing in influencers themselves (TikTok Creator’s Fund), it’s more important than ever to properly vet influencers through brands like Influential that are equipped with special consumer insight tools.

Specifically, Influential uses IBM Technology that helps you learn the brand presence, interests and potential reach of consumers who are engaging with niche communities and interests (i.e.: beauty brands would work with beauty influencers vs. targeting a beauty interest in platform). This audience is key to success. It’s important for brands to find effective content and markets based on properly vetting content creators and using their community to drive brand interest and endorsements your users can trust.

Align your Team

Each brand and stakeholder must work with internal and external parties to ensure it is clear on KPIs and how to gauge success; and to ensure it keeps the consumer in mind while being privacy compliant. Make sure you are clear with your goals, and drive purchase intent on each platform.

The Journey

Customers are looking to brands for experiences, but each brand needs to do its own deep dive of success. Ensure you use best performing assets at different touchpoints (prospecting vs. remarketing) and across channels.

“A strategy for different verticals will require a bird’s eye view and remember to build the brand for long time retention,” Head of eCommerce at WaveMaker, Mudit Jaju, said. “Building strong bias before a consumer begins an online shopping journey improves a brand’s odds of being considered before purchase by fourteen percent,” he also stated.

Ensure you are personalizing your messaging, but continue to test, monitor, and optimize as this is a fast-paced, changing landscape. You want to make sure you stay relevant and noticed among the clutter.

If you’d like a consultation on how to make the social commerce landscape work for you, please contact us. We are here to help.

POV By Gellena Lukats, Acronym’s Director, Paid Social

Why Budget Liquidity Matters When Utilizing CBO in Facebook Campaigns

By Insights & News, Paid Media, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

When evaluating and measuring your Facebook campaigns that utilize Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) and Lowest Cost Bidding Strategy, performance should be evaluated in terms of the sum of the whole, not the individual ad sets and ads.

Source: Meta for Business

As Meta explains, when individuals review a report like the one above, a common misconception is that Meta’s machine learning moves more budget to underperforming ad sets – a phenomenon dubbed “The Breakdown Effect.”

In reality, this is not the case: it only appears so because marketers aren’t exposed to the real-time costs of results in the auction (the machine learning system that takes place to determine which ad is shown to a person). For example, it may look odd that an ad set with a higher cost per conversion was given more budget (as above), but this was likely because the auction system determined that the cost per conversion of the other ad sets would increase if given more money.

Campaign Budget Optimization with Lowest Cost Bid Strategy enabled allows the system to dynamically shift budget to ad sets and ads that will result in the highest number of results for your campaign. This is the opposite of assigning specific ad set budgets, or giving specific budgets to specific audiences, in a single campaign.

“The Breakdown Effect” gets to the heart of how Meta’s auction system works, and can be a common point of confusion. It’s important for marketers to understand this concept so they can discern why reports may look a certain way, and so they aren’t tempted to turn off CBO by assigning specific budgets to specific entities in the same campaign to drive more budget to entities with lower costs. This will deliver fewer results and an overall higher cost per result for your campaign.

For brands with nimble budgets, it can be tempting to make every dollar count by designating dollars to specific ad groups based on previous performance costs. But doing so based on an evaluation of campaigns using CBO will deliver the opposite effect because individual ad sets & ads should not be viewed in isolation as performance costs of individual entities in a CBO campaign are not the best indicator of success. And, also because this limits the system’s ability to learn and move budget in a fluid manner based on real-time happenings in the auction. Flexibility in budgets and assets – what Meta calls “liquidity” – optimizes the system’s machine learning capabilities. 

Remember, the more flexibility, the better as the cost per result of a specific entity in CBO campaign is not a good indicator of success. While reviewing overall campaign performance of a CBO campaign is ideal, the amount of budget assigned to different entities is a better indicator of success when trying to evaluate different ads and ad sets.

If you need assistance in how to structure and optimize budgets to the platform’s machine learning capabilities with CBO, please contact us.