Social Marketing

How Many Social Media Ads Do You Remember?

I use social media, but I’m not addicted to it. I post maybe once a day to Facebook ar twitter on average. Sometimes a bit more but not hourly. I also use both desktop and mobile versions of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. On the desktop though, I’m running things like AdBlock Pro, and Facebook Purity so I don’t see all of the ads that are being pushed via social media to me. Mobile, however, is a different story, with 15 plus ads being pushed to me with each Facebook or Twitter session. Now before I go on, I want to qualify what I consider a session. It is every time I log into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, after at least a one hour pause, so a minimum of 1 hour between my last visit and current visit. This is important because it relates directly to the actual effectiveness of the ads.

The point of any advertisement is for you the viewer to remember the brand and the product after you have seen it, and hopefully click through and convert to a sale. If any of these fail to get you to engage, the effectiveness of the ad is a failure as well. I’m going to ask everyone reading this to try something. Open Facebook or Twitter, go to your feed and block or hide every ad you see. This includes sponsored videos, sponsored posts, tweets from companies you do not follow, retweets by someone you might follow for a specific product or service you don’t care about, etc. If it looks like an ad kill it. Don’t engage with the ad, just get rid of it and move on. This is important because digital advertising has less than 2 seconds to hook you and get you to engage.  Now close out of the social media feed, wait five minutes, and try and recall any of the brands, products or services that were sponsored.

Chances are most people can’t remember 90 to 95 percent of the ads that were crammed into their feed disrupting the experience with things they care very little about. And because of that, I say most current social media advertising is a big old fail. Sure they tell you that the ads are targeted to a specific audience, and the data shows great levels of engagement because big data never lies. I’m not seeing it, however. The traditional social media campaigns I have worked on don’t perform much better than an email with about a two to four percent engagement and conversion rate. The ads aren’t bad, people simply ignore them because they have become white noise in the social media users feed.

In the last 24 hours, I have blocked, hidden or deleted 167 ads in Facebook, and Twitter on my iPhone. I couldn’t tell you what any of them were for. At the same time though, I have engaged with posts created by influencers that were ultimately promoting a product or service because I perceive them as a trusted source, and frankly I think this holds true for most people. So why then are you being bombarded with so much advertising in your social media feeds? The bottom line… Money. Social media advertising is a huge business that promises better engagement, a better value, and higher conversion rates, yet it has become the spam of this decade which makes me say that the effectiveness is an oversell.

When readers/viewers become numb to your advertising, your advertising is no longer effective. So, think back to all of those ads you hid and ask yourself how many of them you actually remember. Now think about someone you follow that recently posted something you found interesting, that ultimately was about a product or service that they liked. Did you engage with it? Did you share it? Was there a link in the post that you clicked on?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you not only remember one, but probably two or even three which shows that influencer marketing in social media is more effective than traditional sponsored advertising. I know what all of the big social media powerhouses will say, they are going to continue to tell you that the current form of social media advertising is the most effective, has the greatest reach, and better conversion rates. And for now, it does because there is no alternative. The thing is though as they continue to oversaturate the effectiveness breaks down, and people become numb to the ads, or they do what I did on my Mac and block everything in the browser hiding the advertisements on the page neutralizing them all together.

In the last few years, firms have emerged dedicated exclusively to influencer marketing. They help tie a brand or product to a celebrity, sports figure, pop star etc. for those that aren’t  aware of what Influence marketing is, it is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It’s not new. TV has been doing this for decades. Think about all those weight loss ads featuring people like Marie Osmond, or Oprah right. The difference is that influence marketing in social media and digital channels has greater potential reach because it isn’t limited to a specific region, it can reach anyone in the world at any given time. In addition, influencers can be anyone from a traditional media celebrity, to some kid that has managed to rack up a few hundred thousand YouTube subscribers.

Like I said, this isn’t new. Nike sold tons of Air Jordan’s not because it was necessarily a better basketball shoe. They sold them because Micheal Jordan’s name was on it. Digital Influence Marketing has been on the rise for the last 5 or more years. I think we are reaching a critical mass where it is poised to become the dominant form of social media marketing for a couple of reasons. First, it’s seamless. Someone you like, like something, therefore it’s cool and I’ll like it or want it too. Second, it’s perceived as a more trusted source. Most people don’t realize that the influencer is being paid to say they like or use something, especially when it is set up as a post in a social media feed. They don’t read like ads, they read with a higher sense of honesty and integrity and that means they will be less ignored, remembered more often, shared, and engaged with at a higher rate.

So, how many of those social media ads you hid earlier can you remember?

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MNSTR, Lacoste, The Australian Open, and the Small Screen.

If you work with video, animation, or motion graphics for advertising, or promotional materials you should probably start thinking heavily about mobile outlets and how you will deliver content. Case in point, the video below from MNSTR for Lacoste and the Australian Open. This video showcases the work MNSTR created specifically for the small screen, and even more specifically for the short time frame, touch points like Instagram and Snapchat require. Simple, short, colorful animations paired with high quality sound design help to make these work. MNSTR did their homework and got their heads wrapped around the space these would presented in and pulled it off. This series of short animations were dribbled out over the two week event helping to extend the total reach of Lacoste’s efforts. 

DDB Spain, Polowers.

volkswagen-spain-polowers-by-volkswagen_campaigns_01

Tweet races, Twitter games, and Twitter based competitions are nothing new, but occasionally one comes along that really works. Case in point VW’s #polowers campaign created by DDB Spain. The numbers in the video are pretty impressive, even though the number of participants was only 4075. This collective race, generated over 150,000 tweets with the hashtag #Polowers in 8 hours averaging 5 tweets per second. On top of that the campaign reached more than 10% of Spain’s global twitter audience. In addition, the game generated a vast amount of visits to Polo´s product section on www.volkswagen.es, reaching a record of its history. The screen shot above is from the integrated website that was developed for the game. Unfortunately it has been pulled down.

Meet Mr. Wolfdog, Executive Director of Marketing for Old Spice.

When it comes to integrated marketing that leverages social media to it’s best you can’t do better than Old Spice.

The latest campaign to introduce the new line of wild scents is being handled by Mr. WolfDog, who is the new executive director of marketing. Along with a YouTube channel, he has a Twitter feed, a Tumblr page, a Facebook account, a hangout on Google+ (where internet users could apply to work as the WolfDog assistant #workforwolfdog) and an animated gif file.

 

Everyone of these spaces is branded with integrated elements that reach across the entire campaign and all of it’s touch points. In the first two days, the YouTube video alone has reached more than 250,000 people.

 

A Social Media Promotion Dilema.

There is a looming problem for companies and brands that use Facebook as an exclusive way to promote themselves. There are people like myself that absolutely loath the idea of having to use Facebook or any other social media as an entry vehicle to what ever they are promoting. In other words, I don’t want to spam the Facebook timeline with crap that other people might not be interested in. The other issue is there are people who don’t have, and won’t ever have a Facebook account. So why would a brand only offer the ability to engage with a high-profile promotion via a Facebook with no other alternatives? Case in point furniture store Room&Board’s new Look Book promotion and sweepstakes.

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This afternoon I received an email asking if I’d like to enter a sweepstakes with a prize of $10,000. This is part of a campaign to promote the redesign of the new printed look book and catalog, plus the room&board website. The problem is you can only enter by going through Facebook. There is absolutely no other way to do it. The embedded link in the email takes you to Facebook, so does the link on the home page. I’m not sure how many people they are failing to connect with because of this, but I am going to assume quite a few. I can’t be the only person in the world that doesn’t want to use Facebook for everything.

In fine print at the bottom of the Facebook page there is this disclaimer; This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Room & Board and not to Facebook.” OK I get it, but I had to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this, and like most people I almost backed out of the promotion as soon as I saw it land on Facebook page. For me this is marketing fail. If Room&Board really wanted to promote the new site and Look Book, they really should have offered an alternate route for those people like myself that refuse to use Facebook for anything advertising related.

I know that Room&Board is simply using Facebook as the point to collect your information. The thing is, this just gives me a bad feeling overall. Even if Room&Board says I am only providing the information to them and not to Facebook. I might have a better feeling about participating if there was a non Facebook location that I could actually go to and engage with the brand.

Unfortunately this is a trend that continues to grow, and one that is going create a social divide between those of that won’t participate in Facebook hosted events/promotions, and those that will.

The State of Social Media, 2013.

Once again Erik Qualman has posted an animated infographic about the power of Social media. While many of the stats remain the same as last years, one factoid jumped out at me. The Ford Escape Facebook launch generated more traffic than the Super Bowl TV ad. Love it, or hate it you can’t escape the impact that Social Media is having on the world of marketing and advertising.

Monday Morning Stats. An Animated Infographic on “Pinterest”.

Here is an interesting little animated infographic about Pinterest to start the week. I am not a user of the service. I signed up when it first launched and then lost interest. My lack of usage though is by no means a reflection of the public attitude toward this fast rising superstar of Social Networking. Created by MDG Advertising, this short animated clip points out the reasons companies and marketers are jumping on Pinterest. The copy below the video is from MDG.

All eyes are on Pinterest, the social network that lets users collect and share images found on the Web by “pinning” them on virtual pinboards. The images span a variety of categories, from fashion, crafts, cooking, décor, fitness, and more. Users can follow the pinboards of friends and brands for inspiration and “repin” the images onto their own pinboards. Today, Pinterest is quickly becoming the fastest-growing social media site based on its huge popularity with women, as well as its unlimited potential as a marketing tool for businesses. “Pins” help companies promote their products, develop their brand personalities, drive tremendous referral traffic to their websites, and gain exposure among the Pinterest community. Now, MDG Advertising has produced an engaging video highlighting the facts, figures, and findings from its popular “Pin It To Win It” infographic.

The video details the social site’s demographics, growth, and potential to drive abundant traffic to company websites. Pinterest is especially popular with the most highly coveted markets—about 60 percent are female and 80 percent are in the 25 to 54 age demographic. Plus, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.

The video goes on to cover the brands, both large and small, on board the pinboard phenomenon, such as Whole Foods, Etsy, West Elm, and Real Simple. These companies reflect the cooking, décor, and crafts interests that are prevalent among the Pinterest audience.

In addition, the video helps marketers navigate Pinterest’s features and terminology by demonstrating the “pin,” “repinning,” and “board.” It also shows how companies can leverage Pinterest for maximum response and referral traffic, whether by improving their image quality or promoting more than just a product line.