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Identify and Convert Your Most Valuable Audiences Across Channels

By May 18th, 2016

Global mobile trends all point to the same conclusion – operating in channel-specific silos no longer works, and now’s the time for marketers to implement a strong cross-channel marketing strategy.

If you subscribe to this blog (and if you don’t, see that second little box on the right), you already know we’ve been evangelizing the message of “cross-device, cross-channel.” There’s a good reason for that.

Data Are Fundamental to Consumer Engagement

As we approach the halfway point of 2016, it’s more important than ever that marketers not only use data to understand customer behavior, but also to act on that behavior to deliver engaging, personalized experiences.

On May 25, Nitin Rabadia – our Director of Audience Marketing EMEA, APAC – will explain how to use data to win the online battle for attention and revenue. Gleaning insights from our 2016 Global Mobile Report (available with webinar registration), Nitin will field your questions and discuss:

  • How consumer behavior is affecting desktop and mobile spend
  • Recommendations for optimizing advertising across channels
  • Tactics to take advantage of customer signals
  • How to improve budgeting, bidding, and targeting decisions with full transparency

Register for the webinar today.

 

The Continuing Adventures of Cross-Channel Marketing: The Latest Performance Data

By May 12th, 2016

When we looked at performance marketing data from the first quarter of 2016, one thing became clear: cross-channel, cross-device targeting remains the most powerful differentiator for profitable marketing strategies.

To create our quarterly benchmark reports, we sample the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform. We analyze data from around the world to create our report. For Q1 2016, key findings include:

  • All mobile, all the time. Advertisers and consumers are continuing to shift towards a more mobile ecosystem.
  • Cross-channel and cross device remain important. It’s important for marketers to adopt and maintain a more holistic and complete approach to digital marketing that targets across all channels and devices.
  • Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Not only should marketers become adept at recognizing each channel’s weaknesses, but even more importantly, they should start using all three channels and devices to their best strengths.

For detailed information on Q1 2016 search, social, and display mobile performance – including detailed data charts with YoY performance and up-to-date recommendations – download our Performance Marketer’s Benchmark Report Q2 2016 – Vital Search, Social, and Display Performance Data by Device.

American Eagle – Using Facebook, Instagram, and FAN to Cut Costs

By May 10th, 2016

“With Carousel Ads and Facebook Audience Network, we’re telling a captivating brand story, and more people who are likely to browse our products are clicking our ads.”
– Cheryl Degrasse / Sr. Director of Digital Media / American Eagle Outfitters

With a high volume of spend across two brands, four Facebook accounts, and two U.S. social teams operating on opposite coasts, retail brand American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) wanted to express the narrative of their brand values in a visually engaging way, to more emotionally appeal to their core audience primarily using mobile devices for shopping.

Since AEO manages two different brands with distinct audiences and creative, they needed an enterprise-class tool to achieve their advertising goals – and handle complexity – at scale.

American Eagle and Marin Social

Using Marin Social, AEO ran a mobile campaign with Facebook Carousel Ads and Facebook Audience Network (FAN).

Compared with Link Ads, the best results came from running Carousel Ads, achieving a 69% reduction in Cost per Conversion (Facebook Conversion Pixel). Including FAN, Facebook’s mobile-only network composed of publishers outside of Facebook, AEO benefited from a 73% reduction in Cost per Link Click compared with News Feed Desktop.

Thanks to Marin’s mass creator and bulk editor, AEO can now create tons of ads and ad combinations very quickly. With the Media Plan organizer, AEO can view metrics of all campaigns at a high level, avoiding the need to manually aggregate the data. Using one tool across Facebook, Instagram, and FAN significantly reduces the amount of time spent implementing and managing campaigns.

Learn more and see full results in our American Eagle case study.

What Can Online Retailers Expect This
Mother’s Day?

By May 2nd, 2016

Mother’s Day is almost here! With flowers, cards, and family visits close at hand, many brick and mortar retailers are gearing up for the shopping spike. The season of maternal appreciation extends to online retailers, who are also gussying up their search, social, and display campaigns to attract consumers around the world.

How did online retailers do in 2015, and what to expect this year?

Mother’s Day 2015 – Clicks, Spend, and Conversions

In the week leading up to Mother’s Day 2015 (May 10th), clicks increased an average of 15% across retailers as click-through rates rose 6%. In addition, spend increased 9% during the same time period, peaking a few days before Mother’s Day.

Most notably, conversions saw a bump of 12%, peaking on the 5th at 18% above the monthly average. This noticeable bump for all retailers was more pronounced among those specialty retailers that Mother’s Day particularly impacts.

CPCs actually dropped slightly during this period, except for two days where they spiked, the 4th and 5th. The 5th proved to be a particularly important day for consumers and advertisers, showing abnormal surges along all metrics.

Perhaps consumers took account delivery times and the looming holiday date into account, giving themselves a few buffer days in case of delays in delivery and arrival.

These numbers dropped dramatically on Mother’s Day itself, and returned slowly to roughly average afterwards. Click-through rates remained elevated for Mother’s Day and a few days afterwards before returning to seasonal norms.

Recommendations for 2016

For retailers looking to maximize their Mother’s Day sales, here are a few key takeaways:

  • Start campaigns at least a week before Mother’s Day to capture the online shopping market, especially those looking to have a gift arrive in time for the occasion.
  • In particular, focus attention on five or six days beforehand, as this is when consumer interest peaked last year.
  • Expect similar trends to 2015, as people power down for the actual day to celebrate a mom!

3 Facebook Creative Tips for Success

By April 27th, 2016

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at Boost Media.

Marketers are spending billions of dollars on Facebook advertising. Why? Because Facebook ads work, thanks to extensive targeting options and the native look and feel of ad creative. The most important, but often overlooked, element in any campaign is great ad creative. How can your brand achieve success with ad creative on Facebook?

We have three tips for you that we’ve aligned with the three stages of the customer marketing funnel.

Stage 1: Awareness

Visually engaging images are the first things people notice while scrolling through their News Feed. It’s crucial to capture the attention of your audience right off the bat with bold, beautiful imagery that will entice the viewer to click your ad. Develop original creative that hasn’t run in other social campaigns so that it stands out as new and unique.

Stage 2: Consideration

Now that a user has paused to look at your ad, how can you hook them? With powerful words. In the text of an ad, highlight your product’s unique benefits and convey a sense of urgency to get consumers to consider your offer. A call to action should appear in the first 90 characters to ensure consumers take action. Promotions and incentives like free shipping often motivate a shopper to click and buy.

Stage 3: Decision

Now someone has been enticed by your imagery and inspired by your language. Next, consider what will make a consumer click. Targeting is a great tool, and Facebook has advanced options based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Relevancy is crucial, even post-click. Ensure landing pages are specific to the product or promotion you’re offering, or else you risk confusing your potential customer.

Finally, it’s essential to pay attention to the frequency that you’re showing ads, especially on Facebook. Are you updating creative every week? You should be. Stay on top of the latest trends, and entertain your audience with fresh creative that instantly pops.

About the Author

sarahSarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Digital Advertising in 2015 – Mobile Is Crushing It

By April 6th, 2016

2015 was a banner year for mobile.

Continuing its ascent into the status of omnipresent being, global smartphone adoption reached an all-time high last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Thanks to this rapid expansion of smartphone usage around the world, advertisers now have an opportunity to reach consumers even more easily.

We sampled the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, to analyze data from around the world to create our latest annual benchmark report.

We uncovered three key findings:

  • Clicks and spend have gone mobile. In 2015, mobile devices represented the majority of consumer online usage for the first time. Consumers are now spending more time and attention on mobile devices than desktop – as a result, advertisers have been shifting spend away from desktop towards smartphones and tablets to catch consumer attention and generate clicks. We predict this trend will continue.
  • Desktop is becoming more like mobile. As the mobile format gains traction with consumers and advertisers, publishers are innovating. While mobile ad formats formerly took cues from desktop, publishers are now swapping the formula, making desktop ad formats and pages more similar to mobile.
  • Mobile conversion is gaining traction. Desktops are still the primary conversion-driving device; however, within the past year, conversion rates have been growing on mobile devices. While mobile devices have historically been used for product research or upper-funnel activities, this is changing, as better mobile attribution and ad formats are released. Expect this trend to continue.

For detailed information on 2015 search, social, and display mobile performance – including detailed data charts with YoY performance and further recommendations for 2016 – download our Mobile Advertising Around the Globe: 2016 Annual Report.

2016-mobile-report_cover

5 Reach and Frequency Tips for the Modern Marketer

By March 22nd, 2016

Advertisers have long relied on reach and frequency measures to buy media. In the Mad Men days, this involved running predictions on a room-sized computer and buying TV audiences during Gilligan’s Island or Bonanza. Targeting was extremely broad, and there was no way to follow up with individual consumers.

Fortunately, today’s marketers have access to that same scale, now combined with the ability to execute more targeted, measured, and relevant campaigns across channels – even reaching people 1:1. This is particularly true on Facebook, where reach and frequency campaigns allow for interactive and targeted storytelling to drive brand awareness.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

ReachAndFrequency

1. Use reach and frequency for launches, market expansion,      and more.

Facebook reach and frequency campaigns are best suited for situations where you want to drive brand awareness, affinity, and lift at scale. Keep in mind that the minimum allowable reach is 200,000 users, so these are sizable campaigns. In particular, consider reach and frequency in situations where you want to:

  • Launch a new product
  • Expand into new markets
  • Manage your brand image
  • Take action against competitive noise
  • Keep your products top-of-mind

2. Tell a story with ad sequencing.

With ad sequencing, you can specify the order in which your ads are delivered to users. This makes it possible to tell a story and build on previous messages. We recommend ordering your ads according to the purchase funnel. Here’s an example of what that could look like:

  • Ad #1 – Introduce your brand to increase overall awareness
  • Ad #2 – Provide specific product details to encourage consideration
  • Ad #3 – Include a strong call to action and encourage users
    to convert

3. Use the power of retargeting.

Unlike traditional TV advertising, Facebook allows you to reconnect with users on a 1:1 basis. Reap the benefits by booking a reach and frequency audience as the first step in a larger, multi-phase strategy.

Next, retarget the subset of users that demonstrated interest by engaging with your ad. Popular auto brand DS recently used a similar sequential advertising strategy to drive global awareness for the launch of their latest model, generating an impressive 20% engagement rate.

4. Remember Instagram!

When social marketers think of reach and frequency campaigns, they generally think of Facebook. But don’t forget that reach and frequency targeting is available on Instagram, too! With over 400 million monthly active users, 75% of which are located outside the US, Instagram is a great way to extend your reach and promote your brand beyond Facebook alone.

5. Combine with TV for 20% more reach.

Cross-channel campaigns are a powerful way to extend your advertising reach. In fact, a recent study revealed that advertising on Facebook extended the unique reach of the target audience of the TV plans of entertainment campaigns by an average of 20%, or an incremental 10 million people. So if budget allows, try advertising across Facebook, Instagram, and TV in combination for maximum reach.

We’ve definitely moved beyond the Mad Men age. Now that we live in a world of screens – both large and small – the modern marketer can use reach and frequency to connect with broader audiences across channels and around the globe.

Why We Like Love Facebook’s New Reactions

By March 1st, 2016

In 2009, Facebook introduced the now-famous Like button. Last week, seven years later, users logged in to find a revamped experience – Reactions! Let’s take a look at how they work, why they were introduced, and what they mean for businesses and advertisers.

First things first. What are Reactions?

Reactions is an extension of the Like button. Now, users can engage with posts using their choice of six different buttons: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry. The buttons appear as colorful and animated emojis.

emojis

Okay, so how do Reactions work?

On desktop, hover your mouse over the Like button. On mobile, hold down the Like button. In each case, a tray of all six options will appear and you can click to make your selection. Right now you can only add a single reaction to each post – no mixing and matching.

How did Facebook roll out Reactions?

Slowly and following a lot of research! The public’s first glimpse into this year-long project came in October, when Facebook began testing in markets like Spain and Ireland.

The biggest change since then? Facebook eliminated the Yay button, because it served a similar purpose as the Like and Love buttons, and because its meaning was confusing in some markets. Wired has a great piece on how Reactions evolved over time, if you’re curious.

Why did Facebook introduce Reactions?

Ever since the original Like button was introduced, users have provided lots of feedback – including frequent requests for a Dislike button! There are times when a Like just doesn’t feel right – for example when reacting to a sad or upsetting post.

Mark Zuckerberg summed up the feedback, saying, “What [users] really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment.”

No, really. What’s their reasoning?

Really! To give more users the flexibility to engage with posts in a specific and empathetic way. But, since you asked, let’s speculate on additional reasons and their implications:

  • To collect more data. By expanding from one button to six, Facebook has exponentially increased the amount of data they’re able to collect. Even better, that data is self-categorized and universal in meaning. This helps explain why Facebook provided six buttons, instead of an entire suite of emojis to choose from; the limit ensures the data can be more easily analyzed and put into action.
  • To keep users coming back. Using the data, Facebook will be able to adjust its algorithm to provide an even more personalized and relevant experience for each individual user. This fulfills a core part of Facebook’s mission to keep users engaged and coming back to the platform on a regular basis.
  • To introduce new advertising possibilities. In addition to organic results, Facebook can also apply the new volume of data to improve or increase the sophistication of its advertising products.

How will the News Feed be impacted?

Facebook’s algorithm factors in a variety of signals, including Likes and engagements, when deciding what to show in the News Feed. Right now, it doesn’t matter which button users click – it will be counted in the same way.

Over time, however, Facebook says they “hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want
to see.”

What does this mean for advertisers?

Right now, it’s business as usual for advertisers, and all Reactions have the same impact on ad delivery. For example, a Love is counted the same way as a Like.

If you’re curious which Reactions people are using to engage with your content, visit your Insights page. This information can help you tailor future content.

What’s next, and why should advertisers Like Love Reactions?

In the future, Reactions will likely play an increasingly important role. Let’s consider a few exciting possibilities:

  • Distinguish brand fans from casual users. Reactions can help brands understand which users Like versus Love their content, an important distinction with big implications on lifetime value and influencer behavior. In particular, advertisers could potentially create lookalike audiences based on brand fans to expand reach among high-value segments.
  • Deliver better content. Analyzing user Reactions will help advertisers gain a more nuanced understanding of their communities and the types of content they enjoy. This information can be applied to editorial calendars and future advertising campaigns, for better performance and increased levels of engagement.
  • Automate based on sentiment. It can be tough for advertisers to quickly identify top-performing content and filter through the sea of comments. Marin addresses this challenge with Message Booster, an innovative feature that automatically boosts content based on pre-defined metrics. Imagine the extra layer of perception and control that would come from automating based on specific Reactions.

What’s your opinion on Reactions? Let us know on Facebook
or Twitter!

The Ever-Shifting World of Social

By February 25th, 2016

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at Boost Media.

With more than 2 billion active social media users worldwide, the influence of social on brand perception, customer relationships, and purchase decisions is indisputable. But, there’s a major shift happening in the way people interact socially, and it’s a trend marketers need to stay on top of.

Social media is becoming more visual

Social media is becoming more visual, with image and video-focused platforms seeing hockey stick growth. In fact, Snapchat had a purported 100 million daily active users only two years after
its launch.

Users are also voting for more image and video content with their clicks. Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement rates than text-only posts and simply using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%.

The influence of image and video content is expected to continue. An estimated 84% of communication will be visual by 2018, and by 2019, 80-90% of global consumer Internet traffic will be video.

There are long-term returns on investing in image and video production

Figuring out how to get more images and videos in your repertoire is a “today” problem and there are immediate, compelling gains to be realized from investing in visual content. Marketers can expect several positive results:

  • A boost in SEO performance
  • More social engagement and audience growth
  • Amplified paid media performance
  • A stronger connection with existing customers who may be more likely to make repeat purchases and talk about your brand

Establishing a system for how your brand produces images and videos will also pay off in the long run, put you ahead of the competition curve, and help your brand build and grow profitable customer relationships now and in the future.

Putting it all together

Marketers used to say “brands are the new publishers,” but perhaps now it’s time to think about brands as the new creative shops. To engage with customers, you’ll need great image and video content, and a lot of it. Don’t wait to ramp up your image and video production and distribution efforts. Now is the time to invest in solutions to scale visual content production and create an effective system for your brand.

About the Author

sarahSarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Your Quick Recap of the Latest Social
Advertising News

By February 17th, 2016

The world of social advertising changes every day, and it can be a lot to keep up with! There are new ad types, forming partnerships, emerging tech, financial announcements, and the list goes on.

If you’re feeling a little behind on the latest, need-to-know news, grab a cup of coffee and take five minutes to catch up with this
quick recap.

1. Twitter Launches Algorithmically Sorted Timeline

https://blog.twitter.com/2016/never-miss-important-tweets-from-people-you-follow

Quick recap: Twitter announced a new algorithmically sorted way to view the timeline, although it’s not yet turned on by default. Consider it the “while you were away” feature on steroids.

What it means for advertisers: Advertisers have come to expect lower Facebook engagement on organic content, so the same fears may come into play here. Twitter representatives have said that ads will appear in the newly sorted timeline, but that the best content will rise to the top regardless of whether or not it’s paid. Expect Twitter to continue evolving in its quest to revive shareholder value.

2. Instagram Rolls Out 60-Second Video Ads

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBVMFOsS0Dc/ 

Quick recap: Instagram rolled out support for 60-second video ads, a big change from the previous limit of 30 seconds. T-Mobile (did you catch the Drake commercial?) and Warner Bros. were among the first brands to test the extended video ad type.

What it means for advertisers: Instagram video ads can now be anywhere from three to 60 seconds, giving advertisers lots of room to creatively tell a story. Support is already available on Marin Social for advertisers who want to get started right away.

3. Facebook Soars in Q4 2015 Earnings Report

http://investor.fb.com/results.cfm 

Quick recap: It was a great quarter for Facebook! The network beat estimates, announced $5.8 billion in revenue, and revealed it now has more than 1.59 billion monthly active users.

What it means for advertisers: The entire earnings call transcript is worth a read. To align with Facebook, advertisers should place extra focus on their mobile, video, and Instagram strategies.

4. Snapchat Teams Up with Viacom

http://www.viacom.com/news/Pages/newsdetails.aspx?RID=953935 

Quick recap: Viacom and Snapchat announced a major partnership deal, which will give Viacom exclusive rights to sell Snapchat advertising.

What it means for advertisers: Viacom’s core investment in broadcasting and cable, combined with this new focus on social, hints at just how important cross-channel advertising is becoming. If Snapchat’s not your cup of tea, consider other tactics such as triggering social ads based on TV commercials, or running similar video content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TV.

5. Facebook Shuts Down Free Basics in India

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/8/10913398/free-basics-india-regulator-ruling

Quick recap: Free Basics by Facebook is a free, zero-rated platform that provides access to basic Internet services (news, health, education, sports, etc.) in developing parts of the world. Net neutrality concerns have made it controversial, and India recently passed legislation that caused Facebook to shutter Free Basics in the country.

What it means for advertisers: Free Basics will still exist in over 30 other countries, and Facebook plans to continue efforts to connect people in India. There are no ads in the Free Basics version of Facebook. However, international advertisers should consider taking advantage of new Facebook ad types (like Slideshow Ads) to reach users with slow connections in high-growth areas.

6. Facebook Adds Caption Tool for Video Ads

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/updated-features-for-video-ads 

Quick recap: Facebook announced plans to roll out an automated video caption tool, coming soon.

What it means for advertisers: Once the feature is rolled out, advertisers will no longer need to embed captions or upload their own caption files. Facebook’s internal tests show that video ads with captions increase video view times by about 12%!

7. Twitter Introduces First View Video Ads

https://blog.twitter.com/2016/introducing-first-view 

Quick recap: Twitter announced a new ad product called First View. It will allow advertisers to do a 24-hour takeover of the top ad slot in the timeline with a Promoted Video ad.

What it means for advertisers: Brand advertisers, rejoice! First View will offer a high-impact way to drive awareness at scale and gain maximum exposure for your brand.

8. Account Switching Now Available for Instagram

http://blog.instagram.com/post/138938416772/160208-accountswitching 

Quick recap: Instagram users will now be able to quickly switch between multiple accounts, without having to log out.

What it means for advertisers: This is an exciting change for social media managers who run multiple Instagram accounts. However, larger advertisers who use a tool to manage their accounts won’t see much of an impact.

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