Every marketer knows that you can spread your commercial message through social channels. But that does not mean that a campaign via Instagram or Facebook always works. ‘To begin with, there must be a clear vision and a long-term strategy behind how and why you use social media’, says Nicole Lazaroms of Valtech. Do you want to create awareness about your brand or a certain theme, set your target group abuzz or increase your conversion? This calls for a quick disclaimer: it is even more important to dare to deviate from it again later.Because in the end it is all about ‘testing, testing, testing’ and using the lessons you have learned to optimise your campaign and achieve the result you strive for as marketer. So, it's all about data-driven marketing. According to Nicole Lazaroms, these are the rules of the game:
SET CLEAR GOALS
First, brainstorm about what you hope to achieve. Social channels should definitely be part of the overall marketing strategy and the connection to your target group.
Answer the question: why have you decided on a campaign? And think about what you want out of it. Brand recognition?
Qualified leads? Greater customer satisfaction? Then, you can formulate the CPIs based on your objectives. Only if you have identified your objectives can you decide later on if you have set up an effective campaign.
USE THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Whatever model you use - from AIDA to Touch-Tell-Sell - the focus is always on the customer journey. After all, you always want the customer to experience the very best journey.
The first step is getting to know the customer and identifying their pain points. The second step is to really look at those points from a customer's point of view and plot the ideal customer journey with corresponding touchpoints. Depending on the type and scope of the campaign, there may be multiple touchpoints. First, we choose the channels that create maximum impact. And you don’t organise the optimal customer journey only once: it is a continuous process of analysis and optimisation.
DESCRIBE YOUR TARGET GROUP IN DETAIL
You often hear about spot-on targeting: knowing your target group and adjusting your campaign accordingly. The better you know your target group, the more effective you can be. To properly map the target group, first we prepare the customer centricity matrix.
We look at such points as the characteristics, roles and motivations of a group. We do this together with our customer; ideally, even with our customer’s customer. Preferably supported by valid research into target group and data. You can also maximise use of extensive targeting options when advertising on social media. These options are truly endless when it comes to finding the perfect target group.
BE SURE THE FOUNDATION IS SOLID
‘Be sure everything is measurable and calibrated before starting a campaign. Think about placing the right pixels, such as re-targeting pixels. This way, you collect the target groups you can use again later in your campaign. But don’t forget conversion pixels, which ensure that the conversion is visible from your campaign. It is also important that you measure the entire flow in detail, such as the campaign page. Only in this way can you carry out data-driven campaigns in the various phases of the customer journey.
USE AUTHENTIC CONTENT
Users don’t always trust the information they find on social media. That is why we are looking for ways to increase confidence. By focusing on ways to authentically connect with your target audience and thus emphasise the personal and human aspects. Confirm this in a content strategy with a corresponding calendar, so that you know what you are posting on social media. Don’t carve this in stone, but view it as ‘hooks’. This lets you link the other touchpoints, including the newsletter, brochures and videos, in an integrated way.
And be sure your content fits the target group of your campaign: the more relevant, the more effective.
OPT FOR AGILITY
Rather than making extensive annual plans, we focus on quick interaction. We respond directly to customers and their changing wishes. This lets you base your choices on what works - and not what doesn’t - week by week. So, you don’t need to immediately set up one huge, expensive campaign, but rather spread the risk over smaller campaigns. Data is the fuel for the modern marketer.
TEST, TEST, TEST!
If you generate insight, you can make improvements. You can do this with a Facebook campaign or on LinkedIn. Always use several posts and see what works. You can then focus more attention and budget on the ad that works best. It is also a good idea to regularly try out new tools and options. Be innovative, or at least be open to innovation. You needn’t lead the pack to run a successful campaign, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be open to the latest trends.
OPTIMISE THE ENTIRE USER FLOW
An optimised user flow includes improvements that make it easier for users to go through different contact points of the campaign.
This can contribute to increasing website conversions. We make the entire user flow transparent using such data as analytics and/or ux tools.
Attune the flow well to the visitors; there’s little point, for example, in doing a campaign on Instagram (which is mobile) without an optimised mobile website. And don’t forget the options for personalisation and segmentation. This lets you bring the content closer to the wants and needs of a visitor. The objective is not one-size-fits-all, but telling the right stories at the right time to the right customer.
TARGET, THEN RE-TARGET
Re-targeting means continued dialogue with the customer. Good coordination of re-targeting with a specific phase in your customer journey lets you carry out effective campaigns. Just think of the product that was still in your shopping cart but that you didn't buy. Later, when you see the product appear once more in an advertisement, it’s quite possible you will continue your customer journey and ultimately buy it. The more specific you make re-targeting lists, the more specifically and relevantly your ads can connect to the target group. Make sure your lists are extensive enough and fit the current context and phase of the customer.
ACTIVATE EMPLOYEES OR AMBASSADORS
Marketers often overlook the importance of their own network. Though they can also find potential customers or business associates there. It is also useful to let your own employees share the content. There are tools for this as well. For example, we send them a link to make sharing easier.
In addition to the must-do's, there are also (a few) ‘do-nots’. Things that you as a marketer should really stay away from. A number of these social don’ts apply across-the-board. These are things you simply don't do.
Other don’ts require a bit more judgement. For example, different things work with different platforms. And with different cultures, as well. ‘Valtech is active in sixteen countries. At times you have to deal with an entirely different market. So it’s a good idea, for example, to consult a local marketer before deciding what will work and what won’t.’
But we can formulate a few rules. According to Nicole, these are the most important points:
FAIL TO OFFER RELEVANT CONTENT BASED ON THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
If you receive a banner five times though you’ve already bought the product, it can become rather irritating. Totally unnecessary as you already have the product. But I see this happening often in practice, though it can generally be avoided by working with frequencies or exclusion lists from (converted) target groups.
Consider the current context and phase of your customer. Be sure you display relevant content at specific points in the journey. This could be inspiring content in the orientation phase, or additional products after the purchase phase.Many companies stop at the purchase phase, although the loyalty phase can be very interesting for up-selling.
HAVE CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT'S NOT (YET) OPTIMAL
Consumers also see companies’ social media as a contact channel when they have questions, compliments or complaints. This goes reasonably well for large companies, but I still come across many companies that have absolutely no social media customer service. This is a missed opportunity.
PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO PURELY FUNCTIONAL CONTENT
Companies all too often focus mainly on functional content, while in many cases emotional content can convey their message better. When people develop strong, deep feelings, such as surprise, anger, fear, aversion, sadness and joy in response to an experience or message, social sharing becomes impulsive.
So try to loosen your grasp on the product more often, and develop a message that makes emotional contact.
PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
Match the right contents with the right network. Every social media network has its own envisaged objective and target group. Not only must you consider the type of interaction on a certain platform, but also the public you hope to reach on it. ‘I often see posts copied from Facebook to Instagram. Although those are very different platforms.Every platform has specific guidelines. So, see what works for each individual platform. It may involve just very minor adjustments, but carry them out anyway. Commercials of a few minutes may work on television, but not on social media. Here, videos and the message must be short and to the point, just like the important subtitles.’
You can't manage what you don't measure
As global digital agency we work for major brands including Philips, Heineken, Lufthansa and L’Oreal. Worldwide, more than 2,500 professionals work on a wide range of projects every day. The work varies from building strategy and platforms to designing and managing marketing and content campaigns. The latter is also called the run phase.
In this phase, we work closely with the customer to constantly improve the customer experience and achieve the business objective. The focus is on the customer journey: attracting customers, converting them and, ultimately, keeping them. To Valtech, this means the right story at the right time told to the right customer.
Based on qualitative and quantitative data, the customer journey is then fine-tuned in several rounds. The goal is to alleviate pain points and achieve objectives in the long term. The social media campaign does not do this solo; there is always a link with a digital platform. Eventually, the goal is to convert the customer.
The same applies for information that is being sought. So, fine-tuning based on the data to achieve optimum effectiveness is highly important. This involves more than just such hard facts as numbers of visitors and conversion; the customer effort score is an indicator used during the measurement of customer journeys. Targeted solutions can be conceived thanks to these insights. Content, design UX or technology contribute to this. This is measured once again to see the effects of the choice.
Note: this article is written by FONK Magazine, https://fonkonline.nl