Proving the worth of Facebook ads

The @AdobeUK Team

August 10, 2012

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Marc Blinder, Director, European Operations, Adobe


Just as data from the computer age helped shape finance in the 1970’s, it has also become the digital revolution’s gift to marketing. Gone are the days where marketers are on the back foot as to justifying how their campaigns are working; the availability of real time data gives them instant access to exactly what is and isn’t working on their campaign so they can tweak and optimise it accordingly. This coupled with the availability of tools which predict and measure campaign results, has given marketers a much bigger say into the company strategy and budgets – much like the role of the finance team.

In order to get to this stage however, marketers need to understand exactly which metrics to measure for each channel, in order to successfully play back that channel’s ROI in the boardroom. With the ease of capturing behavioural data online there’s certainly no shortage of such metrics, but the trick is to know what key indicators are important for each channel and observe these accordingly.

Take Facebook ads for example. There has recently been some interesting debate around just how effective this form of marketing is. On one hand, reports have suggested Face­book adver­tis­ing is not very effec­tive and in com­par­i­son to Google pro­vides sig­nif­i­cantly less value. Other reports however have highlighted brand successes through the same method which begs the question, are people measuring this form of marketing correctly?

Typically, Facebook ads should be mea­sured by soft and hard met­rics. Soft metrics include reach and engage­ment and hard metrics include the impact on rev­enue, profit, mar­gin and offline store sales across all mar­ket­ing and sales chan­nels of a business. Where some marketers have struggled in the past however is because they feel that social chan­nels should be mea­sured using the same mea­sure­ment mod­els and account­abil­ity as search mar­ket­ing efforts.

Unfortunately, this method is flawed because consumers are not spending time on social chan­nels to imme­di­ately buy goods and ser­vices, like they often are when engag­ing in online searches. Instead, they tend to use social plat­forms to con­nect with their friends, social­ise, share con­tent, and par­tic­i­pate in dia­logue around things that they are expe­ri­enc­ing and think­ing.  Advertising on Face­book, for brands who don’t sell online games or flash deals, is more like adver­tis­ing on TV – it increases the likeliness to buy, but it often takes time for a user to convert.

Read on for some common themes we have seen from some of our clients’ suc­cess­ful Face­book campaigns….

  1. Sig­nif­i­cant and sus­tained ad budgets – suc­cess­ful Face­book cam­paigns must have mean­ing­ful ad bud­gets with sig­nif­i­cant reach, as a Facebook ad only sees the desired effects when it reaches a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of users.
  2. A strate­gic long term view -  the best social cam­paigns are well thought out with strate­gies designed to build audi­ences and engage with them in a mean­ing­ful way, so they: 1) grow a fan base, and 2) increase loy­alty to the brand. For the mar­keter this means a strat­egy to cre­ate mean­ing­ful con­tent that is rel­e­vant to the fan base at a given point of time, and con­stantly updat­ing con­tent so that the mes­sage remains fresh.
  3. Data is used as an asset – the remark­able thing about Face­book adver­tis­ing is both the tar­get­ing and data that the adver­tiser can obtain with appro­pri­ate per­mis­sions from the user. A good exam­ple is to build apps where the user vol­un­tar­ily agrees to pro­vide infor­ma­tion and then launch and mar­ket to them with the sup­port of Face­book ad buys. Through this, the ad buys drive audi­ences to the app and the data from the app can be lever­aged to make the app expe­ri­ence more inter­est­ing and the whole process more effi­cient.
  4. Good con­tent is key – adver­tis­ing will have min­i­mal impact if you don’t have mean­ing­ful con­tent. You need a good com­mu­nity man­ager and mod­er­a­tor to under­stand when to place con­tent, what con­tent to place and how to mea­sure the effi­cacy of con­tent. If you fail to develop good con­tent, your fans and the Face­book plat­form will ignore your mes­sage.

Local Content, Global Context; Investec Delivers A World Class Web Experience With Help From Adobe

The @AdobeUK Team

August 01, 2012

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Act local – it’s a mantra for multi-nationals the world over. However, it’s often easier to say than do, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Issues of quality, control and ownership often push firms down a ‘vanilla’ route of centrally created content.

For Investec – an international specialist bank and asset manager serving corporate investors and high net worth individuals – the challenge was to move from a single on-line presence in Johannesburg to a 15-region digital marketing platform that would allow the company to take advantage of local opportunities, often at relatively short notice.

Using Adobe CQ, part of Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, Investec now has a global web experience platform that delivers a distinct, local visual and user experience without being limited to generic-looking templates or designs.

What does this mean for Investec? It now has a highly decentralised web experience management platform with powerful content authoring tools and global brand management capabilities. In practice this means its digital marketing team can now react quickly to local opportunities and changing customer trends with relevant regional and customer-specific content.

And the results? Because Adobe CQ takes away the organisational complexity normally associated with multi-region content creation and publishing, Investec has been able to focus on delivering compelling, creative content that drives the business forward. For example, when Investec signed a midnight deal to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur football club in the English Premier League (seasons 2010/2011 and 2011/2012), the firm was able to launch a major microsite the following morning

Online traffic has also doubled since the system went live, along with a vast increase in the volume of both global and locally published content. It has also laid the foundations for multichannel communication, enabling Investec to respond to, and engage with, its customers regardless of time-zone, location or device.

“Our web presence plays a vital role in providing the level of service our clients expect from a world-class firm,” says Diarmaid Crean, Global Online Marketing, Investec. “Having our web infrastructure on Adobe CQ makes it simple for personnel throughout our organization to author and publish content, everywhere we do business, quickly and easily.”

Manny Vaghuela, Adobe’s Solution Consulting Director and Fahim Salim, Investec’s Web Development Manager can be seen discussing Investec’s moving to the Adobe CQ platform (a process described as re-platforming) during a recent webinar.

The discussion also covers the evolution of content management software and how Investec is using Adobe CQ to optimise its content to meet marketing goals and keep up with evolving consumer and technological demands.

The full case study, with more information on the Adobe CQ platform including how it allows Investec to add local, dynamic content can be found here.

Check out our webinar around replatforming web marketing systems in the age of the multi-channel consumer below.

 

Meeting of Minds at Cannes Lions

The @AdobeUK Team

June 20, 2012

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Check out the video below of Ann Lewnes (@alewnes), our SVP of Global Marketing and  Steve Plimsoll, CTO of Mindshare, who caught up this week at Cannes Lions (@Cannes­­_Lions) to chat about the exciting launch of CORE.

CORE is a data-driven marketing intelligence platform from Mindshare that empowers both analysts and non-technical users to make informed marketing spend, audience targeting and creative optimisation decisions across all touch points, in real-time. It brings together data sets such as CRM, sales and supply chain data, with media channel spend, social, audience profiles and real-time trading information. It reveals consumer actions and insight at a granular level, taking away the guesswork, latency and siloed nature of marketing-spend decision making.

The digital marketing team here at Adobe (@AdobeUK), has been working closely with Steve on CORE, with Adobe Insight, part of the Digital Marketing Suite, powering the user interface for data visualisation, modelling, data mining and reporting.

In an age where the amount of data available to marketers has never been greater, the value of all this data lies in the ability to deliver actionable insight in real-time.  It was great to see CORE in action!

Adobe Social & Search Breakfast Roundup

Emma Wilkinson

May 28, 2012

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On Friday morning we held a  a digital marketing briefing ran by our specialists to help clients gain a better understanding of how to optimise marketing investments via search engines and social media.

First off we heard all about paid search optimisation, and were told about three key things to remember when planning a campaign:

  • Completely understand how your money is being spent and leverage your campaign structure to maximise conversions.
  • Decide on goals before your campaign begins, once you’ve got your targets set make sure there is a decent amount of phrase and exact matches to give you better control over the campaign, and hopefully give you higher conversion rates as the audience will be more relevant. Be careful about using broad match as it is known for being the most expensive but with the least results.
  • Make sure copy is engaging and calls for action. Automatic bidding will also save much more time than doing it manually, it’s more effective at choosing the best price to make sure you’re not overpaying.

Next up was social ad optimisation and how it compares to search advertising. The key learning was that it is imperative to have best practice when running a Facebook ad campaign. This can be done by having a mixture of different creative executions of the same ad and by ensuring that all ads are targeted to a specific audience as this will give you the highest conversion rates.

Finally we heard about the seven key points to think about when designing a successful Facebook app:

  1. Content is king – sometimes too much effort is put into making it pretty. The content of the app is ultimately the main reason for a fan to share or like app.
  2. Simple is best – Facebook is all about instant gratification, engaging visitors in a few seconds will keep them interested enough to stay on your page. If there are too many barriers to entry or an overload of information, their typically short attention span will lead them elsewhere.
  3. Don’t hide content – your messaging should be apparent, too much clutter will lead to confusion, as will having too many pop ups and distractions. Likegates are fine as most people expect to have to like a page in order to use the app, but other gates could deter people.
  4. Incorporate social – the app should make you want to get your friends involved, after all Facebook is about social networking. If your friends have used an app, you are much more inclined to give it a go, so giving lots of opportunities to share will allow for your app to be more social, and consequently reach a wider audience. You need to show how the content relates to the users for instance, ‘you like ‘xxxx’ page therefore you would also be interested in this great app’.

The final three points looked at social and search from a client’s perspective:

  1. Prioritise goals – make sure the app is in line with your key messaging and goals in order to get the best ROI.
  2. Continue the conversation – once the competition or game has ended on the app, you should make sure that engagement does not end there. You have their attention, so now make the most of it by either directing them to another app or competition, or add them to your email marketing list.
  3. Learn from every application – test certain styles as some work better for particular audiences than others. For instance if a ‘pet photo contest’ app is very successful, why fix what isn’t broken? Make a ‘Valentines pet photo contest’ next followed by an ‘Easter pet photo contest’ for example.

 

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