This is the third in our series of conversations between respected bloggers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encounters will offer insight into how end consumers feel about digital marketing, including how and when targeting is effective, what makes for an appealing campaign, and how marketing affects whether these all-important influencers spread the word about specific products and platforms.
Our featured blogger for this quarter is Abi King (AK). In 2007, after five and a half years as a hospital doctor, Abi decided to follow her dream of becoming a writer, and Inside the Travel Lab was born. This luxury travel blog is described as one of the best travel blogs in the world by National Geographic Traveller and Lonely Planet. She’s s an award-winning journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveller, Lonely Planet, the BBC, Red, CNN and more.
She spoke to Toccara Baker (TB), Product Marketing lead for EMEA Advertising Cloud. She is responsible for growing awareness and adoption of its products, solutions and services among existing customers and prospects, and helps manage execution of marketing strategies across the Advertising Cloud’s products and partner solutions.
AK: So obviously when we talk about travel companies, in a way as a blogger or creative I’m a brand myself, so what are the ways that I could use—in the same way travel companies could use—social media advertising to both build and inspire my audience?
TB: Yes, I think social is really an interesting one because there essentially is a ton of data that you can start to leverage that’s very rich. Also social platforms have started to change their inventory, so that they’re streamlining their format so that you, if you’re buying video anywhere you can also buy video on social platforms.
So I think in terms of how people can start to leverage or use social media, the first is really taking a look at the rich pieces of data to locate niche targets that you’d like to activate against.
AK: I know that I’ve seen, and I’m sure most people will have seen, adverts on their Facebook wall or feed that come along. Are there other ways that Facebook allows you to advertise?
TB: Things like the Facebook Audience Network I think are really great because you’re still leveraging rich Facebook data, but you’re accessing these consumers, and maybe other environments. I’m really excited and interested in advertising and messaging apps and what that’s going to turn into, and just in general, just stronger video executions that allow engagement and interaction across formats and platforms.
A really good example that I love is a client can actually take their own personal CRM data. They can push it to a social platform like Facebook. Let’s say these are people that have already purchased a specific product. You can then target those people within the Facebook environment, so using newsfeed ads or a video or a display ad, or, you can also use Facebook Audience Network to actually target, using that same data source, but you’re now targeting these people in other publisher destinations.
AK: How does that work? Do they share data?
TB: Facebook has worked to build a network of publisher direct relationships that can use their data, essentially. So sometimes if you might be watching a video on a publisher site and you see an ad that’s ran before it, the data set to identify you, as a female that really loves travel, might not necessarily have come from the publisher directly, it actually could have come from Facebook data.
AK: That’s a recurring theme because it’s personalisation and it’s good use of data but it’s also a little bit creepy.
TB: It can seem creepy, but on the one hand people want relevant advertising and they want to have a great experience, and so in order to really have that there needs to be a trade-off. And I think you need to be able to give some sort of data for an advertiser to really give you a valuable experience.
AK: That’s an interesting way of looking at it. I will give it a bit of thought. Do you have any great examples of travel companies doing great things with social media?
TB: A good example that I have is a brand that we have worked with a lot in the past called Thomas Cook or TUI. They are very focused on ensuring that they have a strong or rich content library to actually address the inspirational needs of the consumers that they’re trying to reach. And they spread this content out everywhere.
They use it on their own pages, so their websites, their YouTube page, their social media pages. I think they do a really great job of understanding the value of great, compelling content. So during our chat you’ve mentioned a little bit about how creepy some of the advertising can feel.
AK: I think if I’ve just been searching and then within the next half hour I saw an ad, it wouldn’t faze me. I’d expect that link to be there. I think probably what I find creepier is when it’s on different platforms, or a few days later. Sometimes you’re on shared networks or shared computers in a household, quite easily in your family, and so then you get somebody else who has been searching for something and you know because these ads pop up. That sometimes seems a little bit strange.
There are definitely times when I’ve been quite pleased, if it gets it right on the mark. That’s the fickle consumer of today, basically. If you get it right I like it. If it’s not quite perfect, then I think people find it a bit frightening.
TB: Social sometimes is seen in a silo and separate from other advertising executions, or do you see it as really something that’s different and separate?
AK: I think there is something, there can be something really authentic and interactive with a lot of social media that you don’t get in the older forms. And so from that point of view I do think it’s different.
Within social media I think there are two clear ways that people tend to interact. One is networks, where essentially they’re tuning in for updates of their friends and family, for intimate stuff, maybe a bit of entertainment. So typically, I would say that’s Facebook, WhatsApp. And then the other way is using it for things like news and information which would be Twitter for most people that I know outside the travel industry.
So I think it’s important when we talk about social media that we don’t think of it as one lump, but actually think no, people use this in very different ways. And so that’s what I think travel companies should think about as well.
Thank you so much, Toccara. That was a really interesting chat. And thank you for tuning in. Of course this is just one of six interviews with the experts here at Adobe. Please do tune in and watch the others at blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope.