On Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend my first marketing event in a while - the marketingSHOWCASE event in London. It is an opportunity I am thankful for as it allowed me to surround myself with other marketers from various industries and gave me the opportunity to pick their brains for ideas. However, the highlight of the event was listening to experts in the field talk about all the new developments in the marketing space - especially when it comes to advertising on social media platforms and the growing importance of TikTok. While I have learnt numerous things I shall try and condense my learnings into just one article!
The key to maximising ROI lies in optimising one’s content budget
An interesting line I heard from a speaker was that “Marketing is like a vending machine, if you put £1 in, you should get £10 back.” And this makes sense - we are always striving to increase our productivity. However, an organisation can’t create content for their channels effectively and efficiently unless all of its departments and decision makers converse with each other and align their strategies and ideas. This of course leads to duplication of tasks and conflicts further down the line which has a really big impact on the ROI for the organisation.
Something else I found to be quite interesting is that according to experts, consumers are less likely to purchase from an organisation if they see discounts or giveaways (for free). Instead, if an organisation can gamify the system and develop a silly little game that takes minimal effort on the consumers part with a guaranteed prize on the end (big or small), they are more likely to engage with you. While this will require a, possibly daunting, upfront investment it does work and can bring you results if done well. One only needs to look at McDonald’s gamifying their fast food experience that has helped them to not just increase revenue but also get people talking about the experience, sharing it on social media and even going as far as to write articles on tips and tricks to win big!
Finally, it is best practice to use a mix of paid and organic media to reach our target audience using multiple channels while integrating one’s marketing content with a ‘why’. Every single piece of content should have a reason for existing and must have a clear call to action that leads the audience to the next step in their customer journey - making it important to create relevant content and not wasting resources.
Reasons why one’s social media strategy may not be working
Speaking of a multi-channel approach, it would be remiss of me to not mention social media. It is one of the most important channels to reach our target audience these days and having a well planned strategy is imperative.
To this extent, we should always strive to create content that is native to each platform rather than take an approach of one content fitting all platforms. The reason for this is that each platform has its own algorithm, features and nuances in how the audience uses it and we should be striving to leverage every single feature we can to capture their attention.
Something else to keep in mind when it comes to paid ads, is that it is not about how big one’s budget is, rather it is about the following:
Ad quality – how each platform ranks your ad and determines how it will be pushed out. This is why creating content natively for each platform helps in improving its rank.
Estimated action rate – each platform calculates the expected engagement with your ads based on quality and hashtags used along with targeting parameters put in.
Marketer bid amounts – social platforms will encourage you to bid as much as possible, but if your content is strong and your audience engaged, this is not always necessary.
Video ads tend to perform better than static images and one should keep in mind that niche hashtags can be a very good way to reach a very specific audience if need be.
Still on the topic of ads, contrary to popular belief, it is better to run ads for a long period of time - ideally around 6 months, with a very low frequency at specific times for it to be effective and memorable to an organisation’s target audience. During this process, something that might help a marketer is conducting a split-test, ie. each ad that one runs should have two creatives, where each creative in turn should have two copies and two headings. The goal of this is to narrow down the combination that works best over the course of the 6 months the ad is live for. And while it can be an expensive upfront investment, if done properly can help boost engagement and generate much better leads.
However, a social media strategy is not just abouts paid ads. The content of course is what matters most, and to this extent an organisation should ask their clients and audience what their frequently asked questions are and then turn the answers into content which is fed back to them - it can be more impactful than one might think!
TikTok as a marketing platform
While we are on the topic of content creation, we can’t not talk about TikTok. I will be honest here and say that I personally do not have a lot of experience with this platform so what I picked up was fascinating! TikTok is one of the fastest growing platforms right now that while many consider to be a social media, TikTok itself considers to be entertainment first - and a survey even found that users are less likely to engage with content and are happy just to watch. This makes advertising on TikTok a tricky task since as marketers we don't want to be intrusive with our ads and turn away users.
However, the wonderful thing about TikTok advertising is that an organisation does not need to have a profile on it so it can just create ads and not worry about constantly creating content for yet another channel. And TikTok makes creating ads very easy for organisations with three tools in particular. They are the TikTok Business Center (which helps an organisation manage its profile), TikTok Ads Manager (which helps an organisation manage and run ads) and the TikTok Creative Center. The last tool is absolutely the most vital one as it helps provide integral insights like Trend Intelligence (which tells us which hashtags, songs and creators are currently trending), Campaign Inspiration (which shows us what our competitors are doing and helps marketers perform a competitor analysis) and also gives marketers access to creative tools and an audio library.
With these tools TikTok has removed a potential barrier to entry as it has streamlined the ad creation process for the platform and even lets content be optimised for SEO. We as marketers should leverage this space as more and more users are using it like a search engine and before the platform becomes too saturated to stand out!
There are so many other interesting facts and ideas I picked up from the marketingSHOWCASE event that I have not had a chance to mention so look out for a future blog on this.
At Webstars our team is always looking to be at the forefront of new marketing insights and technology, finding ways to leverage them to help our clients. So if you are wanting new ways to reach your audience and have questions, feel free to get in touch with us.