As we hit the half-way mark, 2020 has already been quite a year for us all. For marketers and their agencies this has meant having to learn and adapt their strategies in a more agile way than ever before. In our recent report ‘The Future, But Faster’ we explored how the trends we were already witnessing in consumer media habits have been fast-forwarded, including how more people of all age groups are now spending more time online.
For example, 33% of UK adults have said they’ve been using Facebook more since lockdown, and 21% likewise for Instagram*; and we can probably assume a similar trend across social media platforms at least for other Western markets, if not globally.
As people have been staying at home and socially distancing, engaging with their friends and family, as well as brands, on these social platforms has become an important part of consumers’ lives.
Along with increased consumption, social content itself and trustworthy brand messaging has played a clear role during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as more recently for causes like Black Lives Matter and Pride Month. Consumers have clearly indicated their desire for brands to position themselves on these types of social causes and events publicly, both through the content they publish and where it is published. Brands who stay silent or misjudge the zeitgeist, meanwhile, may lose the trust and business of their loyal customers. It’s more important than ever for marketers to use the channels available to showcase that the causes that matter to their customers in times of crisis, also matter to them.
It’s also true that across the globe we are already seeing probably the largest ever economic recession - an after-effect of the widespread shutting of non-essential retail, entertainment and hospitality businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus. This economic downturn is already taking its toll on marketing teams, who are working with fewer resources and having their results more closely scrutinized while their businesses weather the storm.
But despite a closer focus on performance, we are also seeing a shift in the metrics that are seen as valuable to marketers. In our ‘The Future, but Faster’ report we noted that engagement metrics were now the second-most important after ROI, with 49% of marketers we interviewed deeming them important, overtaking click-through rate which came in at a close third place. This is because the industry is catching on that engagement metrics are an indicator of quality consumers who are genuinely interested in their brand, and will likely go on to be higher-value, repeat customers that require less marketing resource over time.
How can a marketer drive much needed performance in the current climate?
So - what does this all mean tactically for marketers who are trying to figure out how to adapt their marketing strategy in 2020? Solutions need to tick multiple boxes - socially conscious, cost-effective, fast implementation and performance-driven. Which is why our new Social Boost offering is proving popular amongst many of our clients at MiQ.
Social Boost is incredibly simple. It allows you to amplify your social media creatives programmatically across display and rich media formats by simply providing your social post URLs. The benefits are many. Not only does it allow you to choose the creative that has already proven popular through engagement metrics on social, meaning you are optimizing before you even fire an impression, it also lets you reach wholly new prospects with all the intelligence and targeting of programmatic. And because your social creative is readily available, it reduces the production costs and lengthy approvals that can often hinder a great campaign.
While advertising within the walls of social walled gardens seems to pose increasing social and political risk to brands, amplifying organic social posts on brand-safe publisher content programmatically brings a much more socially conscious alternative with a continued focus on performance.
The results from our Social Boost suite speak for themselves. It produces an average 10x increase in CTR compared to standard IAB display, and 5x more engagement.
Case study: how to incorporate Social Boost into an omnichannel strategy for better performance
A direct-to-consumer bedroom furniture client of ours, with a laser focus on performance, wanted to complement their TV advertising with digital to drive more direct response visits to their website. The retailer had a successful brand presence on Instagram, with creative that focused on the benefits of a good night’s sleep rather than direct sales messaging. We recommended using Social Boost in combination with TV retargeting to:
- Repurpose their already-proven and readily-available social creative for display
- Align their strong brand messaging and creative across both TV and digital
- Reach people in households that had been exposed to their TV ad with a direct response ad that would drive them to site.
We tested the strategy against three others: TV only, TV plus standard display, and TV plus digital video to see the relative success. The results were clear: the combination of Social Boost and TV retargeting drove 18x more site visitation than the linear TV-only strategy, and over twice the site visitation of linear TV + standard display.
For a marketer trying to figure out how to drive much-needed performance beyond the walls of social media, while keeping their brand messaging and tactics sympathetic to causes that matter to their customers, Social Boost could be the ideal solution to check all the boxes.
Contact us or reach out to your MiQ representative to find out more about Social Boost.
*(April 2020 Havas Media "COVID-19: Media Behaviours Report)