2017 is here: Don’t dawdle. Double down on social media ads now
Now that we're halfway into February, it's now or never: Contributor Wayne St. Amand offers some ways to step up your social media marketing and take advantage of the advertising lull in early 2017.
It’s that time of year again. After ringing in the new year, 2017 arrived with new media budgets, strategies and plans. The first two months of the year are riddled with change and discussion, and many brands miss the opportunity to market to customers on social media — for a bargain price. In fact, research shows that after the spike in ad costs during the holiday season, January and February ad costs dropped by up to 40 percent when compared with costs in November and December.
With less competition for shopper attention and lower costs, the first quarter of the year is an opportunity to get ahead. Brands should beware of failing to act fast in the new year. Below are ways to start getting in front of consumers quickly and hit the ground running.
Retarget ready audiences
Many brands get tunnel vision about the holiday season. But, remember — not all hope is lost after Christmas Day. Plenty of shoppers opt to buy gifts after the holiday shopping season ends because they know they’ll score great deals.
Be prepared to use data about those who engaged with your ad content pre-holidays in order to retarget ads after the holiday rush. You can use internal inventory data to inform your ad campaigns — and trigger specific ads featuring inventory that you know is still available or discounted.
Specifically, Pinterest offers sophisticated audience retargeting options that can leverage the valuable influx of data about holiday visitors to give Q1 a competitive edge. In addition to the common social retargeting technologies that enable website visitor- and email-address-based audience targeting, the channel offers a unique feature called Engagement Retargeting.
This typically allows brands to reach anyone who’s engaged with Pins from company Boards. But Pinterest takes the technology a step further by enabling brands to retarget any users who engaged with Pins that include images originally sourced from the brand’s website.
Make ads go further
Brands have invested significant resources in developing ads for Facebook. But what many don’t realize is that those Facebook ads can be effectively repurposed on Instagram.
In the past year, Instagram has made it possible for its ads to be vertical, and it has made them more clickable. As a result, brands can get two bites of the apple with their Facebook ads and run them again on Instagram. This tactic results in enhanced ad performance, according to Instagram.
Take the tactic a step further by leveraging Facebook’s Automated Placement feature, which gives Facebook the power to put your ad wherever it can get you the most efficient performance.
Recently, Instagram announced 600 million users and 500,000 advertisers, validating its place as a mainstream advertising channel. Brands should kick off the new year by testing ways to reach their audiences on Instagram, and aim to benefit from the continued growth of the platform.
Get ready to party
Q1 is peppered with TV moments. The 88th Academy Awards, March Madness and the final rose ceremony of the 21st season of “The Bachelor” are on the calendar for the next few months, and brands should be prepared to take advantage of these moments in time.
Not only are the viewers of these events engaged, but it makes it easy to target the right psychographics by tying ads to events.
In the new year, advertisers should begin to experiment with Twitter Amplify and link pre-roll ads to some of the most popular TV moments. Not only can advertisers promote relevant ads in real time, but by using 15- to 30-second videos, they can advertise content that has the potential to be more memorable.
Prepare for the year of the Snap
Snapchat is the newest advertising ecosystem available for brands. And last month, they announced self-service advertising, making the process more accessible for advertisers.
Seventy percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users. This demographic has been notoriously difficult to reach with ads, and Snapchat represents a unique opportunity for brands to finally capture their attention.
The demographic, paired with the engaging and delightful content of Snapchat ads, promises to show value in 2017. With more than 100 million daily active Snapchatters viewing 10 billion videos every day, advertisers should act now to be one of the early adopters, before Snapchat advertising becomes commonplace.
Time is of the essence for brands. With a custom social media advertising strategy aimed at a specific audience of last-minute shoppers, retailers can kick off the new year strong and take advantage of the early 2017 advertising lull to boost sales. This is a surefire way to get ahead on the measurable impact you’ll be gunning to demonstrate to your stakeholders throughout the year.