3 “Disruptors” of Social Media Marketing that Are Actually Worth CelebratingFebruary 02, 2017
Marketing is anybody’s game, but it’s safe to say that not everyone is good at it.
One gripe is that we now face heavily saturated social platforms, smarter shoppers, and big data that’s sometimes too confusing to be helpful.
But these “disrupters” are the very things that put us marketers in a great position; we’re far better equipped than before to predict user behaviors, analyze shopping habits, and understand our customers at a human level.
1. Heavily Saturated Platforms
Several years ago, millennials were at the center of attention. Now, we’re seeing Gen-Xers, the first of many generations to be born into a social-savvy world, come of age.
Social media has naturally become a noisy marketplace, complete with critics who bitterly accuse advertisers for “doing themselves in” with excessive advertising.
But the silver lining is that our consumers are online, and are increasingly reachable.
So the question isn’t if we should advertise on social, but when and how.
Fortunately, the social space is more fertile than ever for strategic and creative marketing. We have remarkable transparency into a user’s social identity— his/her personal needs, wants, and behaviors—thanks to the build-up of data and connection to our customers from anyplace, anytime.
Social media has also bred new forms of marketing.
Among them: Influencer marketing, or the modern-day form of word-of-mouth marketing, has let brands of all sizes partner with everyday role models to help them reach their key consumers more directly at lower costs.
Read Also: A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing
While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy in social marketing, we’re not confined to our traditional means of advertising and can circumvent ad blindness in creative ways.
2. Smarter Shoppers
In terms of social and digital advertising, it’s a sobering fact that hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of ads circulate the web so that whether we be watching a clip on YouTube or scanning our Instagram feeds, an ad is native to our experience.
To an advertiser, this means that your average CTR for a banner ad is now less than 1%–compared to in 1994, when the first accredited banner ad by AT&T got an astonishing 43% CTR.
The above AT&T ad, accredited as the first-ever banner ad, went live on hotwired.com on October 27, 1994.
While there is truth to “banner blindness,” it’s reassuring to know that consumers are growing warier of click bait, and more loyal (plus vocal) of the brands they admire.
This puts pressure on our brands to create quality, relevant content to earn our customer’s trust over time—and to avoid getting muted from a person’s timeline.
Thankfully, as shoppers are getting smarter, so is social media.
You can more precisely personalize and target your content to boost your relevancy.
The key is personalization.
While plenty of marketers still miss their targets, one Nielsen expert notes: “[Digital advertising] is more precise than traditional media and performance is improving all the time, particularly on mobile whose superiority in reaching narrower audiences reinforces its status as the most highly personal ad medium.”
Your customers actually expect ads to be personalized to them, influenced by how social media is already algorithmically wired to revolve around their tastes.
And so, personalization is crucial for you success and relies on several ingredients:
- An understanding of your target persona (the “who”)
- A knowledge of how to appeal to your user’s distinct wants and needs
- Knowing where to post
- Knowing when to post
- Knowing how to post (e.g., What language should you use? Do you use visuals, writing, video, or a combination to communicate your message?)
But there’s no on-step formula to reaching your customer, and it’s wishful thinking to be 100% accurate. Your marketing strategy will require lots of testing to become good enough, and then better.
However, a good place to start is by gathering the data that you have on your customer right now and to start benchmarking key metrics.
3. Big Data
This is where big data comes into play.
Yes, social media is saturated, and yes, big data is getting even bigger.
Most importantly though, social media is years’ rich with data on your existing and potential customers.
You can target niche markets within an ocean of potential customers because time has given way to more user activity, trackable footprints, and a stack-up of psychographic data that is telling of an individual’s personality.
This lets platforms like ours pinpoint the social conversations and consumer communities that are most relevant to your brand. This lets you discover potential buyers across the world and gain exponentially more data on their unique behaviors and engagements.
By delving into the social media biology of your customers (a.k.a. their social identities, which have evolved as they’ve aged and matured), you can be more strategic in the influencers you employ, the campaigns you run, and the consumers you court.
An example of a social identity card (Zoomph Author Card) that displays a customer’s social media information, demographics, recent activity & affinities.
We now have the means to bring context to big data by looking at the growing history of an individual’s (or group’s) social behaviors, trends, and sentiment, and using the right signals to pull out the right information.
To learn more about contextual data gathering, we encourage you to watch our recent live chat with former-IBM fellow and chief scientist of context computing, Jeff Jonas.
What about you?
Social media marketing is a science, requiring lots of testing, adapting, and data analysis.
What helps you? What are some things that stump you?
Let us know by tweeting us @Zoomph!