If we as marketers want consumers to welcome our ads, we need to fully embrace the move to mobile. But with the rise of ad blocking, as well as click fraud and viewability issues, this task is understandably daunting. Following are guidelines brands can use to become “welcome intruders” on mobile so they can build fruitful relationships with consumers:
Blend in to stand out. Do this because we as brands are competing with what's above and below us in social media feeds. That means creating customized content for each platform versus trying to retrofit an Instagram post for Pinterest, for example. Most marketers try to outdo each other with interruptive advertising, but consumers aren’t buying it.
Bring digital and social budgets together. We need to support all the content that we create with paid budgets because we can no longer depend on organic reach. So if we're spending time and money creating this stuff, let's also make sure we're supporting it and targeting it with paid advertising. Social platforms have evolved very quickly to a place where they're effective for brand advertising as well as direct response. Therefore, these "social" budgets need to just be considered "digital.
Flirt with consumers. Brands can move consumers all the way through the purchase funnel using the right content. So instead of just hitting consumers with a piece of content in their feed telling them to BUY NOW, marketers need to engage consumers with emotional advertising Platforms like Facebook and even Pinterest now have ways for marketers to uniquely hit the same consumer over time with more evolved content to move them to a purchase or conversion state. According to Facebook and Refinery29, this can result in a 17x lift. Brands can also do this between Instagram and Facebook, hitting brands with more brand-centric messaging on Instagram and then more conversion-centric content on Facebook.
Don’t match the luggage. There are cases where brands can break through to many consumer segments at once. But the reality is that to truly break through to specific individuals, we need to create content specifically for that target. It also means that social and digital content does not need to match to your larger campaign running on TV.
Consider listicles, videos and influencers. The spectrum of content that is required of brands to truly break through is greater than ever before. Still, from videos to listicles as well as photos and slideshows, most brands see the creation of these types of content as a daunting and expensive task. Luckily, there are ways to do this at scale while also staying in budget.
Brands should tap partners that can create quality content on the fly, while continuing to align with the larger brand story. There are also publishers like BuzzFeed that create native content while maintaining the true look and feel of a brand's site.
With influencers, marketers can use technologies like Chute that allow them to license and support that content with paid advertisements on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Stop looking at likes and shares. As an industry, we need to move away from ambiguous engagement metrics, such as likes and shares, to more hard-hitting metrics like brand lift and ROI. Marketers should strive to create sophisticated partnerships with data partners and the platforms themselves. This will allow brands to truly track whether or not their content is driving sales at the register.
As consumers continue to unplug their TVs, only the fittest marketers will survive. It’s time we start re-evaluating how we’re creating content and shift our approach to become a welcome intruder on consumers’ prized mobile phones.