Social Media Advertising: Best Way To Stimulate CPG E-Commerce

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, December 7, 2016
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers will spend $5.97 billion on digital marketing in the U.S. this year, an 18.2% increase over 2015. Yet most CPG brands drive digital traffic to retailers such as Amazon and Pea Pod to generate sales, which doesn't allow for the most accurate tracking and retargeting capabilities.

Increasingly, CPG brands are leveraging their social media advertising to generate first-party data that can be combined with third-party data from providers such as Datalogix and Nielsen Catalina to enhance their ability to reach primary CPG buyers with greater efficiency.

Here are some recommendations to assure success for CPG brands using social media to drive site traffic and sales:

-- Drive messaging home to shoppers who have already expressed an interest in a brand and funnel users to conversion. Tell a story through sequential messaging with Facebook’s Reach and Frequency tool and use Pinterest's retargeting capabilities to tell a more in-depth story. Utilize a combination of long-form video, short-form video/gifs, and lastly, static photos.
        Pool video viewers from this content and serve them additional ads, driving them to purchase the product or products they recently were shown.
-- Target product buyers/CRM audiences and Lookalikes with Link Ads to increase scale and traffic. Facebook and Instagram users have an inherent interest in your brand, and you’ll want to drive them to purchase their favorite products in a new way.
-- To find the most relevant audiences and drive efficiencies, run tests such as geo- targeting to metropolitan millennials or people who live far away from grocery stores.
-- Showcase multiple products and/or deals with Facebook Carousel Ads. This works really well during the back-to-school timeframe or holidays, where you can package multiple products together as your target is meal planning.
-- Focus on measuring in-store sales through third-party data providers and understanding how to increase incremental sales by core audiences.
-- 93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases, which include what they'll buy at the store for dinner, an event they're hosting, or a date. Given the planning nature of Pinterest, create content that resonates with people throughout the funnel and refresh content to align with seasonality, big moments, and always-on initiatives. Keep in mind, pins live in perpetuity, so content will continue to surface as it is relevant.

-- Engage users with innovative ad units like 360 video, Facebook Canvas, or Snapchat Web View.

Measuring campaign ROI can be challenging, so work with third-party data and measurement partners:

-- Use Facebook’s Reach and Frequency tool to drive reach and mass awareness, then continue to drive users down the funnel by retargeting them. Lock in unique reach and average frequency that follow best practices for the duration of a campaign on Facebook and Instagram: a reach of at least 20 million and one to two impressions per user, per week.
-- To gauge campaign success and understand purchase intent, measure brand lift or brand effect, rather than DLX ROI, which leverages CPG data from multiple retailers and measures in-store sales/lift.
-- Hold a two- to four-week dark period after a campaign to avoid skewing results.
-- Compared to the national average, CPG brands are 3x more likely to reach existing customers on Pinterest—and those customers spend 16% more. For Pinterest, focus on engagement rates as a measure of success because the platform has proven that a strong click rate equates to in-store sales. The new Pinterest Tag allows brands to track events and event data on site.
          Events such as Add to Cart, Checkout, Search, Lead and Page Visit can be reported on and used for audience creation.
           Create Visitor Audience rules to specify who to target based on user behavior on site. For example, brands can create an audience of users who triggered a Page Visit event on a certain URL and had a search query like "appetizers."

It is clear that as we move to an always-on mobile world where consumers are spending most of their time in social media apps, CPG brands need to ramp up their social presence. Social media platforms encourage sharing, so brands’ dollars not only reach their targets, but ripple through their circle of friends and acquaintances. A win-win for sure.

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