A lot has been written or said about the ever-shifting digital landscape. Most recently, the rather seismic shift with Facebook moving to be less advertiser-friendly might be the best example of how platforms are attempting to keep audiences more engaged with their product. As such, they will do what’s in their best long-term interest.
As an ad agency that specializes in social media advertising, ReThinc received quite a few concerned messages from our clients. Most were worried about the efficacy of their advertising campaigns and how any future outreach may be negatively affected. It’s all quite understandable as a “chorus of self-anointed pundits” declared this as the end of Facebook as a viable marketing platform for anyone except the largest of brands.
This self-anointed pundit says maybe… maybe not.
The truth is, no one really knows the impact of Facebook’s decision. In fact, here some 4 weeks later, there’s been little, if any, change that we’ve seen with our campaigns. That’s not to say that there won’t be change. My bet is that the people controlling that change will be calculated when they manipulate their algorithms. They will look to retain the best aspects of Facebook as a user friendly platform while still maximizing its ability to generate revenue.
The most important thing we can tell our clients (and anyone who reads this blog) is not to overreact. The second most important thing for you to do is to make certain that you have a sound marketing strategy that is not wholly reliant on one facet of outreach; in this case, Facebook. If you are doing everything else right, a particular adjustment to a platform’s algorithms should not derail your marketing efforts and plummet your company into bankruptcy.
At ReThinc, our goal is for each and every one of our clients to engage in the type of marketing practices that give their brand the very best chance to succeed. Whereas there may be a great deal of variance in the day to day executions we do for each client, there are basic principles that we feel are important for every client to follow. Think of this as manipulating your own algorithms.
Here are ten (10) basic principles that will serve your company well in its efforts to attract and retain customers:
1. Relax; the digital advertising space is undergoing a great deal of rapid change. It’s inherently volatile. Don’t be a trend -chaser and throw your marketing efforts into a spiral every time there is a change. Trust me on this. It’s counterintuitive in both the short and long run.
2. Create a friendly, informative, and consistent method of communication with your clients. This should transcend one given platform and be as personal as possible. Yes, email marketing, social media, and even direct mail are all methods to accomplish this but don’t forget the art of creating a personal relationship either.
3. Utilize social media properly. I cannot stress this enough. Organic posting, when done right, is informative, entertaining, and engaging. When done wrong, it’s a waste of your time.
4. Know your audience. Don’t make assumptions about who comes through your door. This is easier for a coffee shop than it is a baseball stadium but it’s equally important information for both. Use technology to your advantage here. There are ways to know who frequents your business or attends your venue.
5. Use traditional media wisely (if at all). Traditional media is having a challenging time coping with smaller, less engaged audiences. A byproduct of this is the hiring of new salespeople who are just that, salespeople. There are ways to make traditional media work; it’s just a lot harder than it used to be.
6. Differentiate with your creative. If you do what everyone else does, then you will look just like everyone else. If your creative looks like everyone else’s and you want that to change, hire an ad agency that has a talented creative team.
7. Listen to your customers. Review sites can tell you how customers feel about your business but then again so does a few minutes of conversation. Take my advice and do both. Review sites sometimes attract the loudest customers, not necessarily the most ordinary. No business is too big to have a conversation.
8. Marketing is more difficult than it was in the past. In a given day, consumers are inundated with marketing messages and the means by which to deliver them. It’s always a good idea to have an attribution strategy for the money you are investing in outreach. If you don’t know what that is or want to learn more about attribution, see our blog on the topic here.
9. It’s never been more important to know what your competition is doing. It’s also never been easier. There are a myriad of ways to differentiate yourself from the companies that potentially keep you from achieving the market share you seek. Don’t be unethical, be competitive; beat your competition with a better experience, at a lower price, and with superior advertising.
10. A saturated and shifting marketplace can be difficult for even the most savvy business person. Consider hiring an ad agency to make sure your investment is properly managed and directed. There’s an overabundance of opportunity but a corresponding abundance of pitfalls and challenges. A good ad agency is a great asset in these turbulent times.
It’s been said by someone much wiser than me that the only constant in business is change. This will not be the last time a significant digital platform manipulates their algorithms nor will it be the last time we offer our help. Want more information on what we can do for you? Click here.