If you want peoples attention during their precious, private time on social media, you will have to earn it.
You have heard it before.
Great marketing is the one that is not percieved as marketing.
Everbody likes to buy, but noone wants to be sold to.
Give free samples of your expertise and do not expect anything in return.
A massive industry, called content marketing is built around these very ideas.
It’s nothing new.
Long before the internet, we had informercials on TV (TV shop for us locals), there has been case studies in public journals, TV and Movie product placements and even a full lenght movie financed and produced around commercial service.
Since the beginning of entertainment, advertising has been part of it.
And with today’s overwelming selection of media outlets, being aware of this fact is more important than ever.
Because advertising is interruptive
Meaning that pretty much noone consumes ads for the sake of the ad itself.
We read it as information to make decisions for our possible purchase.
But as ads are dependant on large audiences, the natural placement is where a crowd is gathered.
This is no different from the World Series Finals, to a digital local news outlet, or a social media influencers feed.
The ads interrupt what the audience wants to see.
People allow it, as they knows it’s purpose and function.
– But only to a certain point.
The moment users experience a venue as ad saturated, they leave.
So, it is a fine line to balance for both publishers and advertisers.
- How much is too much, and when do we get there?
- What are the placements that gives us the best and most relevant users right now?
- And at the most affordable cost?
- And what placements deliver the highest value for money?
These are questions answered by data
And lots of it.
With the last decade rise of data-driven marketing, fueled by AI driven behavioural algorithms, and privacy invading attribution, the questions above were to a large extent answered quantitative data.
A booming business of numbers- and system-led marketing agencies and software thrived for a decade and a half, delivering massive revenue and value to their shareholders and clients.
But somewhere along the way basic marketing skills were lost to numbers and attribution.
And it is not rocket science to understand why
The systems offered an opportunity to buy a way out of the hard part – actual marketing, and replaced it with very targeted exposure.
Just push out a large amount of content and variations, and see what works.
It lowered the bar for anyone to do marketing.
The good part of this is that it leveled the playing field between small and large businesses for a while.
Methods, systems and software were easy to set up.
And results were often fast, compared to pre-digital ad channels.
But, what also happened was that many people made careers and businesses without knowing basic marketing.
In my local market, this is quite apparent.
Everyone and anyone knows how to do paid search.
But hardly anyone knows how to build organic reach, or successfully advertise on social media.
Influencers knows organic, journalists know press, but what puzzles me is the fact that traditional ad agencies to only a small extent know social media advertising.
They are the very essence of creative brains, and have all the required knowledge to succeed.
Most media agencies, performance agencies, and content agencies are catching up, but not quite there yet.
This is of course a simplified view
But my point is that as of june 2021, the landscape changed.
And the agencies and businesses that had not focused on proper marketing and creative work experienced a difficult situation.
The social media outlets has worked hard to overcome IOS14 changes so they could offer an attractive advertising venue, even without the tracking and attribution that fueled the data-driven marketing.
In deed, their systems have improved the last months.
Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok have behavioural analysis that segments targeting automaticly with staggering precision if used properly.
But, as stated, they require data.
This data is now primarily harvested within each app.
Leaving the in-app behaviour the most important for your advertising.
And this builds up to my main point of this post.
You need to provide behavioural data to the systems
How do you do that?
By entertaining the audience
Because, effective advertising on social media is entertainment.
If it is not, it is just scrolling distance.
You simply HAVE to entertain your target audience, and the users similar to them.
Leading to my second point:
Basic marketing skills are required.
As a trained marketer, you know the importance of research, you are trained in communicating and copywriting, and you understand that a buyers journey is not linear.
Without this knowledge, todays advertising landscape will simply eat your money, and you won’t understand how or why it happened.
But, wait just a minute..
That being said, proper marketers also struggle with todays status.
Entertainment is hard.
Relevant entertainment is even harder.
What drives sales online today is happening in places not possible to track, like word of mouth, messenger services, digital meetings, comments sections, incognito searhces, incognito email, streams, twiches, podcasts and webcasts, to mention some.
And you simply cannot master them all.
You will need to choose, and stick with the choice until proven either good or bad.
Advertising as entertainment is great opportunity
For the skilled marketers, the new normal is a great opportunity.
Systems are so effective, that you don’t need deep dives into the technical side of things.
What you need to do is learn how to relevantly entertain the people you beleive should purchase your service.
Then find their preferred venue, and learn to master it.
It’s not hard, it’s just work, and it works 🙂