The top three reasons Facebook advertising pays out

To advertise on Facebook, or not to advertise on Facebook…that is the million dollar digital marketing question.
It’s a common refrain among small and large businesses alike – even though 1.23 billion people (and counting) are using the popular social media site. With such a massive audience pool to begin with, it’s guaranteed that a good percentage of your target audience will have a presence on Facebook (even if some are not regularly “active”). No matter what, the odds are certainly in your favor here. Still, it makes sense to wonder if spending a pretty penny on Facebook ads is really beneficial at creating engagement between your brand or company and your intended audience. As it turns out, Facebook advertising not only works for businesses, but is one of the most cost-effective means of generating brand awareness and targeting new leads.

Here are 3 reasons why Facebook advertising pays dividends:

1. The ability to target specific markets

One of the biggest advantages to Facebook marketing is the ability to specifically target your preferred audience. More traditional methods of targeting prospective customers based solely on simple demographics are inefficient compared to using more detailed psychographics to target consumers. With Facebook ads, you’re able to market directly to users – all based on their particular interests, age, gender, or online activity- at once. So if, say, you’re a ladies online clothing retailer, you can not only advertise to a specific gender, but also target those who shop online and have interest in fashion. You really can’t get more tailored than that, no pun intended. Why is this more effective for businesses? Because now your money isn’t being spent on ads going to an audience with no interest or intention of becoming a new customer; instead, targeted ads increase new business with potential customers as well as increase engagement with current customers. And the last thing a business wants to do is waste money. Speaking of money…

 2. It’s cost-effective

Not only are Facebook ads gaining as much, if not more, awareness for your business than TV and radio, but they have the lowest CMP, or “Cost per 1,000 impressions” in history: an average $0.25 per 1,000. That is 1% the cost of TV advertising. Moreover, the minimum cost to advertise on Facebook is $1 a day, yet it’s potentially more effective than traditional forms of advertising (due to optimized targeting). By doing the quick math, that’s only $30 a month – obviously, very little risk with incredibly high reward- rewards you can monitor thanks to Facebook’s Ad Manager.

3. Tracking ROI and awareness

With Facebook advertisements, it’s easy to monitor spending, performance, and, most importantly, ROI. You can track the number of impressions (including reach and frequency), activity (page likes, comments, shares, etc.), as well as CPC, Cost per Like, and Cost per Conversion. By easily tracking consumer engagement, you can test different ads, promotions, and posts, as well as A/B test unique targeting options to see what works best for your company.

For instance, if you’re targeting prospective customers that aren’t relevant to your business, or if your ads have too broad a reach, then the corresponding page “likes” you acquire might be rendered useless – and in some cases, engagement will be minimal. On the flip side, Facebook advertising functionality has significantly advanced since it’s inception, and the targeting options have grown to become far more sophisticated. Advertisers are now able to target prospective customers based on particular interests, age, gender, or online activity – all in one fell swoop. So if, say, you’re a ladies online clothing retailer, you’d have the opportunity to both advertise to a specific gender, and target those who shop online and possess a vested interest in fashion. You really can’t get more tailored than that, puns intended.

[quote]So it’s no longer a matter of if your company should advertise on Facebook, but rather, deciphering the most strategic game plan to maximize engagement once you’ve decided to promote your brand socially. [/quote] To use a term popularized by comedian Will Ferrell, with a little “strategery,” employing Facebook’s sophisticated advertising features will ensure that the rewards far outweigh the financial investment.

Are you ready to hit the ground running by developing a well-executed Facebook advertising playbook for your brand? Contact our Florida marketing agency today to let us help you get a strategic jumpstart!

For the love (of everything Valentine’s Day marketing)

Ah, Valentine’s Day. It brings to mind candlelit dinners, flowers sent to the office, and eating entirely too much chocolate. For some, it might even rehash haunting memories of good ol’ Johnny from third grade who gave his handmade valentine to Sarah – while going steady with you.
But as it turns out, most of the world isn’t jaded from mourning relationships of grade-school’s past; Valentine’s Day marketing should account for spending expected to reach $18.9 billion this year, up from $17.3 billion in 2014, according to the National Retail Foundation. To break it down: $1.7 billion will be spent on candy; $3.6 billion on a special meal or date; $4.8 billion toward jewelry; $2 billion on clothing; and $2.1 billion for flowers. Oh, and let us not forget the ever-popular, last-minute present: the gift card (at $1.5 billion). These numbers are significantly higher than 2014, ensuring a pretty stellar start for 2015 holiday spending. In fact, nine out of ten consumers expect to spend money on their spouse this February 14th – (leaving us to deduce that one out of those ten consumers apparently likes sleeping on the couch.)

For curiosity’s sake, just how much of an affect does advertising truly have on Valentine’s Day spending? The biggest trends in 2015 V-Day marketing seem to be the use of promotions, interactive marketing, and naturally, those familiar “I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye!” television commercials. (I know you don’t want to admit that you had to reapply your mascara after viewing another lovey-dovey ad, right?)

If you haven’t already noticed, brands are getting extra cute – and especially creative – this season. McDonald’s announced February 2nd that their stores would be accepting an alternative form of payment now through Valentine’s Day: hugs! You’ll have to be chosen by the cashier, though, so we suggest batting a few eyelashes and perfecting that “James Dean-esque” wink to be one of the “chosen few.”

While Valentine’s Day is typically celebrated by couples (some of my friends choose to celebrate February 15th: the day holiday candy goes on sale), dating site Match.com and Starbucks are making it even easier for singles to couple up at the coffee shop. Match’s mobile app now includes a section entitled, “Meet at Starbucks,” where users can click a call-to-action button, and email one another to arrange a coffee date. So, what was the impetus for this nifty idea? Well, it was sparked by none other than the 3 million members who use coffee-related keywords to describe themselves. Additionally, Starbucks will be offering a few special coffee and pastry deals (such as a cookie and raspberry mocha – for the bargain price of $5) in conjunction with their “World’s Largest Starbucks Date” event.

Of course, our list of prime Valentine’s Day ads that convey the power of the holiday wouldn’t be complete without your quintessential Hallmark tearjerker. The greeting card company’s campaign, “Put Your Heart to Paper” features real-life couples describing their feelings without speaking the word “love.” The goal of the campaign is “to celebrate all types of relationships and the type of things anyone would appreciate hearing on Valentine’s Day.” Hard not to let that line of love notes tug on your proverbial heartstrings.

So, what does Valentine’s Day marketing mean to you as a consumer? Are you driven to purchase items for your sweetie solely based upon your reaction to a specific ad’s sentimental messaging? [quote] Does “warm and fuzzy” content – be it print, video, or otherwise, have an impact on your spending habits on this “most loved” of holidays? [/quote]

And, if you’re looking for creative ways for your business to reach a targeted and highly-responsive audience of consumers, contact the experts at our Florida advertising agency today. We’re perfectly positioned to help you develop a strategy that will generate an uptick in brand awareness and engagement that you’re certain to love. After all, who doesn’t “heart” a well-executed campaign?

Steps to Defining A Competitive Advantage In Your Market

When operating in a highly saturated market, it is especially important for a business to have a competitive advantage that sets the company apart from the others. Finding that one thing that makes a business unique involves being innovative and thinking strategically about an industry. For example, Coca-Cola operates in the soda market with PepsiCo, but many customers choose to buy a Coke because of its perceived value.

In the business world, strategy is all about creating and implementing a competitive advantage that is unique, profitable, and sustainable. The goal is to provide direction that allows your business to perform in a way that is superior to your competitors. And while it may be easy to develop a strategy, it isn’t easy to develop a successful strategy… Here at BIGEYE, our marketing solutions are rooted in strategy to ensure that our clients see superior financial results.

[quote]Check out how BIGEYE applied these steps to give Ability Wood Flooring a competitive edge within their market.[/quote]

Is your competitive advantage unique? If not, maybe it’s time to rethink it. Here are the two fundamental steps to finding your business’s true competitive advantage.

  1. Have a complete understanding of your business environment or landscape. This includes defining the forces that shape competition, the key players in your market, the drivers of your industry’s future, and where your firm interacts in the industry.
  2. Next, choose where to compete. How will your business position itself? Evaluate the industry using Michael Porter’s “Five Forces Framework” as a tool to choose your positioning. The positioning should speak to the value perceived by your target market.

These two steps should result in finding a competitive advantage that results in customers choosing your firm over competitors. Does your business need assistance in implementing strategic marketing processes that result in financial returns? Let our team of creative minds and strategic thinkers help! Contact us today and let’s get started.

Source: Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon. September 4, 2014. “Introduction to Strategy”. Retrieved from Harvard Business School.

Assessing Ello and Emerging Social Media Sites For the New Year

Recently, tech blogs and trendsetters alike have been talking about Ello, a new social media site designed to serve as an alternative to Facebook. In many ways, it seems preposterous that a company would try to challenge – or even potentially replace – Facebook, which is by far one of the largest technology companies in the world. What you might find fascinating, however, is that Facebook’s key target demographics tell a bit of a different story – one that leaves us pondering whether or not the site may eventually be headed in the same direction as Friendster, or a quite possibly, a “pre-Justin Timberlake” MySpace.

When I joined Facebook, which by now was approximately eight years ago, it was the quintessential online social media destination for users in their 20’s and early 30’s to communicate with one another. Rarely would you find a parent with a Facebook account of their own, and, in terms of other social networking options, there were a few, but none were so communal. Facebook served as a landing place for all my friends – including those from many different social circles – no matter how I knew them. Times have most certainly changed with emerging social media, and with the rise of Ello, who knows? We might just end up seeing an exciting new shift in the way people access this type of online networking.

Most bonafide marketers understand that today’s “young people” aren’t as present on Facebook, and given the host of other options, they’re more likely to spend a bulk of their time visiting Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat. It doesn’t take a seasoned marketing professional to know that it takes a lot of bandwidth to be everywhere at once. This is one of the key reasons why these days, my peers are generally only active on social networks in which they associate meaning to their daily lives – and, they remain active on forums where people with similar interests tend to gravitate.

Personally, I follow a lot of comedians and comedic actors and actresses on Twitter, which is the perfect venue for crafting short, funny “witticisms.” On the flip side, Facebook is relegated to keeping in contact with a wide circle of friends, while LinkedIn assists me in maintaining professional connections, and growing my network. I access Instagram and Pinterest daily, but other accounts such as YouTube, Foursquare, Google+ and Vine tend to go virtually untouched and oftentimes, unmaintained.

As a digital strategist, my Orlando advertising agency’s social media team and I truly don’t envision that Ello will succeed in becoming the new “Facebook alternative.” As recourse however, I am placing a pretty firm bet on that notion that it may eventually attract communities of its own – communities made up of Facebook users who may feel as though Facebook is not the best social media site to serve their varying needs. This might be as a result of its use of data manipulation, or perhaps, the addition of an advertising component, or simply, that users may find their personal news feeds to be disinteresting. Whatever the reasons – and there are many – we’re seeing something much larger at play here.

[quote]In creating and maintaining a social network, it’s important to know where your audience spends a majority of its time.[/quote] If you look closely enough, you will see that users practically canvas the web – they’re accessing sites of all types. There are entire social networking sites that are geared specifically to peoples’ interests and ideologies. Often times, it may simply consist of a message board of people who are interested in topics deemed otherwise obscure, such as “hula hooping culture” or “18th century songwriting.” Topics that might not resonate with most of us, but as the moniker goes, “if you build it, they will come.”

In a similar vain, crafting and maintaining these social networks has a great deal to do with formulating a community, and marketers can utilize this lesson in helping to propagate such communities around their products. Specific audiences may be on Facebook because there’s nothing better, but I’m certain that if you attempt to present them with a dedicated forum – one that speaks directly to their area of interest – I’m sure you won’t be surprised to watch as the population of that social networking community flourishes. As a result, members have the opportunity to create connections both online and off. One such example is Fitocracy, an online forum for self-proclaimed “fitness geeks.”

I’m a firm believer that Facebook is here to stay, although with many of the above concepts in mind, the site’s following may have the potential to shrink. This is particularly true as its users find more specialized social networks where they can connect with like-minded people (and not necessarily individuals that they know personally in the real “offline” world). By keeping in mind that a successful social media strategy isn’t limited to the most popular social networks, brands can essentially begin to seek audiences in these not-so-mainstream avenues – which, in turn, might allow them to develop more authentic connections to their own customers.

Looking for digital expertise on how to best navigate the social media landscape? Contact us today to form a partnership to chart your course!

Why Customer Tracking Programs Using Data Mining Are A Win-Win

In today’s fast-paced, technologically charged environment, it should come as no surprise that every company we interact with – whether digitally or in-person – is collecting information about us. The team at BIGEYE’s Florida marketing agency knows that the more apps we download, the more time we spend perusing websites, and consequently, the more frequently we utilize rewards cards, the more we’re allowing the companies we interact with to increase their knowledge of us. The overarching purpose: to better understand how we use products and services produced and proffered by these businesses. For many years, this process, called data mining, was mired by privacy considerations. After all, how much about my purchasing habits do I really want a large, national brand to gain access to? With a little forethought, the answer has become much clearer: the more these companies know about us, the more capable they are to cater to our needs.

Before an influx of digital tools made it easier to gain insight into consumer behavior and purchasing preferences, businesses had to do quite a bit of “guestimating.” For example, it might be safe to assume that you sold 10 cupcakes over the course of a week if your inventory confirmed 10 fewer cupcakes than you had at the start of the week. But, what does that really tell you about who you sold those cupcakes to, and when during the span of the business week they were sold? This is where a well-defined loyalty program comes in.

When companies are aware of the exact products that you’re purchasing, and how often your transaction history includes these items, programs are better tailored, offering the goods and services that align best with your buying preferences. For instance, if your retailer knows your preferred toothpaste brand, then you’re probably a prime target when that brand comes out with a new floss or toothbrush. The retailer can offer you a discount that you’ll actually use, and as a result, you may end up with a fabulous deal on an innovative new product.

While this two-way street of business to consumer benefit has been standard practice in the marketing world, it’s taken on a new life in the age of big data. Using another retailer example, this is why Amazon is better equipped to recommend books that I might enjoy – after first becoming familiar with my current penchant for non-fiction, or why Facebook is able to directly target ads toward me – all based upon websites that I’ve visited previously.

[quote]There is a point-of-sale challenge, however – this data is much more difficult to capture during the customer’s in-store experience.[/quote] From an online perspective, Amazon has the benefit of being able to share products with its users that may be of interest to them – both while shopping and throughout the checkout process. On the flip side, while at a brick-and-mortar store, by the time you’ve reached the register, it’s often too late. As a result, retail businesses must strive to capture this data using other means. Here’s a sneaky little secret: logging-on to a store’s wifi, or accessing their app while you’re visiting a retailer, your consumer data – including your movements – may be captured, allowing for discovery of those merchandising displays that may have caught your attention.

Further developments in this space include data processing cameras that help map consumer preferences, including capabilities such as customer identification, with additional technology to recognize consumers each and every time they return to the store. While 77% of consumers claim to find this type of in-store tracking intrusive, what they may not realize is that they’re already being tracked through online purchases, mobile phone and social media usage, and many other daily activities. So, why should the in-store exchange be any different, particularly if it results in improved services and enhanced customer experience?

Yes, retailers are seeking personalized information about their consumers, just as the old adage of “knowing your customer” implies. Truly, however, most are really interested in obtaining these purchasing details primarily so they may create an unparalleled consumer experience – one that is more enjoyable and efficient shoppers, whether online or off. As a result, and in congruence with the resurgence of rewards programs, customers benefit from additional discount offerings, free samples, and other services targeted toward these uniquely personalized needs.

Need assistance in reaching prospective customers by employing an effective tracking program? Contact us today to partner together to score BIG returns for your business!

The Changing Nature of SMS Marketing for Businesses

Throughout your day, how long do you go without sending or receiving a text message? While I’ve been putting this post together, I’ve already sent six texts… and it’s only 8:30 a.m.! It’s no wonder marketers are starting to truly understand the value of reaching customers via text. Alongside messages from people you care about, it’s becoming increasingly common to also see messages from brands you care about.

While it has long been the norm for radio stations and TV programs to encourage communication via text, the team at BIGEYE’s Orlando ad agency has noticed that mainstream brands have been reluctant to catch up. And it’s likely due to the heavy reliance on email marketing, or a simple failure to understand how a short text can portray as much information as other forms of marketing. Think about it: People receive dozens of promotional emails each day, and some of us even opt to keep those promotional message divided into “tabs” so we don’t have to be inconvenienced by them while we’re perusing more important messages. And, as far as using Facebook as a marketing tool, businesses who invest heavily in social media sometimes learn that only a small fraction of their total followers have actually seen their posts.

SMS Marketing is the one realm where businesses can send messages and know with a matter of certainty that the reader will receive the message. In fact, it’s this thinking that has prompted the new iBeacon, which pushes text messages to peoples’ smartphones when they’re near a store that has a beacon housed therein. Many people expect this to become a mainstay of technology, unlike QR codes, which are used heavily abroad but haven’t taken off in the United States.

For many people, text is the preferred method of communication. [quote]I even have a friend whose voice mail says, “Don’t bother leaving a message, because I won’t listen. Just text me.”[/quote] Unscheduled phone calls have become invasive, and instead they opt for text as a primary form of communication. So, it should be no wonder that people are feeling more comfortable than ever receiving text messages from the companies they adore.

In fact, SAP reports (registration required) that 64% of consumers think businesses should converse more with customers via text. Further, of the people polled, 76% said they were more likely to read a message sooner if it were a SMS instead of an email, and 70% thought SMS was a good way for the business to get their attention. For some consumers, SMS is more useful in providing “peace of mind” about identity and data, which is something to understand given a current climate of recent data leaks and hacks.

This all makes a SMS strategy sound rather impressive, doesn’t it? If you are considering investing in SMS, there are a few things to remember, like even though it seems as if everyone you know has a smartphone, as of January 2014, only 58% of adult Americans had smartphones – many people are still relying on “dumb” phones that might not automatically read website links. Of course, the specifics of your SMS plan will involve researching and understanding your target demographic and understanding their mobile usage behaviors.

[featured]

For more ideas as to how your company can effectively integrate an SMS strategy, please contact us today to learn how our Florida ad agency can help you!

[/featured]