April 4, 2018Survival Guide

Chapter 8 | Additional Survival Supplies

We’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeve. Read up on branding that works in the digital space and insights on Facebook ad conversions (plus a few real-life case studies on using innovation right).

Conversational Branding | By Patrick Givens, VP & Head of VaynerMedia, VaynerSmart

Marketing is persuasion. Persuading the audience that the version of a product or service I represent is superior to alternative options.

As marketers, our job comes down to understanding and influencing the elements that factor into purchase decisions. We design messaging to shape perceptions of quality, value, relevance and more. And, if we do our jobs well, by the time a purchase decision is happening we’ll already have consumers primed to think favorably of our products. We’ll have built up a brand, the sum total of all those perceptions.

Over the past decades, we marketers have gotten pretty good at the science of persuasion. We identify whitespace for a compelling strategic positioning, brief creative teams to spin up some memorable ads, and have the media folks buy placements that put our clever messages right alongside news and entertainment content.

But for those of us who have spent our careers designing and broadcasting brand-building messages, there’s a new factor in the contest for persuasion we’re being forced to grapple with: conversation. Suddenly, our brands are being defined not just by how they act, but how they interact.

Driven by the constant connectivity of mobile internet, consumer attention has been dispersing for years, spreading out from a narrow set of channels to a more complex content ecosystem. Along with this migration has come greater control for consumers who no longer simply receive but now actively engage with and direct much more of their content experiences.  

Now, we find ourselves in the early days of the next great shift in consumer attention and engagement. The proliferation of virtual assistant platforms is accelerating the trend toward interactive content experiences, and as these platforms spread rapidly across global markets they are reshaping expectations for engagement with personalities, publishers, and brands. Increasingly, it won’t be enough for brands to simply project the right message. We’ll need to design interactive experiences through which they respond dynamically, handling a variety of consumer questions and ultimately answering with responses tailored for unique conversations on a massive scale.

Brand-building through conversation is hardly new. Just think of the last time you dealt with an internet provider or an airline. Did you have a phone call or chat with a representative? Did you ask questions and expect responses relevant to your specific case? And after the interaction, did you evaluate the brand based on how the conversation had gone?

The difference in the years to come will be the expectation that all brands should be able to dynamically respond to their consumers. And to live up to this new expectation, we’ll need to rethink our approach to brand planning. That sounds daunting, but there are a few ways we can get started:

  1.     User-Led Design: We can’t design everything for everyone right away. But that doesn’t mean we should default to whatever is easiest to execute. Prioritize value-adding conversations, focusing on interactions that could resolve issues or provide new utility. Then launch with a minimum viable product and invest in analytics/optimization cycles to build learnings while evolving and expanding conversational capacity.
  2.     Audio ID: Many of our existing brand identities focus on visual and tonal guidance, minimizing or ignoring entirely the role of audio. The voice-first interfaces of many virtual assistant platforms make defining a sonic palette and vocal guidelines critical to building equity.
  3.     Conversational Commerce: While categories will see different effects on their commercial models, the convergence of conversation and commerce in virtual assistant platforms requires us to rethink how our brands are purchased. From optimizing eCommerce profiles with long-tail descriptions to exploration of new customer retention strategies, a major shift is coming and we need to prepare.

In this new world of brand building opportunities, there’s exciting potential for adept early-movers to make huge gains on their competition. Consumers will try new conversations, which – when delivered successfully – can drive sales, compliance, loyalty, and advocacy.


Facebook Conversions: The Actual Costs | By Visnja Milidragovic, Content Manager at Daily Hive

Most social media advertisers have seen the benefits of using Facebook for delivering ads, particularly for those with smaller budgets. Typically, particularly compared to say, Linkedin sponsored updates, Facebook newsfeed ads tend to be quite cost effective – one can expect costs of $0.25-$1.50 per click. Facebook also allows for lower daily budgets (as low as $5 for CPC/CPE campaigns), compared to LinkedIn’s daily minimum, commonly seen anywhere from $40 to $60 for comparable reach.

Barring my article being about the effectiveness of Facebook native advertising over LinkedIn’s (particularly, as LinkedIn audiences can be a much more qualified pool of prospects, particularly for B2Bs), I’d like to offer a word of warning for Facebook advertisers: Make sure you’re measuring the correct CPA – Cost Per (actual) Acquisition.

Facebook’s Campaign Metrics Don’t Jive With Intended KPIs

A large proportion of advertisers placing Facebook newsfeed ads likely have one of two objectives: Traffic to their campaign landing page or Engagement. However, Facebook tends to mix up the two in the reports you’ll find in your Ads Manager/Power Editor – even though it encourages advertisers to develop campaigns with particular ‘objectives’ in mind.

For example, I noticed that for a CPC campaign (the objective being Traffic), Facebook calculates the CPC based on ‘all clicks’ (those being not just link clicks but also ‘actions’ anywhere on the ad). Thankfully, the platform is sincere in reporting ‘link clicks’ in a separate column, (which is actually my primary objective with this campaign). Given this, a fair warning: Be wary of confusing your cost of acquisition (actual cost of clicks to your landing page) with this reported CPC (which is more of an engagement rate).

CPM (Reach) vs CPC (Traffic) Facebook Campaigns: Which Produces More Website Clicks for Less?

In fact, what I often do, is simultaneously run a CPM campaign with the same creative and ad group(s) as my CPC campaign. I get charged for every 1000 impressions delivered, rather than for every click (a click being not just through to my website but anywhere on the ad, which is often not my objective). What I too often find is that my CPM campaign has a lower actual CPC than my Traffic campaign – and with comparable Reach. That means a CPM/awareness campaign can technically drive more cost-effective clicks!

Remember, if you’re not crunching the correct numbers, your Return on Investment calculation is useless. And as marketers, we ‘live or die by our ROI’.