With all the ad impressions people are shown, it's not easy to stand out, even more so if people don't really know about your brand or message. That's why it's crucial that you have a reliable framework for your campaign initiatives.
In this blog, you'll get a simple framework for your paid social strategy so your campaigns will deliver the results you want.
People are exposed to a quantum of advertisements every single day. So there is simply no chance that we can notice all of them. But we do have behavioral patterns to pay attention to certain things at a certain time. This can be defined as selective bias, recency illusion, frequency illusion, also known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
For example, let's imagine that you want to buy a new car, and you've been looking into a Range Rover. Suddenly, you start noticing Range Rovers everywhere, in your parking lot, in magazines, on the streets, and so on. It doesn't mean that there are more Range Rovers than there were before. You're just noticing them because that's what you're interested in at the moment.
From the perspective of a social media advertiser, people won't pay attention to all ads, so the chances are that they'll notice those that they're already familiar with. It's very different when people already know your brand, colors, and message than when we're introducing something for the first time. Depending on which applies to you, there are different tactics you can use to make people actually notice your ads.
Before starting a new campaign, you need to ask yourself these 4 questions.
Decide on the purpose of your campaign, whether it's to sell something right now - sales activation, or to sell more later - brand building. It might be that your objective is to generate leads or something else, but it's the same principle. You'll need to figure out what it is and how you'll measure if it's a success or not.
If you haven't figured out your primary objective, you won't be able to focus the message of your content and measure success.
As an organization, we always think that we play an important role in peoples' lives which may not always be true. If you don't expect people to be interested, you will need to be much louder and much more in their faces to draw their attention. In that sense, you'll need as intrusive formats as you can buy online, and you'll need a captivating audio-visual element to cut through the noise.
On the other hand, if people are interested, cost-effective reach is what you should optimize for. Your ad can take up a small space, and you don't need audio as an addition for people to notice you.
If people haven't heard about you or your message before, you will need a higher frequency, and/or compelling audio-visual element for people to remember you. Advertisers are compelled to target fewer people when they need higher frequency, but this shouldn't be the case. Generally, it means that this type of campaign requires a higher budget to reach enough people and enough times for them to remember you.
In a case that people have heard about your message before, you don't need high frequency and intrusive formats.
If your message is complex, you'll need more time with your audience to deliver the message so that they can understand it correctly. This means that using forced viewing, like non-skippable ads, can be a good option.
If your message is simple, those fleeting impressions are okay. (impressions that last for very short time)
When you have the answers to all questions above, it's time to place them into the framework. The framework consists of 4 different tactics that you can apply based on your answers, and yes, it might look complex, but it's pretty simple once you get into it.
The first vertical represents your message objective, which in this case is sales activation vs. brand building. On the side of sales activation, you can expect people to either be interested in your message/brand or not. On the other side in brand building, you need to consider whether your brand associations are well established or unestablished.
By established brand associations, we mean if you're using the same visual language (character) as you did in the past couple of years. In this situation, people can already recognize your brand just by seeing the same character.
Unestablished brand associations usually happen when you want to introduce a new brand universe or product. In this meaning, you're trying to build new associations that people haven't heard before.
Impacting is a sales-response-driven campaign targeting people that you don't expect to be interested in your message. This tends to be something that's not so important to many people, and therefore you need to cut through the noise. To get peoples' attention, you need to use big, intrusive formats and audio-visual elements.
It's usually a tactic for big retail chains that advertise offers every week, such as brands selling cleaning products. It's easier for people to buy your product when they know your brand.
Normally you would measure this based on sales, which for big retail stores happen offline, at least partly.
For people to remember you even when they don't care, you'd typically use video formats, preferably with a sound on. That's why you'd need to choose platforms that support video formats and where people have always sound on. This goes for Facebook and Instagram, where you can use stories, reels, rewarded videos, and in-stream videos. On Youtube, you can take advantage of bumper ads and non-skippable ads. Other platforms you can use here are TikTok and Snapchat.
No one likes to be forced to watch a video, but in this type of campaign, you need to convince people to listen even though they don't care about the message. So sometimes you just have to do it.
Activating kicks in when people have already shown interest in your message. A typical example can be retargeting. When people are already interested, you can be sure that they'll see your message no matter what formats or placements you choose as long as it's on their screen, of course.
Here, you would measure it based on a direct response to your campaign. It can be selling something, generating leads, getting sign-ups, or something else, but whatever it is you have to offer, you want people to react right now.
In general, all the platforms and placements can work because you're reaching people that are already interested in the message. Typically, people would use a google search here, but this also depends on what your organization is using. For example, it might be that you're using only Facebook, or LinkedIn, and so on.
Brands are building new brand associations when they launch a new brand universe, product, or new features to their product that people haven't heard of. So you'll need to spend more time with the user, a higher frequency, and an audio-visual element.
Optimally you would measure this based on a view time because people usually need to spend some time with your brand to get to the message you're trying to tell them. So reach and high frequency is vital.
In terms of platforms, you can use the same as in the Impacting tactic. Skippable formats are fine for placements in terms of videos, and brands are often using influencers here.
Reinforcing tactic is used when you want to remind the people of you. It's about what you continuously and consistently show users that they can associate with your brand.
To remind people of your brand/message, you will just want to reach people continuously. You also don't need to spend much time with the user, so most short formats are fine here.
You can choose here the least expensive ways to reach people but expect them to watch the ad. In terms of placements, more or less anything can work.
Depending on the primary objective of your campaign, you can choose one of the 4 tactics included in this framework.
If your objective is Sales Activation, meaning you want to sell right now, you need to consider whether you can expect your audience to be interested in your message/brand or not.
In a scenario that they're not interested in your message, you should go for a tactic called Impacting. This means you need to stand out to people that don't really care about what you have to offer.
If they are interested, you can go for Activating. This is commonly used in retargeting practices, so it kicks in after people show some interest in your message.
On the other hand, if your objective is Brand Building, you need to decide whether your message is aligned with established brand associations or if it's something new, meaning unestablished brand associations.
In a situation where you're introducing something new that your audience hasn't heard about, you need to go for a tactic called Building. You'll need to focus here on high reach and frequency.
If you want to remind the people of you, meaning you're using established brand associations, you can use the tactic called Reinforcing.
Nailing down your media strategy for paid social is extremely important, so if you'd like to know more please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
You can reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org