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Four Rules for Digital Advertising

How should you approach your digital campaign? At the 2011 Ad:Tech convention in New York City participants focused on the digital advertising realm. Much of the focus dealt with social messaging, and these are a few takeaways:

Understand the Social Component

Get a grip on what drives a social comment about a product. Simply asking customers to mention your brand won’t be successful unless there is meaning behind it. “People don’t want to talk about your brand,” said David Rosenberg, director of innovations at LBi US in New York. “They want to talk about the things that interest them.”

Success isn’t necessarily measured by Twitter followers. It comes from delivering content that involves customers, interests them and compels them to talk about your brand.

One of the popular catch phrases at the conference was “social by design”. Advertising campaigns must be comprised of more than great creatives – they need to be centered on your customer and relate to their interests, desires, character and beliefs.

Narrow Targeting Rules the Roost

There’s no excuse for simply targeting the 25-34 married female demographic anymore. With social media like Facebook, you can drill down to a 28 year-old mother of two who graduated from Tufts, works as a media consultant, and enjoys scuba diving. Audience buying has changed the playing field from an environment that yields a 30% accuracy rate to a 90% rate. To develop an even sharper focus, some panelists encouraged the audience to seek optimal targeting through a combination of paid and social media placement.

Keynote speaker David Fischer, VP of advertising and global operations at Facebook commented, “The key point is that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. When you put (the parts) together, you get virality.”

Accountability Must be Demanded

Whether you are running a purely digital or mixed media campaign, advertisers are now empowered with analytics like never before. Panelists encouraged the audience to make sure ad agencies are reporting your numbers accurately and consistently. There are still issues with measurement frameworks across multiple digital platforms, and often advertisers struggle with reporting reliable metrics; however, they should not be hiding behind inefficient reporting structures.

Andy Fisher, VP at Starcom MediaVestr, told marketers, “If you run a campaign that’s targeted to moms, and you ask ‘How many moms did you actually reach?’ the advertiser deserves to know the answer…”

Optimize for the Social Impression

Simply popping a Twitter icon on your home is not the answer to “are you leveraging social media?” Improve social optimization by providing ways that connect your markets to specific products. For example, have customers ‘like’ a brand in exchange for a follow-up coupon. Allow targets to comment on your site using their Facebook handle. Similar to affiliate marketing through an online presence, your customers can become a product advocate through their social presence.

“Just like you optimize for search, you need to optimize for social,” said David Linabury, director of interactive experience at Campbell-Ewald, during a panel on social media.

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Adam Vandergang

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