If you work on the digital marketing side of things, you’re probably on edge with the endless stream of new updates, social media tools and advertising features, and wondering how you can find time to make use of them in all your campaigns.
I can’t help with the nervous disposition, (that said, my recent blog post on mindfulness is a good place to start) but I can offer a handy list of the features that I think are most valuable to you, and how you might use them.
Let’s get cracking.
1. Instagram story ads
You can now run a photo or 15 second video advert that will appear seamlessly between stories from two accounts that the user follows. Astonishing really. And it’s as simple as editing your placement options (Note: these can only be run using the reach, video views or conversions objectives within Facebook advertising).
How do I use them? Use story ads to drive awareness of your organisation or brand. The idea is to pique their interest enough to want to find and follow you afterwards. We suggest a very short trailer or photo of an exhibition/performance. Questions help drive actions: where will you be this Friday? Remember to keep the message simple, so it could be: tickets now on sale! Or One week until the show begins. Or One show we highly recommend
Tips: Use clear, large branding that stands out aesthetically; keep the message and ad concept simple; and make use of the full length of the screen by uploading a 9:16 vertical image. Remember that viewers will only see your ad the once, so let them know where to find you afterwards.
2. Live audio on Facebook
This one’s been around for a while, but I don’t see many people taking advantage of it. Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions in real time, and easily share with their friends. An advantage of audio is that listeners can continue to listen to your broadcast while they browse other areas of Facebook, and Android users can even continue listening if they leave the Facebook app or lock their phones.
How do I use it? Use live audio to stream live interviews, readings, debates, podcasts, music, discussions, poetry, audio performance extracts, artist talks, post-performance Q and A’s and more.
Tips: Consider live audio when you’re in areas that lack strong network connectivity or when the backdrop isn’t pretty! If visuals are not adding any extra value to your content, streaming audio will allow your listeners to focus on the content more easily.
3. Instagram shopping!
It’s been around since November 2016, but have you tried it yet? 56% of consumers said they followed brands on social media to browse products for sale, and 31% of online shoppers say they’re using social media specifically to look for new items to purchase.
How do I use them? Just select the “Conversions” objective when setting up your advert, and select “Purchase” as the type of conversion you want to optimise for (on the ad set page). All the budget and targeting settings are the same for running a Facebook advert, but make sure to select Instagram only when it comes to selecting your ad placements. For further help with this, drop me an email.
Tips: Your priority might not be to sell products on Instagram, (or sell products at all!) but perhaps it’s something to think about. Do you have exhibition catalogues/postcards/programmes to sell? This might be an effective way to reach out to potential new audiences, and raise awareness of your brand and the work you do at the same time.
4. Facebook split testing
Facebook have been phasing in the option to split test on Facebook ads. Split testing is a method of determining how different elements of your advert affect its performance.
How do I use it? The three elements available now are: delivery optimisation, audience and placement. You can use Split Testing to interpret how changes in these variables impact the success of your ads. For example we can test the same advert on two different audiences to see which audience engaged most. This helps refine audiences to those most engaged with ads, and from here we can create lookalike audiences.
Tips: Split testing is only available for the following advert objectives: traffic, app installs, lead generation and conversions. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 days for your ads (to yield sufficient data to draw conclusions) and a maximum of 14 days for your tests – around 5 days would be spot on. With split testing it’s best to start broad and work from there. An effective split testing campaign will have a thorough plan and schedule that details WHICH element to test, WHY test and WHAT you hope to discover. Also, WHERE to go from there!
5. Accessible images and videos
This one’s more of a tip as it’s something I feel is really important, especially with Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May. Have you noticed the rise in subtitles on your Facebook news feed? This is due to the rise in mobile viewers and subsequently, the rise in viewers either with sound but without headphones, or in noisy environments. Viewers without sound – this also includes the audio impaired – are 52% more likely to stop and watch a video with subtitles.
How do I use it? By simply adding subtitles to your videos before uploading. It requires a little extra work, but the result will be a video more accessible, more attractive and more informative. This is extremely important for the audio impaired, and also for non-native English speakers, as it helps to increase the amount of information they gain from the video.
Tips: While we’re on the subject of accessibility, Twitter have been focusing on making Twitter more accessible for Tweeters who are visually impaired. This means you can now add alt text descriptions to images within tweets. Go to your Twitter settings (the gear icon); tap Display and Sound and then Accessibility and turn the Compose image descriptions on. From here you can add descriptive text to your Twitter images by tapping add description. Adding accessibility may seem like a win for only a small audience, but it’s a best practice across the board for organisations looking to grow their audiences and be open and accessible to all.
Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18th!)
If I’ve lost you on any of the points above, or if you’d like more help getting to grips with any of the features, just drop me an email. And if you’d rather read about how to be more relaxed in the workplace (why wouldn’t you?) click here.