By Smith Willas
With millennials coming of age, trust in marketing and advertising continues to drop, reinforcing the need for native advertising. While native advertising encompasses a diverse set of viable messaging channels and formats, including print, broadcast and in-app programmatic, native social campaigns has its place too.
Social media platforms are still where most US consumers spend most of their time, so your ads need to be there as well. However, it can be challenging to maintain high levels of business value for your social advertising spend. Unless you manage your campaigns carefully, your budget could easily trickle away in a stream of PPC ads and boosted posts, and you might struggle to demonstrate that any of these has resulted in commensurate qualified leads or increased sales.
The challenge of the day, then, is to get the maximum possible bang for your native social campaign buck. Here are five strategies to maximize your native social campaigns.
1. Retarget your previous leads
Facebook is the social platform best known for its retargeting ads, but others support these kinds of campaigns as well. Retargeting just makes good sense – logically, people who have already engaged with your content are far more likely to eventually convert than those who are not familiar with your brand.
What’s more, retargeting has proven to be effective, regardless of the industry you’re in. One recent study from mobile app acquisition attribution platform AppsFlyer found that retargeting campaigns that target previous users yield about a 63% increase in revenue.
The best way to think about retargeting ads is as being part of a nurture funnel consisting of paid media touchpoints. The first campaign is just to get people’s attention and see if they might be interested in the product. So you should probably promote content that is not at all sales-oriented. From there, if people spend enough time with your content, especially if they browse around to view more sales-y pages on your site, then they’ve qualified themselves to become audience members for the next campaign, which will retarget them with an offer of some kind.
Retargeting is aimed at warm leads who already have some knowledge of and interest in your business. Combining retargeting with skilled customer segmentation and carefully crafted content for each step of the funnel allows you to design a highly effective ad journey built on multiple native social campaigns.
2. Slice your audience
Part of optimizing your ROAS is driving down the cost per click as much as possible. Native social campaigns with narrow audiences make your message more relevant, since they will only be seen by people who are (likely to be) interested in your business and will therefore click through and convert.
Now here’s where the savings start to kick in. Broader audiences attract more competing advertisers, raising the CPC at the same time as diluting the relevance of your message. By raising the CTR, you’ll correspondingly lower the CPC.
For this reason, if you’re thinking of targeting a number of audience segments, it’s best to set up several separate campaigns, each one targeting a highly relevant, narrow audience, rather than creating a single broader campaign that encompasses multiple segments. It’ll save you money on your CPC rates.
3. Personalize your landing pages
Native social doesn’t operate in a void. It’s part of a holistic marketing experience that carries the audience through a content journey with consistent branding and narratives, from your promoted social posts to landing pages with matching creative.
But if you’re setting up dozens of ad variants so there’s one for each segment, it can be a major undertaking to do the same with your landing pages. In this sense, Duda’s web design platform lightens the load significantly, making it easy for agencies to serve up dynamic personalized landing pages for each audience segment.
Here’s an example of how you can use Duda’s personalization engine to scale up on landing pages that feature personalized messaging to dovetail with your native social ads:
- Start by building a native social advertising campaign that targets shoppers in 40 different cities in the US.
- Instead of creating a single campaign set to surface for residents of all 40 cities, you set up 40 different campaigns, each one aimed at natives of a different city and personalized with location-specific content.
- Instead of building 40 different landing pages, each one customized to that city, you publish one landing page and insert a relevant location UTM tag into the destination URL for each campaign’s ad copy.
- Next, simply set Duda’s personalization rules to insert city-specific content into the relevant places on the landing pages, according to the location UTM.
Location-specific landing pages are just the tip of the iceberg. A clothing retailer could use landing page personalization to show different landing pages for men’s clothing and women’s clothing, for example, or a catering business could have different landing pages to match native social campaigns for weddings, business conferences, or high school reunions.
By using UTM tags to trigger personalization rules, native social ads can turn into key nodes in a highly engaging marketing funnel.
4. Be dynamic with chatbots
Combining native social ads with the power of chatbots opens up a whole new world of individual, dynamic customer engagement at scale. Social media users are far more active on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger than on other platforms, and with much higher engagement rates, too.
Chatbots can ask and answer questions, make personalized product and service suggestions, and interact responsively with your target audience in a way that your PPC campaigns can only dream about.
You can cleverly place your native social ads in Facebook Messenger inboxes, user news feeds, or within messages on different platforms, and craft them to entice the user into conversation with your chatbot. Then it’s up to you to program your chatbot to guide the user towards your goal, whether that’s to sign up for your email newsletters, visit your website, share their favorite color, or tell you which of your newest product lines they prefer.
5. Use lookalike audiences for native social campaigns
Another strategy for increasing your ROAS on native social is to pay careful attention to how you create your audience when you’re seeking to attract new, top-of-funnel potential customers.
With search ads, you can target new audiences based on their intent, by tapping into the keywords they use. Native ads, on the other hand, are a bit different in that there’s no user query involved. Native ads on publishers’ websites can target people according to their content interests. But with social media campaigns, privacy concerns make it much more challenging nowadays to achieve best-in-breed ROAS with interest-based targeting.
That’s why you want to feed the top of your ad funnels with native social campaigns that target people who are similar to your existing high-value customers.
Here’s a brief guide to the process of building lookalike campaigns based on this logic:
- Use your CRM to create a segment of contacts who are your most valuable customers. You can define this however you like, whether it’s those with the highest LTV, the longest loyalty duration, the most orders, the highest AOV, or anything else. You can also repeat this process with multiple cohorts to see what performs best.
- Export the email addresses of those customers as a CSV file.
- Upload the list to your chosen social media platform as a custom ad audience, and bid as low as you can to target a lookalike audience. Facebook allows you to include LTV data in your uploads, which it uses to prioritize targeting, but you can also segment further manually and upload shorter lists to run your own experiments.
- Focus on those people who engage with your first campaign, retargeting them with a second, more costly group of native social ads.
Make your native social spend go further
Retargeting previous customers, finding lookalike audiences, and narrowing down your target audience all serve to raise your native social campaign conversion rates while lowering costs. Advanced tactics like directing viewers to personalized landing pages and using chatbots in messaging apps amplify the impact of your native social ads and take it one step beyond the standard, allowing you to achieve optimal ROAS.