We can’t do anything these days without hearing something about “social media.” We’re tweeting, posting, sharing and liking all kinds of content. Advertisers are intrigued and want to understand how ‘social’ can elevate and impact their brand’s conversations. Having been in ad sales for 20 years, it’s clear social networks alone aren’t enough to tell a compelling brand story online.
So, what’s our advice to advertisers?
- Identify your social media challenges as well as long and short-term goals. Are you satisfied with your current results?
- Don’t view social as something ‘new’. Word of mouth was the first form of advertising.
- Advertising should tell a story. Social networks are an important part of an advertiser’s strategy but translating your brand into a 140 character sponsored tweet or a 250X150 sized ad on Facebook alone doesn’t do your brand justice.
- Understand where your target audience is. Sharing among friends is great, but it is more important to make sure your message is heard by the people you want to buy your product!
But don’t just take our word for it. Our friends at Ford, rated one of the most socially savvy brands, recently launched their new Ford Focus using the now infamous sock puppet Doug. Check out what Scott Kelly, Ford’s Head of Digital Advertising, Scott Monty, Ford’s Global Head of Social Media and Communications Manager, and John Gray, Director of Interactive Media, WPP had to say about their approach to social. For power brands like Ford, it’s about reaching qualified audiences at scale, and then pointing consumers to social sites like Facebook and Twitter to further amplify their brand conversation.
According to AYTM Market Research, U.S. internet users learn about new offerings more often from online elements such as online ads or online shopping sites. We advise our clients to use MSN Homepage takeovers, our custom branded entertainment sites, and our award-winning IAB Rising Stars ad units. These creative solutions make your brand story the foundation of your campaign and allow you to add social components in an interactive and impactful way to add authenticity and believability to your brand message.
And we’re taking it a step further. We recently announced People Powered StoriesTM, a new suite of social advertising solutions that incorporate real peoples’ stories to help increase believability and amplify word of mouth. The first People Powered StoriesTM ad solution incorporates people’s real product ratings and reviews. Check out Jenn Creegan’s blog to learn more.
Marketers must develop creative advertising and consumer experiences that reflect the brand they’ve spent so much time and money building. When a brand is a part of the conversation, they are the conversation. For more info. about Microsoft Advertising’s social products, solutions and experiences check out our social advertising page.
How are you investing in social?
Keith Lorizio – Microsoft Advertising