The intelligence of social media means the needs and wants of the individual are laid bare. With this tool, SMBs have the data to find and target the people who matter to the business, on their preferred platforms, and directly cater to them.
The mark of successful advertising is to associate desired emotions with a particular brand. A connection is formed, an impression is made and these are the foundations by which lasting customer relationships are formed. Social media is a sought-after tool to do just this.
Social media has made us more known to everyone. Our digital personalities interact within the consumer ecosystem, much like the physical world. There are still broad personality types, but now people can be seen as the individuals that they are, with their own preferences, habits and wants.
With this information, it is possible for businesses to market broadly to the individual – to speak to one’s personality and to do this for many across the market through technology. In a digital age, businesses have an increasing number of tools to become personal with the individual and therefore create increasing value for the market as a whole – a valuable opportunity that will only become increasingly relevant in a digital age.
Targeting the individual
The beauty of social media advertising is that it targets exactly who it needs to target. Social media hosts a market of digital personalities that freely share their information creating a snapshot of a personality that may be leveraged by marketers. This is significant to businesses as social ads directly target the individual, positioning them to be a crucial instrument in a marketer’s digital marketing mix. To gain a deeper understanding of your shopper, take this a step further. Connect your social ad campaigns with your marketing automation platform to collect behavioral and lifecycle information from consumers providing a more detailed customer profile (e.g., purchase history, product affinity and browsing behavior). This enables SMBs to deliver an uber-personalised approach in real time with a press of a button.
The proliferation of social media advertising is based off measurable success and has spread as a key component of a B2C marketing campaign. Forrester found that B2C brands on average are using five social platforms – namely, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram – with all firms using Facebook. According to Forrester, total social media advertising spending in Asia-Pacific will reach $6.7 billion by 2020, up from $2.8 billion in 2015 and a tenfold increase over 2010. The drive in spending is a testament to opening platforms of marketing that will become more emphasised as the consumers become increasingly connected in a digital world.
The utility of social media advertising is in its versatility. Of course, not every customer is equal nor do they all require the same approach. Therefore, using social ads enable customers to experience a different approach using social media nudging them in the direction to buy. The interactivity with dealing with the individual speaks to the personal wants of the consumer. Is it any surprise that social media ads are succeeding when they offer what the viewer wants, rather than a generalised message designed to appeal to the most common demographic?
The changing form of social ads
The advantages of social media in drilling down to the interest level cannot be overstated, but it is important to consider the form of what best captures the relevant target market.
Businesses must consider using a mix of tools to appeal to more segments of the market and leveraging social media’s targeting capabilities to deliver both form and relevance is the most receptive to quite a few shoppers. As always, the right message must reach the right person, at the right time. That is the core of the personalised approach and it is the one that speaks to the individual. Social’s capacity lies in reaching out to a market of individuals, forming numerous intimate connections and ultimately to form lasting consumer relationships.
About the author
By Heath Barlow, Market Lead, Australasia, Emarsys, a global B2C marketing cloud provider.