Advertising is at a crossroads. Brands need to bet heavily on social media, because that’s where the public is. But there are serious pitfalls in this new terrain, especially when it comes to finding accurate and transparent ways to measure social ads’ effectiveness. And as the saying goes, what you can’t measure, you can’t manage.
The stakes are clear: social media advertising is surging rapidly, including 12% year-over-year U.S. spending growth in April, according to a report from Standard Media Index. Compare that to the “scant 3%” growth for other digital advertising, which the report says has been losing steam.
So getting social media ads right is crucial. To help brands meet that challenge, MFour and Kantar AddedValue have partnered on a pioneering approach called Emotional Brand Connections Social Media Ad Testing. In a nutshell, it lets you quickly get a handle on how well an ad you’ve prepared is likely to perform on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites. Mobile consumers see the test ad in their actual news feeds. The test then collects passive data that shows how recipients are engaging with the ad on their phones, and proceeds to a survey phase for deeper insights into why the ad grabs them – or fails to grab them. Here’s how it works:
- Send a test ad to members of an all-mobile panel whose validated demographic characteristics identify them as the kinds of consumers you want to reach.
- Recipients don’t know they’re part of a test. When the ad shows up in their social media news feeds, it’s indistinguishable from regular ads they receive.
- In the first test phase, you capture passive data that shows how recipients are interacting with the ad. Do they even notice it? If so, how much time do they spend with the ad? Do they click on it? Watch and listen to any video? Share the ad with Facebook friends or Twitter followers?
- The next step is to survey the same test-ad recipients, to learn how well they recall your ad and how they perceive it. Does the concept and content engage them, spark interest in the brand and product, and push them toward shopping and buying?
- If your test ad’s a hit, you’ll launch your mobile social media campaign with full confidence. If its performance falls short, you’ve bought yourself a chance to revise and retest the ad until your audience tells you you’re in good shape to proceed.
Social media is the new mainline to marketing success, but a good road map is a must for avoiding costly wrong turns. To learn more, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.