I am not entirely certain why (or how) but I have ended up strangely reading more than 60 articles on Facebook this week which is more than 70% of my total article consumption. This was not a conscious choice as I went about reading my daily marketing news, technology and Social media updates but is a clear demonstration of how prevalent the platform has nowadays become in our everyday lives, hence also polarising interest in Digital Marketing circles online.
I often come across Ads on my Social Media that genuinely are way too “adversarial” to have the desired effect. Maintaining a positive relationships between your audience and ads is crucial nowadays but equally quite difficult to achieve without the necessary knowledge and skills. Sponsored content on media sites and Ads on Social Platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, are becoming more pervasive and increasingly harder to spot. While there has been an overall improvement in trust in advertising over the past few years, digital ad distrust still hovers around 39 percent, according YouGov.
Your brand relies on social advertising and sponsored content to feed the top, middle and bottom of the buying funnel. While these platforms offer excellent exposure, there is an inherent risk of the presence of your ads resulting in a negative impression of your brand to some consumers.
So let’s have a look at how yours ads can deliver more perceived value and seem less adversarial to your fans and customers who view and click on them.
Maintain your Integrity
This most definitely includes both your brand and editorial integrity. It is very easy (there is an abundance of companies and users doing so currently online) to simply use the “click bait” tactic but I would strongly advise you against. Try to be true to your beliefs and brand integrity and make sure your ads accurately depict your companies’ ethos and values. Thousands of likes likes on a click bait article (or even clicks) will not necessarily get you any useful leads due to the nature of the engagement attracted.
Ideally when promoting editorial-based content avoid hard-selling and attempting to lure users in with informative content and then try to force them to convert. In addition, as I have mentioned in many previous posts, offering informative (How to, Guide, etc) and educational content is one of the best ways to also attract engagement from valuable readers.
Deliver a Genuine experience
This is mainly in regards to your Headline or Subject if you wish. It is of paramount significance that your Headlines give a clear insight to your readers as to the content they are being led to. It not only ensures you attract the correct audience but you also do not alienate the user by misleading them. It is good practice to often examine you headlines and if you find that the perception of your content is unclear from them, make sure to adjust accordingly.
I cannot stress how important it is to blacklist specific platforms or networks where you do not wish your content to be advertised to. There are also a number of ad networks out there nowadays that enable advertisers to reverse-engineer the blacklisting approach, with a targeted whitelisting approach identifying sites where you prefer your ads to be shown. For example, if your brand sells political magazines or literature and would resonate well with a politically-engaged audience, you could use this whitelisting tactic to target loads of similar political-focused sites, or even just one site, and optimize independently of your other campaigns.
Measure & optimize toward actions
Focusing all your efforts on analytics such as click-through rate to identify whether your sponsored content and social ads are being well-received by your audience is not necessarily the best practice even though I often hear experts in the field advise companies to do so. Instead, use back-end measurement benchmarks that signify a qualified and high-quality visitor to your app, website or blog.
Each campaign, ad or content (should) has its own individual objective which hence means the measurable actions will differ. For purely editorial promotions for example, you should measure elements such as time on site and page views whereas for advertorial and direct response objectives, these measurable actions will take the form of email signups, form completions and purchases.
Engage trusted third parties & Influencers
Word-of-mouth advertising is the oldest and some may argue still the most effective form of advertising as when a brand is recommended by an associate or friend, it carries substantially more weight than a brand endorsing itself. Influencers do exert an enormous amount of influence on users out there nowadays and can easily deliver sales through a simple endorsement. Attract as much interest as you can from industry experts and do not be afraid to amplify positive brand mentions with paid advertising to build credibility and social proofing.
Now you have the above advice in hand, make sure you actively work to make your ads less adversarial? If you have any thoughts or additional tips, join in the conversation in the comments section, subscribe to our blog for free, or simply click here to arrange a FREE Consultancy meeting, send me an email at Nick@CFMGroup.co.uk or Follow me below on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram