So Long 2015

Looking back, 2015 was a big year in advertising. So many brands inspired us, some customers of ours and others not, with well-crafted, risky, and thoughtful campaigns that took these businesses to the next level. As 2016 emerges, we’d like to take the time to share what we’ve learned in 2015 so you can build the most successful ad campaign your brand has seen yet. The following is a list of the top six tips real brands have discovered, to help you get started on your most successful advertising year ever.

Top 6 Advertising “Do’s” for 2016

1. Lights, camera, action!

If there’s a single advertising trend worth getting onboard with this next year, it’s video advertising. According to Inc., a consumer is 85% more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a brand video. In addition, Facebook announced that in 2015 video views reached an all-time high of four billion and expects video to play an increasingly important role in the future. McDonald's is one of many brands that’s realized the power in video ads. During the 2014 World Cup, they launched a Facebook video ad campaign to drive global brand awareness in partner with Salesforce and OMD. By creating highly-targeted audiences segmented based on various teams, McDonald’s created dynamic content that engaged fans on a massive scale. During the World Cup, McDonald’s produced at least one short video clip per night, that captured the key moments of the day’s matches. Over six weeks and 32 unique videos, McDonald’s drove 6.3 million views, 323 million impressions, and reached 290 million unique viewers. In addition, the brand gained 196,000 new fans on their Facebook page. View the official Salesforce Customer Success Story with McDonald’s.

2. Before you jump the gun...

Before you decide which metrics you should use to optimize your campaign, think about your long-term objectives. Although results like impressions, clicks, and app installs are useful and a part of every campaign, you should also focus on your business objectives. TripIt, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app, has over 11 million users and consistently reaches over double the average number of app installs in the US. In addition to measuring app installs, (TripIt consistently reaches over 2x the US average) TripIt looks at key in-app activities that directly resulted in their long-term business success, like registrations. With the help of Salesforce and Facebook, as well as continuous targeting and testing, TripIt saw an increase in app signups of 482% and a decrease in CPA by 49%. This decrease in CPA is attributed to the optimization of images, messaging, and targeting based on business goals, not simply satisfying installs.

3. Target, target, and then target again.

Determining the right message for the right audience is a process. For example, what a female user in the U.K. versus a male in the U.S. finds valuable is likely to vary. Testing combinations of creative and text against a variety of audiences that differ by variables like region, gender, or age will help advertisers improve their campaigns. Fitness First, the largest privately-owned health group in the world, set out to increase acquisition of new members using Facebook Ads, rather than on-the-street marketing. Along the way, Fitness First continually tested their target audiences. In the end, they found that segmenting users based on a common activity, like Yoga, produced much better results than targeting users with a common brand interest, like diet food brands. View the Salesforce Customer Success Story with Fitness First.

4. No customer left behind.

So we talked about targeting as a way to make sure you’re reaching different customer segments with the right ad at the right time. However, sometimes it’s an all new audience that your brand needs to attract that it’s not yet reached. Growing your customer base is never frowned upon and luckily there is an easy way to do that. Take Banana Republic for example. A fashion retailer since 1978, Banana Republic has secured a loyal base of customers all over the globe interested in modern professional yet personal attire. However, it’s loyal userbase began to age and the brand realized it was time to attract a younger, but similar audience. Using lookalike audiences on Facebook, Banana Republic was able to create a target audience of people who may not have purchased from the brand before, but had attributes and online behaviors similar to it’s top tier customers.

5. Ride the Carousel.

Carousel ads allow you to go the extra mile(s) to reach users. Project Lean Nation, a New York based health food company, provides fully prepared meal solutions for people seeking weight management and nutritional education. With the help of Facebook,  Project Lead Nation created Carousel ads to determine which meal plans interested users most, and then used that data to drive online sales. They found that not only did Carousel ads increase brand awareness, but also awareness of the types of meal plans offered. They created four different images featuring four different meal plans: male, female, organic, and athlete. The resulting best-performing creative was shown in the first image to drive even better results. In one week, they saw 4x return on ad spend, and in-combination with their Facebook video campaign saw 5,700 website visitors.

6. Test time.

There was a time when having images or video within a post was extra flare. However, today creative is often times the only opportunity an advertiser has to reach the right audience and stand out from competitors. What one user finds appealing, another may find irrelevant. In addition, an image that an advertiser thinks communicates a brand’s message may confuse a consumer. For this reason, rather than trusting your own judgement in choosing ad creative...test it! Test multiple variations of creative, be it the placement of a product, background color, or the addition of humans in the image. Then use the data to optimize your creative to position the right ad, to the right audience segment, at the right time. SGN, a top-performing mobile gaming company, realized that it must continually refresh its creative to draw in new users. Therefore, each piece of SGN’s creative is iterated as less effective image variants are continually discarded. For example, they found that simpler, more abstract images drove better revenue per install than more complicated images. Check out SGN’s success story.