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5 tips from Facebook PR Agency Day

The APEX and ruckus teams had an opportunity to visit Facebook this month for their Facebook PR Agency Day, which brought several leading PR and social media agencies together to outline what’s new and upcoming for Facebook and Instagram. 

Here are our top five key tips on what communicators need to do to get the most out of Facebook and Instagram in 2019:

  1. Measure by business objectives over engagement: 91 per cent of a social media post’s brand impact is from those who never engage, that’s a large percentage of your audience from which you’re not measuring impact if you just focus on engagement. Before starting any programming review your business objectives and select the social platforms that will align to those business objectives.
  • Get influencers to follow Facebook’s creative best practices: The average person scrolls through 300 feet of content per day (that’s the height of the Statue of Liberty!) When building influencer programming, educate influencers to consider the following best practices from Facebook user behaviours:
    • Design for sound off as 85 per cent of video is viewed without listening to audio
    • Design for vertical video as 90 per cent of smartphone users hold their phones vertically
    • Capture attention quickly as consumers can process a thought in 0.013 seconds
  • Select a publishing option to match video consumption habits: People engage with mobile video in two different ways: on-the-go or captivated viewing:
    • On-the-go viewing is typically seen in Stories or within the news feed
    • Captivated viewing is typically seen in FB Watch, FB Live (watch parties or premieres) or IGTV
  • Know that #sponsored doesn’t impact consumers trust: The rise of influencer content comes from audiences not trusting traditional advertising, however consumers are open to the small everyday influencer being a spokesperson as they trust their recommendations more than traditional ads.
  • Extend content to the right audience: Organic reach, even for the influential, only goes so far.As the usage of social platforms increase, the need to have paid media support becomes even more important to meeting objectives.

Contributors to this piece include Katie Boland, Amanda Carreiro, Vanessa Cuartas, Marc Dodsworth, Vivian Kwong, and Nicole Pomeroy. Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line. 

3 tips to help you optimize paid social content

It’s no secret that paid social media content is becoming increasingly important. Social media platform algorithms are ever-changing, making brand content hard to stumble upon organically. While it is important to invest in paid social content, it is essential that content is also optimized to leave an impression on your desired audience.

Thanks to an insightful presentation by Paul Neto, VP of Digital at Kantar Insights, at a recent Canadian Marketing Association event, we’re able to share some key tips to help you create paid social content that works.

  1. Video matters

It is predicted that by 2020, 75% of total mobile traffic will be users watching video content. However, don’t wait until 2020 to implement a video content strategy. Video outperforms still images and plain text across platforms and should be where you invest your creative resources and paid support.

  1. Create your content for social

Gone are the days where you could repurpose your TV or print creative across platforms. Repurposed TV ads receive one fourth of the views compared to creative that is specifically made for social. When designing ads for social, keep the channel (and the channel’s audience) in mind.

  1. Make an impression fast

The average piece of content is only viewed for 2.5 seconds on desktop, and 1.7 seconds on mobile – meaning your key message has to be delivered quickly. On average, ad recall doubles if branding elements are featured within the first 3 seconds of your creative. Branding elements can include a logo, packaging, or brand colours. In case you’re also wondering what the optimal length of video content is, top performing content is 15 seconds or less and has the key message within the first 4 seconds.

To discover more ways to optimize your social media campaigns, follow us on Twitter.

Amanda Carreiro is a community manager at ruckus Digital.

As communicators we need to embrace social advertising

Not very long ago, our chief recourse as communicators who needed to tell brand stories was to work with publications and submit articles – or pitch thought leadership pieces.

Today, thanks to social and digital advertising capabilities, the game has changed. We now have several tools at our disposal that can help us reach the right audiences and build brands or organizations as credible sources of information.

Of course, the core principles of content creation – whether it is for traditional or social media – remain the same. When creating content, we still need to be informative, credible, thought-provoking and entertaining.

Creating great content is just the critical first step. Making it visible to the right audiences is the next. Social media advertising is a great avenue that can help us do just that.

Basically, social media advertising involves driving any kind of paid content on a social media platform.  For any communicator who is considering social advertising, a good place to begin is by identifying your objectives, target audiences and social platforms.

Ask yourself the following questions when planning social advertising:

  • What are the business objectives?
  • What are the key demographics or behaviours of the target audience?
  • What resources for content are available to tap into?
  • What topics or content is most important to this audience?
  • What is the best platform to reach this audience?
  • How do I mark success?
  • What is my budget?

Let us zoom in on the first three.

Identifying a strategy focused on your business objectives from the start can help maximize your efforts and help you test and experiment. Objectives for your branded content might be reaching the right target audience, engaging with them, driving them to a website or asking them to sign up for an event or newsletter.

When identifying your audience, social advertising lets you go beyond basic target demographics (age, sex, etc.) and allows you to identify your audience based on their behaviours or interests. This unique advantage leverages big data that social media platforms constantly collect from users – which communicators should use to reach their relevant audiences. For example, a company selling organic food may be able to fine tune its Facebook campaign by targeting interest-based groups that are interested in healthy cooking.

Lastly, it is critical to identify the best social media platforms to reach your audiences. Keep in mind that each platform serves varied audiences and their diverse needs. Consider other factors like the daily user base – is it mainly professionals or millennials? Is the platform used for news or sharing photos with friends? Will your content fit within this platform?

Once you have identified your objectives, audiences and platforms, you are ready to create content and start to test the results and the impact on your business.

Katie Boland is a digital strategy account manager at ruckus Digital. This article was originally published in IABC’s November 2017 newsletter. Need help with your social advertising strategy? Drop us a line.  

Upstairs Amy – the making of a web series

Recently Walmart and Interac launched their new comedy web series, Upstairs Amy. We spoke with Jenn Stein of APEX and Gary Edgar of ruckus Digital to find out what goes into making it, how the brands get integrated and why they think this approach will work with the target audience.

Subscribe to Upstairs Amy on YouTube and watch new episodes every Monday

Ad targeting: Let’s go beyond demographics

Considerable thought goes into content creation, but often marketers forget about reaching the Social Advertisingright audience and social media advertising can help. If only we could just publish content and the perfect audience would just find it – but we don’t always get that lucky.

With social media advertising you don’t have to rely on audience assumptions. For example, not all 30-year-olds are starting a family and reading Today’s Parent. Or all not all teenagers need fashion advice and watch MTV.

Marketers can tap into the 71% of Canadians visiting Facebook weekly, and use the data they collect to deliver more relevant and interesting content to audiences.

Be smarter when targeting your audience with these options:

  • Custom audiences: Target users that have engaged with your Facebook page in the past, watched a video, used your app or visited your website. This is great for reaching loyal fans with which you want to maintain a relationship.
  • Lookalike audiences: Reach users who are similar to your audiences based on the individuals who liked your page, had some trackable actions after viewing your ad through conversion pixels [which can be added to your website to track who visits or purchases] or any other relevant Custom Audiences listed above. This is a great way to reach new consumers that have similar interests and behaviour to your current fan base.
  • Interests: Target users based on their interests, activities and the pages they engage with. This could be interest in movies, parenting, yoga, pets or biking. This helps you tap into consumer interest that aren’t easy to see based on demographics.
  • Relationship status: Looking to reach those who are planning their weddings? Serve up your ad to users in this target. Local venues, bridal fashion or DIYs for centre pieces – they’ll love to see it!
  • Network/smartphone: Have a product or app specifically compatible with iPhone or Android? Target users based on their smartphone or the network they use or don’t use.

What targeting criteria have you seen great success with for your content? Let us know on Twitter.

Katie Boland, @kathrynboland is a digital strategy account manager @ruckusdigital. Need help with your paid social media strategy and targeting? Drop us a line.

Case Study: Social Amplification – MGD SoundClash

This summer we helped MGD create authentic content and cater to a community that was quick to shy away from any content that is overly commercial or branded.

After a dramatic brand relaunch in Canada, and reconnecting with its global roots to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Miller Genuine Draft was looking to solidify their connection to the scene. With the launch of their global DJ competition – SoundClash – in Canada, MGD was hoping to create more awareness with the DJ community and strengthen their place as the premium beer for nightlife.

Our focus was on creating content that not only promoted the brand but felt authentic to a community that would quickly shy away from overly commercial or branded efforts. Our challenge was doubled with the strict guidelines and restrictions around marketing alcohol.

We worked closely with MGD partners (INK Entertainment and EDM Canada) to develop engaging content both leading up to the event and on-site activations. We featured DJ submissions across our channels in an effort to shine a spotlight on up-and-comers and generate competition within their community.  We also engaged with influencers in the scene to add authenticity to the competition. We also chronicled the competition by serving up a ton of real-time content and profiles of the winners.

With a simple straightforward approach of including the community and supporting the scene with rich, engaging and authentic content we were able to make 2015’s SoundClash a huge success.

Results:

on 18/09/2015