How digital media has revolutionised advertising
With social media now having an audience that spans the globe, how can a company take advantage of these platforms to better engage with its intended audience?
When manufacturing a new product a company must consider how it will engage an audience. To make a customer see the merits of a product, the first hurdle is how to best reach a target demographic. When Hush Blanket was released, Aaron Spivak and Lior Ohayon knew it would be a challenge educating consumers around the benefits the product could provide. “We couldn’t rely on people searching for a weighted blanket,” says Ohayon. “They didn’t know what it was.”
To reach a wide audience the duo decided to use Facebook. The platform allows for advertising to be easily targeted at key demographics by using retargeted ads. This enables a marketing campaign to reach customers who have already visited the Hush Blanket website and left without buying. Capitalising on customers who have already shown an interest by informing around the benefits of the product they may have been unaware of, Facebook also allows advertisers to identify similar audiences and focus new advertising towards them.“You can look at the characteristics of your current buyers and have Facebook identify a ‘look-alike audience,’” says Ohayon. “They’ll say, here’s a million people who are very similar to those buyers and hence are more likely to buy from you.”
The point that video marketing requires an interaction from its audience to view the ad means there is a level of engagement inherent in the medium. If you are able to have a viewer click a video, you have already broken down the first barrier to have your product made visible, and the customer will have already had to identify the product on offer and establish whether it is meaningful to them or not. If the real objective is to grab a prospective customer’s attention in that short time, how can a business achieve this?
With the rise of social and digital media, reaching an intended audience has never been easier, but this is tempered by reduced attention spans, according to a Microsoft report. The immediacy of modern entertainment means that advertisers traditionally have a very small window to engage a viewer. Often the most cost effective and impactful campaigns comprise short ads that get to the point. “You want to explain the problem within like the first 10 seconds and then get to the solution (your product) pretty much right away,” says Ohayon. “The most important part is getting them to click through to purchase your product or find out more about it, he says, “and if it takes three minutes to get there, you will likely lose them.”
Facebook is only one avenue that advertisers have come to make use of. Reddit divides itself into subreddits, each one catering to a particular topic, essentially categorising key demographics based around its interests. The platform’s ad builder allows a campaign to be targeted by geographical location, topic, or a general interests. These interest-based adverts can show up across multiple subreddits to give wider exposure. Wealthsimple took advantage of this by placing promoted ads at the top of subreddits asking for financial advice. This ensured that those going to Reddit, specifically to look for that advice, are presented with Wealthsimple as a commercial option.
By making the best of opportunities provided by social media and the information revolution, a company can ensure proper investment strategies through its marketing department. The modern consumer demands advertising that is relevant to them and their interests. By using platforms they may already be engaged with, companies are able to remove the first barrier between an industry and engage its intended market.