Social media advertising strategies for the biggest challengers and big brands

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This week, the industry gathers at New York’s Hudson Yards for Advertising Week New York, which is back to host live events. Online video-on-demand will also be offered and, in total, the event will feature over 200 hybrid sessions and 500 speakers.

TO panel now led by Alon Leibovich, co-founder and CEO of BrandTotal, Leibovich shares the metrics that exist to optimize the top and the middle of the funnel, and how key challengers and big brands are using these tools to strengthen their strategies for social media advertising.

With a master’s degree in Organizational Behavioral Psychology, Leibovich compares the inaction of marketers in optimizing every step of the buyer’s journey to the feelings dogs felt during psychologist Martin Seligman’s experience on the learned helplessness, defined as the behavior of a subject after experiencing repeated aversive stimuli beyond their control.

By accepting that they can’t understand what tactics their competitors are using at any given time, marketers have struggled to clearly understand how their message, positioning, and advertising really resonates with consumers.

Despite the advent of social media, which allowed for a two-way street and instant feedback, marketers are stuck in the mindset where TV and after-the-fact campaign metrics were their only option.

To evolve beyond the siled metric that only compares your current efforts at the top and middle of the funnel to your previous efforts, Leibovich suggests following these three steps.


Step 1: Measure and Compare

First, keep an eye on what your direct competitors are doing while benchmarking yourself against the industry average. Leibovich stresses the importance of continuous measurement to assess your share of voice and that of your competitors, the media mix, ad formats, volume of messages used and campaign themes.

This includes tracking and predicting pre-click purchase intent during the awareness and consideration stages. If, for example, you are a luxury brand trying to persuade consumers to pay more than the category index for your products or services, look to other luxury brands to see how they are achieving this success. Leibovich cites Lululemon in the clothing category and Ray-Ban in eyewear as flagship products.

Step 2: Look at creativity critically

Social includes four key elements: text, visuals, theme, and call to action. As Leibovich notes, these are levers that brands should adjust based on what their competitors are doing. He suggests that marketers apply the same level of precision and science to creation as to media.

By finding the right balance between data and creative “sparks”, brands can maximize their impact and drive creative strategies to drive the kind of engagement that leads to a higher conversion rate.

Step 3: Metrics

Finally, Leibovich said it measures the engagement rate and positive net consumer sentiment to correlate top and mid-funnel activity with bottom-of-funnel buying metrics. At BrandTotal, he noted, social share of voice and engagement rate are two metrics that correlate at the bottom of the funnel.

When Gillette received negative feedback for his “The Best Men Can Be” campaign, competitors including Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s took advantage of the moment and felt a net positive feeling while Gillette’s was overwhelmingly negative.

Final thoughts

Implementing the aforementioned strategy will also require brands to understand which brands are doing better than the industry benchmark currently – their brand or one of their competitors. If a competitor over-indexes the engagement rate, this should serve as an alert to understand by how much they exceed the benchmark and encourage them to dive deep into their creation. Then comes the time to modify and optimize your creation because, as Leibovich noted, all marketing is performance marketing.

“There is no dichotomy between brand marketing and performance marketing. It’s up to us to do all the marketing for the marketing performance. This is how it should be, ”said Leibovich.


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