Facebook Ads for e-commerce is a great way to not only generate traffic to your website but also increase sales for your brand. Running a blend of Dynamic Product Ads as well as conversion Ads for your e-commerce business can help increase your ROI on several online marketplaces.
Facebook enables the retargeting of users who may have visited your page but not purchased anything during their sales funnel journey. Thus, this retargeting of the audiences paves a way to further increase e-commerce sales & ROI on the platform.
Choosing the right objective for your Ecommerce Ads is crucial for your business. Let us look at a few objectives one can choose for running these facebook Ads for ecommerce.
This objective is the best way to retarget consumers who did not convert. The Catalog Sales objective allows you to advertise your product sets or catalogs on Facebook. Moreover, it enables you to pick either a particular product category of products or choose all the products listed on your website. You can further decide to showcase the name, price, discount amount, short description, etc by choosing dynamic product sets.
Apart from having dynamic product ads, with the Conversion objective, one can decide to display a few of your business’s best sellers in your E-commerce Ads. Similar to other conversion advertisements, now you can pick to include plain product images as carousels, single images, etc.
Now that we know what objectives we can explore, let us identify the types of target audiences in advertising.
Types of audiences
Some of the types of target audiences in advertising are people who have:
Types of Custom Audiences
Website: These audiences are primarily all website visitors. They can be retargeted with Facebook ads for e-commerce based on the time spent (5%, 10%, 25%) on your website on either specific product categories or particular pages.
Customer List: With these audiences, you can upload details such as your customer name, email ID, location, order value, etc to define a value-based audience. These audiences are a great way to reach potential customers who resemble current high-value customers.
App Activity: Considering your business possesses an app that is linked to your account, you can now retarget your app users on their app behavior, this can include- the number of purchases made, the number of times users have opened the app, etc.
Offline Activity: If your business has offline retail stores, one can track the offline data along with the online data to assess the number of people who have transacted with your offline business after viewing the online ads.
Facebook Sources: This is a great way to retarget your e-commerce ads via using various social media sources. These audiences would be high intent customers who have previously interacted with your brand.
Having known the audience sets we can cater to via our paid Ads let us explore what kinds of creatives we can look at to best showcase our products on the platforms.
Types of creatives:
Single Image Ads: These ads work best for products that have clear pricing and CTA. This is because the audience grasps what the brand has to offer at their first glance
Video Format Ads: Video Ads are focused on telling your product’s/ brand’s story. These ads can further be customized on the platform they are being showcased on. For example, Instagram Story Ads are highly impactful as they are a great way to grab the viewer's attention.
Multiple Products: Through multiple Product ads you can now display a wide range of products using catalogs, product sets, and dynamic ads.
Carousel Ads: These ads are focused on a series of images which can be either of the same product or different ones
Catalog ads: A catalog entails the brand’s inventory inclusive of images of the products, sizes, and more picked from the website.
Collection Ads: Generally these formats are a blend of both videos and images. Moreover, they are immersive e-commerce ad formats that make it simple for users to interact with the advertisement.
One can follow the following best case practices for Product ads:
Now that we know the basic objectives, audiences, types, and best practices for running Facebook Ads, you can now use them to grow your E-commerce brand accordingly. Choosing the right objectives to cater to your audience, coupled with the best practices of running these ads can serve to be extremely beneficial to increase e-commerce sales, ROI and drive growth for your business.
IPL - it's that time of the year again and we are as excited as you are! Yes, it's not the same as before and we can't cheer our favorite teams directly from the stadium but we know our enthusiasm has not died. Also, the safer we are the better, right?
Who doesn't love a good cricket match with some of the world’s best players and a side of outside-the-box advertisements that leave you awestruck? The marketing fever has already started with CRED doing something we never thought was possible and it's safe to say that Rahul Dravid is now a marketing sensation. To understand this landscape a little better, our Consumer Insights and Market Research team conducted a small survey and we are here to tell you that this is just the beginning.
Marketing on the IPL Platform has been growing ever since it started back in 2008 and it only knows one direction - UP! Throughout 13 seasons we have seen various brands leverage the IPL Platform to connect with their consumers on a large scale. This hasn't been just through sponsorships but also specific advertising campaigns that brands came up with on their own using the IPL platform. According to our survey, 73% of brands think that IPL is one the most effective platforms to market their products and services.
Why is the IPL a good platform for marketing?
Since it started in 2008, the Indian Premier League has taken the internet by storm. The whole concept of having cities in one country play a sport that is loved by all, against each other has created an audience filled with love and passion for their home teams. The loyalty that was created by this league has only seen a rise, not just in India but the whole world. What better way to market your brand, right? You hit all your target audiences from kids, teenagers, adults to the aged on one single platform. It's a JACKPOT!
Brands pour so much money into sponsorships that it has become one of IPL’s biggest revenue streams. As a result, the valuation of the league was 6.8 million in 2019 according to Your Story. Although we saw a lot of tension during 2020 around the league, they still pulled through. According to our survey, 90% of brands are spending their marketing budgets on Digital & Social Media Marketing this IPL season. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't thought of it yet, it's time you do!
The IPL network is worth Rs. 47,500 crores and its brand value only keeps growing with a rate of 13.5% as of 2019. Brands are investing a huge part of their budget for marketing during this season, some spending Rs. 50 lakhs and above. Not only are they spending a lot of money but they are also increasing their budgets every year. 63% of brands have increased their budget this year as compared to 2020 with regards to Digital Marketing.
What Digital Platforms to use for IPL Marketing?
We have various platforms to advertise on starting from Instagram & Facebook to Twitter and YouTube. But before we start with which platforms, there is one thing you need to be sure of - who are you marketing to. Your key demographic plays an important role in selecting your ideal advertising platform. After this, choose a platform that is content relevant but make sure you don't extend yourself to too many platforms. It's always good to stick to quality rather than quantity.
Facebook is a definite platform of choice even though it is not the newest or most interesting one. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it is one of the biggest platforms to advertise on. This followed by Instagram which has over 1 billion monthly active users is the best way to reach a younger audience. According to the survey conducted by Social Beat, 46% of brands are advertising on Instagram during this IPL season. Twitter & YouTube are two other platforms that would work great for IPL marketing and will help create a buzz to interact with your audience.
What are brands looking to achieve through IPL Marketing?
There are various objectives and goals that a brand wants to achieve when it is marketing on digital platforms. They range from awareness, branding to sales and product launches. While conducting our survey, we found that during the IPL season, 57% are only looking towards branding of their product and services, while 22% prioritize product awareness. A small percentage of the business industry look at this as a Sales or Product Launch platform for their business.
Brands That Have Leveraged IPL In The Best Way
CRED is a credit bill-paying platform that is known for its creative advertising. Their most-awaited and recent IPL Campaign has blown the minds of every cricket fan, every cricketer, and every marketer. They unleashed a side of Rahul Dravid that we would have not even thought of and this has taken the internet by storm. The instant tweeting by cricket players, the memes made on the advertisement by many different brands have made this campaign a raging success. The immediate recognition and fame show that IPL is the right platform to gain excessive awareness and reach.
Gulf Oil India is a leading lubricant brand for automobiles in the Indian Lubricant Industry. They started their partnership with the iconic IPL Team Chennai Super Kings in 2011 and have been going strong ever since. Their most recent ad with MS Dhoni shows an interesting conversation between a young Dhoni and the present Dhoni and the fans love it because what's better than one Captain Cool? Two! For Gulf Oil, cricket is not just a sport but an emotion and through this, they have won every Indian’s heart.
The Indian Premier League themselves have come out with an interesting ad to promote the league and teach us an important lesson. In their newest ad starring Captain Cool aka MS Dhoni who takes the avatar of a monk, VIVO IPL wants to show that India now has a new mantra for success. In the ad, MS Dhoni teaches his students how greed is not a bad thing if pursued in the right interest giving an example of Mumbai Indian’s Captain Rohit Sharma and how the team has won the league 5 times.
As mentioned earlier CRED is a credit bill-paying platform known for their creative advertising and they have held that reputation proudly. With an addition to their previous ad with Jim Sarbh & Rahul Dravid, they have created yet another eye-catching advertisement featuring Jim Sarbh & Jackie Shroff. CRED lets the audience in on a small secret about their credit bill-paying platform along with Jackie’s secret to staying fit - ZUMBA! Talk about how to get a customer's attention, huh?
After the viral CRED ad with Rahul Dravid, Magicpin found a way to troll the brand by creating a spoof of their ad bringing out some interesting points. It is true that all things have a positive and negative side and Magicpin just hit the right spot! The ad is a perfect contrast of the CRED ad and has been executed brilliantly by Vijay Raaz in order to bring out how Magicpin is down-to-earth.
The Indian Premier League 2021 started not long ago and we are already seeing some super innovative ads from brands all around India. We are excited to see what more is in store from them. Our small survey has led us to see that the Indian Premier League is a marketer’s dreamland and we sure will get lost in it!
During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, more brands are trying to reach out to their customers digitally. With so much content floating out there, like thumbstopper videos and engaging vox-pop campaigns, it becomes difficult for a brand to capture the attention of a user online towards their offering. Facebook and LinkedIn, well-known platforms in the social media and networking space, have launched new features on their platforms to get more engagement from users online.
For all those bogged down with content in their feed, interactive content in the form of polls are an excellent way to engage your visitors and make them feel heard. You could ask them to share their opinions or perspectives on various conversations and trending topics. Polls can also help companies in their research to evaluate new introductions to their product line. Polls give an insight into the minds of consumers and what they expect from a brand.
LinkedIn has joined Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms with the launch of their new Poll feature. Just follow the steps below to create a LinkedIn Poll:
Once the poll ends, you can get an analysis of the poll with information such as the total number of voters, most preferred option and the selection percentages of all the options. This can help you gain insights on the respondents.
Gone are the days when you had to use a CRM tool to send out emails and another to manage your online advertisements. Facebook has now introduced an option to send Marketing Emails right from the Pages Manager App (PMA). Just follow these three simple steps to start sending emails right from your Facebook Pages App:
The additional benefit of using the Marketing Emails feature on Facebook is that once you have created your database of email addresses, you can create custom audiences to target those users on the Facebook Ads platform. If you wish to grow your target audience, you can also create a lookalike audience to the users matched through this database, based on their interests, preferences and behaviour on Facebook. These audiences help your advertising campaigns get better results, by increasing the relevance of the ads.
Facebook has launched the Multiple Text Optimization (MTO) feature in its responsive ads. This feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads. Multiple Text Optimization has made it possible for advertisers to feed in various versions of the headline, ad copy, and description for one single-media ad. The various combinations will target different audiences based on what works best for whom based on granular metrics by Facebook
This follows on the heels of the launch of Lookalike Audiences by LinkedIn and options for browser, keyword and gender targeting by Quora.
Multiple Text Optimization, or MTO, is a feature added to the Facebook ‘create ad’ section. It helps optimize each ad for the respective target audience by using different text combinations.
This new feature can be navigated to through either Business Manager or Power Editor. Using this new feature, you can put in the variations for each section of the ad. You can put in 5 title variations, 5 different CTAs, and 5 variations of the description. Of these, the titles, descriptions, and CTAs will be mixed to generate different versions of the ad.
You can view the different combinations before the ad is published, on the ‘View More Variations’ tab, to see what works together. Once published, Facebook will automatically combine different headings with different descriptions. These versions will be put out to various audience groups, which Facebook’s system will analyze. It will then optimize and generate the best performing combination using machine learning
Using MTO, Facebook will customise how your ad appears to different target audiences, based on their viewing history. While this will help customise ads according to different target groups in one go, advertisers might lose some amount of targeting control. This is because the ad will be put out according to Facebook’s algorithm and not the specifications set by the advertiser. Moreover, you can only view the performance numbers as an aggregate of all the combinations, and not how each combination worked.
You can use MTO to test different features with different audiences and to see what resonates best with whom. This testing is accelerated through machine learning, enabling faster insights. While this ad will automatically be optimized for the target audience, it will also help you create the next set of ads with more insight on audience reactions.
Another way of using MTO effectively is by advertising the new product to old customers. Remarket to your old customers by including text variations targeting those who have visited your website. Since they already know and trust your brand, the conversion rate will be easier here.
MTO is thus important for building a brand through digital marketing and making your ads effectively more relatable to customers. Since this feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads, some of its uses and benefits are the same. Leveraging MTO this way will definitely prove useful in creating a successful Facebook marketing strategy for your brand.
As a ground-breaking development, Facebook is replacing its relevance score -the ad metric that measures the success of your ad campaign with more measurable metrics. Facebook is retiring this score at the end of April and is replacing it with three different granular metrics such as:
Quality ranking: A metric that measures the quality of your ad as compared to other ads intended for the same target audience.
Engagement ranking: A metric that compares your expected engagement rate to other ads targeted for the same audience.
Conversion ranking: A metric that compares your expected conversion rates to ads with the same target audience and optimisation goals.
The relevance score is a metric that tells you whether your ad is relevant to the audience it is going out to. The new metrics that are being rolled out are similar to the relevance score but are a more detailed analysis.
According to Facebook’s official announcement, ”When used together, ad relevance diagnostics will help advertisers understand whether changes to creative assets, audience targeting or the post-click experience might improve performance."
Whenever you run an ad on Facebook, it takes a look at your campaign goal and your target audience to understand what your audience is likely to do after seeing your ad. In other words, the relevance score is based on the expected action of your audience.
Since the relevance score is based on expected performance, it is indeed a vague parameter to measure the success of your ad. It is one of the primary reasons why Facebook has replaced the relevance score with three granular metrics. The greatest advantage of granular metrics is that they give you a more in-depth and focussed view of your ad’s performance. According to Facebook, these metrics will help advertisers offer the best user experience for their audience. Facebook advertisers can get better insights to produce engaging videos to drive traffic and revenue.
Apart from relevance score, Facebook is planning to shut down six other metrics such as saved offers, cost per offers saved, messaging replies, cost per messaging replies, mobile app purchase and web purchase.
The three granular metrics will be rolled out by Facebook from April 30, 2019. It is highly important for advertisers to keep a tab of these metrics as they help with specialised insights about ad performance. This is indeed crucial for advertisers to strategise high-quality ad campaigns and improve their optimisation initiatives for better brand visibility and revenue.
What was the last post you engaged with on Social Media? If your answer begins with the phrase “A video on…”, then you are among the 80% of Internet users who engage with this popular format of content on a daily basis. Compelling videos are undoubtedly the best way to grab the attention of your target group and elevate the image of your brand.
There are multiple formats that a brand can try out when it comes to video marketing. From animation to explainer videos, you have plenty of options and formats to choose from. One such format that is gaining popularity is vox pop. It provides real-life original content on popular opinions that the audience can often relate to. It is also an incredibly effective way to communicate the brand’s USP while triggering a conversation among people on an important topic.
It is safe to say that showcasing the USP of your brand in an interesting and insightful manner is the primary objective of every video campaign. Vox pops are your best weapon of choice in this context since they showcase people’s opinions on a broad topic and allow the brand to convey a strong message through people’s answers. What better way to reach the public, than through the public?
Last year, we created a vox pop for our client FundsIndia. The theme of the vox pop was centred around what people do on their phones all day. We received a variety of answers from browsing social media, to paying bills and booking tickets for entertainment. Based on people’s answers the interviewer raised awareness towards the use of the internet to invest money in a SIP or mutual fund. The vox pop helped communicate FundsIndia’s message of the importance of investing early to reap the benefits in the future. The video was promoted on Facebook and achieved high organic views and engagement.
Production videos are great. They do exceptionally well on both YouTube and social media channels as they have a personal connection with the target audience. However, the production costs involved in creating a video can often weigh you down and curb your creativity. Moreover, shooting a video with a studio setup will also result in a lot of overhead costs as they may include travel and sourcing actors. Vox pops, on the other hand, have little to no costs and are a budget-friendly option for new or growing companies. A mic, camera and quirky set of questions are all you need for production. You can gain a quick and creative piece of content at a minimal cost.
Vox pops are great not only for getting insightful and relevant comments from users but it also helps a brand curate original content. People’s opinions on certain topics can help spark a conversation about an important issue or event. Not only does this give the company a unique name but it also encourages conversations about issues that people would not have normally thought of.
For Diwali, we steered clear of the usual celebratory videos for our client Ashok Leyland. To break through the clutter, we used a vox pop video to highlight the important role truck drivers play on this festival. To do this, we asked people what they did to celebrate the holiday. People shared their thoughts on what the festival meant to them- they talked about the sweets and gifts that bring meaning to the holiday. We used this opportunity to remind them of truck drivers who deliver the gifts and sweets across the country to make sure everyone has a great holiday. This sparked a conversation about the people who worked on Diwali and how they deserve to be celebrated as well.
“Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun hai?” was promoted on all the major social networking channels of Ashok Leyland with the hashtag #YehDiwaliBadiNirali. This was also one of the most trending vernacular vox-pop videos of 2018. The video garnered over 2.5 lakh views across platforms with 3.1K comments and 400+ shares.
Vox pop videos help voice the opinions of people in society. This provides for a very organic form of advertising as we get to hear people’s unfiltered thoughts on the topic discussed. People’s opinions and views on a topic can vary, making vox pop videos more relatable and memorable. It is a creative way of bringing research to life by producing compelling video content.
We did a vox pop video for our client, Sundaram Mutual, for Father’s day that everyone in our target audience would be able to relate to. The aim of the video was to communicate the importance of saving through our spending habits and how they differed from our dads’. When we asked millennials what they would do with 1 lakh rupees, most of the responses involved food or travel but when asked what their dad would do with the same 1 lakh rupees, the answers included saving money for the future or for their kid’s education. We received a great response to this video with 3 million views, 36K shares and over 600 comments.
In contrast to traditional advertising, vox pops are original. The real-life responses of people can often result in various emotions, both happy and sad. Vox pop videos can also increase engagement on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as people post their thoughts on the videos. The ability of vox pops to bring out so many emotions in people makes it a great form of advertising for many companies to help add value to their brand while spreading a positive message.
With 300 million active Indian users from diverse backgrounds, Facebook is one of the best platforms for brands to reach their target audience. However, the competition is undeniably high and brands need to constantly look out for ways to stand out. One of the most effective ways for brands to capture their audience’s attention completely in this crowded space is through Instant Experiences. Previously known as Canvas, Instant Experiences offers brands an immersive full-screen experience with new and updated features.
Instant Experiences comes in five templates, each of which is tailor-made for brands with specific goals:
Instant Storefront: Certain to become one of the top social media trends for FMCG and retail brands, this template showcases products in a grid format along with their price. After clicking on them, users are immediately taken to the product page where they can make a purchase. The convenience that this offers can help brands increase their sales through social media marketing.
For D:FY, we used Storefront to showcase the products and direct viewers to the Amazon product page where they can actually buy the product. This led to higher engagement and increase awareness of the brand.
Instant Lookbook: With the artsy aesthetics of magazine spreads, the Instant Lookbook template can help fashion brands bring their looks to life. Users can scroll through each of the looks and click on them to be redirected to the product page where they can explore the product further and buy it.
Read our blog on Design Tips to Create Great Visual Posts on Social Media to get started.
Instant Customer Acquisition: For brands focused purely on driving sales and growing their customer base, Facebook’s Instant Customer Acquisition template can encourage higher conversions. This template can be used to showcase the different features of a product and provide users with a clear call-to-action at the end to compel them to make the actual purchase.
Instant Storytelling: While the 20% rule for text overlays on images has been removed, creatives with less text generally perform best on Facebook. Because of this, brands are often unable to communicate their entire brand story as engagingly as they would like. Instant Storytelling offers a solution to this. Through a mix of images, videos and text, this format gives brands all the space they need to communicate their brand offerings and key differentiators. Your brand can leverage the top design trends for digital marketing to create unforgettable experiences for your audience.
Instant Form: Looking for quick lead generation? Instant Forms drive your consumers towards a clear call-to-action by asking them to fill out a form. When combined with the superior visual appeal and space to showcase your USPs, Instant Forms has the potential to drive higher leads than other forms of advertising on Facebook.
Facebook’s new Instant Experiences doesn’t just give you new ways to appeal to your target market, it also helps you analyse just how effective your techniques were. If you have embedded pixel in your company’s website, it will automatically become integrated with Instant Experiences once you start experimenting with it. This will give your brand valuable data and deep insights into the customer journey. It will show you time spent by each users, whether they engaged with it (such as scrolling through a carousel) and how far they scrolled. This will give you a better understanding of what messaging or visuals appealed the most to your target audience, helping you optimise future campaigns. The pixel will also allow brands to re-target their website visitors, which can drive higher engagement. Instant Experience can even integrate with external tracking codes, such as Google Analytics, helping you paint a complete picture of your consumer’s online touch points.
If you have already used Canvas for your brand, the updated Instant Experiences can provide you with even greater results. But if you have never experiments with these immersive ads, here’s why you should start.
Your audience is more impatient now than ever before. If your ad doesn’t look quickly, users are likely to bounce immediately. Instant Experiences offers incredible speed, loading almost instantly. This can encourage users to stay on your ad and reduce bounce rates.
The digital clutter your audience experiences can prevent them from focusing fully on your ads. However, when they open an Instant Experience ad, it takes up their entire phone screen, blocking notifications, messages and other ads. This makes it easier for your message to resonate with them, enabling better recall.
The multiple templates that Instant Experiences offers, makes it very easy for brands to adapt and use. You don’t need complicated codes or development to get started. Regardless of your budget or resources, you can start using Instant Experiences to engage with your audience.
Instant Experiences has a number of tools and formats that you can use to communicate your brand story in the best way possible. You can use a mix of stunning images, carousels, videos, text and forms to create an ad that your audience won’t forget.
Interactive ads are changing the way brands advertise by compelling users to engage with them more. Unlike ads on the News Feed, which users can easily scroll past, Instant Experiences offers them more information, are more visually appealing and engaging. This can give users a greater incentive to enquire. The Instant Forms format can also be more effective than traditional form as on Facebook.
No matter what your brand goals are, Instant Experiences offers a novel and exciting way to achieve them. Are you ready to start using it to give your brand an edge?
After the Cambridge Analytica controversy, Facebook has taken several important steps to tighten their data security. The multi-billion dollar social media platform recently announced a new set of amendments to their data policies. The question that has arisen is whether or not the recent changes in policies will affect brands and their advertising strategies. However, most of the new terms involve reiterating existing ones, which is unlikely to affect brands’ marketing strategies. Here are some of the most important announcements Facebook has made about their revised data policy and the impact it is likely to have on brands.
One of the most significant policy changes Facebook is making is to revoke access to user information for third-party apps that haven’t been used by them in over three months. There will also be a more visible button on the news feed which will allow users to restrict access to certain apps by themselves.
Impact: This change will only improve privacy and safety for users with zero impact on brands and advertising. Since apps that users consistently engage with will not be affected, brands will still have access to their main target audience.
Impact: This new policy is a step in the right direction towards better security for users. The improved privacy settings will help users be more confident about actively participating on the platform. For brands, this is a positive change as it means that their consumer base on Facebook will remain largely the same.
Earlier, through a feature called Partner Categories, advertisers on Facebook could target consumers based on very personal insights provided by third-party data agencies. But now after details of these providers exploiting private user data has come out in the open, Facebook is shutting down Partner Categories.
Impact: The Partner Categories feature allowed brands who lacked an existing customer database to find a target audience. While brands can continue using Facebook’s database as well as their own customer data through the Customs Audience tool, the exact impact of this change is yet to be seen.
Users will now be able to decide which ads they want to see appearing on their newsfeed. This is also an important step towards personalisation of a user’s newsfeed.
Impact: This feature has always existed on Facebook, the only difference now is that it will be more prominent. As long as brands are using the right targeting, they will be unaffected by this change as users will be interested in their ads. Brands with inaccurate targeting, however, are very likely to be negatively impacted.
Advertisers who upload their existing database onto the custom audience tool will not be able to see the exact reach of their targeting. This is to prevent advertisers from being able to see exactly how many of their customers are on Facebook.
Impact: While advertisers will not be able to see the exact reach when using the Custom Audience tool, they will still know how many customers were in their database. This will give them a reasonably accurate idea of how big their reach is.
The revised data policies are unlikely to have any significant impact on the way people are using the platform. Currently, India is Facebook’s biggest market with 240 mn monthly active users, overtaking even the US which has 230 mn. Far from decreasing anytime soon, these numbers are only going to grow. By 2020, there will be around 250 million new smartphone users and 100 million new internet users. A significant portion of these users will also start using Facebook.
For brands, Facebook is and will continue to be one of the most effective ways to reach out to their consumers. Despite the new terms and conditions, the number of Facebook users in India has not shown any significant decline, nor is it expected to. With their customers still active on Facebook, brands need to maintain a strong presence on this platform in order to build brand awareness and encourage customer loyalty. Advanced social media analytics tools, can also provide detailed targeting for brands. As the number of users will only continue to grow from here, Facebook remains one of the most important platforms for brands to engage with India’s next billion internet users.
As our Digital Marketing Industry Insights for India 2018 also points out, Facebook is one of the best-performing platforms to help brands meet their business goals. Through Facebook, we have even been able to generate a 190 crore revenue for Casagrand. The recent privacy changes Facebook has implemented is a positive step towards protecting a user’s personal information online. Brands in India are unlikely to face any negative impact over this decision as the number of Facebook users are only going to grow from here.
In the wake of the backlash that Facebook has been facing after millions of users personal information was leaked, the company has decided to cut off access to third-party data providers. Ad-targeting based on consumer data provided by third-parties allowed advertisers on Facebook to target consumers based on very personal, deep insights. This was made possible through a feature called Partner Categories, where Facebook partnered with external consumer data providers. Now, however, Facebook has ended this feature after details came out of Cambridge Analytica, also a third-party data provider, exploiting private user information. The company also announced that this was a part of their larger efforts to improve security and integrity of the platform for users.
For advertisers, this move means that they will have to re-think their targeting strategies on Facebook. While they might not be able to rely on consumer insights provided by external agencies, they can continue using the Custom Audience tool on Facebook. The Custom Audience tool will not be affected by Facebook’s new policy because the data used is owned by the advertisers themselves. Facebook also uses third-party data providers for advanced social media analytics and will continue to do so. However, they have announced that they will be reviewing the integrity of these external agencies before going forward.
The company has insisted that removing the Partner Categories feature will not put Facebook at a disadvantage in the competition between its rivals like Google. Instead, they believe that it will prove their commitment to protecting consumer data and placing privacy of their users above all else. With the growing number of Indians joining Facebook, it is very likely that the platform will continue to be one of the most important ways for brands to engage with India’s next billion internet users.
Facebook expects that their new policy will come into effect gradually over the next few months. This gives digital marketers an opportunity to rethink and refine their ad targeting strategies.
The e-commerce market is getting competitive by the day, and e-commerce businesses need to find unique ways to build relationships with their customers to create a loyal customer base. For any e-commerce business, website traffic is the most important segment, and yet it is the most challenging one.
Social media is playing a very powerful role today in the evolution of online shopping. It provides a platform for conversations, reviews, information and expression. An e-commerce business can leverage on the opportunities provided by the social media platforms for their own benefit. According to an article by Magento, 93% consumers turn to social media to help them make buying choices, while 90% say they trust recommendations from their peers.
Several strategies have been listed by digital marketers on how e-commerce businesses can use social media to drive traffic to their website. Listed below are five powerful tactics you can use to embrace the reach of social media for higher benefits.
Leaving your ad open out there in front of the masses is not such a great idea. Once you have figured out your prospective customer base, you can use targeting options provided by social media sites like Facebook to target your ads to the relevant customer base. Facebook provides you with numerous targeting options based on location, demographics, Interests, device type, etc. It also provides you with features like custom audiences, lookalike audiences and retargeting. Using these targeting options, you will be able to reach your potential customers and engage them more effectively. Smart Targeting will help you increase your ROI on Advertising to a great extent. Dynamic Product Ads can be used to retarget customers who have earlier shown interest in your products or services. To drive more sales across devices, dynamic product ads now provide a lot of flexibility and variety in functionality to e-commerce advertisers.
A classic example would be that of Cathay Pacific Airways. They used dynamic product ads for travel, to reach people who had earlier performed a search on their website. The ads featured an image of the destination city that people searched for to inspire them to act. The ads also included a "book now" button that linked directly to the booking process on the Cathay Pacific website.
Another example is that of eBay. eBay is successfully using dynamic product ads and retargeting to motivate their customers based on the customer's interest. They connect with their customers by showing them personalised and relevant products in their ads.
Facebook Carousel ads are also a great way of showcasing e-commerce website products. They not only help to showcase the products in detail but, when used creatively, also help drive traffic to the e-commerce websites.
Influencer marketing is the new buzz word and has currently penetrated in the marketing mix of many industries. Mostly food, travel and fashion are the three major industries where influencer marketing is really going up the ladder. Influencer marketing is a newer and organised term for the old-fashioned word of mouth marketing. The way people work through the buying process has changed due to the advent of the internet and social media. People now have become more efficient in their search process, and they look for comprehensive and authentic information online. While associating an influencer with your business, it is important to consider the influencer’s likability, credibility and trustworthiness. Remember that Influencers act as brand ambassadors for the audience and thus the information they put out there should be in sync with what the business stands for.
Influencers can be used in numerous ways: For product launches, reviews, engagement, campaigns, events and so on.
A very good example of this is the Influencer campaigns done by Nykaa.com. Nykaa is an e-commerce store that deals with skincare, beauty and makeup products. Nykaa.com engages with various beauty bloggers and influencers and weaves campaigns with them. Beauty and fashion are two areas where people rely heavily on reviews and opinions of influencers. Nykaa leverages this very well.
The majority of online shoppers have agreed to the fact that not being able to physically touch and feel the products on e-commerce websites is their least favourite part of shopping online. This is especially true in the case of fashion and beauty industry. Product images from different angles and views may not completely explain a product's functionality or provide a proper overview of the product. Videos are the new preferred form of media and e-commerce businesses should leverage on the high acceptance of videos among customers. Ecommerce businesses can use videos to bridge the gap between offline and online shopping experiences. Product videos can help in providing a holistic buying experience to the customer and also provide a clear overview of the different scenarios in which a product can be used. This makes it more appealing to online buyers. Product videos can not only be used on product pages but also on social media feeds of the e-commerce brands as well as part of Facebook or Google ads. Not only can these videos be used for Facebook and Google advertising, but they can also be used for advertising on YouTube. There are several versions of videos that are gaining popularity on social media. A few of them are live videos, 360-degree videos, 30-second videos, time lapse videos, stop motion videos and animated or white videos.
Product videos can be used to introduce a new product and show how the product works with other similar or commonly used products, from the brand, and to encourage conversions from existing customers.
On1y is a food brand that caters to a very niche market segment. It provides spices, herbs and exotic seasoning. On1y uses a lot of innovative ways to engage with its audience on social media and at the same time create a buzz around its products. In the screenshot below, On1y has shared a Facebook live video of a food influencer interacting with customers and cooking up recipes using On1y spices.
Social media for e-commerce is not simply about pushing across products and promotions. Many e-commerce companies fail to understand this. Social media can be used very well for engaging audiences online through high value textual and visual content. Ecommerce brands can find it very tempting to simply fill timelines with product promotions and advertisements. However, social media provides numerous ways by which e-commerce brands can make online shopping a delightful experience for consumers. You can engage audiences through live polls, live videos, user generated content, contests and much more. Topical posts and festive posts can also be used to attract audience attention. To garner high level of engagement, it is important to understand the need of the customers. Understanding this will help brands to curate content accordingly.
Social media can also be used by e-commerce brands to provide better customer service. Nowadays, a lot of customers look for solutions on the internet and prefer quick communication over the internet rather than going through a long phone call. At the same time, brands must encourage satisfied customers to write reviews and rate the products/e-commerce brands. Reviews and ratings go a long way in building a brand’s credibility online.
Blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your e-commerce website. It helps your site rank higher in SEO through several internal links and backlinks. Blogging is also a good way to reach out to customer problems and be a problem solver. Most customers search for solutions to their problems online and blogging can be a great way to provide solutions to them. Long form content helps to drive more traffic and definitely helps in higher search page ranking. Blog posts also help to subtly introduce products or promote products in an indirect way. For instance, a blog post on the topic "summer dressing" by a fashion e-commerce site could consist of summer looks using products from the e-commerce site. This will not only create attractive and useful content for the readers but will also serve the e-commerce brand's purpose of showcasing their products. Similarly, a blog post on "Top 10 budget smartphones" by an e-commerce brand like Flipkart or Snapdeal which sells mobile phones could include descriptions of each smartphone comprising of unique features and direct links to the products on the e-commerce site.
Finally, it is important for e-commerce brands to identify the right social media channels to leverage their brand. Social media platforms, if used creatively and strategically can help e-commerce businesses reach their target audience in a much faster way. The importance of social media has been adequately realised by fashion and food industries among others. However, e-commerce brands can also leverage the benefits of social media by strategizing and creating fool-proof social media plans.