“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”
Remember that pivotal scene in David Fincher’s 2010 film, The Social Network? The Justin Timberlake as Napster co-founder Sean Parker line has been memed to death in the subsequent decade, but it did show the ambition of what Facebook could become. In 2020, Facebook’s ad revenue grew to over $84 Billion. How cool is that, Mr. Timberlake?
But with operating systems such as Apple and Android tweaking their privacy rules to make ad targeting more difficult, it might be time to expand your outreach strategy. Instead of discussing how the fallout from these changes will affect social media, we want to focus on how this directly impacts the advertisers.
An alternate channel to target customers
Roughly 92% of companies with over 100 employees use some degree of social media marketing. Many of these companies use targeted ads. Every marketer is familiar with the concept of using these platforms to deliver their content to the right person at the right time. But what if that becomes more difficult? Surely, Marketing departments won’t just give up on ads, but what about considering other avenues of engagement? Omnichannel communications provide an alternative way to deliver targeted messaging and content directly into the hands of prospects and customers.
A quick refresher on omnichannel communication: omnichannel is a strategy that uses multiple channels cooperating together to deliver a consistent brand experience. By enabling customers to engage with the brands in their favorite ways across a multitude of channels, you can provide an elevated customer experience. Some of the channels that are synonymous with omnichannel include SMS and chat apps. First, we’ll look at SMS.
An effective low-cost addition
SMS has a 98% open rate, typically in a matter of seconds. It’s the granddaddy of all SMS marketing stats and one of the key reasons so many companies believe in SMS marketing. Because of its high open rate, SMS is an excellent channel for targeting customers with custom content. Whereas channels like email typically fall more into the category of ‘throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks,’ an SMS strategy can behave much more like a targeted ad.
Another factor to consider is the cost. While rates vary by market, SMS marketing is still relatively cheap. There are thousands of marketing directors putting together their 2022 budgets right now, and the last thing they want to tell their boss is, ‘I need to double my ad budget because we can’t target anymore.’ For a company not currently using SMS as a customer engagement strategy and acquisition tool, this is a fantastic opportunity to go directly to customers on the same device they already use for shopping, their phones.
Reach your customers where they are
When we look at chat apps, we’re talking about platforms like WhatsApp or Google Messages. These are services folks are already using to communicate with friends and family, and brands are now starting to get in on the fun. When discussing omnichannel strategy, we discuss the importance of consistent brand experience and meeting customers on the channels they already use. That means a great way to drive engagement for a marketer is to meet these users on chat apps.
Tracking cookies have been discussed for what feels like a decade now, and privacy continues to dominate the headlines. At Mitto, we’re not advising you to abandon your ad strategy, but it’s undoubtedly time to cast a wider net and start considering new channels. Omnichannel provides a low-cost alternative with high engagement and impressive, trackable results. It’s a proactive strategy that gives marketers the power to reach customers effectively. For someone trying to justify next year’s budget proposal, omnichannel can take you a long way.