5 Facebook Retargeting Strategies You Should Be Using

Retargeting people coming to your website is still one of the best tried-and-true methods for converting prospects into customers. In fact, Facebook remarketing ads convert 70% higher than normal Facebook ads. Chances are, if you are using Facebook ads, you are already using the Facebook pixel to retarget and convert your bottom-of-the-funnel prospects. You’ve probably even made “cart abandon” audiences and run dynamic ads that show shoppers what they were considering but left behind. But did you know there are several ways to retarget engaged users that don’t even involve your website? We’re sharing five Facebook retargeting strategies you should be using.

1. Retarget event responses

If you’re looking to sell tickets or increase attendance for an event, first create a Facebook event page. Then make an ad using event responses as the objective. This is a cheap way for you to get people to mark “Interested” or “Going” to your event. Not to mention that whenever someone marks “Interested” or “Going,” it shows up in their friends’ News Feeds (we love free micro-influencer marketing!)

Here’s where the retargeting comes in: make an audience that targets people who marked “Interested” or “Going” to your event. Create another ad using this audience with an image and copy that emphasizes selling tickets. This will be a great reminder for people about the event they are already interested in and make it easy for them to click through and purchase tickets.

2. Retarget people in a Facebook group

Facebook groups are a great way to access a large number of people who are all interested in the same thing. And if that thing is something that you happen to be selling, wouldn’t it be great to serve your ad to those people? This one is a little tricky to do since Facebook currently does not have a feature that targets specific groups, but we’re going to let you in on a little hack that we use for our clients.

Post a video to your Facebook business page and then immediately hide it (click the 3 dots at the top right of your video and then click hide from timeline). The video should not be sales-y nor should it advertise your product. Make it something that the target Facebook group would find interesting. Then, become a member of the Facebook group if you are not already. Now share that hidden video to the Facebook group as a regular post within the group. The goal here is to get as many views on your video as possible. Respond to their comments and ask them follow-up questions in the comments for more engagement. Now you can make an audience in Ads Manager that targets people who have watched your video. Create an ad using this audience and now you’re retargeting people in that Facebook group!

3. Retarget people with sessions longer than 30 seconds

Back to the tried-and-true method of targeting people who have been to your website, but with a twist. As an advertiser, one of your main goals is to spend your ad dollars as efficiently as possible, so why waste money on people who didn’t spend a significant amount of time on your website? Check analytics, and create an audience based on the people who visited your website and had sessions longer than 30 seconds. This will make your ad dollars go a lot farther by getting your ads in front of the right group of people.

4. Retarget segments of your CRM list

Having a CRM list is as good as gold when it comes to Facebook targeting. Of course, you want to serve ads to people on your email list, maybe even create a lookalike list of these people. Now think about all the ways you can slice and dice your current email list and the corresponding ads that you can create. You can focus on people who bought a certain product, people who have not purchased in the past six months, people with the highest average order value; the opportunities are endless. Now create ads with specific messages directed toward these segmented groups. The more targeted the messaging, the better!

5. Retarget your social media followers

You’ve created a sizable social media following, but don’t have a robust email list or much site traffic yet. Good news! You can create an Ads Manager audience of people who interacted with your Facebook or Instagram accounts. This includes people who viewed or followed your Facebook page or Instagram profile, people who commented or liked your posts and also people who saw or clicked on your sponsored ads. This is a great way to retarget people for whom you lack information or may not have bought your product yet, but they know who you are through your social media.

We hope that you find these Facebook retargeting strategies useful and that they inspire creative ways to target your customers. If you want more helpful tactics for converting your audience, reach out and we can begin discussing strategies for your organization.

Vote for TJA for Ranking Arizona 2021!

Voting is now open for AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona 2021 and we need your help! Follow the simple steps below to help TJA rank #1 again this year. You may vote once per hour through July 31 at 11:59pm.

How to Vote:
1. Visit the Ranking Arizona website
2. Register with your email address and create a password OR use your login information from last year
3. Vote for TJA in the following categories by clicking the VOTE button:

  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Best Workplace Culture
    • Graphic Design Firms
    • Internet Marketing
    • Public Relations Firms
    • SEO/Social Media Marketing
  • Business Services
    • Best Place to Work
    • Event Planning
    • Women-Owned Businesses

Thank you for your support!

Your brand’s digital presence is more important now than ever before

“I want to be where the people are”

I think everybody can relate to The Little Mermaid these days; we all want to be where the people are. Thankfully, conversations surrounding COVID-19 are finally turning toward recovery. However, even as the world reopens, the effects of the quarantine will be lasting and businesses need to adapt to how consumer digital behaviors have shifted. The bottom line: to be where the people are, you need to update your digital strategy. Doing so will benefit your business both in the short- and long-term.

Improve your website

One simple way to invest in your website is to regularly update your content to ensure its relevancy, something that will be especially important post-coronavirus. For example, adding video content can increase time on site. Likewise, virtual experiences allow your customers to take your product for a spin from the comfort of their home. We recently developed a new website for Camelot Homes, a luxury homebuilder in Arizona, which included more imagery, video content, interactive floor plans and their professionally-shot virtual home tours that maintained buyer interest when in-person tours weren’t available.

Streamlining the design of your website can guide consumers more naturally through your site and increase conversions. Staying on top of your site’s SEO will help consumers find you through search engines. If you’re unsure of where to start, we recommend a website audit, which is the foundational service we offer our web clients. An audit will reveal what’s going well with your website and what needs improving, providing you with clear direction and actionable next steps.

Email is low-risk, high-reward

Maintaining open communication is crucial in gaining trust with your consumers. In a time of crisis, transparency is even more important. Newsletters are great digital tools that offer direct lines to your brand’s biggest fans: people who voluntarily opted to receive updates from you. So, give the people what they want.

The economic landscape is shifting constantly in reaction to the coronavirus. With recovery around the corner, it’s imperative to keep your consumers informed with updates to your business, like shifts in offerings, changes in hours of operation or new content. Whatever the messaging, make it consistent, relevant and timely.

An email campaign also is a relatively inexpensive marketing channel with a historically high ROI. According to Litmus, for every dollar spent on email, marketers saw a $42 return. With so many advantages to email, creating a newsletter strategy is essential.

Create content constantly

When stay-at-home orders were declared, streaming services and social media apps experienced a rise in traffic and usage. According to The Next Web, 29 percent of internet users reported they were streaming significantly more movies and shows, while 23 percent said they were spending significantly more time on social media platforms. People quarantined to their homes crave content, presenting an opportunity for businesses to bolster their organic social media.

When compared to the last quarter of 2019, Instagram saw a 22 percent increase in campaign impressions in the first quarter of 2020. Even as the world eases back into a normal cadence, and people once again can meet in-person, we anticipate the high rate of social media use will continue. Undoubtedly, consumers will feel compelled to share their first experiences out in public. Preparing and scheduling timely and visually engaging content maintains your relevancy and increases brand awareness.

Earn trust and impressions

Right now, news sites are seeing big increases in readership as even more people want to stay informed. The New York Times reported in March that news site page visits increased 57 percent, and subscriptions to U.S. news sites were 57.5 percent higher on Sunday, March 15 compared to an average Sunday.

Submitting bylined articles or expert commentary on how trends or current events are affecting your industry can lead to earned media coverage in online news sites, increasing your business’s exposure and strengthening your expert positioning. Providing insight and thought leadership in news outlets also garners trust with readers, deepening your brand awareness. Partnering with experts like The James Agency can not only help you create an effective PR strategy, but also execute on that strategy and prepare you for the inevitable media opportunities. 

Be prepared

We’re all experiencing a harrowing moment in our history, and the full effects are yet to be seen. One thing for certain has changed: the customer journey. The brands that will continue to win have a few things in common, one of which being a strong digital presence that allowed them to stay in contact with their customers throughout the days of quarantine. At The James Agency, we leverage 15 years of experience and a wealth of data to evolve our clients’ digital assets, ensuring they are prepared for anything. Drop us a line to determine how we can do the same for you.

Why having a marketing team in a time of crisis is crucial.

How companies can recover from an unexpected event.

No business is ever 100% ready when a crisis hits. While you’re reeling from a major event that impacts your day-to-day operations, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind. When time is of the essence and your company needs to think on its feet, you’ll be glad to have a marketing team behind you: they will deliver a quick and appropriate response to your audience, and you can focus on steering the ship.

The time for belabored, designed-by-committee strategy plans is gone. The agility of a specialized marketing team streamlines go-to-market initiatives, whether you’re in reaction or recovery mode. When the status quo is changing by the hour, decisive action is a priority, regardless of your industry.

Rapid response in an evolving environment. 

Publicize your actions and efforts without delay. Whether you’re fielding customer inquiries, putting out press releases, or posting digital content to keep your consumers informed and instructed, a dedicated marketing team can alleviate the pressure of saying the right thing in the right way. Maintaining an active online presence also conveys confidence to your customers and partners, providing a sense of security that your organization is prepared to weather the storm.

Importantly, if you have any pre-scheduled content that is supposed to go live, ensure your team evaluates and edits it for appropriateness. This isn’t the time for radio silence, but releasing tone-deaf or callous content is even worse.

Business as (un)usual.

Marketing helps drive commerce—yes, even during a crisis. While the messaging that accompanies a commerce strategy should be thoughtfully executed, carefully considered marketing encourages consumers to engage with your brand and the economy at large. Some of your business offerings may pivot to accommodate what the market requires under the circumstances. Lean on your marketers to promote these new services or products to the right audiences through defined targeting.

Go where the people are: individuals are likely to spend more time online and on social media during a crisis to stay informed, check up on friends and family, or take a mental break. Cater to this digital audience by communicating frequently and raising awareness about your brand in order to stay front-of-mind. Utilizing strategies like paid social media, paid search, email campaigns and more will put you in front of the right people as they spend even more time online.

This doesn’t apply to me.

If you’re operating in an industry that is less affected by the crisis, it’s still highly recommended that you take a moment to consider a long-term response with your marketing team. Think of the actions your company will need to take when this crisis comes to a conclusion; bring your decision-makers to the table and assess how your organization will adjust to changes in the economy at large; talk about how to modify campaigns and messaging to reflect the emotional state of your consumers.

Ethical marketing in a time of crisis.

Marketing with empathy and sensitivity will lead to positive associations with your brand. Fear mongering, misinformation, and preying on insecurities won’t go unpunished. Brand responses are monitored closely, and the public is not afraid to take down those who are tactless. Now more than ever, it’s critical to have a team of specialists who knows how to navigate the changing tides with sincerity and an in-depth understanding of your audience.

If your organization needs assistance with crisis communication, recovery strategies, digital presence or more, reach out to our team. We specialize in creative responses to novel situations, and can help you brainstorm ways to integrate new approaches. Whatever you need, we’re ready to support you.

Start the conversation

5 things you have to do before shooting a brand video to make it a success.

Everything that comes before “Lights, camera, action!”

Creating a brand video is the ultimate creative project. Storytelling harmonizes with videography to become a money-making, movie-quality video the client gets to splash across their website, paid media and social media platforms. However, there’s more to creating a film than storyboarding and day-of shoots; myriad decisions that involve other departments are critical to the final result. In this blog, we’re highlighting four considerations that go into making our award-winning brand videos. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on behind the scenes.

How media buying influences videography. 

One of the biggest influences on a brand video comes from the media department. How will the video be used? Has ad space been bought that comes with sizing and timing constraints? Taking the endgame usage into consideration at the very beginning will eliminate many challenges during the editing phase. If you know you need a fifteen-second, vertical video for promoted stories on Instagram, writing that into the storyboard will align the creative process with the practical application. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Start a “future project” section part of your storyboard that lists all the applications for this video. Where will it be posted? How long will it be? What are the specs for social media platforms where it’ll go up? Usage can determine content, so having a written-out understanding can constructively guide creative brainstorming. 

KPIs and client objectives.

Keeping the measurable goals in mind is not a very sexy part of the creative process, but it’s essential. It actually makes telling your story easier by supplying queues on what to include and what to leave out. Understand upfront how the value of this brand video will be determined. Knowing what will be considered a success from the client’s perspective will prevent difficult conversations down the road. Better to course-correct toward the beginning than realize at the very end that your goals and the client’s objectives are entirely estranged.

Add this to your to-do list:
Before any work is done on concepting the video, agree upon three measurable KPIs and write them at the top of any documents relating to the shoot. Get a written statement from the client stating what they will consider a success and keep that as a North Star throughout the duration of the project.

How casting and data go hand in hand.

Did you know Google Analytics can help you narrow in on whom you should cast in your video? Here at TJA, we do significant research on target audiences to understand who they are and what they want. Casting decisions should take demographic and psychographic data pulled from reliable sources into consideration. Choose actors whom your audience can empathize with or aspire to be. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Have your team source information about your audience from your first-party platforms, like Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics. Combine that with third-party industry data to make data-backed casting decisions. 

Location, location, location. 

You’ve seen pictures online; maybe you spent some time on the Google Street View scoping out the area. Now it’s time to visit the locations IRL. It’s critical that you get face-to-face with your shooting spots. Assuming that the space will work without walking through it is like trusting a kindergartener with your dental work. Get a grasp on the variables, so that they don’t end up undermining the whole operation. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Walk through all of your pre-planned shots in the space so that you can check how angles, lighting and framing are going to turn out. Nine times out of ten, you’ll discover there’s a shot that isn’t quite as feasible as you thought. Do this far enough in advance so you can make edits to the shot list without throwing everything into chaos. 

So where does creativity come in?

Even with all these external considerations, the core of filming a brand video is to tell a story. The narrative thread will be the heart and soul for creative efforts. Media, target audience data and location provide the structure to build the story around. Additionally, once shooting begins, there will inevitably be improvisation. You’ll need to get creative with shots when timing gets tight, or when things on set don’t go to plan. Stay loose and go with the flow; it’s better to think on your feet than to force a shot just for the sake of the storyboard. Keep standards of quality high and the finished product in mind: an unexpected, dramatic sunset can be the money shot that pulls the whole video together. 

Add this to your to-do list:
During the lead up, think hypothetically about multiple ways you can achieve the same effect if an obstacle crops up. How will you handle talent running late? Adverse weather? Set malfunctions? Lost props? By employing problem-solving before you even reach the set, your mind will be primed to handle any situation you find yourself in. 

The James Agency’s Creative Wins Big with U.S. Travel Association

Ad agency’s ‘Split Decisions’ campaign for client Travel Costa Mesa wins two ESTO awards

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. (August 22, 2019) – A marketing campaign created by hospitality and tourism advertising agency, The James Agency (TJA), was awarded two Destiny Awards at the U.S. Travel Association’s ESTO conference in Austin, Texas this week. The annual awards ceremony recognizes excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing at the local and regional level.

TJA’s “Split Decisions” campaign was part of a total brand refresh for client, Travel Costa Mesa, a Southern California destination marketing organization (DMO). The campaign utilized a “two halves of a whole” design narrative that transformed stereotypical branding into an authentic realization of the fresh and urban experiences that Costa Mesa has to offer. Of the 16 Destiny Awards presented, Travel Costa Mesa won two: one for a branding campaign in the $500,000 – $1,000,000 marketing budget category and another for the People’s Choice Award.

The campaign included the creation of brand videos and the design of traditional and digital ads targeting a younger market of foodies and weekend travelers. Within a year of the campaign’s initiation, Travel Costa Mesa saw a 23 percent increase in engagement by its target age market and a 22 percent increase in leads to its hotel partners.

“TJA was tasked with captivating a younger age group – a generation that dreams of travel and curated experiences,” said Veronique James, CEO of The James Agency. “I’m proud of the amazing creative my team conjured up that captured the notion of limitless possibilities in Costa Mesa.”

TJA, an integrated advertising, public relations and digital marketing firm, lead the research, brand development, website redesign, email and content marketing for Travel Costa Mesa, which is located in the heart of Orange County.

“The Travel Costa Mesa team is thrilled to be recognized for our work in destination marketing this year for the unique and vibrant City of the Arts®,” said Kim Glen, Director of Marketing. “We’re grateful to the U.S. Travel Association and all those who voted for us, and big kudos to the creative talents of our partners at The James Agency, who were instrumental in developing this fun, integrated branding campaign.”

Founded in 2005 by James, TJA specializes in working with hospitality, restaurant, real estate and experiential brands. In addition to Travel Costa Mesa, TJA is the agency of record for the National Harbor Convention and Visitors Association on the East Coast.

A complete list of the Destiny Awards finalists and winners can be found online.

About The James Agency

An integrated agency specializing in consumer advertising, public relations and digital, The James Agency (TJA) custom fits a comprehensive, insights-driven marketing strategy for each client. Founded in 2005 by Veronique James, TJA represents travel, tourism, hospitality and lifestyle brands.

About Travel Costa Mesa

Located in the heart of Orange County in Southern California with a population of approximately 113,000, Travel Costa Mesa was established in 1995 with the primary goal of promoting tourism to the city and to fund programs and activities that benefit the hotel and motel businesses within the city of Costa Mesa. For more information on travel to the city of Costa Mesa, visit www.travelcostamesa.com  or follow @travelcostamesa on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Travel Costa Mesa is a 501(c)(6).

Facebook Ad Industry Benchmarks: Where You Need to Be

DISCLAIMER: It’s about to get technical up in here.

Whether you’re managing paid social in-house or through an agency, industry benchmarks are likely on your radar when analyzing your media performance. The beauty of Facebook advertising is its ability to not only target specific audiences based on their interests, behaviors, demographics and website actions (slightly creepy), but the various optimization goals available to advertisers as well. With so many variables available for your paid social strategy, it can get a little difficult to measure your success against other competitors in the advertising space.

One of your competitors may have a larger emphasis on secondary services due to the already-high demand of their more elite services on other platforms/outlets. Their KPIs will naturally look differently than yours and may not be a fair comparison. Luckily, marketing researchers have gathered average benchmarks for eighteen different industries for us!

From Education, Travel & Hospitality, to Retail and Technology – if you find yourself in one of these eighteen industries surveyed, keep scrolling to see how you stack up against the competition.

Average click-through rate

The average CTR for all industries is about 0.90%, with Legal and Retail pulling in the top two averages and Employment & Job Training and Finance & Insurance coming in at the lowest. Maybe people in legal trouble need a little retail therapy.

These CTR’s are looking at ALL clicks (link clicks, lead fills, app downloads and all media engagements such as post reactions, shares, comments and clicks to expand post/picture).

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average cost per click (all)

The average CPC for all industries is $1.72, with Customer Service and Finance & Insurance coming in with the most expensive CPC. Apparel and Travel & Hospitality average the lowest CPC across all industries at under $1.00. Is this a sign to go buy some new clothes and take a trip? Looks like it’s written in the stars…oops, I mean bars.

As with the CTR, the averaged CPCs are looking at ALL clicks (link clicks, lead fills, app downloads etc.)

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average conversion rate

The average conversion rate for all industries is 9.21%, with Fitness and Education holding the top spot and Industrial Services and Technology coming in with the lowest. Clearly, Education is out-smarting most industries while Fitness is flexin’ on all the rest.

These conversions are measured based on goals that the advertisers set like sales, providing contact info, submitting a form or placing a call.

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

Average cost per action

The average CPA for all industries is $18.68, with Technology and Home Improvement pulling in the highest cost per action – and once again Fitness and Education averaging the lowest. If only the cost of education was a low as its CPA on Facebook ads.

These CPAs are based on the action metric defined within Facebook, which is typically conversions, but also includes engagements such as lead submissions and app downloads.

IMAGE SOURCE: Wordstream

How do you stack up against the competition?

All jokes aside, whether you’re the lowest on the benchmark totem poll or top dog, there are several ways to help maintain or improve your paid social performance. One way is making sure you’re utilizing the right reporting metrics to help optimize your campaigns based on the data you’re seeing. In fact, Facebook has recently made some additions to their metrics that can help advertisers track the metrics listed in this blog.

Throughout March and April, Facebook will be slowly rolling out these new updates. By the end of April 30th, Facebook will be removing its ‘Ad Relevance Score’ and replacing it with three new relevancy metrics: Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking and Conversion Rate Ranking. The three rankings will be measured base on the following information:

  • Quality Ranking: this will measure an ad’s perceived quality/expected engagement rate compared to other ads competing for the same target audience.
  • Engagement Ranking: this will measure an ad’s expectant engagement rate compared to other ads promoting to the same target audience.
  • Conversion Rate Ranking: this will measure an ad’s expected conversion rates compared to ads with the same optimization goals and target audience.

Lucky for us advertisers we now have several resources to report back on for our bosses or clients. This allows us to make campaign decisions that are backed by real data. By using these benchmarks and data-driven results to guide strategy, we’re in perfect shape to create a lean, mean, paid-social machine.

RESOURCES:

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/02/28/facebook-advertising-benchmarks

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1695754927158071?ref=FBB_MetricsUpdates

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebooks-phasing-out-its-ad-relevance-score-removing-six-ad-metrics/550343/

Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Your Business

The Difference Between a Personal and Professional

Most of us have been using social media in our personal lives for years – even decades – to connect with family and friends, share our views on the world and find new and inspiring ideas. Personal social media accounts are relatively straightforward: you have freedom and flexibility with the content being posted, you can take breaks from using your accounts, or disengage with them entirely, with no consequences. When it comes to running a social media account for your business, the stakes are higher.

Social media is now a primary resource for growing your business, building your brand and increasing your consumer growth. If your company or ​start-up​ handles social media accounts carelessly, you’ll start seeing repercussions. ​Improper social media use​ can lead to brand mistrust, bad PR and even ​lawsuits​.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the realm of social media, or thinking about overhauling your company’s social media approach, we have a few tips on how to do it professionally. With these tips, a strong strategy, evaluation of your target audience and time to write, edit and schedule, you can grow your social media accounts into profitable and well-recognized platforms.

No, This Social Media Meeting Cannot Be an Email

Set your company up for success by going in with a strategy and a social media plan.
Without a social media strategy in place ahead of time, your digital presence will quickly prove to be inconsistent and ineffective.
Instead, talk with your social media team (you really should have a dedicated team to handle social media) about how you will deal with content, engagement and responses accordingly.

  • Your team should agree on:
  • Which platforms you plan to use
  • How frequently you should be posting for each platform
  • Tone of voice
  • Cohesive aesthetic
  • Creative and copy that will be posted on the account
  • Rules of engagement, such as when and how to interact with comments and messages from
    your audience
  • How frequently you will review reports and insights
  • Scheduled huddles to discuss highs, lows and where you may need to tweak the existing
    strategy

There is a lot of ground to cover, and it will require several thorough discussions before all of these points are agreed upon. It will all be worth it though because it will give your team and business a clear sense of the social media goals you are working towards reaching.

Proof Your Words

Once you’ve set a strategy and have a clear direction for creative and copy, it’s time to get cracking on the dirty work. A large portion of your time will be spent brainstorming and writing content that is relevant to your audience. Even when you’re writing posts with the best intentions, your words may sometimes go awry.

One of the quickest ways to wreck your company’s reputation is by posting an insensitive, unrelatable post on social media.

There are ​numerous examples​ of companies posting offensive or poorly-timed content on their social media accounts—such as when Home Depot sent out this rather ​racist Tweet​. They apologized soon after, but it’s clearly stuck around and still roaming the internet in different articles (ahem, this one).

Lesson here: protect yoself, before you wreck yoself! Always have your copy proofed by 3-4 sets of eyes ​before it goes online. This can help you avoid posting something that is unintentionally derogatory or offensive, saving you from the backlash of a misplaced or miswritten social media post.

Schedule It and Forget
Once you set a strategy, write the content and get it proofed and approved, schedule it! You’ll want to plan ahead as much as possible to avoid typos and forgetting to post content. Do this by finding a content scheduler that fits your needs. This may take some trial and error, but once you find the right one, you’ll save yourself hours of tedious labor. Below are some recommendations to start off your search.

Mistakes Happen. It’ll Be OK.

We don’t live in a perfect world and if your business’ social platforms are active, chances are you’ll make a mistake someday, somewhere.

If the mistake is as simple as a typo, that can be corrected immediately after posting. There is no shame in deleting a post, fixing it and reposting. If the mistake is significant enough and has been online long enough to draw a response from the public, then your best bet is to own up to what happened.

Once something is posted on the internet, it lives forever (take the Home Depot incident for example). Thanks to screenshots and reposts, even deleting the post won’t make the problem go away.

Instead of playing dumb about the mistake, or pretending that it didn’t happen at all, own up to it. Explain honestly what happened, apologize for the content and learn from it.

The internet may never forget, but it does move on quickly. Small mistakes will be forgotten in a matter of hours or days, and even larger mistakes will eventually be overshadowed. Refusing to acknowledge and apologize for your missteps will only put your company in a bad light.

Yaaas! You Got This!

As your company takes its next steps into the world of social media, continue to learn about best practices. The above tips are a good beginners guide to help you retain your professionalism online.

Study your audience and competitors, analyze your insights and reports and soon enough you’ll be streamlining your social media presence and taking your business to new heights!

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Social Ads With Business Manager

Facebook Business Manager was developed so agencies and social media managers could have an easier time managing multiple Facebook Pages and ad accounts. What most of you may not know is that Business Manager has a range of tools that, when used correctly, can impact the success of your paid social media strategy.

Let’s take a closer look into some of these game-changing features.

Facebook Business Manager

1. Audience Insights

Audience Insight

If you’re unsure about your audience, Audience Insights is the perfect place to start. This tool helps you segment the “root” of your audience based on different preferences and demographic details.

If you already know your audience and want to test out new creative ideas or promos, Audience Insights is great for tapping into what trends and topics your audience is interested in.

HINT: Use this tool to stalk some of your close competitors. On the left-hand side, type in the name of your competitor – or products/services related to your business. If your competitors’ Page pops up, you can explore the interests and general demographic of their Page fans. If you’re searching based on products/services, you can see how your competitors match up to those key search terms. Head to Facebook’s Help Center for more tips.

2. Creative Hub

Creative Hub

Facebook Creative Hub allows you to skip straight to creating and sharing your Facebook and Instagram ad mock-ups. Whether you’re looking to create a Carousel, 360 video or even an Instant Experience ad (previously known as Canvas), this tool lets you plan your messaging from copy, to creative, to CTA and landing page.

This tool gives you a multitude of resources so that you can create higher quality and more engaging ad experiences for your users. Some of the many benefits of Creative Hub include:

  • Pulling inspiration from other advertisers
  • Discovering new ad formats
  • Fine-tuning your paid social strategy for mobile
  • Collaborating with team members
  • And the ability to manage, edit and export your mock-ups straight into ads manager.

HINT: With the ever-changing nature of Facebook Advertising Guidelines, never second-guess whether or not your ad creative will get approved. Simply use the ‘Image Text Check’ function under Tools to determine the text rating of your ad. This function tells you how Facebook rates the amount of text on your image. When all is said and done, you’ll never have to worry about that annoying red triangle warning saying your ad has been denied.

3. Page Insights

Page Insights

Page Insights gives you aggregated demographic data about the people who like your Page, an in-depth look at how your content resonated with your audience and the best days/times to post based on user behavior. One of our favorite features of Page Insights is in the overview section. Scroll past your page summary, recent posts and promotions and make your way down to the ‘Pages to Watch’ section. Here you can keep a close eye on your competitors by comparing the performance of your Page and posts with similar Pages on Facebook.

HINT: If you notice a spike in your competitors’ engagement or Page likes – you might want to make your way to their Facebook Page, click ‘Info and Ads’ on the left-hand side and see what changes they may have made to their paid strategy.

That’s a Wrap

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the latest trending platforms that claim to give you exclusive insights into your target demographic. Sometimes the best place to start is right at the source. Facebook Business Manager provides you with a 360-degree view of all it’s activities. It’s the central place for managing all social media marketing activities to support your overall digital strategy.

IGTV And How Brands Can Use It

Last month, Instagram made waves by announcing its newest addition to the social networking platform: IGTV. It is the social network’s stab at long-form video that rivals YouTube and has been quickly adopted by brands and influencers around the globe. Users are able to post video content up to an hour in length, with most brands opting for videos that are 10 minutes or shorter. Now that we are a month into its launch, we will share how brands can effectively use IGTV.

What It Is
IGTV is a video platform within the popular social networking app, Instagram. Located within the app itself or on its own standalone app, brands and influencers are now able to upload and create long-form videos for their followers. Unlike Youtube or Facebook Watch, IGTV is designed specifically for mobile. This means all videos are uploaded vertically, so creators can record content via their smartphone and upload directly to the platform.

How To Use It

  1. Post relevant content: This may seem like a no brainer, but brands need to upload content that is relevant to their audience. If you are a beauty blogger, try uploading a skincare tutorial; if you are a podcaster, use IGTV to upload your newest episodes. The options are endless, but at the end of the day, your target audience should be driving the type of content you share.
  2. Think IG stories, but longer: If you are having a difficult time getting started, start with the content you already share. IGTV is really just a long-form version of Instagram Stories. So, if you are sharing multiple stories at once, try condensing it into one IGTV video.
  3. Share important information: There are a couple different ways brands can go about sharing content, and again, it depends on what your audience wants. If you are a marketing-focused company, share breaking industry news and how this may affect your audience. No matter what your niche is, you want to be a resource for your followers so they keep coming back for more.
  4. Don’t overthink it: At the end of the day, you want your content to be natural, relevant and relatable. Don’t worry about creating overly polished videos with professional equipment. Leave that for YouTube. The beauty of Instagram has always been the fact that you could literally pick up your smartphone, capture a moment and share it with the world, and that same concept should be applied to IGTV.

 
Looking Ahead
While there currently aren’t “commercials” or advertising placements on IGTV, we can only expect Instagram to allow brands to place pre-roll and in-stream ads for videos uploaded to the platform. While the platform is so young, there are a great deal of opportunities for brands to capitalize and reach new audiences. Facebook often rewards advertisers who are early adopters of new ad placements with a lower CPC and CPM. Still in its infancy, we are excited to see IGTV take off and how brands continue to use it moving forward.

When Is It Time to Outsource Your Social Media Strategy?

When social media became mainstream many years ago, businesses realized the power it had and—ultimately—the connection it built between them and their consumers. They then hurried to create their respective social accounts and began sharing content with no clear strategy or end goal in mind.

As brands adapted, the time needed to execute these social accounts increased. Followers and brand advocates crave quality content that provides value, and businesses do their best to provide that. BUT, it takes time, energy and investment. A lot of brands think social media is the easy part; however, it is actually one of the more time-intensive projects that requires a great deal of effort and thought.

If you feel like your social strategy is plateauing and needs a shock to the system, it may be time to turn to an agency for help. Don’t know if you’re ready to make the leap? Keep these things in mind:

  1. Cohesive Strategy: When working with an agency, you’ll come to find that the good ones (like us) do everything they can to know every facet of your brand, audience, voice, goals and overall strategy. Their social media guru (that would be me) will then work with the team to create a social specific strategy that takes all of those aspects and applies them to your social media efforts. They will develop specific tactics designed to increase social media engagement and reach, along with KPIs relevant to your business.
  2. Time: To be honest, an effective social media strategy and execution of said strategy takes a lot of your energy. When most clients come to us requesting social media services, it is because they feel the pain of managing multiple social media accounts on their own. They either don’t know what they are doing, don’t have the resources or they simply don’t have enough hours in the day to focus their energy on that deliverable. With all of the other moving pieces in marketing, social media often takes a back seat and is not given the attention it deserves.
  3. Reporting & Analyzing: A dedicated social media partner will do one thing that you probably aren’t doing now, which is reporting and analyzing the data. It is hard to look to the future when you aren’t learning and growing from the past. On a weekly and monthly basis, we analyze everything that is going on with our clients’ social accounts and adjust our strategy to maximize your investment and continue to get results.
  4. Ask the Experts: Sometimes, you just have to admit that you aren’t the expert. While an effective social media strategy is easy to understand, it is often more difficult to execute. When done correctly, social media provides a huge value to businesses—so why would you delegate that to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing?

 
If you are considering outsourcing your social media but aren’t sure if it is the right choice for you, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Are you only posting to your social platforms when you think of an awesome post or have spare time?
  2. Are you delegating social media responsibilities to someone who doesn’t understand or like social media?
  3. Is all of your content focused on your business without providing value to your followers?

 
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time to outsource your social media strategy to a team of experts (cough cough* us). To learn a little bit more about our process and see how we can help, shoot us a note at info@thejamesagency.com!

What To Ask Yourself Before Starting An Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer marketing is a big buzz word in the marketing and advertising world. With its increasing growth and popularity, many businesses ask themselves “how do I find the right influencers for my business?” Too often, business owners and marketing managers fall into the trap of “the more awareness the better;” however, that is not always the case when you partner with influencers who aren’t actually influencing your audience.

While influencer marketing is highly effective, and affordable when used correctly, it is easy to fall into the trap of pairing with the wrong influencer and costing your brand. Just because they have a large following with a lot of engagement doesn’t mean they are the best fit. Before embarking in influencer marketing territory, ask yourself these three things:

What are your goals?
When starting any marketing campaign, you need to have the end in mind. Do you want to increase sales, boost brand awareness or promote a new product line? Establishing the answers to these questions will help you determine with whom you’d like to work with. Starting the process blind will only force you to work with influencers who aren’t the right fit for you or your brand.

What are your terms?
So, you have determined your goals. What’s next? Before you reach out to anyone, you need to establish what you are willing to give and for what. For example, if you are an e-commerce retail shop, you could offer free product in exchange for social media exposure or pay the influencer for a larger campaign. Every influencer works a little bit differently, so you will have to be flexible. However, knowing what you want out of your relationship will hold both parties accountable.

What influencers are you willing to work with (macro vs. micro)?
The common misconception with influencer marketing is people think that the bigger the following the better. While follower count is important, it’s more important to find a person that your target audience values and trusts. That is the basis of truly effective influencer marketing.

When you sit down to create a list of influencers you want to work with, split the list into two segments: macro influencers and micro influencers. While most businesses make the mistake of trying to find a ton of macro influencers, many marketers argue that micro influencers gave you more bang for your buck. Surprisingly, influencers with a more modest following are more likely to have their content engaged with and are also likely to charge $500 or less for content creation.

To create this list, start with your actual consumers. You’d be surprised by how many people in your audience have a strong influence. The best part? You know they are already loyal to your brand and they will promote you in an honest light.
Once you’ve created your list of potential influencers, it is important to review their legitimacy. Having a great deal of followers does not equate to a quality influencer. That is why James Nord co-founded Fohr Card; a service that helps brands sort out bot followers from real quality followers. Take a close look at their Fohr Card rating and ask for a media kit. You can also invest in third party influencer services that help manage the process for you.

Influencer marketing is not that different from other marketing channels. In order to be successful, you must have a clear foundation and know your audience. After that, the rest is gravy! If you are seeing a lot of cold influencer requests come through, ask them for a media kit. That step alone will weed out a bunch of “influencers.” Have any more questions on influencer marketing? Tweet us at @thejamesagency.

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