In the last of the day’s three panels, experts on social advertising spoke about the unique benefits different platforms offer.
The first speaker in the Promote – The Advertising section was Wolfgang Sturm, from A1 Telekom Austria. As the Head of Social Media Management at A1, Sturm focused his presentation on finding how to best target advertising for his brand’s audience. Primarily, he identified topics of national interest, and associated the brand with them. This idea is in keeping with what Woolworths’ Sam Wilson discussed in the Engage – The Socially Devoted section, when she talked about the necessity of paying attention to and fitting into culturally relevant conversations. In this case, A1 found themselves advertising in conjunction with a group every Austrian supported: the Austrian National Ski Team.
Once A1 is able to segment their audience, they create unpublished posts to target those segments. “If timing is king, targeting is queen,” Sturm said. A1 runs extensive a/b testing to determine what modes of advertising work best with different identified audience segments, and then promotes what works best for each.
While discussing A1’s methodology, Sturm reminded attendees of one important thing about marketing with the day’s most retweeted image:
Beth Foster, Social Strategist at Google+, was the first of three presenters to speak on behalf of the actual social networks marketers use to advertise. She immediately discussed the successful integration of +Post ads, the first paid method of advertising through Google+, before detailing the successful ways businesses have used free Google + features to advertise in the past.
Particularly, she focused on Google Hangouts. The Hangout has been used to do everything from debut musicians’ albums to superfans, to bringing football fans from around the world into Old Trafford Stadium’s pixelated inner walls on behalf of Manchester United.
But the real value of Google+ that Foster emphasized is its synergy with the entire Google ecosystem. Google + makes the social experience more unified across the web, including Google properties like Youtube, from which Jen Thompson soon spoke.
Georgina Parnell, Sales Lead at Twitter, opened her presentation with some astounding numbers about the year one of the world’s largest social networks has had. To wit: 76% of Twitter usage is mobile now – and the network sees 1 billion tweets every 2 days. Those are numbers that most networks would envy. In a recent article published to this blog, about LinkedIn signing up its 300 millionth member, LinkedIn expressed their excitement about approaching 50% mobile use. Considering this frames just how much of an accomplishment Twitter’s development on mobile is.
Parnell discussed the qualities a brand needs to succeed on Twitter. Brands must prepare to react instantly to different cultural happenings, since Twitter’s appeal for users is in its ability to allow them to communicate immediately. The most successful Twitter reactions are both necessarily spontaneous and products of utmost preparation. However, Parnell said, this does not mean that brands can abandon having a social media strategy on Twitter; rather, that part of that strategy is in knowing how you will react to live happenings, and knowing what these may be at all times.
Jen Thompson, responsible for YouTube Sponsorships for North and Central Europe, was the last featured speaker at Engage London 2014.
Thompson recommended social marketers get to know influential Youtube channels, and the people that run them, in order to connect to users through Youtube’s most defining quality: that it is driven by peoples’ passions.
By finding channels that appeal to peoples’ passions, you can meaningfully communicate with fans through that channel.
For fans, the experience of using Youtube becomes highly personalized as they subscribe to channels that interest them. Marketers can use TrueView Ads to reach people they target based on interests, and engage them with content that tells the best story possible. Fans can click on it themselves, rather than being forced into it, and the content becomes more native, and less unseemly.
By the end of the day, attendees and live-streamers were buzzing with questions for each speaker – so much so that in each post-session panel, dozens of questions were posed and only a couple could be answered. Make sure that whether you are in attendance at the next Engage event or watching it via livestream, you have questions ready for the speakers. They are all incredibly knowledgeable people, and we were simply thrilled to have them come speak with us and share their insights.
See you next time, in New York City!