How to Build & Execute a Facebook Marketing Strategy

When it comes to reach, no other social media platform comes close to Facebook. More than half of all active internet users worldwide use it, and two-thirds of users say they visit business pages at least once a week. The sheer size of Facebook means there’s likely an audience for any product. But that doesn’t […]

The post How to Build & Execute a Facebook Marketing Strategy appeared first on CXL.

When it comes to reach, no other social media platform comes close to Facebook. More than half of all active internet users worldwide use it, and two-thirds of users say they visit business pages at least once a week.

The sheer size of Facebook means there’s likely an audience for any product. But that doesn’t mean you can set up, start posting and watch the magic happen. 

Organic reach on the platform hovers around 5.2%. To succeed, you need to win the battle for attention and stay in the good graces of Facebook’s algorithm.

In this article, you’ll learn how to build and execute a Facebook marketing strategy around your audience’s interests. We’ll look at how to thrive with organic content and how to extend your reach with pay-to-play.

The building blocks of a successful Facebook marketing strategy

A successful Facebook marketing strategy is built using ingredients that are important to any digital marketing strategy:

1. Defined audience

2. Strong goals

3. Competitive analysis

4. Established voice

5. Consistent tracking and measuring

1. Define your audience

Effective engagement starts by understanding who it is you’re talking to. A lot of demographics data can be pulled from your market research, customer personas, and website analytics, such as:

  • Target audience age
  • Location
  • Job
  • Interests

Run this data against general Facebook demographics to understand how your audience uses the platform. 

For example, stats show that over half of Facebook users worldwide are male. But in the U.S. specifically, women are the bigger user demographic. Facebook is also the most popular social network with people over 65.

When you know how the general Facebook user base fits with your target audience, you can dig deeper into the details using Facebook Business Suite’s Insights (formerly Facebook Audience Insights).

Facebook’s data tool is designed to provide marketers with demographic and geographic information, such as:

  • Page Likes
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Top Cities and Countries
  • Location
  • Interests

With this information at hand, you can create better, targeted content.

2. Set clear goals

Every post and ad should work toward achieving your goal. That goal depends on how you plan to use Facebook to drive your overall marketing strategy and business objectives.

For inspiration, here are the ten most common goals according to Hootsuite research:

Infographic with common social media goals

To ensure your goals lead to real results, use a goal-setting framework like S.M.A.R.T., which stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, a S.M.A.R.T. goal to increase brand awareness might be to:

Increase our post shares on Facebook by 20% in the next quarter. 

For every goal you set, choose the most relevant metrics to track. 

Facebook metrics infographic

So, if your goal is to generate leads, you’ll measure things like sign-ups and clicks on your cover photo CTA button. 

If you want to increase traffic, look at actions such as clicks, referral traffic, and conversions.

3. Research the competition

If you’re using Facebook, odds are at least one of your competitors is too. Running competitive analysis will help you unearth what they’re doing well and spot exploitable opportunities.

Pick out six to eight of your competitors and look for:

  • The kinds of posts they’re sharing
  • Which posts get the most engagement
  • What people are saying in the comments
  • How they interact with their audience in comments
  • How their Facebook Page is completed (How do they describe themselves? What category did they choose?)

Also, examine how they are talked about by the community. 

By going to More, and then clicking Community on a Facebook business page, you can read through public posts tagging them and posts shared to their page. 

Screenshot of Adobe Facebook page

This will give you an insight into the general sentiment around a company and how they deliver customer service.

Screenshot of Adobe Facebook page

Additionally, you can use social listening to understand how competitors are using Facebook.

For example, a search for “Adobe” brings up a stream of public posts and related searches. Results can also be filtered by Posts, People, Photos, Videos, Marketplace, Pages, Places, Groups, and Events to deep dive into the brand’s Facebook presence.

Facebook Page search results

Use this competitive strategy to your advantage when planning your content.

4. Establishing your voice

Before you create content, decide on how you’re going to present yourself.

Everything you do on Facebook is exercising your brand voice. It needs to be consistent with your brand personality and fitting for your audience’s personalities.

It also needs to be right for the platform. Your Facebook audience might not use the same language as your Twitter or LinkedIn audience.

Take Salesforce. The tone of its content on Facebook is conversational but professional and benefit-driven:

Salesforce Facebook post example

On Twitter, its tone is conversational but more quirky and fun. 

Facebook Twitter content example

It’s clear that the company has adapted its tone of voice to suit the specific platform.

Use your audience insights and competitive research, along with your brand guidelines, to influence how your content will look, feel, and sound on Facebook.

5. Track and measure performance

Facebook marketing is trial and error. Especially so in the early days. During this time, you’ll need to test different kinds of content with your audience.

Tracking and measuring are essential to understand what worked and what didn’t to better hone your content marketing.

Facebook makes it easy to analyze performance via Business Suite.

In the Insights tab we mentioned earlier, you’ll find overall and individual post results for organic and paid content. 

Here you can delve into metrics, trends, and visual reports. Use it to find out:

  • Post engagement (i.e. likes, comments, and shares)
  • Follower demographic data
  • Page reach

Facebook also has a Creator Studio designed for content creators. This also has an Insights tab that provides valuable data on:

  • Followers and viewers
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Loyalty and performance  

Use this data to continually adjust your goals and see where to focus your resources. Create, test, measure, tweak, repeat.

Use content to build a community

To know how to succeed with your marketing, it helps to understand how Facebook manages its algorithm. 

In 2018, Facebook rolled out a major update to its algorithm to center it more around content from individuals’ friends, family, and groups and less from businesses. It promised that public content from businesses users did see would “encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

In 2019, it announced the widespread use of surveys to gather feedback to ensure users saw relevant content in their News Feed.

“These changes aren’t meant to show more or less from Pages or friends. Rather, the Page links that are surfaced to people will be ones they find worth their time—and the friend posts will be from friends people want to hear from most.” [via Facebook News post]

This all means that, as a business, if you want to continually show up in a user’s Facebook feed, you have to be as relevant and valuable to them as their friends and family. 

Likes, comments, reactions, and shares are all indicators that your content is valuable. The more people engage with your content, the more relevant it will be seen by Facebook’s algorithms.

So the way to achieve a consistent level of engagement is by doing what Facebook wants you to do: bring people together.

There are two ways to build a community around your organic Facebook content:

1. Publishing via a Facebook Business Page

2. Creating a Facebook Group

1. Creating a Facebook Business Page

A Facebook Business Page is your brand’s corner of Facebook. It’s where followers can come to learn more about you, find out the latest news, read your content, and ask questions. It’s also the version of you that will show up in News Feeds.

Your Page profile photo and cover photo should be consistent with your brand. The former appears every time you comment on the post or publish in the News Feed, so make this your brand logo.

Slack’s Facebook Page, for example, is in keeping with its company branding. 

Slack Facebook page screenshot

Your Page information should also be filled out completely.

Facebook will show you tips on how to do this when you create your page and remind you to include all items.

  • Description: A brief intro about your company and Page
  • Categories: Industries that describe your business and help people find your page
  • Contact information: Website, email address, phone number, etc. 
  • Location: Your address if you have a physical premises people can visit
  • Hours: Business opening times if you operate selected hours

Here’s an example of how each of these elements look on Salesforce’s Facebook Page:

Salesforce Facebook page about information

Next, you should create a username for your Page. This will make it easier for people to find and give you a neat vanity URL to share.

Slack, for example, has @slackhq. Buffer has @bufferapp:

Buffer Facebook page permalink

Finally, add a call-to-action button. This gives you one more way to get visitors to take action. 

Buffer Facebook page screenshot

It’s also worth arranging tabs so that visitors to your Page can easily find what they’re looking for.

As well as the standard About, Photos, and Videos tabs, Buffer includes Reviews, Events, and Community tabs. It also integrates its Facebook Page with its Twitter and YouTube accounts. 

Buffer Facebook page CTAs

This allows people to find information and view additional content without leaving Facebook. Thus, keeping them interacting with the Buffer Page for longer. 

Creating engaging content for your Facebook Page

Content can be driven by your audience insights and competitive analysis. Start posting and then fine-tune as the data rolls in. 

To find the right balance, follow what Hootsuite calls the social media “Rule of Thirds”:

“⅓ share posts to promote your business, convert readers, and generate profits

⅓ share posts of ideas from influencers in your industry (or like-minded businesses)

⅓ share posts of personal stories to build your brand

Sharing out content shows your followers…

You know your industry

You’re collaborative

Where you’re positioned within the industry”

In terms of the type of content to use when sharing native posts, video is a safe bet. Research from Buffer and Buzzsumo shows that video generates 59% more engagement than other types of posts. Questions are a distant second, followed by photos and giveaways. 

Interestingly, vertical videos have a higher engagement rate than landscape and square videos. This makes sense when you consider that almost four in five people access the platform via mobile. By comparison, only 1.7% use Facebook on a computer.

Keep description copy short and let the post itself do the talking. Around 50 characters or less is the optimal number.

Uber uses short-form video posts with concise copy to educate followers, including CTA links for users to learn more. 

Uber Facebook post example

Mailchimp combines video and short statuses to sell the benefits of its products and services. 

Mailchimp Facebook post example

In both cases, however, video is used as part of a wider Rule of Thirds strategy that includes links to web content, shared insights from the community, and personal stories. 

Experiment with different kinds of posts, content volume (Facebook recommends posting two to three times a week), and posting times to see how it resonates with your audience. 

But keep in mind that what you post is only one part of creating an engaged community. What you do after hitting publish is every bit as important.

Let customers know you’re there

With an engaged community, followers will often interact with each other and even help each other out.

This comment thread from a Shopify Facebook post being a prime example:

Facebook comment thread from Shopify

You joining the conversation is a great way to get closer to your audience, humanizing your brand and giving Facebook what it wants: people interacting with people. 

Take Buffer. Rather than leaving a reaction to comments, members of the Buffer team jump in and reply: 

Facebook comment thread by Buffer

This shows that real people are reading the comments. It also leaves a positive impression on the user.

Shopify does a similar thing, using comments to respond to customer problems. 

Facebook comments interaction with Shopify

This not only gives people the help they need, it shows others that a team is on hand to answer their questions. 

This is important. Facebook research shows 70% of people expect to message businesses more in the future for customer service questions, while 69% of U.S. Facebook users who message businesses say it makes them feel more confident about the brand.

So, be responsive to customer messages on your page.

Hubspot research shows that users expect a business to respond almost immediately.

If your team can’t respond quickly, it might be a good idea to set up automated replies or chatbots loaded with FAQ answers for around-the-clock responses.

Ultimately, however, most customers will want to reach a real human, so it’s essential that your Page is closely monitored by a social team.

To decide whether live chat or chatbots is the best strategy for your business, take a look at Jared Cornell’s CXL post on the questions you should ask.

Getting people to like your Facebook Page

The more likes your Page has, the more people it will reach. Over time, content engagement will help bring new followers to your Page. In the early days, you’ll need to make people aware it exists.

Facebook has some tips on how to do this:

Share your Page on your personal News Feed. Tell your friends and family about your Page. In your post, ask them to like the Page and share it with people who may also be interested in your business. To share your Page, select Share below your Page’s cover photo.

Invite friends to like your Page. Invite friends you think would be interested in your business to like your Page. Learn how to invite friends.

Ask friends to share your Page with their networks. Your friends can help you reach even more people. Ask if they’ll share a link to your Page in a post on their timeline.

Post as the Page in groups. Post as your Page in local groups or groups related to your industry. This is a good way to reach your community.

In addition to these tips, you should link to your Facebook Page from your website, as well as in email signatures and footers. Basically, anywhere outside of Facebook where you interact with your audience. 

Nanit, for example, adds social media icons and a CTA to the bottom of its email newsletter.

It also links to each of its social accounts in the footer of its website.

Nanit website footer

These links may not drive a lot of traffic, but they make it easier for people to find the Nanit Facebook Page. This is the aim of the game: remove the barriers in your customers’ way. 

2. Creating a Facebook Group

Facebook’s algorithm is geared towards showing users conversations from the groups they’re in. So, starting a Facebook Group can help you consistently show up in the News Feed.

More than that, it’s a way to build a community for networking, building customer relationships, providing support, and developing brand advocates. 

If a Page is for broadcasting to your audience, a Group is for having conversations with them.

And they’re popular too. Facebook says that 1.8 billion people use Groups every month. 

Before you create a Group, decide on its purpose. A group needs to meet the needs of a community. Therefore, you should ask yourself:

  • What unites you and your audience?
  • What are your shared interests?
  • What are you an expert in and confident talking about?

For example, CXL has a Facebook Group for Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth

CXL Facebook group

This is what CXL specializes in and what its audience cares about, which allows for engaging conversations on a range of relevant topics.

Once you’re clear on its reasons for existing, creating a Facebook Group is straightforward:

“To create a group:

* Click in the top right of Facebook and select Group.

* Enter your group name.

* Select the privacy option. If you selected private, select whether to make your group visible or hidden.

* Add people to your group.

* Click Create.

Once you create your Group, you personalize it by uploading a cover photo and adding a description.

Note: We recommend that group admins share any commercial or business affiliations in the group, as well as updating the group if affiliations change. You can update the group by changing the group description and making an announcement.” [via Facebook]

Before sharing your Group with your audience, you should also set some ground rules. The larger the community becomes, the harder it becomes to moderate. Rules help to keep things civil and on topic.

For instance, Canva’s Design Circle asks its members to adhere to clear guidelines:

Canva Facebook group about information

CXL’s group admins also set no-nonsense rules:

CXL Facebook group rules

If your group is set to private, you’ll also have the option of keeping bots and trolls out with member applications. Additionally, it will give you a chance to find out if would-be members are suitable.

MobileMonkey vets its members with three questions that aim to discover a person’s motivations:

MobileMonkey Facebook group survey quesitons

This ensures that incoming members are genuine and bring value to the group.

Facebook Group best practices

Once your Facebook Group is set up with a clear code of conduct, you can begin generating engagement. Here are four best practices for keeping the conversation flowing.

1. Show up consistently

Your Group is predominantly a place for members to connect and chat under the umbrella of your brand and purpose. For the most part, they can lead the conversation with their questions and replies.

However, you shouldn’t be a ghost. Remember that the majority of people sign up because they’re fans of you. Take the time to join in with conversations and provide topics of discussion.

CXL founder, Peep Laja, is an active user of the CXL group, often jumping in to answer questions:

CXL Facebook group interaction

Other members of the CXL team are also regulars in the group, posting questions and keeping engagement high:

Facebook group member post

This helps bring the community closer together, removing barriers between company and fans.

Showing up regularly also helps to ensure content is moderated, so any flagged or spam posts don’t ruin the experience.

2. Post at peak times

Use Facebook Group Insights to learn more about your members and keep them engaged.

Examine engagement data to see when people are most active in the group. This way, you’ll be able to publish posts at times when people are likely to see and interact with them.

If your group is a global community, you may find that peak times are outside of your work hours. 

In this case, you can schedule posts to engage your audience and jump in on the comments at a time that suits you. This will also help you to bump posts back to the top of the feed, prolonging the conversation. 

3. Offer a unique experience

Groups offer a feeling of exclusivity. Members are part of something that the general Facebook population isn’t.

Play into this by giving them content they won’t get anywhere else. This might include:

  • Live Q&As
  • Product and feature announcements
  • Member-only discount codes
  • Quizzes

For example, founders of The Copywriter Club Facebook Group, Rob Marsh and Kira Hug regularly host live video sessions on a variety of topics that are relevant to the community. 

Facebook live video example

This gives members a reason to be in the group at a specific time. It also gives people a reason to join: being in The Copywriter Club is the only way to hear these tips from two successful copywriters. 

4. Spread the word

Share your group far and wide with regular posts on your Facebook Page, links on your website and other social channels, and in conversations with prospects. 

For example, Beard brand Mo Bro’s includes links to its Group in blog posts.

Mo Bro's blog post CTAs

This helps them capitalize on reader engagement.

Freelance Heroes does a similar thing with its Twitter account, encouraging active and engaged followers to join its popular Facebook Group.

Freelance Heroes Facebook group event

Make cross-promotion part of your marketing strategy. After all, the more people you have in your Facebook Group, the greater engagement.

Using Facebook ads to extend reach

As rewarding as your Page and Group will be for community building and forming lasting relationships, there’s no getting away from the fact that Facebook is very much a pay-to-play platform.

With organic reach hard to come by, paying for ads is likely a matter of time.

Running ads will be particularly beneficial to you early on when you’re looking to raise brand awareness and get people interested in your Facebook presence. It will also help you attract and convert customers when your Page and Group numbers are thin on the ground.

Facebook ads are a proven tactic. Facebook offers the highest CTR of the four ad placements offered by Ads Manager (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network). And ROI has shown to be more than 4x better than Google Ads. 

The bottom line is: Facebook wants you to spend money on advertising. That’s how it makes its money. And it’s why it puts a lot of work into helping you succeed. 

It created Facebook Ads Manager to make ad management easier for marketers. It also developed a free course to help you get started.

Using Facebook Audiences to reach more people

Within Ads Manager, Facebook provides audience creation and data gathering tools to help reach the right people at the right time to increase visibility. 

1. Core Audiences   

Core Audiences let you create audiences based on their location, demographics, interests, connections, and behavior. This is data that can all be pulled from your customer persona and target audience information.

Use this option for reaching an audience who don’t know you exist with brand awareness ads, like this one from Miro:

Miro Facebook ad example

2. Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences can be used to engage people on Facebook who are already aware of your brand. You can use sources such as customer lists, website or app traffic, or Facebook engagement to create these audiences.

Use Custom Audiences to re-engage and retarget potential customers (more on the tool that enables retargeting soon).

For example, you can run ads to target people who haven’t visited your website in a while to encourage them to check out a blog post or special offer.

You can also upsell or retarget users who didn’t complete a purchase. 

This ad from Graze shows how a Custom Audience has been used to target trial users who haven’t subscribed.

By using an incentive (“Your fifth Graze box is on us!”), Graze tempts users into giving them another try. 

3. Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences use existing Custom Audiences to reach people who are likely to be interested in your business because they share similar characteristics. 

You can model these closely to your Custom Audience so that ads reach people that match your existing audience exactly, or more broadly, to reach a wider audience. 

This tactic is best used if you know what you’re selling (e.g., a specific product) and you have a detailed list of past customers in your CRM.

The Facebook Pixel

As well as Audiences, Facebook also lets you use the Facebook Pixel. It’s a piece of code that you add to your website to improve your overall Facebook ad campaigns. 

“If you have access to your website’s code, you can add the Facebook pixel yourself. Simply place the Facebook pixel base code (what you see when you create your pixel) on all pages of your website. Then add standard events to the pixel code on the special pages of your website, such as your add-to-basket page or your purchase page.” [via Facebook]

By installing this on your site, every action a person takes on your website is reported to Facebook. 

This data can be used to automatically create Custom Audiences of people who visit your site. You can then use this to show people targeted ads for items or content they’ve previously viewed.

What type of ads should you run?

Successful ads are the result of consistent A/B testing and much time spent going back to the drawing board.

A simple way to find out which type of ads your audience will engage with is to look at your most popular content.

  • Which of your Facebook posts get the most engagement?
  • What pages or products on your site drive the most traffic?

For example, say videos get the most engagement on your page. And your blog attracts a lot of visitors to your site. Short video ads promoting your Facebook Group as a place to discuss blog topics, targeted at blog visitors, might convince them to sign up. 

It also pays to look at benchmark data and trends to find out which ads perform best.

According to Socialinsider, status ads have the highest CTR, followed by photo and share ads (ads created out of existing posts). 

Status ads work well because they mirror what people see in the news feed and therefore appear less like blatant ads.

Styling ads this way is a tactic recommended by Successful Ads Club founder Tara Zirker:

“The best ads I’ve come across—and those I’ve run for my business—match the news feed in terms of copy and imagery, making the ads feel more like organic posts. The ads blend in with the other feed content, so people are more likely to stop scrolling and read them.” [via Social Media Examiner

Statuses, however, are only the fifth most popular ad format chosen by ad creators. Share and video ads are much more common.  

For video ads, Tara Zirker suggests keeping videos short:

“Often, businesses are intimidated by the prospect of creating video, thinking they need a three-minute or longer scripted video that’s polished and professional. One way to make the process easier is to simply create shorter videos. You may be surprised at how much content you can fit into a 20 or 30-second video and how effective it can be in your ads.” [via Social Media Examiner]

Facebook agrees. They reported that 47% of the value in mobile video campaigns is delivered in the first three seconds. So keep it short and sweet.

To maximize engagement, Facebook encourages users to capture attention early:

They also offer tips on how to improve the effectiveness of ads in general, including:

  • Using vertical video for a more pleasing view experience on mobile devices
  • Limiting image text to less than 20% and using a smaller font
  • Keeping ad copy short, clear, and concise. 
  • Using multiple images, also known as a carousel ad, to highlight different aspects of your product or brand
  • Adding movement to ads, such as animating Stories ads, creating timelapse videos, and using GIFs.

Whatever kind of ad you run, the most important thing is that it complements your Facebook marketing strategy. 

This should be, as Facebook Advertising Expert Curt Maly says, to build relationships:

“Instead of just asking people to buy your stuff, we want to engage them with relevant, high-quality content in the way they want to learn.”

Use Facebook Ads Manager to measure campaign performance and optimize ads so that they’re seen by—and bring you closer to—the right audience. 

Conclusion

There’s an audience on Facebook for your business. To find it and turn it into an engaged and profitable community, play by Facebook’s rules.

Be as relevant to your target audience as their friends and family by designing content around their needs and being an active presence in their News Feeds.

Start with a strategy built on providing value to a small number of your target audience. Secure their engagement and loyalty, and over time, your reach will snowball.

The post How to Build & Execute a Facebook Marketing Strategy appeared first on CXL.

A Complete Guide to YouTube Analytics

With more than 2 billion monthly active users and more than a billion hours of content consumed every day, the right Youtube strategy can increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.  But, cutting through the noise can be a challenge.  Strategically leveraging YouTube’s robust analytics can help you make data-backed decisions and improve performance. In this […]

The post A Complete Guide to YouTube Analytics appeared first on CXL.

With more than 2 billion monthly active users and more than a billion hours of content consumed every day, the right Youtube strategy can increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions. 

But, cutting through the noise can be a challenge. 

Strategically leveraging YouTube’s robust analytics can help you make data-backed decisions and improve performance.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to use YouTube analytics to grow your brand and generate more video content views.

Why YouTube analytics is critical for measuring content and paid ad performance

YouTube generated $19.77 billion in ad revenue in 2020. Ahead of both Instagram and Facebook, it has the highest ROI for video content. Done right, YouTube ads are a profitable endeavor.

But you can also accumulate significant exposure and revenue through an organic YouTube strategy. Best practice is to start with organic, understand what techniques work for your content, then boost with paid. 

In both respects, you need to understand if your content and paid media efforts are performing. There are four key reporting areas within YouTube Analytics: 

  • Overview
  • Reach
  • Engagement 
  • Audience 

As with most platforms, there are metrics that matter, and vanity metrics. Similar to app store optimization (ASO), it’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing shallow wins. 

For ASO, this happens when you prioritize downloads over long-term value. Given that most users abandon apps within 30 days post-installation, high downloads don’t lead to high audience retention, satisfaction, or revenue. Time-to-value is much more important.

With YouTube, for organic, average view duration (AVD) and click-through rate (CTR) should be prioritized over YouTube search optimization, descriptions, tags, and other vanity metrics. YouTube elevates videos (and channels) that prove meaningful engagement, which is exactly what AVD and CTR do. 

By elevate, we mean high AVD and CTR can get you into YouTube’s recommendation engine. 70% of the time, content users consume is recommended by YouTube’s AI and algorithm, so you want to be on this ride. 

Why does YouTube elevate AVD and CTR? Both metrics represent high engagement. 

AVD is total watch time divided by total video plays, meaning viewers watch for longer, and sometimes even replay. And a high CTR represents that your hook and thumbnail resonate with your audience enough to click and view.  

Understanding which videos resonate and engage allows you to replicate success and optimize those that fall flat.

Once you do master your organic marketing strategy, you can bring YouTube ads into the game. With the right targeting and content, paid ads can expand your reach and revenue.

As with any marketing play, make sure to align your ads with the stages of the funnel. Choose an ad format and campaign that aligns with your end goals (e.g. are you looking to generate traffic or leads?).  

The three most critical metrics for monitoring ad performance, especially regarding ROI, are View rate, CTR, and Earnings per view. These tell you how many people actually watched your videos, clicked on them, and the money earned per video view. 

Of course, a video with low ROI can still generate awareness, expand impact, and lead to sales. Peripherally, you should monitor all metrics, but prioritize the ones that align with your goals and drive profitable traffic. 

How to implement YouTube analytics

Setting up your YouTube analytics is straightforward. To start, go to your profile in the upper right corner and select YouTube Studio:

Screenshot of YouTube account menu

You’ll see a list of icons and options on the left-hand side of the screen beneath your profile icon. Select Analytics:

Screenshot of YouTube channel options

There are four Channel Analytics tabs in your dashboard (five if you have a Revenue option). Here, you’ll find detailed metrics regarding your account:

Screenshot of YouTube report tabs

For more advanced analytics, select Advanced Mode in the top right corner. This will give you individual metrics for each of your videos: 

Screenshot of YouTube advanced mode

You can also connect YouTube analytics to your Google Analytics (GA) account. This makes it possible to track performance directly from your GA dashboard. 

From your GA dashboard, click the Admin gear icon in the lower left-hand corner:

Screenshot of Google Analytics admin menu

Then, select Create View in the upper right corner. Fill out the form by selecting a view name and choosing your time zone:

Screenshot of Google Analytics view creation

To create a filter that shows only YouTube traffic, select Filters. Name the filter and select Custom:

Screenshot of Google Analytics view filter

Next, click Include and choose Hostname from the drop-down menu. Type “youtube” in the Filter Pattern Box and save:

Screenshot of Google Analytics filter options

Getting the most out of YouTube’s reports 

Here are some of the key reports you can run in YouTube Analytics, and how to leverage them to improve your strategy. 

Overview metrics

The Overview tab is where you’ll find your overall YouTube channel performance analytics including:

  • Subscribers
  • Realtime views
  • Top videos
  • Channel watch time
  • Channel views
Screenshot of YouTube overview report

Use these metrics to identify average trends and get a quick snapshot of channel performance.

For example, subscribers are your most loyal fans. If your goal is to increase loyalty and engagement, pay attention to them. They watch 2x as many videos as non-subscribers. But that’s only if subscribers actually engage with your content and channel. 

You want growing subscribers and growing watch time from subscribers to increase in tandem. This way, you can measure reach next to engagement to monitor if your videos are having the desired effect. 

Reach metrics

If you are creating TOFU videos, the reach metrics is where you’ll learn how viewers are finding your content. Reach metrics include the following reports:

  • Impressions
  • Impressions click-through rate (CTR)
  • Traffic sources
Screenshot of YouTube reach reports

As mentioned above, most people find your content from YouTube’s recommendation engine. Only 15%-25% comes from search. The rest are served up as suggested videos or accessed via browse features: 

Screenshot of YouTube report traffic source types

You should still optimize videos to rank for keywords, especially if awareness and reaching a larger audience is important. But Google prioritizes “Video Keywords” when it comes to ranking. Video Keywords represent keywords that already are tied to videos on the platform. 

Brian Dean puts it this way:

“In my experience, if you optimize your video around a keyword that doesn’t already have a video in Google, it’s going to be VERY hard for it to rank. The simplest way to find Video Keywords is to search for your potential keyword in Google. If you see at least one video result in the top 10, great. If not, you may want to consider a different keyword.”

Don’t waste your time trying to make a nonvideo keyword rank. Also, focus on video keywords that have a result in one of the top three spots in Google. 55% of all clicks come from these top-ranking keywords.

Engagement metrics

For your MOFU content, focus on the Engagement metrics tab. This gives you insights into how viewers are interacting with your videos, including: 

  • Average view duration
  • Top playlists and cards
  • Top videos and top videos by end screen
Screenshot of YouTube channel analytics

We’ve explained why AVD is given so much weight in the recommendation engine. But what about playlists?

Good playlists promote replays. With playlist reports, you can see how individual playlists are contributing to your channel’s performance. Also, session watch time increases every time people watch your playlists. This is important.

Session watch time, like AVD, shows how long viewers spend interacting with your content. Longer sessions lead to better engagement. YouTube loves this, as it means people are spending more time on their platform. 

One way to optimize session watch time is to optimize playlists. An easy trick is to make adjustments to the video order. If you have a poor-performing playlist (or an old one that’s lost traction), simply reorder the individual videos based on video performance.

Use Analytics to see which videos are being viewed the most and move them to the top of the playlist:

Screenshot of YouTube report top video content

By frontloading the most engaging videos, you hook your audience in and boost the chances they’ll stay around for the duration of the playlist.

Also, make sure your playlists align with your core messaging. Who is your channel for? What is that person trying to achieve? We target experienced marketers looking to scale and drive conversions, so our playlists speak to the topics they care about:

Screenshot of CXL's YouTube channel

Audience metrics

The audience tab will show you who is watching your content. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Unique viewers
  • Returning viewers
  • Watch time from subscribers
  • When viewers are on YouTube
  • Audience demographics
  • Top geographies
Screenshot of YouTube channel analytics and audience metrics

We mentioned watch time from subscribers earlier. This metric matters because subscribers alone can be a vanity metric. 

But subscribers that engage are like rewards members that make frequent purchases. Their intent (subscribing, or signing up for a program) actually matches their behavior (watching videos, or making purchases to unlock rewards).

To increase subscribers, make sure you have a great UVP. Potential subscribers must understand:

  • Who you are
  • Why they should care
  • What makes you different
  • What value they’ll get from subscribing

Create a compelling trailer that answers these questions right off the bat. And make sure to include CTAs at the end of every video.

Revenue metrics

This tab isn’t available for everyone’s YouTube analytics. If your account is eligible for monetization features, then this tab helps you track your earnings. To become eligible, you have to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

To qualify to join YPP and run ads on YouTube videos, you need to have more than 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.

Here are some of the reports that live within monetization:

  • Estimated revenue and estimated ad revenue
  • Revenue Per Mille (RPM)
  • Transaction revenue
  • Estimated monetized playbacks

Earlier, we noted that View rate, CTR, and Earnings per view matter above all. You can access key YouTube Ads metrics by creating reports from within your Google Ads account: 

Screenshot of Google Ads menu

If your ads aren’t effective, they’ll have a low view rate, which signifies people are skipping them. A low CTR means few people are clicking on your ad, so it’s not generating interest. Low earnings per view can mean a number of things. 

If you have high view rates and CTR, but low earnings, there’s clearly a barrier to purchase. For example, a CTA that prompts putting money down in a TOFU ad (the CTA here should be to learn more, not hand over money just yet). Or, your landing page could be broken, or have broken CTAs within it.

As for the revenue you can see from YouTube Analytics, RPM is important because it gives you a snapshot of ad earnings per 1,000 views. It represents revenue after YouTube takes their share, so it’s net earnings rather than gross: 

YouTube's RPM announcement on Twitter

With this data, you can better contextualize earnings while still measuring which videos have the most impact. 

How to optimize video content by analyzing your competitors 

Comparing your content to competitors in your industry helps identify gaps and opportunities in your strategy. You can find what’s trending in your niche, what type of audience base your competitors have, and what elements are successful in their videos.

You don’t need additional software or expensive tools to conduct a competitor analysis. 

Identify competitors in your industry

Find competitors on YouTube by searching for similar products, services, locations, and keywords. Make a list of a few competitors that have an active presence and a strong following.

For example, if you owned a content marketing agency, you could look for “B2B content marketing agency” or “content marketing” to see who has videos that rank:

YouTube competitor research example

You can also use keyword research tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, to augment your competitor research.  

In Ahrefs, set the Keyword Explorer Report to YouTube and search for “content marketing”. This will let you view search volume and identify potential ancillary keywords to target: 

Screenshot of keyword data from Ahrefs

You can’t leverage this to see who’s currently ranking for these keywords, but you can use it to identify what content to produce next. (Remember, videos that are tied to top-ranking keywords are easier to rank for yourself.)

Review their video content

Look through the competition’s videos, and analyze the following: 

  • What type of content is getting high engagement? 
  • What type of videos are they creating? 

Take outdoor-products brand Yeti. Their YouTube page is built for brand storytelling. Almost every video tells a story, and only sometimes features their products. 

Importantly, every video involves somebody doing something in nature, and people that spend time outdoors are their target audience:

Screenshot of Yeti's YouTube videos

Clearly, it’s working. Not only do they have high view counts, they have extremely positive engagement:

Screenshot of Yeti's YouTube comments

If Yeti was one of your competitors, it would be worth seeing if storytelling resonates with your audience, too. 

Freemium tools like BuzzSumo can help you turbocharge this research. You can analyze all of their content, see what gets the most shares, analyze the keywords they are ranking for, monitor content performance, and explore untapped growth opportunities (that they are ignoring). 

And, Tubebuddy is well-known among Youtube marketers as the browser extension of choice for more views and subscribers. The platform is designed to help you research, publish, optimize, promote, and test content quickly. The extension comes with advanced keyword research, time-saving templates and tools, and simplified A/B testing. 

Conclusion

YouTube is an excellent platform to build brand awareness, engage an audience, and generate revenue.

On its own, YouTube analytics is a powerful tool that can be used to grow your reach and revenue. Paired with Google Analytics and data-gathering tools, you can focus on metrics that matter and hone in on what’s working (and where there’s room for improvement). 

Be sure to regularly monitor your metrics to stay on top of trends and keep tabs on your competitors to take advantage of opportunities in your niche.

The post A Complete Guide to YouTube Analytics appeared first on CXL.

How to Create an Effective Branding Campaign That Inspires a Movement

Brand is the perception of your company in the eyes of the world. It’s shorthand for who and what you are.  Getting branding right gives people a reason to love you, which they’ll reward with loyalty. Getting it wrong, however, can create an impression you may never be able to change. In this article, you’ll […]

The post How to Create an Effective Branding Campaign That Inspires a Movement appeared first on CXL.

Brand is the perception of your company in the eyes of the world. It’s shorthand for who and what you are. 

Getting branding right gives people a reason to love you, which they’ll reward with loyalty. Getting it wrong, however, can create an impression you may never be able to change.

In this article, you’ll learn what’s required to create a branding campaign that strikes the right chord. We’ll look at the importance of strategy and cover the key ingredients a campaign needs to increase brand awareness. We’ll also give you creative fuel by breaking down how Lemonade has used branding to disrupt the market.

Branding strategy is more than a series of gimmicks

When we start in business one of the first things we’re encouraged to do is nail the branding: come up with a memorable brand name, a good logo, and a striking visual brand identity. These elements are important in making you recognizable. 

If you were to show a group of people the Apple logo, most would associate it with Apple the tech company and not a Red Delicious. The same goes for all of the major tech and consumer companies in the world: Facebook, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, etc. 

If people see your name or logo and instantly know who you are, you’ve done a great job of creating the tangible aspects of your brand. 

But it’s what people feel when they see your brand that matters. 

Reading the company names we just mentioned probably triggered feelings and associations in you. These feelings are called brand associations; the stronger the brand association, the more likely a consumer will buy from you.

As companies, we don’t directly control these feelings. They’re intangible and personal to each individual. But we can indirectly influence them. In fact, everything we do influences how people feel, for better or worse.

This is where a good brand strategy comes in. It’s also why campaigns can’t ever be led by gimmicks. 

“Today’s audiences can smell a gimmick. Sometimes, they uncover the baloney within the first line of your ad content. They are more aware of marketing gimmicks than ever before. And, these potential customers no longer tolerate false promises and astounding claims. Instead, consumers want transparency and honesty from brands.”

– Steve Olenski [via Forbes]

Brand strategy helps influence how people perceive your brand. It maps out where you’re headed and helps you work out what (and what not) to do. It carries you into every campaign knowing the message you need to get across and how to say it. 

“A good definition of brand strategy is the considered intent for the positive role a company wants to play in the lives of the people it serves and the communities around it.”

– Neil Parker, Chief Strategy Officer at Co: Collective [via Branding Mag]

It also gives your brand the robust foundations to handle scrutiny and bounce back if ever you do get things wrong.

For example, when Nike made a shoe featuring the Besty Ross flag to commemorate the July Fourth holiday, it was a gimmick that went wrong. The company was immediately called out on the flag celebrating an era in U.S. history when slavery was legal and commonplace. Nike quickly recalled the product.

The campaign will have left a sour taste that negatively affects how some people view Nike. However, because the company’s brand strategy is rooted in empowering its audience and building community, it was able to apologize and move forward without significant loss.

Had this strategy not been in place, a misjudged shoe could have easily defined mass brand perception.

To generate long-term brand equity and trust, and maintain competitive advantage, every brand campaign should be influenced by a strategy that’s built on four principles:

1. Purpose

Purpose is your reason for existing. It’s the answer to the question at the heart of Simon Sinek’s famous Golden Circle presentation: Why?

“Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.” That’s a result. It’s always a result. 

By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? As a result, the way we think, we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in, it’s obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations — regardless of their size, regardless of their industry — all think, act and communicate from the inside out.”

Beyond being a successful, profitable business, what drives you? What sets you apart?

Answering these questions will help you define your purpose and separate you from the crowd so that your voice isn’t lost in the noise. It will give you that unique quality for people to attach themselves to and follow along with.

2. Positioning

How do you want people to feel about you? 

Apple positions itself as a brand that builds beautiful, innovative tech for innovative, imaginative, and creative people. 

HubSpot positions itself as a company that builds tools to help businesses attract and engage customers. 

Thrive Market is positioned as a provider of healthy food products for busy, eco-conscious shoppers.

If you’re unsure about where to position yourself, do some competitive analysis to identify gaps in the market and carve out your place.

3. Promise

Your brand promise talks to your employees, investors, partners, and customers. It lets people know what to expect.

McDonald’s brand promise is “to provide Simple Easy Enjoyment to every customer at every visit.” 

McDonald's brand promise

Noirbnb promises to “create a safe space for POC to travel and discover new adventures.”

Your promise is the combination of your position, value, and proposition.

Position + Value + Proposition = Promise

It should be relevant to your audience and simply explain how you aim to help or inspire them.

4. Consistency

Consistency is the look, feel, and sound of your brand at every touchpoint. All of your messaging should be cohesive so that it never waters down your brand or confuses your audience.

Why is this important?

Because consistency creates familiarity, which is crucial in onboarding customers. 

71% of consumers say that it is very or somewhat important that they recognize a brand before making a purchase. 

If we couple this with the “rule of seven” which states that it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a purchase will take place, it’s clear consumers will favor familiarity over the unknown.

Brand consistency is evident in every successful company.

Take Mailchimp. Its content style guide ensures branding campaigns have the same tone of voice across all marketing channels. 

“Using offbeat humor and a conversational voice, we play with language to bring joy to their work. We prefer the subtle over the noisy, the wry over the farcical. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.

“Whether people know what they need from us or don’t know the first thing about marketing, every word we say informs and encourages. We impart our expertise with clarity, empathy, and wit.”

You can see this in everything from its website:

Mailchimp's home page

To its social media:

Tweet from Mailchimp

Regardless of how or where you find Mailchimp online, the company’s branding always delivers a consistent perception of a company that aims to help small businesses “look pro and grow.

Use your marketing strategy to ensure campaigns never dilute your brand perception. 

Keeping these four principles in mind, let’s look at an example of a company using branding to stand out.

How Lemonade positions itself in a crowded market

Lemonade is an online insurance company offering low-cost renters’ and homeowners’ insurance.

From the name alone, you get a sense that the company is different. Lemonade couldn’t be further away from the likes of Berkshire Hathaway and Allstate Insurance. Those names sound corporate. Lemonade sounds, in the words of its CEO Daniel Schreiber, “juvenile.”

But it works, for a couple of reasons. First, as Bud Hennekes points out in breaking down the brand’s positioning:

“For many, the thought of lemonade brings back memories of a pleasant childhood experience or the refreshing sensation of cooling down after a hot summer day. Contrast that to how one feels when hearing the word ‘insurance.’ There’s quite a difference.”

Second, the company’s whole M.O. is about being contrarian.

“Traditional insurers often equate trustworthiness with financial strength, which they project by erecting monumental buildings that dominate the skyline.

“Skyscrapers weren’t within our budget, but in any event we believed such extravagance sends the wrong signal. People worry their insurer lacks the will to pay, not the means. So we established Lemonade as a Public Benefit Corporation, with a view to signaling something very different.” [via Lemonade]

Lemonade is for people who want a change from the norm:

“Lemonade isn’t simply slapping P2P technology atop existing insurance companies. Insurance has remained fundamentally unchanged for centuries, so an insurance product for today’s consumer required re-architecting every part of the value chain. We created Lemonade as a purpose-built, technology-first, vertically integrated and legacy-free insurance carrier.

“Insurance brands are some of the least loved and least trusted, and we came to understand that the cause is structural: every dollar your insurer pays you is a dollar less for their profits. Their interests, in other words, are profoundly conflicted with yours.

“Brands that make money by delighting their customers deserve to be loved; those that make money by disappointing customers are destined not to be. With Lemonade we’re hoping to deliver an insurance experience that is instantaneous, un-conflicted and downright lovable.” [via Lemonade]

Its name fits with the brand’s lovable intentions. As does its identity.

Rather than opt for stock imagery, Lemonade uses illustrations on its landing pages. These add to the laid-back, non-corporate feel of the brand and complement the fun name.

Lemonade's value proposition

The tone of voice follows suit, delivering information in a light, conversational tone that carries through its website, blog posts, and social media content marketing.

Lemonade's brand mission

It all helps towards Lemonade’s image as a transparent company that understands and relates to its audience.  

Also prominent in its branding is the color pink. 

Explanation of how Lemonade's model works

Other than black and grey, pink is the only color Lemonade uses. And it uses it consistently, in its logo, across its website in images, text, and CTAs, and on social media. 

Pink is drastically different from the palettes used by Lemonade’s competitors, helping them stand out. It’s also a color associated with calmness, love, and kindness. These are feelings you wouldn’t typically link to insurance, but they’re perfectly in tune with what Lemonade wants people to feel about its brand. 

Its use of pink also became part of a branding campaign when Deutsche Telekom went to the courts to demand they ditch it, as Daniel Schreiber revealed in a blog post:

“So we decided to fight back, and filed to invalidate DT’s Magenta trademark – calling on anyone who wanted to join us to #FreeThePink. We also bought a bunch of swag from DT and T-Mobile, and Team Lemonade got decked out in “their” pink, emblazoned with their mission statement: “Life Is For Sharing.” Who can argue with that?”

“The response has been amazing: the largest publications in Germany covered the story prominently, as did the media across Europe and the US; several CEOs of companies from a bunch of industries and countries wrote to say Deutsche Telekom threatened them too, and encouraging us to stand firm; and people around the world came out in droves calling to #FreeThePink.”

Had Lemonade not been as consistent and committed to the use of the color, it’s unlikely the campaign would have carried the same weight. 

For a final example of how Lemonade does things differently, take a look at the company’s Instagram feed.

Rather than using the platform to push its own content, the company puts the spotlight on its community, commissioning artists to create stories:

Lemonade's Instagram profile

This is closely tied to the company’s Medium account, which promotes its #ConnectedByLemonade campaign.

Snippet from Lemonade's Medium profile

This gives Lemonade an endless stream of engaging branded content (the color pink is a feature of each commission). It also adds to its perception as a company that cares about its audience. 

There’s no selling going on here, just relationship building.

For existing customers, #ConnectedByLemonade brings them closer to the brand, increasing loyalty and making them more likely to purchase and recommend Lemonade to others. 

For prospective customers, it acts as one more way to stay front of mind. When the time comes to purchase renters’ or homeowners’ insurance, where better to get it from than the cool brand on Instagram that’s passionate about the same things you are?

And if you’re wondering what kind of impact this branding had, three years after launch, Lemonade’s had welcomed over 18 million visitors to its website and sold over 1.2 million policies.

How to create a solid branding campaign

With strategy providing the backbone, a successful brand marketing campaign consists of three key ingredients:

1. Fit

2. Focus

3. Consistency (again)

1. Find the right fit

You need to think about this in two ways:

1. Audience fit

2. Platform and channel fit

Audience fit

Audience fit is much the same as product/market fit. If you already have a deep understanding of who your customers are and how they feel about your product, you’ll have a good idea of who your branding campaign needs to be aimed at. 

But it pays to revisit your target audience demographics. Not so much to go back over buyer persona characteristics like age, location, job, income, and gender (although it’s worth checking if these remain relevant), but to look how your campaign will resonate with them.

Ask yourself:

  • What do we have in common with our audience?
  • How does our brand fit into their lives?
  • What can they expect from us?
  • What do we want them to feel about us?  

Answering these questions will give you an understanding of what your common vision is and how you can build relationships with your audience moving forward. 

Let’s look again at Noirbnb’s vision to create a safe space for POC to travel and discover new adventures.

Noirbnb shares a love of travel and the desire for POC to be able to travel safely with its audience.

It fits into their lives by allowing them to book safe places to stay or list their properties for other people to stay. Its branding is heavily focused on showcasing experiences and inspiring people to embark on their own adventures.

Instagram post from Noirbnb

This makes travelers of color feel confident in Noirbnb as a company that caters for them in a way that Airbnb perhaps doesn’t.

2. Platform and channel fit

Platforms and channels are terms that are often used interchangeably, but there’s a clear distinction.

“Platforms are the foundation on which you can build your brand presence, such as the web, phone apps, social media, and gadgets.

“Channels serve as a more direct means of communication and include email, advertising, search engines, chatbots, phone, and more.” [via Digital Brand Blueprint]

The overall goal of your branding campaign is the same regardless of where the message is, but how you communicate it differs depending on the platform or channel.

For example, Lemonade’s Instagram artist commissions are perfectly suited to that platform. The Instagram audience is largely creative and receptive to images and videos. 

Had Lemonade decided to approach Twitter in the same way, where the average lifespan of a tweet is 15 minutes, or the professional audience of LinkedIn, content marketing wouldn’t have had the same impact. 

Instead, the company uses Twitter to share news and engage in direct conversations.

Twitter content from Lemonade

The tone of voice and pink theme is consistent, but the approach matches the audience.    

Find out where your audience is. Then work out how they interact with the platform or channel.

This will involve some trial and error, especially early on. So be prepared to experiment and analyze results to get in tune.  

Measure brand awareness metrics and KPIs success by analyzing:

  • Coverage
  • Share of voice
  • Mentions
  • Shares
  • Traffic
  • Links
  • Conversations

Also, pay close attention to sentiment to get an understanding of how consumers feel about your brand.

You can measure sentiment via:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) Questionnaires
  • In-app ratings
  • Direct feedback (customer interviews)
  • Social monitoring (comment velocity and tone, and reaction tone)

2. Focus on things that are important to you and your audience

Your brand is defined by the words you say and the actions you take. And while speaking up on potentially divisive issues isn’t always easy, staying silent isn’t an option.

Kantar research shows that 68% of consumers say they expect brands to be clear about their values and take a stand on them. And doing so earns trust.

Edelman’s Trust Barometer report shows that brands are far more likely to gain trust than lose it when they take action. 

This is rewarded by loyalty, engagement, and advocacy. 

“Loyalty: 75 percent of people with high brand trust say they will buy the brand’s product even if it isn’t the cheapest, it is the only brand of the product they’ll buy, and they will immediately check out a new product from that brand to purchase 

Engagement: 60 percent of people with high brand trust say they’re comfortable sharing personal information with the brand, and they pay attention to the brand’s communications 

Advocacy: 78 percent with high brand trust say they’ll likely share or repost content about the brand, they will recommend the brand to others, and they will defend the brand against criticism.” [via Edelman]

If an issue of social, political, or environmental importance matters to your employees, purpose, and audience, make it a visible part of your branding campaign.

Dropbox did this with its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing an email from CEO Drew Houston with its community:

“…starting today, I’m making an additional pledge to match every donation made by a Dropboxer in June to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Urban League. This is in addition to the company matching program, so it means that your contribution will have triple the impact.”

“For those who can’t give right now, there is still much that can be done by getting involved with your local organizations. Even taking the time to hit pause, look inward, and reflect on your own thoughts and actions can be immensely impactful right now. To help you all find the time and space to do this, we’ll be holding a half day of reflection this Friday, June 5th. Please cancel your meetings after 12pm so that you have the afternoon to do whatever is most valuable to you — volunteering, reading, or taking a moment to process everything that’s happened over these past several weeks. We just ask that you make the best use of the time given your own thoughts and experiences.”

Tommy Hilfiger ran a branding campaign involving a partnership with learning platform, Future Learn to provide free digital learning courses covering topics including LGBTQ+ allyship and community building.

Tweet from FutureLearn

Pernod Ricard launched an #EngageResponsibly campaign with the Association of National Advertisers to fight against hate speech and misinformation on social media.

Branding campaign example from Pernod Ricard

The campaign aims to give companies a tool to track and report hate speech and earn an “Anti-Hate Certification”. 

In each example, brands have been led by purpose. They’ve also backed words with actions and empowered their communities.

Go back to the question of what do we have in common with our audience?

Look at how to use these shared values for social good.

3. Be consistent

We’ve covered consistency from an identity perspective (i.e visual and tone of voice consistency), but let’s go beyond that.

Consistency should be a feature of everything you do so that people know what to expect from you.

This means three things:

1. Posting regularly on social media

2. Engaging with your audience

3. Never setting and leaving a campaign

1. Posting on social media regularly 

There’s no need to post multiple times a day or even every day if you don’t have the resources or it doesn’t make sense for your brand. Still, your audience should know you’re active.

For example, posting on Facebook six times in one week and following that up with two months of silence runs the risk of your audience perceiving you’re no longer active. Or worse, that you don’t care. It’s much better to post once a week over six weeks. 

2. Engaging with customers

Prioritize customer engagement on every platform and channel linked to your campaign. This is important for brand satisfaction, as 64% of consumers say they want brands to connect with them. 

It’s also crucial to the customer experience, with 78% of customers preferring to engage with brands on multiple channels.   

To make sure you’re meeting customer needs and generating good feeling, consistently engage customers in three ways:

1. Reactively

Responding to customer questions, queries, or feedback. 

You can see this in practice on MailChimp’s Twitter feed.

Twitter conversation between Mailchimp and a user

With reactive customer engagement, it’s important to monitor your mentions and inbox closely.

Sprout Social research shows that 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.

On email, nearly half of all customers (46%) expect a response within four hours. 12% expect a response in 15 minutes or less. 

The quicker you can react, the better.

2. Proactively

This is all about delivering information and support before the customer has to ask. Forbes’ Brie Tascione has an example:

“Consider banking. The moment you open a checking account, a number of questions about your new account may arise. Instead of leaving you to navigate the bank’s website to find the information you need or telling you to call customer service (just to wait on hold), your bank immediately reaches out to share your account information, a link to activate mobile banking and answers to common questions, such as how to set up a direct deposit. You receive one personalized experience containing everything you need.”

This has nothing to do with brand (the name and visual stuff) and everything to do with branding. 

By understanding your customers and delivering a seamless experience, you can create positive brand experiences that carry through to a customer’s friends, family, and followers via word of mouth. 

3. Socially

Social engagement is less about where you engage customers with your digital marketing and more about how.

“Social customer engagement can happen not just on social media platforms, but across other channels such as online forums, customer review websites, crowdsourcing platforms, charity fun runs, roadshows, and trade events.

“Social engagement can be both, a mix of proactive and reactive types of customer engagement, depending on the context. If a customer initiates an engagement first, it’s reactive. When your brand does it first, it’s proactive.” [via RingCentral]

We’ve already seen how Lemonade and Mailchimp use a casual tone of voice and humor to engage their audiences on social media. But there are inspiring examples everywhere.

Like IKEA, which utilizes online chat and augmented reality so that customers can choose furniture without having to visit a store.

Or Netflix, which provides social engagement by using algorithms and audience analytics to recommend shows and movies based on their viewing history. 

Each example shares two things in common:

1. Brands are open to listening to their customers and adapting

2. They provide a valuable reason to come back

3. Never setting and leaving a campaign

A branding campaign is a hands-on effort that needs to be measured, assessed, and tweaked as you go.

Keep a close eye on how your campaign is performing. Make sure it’s striking the right chord with the right people and hitting your targets.

A/B test ad campaigns and marketing campaign materials to see which customers most engage with.

Remember, you can’t directly control what people think about your brand, but your marketing efforts can indirectly influence it.

Consistently analyzing your campaigns will keep things moving in the right direction.

Conclusion 

Jeff Bezos once said that “your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
Think about that when creating your branding campaign. What impression do you want people to have of you? What do you want them to say about you to their friends and family? It’s this that will determine whether your branding and, ultimately, your business is a success.

Start by developing your strategy and build every campaign from that. Stand up for what you believe in and invest heavily in consistency. Be visible so that your customers know what to expect. That familiarity and reliability is what will keep them coming back.

The post How to Create an Effective Branding Campaign That Inspires a Movement appeared first on CXL.