Conversions vs. Followers

What is the goal of your ad? That’s the question every marketer should ask themselves when putting together an advertising campaign.

No matter what the platform, you have a couple of options when running an ad. You might want to increase brand awareness or likeability, you might want to drive traffic to your website or followers on social media, or you might want to drive sales or conversion.

An ad works best when it attempts to one of those things, not all. And so it’s crucial to define your goals in advance.

On social media sites, a lot of advertising is meant to do little more than increase followers.

Using Facebook as an example, many companies pay to get more page likes. The theory being that more page likes will lead to increased sales over time.

But other companies pay to send people directly to their website or app in an effort to get a conversion or a download. And what they’re willing to pay for a conversion is probably more than someone is willing to pay for a page like.

Conversions and followers are two different things. It’s up to you to decide which one you’re after and not to mix them up.

Advertising: How Invasive Are You?

Any bit of marketing or advertising that you do is an attempt to gain attention from consumers. Show me something that people are doing, and I’ll show you the marketers that are attempting to push a message to them. The trick is, can you get the message in front of the consumer in a way that A) does not feel like an ad, B) feels like an ad but is so relevant that it doesn’t matter, or C) is so non-invasive that if it’s not relevant it does not piss people off?

Assuming you can’t do A and B, let’s take a closer look at C. Being invasive means getting in the way. Having to sit through a 30 second promo to watch a video on YouTube is invasive. Commercials on TV are invasive. Pop-ups are invasive. People don’t like them. They may work, but they also piss people off if they’re not done well.

A study recently published says that 58% of consumers think that brand messages on social networks are invasive. 64% of people surveyed said they “hate” messages from companies on social networks. That’s higher than a lot of people in the marketing world would expect. But remember, social networks are still relatively new, and pure.

Last week I taught a class on email marketing and there was a great question from one of the students on the effectiveness of email vs. brand messaging on social networks. We came to the conclusion that while both are forms of advertising, and there are companies that do one better than the other, in general people are on social networks to interact with each other and not companies. Meanwhile, 94% of email users actively subscribe to at least one companies’ email list.

So ads and messaging on social networks are seen as more invasive than email, overall.

One final warning: most marketers don’t think what they’re doing is invasive. Consumers might think otherwise. Find out before you abuse your right to message people.