It’s commonplace now for every marketer in the land to bemoan the enormous influence that Facebook has over businesses. The social networking platform has a track record of rolling out new products which give you enhanced access to your audience, and as soon as you’re hooked and have adapted your business model around it, they start strangling your organic reach and forcing you to pay to play.
It’s a tough situation that marketers in a diverse array of industries find themselves in, and with Facebook’s 2 billion users spending an estimated average of between 35 and 50 minutes per day scrolling around, it’s going to remain ground zero for marketers for quite some time.
It’s crucial that marketers not only know how to use Facebook effectively, but also remember that there are many other high-value and low-saturation marketing avenues out there. To go a bit deeper on this subject, we spoke to our Director of Growth and Acquisition Marketing Milan Malivuk and We Know Festivals founder Leon Hill. Milan is a firm believer in diversifying your marketing strategy as it can lead to strong customer touch points in less crowded platforms, while also giving you considerably stronger ROI. While Leon is renowned for maximizing live events’ digital profiles and getting serious mileage out of budgets.
Automate (with Caution)
“Whether it’s using simple scheduling tools like Buffer, or Hootsuite, or automating customer response with Facebook bots, very few festivals are using the full suite of automation tools available to them to help drive efficiency in the sales process, as well as save a ton of time,” explains Leon.
He adds a cautionary note however that there are a lot of tools out there that violate terms of certain websites, that are constantly being cracked down on. “A good example is like/comment bots on Instagram, that run the risk of getting your account shut down. Steer well clear of those.”
Crowdsourcing Visual Content
How many times have you seen the word “authenticity” pop up on blogs or white papers trying to decipher unique quirks of the millennial festival goer? It’s almost become a cliche, but when you consider the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, and the myriad of fan generated content, it’s clear that high production value isn’t a priority for festival goers. They want to feel like they’re there.
“You can write an article about how great the event is, but it’s not the same as actually seeing an event and seeing people having fun,” said Milan. “That breaks through to something that’s a little more personal, and from the perspective that you would have if you were there. That’s what people want, and you should be encouraging, incentivizing and aggregating this content.”
Ad Optimization Tools
“Depending on the size of a digital campaign being run on Facebook especially, it can be extremely time consuming to properly maintain ad campaigns, especially if your team or digital manager may not be ultra-experienced in how to do this correctly.”
Leon advocates for the use of tools like AdEspresso to allow automated optimisation and management of Facebook campaigns as they are extremely easy to scale. But he does remind that these services come at a fairly hefty price, and therefore may not be viable for smaller campaigns.
Reddit is one of those websites that can often baffle and at times infuriate marketers looking to utilize it. You really have to be part of the community and regularly contributing to it, otherwise you won’t see the full benefits from this hugely active, organic community. But now the company has started offering advertising on relevant subreddits. And it’s cheap.
“One of the first most innovative ones that I think is really underutilized is Reddit advertising,” Milan explains. “It’s just starting to become viable, so it’s kind of a first movers’ market. They made a couple of changes where you target subreddits and advertise on them. And you can buy months of advertising inventory on there for pennies. It’s so cheap. And you can own all of the advertising inventory on there for 3 or 6 months.“
“The people who move first are going to get all the benefits,” he continues. “The fact that there’s a whole community on there for music festivals and nobody knows they could be advertising on there, and it’s super engaged. Huge opportunity.”
If you become far too reliant on a single platform for your lead generation and customer outreach you will be held completely at the mercy of that platform. Too many businesses in recent years have been hampered by changes in Facebook’s infamous algorithms, but by diversifying your strategy and being creative about finding your audience, you can subvert the platform’s influence on your business and safeguard yourself against its numerous and periodic changes.