Long gone are the days of social media managers being an afterthought. In 2021, every brand and marketing agency recognizes the importance of captivating and converting via social scroll. Though social advertising has matured rapidly in the last 5 years, many brands still believe big picture national or DMA-level social advertising satisfies their goals. What they’re missing is the exponential value delivered by scaled social advertising through channel partners.
What Makes a Partner?
With the rise of social media, brands have had to shift their traditional marketing methods to adapt to the current media landscape which emphasizes personalization and consumer engagement. Brands of all sizes must factor in the many different partners present when devising their social advertising strategy. Partners vary greatly. They can be bar owners, owned store locations, independent retailers, or even vending machines. Influencers and consultants can also be considered significant brand partners. Really any physical representation of your brand serves as an intermediary for your product and marketing messaging. So really the question is – how is that messaging scaling?
The Difference Between Scaled Advertising and Scaled Activation
Now more than ever, brands are increasingly aware of just how many partners represent them. For example, a large soda brand’s partners range from small convenience stores, big box stores, vending machines, restaurants, and more. Most brands understand that 75% of all sales transactions flow through these intermediaries. Yet brands are still providing their partners antiquated, ineffective tactics to activate consumers.
Traditional paths to scaled advertising require the consumer to play hide and seek with your brand – finding you deep within coupon books, or on a retailer’s website next to all your competitors. While it’s common for brands to support their partners with paper marketing materials such as signage or in-store displays, rarely does this enablement extend to digital, with the exception of maybe providing creative assets for organic social posting. We hear the flaws of this strategy time and again from brand marketers.
CONTROL: “We’re sending assets and hope they get posted. Recently, I did an audit and realized the (partners) were not using the right assets in the right channels or even using them at all. They just don’t know about basic marketing.”
IMPACT: “We’re spending a huge amount of money on traditional brick & mortar trade publications, circulars and typical promotions. We’re seeing our promotional effectiveness reduce year after year after year.”
SCALE: “We’ve been using national television commercials and on-site print collateral to drive performance for our brand, but we have this gap in between that we need to fill to drive people in the doors of our vast network of independent retailers. We know it’s essential to engage our network because they are really the lifeblood of our business, but how can you do that at scale?”
Collaborative social advertising removes the noise with social ads that tell your brand’s story coupled with your partner’s (where to buy) information to a targeted audience of likely buyers, naturally addressing buyers with their preferred shopping method. The brand typically supplies a high quality creative and the partner provides local input, either by choosing which creative resonates best in their area or inserting their own language into messaging. This creates a potent combination between brand strategy and local influence to create collaborative advertising that drives consumer action.
Scaled Social Activation in Action
Scaled collaborative social typically takes the form of one or more of three models, but in each, you see the benefit to both parties, the Brand and the Local Partner. Here’s how each model breaks down.
Multi-Path Activation (Instant On)
Brand: Builds, funds & launches complete strategy around each point of sale
Local Partners: Access reporting for their location and benefit from traffic
For example, a beverage company ran hyper-localized Facebook and Instagram social advertising campaigns with the added capability of geo-fencing to specific key markets. This meant that consumers would see ads that upon click-through would always be presented with a controlled set of different retailers they could immediately purchase from. This helped to remove friction and provide a quicker path to purchase for consumers.
- 40% increased click through rate
- 80% of clicks resulted in store locator searches
- 50% lower cost of advertising compared to national efforts
Mutual Collaboration (Local Customization)
Brand: Develops targeting, creative, budget support, and quick execution tools
Local Partners: Opt-in and customize ads and targeting to reflect their local market. Access reporting for their location and benefit from traffic.
For example, Tiger Pistol launched a campaign from individual location Facebook Pages highlighting the perfect pairing of a BBQ chain’s food with a global beverage company’s beer brand.
- ~40K restaurant visits across the BBQ chain
- 2x increase in sales of the company’s beer brand
- 60% Lower cost of advertising than national level efforts
Enable (Effective Advertising, Easily Executed)
Brand: Provides a brand-safe, turnkey strategy and high power tools for partners looking to leverage digital advertising
Local Partners: Build effective campaigns with world-class technology while only paying for media
For example, a Fortune 500 real estate services provider enabled their agents to promote their listings on Facebook and Instagram with auto-configured, high-performing campaigns, empowering their agents to localize campaigns at scale.
- 450K+ Leads generated
- 7M+ Clicks through to agent website
- 21K+ Facebook and Instagram Campaigns run
- 55% More cost effective lead campaigns than industry benchmark
- 68% more cost effective traffic campaigns than industry benchmark
The beauty of brands supporting campaigns through their partners is that the benefits are shared on both sides: a retailer amplifies its sales, a brand gets more sales and heightened awareness in the local market.
Let’s talk about how your brand can execute a collaborative social advertising program that balances your brand goals with your channel partners’ interests, achieves speed-to-market at a global scale, enhances partner loyalty and satisfaction, and facilitates high-performing campaign implementations which require less effort and produce dramatic results. Contact us today.