Playbook: Social Advertising at Scale for Financial Services

Learn how you can provide your agents/advisors with simple tools that allow them to create and publish on-brand, high-performing Facebook and Instagram campaigns with little to no experience in Facebook Advertising. See how you can enable your agents/advisors to drive leads and increase brand awareness with a mobile optimized solution that and can be accessed, anywhere, anytime.

Global Analysis: Tracking Facebook and Instagram CPMs Alongside Covid-19 Active Cases

Several weeks ago, Tiger Pistol’s Paul Elliott, CEO, began tracking a global analysis of the weekly growth of active COVID-19 cases in eight countries to determine how they correlate with the average Facebook and Instagram CPMs during the same time*, all to discover if CPMs could be a leading indicator of economic recovery.  Since then, we’ve been closely monitoring the trends outlined in Paul’s original publication and will be offering  insights as they arise in the data.

Updated August 6, 2020

With July over, the formal #StopHateForProfit boycott has ended. As a refresher, more than 1,100 advertisers paused advertising on Facebook and Instagram for July. Some advertisers have doubled-down on their commitment to their customers and will continue to freeze spend on the platform for the foreseeable future.

Despite the boycott, Facebook reported a 10% year-over-year increase in advertising revenue, which isn’t as surprising as it seems, seeing as most of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from small- and medium-sized businesses

From a health perspective, things have escalated across the globe, some more rapidly than others. Notable highlights include:

  • In the United States, the number of active cases grew week-over-week, while CPMs rose and fell. 

  • In Australia, a “state of disaster” has been declared for the state of Victoria due to a steep increase in cases. Our friends in Melbourne are now under a curfew for the foreseeable future due to a “Stage 4” level restriction in the area. CPMs for July rose and stabilized at the end of the month.

  • Spain saw a large increase in cases towards the end of the month, but experienced a recovery in CPM after experiencing a small drop mid-month.

  • Canada, on the other hand, realized an 80% decrease in its active cases week-over-week in a stunning change, while only seeing a small drop in CPM. An article in the Washington Post contributes Canada’s success to a number of factors, most notably, “The Canadian people have been less divided and more disciplined. Some provinces and territories could have locked down sooner, analysts say, but once measures were announced, they were strict, broadly uniform and widely followed.”

It’s clear that Facebook as a platform is a major outlet for advertisers big and small. With audiences engaged more than ever, it makes the decision to continue an advertising boycott dedicated to a single technology even more difficult. With fall quickly approaching and school shopping on the horizon for us in the U.S., absence from an ads platform could cause a considerable revenue hit for many companies’ forecasts.

Updated July 17, 2020

Halfway through July, we’re still seeing surges in the United States and Brazil. Australia has seen a shocking increase in cases from the start of the month. It’s fair to say that there is a loss of correlation between cases and CPMs, most likely because of the inconsistency of closures and pandemic guideline messaging. In countries like the US, Australia, and Canada, where national economic reopening is continuing, CPMs have risen even as active cases rise.

In Spain and Brazil, where active cases have also risen, CPMs have done the opposite and fallen, a conundrum.

Even more confusing, Germany and Italy have seen active cases dropping, but their CPM has also dropped by 22% to 32% week-over-week.

We intend to keep tracking to keep abreast of any trends that may emerge, revisiting the data monthly during the pandemic and recovery to identify correlations.

Updated July 10, 2020

We’re officially in the second half of the year, and cases are still rising in countries like the United States and Brazil, with numerous U.S. cities posting daily records. From a medical perspective, in the United States, multiple states are beginning to mandate residents wear masks in an effort to slow the spread and businesses are moving back to partial opening or closure.

We’re also nine days into the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which saw a 32% drop in CPMs week-over-week in the U.S. Whether this drop is connected to the shift away from Facebook spend or the rise in cases remains to be seen.

Canada saw the steepest drop in CPM with 42% week-over-week.

Germany is the outlier in this week’s report. They’ve not only seen a drop in cases this week, but their CPM is the only one to rise this week. 


Updated July 2, 2020

A few days ago, we hit 10 million global COVID-19 cases, a milestone we didn’t think we’d see a few months ago. Now entering the third quarter of 2020, we might begin to see some fluctuations as governments enact long-term plans for the safety and well-being of their citizens.

Overall, we’re seeing cases spike in the United States and a continued rise in Brazil.

In other countries, a slight uptick in cases, but the same sort of fluctuations in CPM from week to week. Within July, we may also begin to see effect of #StopHateForProfit on Facebook advertising, but this might only affect US CPMs. 

Curiosities:

  • Italy has made the biggest comeback, with their CPM regaining strength this week to the highest level since before we began tracking.
  • Canada & Spain are also seeing CPM strengthening.
Updated June 26, 2020

This week’s overarching message can be stated in a word: Instability. Some countries are trying to decide “is this over?,” while others are clearly not out of the woods. 

We’re still in Wave 1 in most places, and a case could be made for Wave 1.5. Studies are showing that being in enclosed places (restaurants, bars, etc.) increases the likelihood of contracting the virus, which leads to a lot of businesses having to make the decision whether or not to reopen or stay closed. Through the end of Q1 and beginning of Q2, it’s clear there was stability in most of the countries.

United States/Canada: Three of the largest populated states in the USA have begun experiencing a rapid spike of cases within the last week, leaving governors to decide to continue or halt phased openings. June as a whole saw an increase in overall CPM, after an initial dip at the start of the month, but with the uncertainties surrounding freedom of movement during the summer, we’re predicting CPMs may drop again in July (as seen in the last week). 

EU: The EU ramped up opening its borders, with most of the countries listed below open to travelers on the continent. Spain has seen a resurgence in cases and while they reopened their borders, a mandatory quarantine is in place and CPMs – while overall had steadied, plummeted the first weekend of reopening. Italy, similarly to Spain, has seen a sharp rise and fall of CPMs in a 3-week period, but have not seen a rise in cases (except for a new set of cases in the southern part of the country). Germany is all over the map, with sharp rises and drops, garnering attention as while the country was set to reopen fully, officials were forced to put that on hold due to a case flare up.

Australia: Australia managed to deal with the outbreak pretty swiftly, with a short spike and then drop off of cases. This has led to a steady rise of CPMs for the region.

Late outbreaks:

Brazil – Brazil as a country is really struggling, drawing eyes not only from a public health crisis perspective, but also from a “discount” perspective. CPMs remain steady since their drop in Q1, as the country has yet to see a drop in cases.

For continued updates, be sure to bookmark this page. To learn more about Tiger Pistol and social advertising at scale for SMB resellers, agencies, and global brands, contact us today!

Localogy Live: Interview with Tiger Pistol CEO Paul Elliott

Recently, Localogy’s Mike Boland chatted with Tiger Pistol CEO, Paul Elliott, about driving social advertising success on a local level for enterprise brands, agencies, and SMB resellers alike. As Tiger Pistol continues to grow, its sights are set on further penetration among the enterprise market. Elliott reveals how the organization has been structured to serve these unique customer sets from both a sales and a product perspective.

“We can accomplish the things that everything else says “no” to. Those things that are just assumed that you can’t do or that they are too big, they’re too scary, they’re too hard – that’s what drives us forward.”
– Paul Elliott

Watch the on-demand video now on Localogy.com.

Tiger Pistol Takes Home Two U.S. Social Media Awards, the Latest in a String of Honors for the Company

Tiger Pistol Recognized for Excellence in Social Media Advertising, Innovation, and Strategy

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, announced today that it recently won two U.S. Social Media Awards – Best use of Facebook/Instagram and the Innovation Award. The company was also runner up for Best Use of Paid Social, Best Social Media Campaign, and Best Strategic Use of Social Media. 

With these latest awards, Tiger Pistol is now the most awarded and recognized social platform of 2020. In the span of eight months, Tiger Pistol was recognized by Digiday as the Best Social Media Marketing Platform, by Street Fight for Best Social Media Campaign, by Localogy as Best Localized Marketing Campaign, by AdExchanger for Best Social Media Campaign. Additionally, Tiger Pistol took second place in the Franchise Innovation Awards. The company was also named a finalist for three Shorty Awards for Best Facebook Campaign, Best Strategic Use of Localization, Best Use of Social for Consumer Products; and a finalist for two Digiday Media Awards for Best B2B Brand Partnership and Most Original Use of Social. 

“These honors really speak to the quality of our social advertising technology, our company culture, and our common mission,” said Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO. “We want to help our clients grow. We’re highly competitive and fearless. You’ve got to be bold when you’re competing in a highly dynamic marketplace. We like to say we can accomplish the things that everyone else says ‘no’ to – what’s assumed to be too big or too scary or simply can’t be done. These are the challenges that propel us forward with great success.” 

See how the award-winning Tiger Pistol Platform can unlock local activation at global scale for your business.  Request a demo today!

COVID-19 Response Program for Consumer Products

A responsive local strategy that allows for flexible tactics ensures that you deftly respond to changing buying practices and different retail partner needs. Our Covid-19 Reponse Program for Consumer Products Playbook show you how you can continue to drive online sales for retail partners that offer online buying paths, while also providing alternative means for those who cannot, ensuring you can still deliver results for your retail partners while delivering on your brand initiatives. With the right tools, these sorts of scaled activations can be executed with ease.

Navigating Facebook’s Special Ads Category for Financial Services

In mid-2019, Facebook rolled out the Special Ad Category, which limits advertisers running Housing, Employment and Credit campaigns. Campaign audiences must adhere to a specific set of parameters and have a Category applied or else they will be rejected. The most important takeaway from these changes is making sure your geo-target is greater than 15-miles, your audience age is 18-65+ and your detailed targeting parameters are accepted under the new policy.

Now, how does this affect Financial Services? Facebook defines a Credit opportunity as “Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer.” 

You’re thinking “okay, this doesn’t affect me in any way.” In some cases, you’re right – you probably won’t be affected. But Facebook’s algorithm is strong, and our experience dictates that it will catch anything and everything they deem requiring a Special Ad Category.

What does this mean? If your copy or your landing page makes mention of the above topics, we can guarantee your ads or your advertiser’s ads will be rejected especially if your audience doesn’t fit within Special Ad Category parameters.

The best and fastest fix is to update your audience and apply the Credit Category to your campaign and republish. This takes less time than appealing and potentially waiting for Facebook to hold firm on their rejection.

Related Article: How Best to Use Facebook’s Conversions Objective for Financial Services

Analissa Moreno is the Data Operations Lead for Tiger Pistol’s Client Success team. She has an MA in the History of Photography. As the data guardian, she owns all aspects of reporting as it relates to client support and manages non-engineering data projects. She also uses her creativity to elevate the business by making small, but impactful changes on a daily basis. When she’s not face-first in data projects, Analissa’s baking moderately complicated recipes, watching Harry Potter reruns and having fun with her dog, Rollei.

How Best to Use Facebook’s Conversions Objective for Financial Services

It’s important when choosing an objective to choose the one that aligns the best with you or your agent’s or advisor’s business goals. Naturally, advertisers want to reach potential customers who may be interested in their product or service. Facebook’s Conversions Objective takes this one step further, by targeting those customers who are not only interested but also most likely to take action on your offer. 

Take for instance the example of a national insurance provider whose customers typically submit a form for a consultation and quote on their website. For the local Page running a campaign, tracking web traffic events on a Landing Page is invaluable information. This is where the Conversions Objective is a great way to optimize Facebook and Intsagram campaigns towards these form submissions on the individual landing pages. Running the Conversions Objective directs Facebook to find those customers who have shown intent for the Conversion Event you identify as relevant to your campaign. In this case, Facebook can find those customers who perhaps visited a competing insurance company’s submission form, but did not finish completing their information.

So, what does this look like at scale? Simple – utilize individualized landing pages for each of your locations but install the same Pixel on all Pages. Each location will be able to run its own individual Facebook campaign to its target sales area but can benefit from the national brand’s inbound corporate data while still enabling local campaign optimization. In this way, both local and global partners empower each other.

About the Conversions Objective

In Facebook’s arsenal, the Conversions objective is a strong option when you not only want to drive users to a destination but to encourage them to take a specific action on this page. To be able to track specific actions such as page visits or leads, a Facebook Pixel must be installed. 

While “conversions” imply sales, in truth a “conversion” can mean many things, which is what makes the objective so flexible. For the insurance industry, a conversion might mean free quotes or scheduling a consultation on a landing page, whereas a brick and mortar QSR might consider a conversion someone viewing their menu online. 

The key to the Conversions Objective is that it enables marketers a pathway to define what success looks like through data, and its power comes from its strategic flexibility. Ultimately, what you or a user predefined as the conversion event, Facebook’s algorithm will work to find users who will do exactly that. For Financial Services in particular, where there is a reliance on a combination of online and offline attribution, the Conversions Objective is the perfect choice to empower both ends.

Best Uses of The Facebook Pixel In Financial Services Conversions Ads

Though we can’t talk about the Conversions Objective without first discussing the Facebook Pixel, as the two are inextricably linked. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your campaigns. Using your Pixel, you can use it to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website, to drive sales, and most importantly, make sure your ads are being shown to the right people.

When it’s properly installed, the Pixel will fire when a user has taken an action on your site. This is inclusive of booking appointments, adding an item to their cart or even purchasing a product. These actions are known as “Events” and may be monitored via your Pixel’s Events Manager page. Once a user has taken an action that fired the Pixel, you’ll be able to reach this customer again through custom audience targeting.

Recommendations for Financial Services

The Conversions objective is particularly useful for the Financial Services vertical. Out of the 17 Standard Events available to install within a Pixel (either by embedding in the code or by using Facebook’s Event Setup Tool for Web), we recommend adding the following to your toolkit:

Website action

Description

Complete registration A submission of information by a customer in exchange for a service provided by your business. For example, signing up for an email subscription.
Contact A telephone, SMS, email, chat or other type of contact between a customer and your business.
Find location When a person finds one of your locations via web, with an intention to visit. For example, searching for a product and finding it at one of your local stores.
Lead A submission of information by a customer with the understanding that they may be contacted at a later date by your business. For example, submitting a form or signing up for a trial.
Schedule The booking of an appointment to visit one of your locations.
Submit application The submission of an application for a product, service or program you offer. For example, a credit card, educational program or job.

By parsing out specified events – separate from the default “PageViews” event – you can find out more information about your business. This could include discovering which areas of your website are getting a little more love than others or even which buttons might be getting more clicks.

Conclusions

The Conversions Objective is a powerful tool for financial services firms to optimize the delivery of Facebook campaigns to the best customers for your products and services. Yet, leveraging the Conversions Objective across a network of agents or advisors has historically been challenging and time-consuming. Tiger Pistol’s Conversions Objective capabilities allows brands and agencies to deploy conversion campaigns at scale with a single click. We make leveraging the Conversions Objective at scale has never been easier for financial services firms. 

To learn more about how your financial services brand can find your best customers by scaling your conversions campaigns locally, contact us today. 

Related Article: Navigating Facebook’s Special Ads Category for Financial Services

Analissa Moreno is the Data Operations Lead for Tiger Pistol’s Client Success team. She has an MA in the History of Photography. As the data guardian, she owns all aspects of reporting as it relates to client support and manages non-engineering data projects. She also uses her creativity to elevate the business by making small, but impactful changes on a daily basis. When she’s not face-first in data projects, Analissa’s baking moderately complicated recipes, watching Harry Potter reruns, and having fun with her dog, Rollei.

Tiger Pistol Expands Operations to Northeast Ohio

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, has opened its first operation outside of its headquarters in Austin, Texas, bringing at least 25 new jobs to Cleveland.

The Tiger Pistol Cleveland Office is located in an historic building on W. 6th Street.

The company, which ranks in the Top 100 of the Inc. 5000 list of Texas’ fastest-growing private companies and in the Top 5 among advertising and marketing companies, resides in a space on West Sixth Street in the Warehouse District of Downtown Cleveland for its Cleveland office. The expansion will further accelerate Tiger Pistol’s innovation roadmap for tools that help global brands, agencies, and resellers capitalize on the benefits of Facebook and Instagram advertising.

Tiger Pistol cites the Cleveland-area’s pool of technology and marketing expertise and affordability as some of the key driving factors for expansion into the market.

Tiger Pistol CEO, Paul Elliott is no stranger to building successful marketing companies in Cleveland. “Having had the opportunity to build my own digital marketing agency here, as well as serve in a leadership capacity for other outstanding Cleveland-based marketing and technology organizations, I am well aware of the amazing assets we have access to here in Cleveland,” said Elliott. “Cleveland’s world-class marketing and technology talent and their amazing work ethic is a competitive advantage when building and scaling a business. Our Cleveland expansion will help further strengthen our social advertising offering, which is already the dominant solution for multi-location marketers.”

The company considered other locations throughout the Midwest, but a team comprising the city of Cleveland, Project Management Consultants, JobsOhio and Team NEO collaborated to ensure Tiger Pistol would choose Cleveland for its expansion. The project is still subject to approval of state and local incentives.

“The City of Cleveland welcomes Tiger Pistol’s decision to invest and grow in Cleveland,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “This investment reflects the continued growth of Cleveland’s technology sector and we look forward to working with them on their expansion.”

Citing a quality workforce and Ohio’s business climate as benefits to operating in Northeast Ohio, Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, added, “Northeast Ohio is home to great companies looking to deepen their digital marketing and technology capabilities in order to grow. Tiger Pistol’s decision to invest here is a strong statement about the depth and breadth of the digital technology capabilities in this market. We expect their success to offer further encouragement to other digital technology companies exploring a significant investment in Northeast Ohio.”

About Tiger Pistol

Tiger Pistol is the world’s #1 social advertising automation platform for local. For nearly a decade, the company has been obsessively focused on building the world’s most effective social advertising platform for global brands, resellers, and agencies who realize the power of local activation at scale. As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner and the largest third-party publisher of social advertising for local, Tiger Pistol creates, deploys, manages, and optimizes high-performance Facebook and Instagram ads at unprecedented scale, with over 800k Facebook and Instagram campaigns published to date. Tiger Pistol’s first of its kind technology delivers meaningful and measurable business impact for brands, resellers, and agencies alike, helping to unlock value and efficiency through innovation-led social advertising automation. Tiger Pistol has been recognized by Digiday as the Best Social Media Marketing Platform, by Street Fight for Best Social Media Campaign and by Localogy as Best Localized Marketing Campaign, and by AdExchanger for Best Social Media Campaign. Tiger Pistol Ranks in the Top 100 on the Inc. 5000 List of Texas’s Fastest Growing Private Companies and in the top 5 among advertising and marketing companies.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. For more information, visit teamneo.org.

About JobsOhio

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio Southeast, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 3 – Navigating Facebook Special Ad Categories

In order to comply with all rules and regulations surrounding anti-discriminatory practices, Facebook began enforcing new rules for the way Housing, Credit, and Employment advertisements were managed. Housing, Credit, and Employment ads must be certified as such. The certification process is done at the campaign level and involves checking the following box and republishing:

When you republish, you’ll also need to ensure your ad complies with the audience parameters for Special Ads. This guide outlines what kind of verticals are commonly impacted by this policy and how you can ensure that your ad complies.

Housing Opportunity (or related service): Ads that are running housing-related content. This can include listings for the sale or rental of a home or apartment, homeowner’s insurance, housing repairs, and more.

Employment Opportunity: Ads that promote or directly link to an employment opportunity, including but not limited to part- or full-time jobs, internships, or professional certification programs. Even if you’re just running a one-off employment opportunity, you’ll still need to make sure it is certified.

Credit Opportunity:  Ads that promote or directly link to a credit opportunity, including but not limited to credit card offers, auto loans, personal or business loan services, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. This also includes brand ads for credit cards, regardless of a specific offer. This is an especially important category for auto dealerships, as ads are often associated as part of a credit opportunity.

This infographic breaks down how Special Ad Categories affect different aspects of Facebook targeting including location, language, age/gender, Saved Audiences, Detail targeting and custom audiences.

Just because you don’t think your business applies here, make sure to be on the lookout for incorrect Special Ad category flags. For example, Facebook might associate the word “work” in your ad’s body copy as being an ad related to employment. If this happens, you can go to the ad level and request an appeal.

It’s also important to know that certification for Special Ads is always done to the individual ad. This means this is a step you’ll need to take for any current and future Special Ads.

Having less choices about your audience doesn’t have to be a limitation. It just means you could focus on finding the media or CTA that is resonating the most with your audience. Perhaps leveraging the possibilities of Facebook Stories will help you engage consumers? The exciting part about social advertising is that there are endless possibilities to help your ads stand out from the rest.

Miss the first two articles in our Best Practice for Facebook Audiences series?  Find them and other social advertising best practices on our Resources Page

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 2 – A/B Testing: When in Doubt, Test it Out!

If you’re worried your social media ads are getting stagnant, an A/B test can provide a needed refresh. Running two ads that have only one varying element can offer valuable insights about what is working (and what’s not!) as well as inform strategy for future social campaigns.

A/B testing can be particularly helpful when determining audience. For example, if your goal is to grow your audience base, you could try targeting a lookalike of website traffic against a broad/detail targeting audience. The broad audience will help you continue to establish your customer base and the lookalike will help ensure some of your ads are also directed at users similar to your best customers.

Perhaps you’re still waiting for your Pixel data to gather? Try testing media and move to the audience later. In a world of endless customization, A/B testing offers a low-pressure scenario to freshen up your campaigns and learn more in the process.

Online retailer Sole Society wanted to compare how the square image format performed compared to a traditional landscape format. The ad featured the same pair of black boots. They learned that the square image outperformed the rectangular one and delivered a 27% increase and sales and 32% increase purchased products. For future campaigns, they could now feel more confident in selecting square images.

When trying to decide what to test, focus your goal on what you ultimately want to learn. Perhaps you want to sell more products, get more in-store visits, or simply want to more fully understand a particular aspect of your business. Stepping back like this can help you examine which of Facebook’s tools may work best for your needs.

Read the next post in my Best Practices for Facebook Audiences series, where I share how to create audiences that comply with Facebook Special Ads Categories. Miss the first article in this series? Check it out here.

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.