How can we deliver more personal content on every channel? That question should be on the mind of all digital marketers, because more and more of today’s customers are interacting with companies via multiple touch points. To that end, how can you use the power of social media to accurately target your customers and complement your email program and other marketing initiatives?
To help answer this question, we’re excited to have Josh Emert, chief product officer at Silverpop partner GoChime, share his thoughts on how you can utilize the power of Facebook ads to help close the gap on true identity targeting for your customers.
Facebook ads have come a long way from their early promise of interest graph targeting. About two years ago, Facebook quietly released one of the most exciting and potentially disrupting features of any ad platform since the early days at Google: Custom Audience Targeting. Twitter quickly followed suit with its version, Tailored Audiences, and Pinterest announced its version of custom audiences in September. There are rumors of other social networks (ahem, LinkedIn) working to release their own versions of custom audience targeting.
It’s a bold statement, but I believe the future of digital marketing has been created with the release of custom audiences, and I’m going to show you why email marketers should be claiming custom audience targeting as their turf. But first, let’s learn about custom audiences.
What Are Custom Audiences?
Custom audiences are anonymous audiences comprised of your existing customers that you have matched to Facebook. In other words, if you have a group of emails (like a list), you can upload it to Facebook and Facebook will give you an ID and a number back that you can target with ads.
As you might guess, there’s a lot going on in the background to make this possible. In short, the emails you uploaded are being encrypted in a common format (SHA256), and if a Facebook user has an identical encryption, that user will be added to your custom audience. You never know which of your customers matched when you upload a list — you only know how many matched a Facebook user from a list you upload.
The Promise of Identity Targeting
All of this boils down to one meta-topic — true identity targeting. That’s what made email so popular and powerful. I’m not writing an email to my customer based on guesswork. I’m writing to her email address because I know that she’ll receive it, and I have the information in my database to deliver relevant content within the email based on her behaviors and demographic attributes. Custom audience targeting offers a similar promise — that you can reach your existing customers outside of the email inbox with content unique to their interests and behaviors.
In a similar way to how you can reach a customer via email, you can reach that contact via Facebook, Twitter and (soon) a multitude of apps (check out the Facebook Audience Network). With an industry-average 20 percent email open rate, it’s smart to tap other channels to help reach the remaining 80 (!) percent.
A New Age of Retargeting
The email address has become the replacement for the browser cookie in the world of retargeting. When you begin to think about the larger trend of the Internet moving mobile (and beyond!), Custom audience targeting begins to make much more sense. Traditional cookie-based retargeting doesn’t translate to mobile, and that fact alone should send savvy marketers scurrying to find an alternative. That search can begin and often end by looking in-house at your email marketing and marketing automation teams.
If you’re an email marketer, this should excite you. You have a tremendous advantage over your competition because you’re already familiar with the finer points of email and inbound marketing: drip campaigns, autoresponders, lifecycle emails, etc. Imagine deploying a communication or marketing strategy custom-tailored to how and when your customers choose to digest content. You’re activating on email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more — all from one original list. The New Inbox has arrived, and it’s no longer simply limited to email.
If you’re interested in learning how Silverpop and GoChime are working together to align social advertising with your inbound strategy, visit http://gochime.com/silverpop.