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In this age of social media, we can connect with friends on the other side of the planet in no time at all. Distance is no longer a hindrance, and yet, more people feel detached from society. Amidst the pros and cons of a digital world, brands must learn to adapt and connect in new ways. Although face-to-face interactions are less frequent, the social media age brings many new opportunities for brands to be a part of consumers’ lives.

However, like parents trying to fit in with their teenagers, brands sometimes struggle to connect. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with any parenting woes today, but we do have a few strategies to help brands genuinely engage with their consumers via social media.

Get to Know Your Consumer

In order to reach a consumer, you need to know who the consumer is. Take the time to find out as much as you can about them. What do they like? What do they not like? What are their purchasing behaviors? By knowing more about your consumer, you’ll have a better idea of how to reach them.

Also, understand where your consumers are physically and digitally. Pinpointing a consumer’s location provides valuable information such as distance to your business, competitors in their proximity, local hot spots, etc. Find out which platforms your customers engage with most frequently. There are many social platforms available: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the most commonly used. These platforms are all unique in audience, tone and messaging. Instagram attracts a younger, visual-focused demographic, whereas LinkedIn attracts professionals in various fields. Your consumers will be more receptive to your messaging when it is on the appropriate platform.

Relevant Communication

Once you have a better grasp on who your customer is, it’s all about timing. Keep your content relevant. Posting a Gangnam Style parody might seem funny but is so 2012. Take time to research and stay on top of important topics and trends, particularly those that relate to your brand. By staying relevant, consumers will be more interested in the content you produce. Instead of begging them to pay attention to you, they’ll already be right there and tuned in.

Staying relevant also includes optimizing social media posts to go out at the right time. Find out when your target audience is online and post accordingly. This will keep your posts at the top of a consumer’s feed so they will be more likely to notice and engage with you.

Quality Content

This may seem like the most obvious strategy, so maybe it’s more of a reminder. Though we’ve all had a day when deadlines are eminent, other projects pop up and social media posts fall to the backburner. However, don’t sacrifice quality simply because you need a post now. Take the time needed to produce quality content that your brand can be proud of.

When developing content, consider your intent. A recent Ad Week article suggested a few intents that will help your audience genuinely engage with your brand: in ways that entertain and educate. Entertaining content will capture consumers attention and lead them to engage with your content and even share it with friends. Brainstorm ways your brand can stay true to who you are and entertain the masses.

Consumers are also eager to learn. What expertise do you possess? What nuggets of wisdom can you hand out? Create a small dose of knowledge in a how-to video, tutorial or other form, then include a “learn more” call-to-action. Curious consumers will be excited to learn from you. Quality content will draw consumers in and keep them coming back to your brand.

Apply these strategies to your brand’s social media and watch your consumer engagement increase. Learn more by talking to an agency content specialist today.

Alli –

Alli Blake, our basketball superstar from Westminster, brought her talents over to Penna Powers to work as an associate project manager. Alli is one tough cookie, which is appropriate since her most memorable fortune cookie quote was “toughen up, buttercup!” Of all the famous people in the world, if Alli could only choose one that she wishes to meet, it would without a doubt be Jesus. Her spirit animal? A hyena – they are resilient and the females are boss. If you ever get the chance to meet Alli, you’ll learn she is a fierce, determined and hardworking woman that we are lucky to have here at Penna Powers.

Marissa –

Marissa Liu, our newest executive assistant aka our behind-the-scenes organizer, is nothing short of perfect. A motto Marissa lives by and is sure to portray through her actions is “always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” She is the happiest gal around unless you get between her and her diet coke! When she’s not busy in the Penna Powers office, you’ll likely find her dreaming about traveling to Dubai or Bali, or off somewhere a little bit closer like Southern Utah; (until she gets the opportunity to make her dream vacation a reality).

Alec –

Alec Curtis recently joined us as a truck smart outreach specialist for Zero Fatalities. The best way to describe Alec (as told by Alec) is through his spirit animal, which happens to be an Emperor Penguin, as they are both adorable and majestic. Remember that Klondike Bar commercial song “what would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?” Well, plan on having that line stuck in your head for the next few hours since it just so happens to be Alec’s favorite jingle. When Alec isn’t out educating Utah about driving safe around big rigs, he’s probably counting his PTO days and planning a trip to his dream location, Italy.

Max –

Max Jensen, a BYU student, joined the Penna Powers family a few months ago as our media intern. If you have been in our office lately, it’s likely that you’ve seen him! He’s our only employee that stands tall at 15 feet 3 inches. When talking to Max, chances are you will end up discussing the 1977 restored Toyota Land Cruiser that he hopes to have one day. Max enjoys spending his free time fantasizing about the Bahamas, skiing and shopping at Costco. If you plan on lying to Max, you might want to think twice. Chances are he will call your bluff since he’s a firm believer that “the truth is the truth, no matter where you lie.”

 

Native advertising is currently one of the most overused buzzwords in the advertising world. Many people are quick to roll their eyes at native advertising, thinking of the original click-bait nature of headlines and the cheesy descriptions publishers used to lure the audience in, only to have them immediately bounce out. The channel has now evolved from click bait headlines, to include video with engaging content the audience seeks out. The ability to retarget off each unit is another fantastic feature found in the native space. As a result, content can more closely resemble a publication’s editorial content across a website, lowering advertisers cost and increasing engagement.

Two main units we look at and the cost associated with them include:

Native Articles:

This placement has expanded from simple CPM (cost per thousand) buying to now include CPC (cost per click) and CPE (cost per engagement) depending on the buying objective. Now more than ever, the buyer and the content strategist can work as one tying together the goal of the content and how its written with how the ad is bought. For example, one piece of content in a campaign could be bought to generate awareness while the second piece to go live could utilize the generated awareness to increase website traffic and website conversions. As mentioned, native articles previously served as a vehicle for click bait, but now with vendors like StackAdapt and OutBrain, native strategies can be taken to the next level.

Penna Powers Native Article Averages:

CPM: $4.45

CPC: $0.83

CPE: $2.94

Time spent on site (LP): 1m 38s

Native Video:

Video has been on a hot topic for a few years now with YouTube popularizing video as an advertising placement. Depending on video length a video will fall into one of two native camps pre-roll, playing before other video content and out-stream with the later only playing when in-view. By now you’re most familiar with pre-roll running pre, mid, or post and out-stream videos running within a piece of content, breaking up a Forbes article for example. One of the greatest features of the native video placement is the ability to retarget an audience based on completed video views. This allows the advertiser to further engage with the audience and lower the cost of a conversion since the audience has previously interacted with the brand

Penna Powers Native Video Averages:

CPM: $13.04

CPCV: $0.03

Viewability %: 57.87

Completion Rate: 67.34%

CTR: 0.33%

Display working with Native

These days everyone either hates online ads or blocks them all together. Insert display ads working in conjunction with Native articles and/or videos. The key difference when using display in a Native campaign is the ability to bid on a CPE model if you’re looking for engagements on a piece of content. Display ads offered by vendors such as StackAdapt provide a great opportunity to retarget your native campaign audience, further increasing engagement and post-click activity.

Penna Powers Native Display Averages: (Currently we are only using native display in retargeting campaigns)

eCPM: $4.74

eCPC: $3.56

CTR: 0.13%

StackAdapt Benchmarks:

Native

eCPM: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPC: $0.80 – $1.50

eCPE $2.00 – $3.00

CTR: 0.40% – 0.80%

Avg time on site: 55s – 1m5s

​PreRoll Video

eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

eCPC: $9.00 – $12.00

eCPCV: $0.02 – $0.05

CTR: 0.10% – 0.20%

Completion Rate: 70% – 80%

Native Video​

​eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

​eCPC: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPCV: $0.05 – $0.07

CTR: 0.50% +

Completion Rate: 40% – 60%

Display

eCPM: $1.50 – $3.00

eCPC: $1.75 – $3.00

CTR: 0.10% – 0.15%

Despite the perception, native advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon. Based on a IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough study, consumers looked at native ads 52 percent more frequently than banner ads. Native advertising presents a huge opportunity for agencies and their clients to create a lasting engagement that leads to further brand interactions and sales.