We’re people. (You heard it here first!)
It shouldn’t be news that we’re not robots. Every captcha that we fill in, every spam detection we foil, reminds us of that. But if that’s the case, why would we expect the users at the opposite end of our “product” – ads, searches, blogs, or social media – to be different?
Is it even possible to use a computer or mobile device and have a good user experience with every piece of content every day? That should be what we’re striving for. But among the things that get in the way of a good user experience are intrusive ads or sponsored content on our feeds. As digital marketers, we understand why these things appear with such frequency, but as humans we’re irritated – it’s interfering with how we use our social platforms, whether for news, information, search results or connectivity.
Four different presenters at SMX touched upon these ideas, and offered hints to bring the humanity back to social media…and even advertising.
Methodology Trumps Technology
Adir Regev, of GO Internet Marketing, stressed the importance of having a coherent and logical message across all channels. This is challenging because, as he noted, there isn’t a single platform that can address all the popular marketing buzzwords: Big Data, Automation, Retargeting, Personalization and “360 degree” solutions. To plan for all the moving parts, Regev recommended mapping out campaigns with (literal) pen and paper.
A Good User Experience Relies on Careful Monitoring
While speaking of about the potential pitfalls of remarketing, Ophir Cohen, of Universal McCann Digital, insisted that user behavior (and the user experience) is a critical piece of the puzzle of personalized ads. Paying attention to how long it should take to convert a user – how many ad views, over a certain period of time – can prevent a bad user experience. Cohen recommended the avoidance of what he called “fatal attraction,” where an ad is served too often or over too many platforms, by setting a frequency cap. He also spoke of the disconnect between platforms; if a user signs up for an event or buys a product in one platform, that ad should stop appearing elsewhere, but it may take a person to make sure that happens. Syncing all platforms is a key element to polite (and non-creepy) ad retargeting.Syncing all platforms is a key element to polite (and non-creepy) ad retargeting. Click To Tweet
The Human Side of Facebook – Communities and Content
Both Roy Povarchik and Aaron Zakowski spoke about using Facebook as a way to generate sales leads – but we’re going to have to work for it. How are we going to do it? Povarchik explained how to build online communities; over time, your (or your client’s) needs and sales could play a role, but not right away. Tap into needs, not branding, in order to build that community.
Zakowski explained that cold leads on Facebook are ineffective because that’s not why people are there. “People aren’t there to buy your things. They’re there to see cat pictures and baby pictures.” But he also pointed out people come to Facebook to find content. So put out great content and that can segue into sales. This makes sense (at least to me!) – when was the last time, as human beings, that we made a purchase from a cold call or cold email, without reading, research, or recommendations? But once you’ve warmed up your lead, Zakowski said, don’t shy away from right-column ads, rotate the ads themselves — and monitor for negative feedback (stop me if you’ve heard this one).
For me, these sessions taught balance. Relying too heavily on marketing “musts” without caring about the user’s needs and experience will ultimately result in frustratingly low conversions. Are we back to the Golden Rule? Treat others as you would want to be treated – or sold to.Treat others as you would want to be treated – or sold to. Click To Tweet