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STM's Top 10 Tips for 2023

STM's Top 10 Tips for 2023

November 11, 2022 | By STMS Team

Tip 1: Don’t Rely Solely on Platform Data

Digital marketers and advertisers across all industries should start implementing – as well thinking of creative ways to utilize – 1st-party data for paid social media advertising. In the last few years, users have shifted from preferring relevant offers to prioritizing privacy and anonymity online. That, coupled with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency protocol – which limits tracking across 3rd-party apps and websites – has severely diminished the utility of in-platform targeting data available to advertisers. Until only recently, much of this in-platform data was informed by sites and apps that users of a given platform, like Facebook, visited and interacted with. Now, most in-platform targeting is based around users’ activity within a platform, along with their self-identified interests and demographics, which have proven to show less correlation with actual consumer desires and purchase decisions. That’s not to say that in-platform data isn’t useful for reaching new users or generating awareness. But, it shouldn’t be relied upon by advertisers aiming to generate deeper levels of consideration. For these types of campaigns, 1st-party data, paired with appropriate messaging and creative, has shown to be much more effective. Let’s consider the difference between 1st and 3rd-party data – “1st-party data” is simply a technical way of describing users who have demonstrated interest in your business online. There are a number of ways this happens: they engage with you on a social platform, they visit your website, they fill out a form, they sign up for your newsletter, they view a product, or make a purchase. Each of these represent a touch point that can be utilized to build an audience, and subsequently an entire paid social campaign, because each of these steps in your funnel prompt a certain message. Lastly, if you’re worried about the availability of 1st-party data, we recommend starting with lookalike audiences that utilize any of the 1st-party touchpoints we listed above as a seed. This is a great way to steadily build up larger 1st-party audiences as well as the overall precision of your paid social efforts.

Tip 2: Utilize an Omnichannel Approach

Marketers could stand to gain a lot by adopting an omnichannel approach in advertising.  We know that most advertisers use some form of first party data in their plans, whether it is to deploy a marketing email or to send out direct mail to loyal customers.  With the ongoing changes in data privacy laws, it is now even more important to leverage that data across other marketing channels, like paid social and programmatic display.  Most people are familiar with retargeting users with display ads.  The omni approach takes this full circle and retargets people from a marketing list on email, direct mail, social, and programmatic display.  This gives your target consumers the impression that your company is not only savvy but also everywhere they may go.  This increases awareness, consideration, and finally purchase decisions.  In getting so finely targeted, advertisers can reach just those that are most important to them, allowing them to funnel marketing spend just where it is needed.  Your lists can allow you to reach out to different types of consumers, like those who have not purchased from you in a specific time frame, those purchasing a specific product line, or any combination of factors that you track with your first party data.  We can also supplement your list with consumers that are in our email database that match certain characteristics that you find lucrative.  We can take that a step further and include a retargeting pixel in the email so that we can later retarget email openers on programmatic or social.  Omnichannel lets you use your valuable first party data to your advantage and takes it a step further by allowing you to expand on your own data by creating look-a-like and similar audiences to round out your plan.

Tip 3: Move Broadcast Budget to CTV/OTT

As we all know, video is experiencing huge growth within the industry. This year marks the first year that video will account for more than half of all programmatic spending. By 2024, programmatic CTV video ad spend is projected to sustain its double-digit growth and likely play an even bigger role in the broader TV advertising market. Beyond this, CTV advertising is among the fastest growing sectors of the US digital ad market and offers the opportunity to reach audiences on a bigger screen in the same format as the content they’re watching. With streaming giants like Disney+ and Netflix rolling out plans for ad-supported tiers, there’s no time like the present to take advantage of everything CTV has to offer. Advertising on these devices is a great opportunity to build and expand awareness of your brand, and as people spend more and more time watching content on CTV’s, the advertising opportunities will only continue to grow.

Tip 4: Invest in Social Video

With the mass surge of video consumption since 2020, which continues to grow, it is vital that marketers consider investing in social video for their 2023 marketing strategy.

Why video is important?

  1. TikTok surpassed YouTube in average watch time in June, 2020.

TikTok has made one of the biggest impacts to our industry, changing the way users consume content online. As more people prefer short-form video content now than ever, we must reevaluate the mediums and channels we utilize going into 2023 and beyond.

  1. Video is more capable

It is no surprise that video is preferred by users, as video has more creative capability with the use of music, voiceover, and effects, all while bringing the product and/or company to life with engaging storytelling.

  1. 47.4% of their active users aged between 10 and 29, however, American adults using TikTok grew 5.5 times in the last 18 months

There’s quite a prejudice about how only the younger generations are using TikTok, however, their adult user base grew immensely in the last 18 months. Other platforms like Meta capitalized on this by creating their Reels and YouTube coming out with shorts. It’s vital to see these changes come about in our industry and pivot focus as needed, taking advantage of getting ahead of the competition.

Tip 5: Optimize your email creative and website for mobile

With mobile devices encompassing 60% of views, it’s imperative to consider mobile-optimized designs and functionality. Make sure to keep the following things in mind when building emails or refreshing your website.

Mobile responsiveness

Your emails and website should be consistent on different screen sizes. Instead of building three different versions, consider using mobile-responsive designs to maintain the look and feel no matter what devices your audience is using.

Mobile usability

Desktops and phones/tablets have different capabilities because of the limited processing power of smaller devices. Test your emails and websites on an array of devices (recruit your friends/co-workers who use different phones and/or computers!) to ensure they work properly across the board.

Tip 6: Produce Video for Multiple Formats

Most online users today can be found on multiple streaming and social media platforms. Here are our best practices to consider for how to best utilize video for your 2023 campaigns.

  • Feature your brand and product/service within the first 5 seconds.
  • Design without sound so your audience can understand your message when they are not able to listen to it (I.e., visual cues).
  • Experiment with your video based on platform trends.
  • Make use of existing video assets but cutting it down for advertising.
  • For social media: use vertical or square aspect ratio for video.

Along with our best practices, remember these next two important pieces when developing a video:

  • Video length
  • Appeal to your audience

Based on where and individual is in their client journey they will need to be targeted with a different video. Longer videos are best targeted to audiences who are still learning about your brand while short form videos should be served to known consumers that just need the quick reminder about your offerings. When appealing to an audience you will want to tell your story or explain how your product/services can improve their quality of life.

Tip 7: Get Ready for Google Analytics 4

Google recently announced that they will push back the sunsetting of GA4 for Analytics 360/enterprise users to July 2024, while currently standard Analytics users are still set to sunset in July of 2023. For all users, it’s important to ensure you have created a Google Analytics 4 account so that you can begin to collect historic data. So, if you have not already, you’ll want to create a new GA4 property while maintaining your Universal Analytics. Once created, you’ll be able to gather GA4 data while continuing the use of your existing Universal Analytics – The upgrade process is easy and will prepare you for the future sunsetting of Universal Analytics.

Tip 8: SEO: Prioritize Content over Keywords

Moving into 2023 and beyond, ensure to focus on the content your audience cares about and remove “black hat” tactics from your SEO plan. Black Hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing can lead to Google and other search engines penalizing your website. These practices are still used to trick search engines to gain ranking quickly, but this is a very short-term win that usually results in your ranking plummeting soon after. Plus, your audience doesn’t want to read “word salad.” Instead, focus on what your audience wants – engaging content made for humans. This will help increase brand awareness and recall which helps create “brand loyalists” out of your customers. One way to engage your audience is video, especially because Google and other search engines have begun weighing video content heavily in ranking and also include videos directly in search results.

The takeaway: keywords are still important but should be used strategically and only make up about 2-5% of your content.

Tip 9:  Go Big With Your Content Strategy

Connect with your target audience and position your business as the subject matter expert through branded content. A venngage survey found that original graphics were used the most frequently when promoting content campaigns and nearly 40% of marketers struggled with developing engaging visual content consistently. It is always important to keep in mind the resources available at hand, and if outsourcing design work or content creation is an option. You can also use branded content as a tactic to strengthen the relationship between your brand and your current customer base. The Content Marketing Institute found that 63% of content marketers use their content strategy to build loyalty with their existing clients.

Four questions to ask before diving into a content campaign:

  • Frequency: How often do I want to get in front of my target audience?
  • Quantity: How many stories do I want to produce in this series?
  • Goals: What’s the overall goal of this campaign?  What message are you trying to promote and…
  • Reach: who are you trying to promote it to, and where?

It is noted by SEMrush that 94% of content marketers are using social media as a distribution channel for their content. To optimize reach, we would suggest trying an omnichannel approach when promoting branded content to engage your audience and retarget your readers on other platforms.

Tip 10: Consolidate Marketing Services for a Cohesive Approach

Consolidate your marketing services under one roof where possible. The benefit is ensuring that your brand creative assets, message, and performance insights are utilized effectively and uniformly across multiple digital marketing platforms.  Increasingly, platforms like Google Ads are adding video and image capabilities to paid search campaign types. We’ll help your brand craft a strategy to maximize the potential of your creatives across platforms like paid search, social, email marketing, programmatic, landing pages & more to ensure a consistent message across platforms. This will assist you in reaching the right customers at the right time – utilizing the right mix of digital and print tactics. Ensure you’re utilizing a data-driven approach that works across all channels with experts working together under one roof.

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