What’s the Right Amount of Local for my Brand?

It feels like establishing a digital local presence has been the bread and butter of brick-and-mortar strategy for decades. With numerous specialized agencies and tools, listings management, Google Places, Facebook location Pages, etc.,it can feel like there are a thousand different permutations you need to cycle your brand through with the aim of going local. 

Insurance brands can advertise locally through agents and advisors, as these representatives work out of local offices and service particular local areas.

“Going local” can mean many different things, depending on your industry and how you engage with customers in your buying flow. In some cases, like for a large national insurance brand, the value of locality is self-evident. The brand can advertise locally through agents and advisors, as these representatives work out of local offices and service particular local areas. For other industries, such as consumer products, “going local” might mean marketing through independent dealers or chain partner retailers. Even wholly digital brands, such as delivery service apps like Doordash and Uber Eats, have reason to drive value through local marketing of their partner merchants to their local consumers. The real power of local marketing lies in its flexibility to work across decentralized and centralized networks alike.

So while the buzz around “local” marketing may feel tired at times, brands continue to take the plunge. Yet it’s important to keep in mind that someone else’s version of “local” doesn’t have to be yours. Take Red Bull for example. Going local for them means hosting local events and building subcultural communities to promote them through. A quick search of their brand on Facebook reveals a distributed page presence, such as Red Bull Music, Red Bull Motorsports, Red Bull Gaming. From a marketing perspective, these fronts are reflective of their larger marketing tactics in play, as the product offered never changes. Red Bull simply sells Red Bull. 

Contrast that with a search for “Allstate Agents” on Facebook. You will see thousands of business pages returned from local Allstate agents.

Of course, retailers often use location pages, creating one for every one of their stores to contain their local presence and house store-specific information, namely geo-location, but also hours, WiFi names, and more that are location specific. Many chain stores now have a distributed store page presence across Facebook.

Facebook continues to be the first choice for social media marketing with a local presence. With the right tools, brands are able to take advantage of their local presence with paid media. It’s important to consider holistically where the value lies in paid media activations. At Tiger Pistol, we work with partners across many different verticals, from real estate, retail, consumer products, financial services, and insurance, in addition to digital re-sellers and franchise brands. Every one of our clients is taking advantage of a different flavor of local paid media.The core power of local marketing is truly it’s ability to connect brands, consumers, and everyone in between to holistic ROA-based advertising strategies.

For example, a global beauty consumer products brand leverages our technology to enable salons and retailers to promote themselves through the brand’s Facebook Business Page, with each merchant receiving their own individual campaign, designed and optimized to deliver sales to them. While also empowering their campaign through attachment and association with the global brand’s page. In effect, they use paid campaigns to take the brand to a local level, by featuring specific merchants in what would otherwise be a brand level campaign.

Tiger Pistol enabled Ben & Jerry’s to publish on-brand local social advertisements for scoop shops leveraging a local tie-in with Uber Eats delivery. Ads were geotargeted for Uber-Eats’ delivery area, with the call-to-action to “Order Now via Uber-Eats.” Each ad’s “Order Now” button drove to Uber-Eats’ online ordering page for the local Scoop Shop. 

In other cases, it’s about bringing together independent merchants through a distributed local presence, such as our work with AB-InBev where our technology allows merchants to connect their own business pages and receive curated ads, published through them.

There are even cases where the locality is no more than a deliberate messaging tactic. Our Real Estate partners often publish local recruitment ads through their brand Page. This gives them a means to propagate localized messaging quickly that both target hyper-locally and feature creative that is locally aware – allowing their brand to speak to local job applicants in particular locales and feature local office information as necessary. 

As you can see, there are many paths to “Go Local.” They may sometimes include multiple Pages and places, or locality can simply be a messaging tactic – a first touch engagement into a larger national buying path, when it’s important to feature your brand in a specific local community. The value is in being able to quickly get local when it makes sense to, and to complement national advertising efforts through local advertising dissemination. 

It’s easy to deploy a single national campaign. Anything more can be enormously time consuming without the right tools, and you may be missing out on not only happier consumers, but better performance too. Separate local campaigns and marketing tactics can offer marketing flexibility, such as when an insurance brand uses its corporate website data to retarget consumers through a local agent campaign or when digital brands leverage the locality of their partners to distribute their message into particular locales. “Going Local” is about building holistic, responsive strategies that connect consumers to buying paths and speak to consumers more personally, in recognition of where they live and shop. Beyond a closer consumer connection, local marketing can very much also be a means for brands to enable and empower their retail, merchant, and account partners who they rely on to sell their products. 

Let’s talk about a local strategy that best fits your brand. Contact us today!

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Unpacking Facebook’s New “Leads Center”

Facebook announced a new feature on Business Pages called Leads Center. With this new feature, leads collected on Facebook through Lead Generation campaigns now auto-populate inside the Leads Center. New tools also make managing leads easier: 

  • Set reminders to follow up, assign an owner to your leads, or add notes to their contact information
  • Filter by category, owner, label, or date
  • Create Custom or Lookalike audiences based on how you categorize your customers
  • Directly email leads from the Leads Center

While Leads Center introduces some lightweight CRM-like management options of leads, data has shown that the primary success KPI on leads is response time:

  • Contact and qualification rates drop dramatically in just minutes and continue to decrease over the next few hours (Harvard Business Review)
  • Sales Conversions are 391% Higher in the First Minute (Vendasta)
  • 78% of Customers Buy from the First Responder  (Vendasta)

Facebook’s Lead Center solution does not entirely solve for response time, especially for SMBs and businesses that prefer to call leads directly. Doing so quickly is paramount, so the immediacy of follow-up is most important.

The Leads Center is a great place to organize and manage leads, but if you are most concerned with response times, it doesn’t offer much additional help in that area. Users are still reliant on Page notifications, or self-directing into Ads Manager, Leads Page Management, and the like to grab leads as they come in.

Tiger Pistol’s lead delivery system prioritizes immediacy, and offers advertisers flexibility across multiple different lead management systems. 

  • Automatic Lead Notification Emails : Our Platform immediately recognizes a new lead coming through on a campaign and emails the specified account contact(s) the lead information instantly, enabling businesses the ability to immediately reach out to leads when they come through. End-users can also customize the cadence and frequency of these notifications from instant, to once daily, or a weekly summary. 
  • Leads Webhook : For delivering leads securely into external and third-party systems, Tiger Pistol also offers a webook that can send leads anywhere using a callback URL in real time. This means that leads can also simultaneously be sent into CRMs such as Salesforce, Zoho, or custom built applications.

In truth, the best lead management solution is multi-faceted. With instant notification, you solve the most important issue of responding quickly. This is where Facebook Leads Center comes back in and can provide added value to advertisers regularly managing leads. Facebook Leads Center centralizes all leads collected and allows for aggregate lead management options, outside of the immediate first follow-up, such as a view of all historical leads, allowing you to categorize them or even build custom audiences to use in future campaigns. 

Tiger Pistol’s lead delivery options complement Facebook’s Lead Center, just as they complement connections into external systems. You can gain the response benefits of immediate notification plus a solid management solution with almost no barrier to entry. For SMBs looking to take more control of their leads, the Leads Center is sure to become a valuable tool. Yet tagging and categorizing leads will only take you so far. Their value is still very much concentrated on your ability to respond to them quickly and convert them.

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Unpacking Discovery Ads with Google: What it Means for Facebook

You’ve heard it a million times since the dawn of social advertising, “search for is for intent, social is for discovery!” And for a time, all us marketers constantly reckoned with this fact. The ad tech industry quickly codified itself into specialized tools on either ends of the spectrum, with a few hybrids in between. Though the fact of the matter remains, no one goes to Facebook and just searches for something. They access their feed and view their friends’ content. It’s a more reactive experience by nature. Whereas when users hit the Google front page, the intent is always specific – I am going to search for something, or I am going to click into a specific Google tool, like my email, or calendar. These differing experiences made it easy to think of social and search advertising as separable.

That separability is about to turn on its head, as Google launched Discovery Ads globally just last month. The premise is a familiar one, “Discovery campaigns take their cue from Facebook’s success at exactly this type of visually impactful, native ad format targeted based on audience data rather than search intent”. However, Google is proceeding down this path with caution, only launching one ad slot to start. But Google’s intent is clear here, they are aiming their sights directly at the “discovery media” Facebook has been so effective at collecting. Google’s own documentation on the format positions it just as Facebook would a Reach campaign: “Reach more of Google with a single ad campaign. With the ability to reach up to 2.9 billion people monthly… you can now reach more potential customers as they browse… on popular Google properties.” The idea being that Google will optimize Discovery ads using their customer intent data, just deployed in a slightly different way, to find users likely to be interested in similar products and serve them ads in the Discovery slot.

Google also notes that the properties these ads will feature on: YouTube’s Home and Watch Next feeds, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and Discover, which for them, is the right way to think about discovery tactics, placing those units on properties where users tend to spend the most time, or in other words, places where people are naturally inclined to search for and consume content as opposed to engaging with specific search intent. So on one hand, the logic is sound. Google does indeed have a ton of user data, and enough for certain, to be able to use machine learning to identify the “interested users” necessary for deployment of discovery ad tactics. 

Does this supplant Facebook? That’s probably not the right way of thinking about it. We have seen new ad networks and properties come and go, and evolve, but rarely are these ever more than evolutions of traditional tactics. Rather than complete re-inventions of digital ad products and strategy. Although, it does mean Google could very well be a bigger part of conversations on Discovery, and the search-social digital framework is going to get muddier in terms of now being able to deploy discovery and intent tactics across both networks. Really though, it’s just one more place to cross-target ads, whether that be off search data and tracking alone, or through combined retargeting efforts across social and search.

When considering SMB advertising, introducing another, separate, Discovery placement into the mix feels premature, especially on the brick-and-mortar side. Consider what a typical scaled social and search strategy looks like. One example is an integrated marketing software for SMBs. This client helps manage web presence and SEO, in addition to paid digital advertising, but they need a way to generate leads reliably through search and discovery efforts. Being that most of their customer base is brick and mortar service providers, shopper-driven, product-based discovery was difficult. They decided to double down on Facebook for lead generation, leveraging the Facebook Pixel to middleman between their inbound activity based on search intent and effective re-marketing on social.

Tiger Pistol worked to develop a full cycle approach to lead generation and lead nurturing:

  • The customer’s contact list is sent to Tiger Pistol via API for automatic creation of a Custom Audience, which is then used to create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook for targeting purposes.
  • Tiger Pistol automatically creates and publishes a Lead Ad, enabling Facebook users who look like their existing customer base to submit their contact information natively.
  • Leads are then automatically sent to the customer’s company contact list, where a lead nurturing track is triggered to drive conversion.

The integration provides the client’s customers a seamless, automated process to drive and nurture leads, allowing the client to spend more time managing its business. As their end-users find their customers on search, those customers are captured and used to find lookalikes. What’s more, each discovery-based lead also feeds the data loop. While one could imagine inserting some Google Discovery into this mix, it’s hard to pin down at this moment whether or not it’d be worth the effort, or if it’s best to wait for more data on the new Google placements. Google also lacks the journey driven lead collection that’s native within Facebook. As such, it’s also hard to imagine scaling a Google Discovery solution for SMBs given that it would require an offsite landing page to support lead collection- whereas Facebook does not, because Facebook enables direct lead collection across all its primary properties.

Facebook and its family of apps remain the destination for discovery-grounded marketing, not only because the idea of the Google network still feels foreign, but also because Facebook has a decade’s head start on developing specific ad tools within the discovery framework. Facebook offers over a dozen marketing objectives and has numerous properties suited to discovery such as Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger. It will take Google considerable time to catch up if they continue to go deeper into discovery-based ad optimizations. Place your bets now, I imagine they’ll find a way to make it work eventually. For now, Facebook should remain the focus for discovery, especially if considering a tight budget. Introducing a “third split” so to speak, of sending spend across search, social discovery, and search discovery could possibly mean not doing any of the aforementioned tactics well. Maybe in time, with more data, and evolution from Google, the calculus will change. But it is likely still the case that the most optimal means to focus dollars within the discovery/intent distinction would be to continue to emphasize Google for search-intent tactics with a separate focused discovery effort across Facebook

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Beyond Store Visits: Better Objectives for Current Times

When the world is not under stay-at-home orders, it’s easy to gravitate towards Facebook’s Store Visits Objective as the best option to drive foot traffic into brick and mortar locations, but it’s far from the only option. Especially considering SVO’s setup requirements, now’s a better time than ever to consider how multi-location businesses can leverage other objectives locally. It also doesn’t hurt that Facebook’s overall cost of advertising is down between 20 and 40% (dependent on placement) across its family of apps, and previously passive users are becoming more active and engaged. This is the perfect recipe for businesses that want to re-engage their communities with social, gaining brand impressions while usage is at its peak and competition is at its lowest.

Locality, by its very nature, is a chief concern during the COVID crisis. As different states and countries have different responses to the COVID crisis, marketing campaigns must be flexible enough to shift to a highly volatile landscape. For large, multi-location brand clients, this might mean that some of their stores are open, some are closed, some do delivery, and some don’t. Therefore, preserving your execution flexibility is paramount. You don’t want to be caught with a singular national campaign that suddenly doesn’t work in certain regions.

Of course, given the COVID-19 situation, the very concept of driving footfall is more difficult. But this is exactly why you don’t necessarily want Store Visit Optimization to be the only tool in your toolbox. A more adaptive framework that allows campaigns to still operate with the hyper-locality of a SVO campaign, but without the specific objective requirements is timely, not only because of COVID, but also for your strategic flexibility overall. This framework can actually be replicated with other objectives too, especially with specialized tools. Developing campaigns across other objectives that utilize local pages and localized copy still provides the same local performance benefits as an SVO campaign, as well as the attribution models to ensure you can still prove ROAs.

For service-based businesses, Conversion or Traffic campaigns that utilize offline event sets to attribute footfall engagement is another means to achieve the same end. Especially when the buying decision is complex. Take for example car shopping, where there is value in driving users to view content and engage in top-of-funnel sales activity, while still preserving the ability to know whether or not these campaigns resulted in a consumer coming onsite.

A responsive local strategy that allows for different tactics ensures that you can more easily account for different scenarios.

  1. That local Conversion Objective campaign that facilitates online ordering for in-store pickup might also need to be a Conversions campaign, driving people to convert online purchases for home delivery for the state next door.
  2. Many businesses explicitly address COVID-19 concerns publicly, in terms of supporting donations and community efforts. Ads can cover content-based and awareness-driven needs, even in cases where stores are shut down, providing credibility and continued presence in the local community allows you to identify early stage micro-conversion events that can shift to full scale attribution as situations begin to normalize.

In either case, being able to do both at the same time ensures you can still deliver results for your partners, customers, or clients that operate and deliver the same results in aggregate as any Store Visits campaign. It’s not as straightforward as it was before, of course, but with the right tools, these sorts of scaled activations can be executed with just as much ease as a SVO campaign. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and utilizing the great toolbox of advertising options that Facebook offers.

Ready to discuss a scaled social strategy that helps your business stay ahead of the curve with the best opportunity for revenue growth in 2020 and into 2021? Contact us today. 

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

 

How Local Ads from Local Pages Increase Relevancy and Decrease Advertising Costs

There is much talk in social media marketing about the importance of “local” social. But what does that really mean in practice? Put simply, localization drives ad relevancy. 

When we look at the factors that make an ad more relevant, it boils down to two modifiers on your advertiser bid: Estimated Action Rates and Ad Quality. It’s the combination of these modifiers that underpins the ad relevancy calculation, and more relevant ads “win” out over less relevant ones in bidding

So how can you bump up your scores on these modifiers, thereby making your ads more relevant? It’s a combination of things across your campaigns structure:

1. Use a Local Facebook Page over a Corporate One

“Local” Pages can mean different things. For example, a CPG brand that relies on channel partners to sell their products might consider their channel partners’ individual store Pages the most local option, as it allows them to tie their products to a specific local point of sale. Whereas a real estate brand might consider their agent’s Business Pages as the local Page. For franchise groups, this is often local store Pages over a single corporate branded Page. In either case, ads that come from local pages tend to be considered more relevant. Whatever the flavor, you want the page you publish through to be as close as you can get to your consumers and where they transact. 

2. Localized Creative 

Creative that is locally aware is also important. This means having both copy and media that references the local area, whether by calling out the location or neighborhood in the copy or even by differentiating media content by region. The more your creative can literally speak to your local audience, the more relevant it will be to them (See: Ad Quality).

3. Hyper-Local Targeting 

Especially when it comes to marketing for local businesses, you want your campaigns to always be reflective of their true sales area. This is another case where vertical is important, as some businesses have naturally large sales areas. The logic is simple; an ad is going to be less relevant to a user if they see travel time as a blocker.

4. Strong, Focused, Calls-to-Action

It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to do too much with your campaigns, wanting to promote multiple products or key selling points, Yet another paramount factor in ad relevance that Facebook also notes is, Estimated Action Rate. – “an estimate of whether a particular person engages with or converts from a particular ad” Put simply, if you focus on a singular campaign goal, which Facebook Objectives by their nature are intended to do., you also want your copy to explicitly direct the user based on the campaign objective, i.e. “book an appointment online”, “click to sign up.” This encourages interested users to take the exact action of your campaign’s objective.

These items may all seem small on their own, but they all come together to produce a more relevant ad. The challenge often comes with adapting to vertical-specific needs, as well as how to juggle so many local elements at once. We have seen in our data that a locality-focused campaign structure can even work at scale and with many different types of businesses. 

Our Data Proves this Time and Again


A CPG client used Tiger Pistol for distributing brand-approved campaigns to hundreds of restaurants and bars worldwide. They saw 60% lower CPMs across the local campaigns compared to their national brand efforts. The secret? More relevant ads. Comparing the national effort, which targeted the same consumer base, vs. the local campaigns, the differences are night and day. The distributed framework of the local campaigns meant the client had more exacting control in only geo-targeting the sales areas where consumers could get to the point of purchase. Additionally, unlike the national campaign, having local campaigns in-market meant that the creative could be region- or even hyper-specific.


A national quick-service restaurant chain was continuously looking for insights and performance advice to improve social advertising campaigns. The client was running multiple brand-level campaigns off of the corporate Facebook Business Page, targeting by DMA across multiple locations. Tiger Pistol ran social advertising via local Facebook Pages, and the results were clear: local store Pages generated better results, with 35% more impressions and 30% lower CPMs than running the same campaigns through the national brand Page. 


A Fortune 500 real estate services company engaged Tiger Pistol looking for a partner to help build a scalable, social advertising workflow solution that enabled their agents to promote their listings with auto-configured, best practice Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Tiger Pistol’s platform gave agents the ability to publish campaigns directly from their own agent-branded Facebook Page. While other real estate marketing platforms support Facebook ads, such ads are usually rudimentary, driving impressions around the listing, with little room for the agent to generate leads. Our platform leverages the most relevant Facebook Ads Objectives to drive the results that matter, increasing agent awareness, increasing agent website traffic, and increasing lead generation, all while significantly decreasing the cost of advertising.

Local Advertising Just Makes Sense

It’s intuitive the more you think about it. Are you more interested in buying a product or service from a brand located across the country (or even a business located across the county?), or would you rather purchase the same product or service from the business down the street? It’s understanding holistically how all the different elements of a Facebook campaign can work together to create locality: it’s targeting, creative, and the very framework that unlocks reliable efficient delivery.

Find this article insightful? Check out Are Facebook CPMs Rising? Depends How Local You Go. 

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. 

Increase Local Food and Product Delivery Orders with Facebook Ads

Online to offline activation has always been a unique challenge for quick serve restaurants (QSR) and consumer product (CPG) brands who want to reach the millions of consumers on social media, but also need to compel them to buy from a brick and mortar location. The recent business challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic have suddenly made the second part of the online to offline funnel quite difficult. Though this does not mean QSR and CPG brands do not have options. 

Recent innovations with app delivery services were already moving in to help middle man the online/offline divide by connecting consumers with delivery contractors to deliver food. With more people staying home, but also still needing to eat, one might expect delivery demand to be on an upward swing in the coming months. So what does local social look like when you can’t rely on driving footfall to a brick and mortar location, but also still need to generate ROI for your multi-location QSRs or CPG clients?

It’s simple really: 

  1. Hyper-targeted local ads for every one of your locations, reaching users in the immediate vicinity within delivery range.

  2. Campaigns are published through the local stores Facebook Page, but direct users to order through the delivery service.

  3. Deliver increased sales for the store location, while also promoting the brand’s products, by driving consumers right to the point of sale. 

 

The strategy, while simple, rests on execution. Reaching consumers with highly-targeted, local ads is not easy to do at scale. But the extra effort pays big performance dividends. By publishing unique campaigns for each location, focused on their unique sales area, and through their local pages, you gain the benefits of locality.

First, you deliver a more relevant ad to the local consumer; they see an ad from a local business profile in their neighborhood. This is important, whether you are working with a chain or independent businesses. You want to be serving an ad to consumers that feels like it’s from their store – their favorite taco shop or their community drugstore, and not some far off product or brand. That familiarity with ads plus the ability for users to jump straight into the ordering experience is a potent combination. It’s an approach the Facebook bidding system likes too, because more relevant ads often cost less to deliver.

At Tiger Pistol, we partnered with a quick service ice cream shop and a delivery service to fulfill local campaigns. Ads were geo-targeted for the delivery partners and restaurants combined sales area. The creative of the ads focused on the individual store and their food offerings, but each ad’s “Order Now” button drove to the delivery partner’s online ordering page for the store. This national-to-local partnership approach resulted in an increase of customers who clicked through to order by more than 620%, increasing sales, and driving desired outcomes for both partners. Being able to deploy robust local ads quickly, with a means to rapidly direct consumers to the point of purchases remotely, is not only a strategy for the challenges of today, but more importantly, a future-proof strategy as more consumers move their buying habits to fully digital.

SMB Resellers and Agencies: How to Make the Most of the Conversions Objective

Whether you’re an agency or an SMB reseller that delivers ads for small businesses, you’ve probably heard about Facebook’s Conversion Marketing Objective. Perhaps you have been wary of trying it out, or maybe you’ve tried it and found yourself navigating the difficult choice of what exact type of conversion to optimize for. In either case, Facebook’s Conversion and Attribution measurement tools have received numerous additions and refinements over the last few years, and the value advertisers derive from these improvements has specifically sparked popularity for the Conversions Campaign Objective, which optimizes the delivery of your Facebook Campaign specifically towards a conversion event, rather than say, a website click or person reached. 

ROI is, of course, the ultimate goal of any advertising effort, so one might naturally ask, “Why would I ever choose an objective that’s not conversion optimized?”, or even “Why would I choose to optimize towards anything but purchase conversions?” It turns out the latter is the more complicated question, but one you can answer when armed with the right information. It all has to do with how Facebook’s ad bidding works, which involves a combination of factors: your advertiser bid, estimated action rates (i.e. how your target audience responds to the ad), and overall ad quality. As Facebook notes, “together, estimated action rates and ad quality measure ad relevance. In fact, we subsidize relevant ads in auctions, so more relevant ads often cost less and see more results.”

Let’s think about what this means in the conversions context, using a simple example of a local golf supply shop with an online store on their website. Naturally, they want to move as much product as possible, and focus their targeting efforts on people interested in golf. So they set up a Conversions Objective Campaign targeting people interested in golf. Let’s set aside for a moment the question of which conversion event they should choose. Instead, let’s first illustrate how optimization works between the Facebook objective and target audience:

Breaking this equation down, first we have our target audience, a combination of the golf store’s sales area and customer base, or simply “people interested in golf.” A lot of people on Facebook are likely interested in golf products, but only some of them probably use, buy, or browse products regularly. This is where Facebook’s optimization comes in to help, as it tries to identify those users in the pool of people “interested in golf products” who are likely to take the chosen action of the Facebook objective. 

In this example, we have chosen the Conversions Objective, so you can think of it as a hierarchy. We want people interested in golf, who are likely to convert. Another way of thinking about it is this results in a smaller pool of users that becomes our “real” or ideal target audience – the “convertors” among those interested in golf. This leads us nicely back to the question of the conversion action to optimize for, as this will modify who Facebook identifies as the most likely to take the conversion action in the “convertors” group. 

Facebook’s own provided guidance on the matter is as follows: “We recommend optimizing for a conversion that occurs at least 100 times per month without running any ads. If your website doesn’t get at least that many conversions without ads, it’s very unlikely that we’ll be able to find enough converters through ads for your ad set to be successful.” Additionally, they also note that purchases are the “rarest type of conversion” Or perhaps, more precisely said, typically the most expensive type of conversion.

In the end, it all boils down to Pixel data and which actions can be tracked on your website through the Pixel. Facebook’s guidance recommends that you should only consider the Conversions Objective if you have a history of 100 Pixel fires on “page view,” “add to cart,” and similar type events. This context helps us in selecting conversion events, but what about the strategic decisions, especially for an SMB who has a more limited advertising budget?

The key is to adapt and learn. For an SMB with website traffic in the low thousands per month, you likely won’t have enough purchase actions tracked on specific products to reliably optimize “purchase” events right of the gate, and you may find that even if you do, it’s still not as cost effective as optimizing toward more common conversion events, like “view content,” “add to cart,” or “add to wishlist.” For example, “add to cart” instead tells Facebook to look for users in the “interested in golf convertors” pool who are showing purchase-intent behavior, as opposed to verifiable conversions, like “purchases.” Remember, there are always going to be less purchasers relative to more common conversion events, unless of course your business’ conversion rate is 100% (wouldn’t that be nice?).

When optimizing towards people showing purchase intent, you are potentially gaining more cost effective targeting, as those users will be easier to reach, because, of course, these are not exacting parameters. Maybe I, for example, viewed a golf product on a big box store’s website and opted not to buy the product after adding it to my cart. Perhaps, I simply forgot to checkout or changed my mind at the last minute. The Facebook Pixel captures this behavior and recognizes me as one of the users showing purchase intent on golf products. Maybe when I see an ad for the SMB golf store, I like the price or the quality better, and opt to purchase from them immediately. The golf store just got a lower cost conversion by optimizing towards purchase intent. 

The possibilities are infinite, but it is important to keep in mind how Facebook’s optimization and objectives work when making these decisions. There is never going to be a “one size fits” all approach when it comes to choosing the right conversion event to optimize for, but through smart data analysis and guided testing, you can make the Conversions Objective work for just about any business with a website with a bit of traffic. 

Learn how Tiger Pistol puts the Conversion Objective to work at scale. Request a Demo Today!

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. 

Are Facebook CPMs Rising? Depends How Local You Go.

The Story of How a Simple Hunch is Transforming Social Advertising

A recent industry news article cited that Facebook’s CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) grew by 122 percent. With our considerable amount of historical campaign data, we couldn’t help but wonder if Tiger Pistol’s Facebook Advertising CPMs were rising at the same rate. 

SPOILER ALERT: They’re Not. Not Even Close.

We don’t like to throw the word “hero” around, but this origin story shows exactly how our simple hunch is transforming social advertising. 

What's Up with WhatsApp Ads

What’s Up With WhatApp Ads?

WhatsApp ads are coming! Well actually, they’re already here, but they are expected to be coming again in 2020, only this time, in-app. It was only just over a year ago, in October of 2018, that Facebook enabled “click to WhatsApp” ads, which allowed marketers to deploy ads that allowed users to click direct into a WhatsApp conversation with a business. These features further evolved into the concept of “WhatsApp Business” – a separate app specifically for business owners using WhatsApp, that launched in April 2019.

Facebook’s development of their WhatsApp advertising offerings has been a slow burn since they acquired the Platform in 2014. Generally speaking, up until recently, WhatsApp was treated more independently of Facebook’s other major acquired property, Instagram. Instagram fully opened to advertisers in 2015, just 3 years after being acquired.

WhatsApp Business includes the ability to set up Business Profiles on WhatsApp as well as more distinct tools for business communication, such as auto-responses, and away messages. These WhatsApp changes are foundational, and a necessary step to fully unlock the advertising potential of the WhatsApp platform, with the expected launch of new ad formats that originate in WhatsApp, rather than taking users to it. It’s clear that Facebook likely has bigger plans for WhatsApp in mind.

Investing in WhatsApp’s advertising functionality is a no-brainer for Facebook, by the numbers, WhatsApp represents one of their largest, most engaged properties:

  • 1 billion WhatsApp accounts are active every day.
  • 1.5 billion WhatsApp accounts are active every month
  • 2 billion minutes of calls every day.
  • 450 million WhatsApp accounts are active on WhatsApp Status every day.

With such a massive user base using the Platform regularly, WhatsApp promises to be the next evolution of Facebook’s social advertising tools. However, though it should be mentioned, there is just one major caveat to the rise of WhatsApp, Facebook’s home market, the United States, doesn’t really use it. Facebook’s answer to this, has been to position Messenger as the go-to messaging option for advertisers in the US. In either case, WhatsApp’s emergence is a sign of the times. Messaging is to become a bigger part of the consumer experience and advertisers will be required to evolve to meet this new challenge, and we have every reason to believe that WhatsApp will be the first battleground.

What opportunity does WhatsApp represent? Better consumer data and experiences namely, in addition to considerable ROI potential for businesses large and small. A few examples from Facebook on early adopters:

PlayKids,  an education Platform for kids, saw a 90% decrease in lapsed subscribers when they started using WhatsApp Business to communicate directly with their customers over phone and email.

Sale Stock, an Indonesian fashion business, took a similar approach and began using WhatsApp Business as their primary communication channel. It quickly became their number one source of inbound chat traffic, with 90% of the messages delivered by Sale Stock read by their customers.

What makes WhatsApp and messaging-based social activations so exciting is their ability to generate both positive customer outcomes in addition to ROI for the business. This is especially true at scale. One additional case study comes from the Dubai-based logistics company Aramex. To date they’ve served over one million customers through WhatsApp Business, and saw a 19% decrease in inbound call volume to their support center since making the transition. What’s more, 41% of all shipment inquiries are now handled through WhatsApp.

One thing these case studies all have in common is they all involve integrating WhatsApp into customer service channels – the advertising elements only surfacing in the very bottom funnel, where messaging is deployed to drive retention and re-purchase. In part, this is not unexpected given that it’s much easier for businesses to communicate with existing customers rather than potential ones through direct messaging. To think that messaging could lead a customer acquisition strategy is a notion fraught with caveat and complication. While it may not ever be the leading strategy for some industries, it can be a compelling strategic element even in cases where proactive conversation is not already embedded in the sales process.

Imagine running an awareness or traffic campaign in WhatsApp, and retargeting people who viewed the ads, watched X% of the video, or viewed a product page with a direct message. Alternatively, immediate follow-ups off the back of WhatsApp ad clicks present another interesting frame, to instigate driving conversions via direct or bot-driven consumer communication. The possibilities are endless, but it can’t happen until Facebook’s tools catch up.

In the last year, Facebook has made the foundational steps for both WhatsApp and Messenger to play a larger role in advertising. The next step is a fuller integration with existing advertising tools by launching WhatsApp Ad formats with direct placement on WhatsApp and lowering the barrier of entry for advertisers.

I suspect 2020 may finally be that year where messaging as a distinct tactic, rather than an afterthought, within the Facebook marketing funnel will be fully realized. And soon our notion of a “social media campaign” might just change a bit to not only include targeting consumers on social media, but talking to them as well. Who knows, you may even find yourself reporting on “Conversations Started” in between discussing impressions and CPCs.

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.

After earning his Masters in Mass Communications in 2015, Chris Mayer worked at Facebook prior to joining Tiger Pistol as a Project Manager. He specializes in helping digital agencies and national brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation. Outside the office, he enjoys, basketball, Formula One, and sharing opinions on film and television.

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The holiday season has arrived which means a deluge of mega sales, cyber deals, and the like. For small and large retailers, this time of year is often a boon to their bottom line, as everyone gets out to shop. And while everyone has read a headline (or two, or three…) about the “death of retail” with the advent of online shopping, in actuality, retail sales are expected to grow during the holiday period this year. The National Retail Federation forecasts a sales increase of 3.8% and 4.2% for retailers in the November-December period. Additionally noting that that despite what you might expect, retail sales have actually averaged 3.7% annual increase for the past five years.

The heightened emphasis on shopping is also a boon for advertisers, of course, as brands flood all of our social feeds and airwaves with hot deals. Not to mention the ever present cadre of e-commerce offerings also trying to break through. In fact, spending on digital ads is also expected to increase as more advertisers shift their efforts to social media advertising over television and print. Naturally, much of this social media spending will go to Facebook. It can seem especially difficult, especially for SMB retailers, to break through the noise. But there is hope, if you know how to game the system, to be able to maximize the impact of your Facebook ads. There is this concept of the “Q5” which references the ~15 day period during just before and after the holidays where the lead time on ground shipping makes shopping online difficult. You’ll hear differing definitions on the exact time frame, and there is a regional element too, as not everyone lives within 1 or 2 day shipping distances. 

Q5 is of particular import for retailers, but it is also an important consideration for advertisers. For smaller retailers looking to maximize their impact, this period represents an incredible opportunity to get noticed. Larger CPG brands, even if working a more long tail holiday advertising strategy, can also seize on this moment to further enrich their campaign strategy. Think about what “Q5” means; if you’re a retailer, you’re the only game in town in a lot of regions, due to shipping constraints. Secondly, with all the traditional emphasis on pre-holiday shopping, it is easy to discount post-holiday shopping, where many consumers are still off work and now also equipped with gift cards and gift receipt returns. Advertisers should not leave this potential revenue for their retail clients on the table. The third advantage of the Q5 period is that pre-holiday campaigns will also have ended, presenting the potential for lower rates on digital ads. 

Think about the strategic possibilities Q5 brings for awareness or reach campaigns in the few days leading up to the holidays to catch any procrastinators who need last minute gifts as they shop for others. Then subsequent campaigns in the week leading up and through the new year to capture folks who now have extra time and gift money to shop for themselves. Getting local is key to this strategy, even if you are servicing a larger CPG brand who sells through big box retailers. You will need ads that are locally relevant to get noticed and ensure you reach consumers within reasonable travel distance to shop in-store. 

Last year, Tiger Pistol ran holiday campaigns that covered the Q5 period for a beverage brand to drive consumers to the nearest retailer or restaurant to enjoy their products. Our technology produced thousands of local ads, each individualized to the brick and mortar location, powered by the brand’s creative resources. Consumers who were near a particular location would see ads pointing them to the nearest stores. Not only did our CPM’s beat national averages, which made the brand happy, but it was also a win for the locations too, who were happy at the potential of increased foot traffic during a period where their traditional advertising efforts had slowed.

Whether it’s through coordination between global brands and their independent retailers, or concentrated effort between a global CPG brand and big box retailer, the benefits of strategizing to the Q5 period are there for the taking. It’s just a matter of leveraging the right tools to ensure you can get in front of consumers where they are already spending most of their time (i.e. their Facebook and Instagram feeds) and serve them relevant creative. Most importantly, these local ads must represent the path of least resistance between the consumer and the on-site purchase. You can do this through the use of hyper local geo-targeting with integrated geo-navigation to the nearest location. Even better, you can also  further incentivize them with easily redeemable offers and specials from their mobile devices. So while we all want to start planning execution strategies for the new year, don’t sleep on the end of the year, as you might miss the chance to impress your retail clients and the opportunity to start 2020 off with a major win for both you and them. 

Ready to simplify social advertising, and enable local activation at global scale? Contact Tiger Pistol today.