moontoast1Social advertising will continue its strong momentum as innovations in the field are poised to double annual revenues from $4.6 billion in 2012 to $9.2 billion by 2016, states independent market research firm BIA/ Kelsey. Despite the enormous potential of social advertising, there is still surprisingly little guidance for marketers and agencies on how to best harness it.

Moontoast‘s eBook "The Ultimate Guide to Social Rich Media Advertising" attempts to provide a framework – for how to approach social advertising and how to get the most out of its execution accounting for all screens, with a particular focus on mobile. We found this eBook useful, so we‘ve summarized it for our readers.

Social Rich Media is an advertising unit embedded within the News Feed that allows for instant consumer interaction within the ad unit itself. As consumers today turn to their friends and family on social sites such as Facebook to help them search and buy products, they open up unprecedented opportunities for brands to build loyalty and tap into the consumer social graph, expanding company reach beyond their own fan base. Since Facebook introduced Facebook Offers back in September of 2012, 42 million users have claimed offers, they automatically posting them to their News Feed. Of offers claimed, 75% come from friend-to-friend sharing.

Of Facebook’s one billion users, 680 million currently access the platform from a mobile device and these numbers will grow. The true value of social + mobile advertising lies in its inherent two-way dynamic, empowering brands to entice consumers to first discover and interact with their content and offers, and then share that content with their social graph.

By offering immersive user experiences on their own ground – within the Facebook News Feed – brands can monetize their communities on social platforms such as Facebook through Social Activation, which entails building promotions, contests, games, offers and deepening engagement and conversion.

The Key to Social Ad Success: Mapping the Consumer Purchase Journey

The key to taking advantage of the Social Rich Media advertising opportunity lies in understanding, addressing and measuring the various stages of the new social consumer purchasing journey, which is dynamic, iterative, social and mobile.

Understanding how to reach and influence Facebook users is key to any successful marketing and promotional initiative, thus, take a look at Moontoast‘s framework that provides a roadmap to social advertising and marketing success:

Step 1: Discovery

As the first step in the social consumer’s journey, “discovery” draws your casual fans in for increased brand awareness. To get the attention of casual fans, create and offer interactive, transactional rich media units directly within the social experience, such as live broadcasts within the Facebook News Feed, level-zero games such as memory and scratch games or collective unlocks of group discounts. Remember, success relies on creating value for them, not pushing content at them!

Step 2: Interaction

Interaction represents the next stage of the consumer journey, whereby your brand elicits engagement with your posts beyond just consumption of that content. The Interaction phase creates a deeper connection with the customer, further educating them and bringing your brand into consideration. Consider the following interactive rich media units directly within the fan social experience: product configurators that let your fans choose their own color, size or model; product comparison tools that allow fans to compare new products side-by-side with products they already know; or interactive quizzes that offer a fun experience for the fans while letting brands get to know their users better.

Step 3: Transaction

When social consumers are ready to purchase, Social Rich Media advertising is the way to reach them at the right moment, with the right offer and a seamless purchase option. A consumer packaged goods brand, for instance, can launch a beauty product line and target specific Facebook users, letting them click on the deal and buy directly within their News Feed. Use embedded Social Stores to provide your Fans with catchy offers and specials in the News Feed. Add a great price to it and instigate an impulse buy within the News Feed itself.

Step 4: Endorsement

Last but not least, Social Rich Media ad units empower fan endorsement and sharing – making your brand content, offers and promotions available to the friends of your fans. Since the average Facebook fan has about 250 friends, they have the power to amplify your content well beyond your own fan count. And those who do – the Fans who readily share your brand content with their social graph - expect to be rewarded. By harnessing the power of Social Rich Media, brands can influence their fans to endorse and advocate. In this stage, consider creating immersive Social Loyalty Clubs that reward fans with perks, specials, discounts or digital gifts and rewards.

Social Ad Targeting

Highly contextual, precisely targeted content represents one major benefit of social advertising. Using the Facebook Ad Exchange, marketers can retarget users on Facebook, delivering ads only

to consumers who recently visited or engaged with a brand’s content or web page, and even target users who have completed certain actions. For example, advertisers could retarget consumers who visited their website, and added items to their cart, but failed to check out – similar to how retargeting on non-social websites works.

Social Ad Metrics

Social Rich Media analytics can provide the much-needed data on the types of offer, copy and creative, as well as the posting times necessary to propel a campaign from somewhat interesting to a solid social ROI success. Such analytics need to work cross-channel, pulling real-time data from desktop and mobile users, to equip brands and agencies to maximize their social advertising ROI.

You should be tracking the following key social ad metrics to gain the full picture of your social and mobile consumer along the purchase journey: Audience Insights, like growth and lift, Social Content Effectiveness, like reach and impact, Social Commerce Data, like commerce offers and order spheres, and Social Amplification, e.g. social endorsement.

Social Rich Media advertising, directly within the Facebook News Feed, is where digital advertising is heading, as it is the future of meaningful “pull” advertising that will send “push” banner-based ads into obscurity in the very near future. Successful Social Rich Media advertisers will not only use the granular targeting options offered by Facebook and a growing ecosystem of media management platforms, but the integrated cross-channel analytics as well  to gain the needed critical audience and content insights in real time to achieve undisputed social advertising ROI.

The opportunity is great and the time is now!

By MediaBUZZ