The Scoop on Facebook’s Free Service Aimed to Help Businesses Suffering From COVID-19

The Scoop on Facebook’s Free Service Aimed to Help Businesses Suffering From COVID-19

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 at 2:51 pm    

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As states slowly begin to open, local businesses are still faced with many obstacles to overcome. After being closed due to shelter in place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are scrambling to get back into the good graces of shoppers with real questions at the back of their minds:
Will my customers come back? How do I sell my inventory when customers aren’t coming to my business?

How do I recover from this?

Needless to say, it can be a nerve-wracking time for any business owner worried about what the future has in store for them, and while not every business has the ability to open to full capacity and operation today, they now have a glimmer of hope in how to sell their product, and this very familiar hope is someplace where consumers spend a lot of their time: Facebook and Instagram.

Digital relief is on the way, courtesy of the biggest of the social media giants. Facebook is launching a new eCommerce service called Facebook Shops that will help turn local business profiles into digital storefronts. You will finally be able to get your products in front of consumers even if you haven’t had the chance to open your store yet, and today, we are going to tell you how.

Source: Plunge in Retail Sales as COVID-19 Spreads

But First, A Little Context to Facebook’s Decision

Facebook, along with the Small Business Roundtable, recently reported that a third of small businesses across the country have stopped operating altogether, signifying how the pandemic has been especially hard for small companies. The survey also reported that an additional 11 percent of those surveyed expressed that their business could go under within the next three months if the pandemic continues.

Despite this terrible news, the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders have resulted in record sales for eCommerce companies, prompting many companies to make the move to become digital entities. As more and more consumers shift to buy products and services online, it would be imperative that your company also follow suit if it hasn’t done so already.

Facebook understands this and believes that helping local small businesses remain relevant online will help them stay afloat. There are currently more than 160 million small businesses using the company’s apps, and if you’re not utilizing Facebook as a way to sell your products, you’re missing out on many potential sales.

Introducing Facebook Shops

The Facebook Shops tool is designed to help small businesses set up shop on the site and sell products across their apps, even Instagram. On Facebook, if a customer visits your shop, they will be able to see your business story, your featured products, and buy those products in their apps.

Facebook Shops will team up with big-name eCommerce entities like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics, with the objective to turn the new platform into a top-tier shopping destination that provides a welcomed relief to business owners that suffer from the concerns that current small businesses are now facing during the pandemic: low sales and few customers.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that they decided to do this as a means to help small businesses stay relevant amidst so much turmoil because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “As people are being told to stay home, physical storefronts are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs,” Zuckerberg said. “I’ve been personally working with our teams on Facebook Shops every day for the last couple of months so we could accelerate launching it to small businesses who could use tools like this now.”

With Facebook and Instagram expanding their eCommerce services, this platform will be a godsend to small businesses that are aiming to rebuild as the pandemic continues to shape the way we live our lives. By opting in to this free service, even if stores or restaurants have yet to open up completely, customers will still be able to order products online where they can later be shipped, and many small businesses that have never moved their product online will have easy access to do so for the first time.

So just how exactly does it work?

Facebook Shops will have an organic theme built for speed, utilizing an available network of tools that manage the customers’ shopping experience from beginning to end while empowering business owners to decide what level of integration they choose.

“On top of that, we’re building a bunch of features across our apps to help people discover things from small businesses that they might want to buy,” Zuckerberg stated. “We’re building a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram and a destination inside Explore where you can find and buy products you might be interested in. Soon, we’ll also be launching new live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on live in real-time.”

Looking Into the Future  

While Facebook Shops will use artificial intelligence to improve consumers’ experience, eventually augmented reality technology will enhance how users will shop on the platform. In addition, Facebook will automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can easily click through to purchase when they find things they like.

“Small businesses will also be able to personalize their storefronts to first show products that are most relevant to you and use augmented reality to let you virtually try on things like sunglasses, lipstick or makeup to see how they might look on you before buying, or what furniture might look like in your room,” Zuckerberg said in his post.

Couple this daring move with Google offering free product listings in search results as a digital commerce lifeline for both merchants and consumers and you’ve got something that shows a trend in how big tech companies will be stepping up to help small businesses stay relevant. Now, two of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world are connecting your website and products online to help you reach consumers.

What does this all mean? In the big picture, both Facebook and Google are realizing that more customers will continue to not only spend more time online but also do more shopping there as well. 

If harnessed correctly, your small business will have effective tools to help you serve your customers moving forward while attracting new customers as well. If you haven’t done so already, you can start building your online presence across Facebook and Instagram and use their Messenger and WhatsApp tools to communicate with your customers regarding specific business changes due to the pandemic or any particular sales that may be available.

Using Google in conjunction will only enhance what you’re doing on the Facebook end. You’ll now have the ability to reach new customers through ads on social media and best of all, set up an online store experience even if your physical storefront is still closed. These tools are currently open for business and will help you position your company as more and more customers get used to the notion of shopping online.

This graph created by SEMrush details several retailers’ traffic spikes during the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: semrush.com

Opting Into the Service

Facebook Shops can be accessed on the business side of your Facebook and Instagram profiles. Signing up for the service is simple and quick, and it allows you to capture the essence of your brand, down to the color optimization, cover image, and what products you want to feature.

What is important, however, is that you have a Facebook and/or Instagram account for your business in place, as customers can access your shop via your business page or profile. Customers can also find you via your Facebook Stories and any ads that you may be running as well.

Once your page is all optimized as you see fit, customers can peruse through your entire selection, choose what they want to purchase or save it for later, and order it straight from the Facebook or Instagram Shops page–if your business has enabled checkout in the United States–or be routed to your website to make a purchase there.

If your customer has a certain question regarding one of your wares, they can use Facebook Shops to reach you via WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct for support. Later on, a customer can use these services to make a purchase directly from you.

Make the Most Out of These Uncertain Times

Nothing is more important nowadays than helping out your fellow neighbor, and at Cobalt Digital Marketing, all we want is to just pay it forward to a community that has helped us become the marketing agency that we are today.

When times are hard, good deeds don’t go by unnoticed, and the fact that these tech giants are using their power and resources to help give small businesses a chance at surviving through these unprecedented times is something that we are grateful for.

However, staying up to date with SEO and Google ranking can be a full-time job on its own, so aligning yourself with a digital marketing company that has proven knowledge in converting leads into sales could help take this burden off of your shoulders.

The Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ can help maximize your business’ online presence via Facebook, Instagram, Google’s SERP, and Google My Business.

 

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Source: cnbc.com, Semrush.com

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Facebook’s New Video Creation Tools Are Just in Time for the Holiday Season

Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2018 at 7:45 pm    

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At Cobalt Digital Marketing, there are three things that we wholeheartedly believe:

  1. SEO is ever-changing and businesses need to change their digital marketing strategies as needed to succeed.
  2. Creating video ads for social media marketing isn’t easy.
  3. The ending of Inception wasn’t a dream.

While we’re still debating Inception, Facebook is challenging our second belief with their new video creation tools that rolled out recently. These interesting new tools are geared towards making mobile-first video ads a more streamlined process.

The Skinny On Facebook’s New Video Creation Tools

Facebook had been teasing for a while that they had plans to roll out some new video creation tools. Those tools made their debut to eager advertisers this July. What could possibly encourage Facebook to provide such helpful tools, despite all the recent changes the company has implemented?

We’ll give you a hint: it’s two words and 11 letters.

Mobile-first!

Over the past few years—and especially throughout 2018—recommendations from all the heavy hitters in the SEO industry are hammering this one point home: Optimize your website and digital marketing plan for mobile devices!

It comes as no surprise that mobile shopping and searches are quickly becoming popular, and many experts agree that if you aren’t optimizing your digital marketing plan to cater to these new types of visitors, you’re essentially throwing a lot of money away.

These new tools have, thankfully, been rolled out right before the holiday shopping season which starts…now. Nearly 50% of consumers are going to start their holiday shopping before October even kicks in and these tools can be used to capture the market’s attention, especially those on mobile.

Get visual. Inspire. Get customers to your e-commerce site or brick-and-mortar shop.

So What Kind of Tools Are We Talking About Here?

Here is what you can expect when working with these new tools:

The Video Creation Kit

This kit helps advertisers create mobile-optimized video ads with existing images and text. This grants the advertiser the ability to create these videos framed at a 1:1 for feeds and 9:16 for stories published on Facebook and Instagram.

This kit also includes four different types of templates under its Publishing Tools that can found in a business or brand’s Facebook Page. They can be used to:

  • Promote and/or sell a product—or multiple products—during an allotted 6 seconds.
  • Feature product benefits during an allotted 15 seconds.
  • Encourage product discovery during an allotted 15 seconds.

The Video Cropping Tool

As the name would suggest, this tool helps advertisers crop videos to align with Facebook’s recommended aspect ratios such as:

  • 1:1 and 4:5 for feed
  • 16:9 for in-stream
  • 9:16 for stories

The Animate Option

This option helps advertisers create a video from a still image automatically. This option shines when making a static, or unchanging, ad or company logos. The animate option is accessible in the same location where you would normally boost your posts. Advertisers can use the automated version or customize another one if they would like.

What Kind of Impact Will These Tools Have?

According to a blog post published by Facebook, it was found that “mobile-first creative has a 27 percent higher likelihood of driving brand lift and 23 percent higher likelihood of driving message association compared to video ads that are not optimized for mobile.”

To add a little context to the above statement, according to Google, brand lift is a “measurement of the direct impact your YouTube ads are having on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey.” While we are talking about Facebook and not YouTube here, the notion is still the same.

Brand lift gives you better insight into how your video ad content is impacting meaningful metrics—like watch time, views, likes, shares, and comments—and other key areas like brand awareness, brand interest, purchase intent, and favorability to name a few. With these metrics provided in near-real time, making adjustments to improve your video ad is made easier.

In short, Facebook’s new video creation tools can help you become more recognizable to potential customers that use mobile devices while giving you insight on what works and what doesn’t in near-real time.

With these new tools at our disposal, your expert digital marketing catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing can help you make this holiday season one for the books.

There is no doubt that these new tools can help you initiate a better social media campaign through Facebook, but advertising on social media isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of practice. You need to be able to keep up with industry news and changes, and you need to be able to adapt. What works one day may not work the next, and that can be overwhelming to keep up with, especially when you are running your own business.

Luckily, our job is to ensure that your business’ earning potential is maximized through the power of digital marketing. And no one does that better than the catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Facebook Is Making Changes, But Reddit Is Stepping In to Help Marketers

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 at 7:24 pm    

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Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away.

Facebook is attempting to steer their Timeline feature back to focus on family and friends; the cornerstone of what first made Facebook so popular. That means that companies that have been advertising on the platform for years may now start feeling the heat – and we don’t mean in a Texas summer kind of way.

Of course, your expert catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing are preparing for the change and have a few ideas on how to cover lost ground.

What’s Up With Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg posted an announcement a few months back on the changes they were intending to make…and the reviews were mixed.

Essentially, the social media giant is looking to eventually decrease the visibility that businesses, brands, and media have on our timelines. This is great news for users interested in their personal relationships but a bit of bad news for those of us marketing on Facebook looking to introduce interesting products and services to potential clients.

In essence, it’s going to make marketing on Facebook a little harder than it already is.

Of course, you’ve got to think on your feet to survive this digital Darwinism age. Lucky for us, there may just be another way.

[bctt tweet=”92% of #Reddit users made an #online #purchase within the last 6 months #CobaltDigitalMarketing” username=””]

Enter Reddit: The Front Page of the Internet

Reddit is expected to pick up where Facebook is leaving off. Almost a year ago, Reddit decided to give their desktop website a much-needed facelift, something Reddit hadn’t done since its conception 10 years ago.

The focus was to make the site more navigable for new and veteran visitors alike. This advantage, however, is making it easier for businesses to reach out and engage with their customers. How?

Through Reddit Profile Pages. Recently, Reddit changed up how businesses can create content without committing the cardinal sin of spamming the Reddit community with sales or offers.

With Profile Pages, businesses now have the opportunity to create a brand page where they can post their own content to, grow a following, and achieve goals similar to what could be done on Facebook.

At the same time, people who follow you have the ability to view your profile, the content you post, and the comments you’ve posted to other theme-based categories, a.k.a. subreddits. The good thing is, your content—if it gets popular enough through upvoting—can make it to the coveted front page of Reddit, the perfect place to get plenty of brand exposure.

This is a less intrusive way to get your brand out there, helping you build up a community that is interested in your product. A good example to emulate when it comes to building a profile would be with Nintendo’s Reddit Profile Page.

How to Safely Gain Exposure

Upvoting is important to you gaining more exposure, and in order to earn them, you have to provide top-quality content that abides by the rules of Reddit and its subreddits while meeting the community’s expectations. One of the best ways that marketing agencies do this is through the subreddit “Ask Me Anything,” also known as an “AMA”.

In an AMA, you are opening yourself to any kind of question that can come from pretty much anybody. Within an AMA, don’t be surprised that someone digs really deep to ask you a question in an effort to stump your brand. Honesty and accountability are the best plan of action when it comes to AMAs. The last thing you would want to have happen would be like the Woody Harrelson/“Rampart” incident.

The hard lesson Harrelson probably learned that day was that valuable content and plenty of time to answer users’ questions go a long way in Reddit. In fact, it has turned many a user into the “go-to” person when a certain topic comes up.

User Unidan was pretty much a household name when it came to anything biology, and he would pop up in random biology threads from time to time to answer any inquiries. He was known as the “excited biologist,” as he enthusiastically answered these questions with illuminating answers. That is, until it was discovered that he was gaming the upvoting system and was quickly, and permanently, exiled from the Reddit limelight.

In Reddit, once you have broken the community’s trust, you’re pretty much done. If you do decide to host an AMA, do an AMAA instead (Ask Me Almost Anything). There, you have a little more leeway to avoid answering questions that may seem personal or off the marketing course that you would like to take. Granted, you may have a smaller audience with an AMAA, however.

[bctt tweet=”The US provides 62% of #Reddit traffic. #CobaltDigitalMarketing” username=””]

The Benefits of Using Reddit

The majority of users — over 78 percent — have a college education and many of them are privy to pushing through marketing rhetoric. That’s why in order to truly succeed with Reddit, you have to become a Reddit user, not just a brand on a social media website.

That means engaging with the community as you would with other human beings outside of your business—of course, with proper decorum, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

Over the years, Reddit seems to be more accommodating to businesses as:

  • They have relaxed their 10 percent rule. – This rule would only allow self-promotion from your own website to about 10 percent of your posts. It has since been relaxed, allowing for a little more website showcasing, so long as quality is the main focus.
  • Submission time has been reduced. – When you submit a post on Reddit, it is sent to a moderator that okays it for public view. Now, around 90 percent of content that is posted is streamlined through without moderator intervention, unless you break Reddit trust and a moderator has to remove your post.
  • Brands are more acceptable now. – Brands are encouraged to have meaningful dialogue and interactions with Redditors. Remember, Reddit isn’t against marketing, so long as you don’t break their trust. Be informative, be enthusiastic, and be professional.
  • The new peer to peer chat gives you more interaction with your customers. – Reddit is now more interested in creating a social aspect and functionality to help foster direct engagements – something marketers should love.
  • The new profile pages give brands the flexibility needed. The profile pages won’t change a user’s interaction with the website. Profile pages allow businesses to create their own content under their own rules, not under some obscure subreddit rules.

In essence, Reddit is making a change to help brands fill the social media marketing void that other platforms are either missing—or ditching—while not making much of an impact to the everyday user’s experience.

That’s a win-win for everyone.

Let Cobalt Digital Marketing help you stay up-to-date on all the latest changes in the digital marketing world.

Let’s face it. The other social media giants are beginning to lose a lot of traffic, but Reddit is growing and has been for over 10 years. And in order for your business to survive the ever-changing world of digital marketing, you’re gonna need a digital marketing agency that can roll with the punches.

You need a digital marketing agency that relentlessly researches digital marketing trends so that your website will reap the benefits. You need Cobalt Digital Marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Hasta Luego Facebook’s Partner Categories Feature!

Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 4:36 pm    

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A lot of changes have been happening over at the ol’ Facebook HQ because of recent scandals and regulations.

One of those developments recently announced is that Facebook will be ending a feature called Partner Categories in order to effectively remove third-party targeting data.

All this is being done in an effort to win back its users’ trust.

What exactly is this changing?

In short, advertisers could previously request access to “private audiences” from vendors like Oracle Data Cloud (Datalogix), Epsilon, Experian, and Acxiom through Facebook. Now, however, Facebook will be permanently removing public and private third-party targeting capabilities.

Keep in mind, however, that this change doesn’t affect the use of Facebook’s or brands’ own user data.

Why is Facebook making this change?

As you already know, Facebook is taking some heat from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and a couple of weeks back, the company announced that some new limits were going to be placed in apps that can access user data.

As you may also be aware of, the second reason why Facebook will be implementing this change is because of the General Data Protection Regulation that is set to take effect on May 25, 2018, in the European Union.

The broad regulation is an effort to give control of the people’s data back to the people while requiring companies to ask explicitly for permission to collect and share that data.

“How’s that going to affect us here in the US?”

Well, American companies that also process data from EU citizens will have to comply to the regulation, regardless if the individual lives within the US or not. Companies that violate this regulation can look to paying a fine of up to 4 percent of their global revenue.

This decision is kind of a big deal, even outside of the EU, and it will certainly change the way digital marketers are able to use third-party data. Multinational companies will have to decide to either set processes and procedures to meet compliance with the regulation, block EU users altogether—something that is unlikely to happen—or pay a staggering fine.

[bctt tweet=”About ½ of Facebook’s 1200 targeting criteria come from third-party data sources. ” username=””]

What does this mean for digital marketers?

As per Facebook, the company believes that their own user data or brands’ own user data should be sufficient and strong enough that advertisers will stick around.

For many, it’s a no-brainer that Facebook would react this way, especially because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Many marketers are optimistic, if not cautious. Advertisers that don’t have much data on their users, however, may be the most impacted.

Other categories that are likely to be affected would be entertainment marketers—think Netflix—as they usually utilize third-party data to market new promotions.

All in all, clients may now make the most out of their first-party data or build more resources to gather it.

How can you prepare?

If you relied heavily on Facebook’s third-party data, there is still hope. Consider these three areas when developing your next plan of action.

  1. Get that first-party data. Custom audiences are not affected by this change, so you can still upload your own customer data into Facebook to use in ad campaigns. Consider using anything from your Customer Relationship Management system, loyalty programs, your website, or mobile apps. In a pinch, if you don’t have enough first-party data, you can use Facebook’s audience selection tools to target the right people to purchase your products by using the basics: age, location, and interests.
  2. Construct Lookalike Audiences that match your best customers. If you happen to collect all data about your customers, Lookalike modeling can be a godsend. It uses trends that it finds in your customer data to identify like-minded audience segments. Doing this means you can reach new customers that have the same buying trends as your established customers.
  3. Build targeting groups based on the products or web pages people are visiting on your website. Think outside of the box and harness data from viewed products, abandoned carts, and/or wishlists of potential clients. You can then use this data to create personalized ads that will be more relevant to your targeted demographic.

Facebook’s Partner Categories may be leaving but all is not lost. It may take a little bit of thinking outside of the box but that’s something we here at Cobalt Digital Marketing do best.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Four Powerful Facebook Features That Will Bring All the Customers to the Yard

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 4:21 pm    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]So you want to expand your business’ visibility? Well, it can be a little difficult if you don’t know where to begin. Luckily, you have us, your friendly neighborhood digital marketing team. We’re ready to show you the ropes on how to succeed where others failed because they don’t get the guidance they needed.

One of our areas of expertise is Facebook ads and marketing. The way that Facebook targets potential customers for registered businesses is rather brilliant but still packaged in an easy to use interface. Check it out!

How does Facebook work?

Facebook is a large platform, catering to 2.13 billion active users per month. These astronomical numbers mean that there is plenty of opportunities for businesses to reach new demographics. But in order to get some of this action, you need to do a little Facebook marketing homework.

[bctt tweet=”#Facebook has 2.13 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2017 #Facts #DigitalMarketing” username=””]

Facebook includes an amalgam of many helpful tools that can get you to much greener business pastures. In essence, they use what you know about your customers to find more customers. Things like demographics, interests, or even buying behaviors can clue Facebook into the kind of customers that you attract. Utilizing their tools, you can search their user base for more people that fit the same criteria.

Cool, isn’t it?

That is a very simplistic explanation for a very complex process, but in general, there are four options that you can choose from Facebook’s audience selection tools to target the right people for your business.

1. Facebook Audience Insights

This feature provides insight into your target audience. Using this tool, you’ll be able to gather a plethora of attributes and information about your customers like interests, behaviors, relationship statuses, and more – the whole nine yards indeed.

While it may seem a little “Big Brotherish,” Audience Insights was created with privacy in mind. All of this information was collected by people that already had expressed interest in a product or service on Facebook or through trusted third-party partners.

In short, Facebook only knows groups of people that like a product or service, not the individual within that group. That means that while marketers can see insights, individual anonymity remains intact.

2. Core Audience

This feature gets down to the nitty-gritty of who your customers are by allowing you to select and specify them based on certain characteristics like age and/or location. For instance, if you are a produce vendor selling locally, you can market your product on Facebook by specifying your location to market, making you visible to more locals.

With Core Audience, you get to specify:

  • Demographic – Where you can find people that match a certain trait that you specify like age, gender, language, education, job title, and even relationship status.
  • Location – Here you can reach people that are within a certain proximity to your business. You can even create a radius around your store, helping to create more walk-ins.
  • Interests – You can search for customers based on what they’re in to, including hobbies, the type of entertainment that they prefer, Facebook likes, apps they use, and more.
  • Behaviors – You can even search for customers that have certain buying behaviors, device activities, events they like, personal anniversaries, or other activities.

With a little software savvy, taking advantage of these key features can bump up your bottom line significantly.

3. Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences can be constructed from information that you already have regarding your customers. By simply uploading your contact list, you can unlock a powerful capability. The custom audiences feature can help you pinpoint existing contacts that have shown interest in your business on Facebook.

By targeting people that you are already familiar with and connected to on Facebook, you are strengthening your relationship with them. As an added benefit, they can leave a positive review of your services – and believe us – that’s a good thing. But even a less than pleasant review can be used as a learning tool for how you can improve your customer service or product.

Ultimately, fostering these relationships can drive up sales, and that is ALWAYS a good thing! In order to maximize the effectiveness of this feature, you should refer to:

  • Loyal Customers: Reach out to — or friend — your current consumer base and potential prospects from your contact list on Facebook by drawing information like a phone number or email from your customer relationship management (CRM) systems to find them and close a sale.
  • Site Visitors: In short, people who visit your website are potential customers, and using Facebook Pixel—a small piece of code easily installed on your website—can aid you in creating a Custom Audience of people that have visited your website. You can then use the traffic data to show ads to previous visitors who had shown an interest in your service/product(s) before.
  • Mobile Users: Facebook SDK—another bit of code that you can easily install on your app—helps you create a Custom Audience from people that use your app, where you can encourage them to return to a product or service that they expressed an interest in purchasing.

These neat features give you that edge you need to follow up and close that sale, putting more money into your pocket.

[bctt tweet=”#Facebook features like Custom Audiences can be helpful to close those #sales. #CobaltDigitalMarketing ” username=””]

4. Lookalike Audiences

While it won’t help you find a clone of your ex, Lookalike Audience can help you find people on Facebook who share the same traits as your customers or contacts. This powerful feature uses the data and insights that you have collected from your marketing on Facebook to increase your chances of reaching others that may be interested in your business.

The neat thing about Lookalike Audience is you can use an already built customer audience to build a lookalike audience; all of the information that you’ve gathered in your CRM systems, traffic data from your websites, contact lists – you name it.

Social media can be complex, but it remains one the essential tools for any business in today’s tech-driven world. Get the digital marketing expertise of Cobalt Digital Marketing to help you step up your game!

Cobalt Digital Marketing has been helping businesses conquer online and in-store sales and we won’t stop until you have reaped the benefits of our hard work.

Let’s work together to create the perfect Cobalt Formula™ for your business. The return you will get back will be well worth it.
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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Don’t Feed Into the Hype: What Facebook’s Latest Changes Mean For You

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 12:40 am    

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Facebook has (un)done it again. They’ve changed their algorithm for the…better. That’s at least according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Speaking about FacebookZero, which brings a significant change to Facebook’s News Feed, Zuckerberg stated, “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but good for people.” This big-hearted approach will reprioritize the News Feed to emphasize posts, videos, and photos from friends and family. This means content from publishers and brands will take a back seat to “meaningful interactions between people”, as per the CEO.

This change comes on the heels of Facebook working with a number of researchers to uncover the effects of what is known as “passive content” (i.e. videos and articles that don’t encourage community engagement). Internal and external research concluded that the original intent of bringing friends and family together had been overtaken by posts from brands and media companies – essentially having a negative effect on users’ emotional well being.

And so Zuckerberg and his team want to change that.

Naturally, this leaves businesses and brands somewhat out in the cold. As one of the world’s largest digital content distributors, anything that affects the digital marketing world is going to affect businesses. While there are a lot of potential consequences that can occur as a result of this change, it’s still a bit early in the game to see exactly where all the chips are going to fall.

But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning for the road ahead. For starters, your digital marketing team (or personnel) need to have a keen eye for the movements occurring within the industry. Staying current with trends and changes to social media platforms (like Facebook’s other new change, Facebook Local) are absolutely vital to staying ahead of the curve.

Or you can always get help from the digital marketing extraordinaires at Cobalt Digital Marketing. We do not believe this is the end of the digital marketing world but rather a new, exciting phase that will bring about plenty of opportunities for companies to truly build better relationships with their audience. Here at Cobalt Digital Marketing our experience and intuition (and tons of meaningful data) tell us that:

    1. Meaningful interactions and content are still kings.

This has always been a top priority for us here at Cobalt Digital Marketing; creating meaningful content that our audience can engage with in a positive manner. Spammy, clickbait-types of posts have never been our forte, and now it appears that our desire to provide quality over quantity will better serve our clients than ever before.

The importance of actual engagement with content (i.e. comments and discussion) is definitely going to grow in the upcoming months and years to come. That’s why your business will need to meaningfully cultivate a community on Facebook rather than just post product after product. You’ll want Comments, Likes and Shares, not just clicks.

    1. Influencer Marketing is going to be important.

This may be a bit more challenging to parlay, but with the proper data and tools at your disposal, you can align your brand with an ideal consumer base and work with a niche influencer to help you meet your brand objective.

Because of the algorithm changes that will be rolling out, Influencers won’t be as affected as media outlets and businesses. Their value is going to increase while marketers and businesses figure out the shifting landscaping.

Frankly, this is the direction we, as marketers, need to be moving in anyway. Generation Z has been raised in the digital era. They idolize social media famous teens from Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, and Musical.ly. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, influencer marketing provides 11x ROI!

Take the first step by identifying potential digital influencers that your customers would identify with. Begin to engage online or reach out to them for quotes to include in your content.

[bctt tweet=”By 2020, GenZ will account for 40% of all consumers. @fastcompany #influencermarketing ” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Your Facebook Page is still vital.

Consumers expect you to have a strong digital presence including a Facebook page. They will look up your business to find out more or to get in touch when the need arises. Followers will still have the option to see your posts if they select you to “See First” in their News Feed preferences. This will require you to be upfront and ask customers and Facebook followers to do so. While you’re at it, you should also request they review your business, which will also benefit you on the Facebook Local app.

Just make sure to offer an incentive to really get them motivated to follow you. Continue to provide content that they will want to see. Become a valued source of information for your industry. Contests, discounts and special deals also generate excitement.

    1. Be wary of “engagement bait”.

Engagement is going to be vital to keep you in front of your audience, but the flip side of that coin is that you’ll really need to avoid spammy posts that ask users to react or comment to them. You’ll end up getting penalized for doing so.

Like always, your best bet is to make honest, fun, engaging, authentic posts that will create true interaction without the need to ask for it. Find your company’s voice and personality. Get creative and have fun! This can be a challenge but, if you need help, our expert content creators are Cobalt Digital Marketing are amazing at really reaching targeted audiences.

    1. Facebook Groups are going to make a big come back.

Facebook was built on the ideal of community, and while we all might have gotten a little away from that original intention, it looks like it is coming back in a big way. This is especially true for Facebook Groups as it has been revamped to function off audience engagement and will improve the ability for users to connect with others who have common interests. If you don’t believe us, just search for Essential Oil or InstaPot groups!

[bctt tweet=”@Facebook groups have over 1 BILLION users. @socialmedia2day #socialmedia #marketing ” username=”cobalt_digital”]

For businesses, this means creating meaningful content that speaks to a given community and helps to build it, rather than merely sell to it. Again, quality content and interactions are kings.

    1. Master Facebook ads if you haven’t already.

Organic reach was already on a downslide in recent years and this newest modification to Facebook looks like it’s going to increase those challenges for businesses and brands. There’s a general understanding that businesses will soon need to beef up ad budgets (and abilities) to get in front of their target audience.

Utilizing data to make the appropriate campaign choices are going to be as important as ever, so make sure you have a quality social media marketer on your team…or depend on Cobalt Digital Marketing.

Digital marketing is all about getting the right message in front of the right people.

Change happens. Whether it’s Facebook or Google updating their algorithms, staying on top of the industry is what Cobalt Digital Marketing does best.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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What A Time To Be Alive! The New Facebook Local App And How It Can Change Your Small Business

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 at 2:20 am    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Facebook just dropped another (potential) game changer – Facebook Local. While technically Facebook Local is a revamped version of previously released app – Facebook Events – the new model looks to overthrow mobile apps Yelp and FourSquare to become the premier standalone events app.

Rather than focusing only on “events”, you’ll now have the option to discover new bars, restaurants, and nearby attractions drawn from Facebook’s robust 70 million business pages. The app’s homepage showcases potential options to try and highlights locations where your Facebook friends visit. There’s also a Discover tab that feeds you top suggestions and popular locations, as well as a Calendar option that shows you all of your Event invites and RSVPs, which also allows you to import your phone’s calendar so that you can have all of your appointments in one location.

[bctt tweet=”The new #Facebook #Local app is here! Is your business on it? #CobatDigitalMarketing can help.” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Facebook has stated that the Facebook Local app will benefit users by:

  • Keeping them current on the latest upcoming events and activities of friends in their local area
  • Allowing users to find new activities while on the go or for upcoming trips
  • Allowing users to explore the city and neighborhood they are in
  • Making a calendar of events easier for users to access

For small, local businesses, the new Facebook Local app really looks to be the perfect platform for you to showcase your business and services without all the clutter, newsfeeds, and options the original Facebook has. As essentially a new search channel and directory, you could reap the benefits of really developing your brand on the app, especially as it begins to grow. If you’re looking to begin taking advantage of Facebook Local today, consider the following information brought to you by the good folks at Cobalt Digital Marketing.

  1. You’ll need to stay relevant on Facebook and update any “events” as they occur.
  2. One of the biggest issues that businesses generally have is finding the right team member that can adequately curate and update social media profiles. Things won’t be any different for Facebook Local. Plus, ranking is going to be based on your business’s popularity with Facebook users your customers know (not strangers). That means if John and Jane aren’t content with your business and leave a bad review on Facebook, then “Friend #3” is NOT going to be hearing about you.

    The importance of responding to frustrated (or satisfied) clients through your businesses social accounts is as essential as always, and Facebook Local will go a long ways in reinforcing the importance of positive reviews and having a system in place to prioritize them.

    [bctt tweet=”Positive reviews from customers produce an avg increase in sales of 18% #PleaseYourClients” username=”cobalt_digital”]

    Aside from dealing with customers and providing a great experience, you’ll also need to maintain a calendar of events and ensure that your customers are aware these things are happening. Don’t forget this also means promoting your local event with a captivating title and description that is going to draw in potential customers. Facebook Local can be an awesome tool in the right hands but you can’t have any “butterfingers” handling responsibilities.

  3. Business descriptions need to really shine and your information needs to be accurate!
  4. Look…it’s simple. Wrong Information is Bad for Business!

    With nearly 90% of local consumers who search for a business on a mobile device calling or going to that business within 24 hours, it can be an absolute horror show if your Facebook listing information is inaccurate or complete.

    As previously mentioned, not every business has social media or tech-savvy personnel that can make sure that this info is correct. But you should know that your business name, address, phone numbers, and hours NEED TO BE correct at all times.

    Another key element is going to be business descriptions. They’ve always been important but are going to become even more vital to drawing in business on Facebook Local. An engaging but concise description is absolutely necessary to highlight the best features of your business, as well as to draw attention to any events. Your About section should also include specific keywords as Facebook Local will be able to differentiate between “cafe” and a “cafe that specializes in cappuccinos”.

    This information is drawn from your Facebook Business page so whether it’s a post, updated information, or an event, you need to make sure that it is always in your brand’s voice.

  5. Ask to be the popular kid in town and get those check-ins.
  6. There should be no shame in your game; encourage clients to check-in whenever they visit your business and consider offering discounts, rewards, or some sort of benefit for doing so. As Facebook Local allows customers to search out specific types of restaurants, bars, and businesses, the more check-ins and positive reviews you have, the higher ranking you’ll receive.

    Make checking into Facebook a habit whenever customers come to visit your business.

    [bctt tweet=”Want more #Facebook check-ins? Offer an incentive like discounts or rewards! #DigitalMarketingTip” username=”cobalt_digital”]

  7. Don’t forget to actually hold events.
  8. An app aimed at highlighting trending events and social activities works best when you do just that. Of course, events don’t have to necessarily be the traditional style (but you should do those too); sales events, new product launches, themed-events (especially for bars), and the likes will work will wonderfully to increase your visibility to potential customers.

    The more frequently you are able to host an event or sale, the more often you will appear as what is popular in the local area.

Facebook Local looks to make 2018 an amazing year for digital marketing. Get a head start on your competition and let Cobalt Digital Marketing help you take full advantage of the future.

GET SOCIAL WITH US and we’ll help to make 2018 a record-breaking sales year for your business! If you’ve found this blog helpful we’d love for you to like, comment, share, post, tweet, and/or retweet this blog. Or if you’re ready to get the ball rolling then contact us today and let us turn your dreams of social media domination into a reality.
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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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