How to Drive Social Commerce Sales with Instagram Shops

If you use social media, you’ve probably noticed the online retail purchasing process has shifted onto social media sites and apps. More recently, social commerce has become increasingly popular on Instagram with the extension of Instagram shop, a page where users can explore different brands and products. This experience integrates all of a brand’s photos and videos of their products into one showing, making it easier for customers to research and compare products. While scrolling, customers can purchase items directly from the posts they interact with. This process creates a seamless experience for the user and simplifies the purchasing process because the consumer doesn’t need to be redirected to different webpages. 

Social commerce will be a $79.64 billion industry in the US by 2025. It’s important that D2C brands don’t miss out and one of the best places for you to start is Instagram. 

According to internal data from Instagram, 81% of respondents say they use the app as a way to research products and services. 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month. This underscores the importance of the Instagram platform as a way to both promote awareness of your products as well as drive sales. The rollout of Instagram Shops has made it even easier for brands to offer their customers a seamless purchasing experience that doesn’t require them to leave the app. 

Instagram shopping functions as an extension of the ecommerce experience on brands’ websites. The tools offered by Instagram allow for customization that can individualize the purchase process for customers. The collection tool allows for the curation of products into themes such as new arrivals, gifts, seasonal trends, and more. Users can also shop your products throughout Instagram through the usage of Product Tags, which allow users to tap to learn more. Product Tags are also available to use in ads which can increase reach and drive more conversions. 

Instagram has also rolled out ads within the shop tab to make it easier for users to discover brands when they are in the mood to shop. The ads appear as a tile within the shop home page and clicking on an ad will take users to the product details page where they can then view the product on the website. In addition to serving ads within the Instagram Shop feed, using shopping ads in conversion based ads can be a strong way to increase conversions and drive increased ROAS. The user experience of setting up a shopping ad is seamless, with the ads manager pulling shopping posts directly in from what has already been shared. These ads will include shopping links that take people directly to the product details page and allow them to checkout within the Instagram app.

A Forbes study showed that two thirds of shoppers use social media as part of their shopping strategy and 77% of Millennials and Gen-Z use social media to shop. This trend towards social media emphasizes the importance of integrating social commerce.

Instagram Shop as a vital piece of a company’s ecommerce strategy. The platform allows for a streamlined path to purchase for potential customers that integrates seamlessly into their social media routine. The placement of ads in the shopping feed also allows for a brand to reach customers who are already in a shopping mindset, which can lead to higher conversion rates for consumer product brands. 

Key Takeaways

  • The rapid growth of social commerce cannot be ignored, especially for D2C brands. Instagram is a key player in the space, offering some of the most advanced features.
  • Instagram Shop places products in front of relevant audiences when they are in a shopping mindset and receptive to new products. 
  • Instagram allows for a seamless, in-app shopping experience that improves the customer journey and drives streamlined conversions. 

 

If your brand is interested in setting up an Instagram shop, visit the linked page and review the steps from Instagram found at the bottom of the page. For assistance running ads for your company’s product, contact Coegi to learn more.

 

How to Collect and Capitalize on First Party Data Marketing

What is first-party data?

First-party data is information collected directly by website publishers about their site visitors or customers and is stored in a customer-relationship-management (CRM) database. First-party data typically includes personal information like names, addresses and phone numbers. It can also include site-interaction data, which is highly informative when it comes to tracking product and services purchases or purchase intent, and is a key component of audience targeting for any marketing strategy. While retargeting strategies are often very effective, building and leveraging first-party data has many additional use cases. Coegi helps agencies and brands create customized strategies for capturing, onboarding and leveraging first-party data for more effective one-to-one communication with audiences.

How to collect first-party data

Coegi develops a customized a pixel strategy for each client to build or grow their first-party database. Generally, a pixel is placed on a website’s home page to collect information about site visitors, and conversion pixels can be placed on other pages or site buttons that indicate increased interest or intent. Usually this will be a lead capture form, checkout button or a page view of a specific webpage that assists the advertising end goal.

Coegi’s partnership with LiveRamp enables companies to onboard first-party data and make it available to use in programmatic and social platforms. Part of the data onboarding process is anonymizing personally identifiable information (PII)  to protect consumer privacy. Another key step involves matching offline data to online devices, such as a desktop browser cookie or mobile device ID and social media profiles. Agencies, publishers, and brands partnering with Coegi can access the full capabilities of LiveRamp first party data onboarding and activation services at a cost commensurate with the volume of client units available to them. After uploading first-party data, like a CRM list, your data can then be leveraged to create audience models and a retargeting strategy.

Leveraging first-party data advertising

Collecting first-party data on who has interacted with your ads or visited your site allows you to implement a retargeting strategy. Generally, retargeting provides the best performance. These users are aware of your product or service and are likely in-market for purchase.  

Additionally, onboarded data can be modeled and segmented within platform DMPs to create unique audiences for prospecting campaigns.  Audience segmentation allows you to segment out various groups for a more personalized experience, rather than serving a generic ad to an entire prospecting list. Furthermore, look-a-like audiences can be constructed as a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they exhibit similar online behavior to your existing customers.

More than just retargeting

As marketing becomes a more complex one-to-one communication process, advertisers need to reconsider how the process of onboarding first-party data is incorporated into their campaigns. While retargeting strategies will remain a key component of digital marketing, never underestimate the power of audience segmentation and personalization when it comes to reaching your audience.

Further reading:

Coegi Recognized as One of Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies

We are incredibly honored to announce that Coegi was ranked one of Adweek’s top 75 fastest growing agencies in the US and around the world. After the uncertainty of the past few years due to the ongoing pandemic, this recognition is especially meaningful for us. We know it was difficult for many to see growth in such an unpredictable market and changing workplace environments, but we are proud to see that the dedication of our staff and data partners allowed us to continue to support and lift up our clients. Coegi’s strong culture made up of hard-working, passionate individuals allowed us to learn, grow and ultimately thrive as an organization during one of the most unpredictable years in history.

Our President, Sean Cotton, shares his thoughts on why Coegi was able to still grow during this time and what it means for our staff and our clients to be one of the fastest growing agencies.

Balancing the Art and Science of Advertising

 

To the general consumer, the thought of advertising may elicit thoughts of uniquely designed print ads and Super Bowl commercials; thoughts of creative minds with the ability to persuade consumer decisions. For some people, advertising seems to be a strictly artistic discipline when all one sees is the final creative product. In truth, the art and science of advertising need to be blended together in order to maximize marketing campaign results. 

“The solution to capturing consumers of tomorrow, or today as many would argue, comes down to a sophisticated blend of art and science.”

– Paul Robson, President International at Adobe

On one end of the spectrum we have science, the known and the unknown, for the analytical and curious minds looking to uncover unique insights and trends. At the other end lies art, a subjective and ever-changing expression of unique thoughts and imagination in which there is truly never a right or wrong. There are a variety of perspectives on what the core of advertising is, when realistically both science and art’s synergy are central to achieving sustainable, successful strategy and activation. 

Why you need both art and science to build a brand

With art being highly visible and science working behind the scenes, both pillars are needed to build the foundation for a brand. Our President, Sean Cotton, recently said that data is best used as a guide to craft engaging campaigns inspired by the numbers, keeping creative at the forefront while ensuring it is impactful with analytics. Sometimes this synergy is rather simple, when you are working with a full-service agency that puts all the pieces together in-house. But, it is often more effective to work with separate creative and performance media agencies that collaborate toward a common goal. As long as both sides of the advertising equation are communicating and prioritizing business outcomes, the brand will be set up for success.

How to optimize creative with data insights

At Coegi, we are the science fueling the art. We dig deeper into the what’s, why’s, and how’s of digital media through robust data analysis and industry research. The basis for our campaigns is research and analysis of our brands’ audiences. Then, we rely on machine learning and human intuition to optimize. However, when it comes to strategy, it all really starts with the measurement framework.  This ensures we can understand if the research and thinking we put into action is actually impacting the brand’s bottom line. As a result, this process is not completely devoid of art. In fact, around 75% of an ad’s impact can be attributed to quality creative.

However, great creative pieces need data-driven insights to be delivered to the right audience at the right time. Our teams have to get creative with how and where we reach audiences to make the greatest impact. By doing so, we can better deliver solutions that make the art work harder, thus building up ROI. In essence, our strategy is our art.

At the end of the day, effective collaboration is at the core of the art and science of performance advertising. Communication and transparency between departments and our partners offers balance, allowing for seamless work processes and better results for clients. When this is done well, the lines between art and science begin to blur – proving that advertising isn’t black and white. It’s the molding of colors as the science and art of an agency work together to create a balanced composition paving the way for brand growth.

“The purpose of marketing is to influence the behaviors of others to bring them closer to your brand, organization, product, or service. The best way to achieve it is to strike a balance between the hard data and evidence that support the best path to take, and the human appeal and creative approach necessary to solidify its impact.”

– Eminent SEO CEO, Jenny Stradling

 

 

Reaching Your Audience Through Television

Television has long been a desirable medium for brands to have extensive reach across their audiences, building awareness and increasing share of voice. It continues to be very powerful with over 245M TV viewers in the U.S. who watch live or recorded video on a set. However, the TV landscape has seen many shifts in the last few years in particular, as consumers share their time between linear and streaming services, in addition to other forms of digital video on social platforms.

Today, there are over 213M connected TV viewers in the U.S., and it’s poised to continuously grow to over 230M ahead of 2025. As a result, marketers need to be planning their television buys with a holistic approach, understanding that the only way to have comprehensive audience reach is to tap into both linear and connected television channels and using a measurement partner to understand impact and incrementality. 

Why Neither Linear Nor Connected Television Can Be Ignored

According to The Trade Desk’s “Future of TV” report, 47% of U.S. TV viewers are already cordless and another 42% plan to “cut the cord” or minimize traditional television spend within the year. That being said, the scale that continues to be achievable on linear definitely makes it a channel that should continue to be leveraged. There are always going to be some consumers who choose to exclusively view on linear, as well as consumers who exclusively use streaming. This means that both channels must be incorporated into media plans to ensure you are reaching your target audience in a non-skippable environment where your brand message is showcased.

Another major reason that brands who have traditionally used linear television are now looking more heavily into connected tv is due to the incrementality. In fact, according to eMarketer this is the second most common reason that this tactic is deployed apart from targeting capabilities. This approach has worked well for many brands, including Hershey who saw the consumer trends and understood the need to act. This extends beyond Amazon to other OTT/CTV like Hulu, Roku, Tubi, Discovery+, and more.

How to Evaluate Success on Cross-Channel TV

There are measurement partners in the space that are able to go beyond number of impressions or gross ratings points to understand how television advertisements are impacting the bottom line. This can be achieved through tools such as lift studies that can interpret lift overall brand awareness and as well lift in conversions, whether that is site visitation or actual purchases. In the world of the pending deprecation of third-party cookies and iOS 15, attributing business results to media channels is going to become more challenging. Fortunately, television is not dependent on cookies and is poised to become an even more valuable channel for marketers to lean into.

The Do’s and Don’ts of TikTok Advertising

As new social media platforms roll into our day to day lives, it is important to understand their marketing powers and which audiences fit best with your brand. TikTok is the newest social media platform that has really captured the attention of individuals globally. Tiktok’s popularity has accelerated within the past couple of years, and advertisers want the opportunity to present their brand on a platform that has generated TikTok has reached a total lifetime user spending of 300 million U.S. dollars, has about 1 billion monthly active users since February 2021, and an engagement rate of 18% – higher than any other social platform.  TikTok provides a huge opportunity for brands to not only introduce their brand but drive incremental conversions.

TikTok is known for its authentic, personalized, funny, and relatable content. Many brands use this tactic to show their brand’s personality and connect with their customers on a more personal level. True, Millennials and their younger peers in Generation Z are tired of ads. In fact, many of them use ad blockers when they browse. But since engagement on TikTok is so high, advertisers are in the unique position to promote consumer advocacy rather than pure marketing strategy. This way, “you build brand awareness with an audience that talks about you because they’re genuinely impressed.” Although many brands are mainly focused on reaching younger demographics on TikTok, 53% are aged 30+ – leaving a large reach for brands not going for the typical Gen-Z audience. 

How to create successful TikTok ads

TikTok is a place for authenticity and personality – differentiating from a majority of social platforms in which highly-produced and staged ads perform better. Brands should strive to make their advertising blend in on TikTok, making for a seamless user experience and minimizing disruption of content viewership. The ad should not look like a typical ad seen on other platforms because it will be scrolled past quickly. However, if it uses trending audio, popular dances, or tells a funny quick story,  it is more likely to catch the attention of this unique audience. Here are some topics to utilize while creating ads for TikTok:

  1. Get comfortable with comedy – Find a way to show the personality of your brand through relatable funny content. This could be of your product/service or of your company culture. 
  2. Show how your brand can be a #lifehack – Your brand’s main goal is to make people’s lives easier, more efficient, and/or more enjoyable.  Find that #lifehack your brand offers, and present it to your audiences in a quick video story. Overall, this hashtag has 35.5B views – allowing for a huge increase in reach for your brand (learn more here).
  3. Bust a move – People love to show off their dance moves on TikTok. Use dance to keep up with trends and utilize popular audio at the same time. One example of a powerful brand deal was the partnership of Charli D’Amelio and P&G #distancedance at the beginning of the pandemic, which generated over 8B views (P&G).
  4. Utilize trending audio – Audio is a necessity on TikTok for a high performing ad. 88% of TikTok users said that sound is essential to the TikTok experience, and ads with sound-on are 2.2x better at increasing brand awareness. Brands can amplify their voice by creating an original audio clip or utilizing existing trending audio. E.L.F. Cosmetics commissioned a song for their TikTok campaign “Eyes Lips Face” and collaborated with influencers to aid in the promotion. The #eyeslipsface hashtag has been used in over 3.8B videos created by TikTok users.
  5. Find Your Niche – TikTok’s powerful algorithm, which is based on videos users watched, liked or shared, allows users to be served content that is extremely relevant to them. Understanding and reaching niche markets through TikTok can be a great way for advertisers to get their content in front of audiences who will appreciate it and engage or convert the most. 
  6. Don’t Shy Away from Activism – TikTok is a very popular platform for spreading awareness on social issues.  According to Reach3Insights, nearly 77% of TikTok users say that the app has helped them learn more about social justice and politics. As an advertiser, it is important to be sensitive to the social issues that are discussed on the platform. 

TikTok is a great platform to show your brand in a new authentic light. As such, the best way to reach these demographics is to create genuine ads that to blend in with content users are already viewing. Because of this, it is important that advertisers remain up-to-date on the latest TikTok trends so they can advertise in a way that does not seem invasive or out of place. Advertisers can do this by taking some time to scroll through the For You Page and finding the niche audiences they are looking for, then creating ads that fit the trends.  As previously mentioned, when creating a TikTok ad, remember to look out for trends in comedy, life hacks, dancing, social justice or audio – depending on what you think your audience will respond best to. A little effort to understand your audience’s interests can go a long way on TikTok, and always keep in mind that authenticity and personality are key. 

Recommended Reading:

Written By: Julia Read and Rachel Vibbert, Social Media Specialists

Why Measurement is Important in a Cookieless Environment

How do we know our marketing is working? This is one of the most important questions clients pose to agency teams. For the past few years, the ubiquity of cookies and third party pixel tags (such as Facebook or Floodlight) have enabled us to look at both click and view data on an individual browser/device basis and model out the contribution of each marketing touchpoint.

Losing third party cookies will make this more challenging.

The short term effect of the elimination of cookies will be attribution models that show less immediate impact of advertising, though the actual business impact will likely be unchanged. This demonstrates the need to anticipate and plan for measurement changes as part of the 2022 readiness plan. It should also encourage us to look for cookie-less solutions which let multi touch attribution providers that have access to log level data in a privacy safe fashion.

What Measurement Capabilities Can We Expect to be Impacted by Being Cookieless?

Walled gardens are well positioned with their vast amount of login data, whereas agnostic platform partners are having to seek out alternative ID-based solutions. Google’s Topics & Unified ID 2.0 are examples of solutions that are gaining steam. Google’s Topics solution will be interesting for brands utilizing DV360, whereas Unified ID 2.0, championed by The Trade Desk, operates using encrypted email addresses of opted-in users.

The Facebook ecosystem will be heavily disrupted in attribution of conversion-based events, largely due to their reliance on mobile ad IDs for measurement. Historically, marketers have leaned heavily into Facebook due to their ability to evaluate strength ROI based on the multiple touch points that go into a final purchase, facilitated by the placement of a tracking pixel on the brand’s website. However, these Facebook pixels are defined as a third party cookie.

What to expect with cookie deprecation on Facebook?

  • Slower optimization times
  • Potential decline in campaign performance
  • Decrease in data transfers

Fortunately, there are potential workarounds.

Cookieless Solutions for Marketers

  • Overlay conversion based data from Google Analytics to match onsite conversions from walled gardens using mobile IDs
  • Use more analysis to level media metrics back up to business goals
  • Have conversations and test tactics now to prepare for performance declines

Recommended Measurement Partners for  the Cookieless Future

Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) is a standardization system for identifying consumers across the open web which creates a privacy safe way to allow for opt-in based marketing. This solutions was initiated by the demand side platform, The Trade Desk, but they have committed to making UID2 fully open source, and have actively brought in multiple partners, to make this interoperable across sign on, publisher, bidding, and more. Of course, UID2 is inherently limited by being fully outside the Google ecosystem. Without YouTube or Google Search, the UID system will still have significant holes on the initial awareness and last touch end of digital marketing.

In addition to the partners integrating with UID2, other independent advanced measurement partners such as DISQO, Upwave & Lucid are taking steps to ensure they’re prepared & compliant. For Brand Lift, DISQO services will not be impacted by cookie loss, as they utilize a cookieless solution for measurement. DISQO is also CCPA and GDPR compliant, as all panelists have opted into their panel. Additionally there will be no impact for Upwave studies as they have an existing privacy-safe Household Level Intercept methodology. Lucid is also well prepared for a cookieless world as their surveys are double opt in by consumers, and they are currently CCPA/GDPR compliant

What Steps Should Marketers Take to Prepare for Measurement in a Cookieless Future?

Plan early & anticipate impacts to your measurement/attribution system. We encourage everyone to have conversations with clients to set expectations ahead of time. We’ve outlined a quarterly look at the impact across audiences, e-comm/attribution as well as media mix and creative.

Expand implementation timelines. Relying on first party data more and needing to run that first party data through an identity solution and then back into a web environment will add time to campaign and ad ops setups. While match rates should improve, campaigns will be moderately more cumbersome to set up, especially as we get used to these new flows. Teams and clients should build in extra cushion.

Create new third party dependencies. This is not a new risk in the ad operations system, but an ever present risk. Instead of incentivizing partnership with data providers that create third party cookies, new setups will increasingly prioritize identity resolution systems, such as LiveRamp or Neustar. Fortunately, these companies benefit from interoperability and scale. The most important thing brands can do to reduce dependencies is to understand how your audiences and targets are built in each platform and know what’s different depending on the partner. Always ask what’s inside the box or model.

What is the Coffeyville Effect and Why Does it Happen?

Coffeyville, Kansas

Have you ever seen an excessively large amount of US traffic supposedly coming from Coffeyville, Kansas in Google Analytics? This specific geolocation may even contribute the most amount of sessions worldwide. 

What is the Coffeyville Effect?

Even though you may not be targeting Kansas, internet users who enable IP masking tools will report their location back as the exact geographical center of the U.S. which is Coffeyville, KS. 

This effect can also happen with some mobile devices that report back incorrectly or as “unknown”. 

Analytics and Ad Serving programs will often attribute those unknowns to Coffeyville. An example of this that you might have experienced is when your phone’s location service (such as on Google or a weather app) estimates you are in a city several hours away when you are connected to mobile data instead of home wifi. 

Is Google the Problem?

Google Analytics provides a number of geographical dimensions, such as City, Country, Continent, etc. The values for these dimensions are automatically derived from the IP address of the hit. The Coffeyville Effect is what happens when a location is not accurately determined.

Google sends the IP addresses of traffic sources to a third-party data source to determine the location. If the third-party source determines the record of the visitor location is accurate, Google Analytics populates the fields with the location data. If the third-party source determines the location cannot be found, the value of the corresponding fields will register as “(not set)” and then be assigned the default location of the center of the US.

If Coffeyville, Kansas is an inaccurate location for your traffic sources, it’s likely that this is the fault of one of the third-party data sources that Google uses, rather than Google itself. Unfortunately, these data sources are not disclosed by Google.

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