Social Advertising Workflows Challenge Marketers And Their Agencies


Marketers often operate within flight-driven campaign workflows, with budgets pre-allocated to specific content, times and frequencies, especially when amplifying owned social content, or sponsored content (e.g., Facebook Promoted Posts), one of the most prominent social advertising formats.

This more rigid workflow gives marketers direct control to allocate budget for the specific content they believes will deliver greatest impact. With fewer moving variables, this workflow lends itself to organization and scale, especially when multiple agency partners or divisions (i.e., media, creative and community management) are involved. This sort of workflow is ideal for headline, tentpole campaigns where marketers are seeking to maximize reach of very specific pieces of content.

However, marketers should reconsider this approach for mid-funnel, everyday consumer nurturing. If the goal is to quickly move to the upper-right quadrant of the social marketing ROI chart, a marketer’s own beliefs about which is the best owned content to amplify may not matter so much.

Marketers can now rapidly connect consumer engagement, endorsements and sharing to understand precisely how live content is resonating with target audiences. Moreover, advances in media modeling can indicate not only which live content is performing, but what the combined reach and resonance of specific content will be across paid, owned and earned media — even “earned-from-paid” media. Achieving the right mix can have a transformational impact on performance.

But changing entrenched workflows and habits is hard, especially with larger and more complex social marketing teams and agencies. Instead of trying to shift all at once, marketers should do so incrementally. They should set aside experimental “everyday optimization budgets” to prove and adopt workflows designed around always-on and real-time optimization. When superior performance is realized, then shift more — and then more.

Social media has long been breaking down marketing silos, requiring different skill sets and departments to collaborate in real time. Optimization breakthroughs are now demanding that workflow shifts happen even faster — along with shifts in the way we think about content performance and media budget allocation.

When it comes to sponsoring your own content and posts, trust the numbers, not your gut.

This article also appeared in MediaPost. Photo by Gabe.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.