This post is part of an ongoing series that examines emerging trends in the commerce category as we highlight our updated suite of products and services for digital commerce marketers.
For better or worse, Facebook and Instagram algorithms are designed to serve up content through an individual’s newsfeed that reinforces existing preferences and tastes. As a marketer, it makes more sense to capitalize on that reality than to try and spend your way around it.
Every day, consumers are adding to their interest graph with each action they take on the web and in their newsfeeds. Over time, this data creates rich and evolving interest profiles on millions of people all over the world. In theory, this rich interest graph creates a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach out and connect with people in a way that resonates with what they are already interested in.
In a media landscape where consumers are inundated with product ads, finding ways to connect on a more personal level may be the key to cutting through the noise. Embracing what makes your customers unique anchors targeting and creative in qualities that are deeply meaningful to potential customers. This allows you to create and deliver ads to precise audiences in bold new ways that broad-appeal product ads can't match.
To better illustrate this point, we’ll use Warby Parker as an example on how marketers can quickly and easily craft net-new creative or repurpose existing content to deliver more targeted and effective ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Using Warby Parker’s own Instagram as examples for creative and the Appnique Audience Overlap tool to scope audience segments, we’ll highlight how the two go hand-in-hand and hopefully inspire new ideas for your own campaigns.
Begin with an original insight
For our first segment, we conduct an affinity analysis on the Warby Parker app and discovered a strong correlation with the ModCloth– a direct-to-consumer provider of vintage women’s clothing.
To extrapolate that correlation, we build an interest collection that includes other popular direct-to-consumer fashion brands targeting women. That includes brands like Poshmark, Polyvore, and Rent The Runway. Taking a step back, you begin to see a persona of someone that values originality and is comfortable buying fashion-forward clothes and accessories online.
Next, we built out Warby Parker’s core audience and built an interest collection that included glasses, specific types of glasses (e.g. horn rimmed glasses) and more then overlaid the two audiences. The output is an audience segment that has expressed an affinity in both interest collections (see below).
At this point in the process we know that there are 1.6 million people that match both of our interest collections (remember, we used Appnique to add interests relating to our topics based on our affinity algorithm) and we can target them with tailored ad creative.
The next step is deciding what creative to use. Lucky for Warby Parker, they have a great social presence with original and visually-rich social content. Much of it is user generated, so there might be restrictions whether they can use them in paid ads. However, here’s a mashup of a few different photos from their Instagram feed – all of which are great examples of what an ad might look like given the audience affinities.
Compare that look and feel back to the insight that inspired this audience segment to begin with – an affinity to ModCloth. Here’s a screenshot of their current homepage header image.
The two sets of creative look like they could be from the same brand, don’t they?
It’s no accident that Appnique identified the strong affinity correlation between the two brands. Whether the two are capitalizing on a larger trend in women’s fashion or Warby Parker is already looking to ModCloth for inspiration, the similarities underscore the potential of affinity-based audience analysis and targeting.
Building Audiences to Fit Your Existing Creative
In the example above we started with a single insight and built audience and creative around it. For this example, we’ll do the opposite.
Spinning up new ad creative can be expensive and time consuming – but what about finding new audiences that fit unique aspects of your original creative. Here, we look at Warby Parker again, but this time we focus on another pattern we see in their Instagram feed: Dogs with glasses.
Sure, cute dogs might be universally welcome in newsfeeds, but we’ll illustrate how targeting can make sure those newsfeeds belong to people that are likely to actually buy the glasses – not just swoon.
Let’s look first at the existing ad creative that could provide the impetus for building unique audiences that fit.
Pretty cute, right?
The next step is to craft an audience that is primed to click on an ad featuring these furry friends. We’ll start with the same core interest collection for Warby Parker which we title “glasses” in the image below.
Then we build a collection of interests that indicate an affinity for dogs. This includes unique dog breeds (e.g. Pitbull) and interests such as “puppies”, “dogs” and some less obvious related interests suggested by Appniques algorithm like, “dog training” and “dog diet” .
This collection can be broken down further for even more tailored ad creative, but for this example we’ll lump it all together. As a result of this excerceise, we see an overlap of about 5 million peoople in the U.S. that are more likely to respond to an ad than if either of these two interest collections were targeted on their own.
Just like that we have a more qualified audience for our ads and provide a more compelling newsfeed for prescription-wearing dog-lovers across the U.S. – all with existing ad creative.
When newsfeeds fill up with creative that is designed to appeal to the least common denominator, consumers are less likely to take an action. More than any place else, they expect creative to fit their existing tastes and preferences when it comes to their newsfeed. Harnessing the ability to deliver creative that matches your target audience’s interest graph not only builds equity in your brand, it delivers better performance.