Social media is a great way to gain momentum, but paying for amplification across so many social networks can be complicated, expensive—and pointless, if your strategy isn’t sound. Enter digital guru Rachel Mack, the founder and CEO of Digital Matter, a digital marketing consultancy that empowers brands to drive sustainable growth through performance marketing. In our “Retail 101” package in the Winter issue of BOH, we caught up with her to get the scoop on how to harness social media in a meaningful way.
What’s the biggest mistake brands are making on social media right now?
If I get one more generic retargeting ad from a multi-brand website, I’m going to throw my laptop out the window. If I’ve searched for six Klismos chairs on a site, then why am I being served a retargeting ad featuring generic sconces with generic copy? You should be serving me ads containing the products that I looked at, with copy that speaks to those items being limited edition or one of a kind. Maybe also serve me ads for Regency chairs, and see what happens. A lot of established brands still haven’t done this type of segmentation.
What kind of returns can a brand reasonably expect to see through performance marketing?
Our clients often ask, ‘How much money can you make me?’ (The answer: A lot, if you listen.) Once we’ve realized a material return at scale, we utilize platforms like Facebook and Instagram as always-on focus groups. These platforms can be used to validate partnerships, explore the demand for adjacent business lines, and to forecast better, all while making a material return on ad spend. Ultimately, every dollar spent should answer a question or validate an assumption.
How much does it cost to achieve results on social?
Venture-backed companies that already have traction and need to scale rapidly should be willing invest at least $50,000 per month in paid social (Facebook and Instagram), paid search (Google and Bing) and emerging platforms (Amazon). We no longer work with clients who are not willing to commit at that level. If you’re spending less, you will inadvertently slow down your return on ad spend.
If a designer or a brand is interested in performance marketing, what’s the first step? How do they start?
Make sure that you invest in a graphic designer who really understands your brand’s aesthetic and has input on everything you’re producing. If your brand cannot determine how to communicate your value proposition visually, then there’s a fundamental weakness within your business. Also, own your Google AdWords—your branded keywords—and do it the minute you launch. Even if it’s $100 a month, it will very quickly give you a sense of consumer intent.
How do you know if paid social is right for your brand or business?
If your goal is to get new customers to discover your brand and to convert cost effectively, then paid social and paid search are critical—even if you already have a solid organic foundation. That said, ideally you don’t want to see more than 30 percent of your top-line revenue originating from paid channels. It’s natural to want to continue investing once you realize a meaningful return on paid, but it’s not sustainable as your only driver of growth. Incremental revenue generated from paid social and search should be invested in the development of additional marketing channels.