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Archive for the ‘Facebook How-To’ Category

Couponing On The Brink Of A Digital Revolution

August 5th, 2014 10:56am

For over a century, coupons have been an effective tool for influencing and motivating consumers.  In general, the concept of couponing hasn’t changed much. However, methodologies for distributing them have changed drastically… and for good reason.

You are exposed to coupons and other promotions every day. They’re in the stores you shop at, in the paper you read, and can be found online or on your phone. The reason they are seemingly everywhere is because almost everyone uses them. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report shows that, in a three-month duration, 96% of shoppers will have used a coupon at least once.  Consumers use coupons to save money, and will look for deals that pertain to goods that they would buy normally. However, as coupons continue to evolve, we are finding that what they are capable of offering is much more than a simple discount.

Traditionally Speaking
For years, the primary methodology for distributing coupons has been through Free Standing Inserts (deals that can be found in the paper, magazines, etc.). They are used to push offers on a large scale by casting a wide net. They aim to incentivize repeat purchases, or perhaps prompt customers to buy a newly introduced product. The downside to this approach is that the targeting is very generalized.  Another limitation, and possibly the most significant, is that it is nearly impossible to gather analytical data/ information that could supply valuable consumer insights.

Coupons That Keep Up
Our world is changing, and consequently, so are consumers’ behaviors and habits. Therefore, you will need the tools that will allow you to better accommodate their expectations.  The introduction of digitally distributed offers has revamped the marketplace.  Whether you are printing an internet-delivered coupon or receiving codes straight to your mobile device, the benefits (to both the company and the consumer) are setting the bar for all distributed promotions.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Data gathering – collect, analyze, and gain valuable insights on your consumers.
  • Strategic agility – easily fine-tune or modify offers (appearance, value, etc.) on the fly.
  • Superior retargeting – efficiently and effectively manage your promotional strategy.
  • Distribution control – retailers and manufacturers can regulate exactly how many offers will be claimed and redeemed.
  • Personalized offers – use collected data to push individualized promotions.
  • Cost savings – digital provides a cheaper alternative to print.
  • Security – combat coupon fraud by tracking your customers using tools such as embedded codes (check out CoupCheck™ to learn more).

Digital offers work great if your goal is to:

  • Target a specific consumer population
  • Encourage a shopper to switch brands
  • Incentivize customers to repurchase goods
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Save money while establishing a healthy consumer database

Promotions That Show Promise
Although traditionally distributed offers are still the conventional approach, digital promotions are quickly gaining momentum and are responsible for ever-increasing redemptions. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report stated that, “Overall, digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35%.” In five years, it is projected that the population of mobile coupon users alone will nearly double from the current 560 million to 1.05 billion users (Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019).

 

The Importance of A/B Testing with Social Coupons

July 9th, 2014 7:00am

Coupons are an inexpensive advertising option for packaged goods, retailers, and other businesses that are highly desirable by consumers. While the product or service can vary greatly, so does its consumer. It’s easy to simply place a free-standing insert into the Sunday paper, but do we really know if the offer is reaching the appropriate audience? With digital and social coupons, we have the advantage of finding ways to grab the attention of our targeted consumers. And while this may take extra effort, the payoff is significant. In 2013 alone, we saw consumers used over 2 billion digital and print-at-home coupons (Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report).

Companies that combined coupons with data capture opportunities gained better insight into the purchase behaviors of their customers. Once companies have captured data, they can make more informed marketing decisions. The one constant we see in digital and social coupon use however, is that based on the promotion or offer, no two audiences are the same. Even within our own client base, we’ve seen similar offers by similar businesses that produce drastically different results, and this is why A/B testing has become a necessity to ensure success in marketing online.

Some key factors to A/B test in your coupons and other promotions are:

Offer Value
Should you offer a percentage off or a flat amount? What’s the minimum value you can provide that will enable you to hit your print and redemption goals?

Expiration Date
What’s the ideal amount of time to give consumers to redeem a deal that will ensure they don’t forget it?

Promotional Strategy
What are the best channels to let consumers know about your offer, and where should you run ads driving traffic to the offer?

Creative
Is the design and copy appropriate? Are you drawing the attention of your audience and driving them to claim your offer?

At CoupSmart, we run A/B testing to discover solutions to questions like the ones above. So, if you’re having trouble determining whether your coupon should be “20% off” for six months, or “50% off” for two weeks, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you out.

Black Friday Sales: How a Social Gift Store on Facebook increases sales across all channels

September 26th, 2013 3:52pm

A key question for holiday retail is how the use of digital channels may impact consumer spending. Serving digital shoppers in a relevant manner, including being active on Facebook, is an obvious answer. What may not be so obvious are some of the findings as outlined in a recent study conducted by Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting and technology, who published “Digital Shopper Relevancy”. This report provides insight into when, where and how shoppers want to interact with a retailer or consumer products company through various channels (16,000 interviews, 16 countries).

Brand and Retail must focus on achieving a full and continually integrated conversation with shoppers to develop awareness via all channels. 71% of respondents cited Internet sites as the most important digital channel, and nearly half cited social media as the most relevant to learn about products.

Capgemini’s research also found some interesting correlations. For example, 56% of respondents said they were likely to spend more money at a physical store if they had used digital channels to research the product prior to purchase. And 55% said they were more likely to spend more money with a particular retailer if products were available anytime via any channel. The research demonstrates that shoppers are no longer loyal to an individual channel but rather to an experience across all channels.

One of the most effective ways to offer both social media research and an additional sales channel is with a Social Gift Store on Facebook. CoupSmart’s Social Gift Store App seamlessly integrates your branded customer shopping experience right on your Facebook page, next to your other page tabs. We do all of the installation and set-up for you. We have account managers and a step-by-step guide showing you exactly how to get your custom social gift store launched quickly and easily. The CoupSmart Social Gift Store pricing is a win-win because it is based on performance. We take a percentage of sales, allowing you to directly manage your operating costs.

Learn more now by reading about the CoupSmart Social Gift Store or contacting us at newaccounts@coupsmart.com for a demo.

See our latest launch now by visiting the Ghirardelli Social Gift Store on Facebook from your desktop/laptop (will not display on Facebook Mobile).

How ‘Facebook for Business’ Can Impact Your Social Strategy

August 27th, 2013 12:41pm

In its continuing effort to improve and simplify its marketing and advertising processes, Facebook has launched the Facebook for Business Page. Thanks to last week’s launch, businesses can now find all the information they need to take advantage of Facebook’s potential as an advertising tool in one place.

Facebook is using the new page to reinforce its efforts to simplify its advertising and change the way brands approach advertising on the social network. Instead of choosing among Facebook’s several promotion vehicles, businesses will now indicate what their specific goals are for their advertising efforts and Facebook will recommend which of its advertising platforms are best suited to reach those goals.

In that same vein, businesses find similar goals under the “Get Started” tab on Facebook for Business, including: drive in-store sales, increase online sales, launch a new product, build awareness, and promote your app. Clicking through these links shows users detailed guides on using Facebook to achieve their business goals.

Moreover, Facebook has also organized its many tools by industry, allowing businesses in Retail or Consumer Goods to find guides for achieving goals more specific to their respective companies.

In addition, Facebook has consolidated all of its marketing and business news into its Facebook for Business blog in order to make the page a complete resource.

It seems like there’s never been a better time to take advantage of Facebook’s unique resources for advertising and marketing. Effective use of and advertising from a Facebook page can open a business up to thousands of potential fans and customers. However, since resources like Facebook for Business are available to everyone, it becomes even more important that a company differentiate itself from the mob of advertisers in the News Feed.

Businesses can achieve this posting compelling content that is useful to their fans and call them to make a purchase – and share with their friends. A well-crafted promotion catches the attention of the fan and compels them to act on the promotion before it expires. And if the content is truly compelling, the fan will share with their friends.

How can it get better? Well, after the initial purchase, a strong promotion should also be able to track the fan from claim to redemption in order to make follow-up offers and maximize ROI. Anything else just isn’t taking full advantage of what Facebook offers.

3 Ways to Improve Your Brand’s Graph Search Ranking

August 2nd, 2013 8:40am

In the beginning of July 2013, Facebook began widely incorporating its new search engine, Facebook Graph Search. This program gives its users the options to search phrases such as “Photos I like” or “Restaurants nearby me that my friends like” so that the Graph Search user will be able to quickly find results for questions they may have. Graph Search uses an algorithm to rank its various search results, and below are the three best ways to get your company’s page ranked higher in the Graph Search algorithm:

Encourage Sharing: Graph Search will rank your company higher if more people have liked your profile and shared your page content. But, no one is going to share your content unless you give them a reason to. An effective way to get Facebook users to like and share your content is to utilize digital coupons that require the user to like your page and share your coupon to get the coupon itself. With this strategy, friends of the Facebook user who shared the coupon will see that deal on their friend’s Facebook walls and become interested in your  coupon. This friend will also like your page and share the coupon, and then his or her friends will be aware of it too. As this process continues, your digital coupon will spread virally, becoming very popular very quickly, raising your Graph Search ranking through social reach.

Offer Facebook apps prominently on your page: Graph Search has the ability to analyze your company’s Facebook page at any moment and access most of the activity that has ever taken place on that page. If Graph Search happens to find a current or past app on your page that received a lot of traffic, your Graph Search ranking will skyrocket. Any app will be acceptable, and some of the most common apps are minigames and surveys. On the other hand, an Online Gift Shop that offers a variety of your products for reasonable prices (possibly discounts) will be one of the best applications to display on your Facebook page because it will increase your company’s Graph Search ranking as well as generate revenue.

Engage Your Fans: Nothing will lower a company page’s Graph Search rank faster than a page that doesn’t engage their fans. Fan interaction can come in many different forms, including posts, surveys, games, questionnaires, or any other form of interactive post that will interest your fans. The more interaction of any kind a company has with its fans, the better its Graph Search ranking will be. Try different forms of engagement, and come back to the types of interaction that generate the most reaction from your fans.

Facebook Graph Search should hold a significant value to any retail or CPG business for one paramount reason: peer recommendations. Peer recommendations are more valuable to a customer than any form of advertising, and the option for a Graph Search user to search for “Brands that my Friends Like” makes Graph Search the perfect medium for your customers to find peer recommendations. Graph Search will allow large brands to focus less time and money on their advertising campaigns, while still gaining valuable customers who learn about the brand through peer recommendations.

 

Image courtesy of Google.

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