Can Social Guide Cross Channel Media Buys?

Your target consumer isn’t just a “Twitter user.” She is not simply a “magazine reader.” She is an individual who chooses to seek out and connect with dozens of media channels to pursue her interests and satisfy her needs. She is complex, and so is her behavior.

Marketers have a responsibility – and face the challenge – of connecting to their target consumers across multiple devices and channels. And this challenge has loomed large in recent years with the dizzying number of new publishers, apps, social networks, devices and others channels that have become outlets for consumers to interact and engage with one another and the brands they love.

 

This proliferation of channels means that to be successful, marketers must leverage all of the information they have about their target audience, and apply it to cross-channel campaigns. “Know your customer” has become the most important mantra of the day.

Luckily, we have social media: The arena where customers interact daily, offering up insights about their interests, demographics, psychographics, behavior and more. The place where customers reveal their desires through conversation.

The vast amount of consumer data supplied by social media can indeed guide cross-channel media buys, but in order to be effective, this data must first be understood.

We need to understand when an action signifies a trend or an outlier. Whether an expressed interest is temporary or long-lasting. How behavior differs between the individual and the group.

By parsing consumer data supplied by social media into an understanding of overall trends within their audience segments, marketers can create personas or tribes. These can then be used to reach their audience on the devices and channels they prefer.

Just think about the possibilities for a minute. You know that your audience uses social media to discuss their other interests. What if you could discover the interest categories most popular among your audience? By building out a 360-view of their interests and behaviors, you can purchase ads on the websites they frequent most, or on the display networks with relevant interest categories. This means that they will see highly targeted, relevant content from your brand on the websites and other channels they prefer.

Recently, LeadSift worked with a large car manufacturer to better target a cross-channel campaign. We explored millions of tweets from consumers identified as having engaged with the car manufacturer, or having expressed an interest in their product. We then identified three major interest categories most common among this audience: sports, outdoors and travel. By understanding the interests of their target audience, the car manufacturer was able to hone the content and delivery of the campaign’s TV and magazine placements, choosing the programs and publications that fit with their audience’s lifestyle.

Consumer behavior on social media can inform large- or small-scale cross-channel campaigns across nearly all industries. It can tell you that, while your target consumer might indeed be a Twitter user, she is also an active digital citizen with multiple devices and interests. And it is this information that will ensure that your next media buy will reach her, no matter where she is.

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