Keeping up with the algorithms 

Early this year, Meta began removing a variety of detailed targeting options from its advertising platform, which has, in turn, forced advertisers to think on their feet when it comes to reaching users on the company’s social networks. However, this isn’t new. In 2021, the company made headlines for its battle with Apple over letting users control their privacy settings in the app. Other companies like Google are also making similar changes to their platforms. No matter which side of the digital privacy aisle you are on, it’s undeniable that these changes are, and will continue to, impact the way we engage with online advertising for years to come.

The question then becomes: how do digital marketers continue to run effective campaigns as targeting capabilities become limited? While these platforms are ever-changing, we’ve got a few ideas.

Focus on what you can measure

Depending on your industry, you’ve likely seen a huge shift in your targeting capabilities on social media (we’re looking at you, healthcare, banking, and nonprofit marketers!). While you may not be as targeted in your approach to reaching new audiences, you can still measure success on the back end. What types of creative are resonating with various subsets of your audience? What information can you glean about who is completing the desired actions on your website? How does this help you hone in on who your core consumer is and how you can reach them outside of standard digital advertising channels?

Stay on top of trends

Unfortunately, we don’t mean the latest TikTok dances. We always challenge ourselves to think about what truly matters for our clients’ consumers and trends that we can see in their behavior. Understanding the consumer mindset, what motivates them, what are their pain points and how your brand can be a solution is key to successful marketing. Take the pandemic and packaged goods, for example—we saw huge shifts in the way people shopped at grocery stores. People were spending less time in the aisle of the store and more time shopping online, often in apps they’d never used before. As marketers, we had to think on our feet, gather an understanding of the trends within the category, and adjust our strategy to reach them in a way that was relevant at that moment in time.

Even if your digital targeting isn’t as narrow as you’d like, having this consumer-centric mindset as you establish a creative approach and identify your key channels will help consumers feel seen by your brand in a way that encourages engagement.

Own (at least some of) your data

If you learn just one thing from this discussion of the ever-changing digital landscape, let it be not to put all your eggs in one basket, particularly one you don’t own. While channels like Google and Facebook certainly aren’t going away anytime soon, we cannot control the future of their advertising platforms or the regulations around the use of consumer data. Consider channels that you can control to compliment your digital advertising efforts. Things like email databases and loyalty programs can be an easy way to capture contact information for engaged audiences and continue to message them directly on your own terms. Monitoring their engagement with your content can continue to teach you about their mindsets and move users through the funnel from awareness to action. The best part is that regardless of the changes that happen with other digital tactics, your email list is something you own and can be a valuable part of your marketing plan, even as the digital space continues to evolve.

Interested in chatting about your digital marketing strategy? Let’s chat.

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