PR Agencies Turning Toward Programmatic

PR agencies, traditionally, have the primary goal of gaining earned press, media or attention. As Forbe’s Robert Wynne stated, they don’t buy ads or create catchy slogans, but rather they “promote companies or individuals via editorial coverage,” otherwise known as earned media. As people use social media everyday, PR agencies rely on this platform as a means of gaining earned media. It is an easy way to organically reach thousands, if not millions of people while also maintaining brand image. Politics is an area that has seen great results from combining PR and social media. Political figures post their campaign commercials on social media, rather than paying for a TV spot and interact with voters firsthand on Twitter and Facebook. Even more effective, if a problem or scandal arises, they can take to social media to release a statement, directly reaching people. Social media platforms are a great tool for PR agencies to promote brands and people – but it is much easier for those who already have a significant following. For companies with smaller following, social platforms are becoming a tricky maneuver and pose different challenges that PR agencies are working to address.

Back in 2011, when social platforms changed their algorithm, the ability to rely on organic reach lessened. This was extremely problematic for PR agencies due to a market that is overly-flooded with media and news. PR agencies have continued to struggle to gain and maintain attention on behalf of their clients. As a solution, some agencies are looking to expand their services by including programmatic media buying as something they can offer to extend reach, especially when it comes to areas of interest like politics.

Less Focus on Awareness and More on Conversion

Marketing budgets are becoming more about ROI and attribution. Companies are less inclined to put their marketing dollars toward awareness, but focus more on conversion. They no longer just want customers to know about them, they want them to act on this awareness. Adding to this challenge, the constant influx of online content, makes it very difficult for articles and coverage to stay at the top of newsfeeds and searches. It is reported that nearly 2 million articles are posted online everyday. PR agencies are rising to this challenge and combining their standard PR strategies with programmatic media buys which include platforms like Facebook, which played a huge role in the last political elections.

PR is quickly evolving, companies like Cision are going beyond just distribution, moving data and analytics to the forefront. Reaching customers on social platforms, due to the high-paced change in newsfeed and content, is a real necessity for companies. As reported by Adexchanger, “…targeting a brand’s audience on social with a coupon or offer can drive customers back to the site, where a pixel tracks and learns more about them so they can be targeted with earned media in the future.” This tactic has two benefits. First, it drives the consumer directly to the website, putting them face-to-face with the brand and in an optimal position to make a purchase. Second, and most important to PR agencies, they are able to learn about the customer, how to better target them and what they most positively connect with. This in turn helps them determine the best content and placement of earned media to ensure its reaches the proper audience.  

The adoption of programmatic as a tool by PR agencies is still at the beginning stages. However, in the years to come, they will need to have programmatic media buying in their wheelhouse to get the reach and attention they need to maintain their clients and budgets. To stay current on Digital Media Strategies PR agencies are reaching out to programmatic buying companies and partnering with them. PR agencies understand the earned space, but savvy marketers want the best of all worlds which is the combination of paid, owned and earned media. Combining these marketing channels not only produces better ROI for companies, but more insights about customers and how to best reach them in the future.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic Part 2: Social Media

As the 2018 World Cup pool play comes to an end and teams and fans gear-up for bracket play, there are some noteworthy numbers to report from the first two weeks of play. Granted, the games were intense with Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain, Mexico’s major upset of Germany and Argentina’s goal in the 86th minute to pass Nigeria, these aren’t even the craziest things to report. The social media trends coming in from all over the world are shockingly high and truly one of the most noteworthy statistics from the action.  

For social media, it’s no question that #fifa, #worldcup2018 and #futbol are the MVPs of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook. In just under two weeks, there are over 1.5 million Instagram posts using #worldcup2018, and over 25 million impressions on Twitter of the same hashtag. Leo Messi’s Instagram post on June 14, captioned “Listos / Ready” racked up over 5 million likes, falling short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s “Vamos familia” captioned picture racking up just short of 10 million likes.

On Facebook, the German national team’s page, Die Mannschaft, has over 6.5 million people following their action with comments, likes, views and reactions. With Germany’s impressive social following, its shocking that Brazil’s page completely wipes them out. Brazil’s National team’s page, Confederação Brasileira de Futebol, had nearly 12 million followers. Snapchats are more difficult to track, in real time, but there is no question that fans are following all the action around the world with the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia story. The following is so large, that the filter asking people to comment on Brazilian player, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, new haircut is a trending story.

All of the different platforms allow fans to share their opinion, players to interact with fans, and teams make sure everyone is up to date on all the action. There is yet to be a clear winner on whose social pages have the highest following, most likes, shares and impressions. We will continue to track these numbers and see how our predictions hold up. But, one thing is clear – fans and spectators have countless ways of interacting with their team, the players and other fans across their country and the world. Digital marketers and media buyers have an incredible opportunity to be part of the conversation and turn users into buyers through targeted programmatic, social and search. There is a captive audience waiting to be messaged to. If you can join in and show fans that you also care, there is a great opportunity to be seen and heard.

Digilant’s FIFA 2018 Digital Advertising Infographic covers who the consumers are, social media trends, how the content is consumed and by who, and more!

Download the full infographic here and don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Interested in learning more about how people are consuming World Cup Content? Check out Part 3 of our FIFA World Cup 2018 Infographic series here.


Programmatic Media Buying 101: Twitter Advertising Features

More and more, social media is becoming a bigger part of most digital marketer’s media plans. Over the last two years, social media ad spend has doubled due to its rapid growth. Twitter’s advertising revenue for example has been steadily increasing with as much as 60% growth year over year.

Does Twitter Measure up to the Competition?

Twitter, amongst the social media tools, has an interesting track record. As early as June 2014, nearly 80% of U.S. marketers were already using promoted Tweets, giving Twitter a strong adoption rate amongst marketers at that time. But despite their early adoption rate, Twitter has since lost some growth compared to other platforms, falling behind apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram. Overall, none of these platforms come close to the success that Facebook has; but even against these odds, Twitter, with its 313 million active users, still has a lot to offer to brand marketers.

Regardless of usage and numbers, marketers still report that Twitter provides a decent return on investment, ROI, ranking below Facebook but still above Instagram, LinkedIn, Slideshare and Snapchat for programmatic media buying.

Using Twitter

In 2016, Promoted Tweet engagements were up 91% year-over-year, giving advertisers a much higher audience engagement on display ads. These Promoted Tweets included:Twitter Ads

  • Top placement of relevant search result pages
  • Promoted Trends search results
  • Relevancy on user’s live Twitter Feeds
  • Placement on user profiles that fit the targeting qualifications

In addition to these Promoted Tweets, brands can also use Twitter to:

  • Earn top rankings through consistent, ongoing record of interaction with followers
  • Engage with audiences through Twitter’s messaging and communication features
  • Use Tweets to beta test paid marketing and creative copy

Twitter’s Features

While paid ads and Promoted Tweets are great tools included in the platform, they’re not the driving forces on Twitter. Instead, it’s that brands have the opportunity to drive a conversation with their audience.
Brands can also find opportunities on Twitter by taking advantage of Twitter’s “Moments” to collect, curate and reorder tweets to showcase conversations as everyday storytelling or as part of a campaign strategy. Twitter helps to offer real-time, direct connections with consumers that can turn customer service into “serving customers.” The platform enables brands to participate in the moment with their audiences through live video and real-time tweeting, even creating cultural moments. With this, many brands take the opportunity to put the creativity of their customers into the spotlight.

Social’s share of marketing budgets is expected to increase from an average of about 10% to nearly 25% within the next five years. The money and time brands spend on Twitter isn’t just for leads, but for retention.

Summaryprogrammatic social media buying

  • While Twitter isn’t leading the social media wave, it still has a lot to offer to brands.
  • Digital Marketers report a high ROI from their advertising efforts on Twitter.
  • Promoted Tweets aren’t the only ways in which brands can use Twitter.
  • Ongoing audience engagement and beta-testing campaigns can build relationships.
  • Social share of marketing budgets is increasing.
  • Twitter can be used not just for leads, but also for customer retention.
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