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Facebook Debuts New Guide to Help Marketers Target Audiences at Key Moments

Facebook Debuts New Guide to Help Marketers Target Audiences at Key Moments Blog Feature

June 14th, 2019 min read

Digital advertising has allowed marketers to significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of the ads they produce.

Previously, you’d run an ad on a television network, billboard, or magazine that you hoped your target demographic would see — but ad platforms like Facebook and Google allow marketers to be much more precise.

Thanks to these tools, we’ve nearly mastered the who in targeting ads to our key demographic. However, few have factored in when this audience will be most receptive to the message.

Think about it: Most people have their phones with them all the time, and that creates opportunities for brands to cater their ads specifically to when the person should be seeing your ad.

For example, showing a Zzzquil ad is likely more effective when shown to a restless person at midnight than it would be for the same person at lunchtime.

However, if you’re an SaaS company, the perfect ad timing might not be as crystal clear — but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Facebooks’ recent study aims to understand how brands can be a part of different “moments” in people’s lives — the big, small, and in-between.

The research identified three different types of key “moments” in which people are using their mobile devices that advertisers can use to open up new opportunities to connect with their audience.

You can read the full study to gain an in-depth look at each particular “moment” covered.

What Are “Moments that Matter?”

Facebook states:

“Whether it’s a morning coffee, a birthday extravaganza, a graduation or a lunar eclipse, moments bring people closer together. In our mobile, connected world, celebrating events both big and small has become more widespread, fluid and personalized. People now have the tools to share how they want, with whomever, wherever and whenever. For marketers, understanding the nuances of how moments have expanded and shifted can open up new opportunities.”

In other words, key moments bring people together in the real world, like holidays, graduations, or weddings. People are now turning to social media to share these with the people that matter in their lives.

There are also small moments that are universally relatable — the morning commute, Netflix break, or office lunch — where brands have an opportunity to step in and be a part of the narrative.

As such, Facebook defined three key types of moments:

Keeping these moments in mind allows marketers to better refine both the timing and messaging of their ads to make them more relevant for the user (and in turn, more effective for the marketer).

For each moment type, Facebook references examples of specific events that occur for the average person.

These include everyday activities like a morning coffee, annual events like a birthday, or rarer, more meaningful moments like getting married.

You can read the full breakdown of each example listed here — but it’s important to note that while these guidelines are helpful, they’re not meant to be followed exactly by each brand.

Rather, use the suggestions as a jumping off point to think about your brand’s audience and the common “moments” they may share.

Once-A-Day Moments

When you’re targeting for once-a-day moments, a goal shouldn’t be simply a quick conversion, but to be a relatable, consistent part of this user’s day-to-day activities.

Facebook states:

“For marketers and creatives, the regularity and ongoing nature of once-a-day moments offers plenty of new opportunities. Brands can help people celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary and become a part of the habits that shape daily routines. “

“Once-a-day moments create the space for an ongoing relationship between a brand and its audience, leading to new category entry points.”

Simply put, brands have the opportunity to join the conversation and connect with their audience in the same way they’re connecting with their friends and family on the platform.

Best practices for once-a-day moments

The key to effective marketing for once a day moment is relevancy and timing.

As such, regardless of your brand, industry, or product, here are a few considerations to keep in mind for best results:

  • Be relatable: By embracing what’s familiar to your audience, you can form better, more meaningful connections. When you’re crafting an ad for a “once a day moment”, think about what mindset your audience is in. What message will feel most familiar at this state in their journey? By focusing on the needs of your audience rather than simply talking about your brand, you’re much more likely to pique their interest.
  • Prioritize connection over conversions: Once-a-day moments can span far beyond ads. Consider ways your brand can not only connect with your target audience, but ways it can help connect them with one another. Facebook groups is a great way to do this. For example, IMPACT created IMPACT Elite, a Facebook group designed to connect like-minded marketers and sales professionals to discuss pain points or advice.
  • Consider timing and placement: To truly meet people where they are, your campaign should span multiple platforms and devices to keep up with where your audience is hanging out throughout the day.

Once-A-Year Moments

Once-a-year moments probably already exist in your marketing strategy.

After all, these annual events, whether they be Christmas, Black Friday, or the Super Bowl, bring people together and centralize the conversation around one particular topic.

For years, brands have utilized these events to compel audiences to invite their brand into the celebration.

Now, brands can utilize social media to spread this message even further and remain a more relevant piece of the conversation.

As Facebook states:

“What’s important to understand is the way people’s behavior has changed around these once-a-year moments. Whereas they may have previously been only one-day events, annual activities can now be discussed and celebrated over several days or even weeks. This means brands now need to grab attention and then keep it.”

“Once-a-year moments are often driven by the things that matter most: family, friends and passions. People enjoy investing their time and attention in the things they love, and for brands, it’s a chance to get creative with shared traditions and references. Whether through a campaign, branded content or sponsorship takeovers, it’s about developing creative messaging that reaches the right people at the right time.”

Best practices for once-a-year moments

With these new access points comes a new approach brands should take to ensure their message is seen and sticks with its target audience.

  • Consider audience behavior Just like the buyer's journey, your audience's behavior around a holiday or other event is bound to follow a particular pattern. Take Christmas, for example. Before the holiday, people are likely to be seeking out gifts for loved ones, so consider taking out ads on platforms like Amazon. The day of, a lot of people are posting family pictures on Instagram and Facebook — so consider posting ads and organic posts there as well. Afterwards, many people have the week off, so more of your audience will be hanging out on social media platforms during the week, so consider sharing New Year’s related content as they’re thinking about entering the new year.
  • Remove friction: Most of the time, an annual event means people are busy — so remove any steps possible that can save your audience time. If you’re advertising a product, link directly to the shopping cart vs. the product page. The more of a direct path you can provide, the better!
  • Match excitement!: Most of the time, these annual events are something people look forward to all year. To best connect, make sure your brand conveys the same level of excitement and passion.

Once-in-a-while Moments

Once-in-a-while moments cover a variety of events in people’s lives.

There are the personal moments, like getting married, having your first child, or graduating. There’s also more universal once-in-a-while moments, like the Olympics, elections, or social movements that define a generation.

While the specific event can vary, they do have one thing in common: They bring people together, and these people often turn to social media to share this event with friends, family, or new communities.

These events, and the emotions they evoke, provide a unique opportunity for marketers to connect with their audience on an emotional level, beyond just a product or service offering.

As Facebook states:

“Personal once-in-a-while moments create meaningful connections that are not confined to family and friends. Communities grow around these when people turn to platforms like Facebook or Instagram for recommendations and advice. Major events that occur only once in a while are examples of global moments that unite communities around the world online”

Marketers have an opportunity to see this bigger picture and hone in on the details when it comes to creative campaigns. People are connecting over big life events as well as experiences shared with millions of people across the world. By being part of the conversation, a brand can demonstrate its unique purpose and value.”

This is an approach that we’ve seen from many brands in the past. Most recently, we’ve seen Pamper’s campaign with John Legend that celebrates families welcoming new children, as well as advocating for adding changing tables in men’s restrooms.

This is a perfect example of once-in-a-while moments because it connects with families with new babies and brings a common pain point for new dads into the conversation. You’ll notice the messaging doesn’t focus on why Pampers is a superior product, but rather aims to create an emotional connection that will lead to positive views of the brand.

Best practices for once-in-a-while moments

  • Aim to create an emotional connection: Once-in-a-while moments often come with strong emotions like happiness, anxiety, or motivation. By considering how your audience is feeling during each step in the process, you can create a more meaningful message.
  • Pay attention to trending topics: What is your audience talking about? Pay attention to what moments are important to your audience, and how you can create stronger connections by joining the conversation.  
  • Make your message bigger than just your brand: Like the Pampers example, you can make a positive connection without making your products the central focus.

Final Thoughts

No matter what industry you’re in, your ideal buyer is hanging out online.

By crafting your messaging to connect with the right people at the right time (and understanding what the right time is) you’re much more likely to have a successful campaign, organic or otherwise.

We have a unique ability to reach people on their mobile devices at many points throughout their day, from their routine everyday tasks to milestone moments.

Marketers should use these capabilities not just to be everywhere all the time, but to take a strategic approach to messaging, placement, and engagement so all your efforts can mean something to your audience.

For more information on Facebook’s study, you can read the full infographic here.

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