This article is Part 3 of our Role of Social Media series. Feel free to check out Part 1 & Part 2.

Acquiring new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. Not only is it more expensive, but it’s also harder with organic reach becoming more and more difficult, hence, we opt for paid media (If you missed out on the average percentages of brand engagement, read ‘Is Facebook the Biggest Marketing Swindle of our Time?’). But this comes with a catch, especially for new brands. Many will question the authenticity of an ad because of a huge amount of advertisers, scams and noise.

In financial services, trust has been key for hundreds of years. We recently ran a successful year-long paid Social Media ad campaign that drove more than 80% of app downloads and sign-ups, but less than 10% of transactions. Once offline activations started to build on the online campaign, we saw the trend quickly change.

 

Acquiring New Users with Social Media

Last time we wrote about how to retain and engage existing users. Now, let’s have a look at acquiring new ones.

Let’s go through the same thought process and ask ourselves “What is our objective?”.

 

As mentioned in our previous article, awareness is crucial for brands not only to educate customers on your products and services but also to churn out content engagement. In this case, we focus on reach.

Let’s take a look at an industry that spent huge amounts of their marketing budget on paid Social Media, the beauty Industry. It makes complete sense since 85% of consumers trust beauty products when they are reviewed by influencers over any other source and 79% of consumers look for how-to videos online. Specifically, we are looking at Maybelline’s campaign launching their ‘Nudes Palette’.

In this campaign Maybelline almost tripled their brand awareness and messaging. How? 1) They collaborated with YouTube content creators and prominent beauty influencers, 2) They launched a YouTube Masthead ad during the days of the product launch, 3) They used Google Preferred 15-second spots, and 4) They used Trueview ads to drive opt-in views for longer form ads.

Here is one of the beauty influencers that collaborated with Maybelline for this campaign.

According to Bain & Company’s study, 60% to 80% of customers who described themselves as having a satisfactory level of service do not go back as repeat customers. Hence, generating engagement between yourself and customers is important not only for retaining them but also for acquiring them.

According to Randy Garn, one of the founders of Skipio, “In today’s fast paced business environment there’s a disconnect, and it’s a big one. Business owners are consistently focused on acquiring new customers through ‘innovative’ marketing campaigns. They want a better go-to-market strategy, stronger billboards and catchier marketing phrases. But their customers have never felt more detached. With today’s technology it is now possible to have a person-to-person relationship with every customer. The more personal and authentic the relationship, the more indispensable it becomes.”

Let’s take a look at an example that will be familiar to many as it is hard to forget, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty”. The campaign evolved over the years after it was first launched. The ad that made the most impact went viral in the year 2013 , it was the video of ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches’.

Their finding at the time was that only four percent of women consider themselves beautiful and according to the global brand vice president the mission of the campaign was “to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence not anxiety.”

Through the ad and the ever growing “Real Beauty” series, the brand built a more intimate and personal connection between the company and consumers. This therefore, drove engagement.

The key to driving product penetration and purchase intent in any brand is highly dependant on the message and reach. For instance, if an insurance company decided to drive awareness and engagement via a contest on Social Media in the hope of generating more insurance sales, the effect would most likely be very small. People will happily participate in a raffle if there is an attractive prize, but those same users would have to be converted to customers through other means.

On the other hand, given the case study from Dove, the use of the “Campaign for Real Beauty” to associate a woman’s confidence to daily beauty products makes complete sense. Dove reported that their sales jumped from $2.5 billion to $4 billion after a decade of running the campaign.

Most people have secondary email addresses and even fake mobile numbers just to participate in marketing campaigns. Building trust face to face is still more powerful, and Social Media is a great way to scale those stories.

In summary, integration and channel diversification is key but there is no definite marketing strategy that fits all brands when it comes to retaining existing users or acquiring new users via Social Media. What are you struggling with when it comes to your existing users and Social Media?