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February 03, 2020

By: Jason Gitlin, Associate Creative Director, RAPP SF

Do you have your target audience in your sights? In today’s hyper-personalized world, it has never been more critical. It has also never been so tricky.

Seemingly, there is an infinite number of marketing channels to utilize in 2020. It can be overwhelming to consider them all. For this blog post, let’s narrow the focus to two specific avenues that are great for lower-funnel conversion efforts: LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Unlike traditional display, paid social, and native advertising — in which people are served messages on the basis of their online behavior and what we know about them — LinkedIn and Pinterest content reaches users when they are in a receptive mindset: They’re looking for specific things, not mindlessly poking around online or browsing their social feeds.

On LinkedIn, users are finding colleagues to connect with, jobs to apply to, and content that might be helpful professionally, including general career topics and more nuanced ones that relate to an individual’s job function or industry. On Pinterest, users are searching by particular interests. More specifically, people are looking for “Pins” that relate to what’s important to them. The organic nature of connecting with brands on Pinterest is appealing, so much so that 87% of users say they’ve purchased a product or service from the application.

Both channels also provide an environment that lends itself to more effective targeting. Pinterest allows you to align your message with a theme that’s popular among its 250 million active users spread across more than 175 billion Pins — 66% of which are related to some type of brand or product. Social Media Today asserts: “Combine those stats together and it’s plain to see that there’s a lot of potential in those Pins.”

LinkedIn, meanwhile, is different because of its focus. As Search Engine Journal notes: “LinkedIn’s competitive advantage is that it is a professional networking site. That environment cannot be replicated anywhere else.” Not only is it a unique environment, but the targeting data available — from newly created profiles to recent job changes and actual job titles — is verifiably relevant given the professional nature of the site. “LinkedIn can accurately deliver your message to the right prospects and therefore generate a higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate.”

Making Genuine Connections

The ability of brands to individualize messages for a specific audience on these channels is remarkable. Consider this real-life example: LinkedIn was recently tested as a new entry into the roster of social media channels utilized by one of our financial services clients. By partnering with OMD and LinkedIn, we were able to target three distinct segments among its user population: career starters, career or job changers, and upward movers and high earners.

This allowed us to directly address relevant life events in our content. We could tailor our offer messages to make immediate sense to our targets. And as LinkedIn is about professional networking, adding a nod to an individual’s current situation seemed to minimize the “creep factor” that ultra-targeted marketing can have (especially if you think your device has been surreptitiously listening in to your conversations). People on the platform actively promote their own behavior and situations for their own professional benefit, so tailoring the messaging along the same lines felt natural and appropriate. In one specific case, one of our sponsored posts received a reply that read “Love a good targeted ad. This is relevant and flattering.”

Are there another two adjectives you’d rather your marketing to be called? What a perfect response! If you want to duplicate that level of success and bring your target audiences into sharper focus with channel-specific content, try these three strategies that RAPP has seen work time and again:

1. Focus on the ‘why.’ People turn to LinkedIn and Pinterest for very specific reasons: looking for certain things, chasing down their particular interests and goals. Say you have a great offer that everyone can benefit from: Why is it important to someone who’s looking to connect with new colleagues he just met on his first day of work? Tell him exactly why, and your ad will be more relevant and more successful.

2. Get personal. This is a longstanding RAPP principle we always consider in the work we do, but for places like LinkedIn, we found that we could target more specifically than just “job searchers” or people interested in general job topics. Our strategists looked for available data points that could help us better target and tailor our messages to life events and motivations for success. On Pinterest, we aligned our work to topics that were important to our audience through in-depth research into their motivations and behavior.

3. Create in context. When we approached the Pinterest work, we did a creative audit of how people and brands created Pins in the topics that related closely to the life events and motivations uncovered by our research. Do they use images? Do promotional posts look like ads? What kinds of images do people use in their Pins about weddings? By looking at where we were going, we developed three distinct approaches to Pins — which we are currently testing to determine what works best. As the results are just coming in, we’ve learned a few things that indicate the importance of paying attention to context.

Considering audience and context while using the right language that personally presents the why — both verbal and visual — is essential in creating work that performs at its peak. When you accomplish this, you’ll be amazed at how many sales get pushed through the bottom of the funnel.

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