Want to get insight into where interactive advertising is headed? Check out the Social Media Best Practices from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (iAB). These best practices are the product of the iAB’s User-Generated Content & Social Media Committee, over 150 member companies promoting appropriate ways to market using user-generated content on social media.
The best practices reflect the experiences of B2C companies advertising to consumers on popular vehicles like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This type of advertising is likely to migrate to business-oriented social networks, so the best practices are instructive for startups and other deep-tech marketers. these companies are already engaging customers and prospects on business and industry networks, but the nascent breed of interactive ads (“social ads,” you may think of them as widgets or apps) represents a whole different animal. The iAB defines a social ad as follows:
“An online ad that incorporates user interactions that the consumer has agreed to display and be shared. The resulting ad displays these interactions along with the user’s persona (picture and/or name) within the ad content.”
The iAB Best Practices describes three ingredients in a social ad:
- Content, which is typically tailored to each viewer by drawing on the individual’s profile data.
- Targeting, which draws upon the individual’s connections (or “social graph”) on the particular advertising platform (i.e. Facebook).
- Functionality, which is how the social ad allows the individual to add his or her own content and share it with connections.
The use of an individual’s profile data and social graph is what makes these ads so compelling, but also very different from the online advertising deep-tech marketers are familiar with. Advertisers need to consider a number of practices that are more similar to lead nurturing than to advertising:
- Make it clear to the viewer which profile data the ad will use, and how it will be used.
- Allow the viewer to review the personalised ad before it is shown to connections.
- Make it very easy for a viewer and recipient to select or opt out of any part of the social ad’s functionality.
You’ll find more detailed guidelines and some interesting examples in the iAB Social Media Best Practices. Use them for good background knowledge and planning for the coming wave of high-tech social advertising.