Why lateral thinking is the key to successful Facebook advertising

At Wild West, tailored storytelling is at the heart of everything we do. We focus on generating meaningful content that establishes real connections with audiences to help our clients stand out. 

Lateral thinking is the way we are able to create inspiring and engaging content as a communications agency. And a current social media marketing campaign has really got our creative juices flowing, with some great results.

As part of our work with Falmouth University, we have been tasked to design and run a short social media advertising project with Stormtide Games. The University’s alumni start-up recently released its first game, Satellite Command – an ultra-realistic satellite simulator game for mobile and PC.

The aim for our project is to ramp up public relations ahead of EGX, the largest gaming event in the UK, as well as drive awareness of the game online. This is a ‘Zero to Hero’ project in the truest sense – we have had to start from scratch with social media.

 

 

Our goals for the project are:

  1. Drive brand awareness and educate users
  2. Build a genuinely engaged social media audience
  3. Get users into the online store from social media

We’re six weeks into the project and are really pleased with the results so far:

  1. We’ve secured positive reviews on leading sites such as IndieGames.com and Gamezebo.com
  2. We’ve built an engaged audience of 7K+ users from zero
  3. We’ve generated 20K+ click throughs to stores

 

Satellite Command Facebook Post - September 2016

 

Satellite Command Facebook Post - September 2016

 

We’ve put together a three step guide to thinking laterally with social media marketing, to help you shape your next social media project into a winner.

 

  1. Research – Think laterally for genuine engagement 

Making lateral connections and jumping on the news agenda is a common occurrence in public relations. Apply this technique to your research as it’s the most important part of a campaign.

We knew that space enthusiasts would be interested in a space game – that’s obvious. But the real reward comes from getting fresh groups of people that we thought might genuinely like it to check it out.

This is a strategy game, so we also targeted groups that were connected to other products and activities that involve strategy. For example, chess players, war gamers, engineers, board game lovers and sports fans. Along with some geo-location, age and gaming research thrown in for different regions around the world, we were set up for stage two.

 

  1. Implementation – Tests, Tests and more Tests – Yawn…

Have faith in your lateral thinking but make sure you run tests. This is so important. Take your research groups and set up tests for a couple of weeks with about £20 a time. We try to go for three test adverts for each group we’ve researched.

In this campaign we ended up with 6 core groups, but it’s not unheard of to have 35-50 groups to begin with and whittle it down throughout the campaign. Remember, you are aiming for the most responsive and cost effective groups for your campaign so take your time and factor it into your schedule.

 

  1. Management – Don’t be afraid to adjust

Don’t let the creativity stop once the campaign has begun. One of the biggest mistakes made with social media advertising is being too afraid to make adjustments once you have begun.

I’ve been there, having spent weeks researching and getting ad groups together and not wanting to make any further changes. But, if a competitor suddenly releases a rival product, or you notice a massive drop off in a group, spending the time to find out why, adjust and regroup is really valid use of your time and will make the campaign more effective.

Check in with your adverts every day and see whether you can refine them further. Keep in touch with industry news – there may be an opportunity to tie in to a trend and really boost your engagement. When Nasa launched their latest initiative on the space station in late September, because we were looking out for stories, we were able to join in on the conversation and get some really great conversations happening on our Satellite Command page. Spotting news stories helps you to tweak your content throughout the campaign period, keeping it fresh.

 

Pivot, reframe and make new connections. Be agile and keep thinking laterally… Good luck!

 

 

Words: Sam Shrimpton

Senior Campaign Executive at Wild West Comms