We use social media and know that social media advertising is an expected part of everyday life. Our main measure of success as the reviews team is, of course, reviews.
That being said, we also have a secondary goal to increase new users. In the article about how G2 used email marketing to help us get to 1 million reviews, I will explore how growing a subscriber list is vital to an email marketing strategy. Well, how exactly do you grow a subscriber list? Social media is a great place to drive new users to the site, and many times it results in a new review.
Segmentation and targeting
When we first started posting paid social ads, Facebook was the obvious choice for us because it had a large audience and robust targeting. Targeting and segmentation are the most important aspects in our digital advertising strategy. If we’re not reaching the right people, it doesn’t matter what the copy says or the creative we put in front of them because it won’t resonate with their motivation to sign-up. In the past, we’ve found great success using Facebook’s lookalike audiences.
How is segmentation different than targeting? Much like personalization and customization, it is an upgrade on the email strategy side. There are some subtle nuances to both strategies. We at G2 view targeting as identifying a group of potential users and building an audience based on their requirements.
Segmentation is taking that audience and using one or more variables to divide them. For example, we use job title targeting on Facebook and segment users to tailored landing pages where the software they select is more related to the job title they hold. Even things like segmenting based on channel are essential. Both Facebook and Instagram are integrated into the same platform and we’ve found great success in segmenting them and optimizing their creative types.
Speaking of creative, there are a few rules of thumb that make our ads stand out. When we first started advertising on Facebook, we had one piece of creative that worked extremely well. It was our branded orange background with three coffee cups, and text that read, “Have a coffee, on us.”
Why were we able to use this one singe creative for so long? Well, part of it was the need to build brand perception, and another part was considering the landscape. Many social media platforms are comprised of blue and white interfaces, with a few exceptions. Leaning into the orange, and what we affectionately now call “rorange” made our ads stand out.
There is more to consider when testing creative. A new opportunity presented itself to us in the form of moving content (GIFs and video). Moving content was a great option when we were looking to upgrade our creative. It allowed us to tell a story while grabbing the attention of the viewer in a new and exciting way. When we approached the creation of a GIF for the first time we wanted to be intentional about the story we were telling. While the concept of leaving a review is in most people’s vocabulary, leaving a software review is a more complex idea to get across. By showcasing part of the review process in the GIF, we were able to better convey to our audience what to expect.
Making the transition into our new branding
Like most digital strategies, our digital marketing positioning has evolved. Usually, it was in ways you wouldn’t notice from one day to the next. That all changed when we decided to rebrand from G2 Crowd to G2.
The fun part was getting new graphics and making jokes around the office about our bright new “rorange” swag. The tough part was having to transition all of our ads to new creative without it being too jarring to our audiences, all the while maintaining strong conversions.
The best course of action was to start simple, update our current graphics with new brand colors and logos, A/B test new creative, remain flexible, and adjust based on results. I should probably also mention how important it was to keep everything documented. Making sure we knew every asset we were using and knowing whether it had been updated was essential to remain organized.
Scaling our way to 1 million
It takes the sum of all the parts mentioned above to create and maintain the well oiled social media machine that successfully brings in new users and reviews. What if you need to accelerate your rocket ship to 1 million reviews? We’ve used many approaches to get us there.
The first was expanding into different ad platforms. Facebook was our bread and butter from day one, but we’ve since included Twitter and LinkedIn into our paid social advertising. Keeping a diverse portfolio of platforms is much less risky (like a diverse stock portfolio) and has allowed us to lean into the unique targeting capabilities of each platform. On Twitter, we’ve utilized popular handles and hashtags, while on LinkedIn we’ve found great success with their company and industry-specific targeting tools.
Another approach we’ve used to scale our reviews is expanding our focus globally. There’s a growing need for software reviews in EMEA and APAC, and it’s our job to source those. We’ve grown our team and focused specifically on these regions, not only to get more global reviews but to meet our reviewers where they are. We continue to optimize our ads by translating the copy and updating our asks so they are relevant to the audiences we serve.
TIP: Interested in monitoring the success of your social media advertising efforts? You can easily check on ROI with the right social media monitoring software:
Social media advertising works
Marketers understand the importance of paid social media in today’s digital landscape. A combination of aligning of platforms with our goals, creative with our brand, and above all segmentation with our targeting has truly brought us success in fueling G2 with 1 million reviews. Accepting challenges early on during brand transition, and global expansion across platforms, has enabled us to expedite our trajectory in the little over two years that I’ve been with G2.
Here’s to one million reviews, and one million more.
Kelsey is a Marketing Manager who questions why people do what they do to pinpoint how to grab their attention. She has spent the last two years at G2 building a successful email and digital marketing strategy. An Indiana native, she has a BA in Marketing and MIS from Butler University. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys grabbing dinner at the latest restaurant in Chicago with friends or playing a quick hand of euchre.