written by: Law Ching Hang

Tongal is a company that develops creative content and videos optimized for different channels while SocialCode manages digital advertising, with strategies derived from insights, across social media for major brands. These two companies jointly created a program which develops and distributes highly customized content to users, thus maximizing the performance of ad videos in social media. New Balance is the first brand to join the partnership.

In 2016, New Balance developed #GreaterThanTheWin campaign with Tongal. It featured the stories of different athletes across the world. With key learnings of consumer behaviors provided by SocialCode, Tongal created several versions of content to be published on Facebook. Then, SocialCode executed the campaign on Facebook and tested which versions worked best.

Data shows optimized content produces striking result
The optimized 15-second version yields a fivefold increase in completion rate. This shows that content optimized for Facebook outperforms. On the other hand, ad recall rate of both optimized 90-second and 15-second versions is 20% higher than the standard, original ad. It seems that the length of a video does not determine its performance on Facebook. Engaging content specifically designed for a channel can also have comparable performance to short-form content. The test also shows that it is more effective to retain viewers by revealing an emotional hook instead of a brand logo in the first few second.

A change in the content marketing strategies
In this era of technology, digital advertising plays a more important role than ever. Everyday, consumers are flooded with information on social media. It is getting more difficult to keep the attention of consumers on a particular ad. However, this collaboration seems to provide a solution. It gives rise to a new trend in content marketing.

Starting off a campaign with consumer insights is a common practice for most marketers nowadays. But then, they can only obtain the performance data after the campaign comes to an end. It is too late for creative to act on the performance data. However, this collaboration allows companies to receive real-time insights. Creative development team understands which format and what content is more effective to induce resonance to audience. Thus, they can make corresponding adjustments to maximize the performance. It seems that social data no longer merely starts and ends a campaign, but it plays an important role throughout the whole campaign. With data provided by media companies, creative team optimizes the performance of ad by producing content that is more customized to users.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, content becoming more data-driven does not necessarily always be “the trump card”. There is a risk of over-relying on numbers and fall into the trap of blindly executing the superficial meanings of what the data are implicating; to the extent that important creative considerations are undermined. There is a fine difference between “programmatic” an “robotic”. Extracting useful insights from big data is an art, tabulating and synthesizing the data is a science. Perhaps, there could never be too much standardization for truly engaging brand building campaigns. After all, the best consumer insights come genuine understanding of why consumers behave in a particular way, as such inspires the dawn of great creative.

Heine, C. (2017, March 16). This Data-driven Partnership Helped New Balance Get a 20% Lift in Facebook Ad Recall. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/digital/this-data-driven-partnership-helped-new-balance-get-20-percent-better-facebook-ad-recall/

Malley, G. O. (2017, March 17). SocialCode and Tongal Merge Mobile Planning and Creative. Retrieved from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/297387/socialcode-and-tongal-merge-mobile-planning-and-cr.html

SocialCode. (2017, March 16). Tongal and SocialCode Release Full Service Solution to Power Creative and Video Performance for Social Media. Retrieved from http://socialcode.com/thought-leadership/blog/tongal-socialcode-release-full-service-solution-power-creative-video-performance-social-media/

Tongal. (2017, March 16). How New Balance Increased Viewership 5X by Optimizing Content for Facebook. Retrieved from https://tongal.com/blog/business/how-new-balance-increased-viewership-5x-by-optimizing-content-for-facebook/