Welcome to Campfire Stories, where we spotlight our Appi Campers and share their stories in their own words. We invite you to get to know and learn from other app marketing pros, app marketing experts and your camp friends - as we continue to grow, and learn together as a community.

Abigail Welte Campfire Story 

Abby is a Strategy Lead on the Managed Services team at Smartly.io. Based in New York City, she's been working in the social advertising space since 2017, driving value on both the ad tech and agency side of the business. Her favorite parts about working in advertising are her relationships with her clients, and connecting data to the art of storytelling. Outside of work she loves her book club, running, and is a self proclaimed (very micro) influencer.

Unexpected Journey into Mobile

I actually fell into mobile marketing by complete accident. When I was in college, I started working in the IT department to make some extra money. I was the only woman and the only one who knew how to use a Mac. Eventually I became the go-to when it came to Apple products in the department. I loved being around the data scientists and engineers and slowly realized that this is something I am really interested in. By the time I graduated, I was on the board of directors!

Senior year of college, I started an internship at Sprinklr, which is a technology company that worked primarily with Facebook ads. When I graduated, I started full time in the organic advertising space and then moved to media buying which is more of what I do now. I not only loved what I was doing at that company, but I really enjoyed the culture and collaboration that Sprinklr had to offer. I now work with a lot of those team members over at Smartly.io. It’s been fun to grow with a core group of people in this industry. 

From Niche Targeting to Broad Reach: How Social Media has Changed 

Over the last few decades, social media has changed drastically. At the start of my career, we were focused on extremely niche targeting. For example, we’d have ads set for women over 40 who work in specific locations or “millennial bloggers”. We would create extremely specific customer personas and profiles for the targets we were trying to reach. Now, with the loss of visibility that came with IDFA, our partners are asking us to go back to a more broad reach.  

It’s so interesting to see how the loss of insight on certain platforms has brought about a higher level of third party tracking. Forecasting and other predictive analytics have become so much more advanced given the lack of identification in recent years. Clients now want to look at more complex information that is beyond the basic “who saw my ad”. Now they are looking for the clicks, completion, lifetime and more of those deeper actions. 

How to Target the Right Audience on Each Social Media Platform

There is a time and place to leverage each platform. Advertising on different social media platforms can be highly effective because each platform attracts distinct audiences with unique characteristics, interests, and behaviors. Tailoring advertising strategies to specific social media platforms enables businesses to reach the right audience with the right message, leading to better engagement and conversions. At Smartly.io, we love testing out different strategies and platforms to see what works for our clients. 

Facebook, for example, has a broad user base that spans various age groups and demographics. It's ideal for brands looking to reach a diverse audience and allows for detailed targeting based on user interests, demographics, and online behaviors. In contrast, Instagram is a visually-centric platform that skews younger, making it perfect for brands in fashion, beauty, or lifestyle industries. Leveraging eye-catching visuals and influencer partnerships can be particularly effective here.

Snapchat and TikTok, with their young, tech-savvy user base, are great for brands that want to connect with Gen Z and millennial audiences through short, engaging videos and AR filters. TikTok has a reputation of only showcasing “teens dancing”, when there are actually so many more opportunities on this platform. Pinterest is also a create option for brands that have more of a creative side or want to encourage user generated content from a different angle. 

It’s half the responsibility of the media buyer and half of the client to know their audience. Successful social media advertising hinges on understanding the diverse audiences that each platform attracts. Also, taking a look at the data ALWAYS! Make sure that each strategic iteration is based on data. 

Fueling Engagement with User-Generated Content

Smartly.io has a huge creative suite option to work with creators. We encourage brands that we work with to leverage user generated content. Our customer success team will guide brands through this process to make the best possible content that will then perform well in campaigns. I’ve even made my own content for clients!

UGC overall is more engaging than curated content. It fosters authenticity and trust between the consumer and the brand. When customers share their own experiences, reviews, and content related to a product or service, it carries more credibility and can influence the purchasing decisions of potential customers. UGC also helps build a sense of community, as it encourages interaction and participation among users. These types of ads feel more natural than typical influencer marketing campaigns because of the transparency. It seems less forced. 

We also find that UGC can be a valuable source of insights and feedback, allowing businesses to better understand their audience, refine their products or services, and adapt their marketing strategies. Some platforms have some restrictions when it comes to UGC, so adapting to those changes is important when creating these campaigns. 

The Rise of the Micro-Influencer

I’ve seen a shift when it comes to working with influencers that are too popular or will post pretty much anything a brand sends. There is a level of inauthenticity that consumers (especially the younger generation) can sense. For example, a brand we work with was going to hire an influencer who wanted $300,000 for a 10 second video. It was just not going to happen! Instead, we were able to create content from users who actually buy and love the brand, which created a more authentic campaign. 

This shift from mega to micro-influencers is not only cost effective, but enhances the authenticity and credibility of influencer campaigns. Micro-influencers’  followers often perceive them as more relatable and trustworthy compared to celebrity influencers. Micro-influencers also typically have a deeper connection with their audience, which results in higher engagement rates and a more targeted reach, making them ideal for niche markets and specialized products

Want to get in touch with Abby to talk Paid Social? Connect with her here on LinkedIn!