BLiNQ Media’s CEO Luis Caballero on Social Engagement Marketing

luiscaballero123 Luis Caballero is the new CEO of BLiNQ Media, a leading social media technology innovator offering optimization and analytical tools for advertisers. Luis has been with BLiNQ for three years and was promoted from his old position of COO. The Makegood recently spoke with Luis about his new position and social media marketing.

The Makegood: Congratulations on your new position as CEO of BLiNQ Media! What have you learned in your last 3 years at BLiNQ that has prepared you best to serve as its CEO?  

Thank you. I began working with Facebook back in 2008 via another Preferred Marketing Developer, or PMD — Vitrue, which was acquired by Oracle in 2012. At Vitrue I oversaw social-media technology development. So I recognized early the value of content and engagement in the social landscape — especially related to owned and paid on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Joining BLiNQ Media in 2010 as a technical leader, I then got heavily involved with account and media management. My background in operations helped me understand all aspects of our business. I never forget that social-media advertising is all about engagement that make connections in the context of a conversation.

The Makegood: Can you tell us about the BLiNQ platform that you helped launch? How has it changed since it was first thought up?

When first conceived, it was an ad-manager tool that made efficiency and productivity gains in the launching of media. Since then, we’ve expanded, building a suite to figure out better exactly whom to target (we then launch media against exactly those targets), and providing deep analytical reporting, beyond typical performance reporting. The BLiNQ platform has evolved. These days it focuses on local: Who’s the right local audience, where can they best be reached, and when is the best time to reach them. Local LiFT has become a core feature of the BLiNQ platform at the national level for retailers, automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers, Quick-Service Restaurants and CPG brands. As we discussed in Screenwerk, we recently worked with ShopLocal to raise in-store sales for a national retailer by 3.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. As analyst Greg Sterling noted, the campaign we ran “can serve as a kind of model for other retailer campaigns on Facebook.”

The Makegood: With Facebook and Twitter regularly reaching more people in primetime than major television networks, how can you and your team make the most of that opportunity?

It’s not just the ability to reach more people — it’s the ability to know a lot about each of those people, so you can get the best messages in front of them in a way that TV just can’t do. It’s about identifying those audiences, and the best time to engage with them. It’s about doing that at the local level, at scale. Getting those messages across in a real-time setting, and reaching people in a much more relevant way. To make the most of this massive population, it’s crucial to define and target exactly the audience you want to engage. Even better when you can discover other, richer audiences that are similar to that particular audience. That’s the kind of thing you can do when you bring intelligence to audience identification.

The Makegood: How are Twitter and Facebook similar, and how do they differ in the strategies needed to optimize their networks?

Both social-network platforms center around active conversations. The biggest difference for marketers is that Twitter is about joining current conversations, whereas Facebook is more about the context of a conversation — it’s more about joining relevant conversations.

On Twitter, users are seeking out news and information, which includes following brands. Eighteen percent of Twitter users will click on sponsored content — an unusually high number. Moreover, 70% of Twitter’s revenue comes from mobile device users, because Twitter was created to work on mobile devices.

Consumers tend to respond more positively to ads on Twitter because the ads blend so smoothly into the service. Users see the ads as less disruptive and repetitive. However, Facebook is quickly adapting to surface higher-quality content that is relevant to users, which means that both Facebook and Twitter can boost the frequency of ads shown and can offer users related content to amplify and increase engagement without ill effects. People will start to view Facebook and Twitter ads as content more and more, which improves the overall ad experience.

The Makegood: What trends have you noticed in social engagement marketing that you think will pass soon, and what trends do you think are here to stay?

Broad-stroke advertising is on the way out, and will continue to fade. Deep understanding of what resonates with an audience is giving us the ability to change creative on the fly — our Gannett partner PointRoll does this very well — showing a subtly different ad to each viewer for maximum impact. A lot of people are focusing on native content creation, gaining the ability to push that content to users wherever they are, and dynamically changing or attaching related content to suit a user’s taste. As part of this movement, hashtags continue to make a bigger and bigger impact, a trend that will only continue as social media ads become narrower and more focused.

The Makegood: Thank you, Luis