Social Advertising in a Cookieless Future

By Allison Scudder • November 8, 2022

Before there is a panic, our favorite dessert cookie is not going away. We are referring to HTTP cookies. A cookie is a small piece of data that is created by a web server while a user is browsing and placed on the user’s computer or other device by the web browser. When users return to a website, the cookie provides information about the visitors’ previous behaviors and allows the site to display selected settings and targeted content. Google will be phasing out the support for third-party cookies by 2024.

Chrome is following other popular browsers like Firefox and Safari for phasing out the third-party cookie. Chrome may only be one of the many web browsers, but it currently has 65.24% of the market share. During the Social Media Strategies Summit, there was a featured panel that took a deeper dive into what the future of advertising in a cookieless future looks like for marketers.

One of the first questions posed to the panel was to describe how cookies can impact strategy and plans. Both panelists, Lauren Goldman of OrganiCare, and RJ Estrada of Nasdaq, agreed that as long as Google Chrome continues to support cookies, that it will be part of their plan, but their companies have started to strategize the next steps in digital advertising. Estrada went into detail on how they are beginning to rely more heavily on first-party data. First-party data is the information that your association collects directly from your members. This can include:

  • Age.
  • Education.
  • Employment.
  • Interests.
  • Location.

The data can come from newsletter sign ups, webinar registrations, event attendee lists, and even your own membership surveys. The key to good first-party data is that it is clean and up-to-date.

Goldman has led OrganiCare to a different approach when looking at building new audiences. Her team has taken a step back from specific targeting and has begun running broad campaigns for general insights on how users interact with their paid advertising. This has given their team the opportunity to think beyond their traditional buyer personas. It has identified new groups that have emerged, and they are able to build look-alike lists based on this new data. It is an interesting approach to see what other opportunities may be out there that your team has not recognized in the past.

The next question posed to Goldman and Estrada was in reference to how they strategize for paid social media advertising. Goldman starts the discussion by sharing how they view each social media channel as a different step in the funnel. TikTok is used for top of the funnel brand awareness. After interactions with TikTok they will move those individuals into a traditional middle of the funnel email strategy. For bottom of the funnel buyers, they put their muscle behind Facebook and LinkedIn. It all stems from what is best for your industry and your market. Allocate your money to where your leads are. The goal should always be to convert these leads into sales for your association.

Estrada piggy backed off what Goldman was saying and they select platforms based on where their audience is hanging out digitally. All social platforms will give you similar objectives to track. It is about audience targeting and putting your budget behind valuable platforms. Step into the shoes of your target audience and think about where they are browsing in their free time. This can include:

  • Social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest).
  • Search engines (Google, Bing, YouTube).
  • Online Marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Etsy).

You can even utilize survey data from your members to help decide what platform mix is best for you to advertise on! If most of your members prefer to use LinkedIn over other social media, then other likeminded individuals will also be found on there as well.

As a website visitor and consumer, the retiring of the third-party cookie means that you will have more privacy while browsing the web. The trail of cookie crumbs left when searching webpage to webpage will be eliminated, but so will your ability to learn about your potential new members interaction with your website. One of the best things about marketers is that they are creative problem solvers. This gives us a new challenge to flex our creative muscles and find new ways to stand out from the pack. Include designers in the conversations and brainstorm new ways to have your association stand out from the pack and put the benefits on the forefront.

About The Author

Allison Scudder is a corporate marketing specialist at Naylor Association Solutions. Reach her at [email protected].