When we first started providing marketing services, it was at the height of targeting demographics, locations, and various audiences on social media based on the online activities of the users. It was incredible to me to know how many business owners were unaware of the possibilities. Fast forward a few short years and people kinda get it now, but it’s all going away.
Privacy concerns and business practices have dissolved the idea of cookies and user tracking. People’s data privacy is important to them and because of that, new laws and regulations have been put into place that limits targeting. Pair that with device and software makers making changes to their platforms that restrict tracking and you very quickly lose the ability to target people accurately, meaning you will waste money.
So what should you do?
I have 3 ideas for you to consider as we continue into the cookieless world.
LinkedIn has matured, lean into it.
It is no longer just a recruiting tool. It is a place where people post content that inspires so many people to do better in their professional lives. The best part is people share a lot about themselves on the platform, no cookies are required. Their place of work, how long they have been there, where they graduated, what their degree is, expertises they have. It’s all right there in their profiles and you can target it all in your LinkedIn ads (currently). Combine that ad spend with regular content that adds to the community and you could have a great place to grow a brand without the need for cookies.
Communities are your friend.
Algorithms and the volume of content on social have made it very hard to get in front of your audience on Facebook & Instagram. You may have a Facebook group, but just because you post in it, it doesn’t mean your community is seeing it. It may be time to consider a dedicated premium community platform like Circle. So or Mighty Networks. Or if you want to go the free rough, you can do a lot with Discord. You can use these platforms to create a space for your customers to congregate and connect around the industry of your business.
TikTok is real and you don’t have to dance.
There are real businesses making real money and building a real brand on TikTok. You can create mini-series content around your industry. You can entertain people with comedy. You can inspire people with your journey. Using short video formats, you can generate a meaningful library of content and a stream of knowledge for your audience, you just need to be consistent with it and listen to the audience about what they would like to learn from you.
BONUS: Always be looking at what’s next.
Have you considered VR & AR experiences, the Metaverse? What about NFTs and the blockchain (which I know nothing about, but know has potential). These are all places where you can get creative with marketing and can be effective, all without cookies in your user’s browsers.
Now, this list is by no means exhaustive. These are just the things that are on the top of my mind right now. It’s not that targeted marketing based on cookies doesn’t work, but it is getting more limited and it is only going to get harder until it doesn’t exist anymore. So I will leave you with this. What are you doing to prepare? What marketing discussions have you started to have in order to continue being successful with marketing without being vulnerable to the demise of the cookie?