I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about social media marketing best practices. After all, social media is an immensely powerful resource when it comes to inbound marketing. I usually talk about the best organic practices – that is – growing your social media profiles without having to pay. In this article, however, I’m going to be talking about incorporating paid ads into your social media strategy. The truth is, changes to Google’s search result pages have made it harder to get your business noticed organically, especially when it comes to competitive commercial searches. And according to research, organic reach in social media is on its way out. Half of all organic content gets zero shares, and less than 0.1 percent will be shared more than 1,000 times.
So it’s easy to understand why 88% of marketers want to know how to use social media ads (Social Media Industry Report 2017). According to studies from eMarketer, digital ad spend in Australia is set to grow by 15% in 2017, hitting a whopping $6.18 billion, which is about 54% of all media budgets in Australia. Whereas TV ad spend is predicted to reach just $3.3 billion, just over one-fifth of media budgets. It’s clear that digital advertising is big, and if you’re not utilising its power, now is the time to start. The purpose of this article is to provide you with 3 ways you can incorporate paid ads into your social media strategy so you can head into 2018 feeling confident and ready to put your best paid advertising foot forward.
What is Social Media Advertising?
Before I get into incorporating paid ads into your social media strategy, it’s important to understand what social media ads are – because they definitely can vary! Basically, a social media ad is any type of paid content on a social media platform. A social media ad can range from a one-off promoted Tweet or Facebook post, to a lead generation campaign that includes multiple ads over a longer period of time, these will typically have quite large advertising budgets and engaging, creative ads. Furthermore, each social network offers different types of ad options.
How Social Media Marketing Usually Works Vs How It Should Work
Social media marketing is a complex subject, and for those starting out it can be overwhelming. Most beginners (and even some marketers who have been in the game for a while) think that social media marketing can be broken down into three easy steps:
- Create new and exciting content.
- Share that content on social media.
- New customers will come running.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If only it was that easy! A lot of content shared on social media goes nowhere. Why? Because the customer buyer’s journey isn’t linear, and it’s something that takes time. So how do you increase leads and grow your sales with content? The answer is simple. Social media ads. Social media ads have been proven to turn visitors into leads and then customers. The good news? You don’t need to have a huge ad budget either. Below is a more realistic look at how social media marketing should work:
- Create content and share it on your social media networks.
- Amplify that content by choosing your top content to promote.
- Filter your audience by applying demographic and behavioural filters (so only relevant people see your ads).
- Remarket to your audience with display ads and social ads in order to promote offers.
- Convert qualified leads into happy, repeat customers!
- Review, analyse and repeat.
These steps are most effective on Facebook and Twitter and are a powerful way to get more people viewing your content.
Now that you understand the importance of a paid social media strategy and what it looks like, I’m going to offer you 3 simple tips for incorporating paid ads into your marketing strategy.
1. Start with Facebook
Facebook is the highest performing social media platform. Due to the fact is represents three quarters of all social media users, it makes sense to begin incorporating your paid ads strategy with Facebook. Facebook offers a range of helpful resources and easy to follow instructions when it comes to setting up ads and campaigns for the first time so if you’re a total beginner to paid ads, it’s the perfect place to start. And, once you begin experimenting with Facebook ads, you will get a better idea of how social media ads work for your business so you can then start incorporating them on other platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
2. Have a Goal in Mind
Before you begin incorporating paid ads into your social media strategy, it’s important you have a goal you want to achieve from it. Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Do you want more clicks? Are you trying to grow your email list? With Facebook advertising, all of the above goals are objectives you can choose for each of your campaigns. While Facebook ads certainly offer the most advanced and personalised features when it comes to ads, it’s only a matter of time before other social media platforms begin to improve their advertising options. Just remember: if you have a goal in mind when using paid advertising, you are much more likely to get the desired results!
3. Ensure Your Goal is Measurable
Once you have chosen an objective for your paid advertising campaign, it is important you have the correct tools to track your return on investment. When it comes to Facebook, they actually have a tool to help you track your results (you just have to remember to install it before you start your campaign!) The tool is called Facebook pixel and it is an analytics tool to help you determine the effectiveness of your ads, and if you achieved your goals.
These are just three simple steps to get you started with incorporating paid ads into your social media strategy. And remember: there is so much more to paid social advertising than just “boosting” a post. From planning your campaigns, to knowing your goals and measuring its return on investment, paid social media advertising is a powerful solution for businesses of all sizes that really want to grow their brand.