Yes. I’m going to recommend yet another marketing tactic you need for your digital arsenal: paid social media advertising. That’s because it’s important!
Last year, 92 percent of all brands upped their spends on paid social media ads compared to the year prior. Why? Because paid ads are extremely effective at raising brand awareness, attracting qualified leads, closing sales, and improving your digital marketing strategy as a whole.
Whether you’ve dabbled in ads or not, here are the nine reasons all small businesses like yours should invest in paid social media advertising in 2019. Dentists, lawyers, and doctors included!
1. Paid Social Media Advertising Converts
According to research, social media is the most effective channel to inspire potential buyers to purchase from brands; In a Sprout Social report, 37 percent of customers said they’re motivated to purchase from social media compared to blogs, apps, websites, and email marketing.
Basically, your audience is on social media and primed to buy. Strategic social media advertisements pop in front of people at the right time—educating them about your product or service and motivating them to make a purchasing decision. Plus, Instagram ads in particular offer extremely enticing and user-friendly click-to-shop previews which make closing sales easier than ever. Just don’t forget to enable Amazon Pay or express checkouts on your end to seal the deal and avoid bounces. Nothing like a forgotten UX journey to throw a wrench in your otherwise successful paid social media ads.
2. Your Competitors Do It
This year in America, brands will spend over $18 billion on paid social media advertising. Yes, billion. Your competitors are most likely a part of this group.
To keep up with the Jones’ (and get ahead), you have to incorporate paid social media advertising into your digital marketing strategy. Much like how you need social media presence and responsive website design. Paid media is non-negotiable.
3. Small Businesses Like Yours Can Customize a Paid Social Media Spend For Practically Any Budget
Most marketing tactics and projects come with a barrier of entry—usually hundreds or thousands of dollars. A brand new website, for instance, will set you back a few thousand or tens of thousands (albeit, money very well spent). Social media management, probably about $500 per month. But for paid social media ads, you can set your budget.
While we do suggest you start with $1,000 in ad spend per social media channel, feel free to experiment with less than that to test campaigns and see what works before you seriously commit. We love social media ads because unlike PPC, they’re typically much, much cheaper to run. Plus, they’re fantastic at generating results.
4. Social Media Marketing is Pay-To-Play in Many Ways
Gone are the days of free marketing. For instance, Facebook favors social media profiles that run social media ads. And in a lot of cases, if you don’t run some advertisements on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, you won’t rank for your organic content.
You may have seen the option to “boost” posts. Personally, we think you should steer clear and spend your ad dollars on targeted ads. Social media algorithms are a tricky beast, and unless you pay, they won’t let you play.
5. Complement Your Organic Social Media Efforts
Social media marketing has two components: paid social media advertising and organic posts and videos. It’s like diet and exercise. Sure, one works fine on its own, but when paired, the duo helps you reach your wellness goals much faster.
Before you begin your organic and paid social media advertising initiative, come up with relevant content and assets for your audience. Also, ALWAYS make sure you have an active presence on each social media channel for at least three months before starting paid ads.
Since those ads drive directly to your website and social media profiles, you want to impress your audience with your content, show them who you are, and convince them further as to why they should do business with your company or practice. Nothing scares off a new lead like a sporadic or inactive social media profile.
6. Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
Warning: we’re going to drop a little jargon here. You’ve heard of the “marketing funnel” right? Basically, you want to build upon that funnel as your budget and business goals allow—starting at the broadest point and bringing your customers closer to a point of sale. Okay, the jargon coast is clear.
In laymen’s terms, what that means is when you add another marketing tactic, like paid social media advertising or PPC, you extend your reach and expand the mouth of your funnel. You reach more potential clients, customers, and patients to start them on their customer journey to becoming a patron.
Think of a marketing funnel like a spider’s web. A spider will catch more flies when it builds a bigger web versus a few lonely, sticky strands. Your marketing is just like that.
Paid social media ads are typically on the outer edge of your web; attracting new customers and building awareness about your brand so they can take the next step. Data backs this up. Reports show “non-customers are three times more likely than current customers to visit retailers from social media ads.”
7. Narrow Your Targeting
Paid social media advertising for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn—any social channel—allows you to customize your target audience. Depending on your budget, you can get super specific with ad targeting to reach qualified customers and patients. Or, you can go broad to raise awareness amongst a larger base.
A general rule of thumb: The more specific your targeting, the more expensive your cost per lead; The broader, the cheaper. That’s because if you’re a lawyer who targets 40-50-year old divorcees in Tampa, Florida, those people will be easier to tailor a direct message to and convert to clients versus a general nationwide audience of 40-year old women who might not need your services.
There’s a time and place for broad and hyper targeted campaigns. Use them wisely to generate the best ROI and results. If you need help coming up with this stategy, feel free to reach out.
8. Build Brand Awareness and Extend Reach With Millenials, Gen Z, and Gen X
According to studies, social media is the most relevant advertising channel for half of Generation Z and over 40 percent of millennials. These younger audiences are open, responsive, and primed to receive your advertising messages. If you want to target this younger demographic, paid social media advertising will help.
9. Paid Social Media Advertising Builds More Data for Analytics, Optimization, and Insights
Whether you love numbers or not, data drives better business decisions and sales. And paid media delivers a TON of invaluable insights to get to know your customer or patients better, discover new audiences, and improve your marketing funnel.
Unlike softer KPIs like engagement and likes for organic social media posts and blog content, social media ads show cause and effect of running campaigns. Our word to the wise? Invest in paid social media advertising now!
However, if you’ve gotten to the end of this article feeling deflated because you don’t have the ad budget, don’t despair. We specialize in helping brands focus on their digital marketing priorities—making the most of every dollar to generate the best results. Get in touch for a free consultation to see how we can help you.