Social media marketing doesn’t end with posts, tweets, snaps, and pins. Paid social media ads are a big part of it. Companies have been trending this direction for several years now, and it’s our opinion that social media marketing will eventually turn into a fully pay-to-play venture—since nearly $18.5 billion is expected to be invested in social media ads by 2019. Here’s why you should allocate at least some (if not a large chunk) of your content marketing budget to paid social media ads.
Organic Exposure is Becoming More Limited
The whole point of posting regularly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels is to be found organically. Unfortunately, algorithms that put you in front of audiences for free are moving away from that model. Current trends on Facebook, for instance, are adopting a “pay-to-play” framework. At one time, appearing in news feeds with regular posts was expected and easy. Now, you need to spend money on boosted posts and ads to be seen. If you’re running a thorough content marketing program, don’t let it go to waste. Instead, implement paid social media ads so people find, follow, and consume your content.
Paid Social Media Ads Have a Big ROI Potential
Last year, companies spent more on digital advertising than traditional television ads for the first time in history! That in itself should show you the potential value of advertising on social media. According to a 2018 report from Statista, companies generate over $22 in revenue from each customer via paid social media ads—and companies have made nearly $70 million in revenue from ads alone this year.
There are just a few things to remember about social media ad ROI. For one, it’s important to know that ROI for every company will vary based on your goals and budget. Before launching your ad campaign, set benchmark goals like how much traffic you want to generate, how much revenue you’d like to raise, and the profit margin you’d like to make compared to what you’re investing. Always A/B test your ads and optimize frequently. Doing so will eventually help you minimize your spend and ramp up your return.
Social Ads are Budget-Friendly
While the average social media ad spend is $250 per day—and companies are spending 10–14 percent of their overall marketing budget on social media marketing—you can budget more or less. To work with a small budget, or more efficiently use your large budget, be shrewd about your strategy. Determine your primary target audience. Nail down the goal of your ad campaign: i.e. to tell a certain product, generate leads, or raise awareness. Consider creating ads that in themselves have the potential to go viral, so you can spend less to advertise and leverage people to share your content with friends for free.
Lastly, ensure your website content, email marketing program, and social media content is up to snuff! You want to have corresponding landing pages and engaging content for people to consume once your ads generate leads and traffic. That’s how you make the most of your budget—by getting it to do more for less and using other tactics to seal the deal with the people your ads attract.
Paid Social is Very Customizable
The sky is practically the limit for the type of ad you can run on social media—from videos to carousels, images, collections, and more. Audience customizations also provide ample opportunity to experiment. Depending on the strategy you come up with, you can use the following chart to determine where your ideal customer is based on social media demographics. That’s where you’ll want to run your carefully thought-out ads.
Paid Social Platforms Are User-Friendly
When clients come to us for consulting and want to run ads themselves, we love getting them started with Facebook’s ad manager. This platform is relatively user-friendly. It helps you determine the type of campaign you’d like to run, pricing structure, budgeted ad spend, and so much more. You can even ask your web developer to install a pixel on your site so you can easily track traffic from your ads to your sales or content pages. Try it out to see how you like it or get in touch for more help!
Some of Your Work Has Already Been Done For You
You don’t have to invest a ton of money or brain power into your social media ad campaigns—at least to start. Instead, leverage something called audience modeling. This is a practice of looking at overlapping brands and their followings. Say you’re a CBD oil manufacturer. You might find your audience also enjoys outdoor activities and brands like REI or natural health and beauty products. Observe some of their strategies and apply this knowledge to your advertising strategy. If your overlapping audience is going to be at a national health and beauty convention or outdoor sporting event, consider the frame of mind these people are in so you can run geo-targeted ads to sieze on that opportunity. An example of that would be “CBD oil enhances athletic performance. Buy some today!” or “Add CBD-infused beauty products to your daily routine.” Ideally, your ads would be more finely tuned than that, but you get the gist.
Like all social media marketing, your strategy for social ads on Facebook will be very different than Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. If you need help navigating this new frontier, get in touch! We’re always happy to help.