Social Media Advertising: Crash Course
Does your business have a social media marketing strategy? Does your digital marketing and social media agency need new creative social media marketing ideas? Social media advertising has, in recent years, blown up, and corporations, large and small, have taken notice.
Studies show that average spending on social media advertising has surpassed newspaper advertising, with advertisers spending billions upon billions from 2013 to today. Experts say, by 2018, global figures are expected to surpass $14 billion.
But, what’s the big deal? Why is social media the new advertising giant?
Let us think logically for a moment. The internet is so ubiquitous, so pervasive, that literally everything can be accessed from it. From information, to products, to even school and education, the internet provides the means to acquire anything you desire.
And that’s why we’re always connected to it!
Social media sites, in all its incarnations, are where millions of us spend our time — daily. Knowing how to use social media for your business — to tap into its power — can prove to be a ceaseless and unabating source of potential for marketers and advertisers. And knowing what social media management tools to use for your business can lead to even more success.
A new survey, recently released by the Content Marketing Institute, shows that although social media advertising can be expensive, a good return justifies any expenditure.
Most consumers said they’re most influenced by social media advertising over other forms. The report also stated that the relative newness and current lack of saturation for sponsored posts can give your business the edge it needs.
So, it sounds all well and good, but advertising through social media isn’t easy. You have to know your audience, and target the right users with engaging content that speaks to them.
Engagement is key, and in just a moment, I will outline the top 9 tricks of the trade for those just breaking into social media advertising.
9 Creative Social Media Marketing Ideas
1. Know Your Audience
The best way to get to know your target audience is to first understand, well, who they are! It’s well worth the time researching who it is you need to target. And understanding how users behave can dramatically affect search rankings.
To do this, you need to think about:
what industries they work in
what they like
what they read
what motivates them
where they hang out
how likely they are to use social media.
2. Segment Your Audience
Once you’ve determined your target audience, it’s best to segment them categorically. The best way to execute this is to create several user marketing personas in which to group them.
When you’ve determined your audience personas, you can create advertising messages that speak directly to what they might want to hear about regarding your products and services.
Your personas should include:
a semi-fictional character
a day in their life
demographic and biographic behaviour
your character’s goals
an image of your character
Identifying and developing your user marketing personas will help increase your click through rate as well!
3. Rotate Ads Frequently
We’ve all been there. We’re scrolling through our feeds when we come upon that dreaded ad we’ve seen 1000 times! That’s what commonly known as “ad fatigue”. It’s when people have seen your ad too many times and stop clicking.
When you have ads that are experience fatigue, those that are on Facebook get driven up in price. The cost per click (CPC), likes, comments and click-throughs become more expensive.
The best way to avoid this issue is to rotate ads. And a great rule of thumb is to do this once every 3 to 5 days to keep the content fresh and engaging.
4. Design Ads With Mobile Devices in Mind
It’s no surprise that social media is going handheld. Studies show that Twitter users spend 86% of their time using that service from a mobile device, and Facebook users utilize the service at 68%. Mobile friendly websites will rank higher in mobile searches, too!
So, if you work it out, the numbers show that social media advertising is being displayed most often on mobile devices. This means that you must optimize your ads for smartphone viewing.
5. Timing is Important
Not everyone in your target audience runs on the same clock. Timing is paramount. And the best way to ensure your ads hit the mark is to do test runs at various times during the day, and days of the week, with the exact same ad to see what you get the best results. Keep track of the times, and adjust according to analytics.
6. Engage Your Audience With Personalized Content
Let’s go back to the golden era of TV, radio and newspapers. To advertise your business was to either fill the airwaves or sheets with impersonal messages about the service or product you provide.
It was product and price — that’s it!
Your business didn’t affect the consumer in any way besides at a logical level. The consumer didn’t know anything about you, or your brand’s identity.
Nowadays, with social media, businesses have — for the first time — the ability to truly connect with the customer. And that’s through engagement.
Who you are is as important as what you do. That’s how the customer sees you. Social media is your way into their world.
By creating social media advertising that speaks to them on a personal level, you’re engaging more than logically, you’re engaging emotionally. And that’s what sells.
For further info, check out these 5 content marketing tips to get your content to rank!
7. Track & Measure
Once you start churning out your social media advertising, you’ll need to track and measure your analytics. Each social media network as its own ad manager.
Now, I know the data might be overwhelming at first, so here’s a quick crash course on how to use analytics.
Analytics helps you to learn more about your customers. The more information you can collect, the more efficient you’ll be at anticipating and serving their needs.
Diagnose: determine what is working and adjust your social media advertising strategies and timing to improve results
Prioritize: see what content gets priority, and use that data to plan your strategy
Evaluate: use the analytics to understand the success of your strategy
8. Budget Wisely
But, of course, it all comes down to numbers. Don’t fret! Just do your research. Check out what other advertisers spend on average to determine what type of results you might expect.
Start with a low number, just in case that campaign doesn’t work. Use your analytics to determine what worked and what didn’t!
Always target to your key audience. Large or small, a business should never run general ads. Always maintain a focus.
9. Provide Value to Your Followers
The point of digital marketing is to provide content which your target audience can use. If you believe that just simply putting “stuff” out there with your brand’s name on it will get you engagement, you’ve got another thing coming!
Always, always give your audience something of value!
Give them information on something interesting to them (perhaps in the form of an infographic!). Or, maybe a top 9 list of how to rock social media like a pro (too on-the-nose?).
Whatever the case, be creative, and most of all — respect your audience. They’re taking time out to check you out, so give them something crunchy to munch on.
In A Nutshell
Social media advertising is a proven, real driver of leads and sales. Marketing departments and digital marketing agencies across the board are increasing their spend on social media advertising exponentially each year.
In the third quarter of 2014, Facebook brought in $2.96 billion in advertising revenue, 66% of which came from mobile ads.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and a myriad of other social media networks are overflowing with potential consumers — millions and millions, in fact!
Why not take advantage? You can, with social media advertising.
If you’d like help with your social media advertising campaign, content strategy and more, we can help! Contact VPDM Digital Marketing today.