Why you should pay for social media advertising

It’s fair to assume that every digital communications strategy today contains an element of social media. With digital advertising spend set to double in 2017 and social media making up a large proportion of that, social media advertising can really pay off for businesses.

But setting up a paid campaign isn’t always straightforward. So what do you need to know to make it easier and why should you consider making the effort in the first place?

Three advantages of social media advertising:

1. More people can see your content
Getting results through organic social media can take a lot of time to be successful. If you’re running a short campaign about a particular topic, or want to create a surge in awareness, organic posting alone often doesn’t have the desired impact. Paid campaigns can help boost impact – and much more quickly at that.

2. The right people see your content
With paid campaigns, you can target audiences down to a granular level, whether it’s on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. This means that you’re not just getting more views, you’re getting more valuable ones.

3. Organic social is amplified
Advertising campaigns are not a replacement for organic social media.They simply amplify the success of your organic social strategy. Paid social media is great for extending the reach of your top performing content. Your content is more likely to reach the people you want to see it, because the algorithms used by Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter favour paid over organic content.

If your organic activity is already working, paid campaigns are the natural next step. By amplifying your successful campaigns, you ensure that your quality content is exploited on a much larger scale.


How to get more out of your social media advertising campaign:

Understand who your audience, buyers and influencers are. Paid campaigns are useful for distributing your content to both a highly targeted and a broader audience that will be interested in your message. Get clear on who you’re targeting before you run a campaign – you can always adapt and tweak the parameters later, but it helps to have a good idea before you start.

Be clear on what you want to achieve. There are lots of different potential outcomes when running a campaign, so it helps to know exactly what you want to get out of it. That might be to:

– Build awareness and presence of your brand, increasing impressions, reach, engagements etc on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

– Nurture your audience, so they start to know, like and trust you, building loyalty.

– Grow followers on social platforms who are actually interested in what you have to say and make it easier for them to discover your content.

– Boost visitor numbers to websites and blogs.

– Create more real leads and sales conversion opportunities.

– Generate more influencer interactions.

Get the copy and content right. Your copy needs to be short and powerful – can you draw your audience in with just a few sentences? Whatever platform you’re using, the most successful campaigns are based around strong imagery (and video, but not across all platforms). So choosing the right images to promote your content is key. Looking for advice when choosing stock photography? We made this short social video which will help.

 

So what platforms can you use?

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have their own in-built “ads” platforms that allow you to promote organic content or set up unique paid campaigns. There are some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) differences between them, but in a nutshell:

• LinkedIn marketing can be used to target people in specific industries, with specific job titles.

With Facebook ads you can target content using location, demographics, interests and behaviours filters as well as compiling custom audiences.

With Twitter Ads, tweets are “promoted” into the target list/demographics twitter feed. These promoted tweets can either be used to encourage clicks-throughs to the article, boost interaction with the tweet (“tweet engagement campaign”), or deliver the tweet as widely as possible (“awareness campaign”).

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter ads are all great at increasing the performance of pages on their platforms. They are also good at driving users through to external websites. However, if increasing website visitors is a priority, you should consider using paid advertising platforms like Outbrain and Taboola.

Taboola and Outbrain are algorithmic “Content Discovery Platforms” that distribute links to content on premium websites including the BBC, Independent, Boston Globe, Guardian and Reuters. Your brand’s content is displayed within a “promoted stories” box (‘widget’) on these websites. The association of your brand with these “premium” websites conveys greater perceived authority to your content.

As Taboola and Outbrain rely on computer algorithms to deliver content, you don’t control who sees the content, nor can you target specific people (you can target geographic areas). However, these platforms are a sure-fire way to increase the number of visitors to your website.

Their algorithms continuously learn and will only deliver the content to people they think will actually be interested in the content. This means that Taboola and Outbrain are useful for building a broad audience of people who are interested in a specific topic area, for example telecoms or IT.

 

Like this? Read ‘How to define true social media success’

If you’d like to hear how we can help amplify your content through organic and paid social media strategies, get in touch today.

Email: office@formativecontent.com or call our team on 01494 672 122

Adam Shirley is an Account Manager at Formative Content and runs paid campaigns for many of our clients.

Formative Content is a UK based content marketing agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients around the world.