It is getting increasingly difficult to get one’s content noticed. On top of being genuinely interesting, it has to cater to the demands of search engine rankings and social media algorithms. While organic search can help you go viral, it is unlikely to happen if you do not put some money on the table.
Although investing time and effort into owned and earned media has its own marketing value, it is paid social advertising that can bring in sales and traffic from day one. Last year, seventy-five percent of centennials and forty-eight percent of millennials made buying decisions influenced by social media advertisements. Aside from that, the social media ad spend was valued at around two hundred and eighty billion dollars in the United States alone.
In other words, social media advertising is something that you simply have to do, no matter whether you are a small business owner or the chief executive officer of a big corporation. Without it, you will find it much more difficult to gain followers, drive more sales, and stand out from the crowd.
In short, social media marketing is a type of digital marketing. It uses the power of the most popular social platforms to achieve a company’s branding and marketing goals. But it should be more than creating business accounts and posting something once or twice a week. Instead, it should involve a strategy with measurable goals.
You need to maintain and keep optimizing the company’s social media accounts, as well as publish social media posts that represent what the company stands for. The things you post should also be attractive to a specific target audience.
Once you post something, you have to monitor its performance, respond to people’s comments and track the number of likes and shares. Other than that, you should aim to build a community around your brand and products. You can do that by engaging with your followers and collaborating with relevant influencers.
Social media advertising involves advertisements that appear in front of users on social media platforms.
Each platform uses your information and complex algorithms to ensure that the advertisements that you are presented with are highly relevant. They might be based on the content that you interacted with and posted in the past, as well as your personal information, including your age, gender, and location.
For instance, if you follow fitness influencers and brands selling dietary supplements, you will probably see advertisements from your local gym or a personal trainer who lives in the same city as you. Such a personalized approach to marketing can provide business owners with a huge increase in conversions and sales with a relatively low cost of acquisition.
When choosing which popular social media platforms you should post advertisements on, you have to keep in mind that every social media site has its own unique audience. With that in mind, find out who your target customer is, discover what their favorite social platforms are, and meet them there. To give an example, if your target audience consists of business owners who work in the manufacturing industry, LinkedIn will probably be more effective than Instagram or Pinterest.
Facebook is the largest social media platform worldwide. With close to three billion monthly users that include a number of different demographics, it is a reliable choice for placing social ads. The platform not only allows you to connect with other people and share content but also advertise products and services using paid ads.
If you start using Facebook as an advertising platform, you should be able to reap the following benefits:
- Convert a large number of people into loyal customers. You can set up a Facebook shop to provide potential customers with a seamless shopping experience; they will not have to leave the app to make a purchase. You can also start driving more traffic to your business website by targeting people based on their interests, occupation, and past activity, among other things. It can lead to a significant increase in your conversion rate.
- Generate leads with ease and efficiency. With paid advertisements, you can drive direct traffic to your business website. Because of that, Facebook advertisements are likely to boost your lead generation efforts. The more people visit your website, the more people will read your blog posts and sign up for your newsletter.
- Increase brand awareness. If you have enough money, you can have your advertisements appear in front of hundreds of thousands of people. While most of them are not going to interact with your advertisement, they might remember your brand and look it up at a later date.
- Get potential customers to visit your brick-and-mortar store. Facebook gives you the option to target potential customers by location. Consequently, if your store has a physical location, you can encourage people who actually live in the area to check it out. You will not have to waste it on people who live hundreds of miles away.
Pricing for Facebook advertising depends on a few factors, including who you are trying to target and your budget. As a rule of thumb, the bigger your ad spend, the more efficient the Facebook algorithm should become at increasing your advertising performance.
Types of Facebook Ads
- Image ads. An ad that consists of a single image. It is a great way to start your journey with Facebook paid advertising. You should be able to make one in a matter of minutes.
- Carousel ads. These are scrollable advertisements that can feature up to ten videos or images.
- Poll ads. A mobile-only ad that adds a two-option poll to a video or image. Both you and the people who answer the poll can see the tally of responses to both pool options.
- Video ads. You can have a video run in the news feeds of your potential customers, in their stories, and in longer Facebook videos.
- Slideshow ads. They feature a series of images turned into a video. They use five times less data than video ads. As a result, they can load for people on slow internet connections.
- Collection ads. A showcase of five videos or images. They allow people to purchase your products without leaving Facebook. A potential customer just has to click on one of the images or videos featured in the advertisement.
- Instant experience ads. A full-screen ad format that is meant to get people to engage with your brand and what you are selling. It can feature images, videos, and collections of your products.
- Lead ads. They were created to make collecting the contact information of your potential or existing customers as easy and quick as possible.
- Dynamic ads. They can be used to target people who placed a product in their cart in your online store or visited a product page and then abandoned their purchase. That specific product can then appear in their feed, prompting them to come back and complete their purchase.
- Messenger ads. As the name suggests, it is an ad that shows up in the Messenger app. When creating the ad, you just have to pick Messenger as the desired placement. You can also start using click-to-Messenger advertisements that can open up a conversation with your Facebook page.
- Stories ads. It is a mobile-only full-screen advertisement format. It gives you an opportunity to maximize screen real estate without forcing the viewer to turn their screen.
- Augmented reality ads. They use features like animations and filters to get people to interact with your company. For instance, a filter might help someone see what they look like in a pair of glasses that you are selling. If the user likes what they see, they can take a photo with the filter and share it with their friends and family members.
Instagram is a hugely popular platform well-known for its glamorous photos. For that reason, Instagram is perfect for businesses that sell things that need to be visually appealing and can easily be incorporated into photographs and videos. If used as an online advertising platform, it can help you engage with your customers and increase your conversion rate.
Here is how using it can benefit you:
- Engage in influencer marketing. Instagram is a platform where numerous top-performing posts feature products that the poster was paid to advertise. Provided that you have enough money, it should be fairly easy for you to find an influencer that fits your niche.
- Benefit from user-generated content. User-generated content is content created by other people that features your brand, product, or service. You could start using it to connect with your audience and increase brand awareness. For example, you could ask your followers to take a photo with your product.
Instagram is a bit more expensive than Facebook. Nevertheless, it is a social platform that comes with highly customizable advertising campaigns, which is something that creative social media marketers can really benefit from.
Types of Instagram Ads
- Image ads. You can use an image to advertise your brand, product, or service. It is a type of advertisement that is best suited for compelling visual content that can easily be conveyed in a single image.
- Stories ads. These are full-screen video or image ads that appear between Stories. They are a very well-used part of the app, with over five hundred million people viewing Stories on a daily basis.
- Reels ads. Instagram Reels are vertical, short-form videos that can be up to sixty seconds long. Provided that they are no longer than thirty seconds, you can have your advertisements appear between Reels.
- Video ads. They can be used to show your potential customer what your brand, product, or service is about. While they can be up to sixty minutes long, shorter ones tend to be much more effective.
- Carousel ads. They are a series of up to ten videos or images that a user can swipe through. These advertisements can appear within Stories and within the feed. You can also add a button or a swipe-up link to the ad. By doing so, you can lead potential customers directly to your website.
- Explore ads. These can be both image and video ads. They appear within the Explore tab, which is an area of Instagram where users can discover accounts and new content tailored to their preferences.
- IGTV ads. They play after a user clicks on an IGTV video from their feed. If you want to create such an advertisement, it should be suitable for full-screen vertical viewing and no longer than fifteen seconds.
- Shopping ads. They take users to your product description page located on Instagram. As a result, people do not have to leave the app to make a purchase, which can lead to a significant increase in your conversion rate.
- Collection ads. These are a combination of shopping ads and carousel ads. They can be used to showcase your products and make the journey of your customers shorter and more cohesive. When users click on such an ad, they will be redirected to your Instagram storefront. There, they can purchase your products without leaving the app.
LinkedIn is an excellent place for business-to-business lead generation. As it is a social media platform with a large professional user base, it makes it easier for you to connect with users who are highly qualified, including chief executive officers and management staff. It is also a perfect place to express your company culture and build your brand.
Here is a short outline of how placing social media ads on LinkedIn might benefit you:
- Attract top talent. You can use your LinkedIn page to show potential candidates what kind of employer you are. For instance, you could post about how much you value work-life balance and employee growth. You can also use the platform to post job advertisements and reach out to potential candidates.
- Network with potential customers and partners. LinkedIn is a social media platform with thousands of groups related to a myriad of different industries. You can use the said groups to get the attention of people from your niche. In the end, it might help you get in touch with potential customers and find trustworthy business partners.
- Post industry insights and news. You can show potential customers that you know your industry inside out. As a result, they will be more likely to put their trust in you and buy your product or service.
While advertising on LinkedIn can get pricey, it might be worth the money, especially if you want to sell a service or product to other business owners. It can also come in handy when you start building your professional brand.
- Sponsored content. These are the advertisements that show up in your feed. The platform labels them as “promoted” to make them easier to distinguish from regular content. They can take the form of single image ads, video ads, and carousel ads.
- Sponsored messaging. Your advertisement can be sent directly to the inboxes of hundreds of people. Just keep in mind that the same person is unlikely to get a message from you twice within a short period of time. It is a preventative measure meant to maintain a good user experience.
- Text ads. They show up along the top-right side of the desktop feed. They consist of a headline, short text, and an image.
- Dynamic ads. They appear in the same place as text ads. The main difference is that they speak to your target audience directly using personalization. When a dynamic advertisement appears, it addresses the user by name and uses their photo. It might also feature their job title and the name of their employer.
Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform with plenty of lead generation and branding opportunities. You can quickly grab people’s attention and use it as an opportunity to share a link to a helpful blog post or product page that you want to promote. Aside from that, you can facilitate and take part in organic conversations with potential and existing clients.
In case you are not convinced, here are a few other upsides to advertising on Twitter that you might want to check out:
- Make yourself available for customer service. Twitter allows for public and direct communication with other users. Because of that, you can use the platform to resolve any issues that your customers might have and answer their questions. It can help you increase customer loyalty, as well as show your business in a more positive light.
- Share your brand ethos and personality. Twitter is a great place to humanize your brand. You can use it to post content that showcases what your company is about and build a community around your product or service.
- Gather feedback from customers. You can use Twitter to ask your customers what they think about a new product or service that you are planning to launch. Apart from that, you can collect customer reviews and testimonials.
If you are reluctant to start advertising on Twitter, think about how it encourages user interactions. With its ability to get people to have organic conversations, you can use it to strengthen your relationship with your customers and increase your engagement rate.
Types of Twitter Ads
- Promoted ads. They support a wide range of media formats, including images, videos, and text. They can be used to showcase your products, drive customer engagement, and boost brand awareness, among other things.
- Follower ads. With these advertisements, you can promote your account to a large number of people. It is a great way to increase the visibility of your brand and attract new followers.
- Timeline takeover. These are the most premium placements that one can possibly pay for. You can either have your advertisement appear as the first advertisement of the day or put it alongside what is currently trending.
If you want to invest in a social media marketing plan that includes video marketing, YouTube is the platform that you should look into. It is ideal for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer advertising. Not only does it come with a huge user base, but it is also one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your brand.
Here are a few of the many benefits that you can reap from using it as an advertising platform:
- You can create an ad without spending a fortune. Obviously, you will need to put some money into video production. Nevertheless, it is still going to be much cheaper than many other advertising methods.
- Increased reach and engagement. YouTube has millions of active users. Reaching out to such a large user base should increase your brand awareness and help you connect with potential customers from all over the world.
- Easy to track and measure. YouTube allows you to see how many people watched your advertisement and for how long. It also gives you access to other useful data, including the average view duration, number of clicks, and more information about your viewers.
According to marketing experts, video marketing comes with a great return on investment, as it provides you with an easy way to generate leads and increase sales. Since YouTube is a video-sharing platform, it gives you an opportunity to capitalize on the latest video marketing trends.
Types of YouTube Ads
- Skippable video ads. They can be skipped after five seconds.
- Non-skippable video ads. The viewer has to watch the entirety of such an advertisement to view the video. The advertisement in question cannot be longer than fifteen or twenty seconds, depending on regional standards.
- Bumper ads. Just like with non-skippable ads, the viewer has to watch the entirety of a bumper ad to view the video. They can only be up to six seconds long.
- Overlay ads. These are desktop-only overlay images or text advertisements that appear on the lower portion of videos.
- Ads outside the video player. They appear at the top of the feed of recommended videos. They show up below the video player if you are on mobile. If you are using a desktop computer, they appear on the right side of the video player.
TikTok is a social platform that gained popularity all over the world in a relatively short amount of time. While it is mainly popular with teenagers, an increasing number of adults are using the platform, which makes it a great place for businesses to advertise various products and services. The key to success here is to make advertisements short and attention-grabbing.
Before we get into the different types of ads that are available here, consider the upsides of using TikTok for advertising purposes:
- Collaborate with influencers. TikTok has become a hotspot for influencer marketing. Collaborating with them should help you get your message across and attract new customers.
- Perfect if you have a younger target audience. TikTok is a social platform that is incredibly popular with teenagers and young adults. If you are trying to market your product or service to people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four, it might be a good idea to use it.
- Develop an engaging brand persona. It is important to show potential customers that there is more to your company than your products and services. You could use TikTok to humanize your brand in a way that is engaging and easy to digest.
Types of TikTok Ads
- In-feed ads. They appear in-between videos as the user scrolls through their feed. They can last anywhere from nine to fifteen seconds.
- Brand takeovers. It is a full-screen video that appears immediately after the user opens the app.
- Branded hashtag challenges. Upon clicking on a branded hashtag, users will be taken to a landing page with the logo of your brand, a link to your website, a short description of the challenge, and popular videos that are using your hashtag.
- TopView. You can pay to have your advertisement appear as the first post at the top of people’s feeds.
- Branded effects. They might include shareable stickers and augmented reality filters.
There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on a number of factors, including your budget, target audience, and the type of campaign that you want to launch. For instance, placing your advertisements on Facebook users can be a great choice if you want to reach baby boomers.
Should You Diversify Your Advertising Dollars?
If you want your social media strategy to succeed, you definitely should. Relying on just one social media platform means that if it changes its advertising policies or if you ever lose access to your account, you might stop gaining new customers for days or even weeks. So, it would be best if you invested your time and money into at least two different social media marketing platforms.
In order to build a solid social media advertising strategy, you have to use multiple platforms and a mix of paid advertising and organic advertising. Taking care of it by hand can be incredibly time-consuming and resource-heavy, though. What is more, the bigger one’s social media following, the more challenging it is to keep up. Luckily, it is a problem that can be solved with a wide range of social media advertising services.
Social media management software is what social media management platforms use to help seasoned social media marketing experts streamline important processes and get access to advanced analytics.
There are agencies out there that specialize in social media campaigns only. With the help of such an agency, you can create an effective social media marketing strategy, as well as have someone else manage your social media ads for you.
Digital Marketing Agencies
You cannot rely on social media marketing only. Instead, you have to diversify and make use of numerous marketing methods, including search engine marketing and email marketing. A digital marketing agency can help you with that by incorporating different social media platforms into a broader digital marketing strategy.
Manager with experience in leading team of software developers and testers during implementation of internal and external IT projects. Ceo of Brandly360.com.