When it comes to paid social media advertising, you’re either getting a great return on your investment and connecting to the exact people you need to, or you are spending a lot of money without converting. If your social media paid advertising strategy is more of the latter than the former, the good news is that it is easy to fix.
And you need to fix it if it isn’t working, because paid advertising on social media is more important than ever with organic reach quickly drying up.
If your paid social media advertising requires some repairs, try these seven steps.
Set an Objective (No, not likes.)
Like with all advertising and marketing, you need to know what it is you’re working toward. You need a specific, focussed objective and it cannot be to get “likes.”
Decide what action you want audiences to take when they see your ad and then structure your ad and overall campaign to guide the viewer to take that action. Use data from past campaigns to create target performance goals and continually optimize your present and future campaigns to help you reach those goals.
Rather than just getting people to click on a thumb, try these for campaign objectives:
Traffic – Drive people to your homepage, a specially created landing page or a specific product page.
Engagement – Encourage comments, shares, use of hashtags you’ve created or anything else that will get people to do more than just click on the thumb.
Awareness – Increase awareness of your brand or a product you’re pushing. This is where engagement is especially valuable.
Leads – Promote valuable gated content that people have to sign up for with an email address to access.
Sales – Pump up interest in a product by promoting its features and how they help customers and then push it with sales and specials.
Pick the Right Platforms
Some businesses treat social media as a monolithic entity, forgetting that it consists of many different platforms, all of which appeal to different demographics and are best suited to different purposes.
For example, LinkedIn probably isn’t the best place to promote a contest where people have to share your company profile. That’s more likely to work on something like Facebook because it has less of a professional vibe and users are more interested in consumer products.
If you are targeting people below the age of 25, you should avoid Facebook, where participation is dropping among young people, and get into Snapchat, which nearly 80% of 18-24 year olds use, many of them daily.
While these generalized numbers on social media use in the United States are helpful, the only numbers you can truly trust are your own. So, dig into your own data, identify who you’re targeting and determine which platforms would have the largest number of your target audience.
Whichever platforms you go with, you should get consistent engagement on them and not struggle too much to pull people away from your competitors. Pick your platforms and concentrate your efforts on them.
Find the Middle Ground
We all know that targeting on social media platforms like Facebook can get crazy specific. However, the more specific you are, the smaller the group gets. To avoid going too narrow and having too small of a targeted audience, try broadening your targeting features and finding a middle ground. You could slightly increase the age range by a few years both up and down or you could choose a slightly larger metro area. Collect data on these different targeted campaigns and use that data to experiment and fine tune them.
Offer Valuable Content
Strive to make your content valuable to people and try to make it look organic so people are more inclined to view it. Close to 90% of users say they are interested in following brands on social media, but about 60% of them say they end up unfollowing brands because they get annoying with over-promotion or cringeworthy posts.
The best way to offer valuable content that seems organic is to know your audience and create content in the vein of what they like to view. Do they like animation? (You know they do. Everybody does.) Try an animated video, then. Give them a strong call to action at the end of your content.
Fit Your Ads into Your Campaign Funnel
Few people purchase something directly after clicking on an ad. They go through a process (or journey, if you prefer, where they have to think about it and do a bit of research before they commit to buying.
What you want your content to do is coax the person into making a purchase. Give them a little bit at a time, showing them the features and letting them know what those features will do for them. The objective is for them to keep getting content as they mull over the purchase and become a little more enticed as they move through the stages of the sales funnel, from awareness to interest to evaluation to decision to purchase.
People at the top of the funnel who aren’t even aware of your brand will need an introduction to it, (which is where an animated explainer video fits in nicely, by the way), while someone lower down the funnel who is closer to making a decision may need something like a free demo.
To really get people to connect with your brand, it’s a good idea to get them to do something interactive, like a 30-day challenge where they can keep track of their progress on an interactive checklist or something like that.
Interaction like this means people will make more of a connection with your brand than just watching or reading something.
Set Your Budget and Bid Strategically
When it comes to bidding for ad space on social media, you don’t want to bid too low or your ad won’t be seen by anyone, but you don’t want to bid too high or you’ll end up overpaying. It’s a good rule of thumb to start in the middle of the bid range you are given. You won’t see as many impressions as you would at a higher bid, but you also won’t end up paying too much for those impressions.
If you want to get mathematical about your bidding strategy, use your historical data to find some numbers that will inform your bidding.
You’ll need your:
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Average Cost Per Click (CPC)
Average Conversion Rate
Set a maximum CPA that you’re willing to pay for a sale. Let’s say $18.
Dig into your data and find your average conversion rate. Let’s say 1%
You can then multiply your max. CPA by your average conversion rate: $18 x 1% to get an average CPC: $0.18. This would be your maximum bid to attain your set CPA.
This isn’t a set-in-stone formulation that will work for every single campaign. If you have a particularly well converting campaign, you may bump up your bid or you may want to play with different bidding strategies to see what works best for you.
Measure Results, Test Different Content and Modify Ads for Consistent Improvement
Make like a kid at a science fair and experiment. Use past data to make educated guesses on current and future campaigns to make them perform better. Try new copy, different images and a variety of offers to see which version of your campaign performs the best. You can also try aiming the same ad at two different target groups to see which one it works with better.
Something that always works well with people is a good animated explainer video, which WizMotions can help you with. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much your video will cost.