Social media has evolved from a trend to almost an unwritten necessity for businesses over the past years. Brands worldwide are adopting social media advertising as a quintessential online marketing strategy.
Social network’s powerful analytic tools can assist marketers to precisely target interest and accurately benchmark ad performance. So how do companies make the most out of social advertising to scale their businesses? We will explore the key benefits and strategies of social media advertising to help you gain more business opportunities online.
What is Social Media Advertising?
We talked about the fundamentals of social media marketing for business. In it, we discussed how businesses can best connect with their audience to enhance user experience and capture more social presence.
Social media advertising, on the other hand, focuses on the paid aspect of social media marketing. While every social network is unique, advertising on the major social platforms has inevitable common grounds.
So let’s explore these advertising strategies and how to use them to strengthen your overall social media marketing effort.
How Businesses Utilize Social Media Advertising?
According to Hootsuite, one of the best social media brand management system, social media advertising spending accounts for 14% of all digital advertising expenditures today. The predicted social media advertising spending in 2017 is estimated to exceed $35 billion. That is going to be a 52% increase of equivalent ad dollars spent than 2015.
Hootsuite’s figures also shown that since 2014, about 80% of US marketers advertise with Twitter promote. 90% of US advertisers planned Facebook ads in 2015. Meanwhile, all 100 of the top 100 brands ran ads on YouTube in the past year.
These astonishing numbers suggest that companies are aggressively taking action to run promotions, gain more audience and raise brand awareness through social media.
Benefits of Social Media Advertising
Leading social media platforms published their latest data on social media user trends. They revealed that in 2016, there are 1.65 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 310 million on Twitter, and more than 433 million registered members on LinkedIn spread across 200 different countries.
This means whether or not you have curated a large group of social followers, advertising on social media can effectively get your message in front of a massive audience.
With the rapid growth of social media, millions of social exchanges happen on a daily basis. It is the perfect stage for brands to capture market share and engage users with ideas, products and services.
Through analytics data from social network providers, you can gain a greater understanding of your audience, and drive leads more precisely. So use it to your advantage and grow your business online.
7 Social Media Advertising Strategies to Successful Online Marketing
1. Integrate Ads within Great Content
Social media advertising is all about introducing your brand persona to the audience. It is about creating marketing pieces that generate response and appeal to interests.
However, in today’s ad-laden internet space, people automatically tune out advertisements. So in order to diminish the "commercial" feel to business social posts, consider the user experience before the promotion in an ad copy.
Most ads are now shown within the feeds of social network platforms. Businesses have mastered the art of "ad disguise" with enticing content.
It can be a short film, music video, infographic, Memes, or a funny photo to stimulate interest. It all goes back to the good old saying – content is king! So don’t just run a sales pitch. Focus on creating a piece of winning content that engages users.
If you need help on how to run ads on different social platforms, there are step-by-step tutorials to guide you through. LinkedIn’s self-learning platform Lynda provides a series of social media advertising training and tutorials that you can watch at your own pace and convenience.
It offers a wide range of topics for beginners or advanced professionals. You can easily follow the instructors to create and perfect profit-turning social media campaigns.
2. Practice Cross Platform Posting
Social media marketing is a full-time job. It is a time-consuming process that requires constant attention. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube... With so many different platforms available, you need to spend quite an effort making posts on every single network. While it is a necessary duty, it does not have to be tedious work.
The good news is there are tools at your disposal that can integrate multiple platforms into one. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow users to manage all of their posts, messages and even run analytics on one consolidated platform.
With social media management tools, you can schedule when to run ads, monitor profiles, and customize posts within the platform. You can also apply one post across multiple networks, and do content planning with social media content calendar. Both tools allow you to gain access to detailed user engagement insights in addition to identifying popular topics and trending posts. Advanced analytics are also available such as Google analytics integration and trend reporting.
3. Frequent Ad Rotation
In advertising, having an impressionable ad message gives you the instrument for conversion. If you have content enticing enough to stop that fast mouse-scrolling action, then you have a great advertisement.
So how do you stand out from the hundreds of posts that users zip through in their social news feeds? Make the ad impactful and alternate between variations of messages and designs frequently.
Rotate your ads regularly to keep viewers interested can save you from the declining click-through rate. This means you should have several versions of the same ad with different marketing messages, images, and even different promotion methods.
By keeping user engagement high, you can have better control of the marketing budget and keep down the cost-per-click rate. Change up ad copies regularly so your audience does not feel like they have seen the same post too many times to care.
4. Personalize Messages
Target personalized communications toward different groups of audience. You can make very specific audience selections within platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn ads.
Cater customized messages to selective viewers can really enhance the user experience. For example, if your website sells cookies, tailor ad message to various groups of customers based on their preferences. Make an ad for those who like chocolate cookies, and do another version for the sugar cookie fans.
Make good use of analytics such as Facebook Insights. It provides information-rich data that can target ads to the right niche.
You can also make things easier by using an all-in-one social media management tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial. They deliver an extra layer of in-depth analytics to help you gain more understanding of user behaviors. They are also great for finding trending topics.
5. Adopt Direct e-Commerce
Facebook is taking an innovative step since 2015 to introduce the call-to-action "buy" button (currently in beta testing). This means e-commerce stores are able to utilize social networks to make sales directly to consumers without even leaving the platform.
This is a big bonus for online stores and a whole new experience for shoppers. Businesses are able to roll out ads that allow users to purchase right on the spot.
It cuts through the long checkout funnels of traditional e-commerce stores. Instead, you can make a sale in just a few clicks. Along with well strategized Facebook ads and post promotions, you’ve got yourself a fully equipped marketing channel to make the conversion happen faster.
If you are using an online e-commerce website builder and management tool like Shopify and BigCommerce, there are a variety of social media extensions you can utilize. For example, like, share, add, Twitter widget, Facebook Connect, and Facebook Store Application. Users can access your products directly from Facebook and other supported social media platforms. Shopify also rolled out the “buy” button to allow direct purchase on Facebook.
In addition, e-commerce builders allow users to construct and manage their e-commerce stores without having extensive knowledge in coding or web development. Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide complete setup help as well as 24/7 customer support to back up your business.
6. Design to Serve Mobile Ads
Today, everywhere you turn, you see people on their mobile phones. As smartphones continue to advance in technology, we can do almost everything business or leisure related on our phones.
That includes checking social media activities. Brands are finding new ways and capturing opportunities to better market to the massive mobile user segment on social media.
Facebook’s latest statistics reveals 989 million mobile daily active users as of 2016.Twitter reports 83% of their 310 million monthly active users are on mobile devices.
Mobile advertising has become a big online marketing focus for businesses all over the world. Many platforms such as Facebook provide options for advertisers to target users on mobile only.
You can create ad copies that are specifically optimized for mobile viewing. In addition, proper mobile tracking is also in place when you run ads on mobile.
So how do you create eye-catching mobile ad messages that convert? You need the following essential ingredients.
4 Tips to Create Social Media Advertisements that Drives Conversion
- Deliver short, personalized, and to the point messages
- Include clear images that look presentable on mobile screens
- Try interactive elements such as videos, they are great attention grabbers
- Integrate website analytics with social media analytics to a better target audience
7. Continue to A/B Test Ad Features
A/B testing is vital to any online advertising. It allows you to find out what version of an ad component or message creates the most conversions. You know how easy it is to burn through that marketing budget.
So whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to social media advertising, A/B testing can help you improve ad strategies and keep cost down.
A/B testing helps marketers to better understand their customers and how to best market to them. Conduct A/B Testing on selective niche audience. You can start by making 2 copies of the same ad in social media such as Facebook. Change one element in one of the ad copies, and always test one component at a time.
For instance, you can offer the discount as "$10 dollars off" and "20% off". Keep everything else identical in the ad copies, and test the response rate of each ad.
Once you have identified which pricing strategy works best, move on to the next element until you have perfected the campaign. Ad features such as image selection, verbiage choice, or even colors are all good test subjects that can potentially affect the campaign results.
One Last Thought
The core of any successful advertising comes down to audience engagement with your marketing message. Make social media marketing part of your marketing strategy will improve the overall presence of your business online. Learn more about the best practices of social media marketing for business.