2013 has been proclaimed as the year of digital advertising. With this in mind, it is no wonder that more and more companies are climbing onto the social media advertising bandwagon. The only problem is many of them are waiting on the wrong platform.
With 2014 just around the corner, almost, surely now is a good time to start at least trying not to get left behind.
Social media advertising, or more appropriately paid social media tactics, is a fuzzy concept for most marketers. Why? Because for most social media remains unfamiliar territory. Now, throw in fast-paced, technological advancements and you have what can only be described as an avoidable situation.
But when so many marketers have dived head first onto this bandwagon, with no clear direction or understanding of where they are heading, it’s no real wonder why they are choosing to head in the direction that feels familiar. Mistake number one.
Whether it comes from a lack of understanding, or blatant ignorance, many are adopting a blanket advertising approach within social media, simply for the fact that’s what they are used to doing.
After all why not just extend your existing advertising efforts across yet another marketing channel?! Perhaps that should remain a rhetorical question, but then again I never was brilliant at English, so I’ll offer an answer anyway. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, social media is not just another marketing channel. The mass, high-exposure approach will not work in the social world. I’m not disregarding blanket advertising, but my first bit of advice would be that when it comes to social media, leave your blankets at home. Instead, focus on narrowing your scope and specifically defining your audience. Basically focus on targeting the people who matter.
For those of you who adopted this approach a long time ago, you’re already halfway there. The basic fact is; targeting within advertising is not a new concept. But then again, you already knew that. Even within any given blanketing advertising campaign, there is some broad level of targeting. If you’re focusing on SME’s, for instance, the last thing you’re going to do is arrange for a half page ad in Cosmopolitan. Blanket or not. While you won’t quite be showing it off as your next party trick, the ability to target specific demographics through using advanced optimisation tactics is a good skill to learn. One that will reflect in your advertising metrics. With this in mind, here are a few more tips, tricks and tactics, that used correctly will maximise your paid social media efforts.
Pay to Share Content
A lot of emphasis has been placed on ‘advertising’, but go back 3 paragraphs and you will notice how I talked about paid social media tactics. The issue with advertising is that it focuses on pushing a message out there. Instead, social media looks at adding value, even through advertising.
One of the most effective tactics available when it comes to the social world is the ability to pay to share content. With content being king, and all that, it comes as no real surprise people are paying to spread it across the channels. The issue I’ve talked about all along is that marketers are spreading their content too thin, targeting an audience that is either not influential, or just not relevant. Either/or, you are wasting resources, and being able to pinpoint who exactly will be exposed to your content, is of far greater benefit (and far less cost), than going the mass route.
Use A/B Testing
It’s not all doom and gloom. Finally a concept you’re aware of, hopefully. For those of you still in the dark, A/B testing is the process of altering elements in a series of advertisements, in order to determine which perform better. It is however important to remember that this is not a one off occurrence; in order to make the most of A/B testing, you should be constantly refining these ads. Why not begin with LinkedIn’s self-service system, which will allow you to submit ad copy, your logo, and determine a daily budget for your pay-per-click ads. Easy as 123. Or ABC. Or just AB.
Don’t Just Assume You Know Your Audience, Actually Know Them
It can be easy to make assumptions when it comes to your customers and prospects, but without doing your research you can’t be entirely sure you are as focused as can be. And besides, you know what happens when you assume right? Nope, never mind. Getting the details wrong can lead to misallocation of your budget, so ensure you are focusing on the precision of your data. Try and come up with a definition of your ideal customer for ad targeting purposes.
How much is too much? While there is no standard, recommended amount as to how much you should be using paid tactics, too little and you won’t make an impact, and too much and you face becoming invasive. That and downright irritating. Knowing the right balance will unfortunately come down to researching and understanding your prospects and customers.
Include a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page
Mobile is responsible for a large percentage of social media engagement; and it most definitely should not be dismissed when it comes to the landing page. Ensure your social media advertising includes a mobile-friendly landing page, that is customised for the product or service you are advertising targeted to your ideal customer.
Check out our book, Social Acceptance, for more tips and tactics that will help you implement and monitor a social media strategy in a B2B environment. You can download your copy here http://www.napier.co.uk/go/