People scroll through 300 ft. of content every day on Social Media, (Fun facts from Andrew Keller, Global Creative Director, Facebook). For reference, the Statue of Liberty is 305 ft. tall. 300 FT!! When we talk about getting attention, that is an incredible amount of attention that Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube are getting from people. Today we will discuss effective paid marketing strategies for these platforms. What is the best way to advertise on Facebook? How can you best advertise on TikTok? What about the others? It’s not hard, but there’s a ton of competition and so you need to make a strategic plan. Facebook has the most users in the world, TikTok has the longest watch times, and Pinterest is voted the favorite app in Utah. So the trouble is, how do you figure out where to start as an advertiser? What strategy should you use? Where is your WHO or your target audience? We will cover all of that in this article.
Active Search vs. Passive Discovery
Remember in the previous few posts, I talked about low-hanging fruit, customers that are already looking for you. Search engines are the key to landing this type of business. Social Media is different. It falls under entertainment and so you are more likely to be able to capture attention passively. I call this passive discovery, and it is similar to the type of ads that do well in our publications. This means that people may not be looking for what you have but by targeting the right people they might discover you and what you have to offer. It’s also a great way to improve your brand recognition.
Define your WHO (Target Audience)
First of all, (broken record here), start by defining your WHO. You need to know who your minimum viable audience is. This is your diehard, loyal fanbase that is most likely to like you and want to do business with you. It should be narrowly defined so that you can specifically target them. Broad targeting makes your audience less likely to be interested. The tighter and more relevant your message is and targeted at the audience, the better your results will be. This will increase your response rate and your ROI (Return on Investment) So you have to get their attention. This doesn’t mean you can’t do business with a wider base, it just gives you a smaller target. Remember the old adage; “You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” is very true in marketing.
Liquid death is a great case study of targeting your WHO. They started with the idea of targeting people at outdoor festivals and concerts who didn’t want to drink beer. They packaged the water cans to match the beer and put fresh water in them. They also started talking to influencers who were part of that crowd. They knew their audience and their audience loved them. This eventually helped them to go viral and for their company to experience huge growth. Here are some facts.
Once you have determined your WHO and WHY, (worksheets here), it is time to do some research. Let's find out where your WHO is online so we can put your message in front of them. Here are some interesting social media demographics: Gen X users are more integrated with Facebook and LinkedIn; they have more followers and engagement. Gen Z prefer Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. Millennials use X (formerly Twitter) more. Women use Snapchat and Pinterest much more than men. Men prefer Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter). Instagram is nearly evenly split between men and women.
Research: Keywords and Demographics
Get to know your WHO and then do some research on where that demographic spends their time. Then and only then should you start to strategize on what you want to say to them, and how you want to say it. If you know the personal interests of your target audience, you can find places where they hang out and where they spend their time. Targeting is your best friend with social media. Use it and make sure to zero in on your target audience as you go. Also, test different messages and you will discover what approaches and titles have the most effective response. I know it takes time and investment, but this is worth the effort. It will get better as you go because your data will improve. If you have a customer list of at least 1000 customers, you can have social media platforms do an audience match and then target your ads towards other people who are like your current customers. This is powerful. You can also go after interest and behavior. If someone is interested in classic cars, for example, they will be involved in groups about classic cars. Social Influencers are a growing segment in advertising and many brands are utilizing influencer marketing to reach their target. You should not just use someone who is popular, you should use someone who speaks to your target audience. Paid Social Media is hiring a company to manage your paid advertising. We handle the setup, writing the ad copy, keyword research, audience research, platform choice, the creative, and most importantly the maintenance of the ads monitoring and adjusting as time goes on to get even better results.
Determine Your Budget
When you work with professional marketing companies like Connection Publishing (soon to be called Connection Media Co.) they can tell you how much your budget should be. You can find out how much you should spend to make a splash and how much the top of the budget is for your industry. This is variable because of supply and demand. For example, if you are in an industry with high levels of competition, Real Estate, Mortgage, Roofing, etc, you will pay more for ads to reach the number of people you might want. It is okay not to be number 1. Sometimes you just need to start with a budget and build from there.
Now it’s time to build Creative that converts. While getting attention in your industry can seem daunting, social media might be a great way to get in front of people on a consistent basis. For local small businesses, Social Media can be a cost-effective way to ensure you are hitting the right people. You will likely have to pay for exposure as the days of organic social media are over unless you come up with something very compelling. The platforms want us all to pay for the audiences they have built up, so you will need to do paid ads. Social media is also a great compliment to your SEO and Paid Search SEM efforts. These strategies work hand-in-hand to enhance your online presence. When you create content for social media ads, weaving in relevant keywords can further boost the discoverability of your posts. For instance, for a local fly-fishing equipment shop in Weber County, incorporating keywords like "best fly fishing gear in Northern Utah" can attract potential customers looking for exactly that. Plus, the search engines are looking at social media sources as they reach out into the web.
Analyze and Adjust
One of the advantages of digital marketing, including paid social media advertising, is the ability to track performance. You can analyze metrics such as click-through rates, engagement, and conversions to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. Use this info to influence your future decisions, ad copy, and to help you nail the follow-up. By continuously refining your strategies based on insights, you can really generate a greater return on your investment. Social media can be tricky. Sometimes, I hear frustrated people say, “I hate ______ insert social media brand of your choice.” They say this because they don’t understand Social Media. They feel intimidated or frustrated by its daunting influence on our society. Instead of looking at it from a fear or frustration standpoint, I encourage you to look at the opportunity it gives you as a business owner. It's a chance to get in front of your target audience where they spend their time. Look past your frustration. Instead, look at the opportunity social media ads can give you. Let me know if we can help you create a social media campaign that rocks!