Guest author: Ivan Serrano. Follow him on Google+
You’ve created quality content and promoted it via Facebook, Twitter, and your other owned channels, but you’re not seeing the numbers you expect. This shouldn’t be surprising as there is far more content being produced on a daily basis then people can possibly consume. Even if you have a large following on social media sites, it doesn’t guarantee that the content you produce will be seen. After all, there is an average of 58 million tweets and 55 million Facebook status updates per day. To make it even more difficult, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm now only shows your page updates to less than 7 percent of your fans. If you want to increase brand engagement now, you should take a look at paid social amplification options.
Why Paid Social Advertising?
Social ads are more than just simple advertising. It helps amplify your content while also growing your community. Social network users share a huge amount of information that companies might otherwise not have access to, which allows for much better niche audience targeting. You can narrow down your niche to demographics, keywords, location, interests and even psychographics. Of course, you need to have a buyer persona in place before you can effectively target the right people, but once you have an audience in mind, you can easily find them across networks. Besides advertising to your ideal demographic, social ads are cheap enough for businesses of all sizes to leverage.
How Does Paid Social Advertising Work?
The success of your social ads depends on your actual content. Make sure that your content is tailored to your audience, easy to read and, most importantly, solves a problem for your audience. After you’ve posted your content on your owned channels you need to set up some goals for your social ads. Ask yourself what you want to achieve by promoting your content on these channels. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can properly track key metrics to see the effectiveness of your campaigns. Some of the more common amplifications goals and associated metrics to track are:
- Brand Awareness – If you’re a new business, you need to get in front of your audience first and foremost. Track impressions, reach and frequency of visits.
- Interest and Engagement – Is your content interesting enough that people will actively engage with it? Track CPC, likes, shares, comments, pages viewed, time on site and other metrics that show the audience’s engagement.
- Conversion – If you produce enough high-quality content or offer a good deal, people are likely to become a lead. Track click-through rates, conversion rate, lead score and return visits.
- Sales – This is probably the easiest metric to track as a successful campaign will lead to more sales. Track sales, revenue, ROI and cost per customer.
- Loyalty – Businesses will only thrive if you have loyal customers. Checking things like audience growth rate, return visitors, and true ROI will give you an idea of how successful your ads are.
During the course of your campaigns you should keep track of these metrics as it will show how you need to adapt your content and amplification strategy for greater success.
What Should I Use Paid Social Advertising?
Almost every social platform offers some kind of paid social amplification option and what one you use depends on your preference. Facebook remains the most popular option among brands, but others are quickly growing in popularity.
- Twitter – Twitter offers two different social ads: Promoted tweets and trends. Promoted Tweets offer interest targeting and have a wider reach than organic tweets. Promoted Trends help kick start conversations and amplify a specific message to a wider audience.
- Google Plus Post ads – Unlike other social ads, the Plus Post ads do not occur on the actual social platform. Instead, it is part of Google’s display ad network. This means that your Plus Posts will appear on related third party sites, potentially giving you the largest reach of all social ad options.
- Outbrain – While not part of a social network, Outbrain provides content promotion on their network of blogs and websites. This service is ideal for brand awareness and audience development.
The Power of Social Ads
While the purpose of social ads is to get your content in front of the right people on these platforms, it can ultimately lead to more exposure and earned media. If the content you produce is of high quality these ads will help improve your visibility among bloggers and influencers and ultimately get you placed on high-ranking blogs, sites, and even traditional media.
Have you had success using paid social advertising? Share your thoughts in the comments below.