With the variety of social media platforms available today, it can be hard deciding where to focus your energy and money on. The key is to know which social media platform will help you best to build your brand, drive website traffic, and increase sales.
In New Zealand Facebook and Youtube dominate social media with 83% and 87% of the population using each network. This year more than ¾ of Kiwis are active on social media with almost everyone using mobile devices and the numbers keep rising.
In this article, we explain how to approach social media advertising to benefit from these online trends.
Let's get your message out there!
Kick-off: Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing means using social media platforms as a marketing tool to reach and communicate with your target audience.
First, you need to choose the right social networks to fit your company. It’s your task to figure out which social platforms your prospects frequently use because you want to be where they are. The next step is to get an idea of how they use these platforms.
Do they like to read long posts? Do they spend time watching videos in the evening? Do they enjoy looking at stunning photography?
Analysing their online behaviour will give you guidelines for producing engaging content. Share information that represents a consistent brand image to create brand awareness. Post continuously to stay on top of your target audience's mind and engage with your followers. Keep track of the reach and engagement rates of your posts to figure out which type of content and time to post works best for you.
Managing social media can be a very time-consuming task, and has to be done continuously to gain momentum and become effective.
That’s where social media advertising comes into play...
Passing on to Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is using the social media network of your choice to advertise. There are two main ways for paid promotion of your content. You can create ads that work on a pay-per-click basis or you can boost posts you have already created to increase their reach or engagement.
Advertising on Social Networks
There are different types of ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Co. You can choose from image ads, video ads, carousel or slideshow ads, and messaging ads. If you create a business account on one of these platforms you will find tools to create, schedule and track those ads.
Before creating an ad, you choose your objectives. Because social media stores so much information about their users, from demographics to locations and user behaviour, you can customize your marketing efforts very specifically. Objectives to choose from are: brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, video views, lead generation, conversions, and more.
After setting your objectives you set your budget and schedule your ad. If you’ve figured out what time your prospects are most active on social platforms, you can select to only show your ad within a certain time frame. That can lead to your set budget lasting longer and reaching more targets.
The next step is to determine your target audience. Here you select the criteria of your buyer personas to serve your ads to the right users. With paid ads, you can reach beyond your existing following and grow your audience.
After that, you only have to create your ad, make it live and start to track how it performs.
Boosting on Social Networks
The option to boost a post is a very fast and easy way to promote content. Boosted posts are technically ads, but created from existing posts. The boosting will serve your content to your audience more frequently to increase likes, reactions, shares, and comments. Or serve your content to targets outside of your existing audience to increase the reach and find new potentially interested customers. So here your objectives are increased reach or increased engagement.
After selecting a post you want to boost, you can again choose the criteria for your targeted audience, a budget (many platforms recommend one), and the duration of the boosted campaign.
The Benefits of Paid Advertising on Social Platforms
Through social media advertising, you can grow the online community surrounding your brand. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of leads you receive. Meaning social media users ending up on your website and either in your inbox or online store.
However, this can take time. You need to understand that your first goals should be to increase your visibility and brand awareness. Focus on getting your information and content in front of the right people. Through constant engaging, you can build a loyal customer following over time and thus create more opportunities for engagement and conversions.
Set specific goals for each step of this journey. Determine your aims for monthly reach, engagement rates, and leads. Keep track and continuously adjust.
Choose the right Platform
Facebook is used by more than 200 million small businesses. Over 2 billion people can be reached through Facebook ads. Setting up your Facebook campaign is easy, and the ad options can be exactly tailored to your needs. You can easily control your ad spend. With the right tools and experiments through effective testing and tracking of your insights, you’ll see if your money is well spent.
Linkedin currently has 756 million users in more than 200 countries. This platform is the number one business to business marketing network worldwide. Many of the decision-makers of businesses are using LinkedIn. This platform is definitely worthy of your time.
First, optimize your company’s page for search. Then define your audience and your goals. As with any platform, publish content that is relevant and engaging to your target audience. Then start advertising to drive more audience engagement and increase your profitability over time.
Instagram is constantly growing, with over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. This platform works in tandem with your Facebook page, which makes handling the two - and comparing them - very easy.
Note that Instagram is best driven from your mobile device. That leads to a high engagement rate potential, as it’s used “on the go”, in between and everywhere.
Keep that in mind while creating your content. This app is great to engage with a younger audience.
Social media use keeps growing, in New Zealand and globally. While some platforms have more users than others, they are not necessarily the best fit for your marketing needs. It depends entirely on your target market and your service/product offering. It will take research and testing to become successful with social media advertising. Make sure you are willing to be in it for the long game - you are unlikely to see overnight success. But it's definitely a tool you should add to your marketing mix.