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If you aren't using paid ads, the effectiveness of your content is limited. As a business, it is hard to compete on social media against so many different pages. Using ads allows you to control how many eyeballs your content gets in front of. Facebook only displays your content to users that like your page, which means the only people who will see your content are your followers.
Social media has become so in depth that platforms like Facebook have created complete backend portals and ad managers that allow you to see exactly who is seeing your ad, allowing you to take control of who is seeing your ads. This is important because not every person that is seeing your content is qualified. Targeting allows you to pay adspend dollars getting the content in front of those that are more likely to convert. Using ad managers, you can target by your specific age demographic, income, gender, etc. The ability of social ads to be targeted means some of the cheapest adspend dollars. Traditionally, you would have to spend a lot more money to get your message across to the same amount of target people.
If you are on a website looking at a product, and then seen that product on facebook, you have been retargeted. The Facebook Pixel is tracking code that allows you to track people who land on your website, and then run retargeting ads to them through facebook and instagram. This technique through social is highly effective, because you are targeting those people who are already qualified and were interested in your products. Before this feature, website owners had no way to target or run ads to people who ran on the site after they left. This ability to run ads to people who landed on your site make it an effective marketing and targeting tool. There is a significantly higher click through rate for ads that are based on the Pixel or re targeting audience versus a random audience.
There are a variety of social media platforms, and each one should be used strategically based on a few key factors.
You cant really go wrong with Facebook. It is best to begin running on ads on Facebook because as a platform it has the highest traffic, and is a leader in advertising experience. The ability to target based on interests is one of the most useful aspects of Facebook as a marketing tool. Facebook gives you the ability to run a wide range of ads, including video, photo, and are constantly developing new opportunities and different ways to advertise on their platform.
Instagram, now owned by Facebook, also has a great ad interface that allows you to find your audience. Instagram actually uses the same ad manager as Facebook, which makes it easy to manage both. The main difference between Facebook and Instagram is the age demographic each platform attracts. Facebook attracts a much older demographic, while instagram tends to be used more by people under the age of 30. Instagram also has a much higher quality of content, since it has been more accepted by social media influencers as a daily platform. Even though it is more challenging to create comparable content to influencers, companies that can successfully take advantage of instagram ads can dominate. Statistics also show that mobile users are much more likely to convert on a website if they come from Instagram. If done properly, instagram can be a huge platform to build brand awareness and drive qualified traffic to a website.
Youtube ads can be a great advertising resource if you have all of the proper equipment. Every day, more and more people are choosing the content they want to watch on sites like youtube, and traditional TV is dying. Youtube ads run right before the video a user is searching for is played. In this short amount of time, you can prompt users to click through to your website, or just promote your brand as a whole. Interestingly enough, Youtube is the only internet platform that actually attracts more men than women. The platform is also owned by Google, which is great because you have the ability to track the success of your campaigns with Googles in depth analytics.
One of the platforms a lot of people don't think about when considering ads on social media is LinkedIn. Even though the platform has significantly less users than other social media platforms, it is still a great tool to connect with other businesses. If you are selling to consumers, it probably isn't the best route to go. Because LinkedIn is mainly a social media site for businesses and employees, there isn't as large of a consumer basis on the platform. One unique thing about LinkedIn that may or may not be useful depending on the campaign is the income demographic. People on Linkedin make a high average salary, and have steady jobs.
Still gaining its roots, Snapchat is starting to come into the world of social media ads. Snapchats audience is almost entirely millennial based, with younger generations following. Snapchat ads may run in between stories, or may live on the feed page. Although snapchats ads are newer and still being updated, they can be an effective way to stand out from other companies running social campaigns. Snapchat is best used to promote brand awareness, or to influence users to “swipe” through to a landing page.
Businesses that are not hopping into the world of social media marketing are going to slowly disappear in the digital world. Social is now an integral part of the internet, and an integral part of our daily lives. It is important to start now, as social media continues to develop and becomes more significant in daily life. By putting out quality ads and having a good strategy for targeting, businesses can expect great ROI from running sponsored ads.
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