What is Paid Social Marketing?
To maximize your visibility and reach on social media, paid social marketing is becoming a must. Not only are social media users spending upwards of two hours a day on social media sites but they are growing more and more receptive to advertising and promotions delivered directly to their newsfeed.
Paid social marketing offers many tangible benefits, including:
- Allows you to target specific markets
- Ensures your posts are seen by your target audience
- Provides more insightful metrics than most reporting tools do for organic content
- Allows you to control how much you spend
Paid Social Marketing vs Organic Social Marketing
Social media technology and consumer trends can change so quickly and frequently that it can be hard to keep up with best practices. One of the biggest conundrums for business owners and marketers is understanding the strategic balance and distinction between paid social and organic social media. Understanding the key differences is essential to creating a successful strategy. Paid and organic search should not be seen as conflicting marketing methods and, in fact, work very well when used together. Every popular and successful social media campaign will usually have paid and organic elements.
Organic social marketing applies to anything that happens on social media without paid promotion. For example, when you create a new post on your business Facebook page but don’t put any money behind it, this is an organic post. Paid social marketing applies to anything that is influenced by marketing dollars spent. For example, posts and ads that have a “sponsored” tag will be paid social media. When a user likes the ad or post, this is considered as a paid reaction. Paid social media can include ads optimized for clicks, boosted posts, video ads, and lead generation forms and can be targeted using a number of behavioral and demographic factors.
Why Pay For Social Media Marketing?
If your business is growing and you finally have the budget to invest in serious marketing, you’ll want to invest in marketing methods that give you the best returns. For most businesses, one of the most natural and effective marketing methods is social media.
If you are putting off starting your paid social marketing campaign because you are worried about escalating or unknown costs, don’t be. Paid campaigns can be launched using any level of budget, making them the perfect solution for small businesses. Most social media channels work on a pay-per-click model that can be set in a way that ensures your spending limit is never exceeded. On Facebook, the average price per click is $1.72. On Instagram, the average is $6.70. If you are looking to spend less when first starting out, Facebook comes out on top. However, Instagram does tend to yield higher engagement, so you may want to play around with the two different channels to see which works best for you.
Getting Started with Paid Social Marketing
Choosing the Right Paid Social Marketing Channel
One of the biggest obstacles to starting a paid social media marketing campaign often has nothing to do with costs. It’s choosing which social media channels to advertise on. When looking at the different options available to you, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my marketing goals?
- Where is my target audience likely to hang out?
- How much can I invest?
Knowing the answer to these questions will help you to decide which channels are the right fit for your marketing strategy. For example, if you are a software agency looking to establish yourself as an expert in the industry, you might consider creating marketing videos that can be distributed on YouTube. If you are a retail brand looking to increase awareness about your products, you might turn to Facebook and Instagram.
Know Your Customers and Target Wisely
When running a paid social campaign, you have the option to target your market with pinpoint accuracy. Whether you would like to set your campaign to target people within a certain geographic region or who have specific interests, most social marketing channels offer this level of granularity. By spending time defining your targets carefully, you will get the best return on your investment.
Test, Test, and Test Again
One of the best things about using social media marketing is the testing and metrics you can tap into. If you are paying to get your content in front of those people who matter, it’s important that you know what works (and what doesn’t) before you start throwing dollars into your campaign. You can conduct tests in several ways, including running paid posts for a short time in front of a carefully selected, smaller audience. If this works out well, you can increase your budget and expand your efforts to a larger audience.
Measure and Learn
Paid social marketing doesn’t just allow you to extend your reach and targeting capabilities. It can also provide you with detailed metrics that give you insights into how your campaigns are performing. Not only can you use this data to track the performance of current campaigns, but you can also use historical data to repeat what went well and ditch the campaigns that bombed or didn’t attract much attention.
Educate, Don’t Interrupt
One thing to remember is that people don’t use social media to buy products and services. They use it to keep in touch with their friends and family and what is going on in the world. For this reason, you should try not to interrupt their experience but enhance it with educational content that provides them with facts they didn’t know and exposes them to your offering in a compelling and informative way.