What Every CMO Should Know About Social Advertising
Social channels arguably or (maybe not so arguably) have become the biggest mediums between brands and consumers. Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have molded themselves into powerful marketing tools with built in analytics, targeted reach, and custom advertising tools. Just last year alone, Facebook added product ads, Twitter expanded its geographical event targeting feature, and Instagram added business pages.
It’s not enough to just use these social platforms, you have to use them the right way, which means understanding how social advertising functions. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but in the world of advertising, you have to spend money to make money. However, if your brand is not using paid social ads in a strategic manner you’re going to receive low engagement and poor return on your investment. As a CMO it’s your job to steer the marketing boat in the right direction — understanding the following core principles about social advertising is a good place to start.
Think of Facebook ads as a sales cycle
Treating Facebook ads like a sales cycle is the best way to target customers and turn leads into conversions. Each person who views your online marketing efforts have a different relationship with your brand. Here is a clear way to organize those engagements:
- Cold Traffic - These consumers should be viewed the same way you would view people you were cold calling. They are unfamiliar with your brand, your mission and what sets you apart, so it’s going to be a challenge to break the ice. If your ad parameters are set to target cold customers be sure that your content answers the basics of your company, i.e., Who, what, why, your competitive edge, and what makes your brand new and innovative.
- Warm Traffic - These are consumers who are familiar with your brand, and may or may not have made a purchase yet. At this stage you should be crafting your advertisements to answer common problems your demographic may have. For instance, most people are familiar with Dyson vacuums. A good ad for them to promote at this stage would be a video of their latest pet hair vacuum tackling a fur covered carpet. This type of familiar household problem may be the motivation someone needs to make a purchase.
- Hot Traffic - These are friends of the brand and return customers. The benefit here is that your marketing dollars are well spent because your demographic is more likely to buy. When targeting loyal customers, you should be seeking to up-sell with new and novel products, or by expanding the services they use. For example, a Facebook ad that offers existing customers a special bundle, or an improved version of an existing product.
Ads should reflect the customer’s journey
Simply put, you have to provide your customers with value. As consumers trickle down the buying funnel they have different needs. So if your advertising posts involve company news, mediocre product updates, or dated content, chances are you’re going to receive very little engagement. You should be separating and targeting your ads at specific people in specific customer stages with specific needs. A quick example of serving their needs with value would be providing new customers with a free 30 day trial, or promo code.
Paid social can be performance-based
Often people overlook the true flexibility of social media. It’s not just a vehicle for brand awareness or traditional media — paid social can be a performance channel. What do we mean by that? Well if you’re commissioning a marketing company to advertise on social media, arguably the most important brand medium, then you should be able to arrange performance-based ad campaigns with a healthy return on your ad spend for e-commerce companies.
There are many agencies who do not consider this option as a part of their social media management services and simply see it as a brand building play.
The Best Paid Social campaigns are integrated with other channels
Don’t limit your ad reach to just your social media channels — integrating your campaigns across other company platforms and outlets will synergize your efforts. Top priority should go towards integrating content such as video, blog posts, and contests with channels like email, white papers, websites, and print.
Here are some general quick tips and tricks for successful social advertising:
- Video should be retargetable - meaning videos can be costly and time consuming to produce. Therefore, you should be creating content that can be repurposed and used to target a different segment of your customer base within a different campaign. It also happens to be much cheaper than TV ads, with the added bonus of real time track-ability.
- Facebook and Instagram is managed from the same platform and campaigns are run through the same engine. In other words, if you wish to run both lnstagram and Facebook Ads, you could theoretically run the same ad on both networks for no additional effort on your end. If you’re only utilizing Instagram, and you’re paying top dollar, you’re missing a huge opportunity to reach more people through Facebook. Ultimately, you’re getting ripped off! Here’s an article on the benefits of running Facebook and Instagram ads together.
- Be wary of big marketing agencies who aren't willing to run paid social campaigns with performance-based terms.
- Develop content that can be easily consumed — take the media-mix approach. Don’t try and sell your customers something right off the bat. Have them get to know you first. In other words, wine and dine them, tell them about yourself. Engage with them across a multitude of channels in order to establish a bond or relationship.
In 2016, organic reach through unpaid posts and advertising decreased by 35% on Facebook. Not only that but for bigger companies, approximately less than 2% of page-likers will see a post if it’s not paid. Those numbers are staggering to say the least.
Now more than ever, you need a full service marketing agency that provides creative content, and ads that are crafted with strategy and targeting in mind. The benefit of full service agency like Power Digital is that we’re able to build out more than just Facebook ads — we strategize behind the whole customer funnel, and that leads to the most successful social campaigns.