Social media marketing is a very odd thing. On one hand, social media is a medium that allows brands to dazzle and delight users in an effort to build trust, loyalty, and evangelism. On the other, it’s the most sophisticated aggregation of data for marketing purposes in human history. The dichotomy between “warm and fuzzy” and “tactical business value” is a hard thing for most brands to comprehend.
From our experience, the scale usually tips too far to one side or the other. When that happens, social media marketing often disappoints in terms of business results. Since I am a firm believer in using the fun aspect of social media to support tactically driving business, social media advertising fascinates me.
With the right strategy, social media advertising can help support almost any business goal for almost any industry. However, a few key elements must be correctly in place. While these items aren’t overly complicated, they are immensely important. Here are four simple elements of a successful social media advertising campaign:
Knowing who you want to reach with social media advertising is the first piece of the puzzle. Studies show that 76% of U.S. consumers have purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s social media content. With the right targeting, you can make sure you hit the right audience at the right time with the right message. There are a few key targeting parameters to be aware of when crafting a social media advertising campaign:
- Age – Obviously you can target users by age range.
- Gender – You guessed it! You can target by gender as well.
- Interest Data – Interest data is aggregated based on what users interact with on each respective social channel. If a user engages frequently with content from wine brands, they will be bucketed in the “Wine” interest category.
- Behavioral Data – Behavioral data is aggregated based on what users do, both on and off the social platforms. Through data partnerships, you can target users based on buying habits and other snazzy actions.
- CRM Data – CRM data is essentially your email list. You can upload your email list to almost every social channel and target users via their email address. This is a no-brainer, as long as your list is healthy. People tend to give fake email addresses to brands. Be careful!
- Website Activity – Through the magic of pixels, you can target people based on what actions they took on your website. This includes pages they visit, content they consume and even find audiences that look and behave exactly like your website visitors (lookalike audiences). This is great for prospecting.
Unlocking the power of social media advertising begins with using the right targeting parameters. Be sure to research your target audience as much as possible when building out your targeting!
Once you know who you are going after, it's really important to think about what kind of social media advertising creative will make them stop scrolling in their feeds long enough to absorb your ad messaging. This is critical, since the average human attention span is roughly eight seconds.
Your creative will need to be intriguing, engaging, and enticing if you want users to stop browsing other content and spend some time with yours. Sounds easy right? WRONG! Getting social media ad creative right is tricky. Luckily, I am here to help 😉. Here are some social media advertising creative best practices:
- Demonstrate Context – Use the photo / video in your ad to show people in situations in which your product or service comes in handy. This helps users relate to the messaging, especially if the targeting is accurate.
- Use Color – If you scroll in your feed, you’ll notice a lot of photos from your friends and family mixed in with images from brands. If you add bright color to your social ad creative, it stands out a bit more against the rest of the content in the feed. A pop of color can win attention!
- Have Clear Calls to Action – Social media users are familiar with ads and what to do when they see one that interests them. However, having a clear call to action is always a great idea. The reminder will nudge users to act!
- Add a Value Proposition – Why should anyone click on your ad? What are you offering them? What does the user get out of the interaction? Be sure to clearly state whatever value you are bringing to the table in a clear and concise way. Remember, you have approximately eight seconds, so don’t waste time! Tell them about the percent off, free shipping, or great savings that your brand is offering and do so quickly!
When you layer the right social media ad creative onto the right social media ad targeting, magic happens. Be sure to test different images and videos to see exactly what performs the best! Video is all the rage right now, but how will you know if your target audience responds to it if you don’t test it?!
3. Landing Page
In talking about social media advertising, the discussion about landing pages is almost always forgotten. This is crazy considering the landing page is the place where the users you paid good money to target will convert. Without a proper landing page optimized for conversion, you are wasting time, money, and effort with your social media advertising.
Many brands think sending ad traffic to the home page is sufficient; however, doing so is not ideal. Here are a few tips to ensure your landing page complements your social media advertising campaign:
- Consistency – Make sure that the social media advertising creative has a consistent message, look, and feel as the landing page. This helps users confirm that they have been sent to the right place and will find what they were promised in the advertisement. This means that, ideally, your campaigns should have unique landing pages whenever possible!
- Simplicity – The landing page you send traffic to should be simple and easy to understand. Make sure that the information promised to users is there as well as other relevant, snackable content pieces for users to interact with if they aren’t ready to convert at that time.
- Design – Keep the important information above the fold (the point at which the user must scroll to get more information), including conversion points, unique call outs, and calls to action. Place everything users need to know front and center so it's easy to see!
Now the fun part! What good is a social media advertising campaign if you don’t have proper tracking in place? We recommend making sure that your site and all relevant landing pages have Google Analytics set up, social pixels installed (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and as many of the lower-funnel standard events and custom conversions established as make sense.
If this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry. Implementation is tricky, but not impossible. By having all these tracking items set up, you will be able to see how many people interact with your social media ads, what they do on your landing pages, and if they end up converting on a subsequent visit. The more data, the better. Here are the recommended social media advertising key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking:
- Clicks – The amount of people who click your ad.
- Page Visits – The amount of people who actually load the landing page.
- Impressions – The amount of times your advertisement was served to users.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) – The rate at which users who see your ads click them.
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) – The cost of 1,000 impressions.
- Cost Per Click (CPC) – What you pay every time your ad is clicked.
- Time On Site – The amount of time users spend on your website or landing page.
- Pages Per Visit – The number of pages a user visits when on your website.
- Conversions – The amount of last-click goal completions or conversion actions users make.
- Assisted Conversions – The amount of conversions that come from a subsequent action or website session.
Easy peasy, right? Running a social media advertising campaign the correct way takes experience, patience, and a willingness to undertake a certain amount of risk. However, when you are tracking the right data, you can almost always find your way to a winning campaign that drives business!
While the four elements outlined above are pretty straightforward, there are a lot of considerations to account for once you put these tips into action. If you get stuck on any aspect of managing a social media advertising campaign, the team at THAT Agency is always here to help. Contact us today!