While the idea was once balked at, more and more companies are realizing the value of running paid social media campaigns. Whether to promote an event, create buzz around a product launch, or increase brand awareness, paid social media marketing is becoming an invaluable tool in the sphere of digital marketing. Among other benefits, it can work to:
- Increase brand recognition
- Repeatedly expose your brand to consumers
- Build authority
- Grow brand influence
- And drive website traffic.Currently, the most common platform for running paid social campaigns is Facebook, which makes sense. Its user base is large and spans the entire globe, and user demographics vary so widely that it presents a wealth of opportunity for marketers to target audiences. That said, like any other marketing effort, running a paid social media campaign on Facebook requires planning and strategic implementation. Below are some tips that will help you get your Facebook advertising campaign in gear.
1. Define Your Objective
What is your purpose in running a paid social media campaign via Facebook? This is what will guide the entire process, from ideation through to implementation. Do you want more likes and comments for your page? Are you hoping to increase the number of page views? Or do you simply want more eyes on your brand? The way your campaign is shaped will depend on whether you want to focus on engagement, community building or branding. Thus, you need to clearly define your objective before moving forward.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Clearly outlining a target audience is a very important aspect of any paid Facebook campaign. Research targeting options, such as location, age, and interests, and target your ads accordingly based on these and other factors. Always keep in mind that the success of your social media marketing will be heavily influenced by how useful the content of your Facebook page is to readers; don't forget to take this into account when you are deciding who to target with your advertisements.
3. Choose Your Ad Product Based On Your Defined Objective
Facebook offers a number of advertising options to use for your campaign. Once you have identified your goals for the campaign, you can decide which of the ad products available will work best. Below are the most common of these ad products and the purposes they best serve.
- Sidebar advertising: Every Facebook user is aware of the advertising that appears on the right hand side of their home and profile page. These advertisements are best for people who are trying to build community through more page likes. TIP: The best way to optimize the sidebar advertising is to gear your CTA toward solving a problem common to your audience or presenting an offer of help.
- Promoted Posts: With promoted posts, you are paying for impressions, not interaction. Your dollars are being used for the purpose of getting more eyeballs on your page, which is great for brand awareness, but can also foster increased engagement. TIP: The content of your promoted post will have a higher click through rate if your content is relevant and helpful to your target audience.
- Sponsored Stories: These are best used for eliciting engagement, but generally only in broader consumer markets. They work by targeting friends of the people who like your page, meaning they tend to work better for business-to-consumer marketing in industries that are not niche or specialized.
4. Test Your Ads
Roll out a variety of different ads and monitor each and every one in order to determine which is performing best. Try variations of images, different ad copy, and even multivariable audience segments within the demographic you are trying to target. This will allow you to make the necessary modifications to your paid social media marketing campaign in order to get the most value out of your investment.
Using paid social media can help you increase engagement, build community and help with brand exposure. If Facebook is your platform of choice, the above tips can help you run a tight, effective campaign that can produce significant results. But remember, in the end, the success of your page will depend on how useful, shareable and relevant the content on your Facebook page is. If your content is lacking, focus on improving that aspect before investing in paid promotion.