At least 82% of American internet users are on social media. The audience size across all social media platforms will be nearly 257 million in the U.S. alone by the end of 2023.
There’s no denying the sheer number of potential consumers scrolling on their phones, but the real question is – how do you reach them?
A paid social media marketing strategy is an excellent way to get your content in front of your target audience. Relying on users to find your content organically can take longer than your campaign allows, but with paid social ads, you can create a direct line to consumers without waiting.
Let’s explore the key benefits of paid social media marketing and our recommendations for how to drive traffic, engagement, and recognition for your business.
What is paid social media marketing?
Paid social media marketing is a method of sharing sponsored messages, such as pay-per-click ads or influencer-generated content, intended to target specific sub-audiences.
Like organic social media, paid content drives sales and helps you reach your best-fit consumer. But while paid social media campaigns can be highly effective, they will fall flat without a well-planned strategy.
Creating a paid social media strategy
Consider your campaign’s specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals as you develop your strategy. This flexibility of paid social media allows you to narrow your target audience to suit your current campaign without the high cost of traditional promotion.
Since many platforms use a bidding and lottery system for getting ads in front of users, you can typically start your ad spending at as low as $1. When determining your budget, consider your campaign as a whole and adjust as needed. You don’t want to run out of ad spending before your campaign has closed, or you’ll risk losing momentum and your chance at capturing more potential leads.
The best way to build an air-tight strategy is to work backward from your objectives and goals. This will make it easier to decide which social platforms are best, the tone of your messaging, and the size of your target audience. These KPIs will also serve as the best way to track your campaign’s success. Whatever your goals, be sure to leverage the ad tools native to the social platforms you’re advertising on. These tools can give you crucial insights and enable you to tweak your strategy in response.
Not sure what your objectives and goals are or should be? Unsure of what tools you need and how to use them? We can help.
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Tracking the success of your paid social media campaigns
You can measure the success of your paid campaign in various ways, but we recommend tracking a few metrics no matter what. These metrics provide insights into your audience and how your brand is perceived, making improving your campaign over time easier.
Cost per action
- Choose an objective for your campaign, like click-through rates or engagement, and determine the ideal customer response to your advertisement.
- Impressions refer to how many potential customers saw the ad content.
- Facebook and Instagram refer to this metric as “reach,” while Twitter and LinkedIn call it “impressions.”
- This number should scale with the size of your target audience.
- Your paid social media ad’s engagement rate is a crucial indicator of your audience’s response to the ad.
- Engagement with an ad can include clicks on the ad image itself, a click-through to your website, comments, shares, or any other interaction.
- This metric helps provide insights on what does and doesn’t work for future ads.
Web traffic and conversions
- It’s beneficial to differentiate between who is reaching your website organically and who is getting there through your paid social media ads.
- If you’ve built your website through a CRM platform like HubSpot or by integrating Google Analytics, tracking and managing this data will be relatively easy.
The right platform for paid social media
Each social media site has its unique benefits for paid ads. The best platform for your campaign depends on your KPIs, audience, and budget. Promoting content across multiple platforms may be worth it to get the reach you need.
We’ve broken down the key features of the four major platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to help you make the best decision for your campaign.
- Best used for targeted ads and can be more effective due to Facebook’s bidding system. In other words, you can set how much you are willing to pay for the ad based on the key action you want potential customers to make.
- Facebook ads are popular because they can narrow an audience to just a few hundred people based on geographic location, interests, demographics, recent activity, and more. In general, the smaller your audience, the more you pay per impression and click.
- This platform provides reports and analytics, so you can easily play around with post times and content types to optimize your ad strategy.
- 84% of people discover new products through Instagram.
- Instagram Ads lets you start ad spending as low as $1.
- Your budget will reflect the timeline of the campaign and the size of the audience the ad reaches.
- Sponsored Tweets look very similar to regular Tweets, so these ads stand out less negatively to audiences.
- Twitter Ads allows you to target specific demographics, similar to Facebook.
- Critical factors like the type of ad you’re running, how frequently it’s seen, and where it’s seen are all directly determined by your total ad budget.
- 740 million professionals are on LinkedIn; four out of five drive business decisions like purchases.
- This platform is ideal for B2B advertisers.
- Targeted ads let you type in keywords and select audiences by category.
- LinkedIn provides a variety of ad format choices like sponsored ads, messages, text-based ads, and dynamic ad types.
Let paid social media marketing enhance your next campaign
Paid social media ads are an effective way to reach your ideal audience. With such a wide variety of features on each platform and taking on the tasks of evaluating key data, balancing your ad spending, and frequently adapting your paid social strategy can be overwhelming.
Reach out today to our team of digital marketing experts to learn more about planning your next paid social media campaign and how we can help you reach your business goals.