If you’ve ever been on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn and saw the word ‘sponsored’ or ‘promoted’ beside a post or section of content, you’ve likely seen an example of paid social.
More and more brands are adapting to social media platforms to create awareness, engagement, and traffic – so it’s no wonder that the number of businesses using paid social to boost their reach has also grown.
Unlike organic social media, paid social enables you to reach audiences that are not currently interested in your brand also due to the fact that they don’t know about you – and creates new followers or clicks that may otherwise have been misplaced or taken more time to gain.
Although the use of paid social media is increasing at a fast pace, some marketing specialists are still reluctant to it. That’s why this article is bound to share the main 10 reasons why paid social should be a component of your digital marketing mix.
1. Engaged audience
When you target potential customers within their social media feeds, you’re displaying ads to users who enjoy engaging with content and leave the platform with relevant content or products.
More and more paid social ads are harder to differentiate from organic posts. This not only turns paid social into an inconspicuous ad format but also one with which social media users are comfortable to engage.
2. Engagement-based targeting
The websites that users visit and the information they provide create a lot of data that can be managed by paid social experts. For example, one key targeting option available on social platforms is to target people by their interests.
If this is done the proper way, the ads that users will notice in their feeds will be suitable or useful and won’t appear out of place along with their organic posts.
Targeting options are growing more granular and differ from each platform. However, variations are infinite because these alternatives are becoming broader.
3. Increased brand awareness
One of the challenges many businesses face is approaching new audiences and creating brand awareness. As a business owner, you could invest your time on organic content and money through pay-per-click (PPC) ads – or you could use paid social to create high levels of brand awareness, bringing ROI in no time.
4. Quick results
One of the most important advantages that paid social has over organic activity is the capacity to immediately generate results.
With organic posts, you’re restricted to displaying your message to those who already follow you – and this may at first be a small number. Based on your resources, objectives and what you sell, paid social can take you in front of the right people at the right time and at a greater scale than you can in an organic manner.
5. Location targeting
One domain where you can efficiently concentrate your efforts and budget is location targeting. How localized you make your targeting will be defined by the minimum audience size needed to run a campaign – this is usually 1,000 users on most platforms – and the level of geographic targeting accessible. For example, on Facebook, you can target cities or towns, or a radius around them, while targeting on LinkedIn is restricted to the ‘big’ cities you prefer.
6. Detailed insights
Paid social offers insights about your brand and how your message is received – insights that otherwise, you may not have gathered. Not only does paid social supply your business with top-line data around reach and traffic but each platform, to fluctuating degrees, allows you to gather data about the users engaging with your brand.
7. Accessible measurements
Another significant aspect of paid social is the capacity to measure performance through key performance indicators (KPIs). With metrics such as reach, clicks, engagement (likes, comments) and spend immediately accessible, you can instantly learn the return on investment (ROI) of individual ads and campaigns.
As an example, if you are measuring leads, and you have a cost per lead (CPL) target of £50, and your site on average converts at 1%, you will know you can pay up to £0.50 for each click. As you collect data, you can check your key metrics regularly to detect changes in performance and customize your campaigns and bids to reach your target.
8. Custom retargeting
One of the most powerful ‘selling’ points of paid social is the ability to re-engage your current clients or site visitors.
You can do this by using a tracking pixel to your site – this is quickly done through Google Tag Manager. The pixel enables you to create, within your paid social platforms, custom target audience lists containing previous visitors to your site.
Remarketing campaigns manage to have higher conversion rates and lower costs per lead (CPLs) than other paid campaigns, and are consequently excellent at creating cost-effective leads or sales.
9. Demographic targeting
When addressing clients or analyzing site data, one of the initial things an agency can determine is the demographic of their regular audience.
Even though they may not realize it, users offer age and gender information on social media quite often. This means that you can apply demographic targeting to your paid social campaigns.
Some social platforms will provide you with the option to define the demographics you want to specifically target. As an example, Facebook will allow you to target users of a specific age between 13 and 65 and over 65 in one group. Luckily, all platforms let you target men or women, or both.
10. B2B targeting
Many entrepreneurs are interested if there are any B2B opportunities with paid social. The answer is yes, and the one that’s most frequently used for this goal is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides an extensive range of targeting alternatives, from the company name, industry, company size, job title, seniority to the field of study.
Also, LinkedIn presents the most comprehensive targeting options for B2B marketing, but it’s worth mentioning that Facebook and Twitter also provide various career-based targeting options.
The future of paid social
During the next few years, the social scene is likely to become more saturated with paid ads. Taken individually, it’s not automatically a bad thing, but it’s vital that the ads and vision you project to be converted into even more targeted and specific messages.
Targeting users by age or gender is not going to be enough going forward. Smart use of combining audiences (targeting different interest-based and demographic audiences in one campaign), unique and relevant content ads and attractive offers and compelling CTAs are a necessity if you’re aspiring to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Paid social is only one of the digital marketing services provided by our agency. To find out how we can help your business reach its goals, get in touch with our friendly client team.