Social Media Advertising: Why, When, Where and How to Use It
Did you know that 49% of internet users purchase products from brands they see advertised online?
The lockdown and pandemic life has brought a lot of changes to our daily lifestyle. While Google Meet and Zoom took over meeting halls and conference rooms, Classroom replaced physical classes, and online advertising took the place of posters and billboards. Why shouldn't they? With the amount of time people spend on their phones these days, brands have also understood that the new, effective way of selling would be through social media.
This eventually has made many marketing professionals and agencies redirect their strategies.
According to the statistics of 2021, 75% of the internet-using Gen Zs and almost 50% of Millennials are making purchase decisions based on social media ads. So, it’s high time for brands to focus on social media advertising to survive the race.
Social Media advertisement: the new buzz
Before delving into why social media advertising should be incorporated into the 2022 marketing strategy, it is important to learn what social media advertising is.
Social media advertising is a digital marketing technique that uses social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter to deliver paid content to target audiences. This is considered to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to connect with preferred consumers and skyrocket sales.
Social media marketers, marketing agencies and other professionals get help from various data sources to gain insights into their online audience and customers. Later, they use these insights to design social media campaigns. Platforms, such as Ad Managers and Hootsuite make the task of launching and designing these ads even easier.
Why do we need social media ads?
This brings us to the most asked question: Why do we need social media ads?
As we said before, social media advertising is considered one of the quickest ways to reach the target consumers. Not to mention, thanks to the pandemic trends, people have been spending more time on social media than ever, and that number is increasing every day. Hence, even though there are other methods of online advertising, e.g, Google ads and YouTube ads, it is more susceptible for the target audience to see the ad while they are using social media.
Today, more or less everyone has at least one social media account. However, because of the constant changes in social media algorithms, it might be impossible for your content to reach your desired customers. That’s why, while organic content is free and easier to create, investing in paid content can be worthwhile for businesses in terms of growth and revenue generation.
Additionally, social media advertising can be ideal for those businesses that have been running on a tight budget or don’t have the money to hire a digital marketing agency for their work. Nowadays, creating an ad has been automated to the level that anyone who knows the basics of social media posting can run an ad. Moreover, a few paid marketing strategies will help the ads perform better than ever.
Organic vs Paid: what’s the hype?
Organic social media activity is any activity on social media that doesn’t involve paid promotion. Using free social media tools, creatives can post content and engage with others’ content. When someone does that for marketing purposes, it is considered as organic social media marketing.
On the other hand, paid social media marketing is an activity that requires payment, sponsorship or, in easier terms, “money”. While scrolling your Facebook newsfeed, you may find content from businesses and people you don’t follow or see content that has a call-to-action (CTA) button. These are paid social media marketing content created by businesses, brands, and people to drive audiences to their profiles or influence them to take that action.
Wondering if the posts that you saw appeared on others’ newsfeeds too? Maybe yes, or maybe not! This usually depends on whether your social media profile traits match with other people who are also targeted with the same ad.
Over the last few years, social media marketing has evolved and changed quite a lot. When the concept of paid social media marketing was first introduced, people went crazy over adopting it solely for their marketing. However, that’s not always the solution. Paid social media marketing is quick and efficient, but it can be heavy on the wallet. Moreover, the moment you stop doing it, you’ll be brought back to ground zero.
On the other hand, organic social media marketing is not always effective, and it takes a good amount of time to show results. However, it is cheap and can be a sustainable solution. Hence, it is important that businesses and marketing professionals design a hybrid marketing strategy, consisting of both paid and organic social media activities so that those yearly revenue goals can be met in a more effective manner.
When do we need social media ads?
In the following criteria, brands might need to resort to paid social media advertising for:
Brand awareness: When the business is new, a new product is launched, or a service is being offered, circulating paid content on social media can be a quick way to raise awareness about it.
Lead Generation: Amidst millions of content online, your content might not reach your target audience. Through paid advertising, you make sure that you create meaningful relationships with your audience.
Brand authenticity: In today’s world, when there are thousands of copycats online, it is more important than ever to work on ensuring brand authenticity. Your audience should be able to trust your products and services. What better way to nurture such a relationship than through posting meaningful content on social media, making sure that they reach the right people with an effort on engagement?
Community building: Retaining consumers was already tough, but with brands offering the same products and services popping up every day, it has become next to impossible to vouch for complete brand loyalty. The only way to make sure that your audience stays loyal to your brand is by creating a strong community. Through paid social media advertising, not only can you generate likes and shares, but you can better align with your target audience’s purchase decisions.
Platforms used for social media advertisement
Facebook: Facebook is the largest social media platform globally. This can be a great place to run paid advertisements if the objectives are to raise brand awareness, generate leads and convert them.
Instagram: For brands with appealing and hooking visuals and products and with a target audience of Gen Z and Millennials, Instagram is the best place to run advertisements. If you are looking to generate organic traffic on Instagram, Instagram reel is a great feature to use. Here is a tutorial to create trendy Instagram reels for your business.
Twitter: Twitter runs on hashtags and trendy news. So, when a business has services or products that are trending at the moment, Twitter might be the best place to run ads.
TikTok: Although TikTok is new to the world of social media advertising, it has already generated a great deal of appeal to younger consumers. Hence if a business has to offer products and services that generally target younger audiences, they can run ads on TikTok.
Pinterest: If your business offers products or services that pertain to certain lifestyles and you want direct conversion, Pinterest is the place.
LinkedIn: Although known as the social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn can be a great place to drive brand awareness and convert B2B marketers. If you need help to grow your business on LinkedIn here are 10 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Wellness Coaching Business in 2022
Social media advertisement: how to do it
Identify your business objective. Are you planning on increasing awareness of your newly launched brand? Is your goal to send as many people as possible to your website? Do you want people to buy your products in one click? The format of the ad varies depending on the objective behind the ad. That’s why, before designing an ad campaign, it is important that you identify your campaign goal. In fact, while designing a campaign using Ad Manager, one is required to select an objective as the first step.
It is important for any business to be well aware of its target audience. Based on that, it is wise to choose the right social media platforms to run the ad.
Create a hybrid content plan with both organic and paid posts. While ads can help with quickly attaining the objective, organic content is important to make sure that your audience keeps coming back to your business.
Design your ads by keeping ‘mobile’ in mind. Also, don’t forget to test your ads to learn about their effectiveness. One of the best ways of doing so is A/B testing.
To be honest, it takes time and dedication to see results through social media content marketing. Incorporating ads into your content plan will make the process easier. However, to benefit from it in the long run, you should keep the basics of social media marketing in mind and work accordingly.
In any case, if you don’t have enough time to do it all by yourself, schedule a free call with the Dharana Digital team or request a live audit and we can take it from there.