Social media advertising is a minefield. The fear of overspending, knowing where to advertise and understanding how to report on performance is just the tip of the iceberg. How do you get the most out of paid social media advertising?
In this post, we explore the world of social media advertising and discuss managing creative for campaigns, ways of targeting new audiences and how to ensure your spend is focused on the right objectives. It should take about 6 minutes to read and when you’re finished, get in touch. Let’s get started.
Keep targeting tight
Getting targeting right is essential for any social media advertising campaign to succeed. A tightly targeted campaign allows you to vary your messaging for each audience, in accordance with their specific needs.
All social media platforms give you simple targeting options such as location, keyword and interests. These are all useful, but if we dig a little deeper we’ll get more out of our campaigns. Here are 2 ways:
- Matched Audiences: By uploading a list of email addresses, certain social networks can look up users with a matching email address and target them. One thing to note: often there are minimum counts, so uploading a list of less than 2,000 won’t be effective.
- Remarketing: There’s a reason that marketers use remarketing. It works. To get started, simply pop a remarketing pixel on your site and the audience will begin to populate. Once it reaches a certain number of identified users associated with the platform, you can start advertising to this audience.
Experiment with different ad types and platforms
When starting out with social media advertising, you’ll know which platform (or platforms) your audience use. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube or Ello (yes, I know Ello. Take that, hipsters) the right channel will help you reach your audience.
On each of these channels, there are multiple ad types you can use to get your content noticed. Experiment with lead gen cards, platform specific videos and in stream ads to reach your audience. A lot of these ads will be viewed on mobile, so make sure content is easy to consume.
Direct messages on LinkedIn go straight into user’s inboxes, which is a fresh new way to advertise on the platform. This can allow you to give your organisation a friendly face, match this with super tight targeting to achieve campaign perfection.
Watch out for ad spend
Social media platforms have a tendency to hide advanced budget options behind the scenes, which can lead to ad spend being drained by irrelevant audiences. Look out for an ‘Advanced’ option to set overall budgets, accelerated ad programs and date deadlines.
Once your ads go live, continue to actively manage these budgets and prioritise specific, well-performing ad sets that are generating conversions. This will ensure that you get the best return on your spend, and ultimately make your campaign more successful.
We live on mobile. Our mobile homes (geddit?!) are where we consume information and interact most frequently on social media, so naturally paid social advertising campaigns need to be mobile-first. This approach is more than just a responsive landing page, it’s about ensuring the journey across your site is perfect on mobile; making sure forms are easy to fill out, buttons are chunky enough to click, and most importantly that the final content is easy to digest.
Once end-to-end website optimisation is implemented, it’s time to check ad types on mobile. Things to test include how images render, where text cuts off, that your imagery is on brand and that any links are before the… [read more]
A complete reporting overview
As discussed in previous posts, using UTM tracking codes is essential for accurate reporting. Here’s a brief reminder on what they traditionally include:
- Campaign: Keep consistent across the entire campaign.
- Medium: The type of activity, the most common are cpc, referral, email and social.
- Source: A more detailed view, allowing you to distinguish between medium, (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc).
- Content: Distinguish between different ad types (large image, video etc).
- Keyword: Filter by targeting information.
It’s not unusual to find discrepancies between what your reporting says and what the platforms are telling you; there are often slight differences in terminology, and some of these are a little cheeky.
Taking LinkedIn as an example, there’s often a discrepancy between the number of reported clicks on an advert and the amount of website traffic you experience. This is because LinkedIn acknowledges, and charges for clicks anywhere on your ad. If they click through to your company page, that’s a click, expand your image, that’s a click. And you pay for that, so watch out – that goes for all social platforms.