Paid Social Media Advertising Tips for Small Businesses

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Social media platforms have evolved significantly over the years and are no longer strictly used for connecting with friends. These platforms are now used by millions of people and businesses attempting to grow their brands and following by connecting with their audience’s on a daily basis. 72% of the public uses some type of social media. If you are a small business owner and you’re not utilizing social media, you should rethink your strategy. Though it may be tough to reach your audience organically these days, you can easily run ads through social media platforms to more effectively reach your target audience. Follow our paid social media advertising tips to increase your reach and grow your audience online.

What is paid social media advertising?

Paid social media advertising is a type of digital marketing that places your ads on social networking sites. What makes this so successful is the fact that these sites have such a large reach. On top of that, you are able to segment the audience to reach your specific target audience. So you’re not just throwing your ads out there in the ether hoping they will be seen.

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Primary goals of paid social advertising

There are three primary goals of advertising on social media:

  1. Promote your brand
  2. Promote your brand’s social media presence
  3. Promote your brand’s business website

Great for marketing segmentation

Many social networking sites urge their users to provide extra information beyond their name and email address to maximize their user experience. Some of this information includes geographic location, age, and gender. Some social media networks can also track a users’ interests based on the groups they join, who they follow and what posts they engage with. All of this information allows advertisers to target their audience geographically, demographically and psychographically. Having to narrow down your audience to better target your ads will force you to segment your audience if you haven’t already. This is an important step in your marketing strategy, as it will allow you to better tailor content for your audience.

Which social media network is best for your business?

The first thing you want to consider when deciding which platform to push your paid social media ads is which ones are already performing well organically for you. If you have a particular network where your content is garnering a lot of engagement with your fans, that would be an obvious choice for your paid advertising efforts.

What it comes down to is finding out where your target audience is most concentrated, most accessible, and most actively engaged with ads. Once you have narrowed down where you can most successfully reach your target audience, you can start to figure out which types of ads you want to invest in.

Types of advertising campaigns

Within each platform, there are different types of ads that work toward different goals. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram all have similar objectives:

Awareness campaigns increase your brand awareness; help reach people near your business; and expose your ad to as many people in your target audience as possible.

Consideration campaigns drive traffic to a specific website or app; reach a wide audience to increase the number of post or page likes; gain more video views; and get new prospects into your sales funnel.

Conversion campaigns get people to take a specific action on your website, such as make a purchase.

Social media advertising tips

  1. Establish your business objective

The advertising services offered by these social media platforms offer different campaigns geared toward different goals. It’s hard for any marketing strategy to be successful without a clear goal, so establishing this first will make your efforts worthwhile.

  1. Identify your target audience

Though each social media platform attracts slightly different audiences, within that it is still quite broad. If you know exactly who you are trying to reach, not only will that help you figure out which platform you should focus on, you will be able to take full advantage of the advertising tools offered.

  1. Use well-performing organic posts

You probably already have an established presence on at least one platform. Start keeping track of what content is performing well on what platform and use this knowledge to form your ads. If you have content that is already resonating with your audience, you might as well build upon it.

  1. Keep your budget in mind

In most cases, you can pay for ads per impression or per engagement. Impression based ads can be much broader than ads geared toward boosting engagement. You wouldn’t want to waste money on engagement from irrelevant users so be sure to design your ads with your goals in mind to maximize the use of your budget.

  1. Keep mobile in mind

These days, most people have a smartphone, making it super easy to access all social media on the go. The majority of people will be viewing the ads you put out there on their mobile devices, which makes visual design even more important. People will quickly scroll by anything that is not easy to read or look at.

Designing your ads for print vs. digital

While you want to make sure you correctly set up your design for the medium it will be used in, print or digital, you can easily repurpose past marketing materials for new marketing efforts. If you’re running a campaign, odds are you are running it across multiple channels. Why not take that a step further and utilize the material for print marketing as well? The more you get your brand out there, the more awareness you will create, ultimately leading to stronger brand recognition and a growing audience. 

A few things to keep in mind when setting up your designs:

Color profile: if you are designing for print, you want to make sure you use the CMYK color profile. If you are designing for digital, make sure to use sRGB.

Layout: regardless of what you are designing for, you always want to maintain best layout practices for your design. 

Accessibility: Web design has a certain degree of accessibility that print design does not allow for. Accessibility features in the digital age allow your digital content to reach a much wider audience than print.

Interaction: Both digital and print design are consumed visually. Both types of media offer visuals such as typography and images, though that is where the similarities end. Print designs can be physically held, whereas digital designs cannot. Digital designs allow for audio and video, print designs do not.

Though not all design practices will translate well from one medium to another, for the most part, you can still adapt your marketing materials for each channel.

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