The world of marketing is constantly changing. With the advent of social media platforms came a brand new approach to sharing your message with consumers in a way that had not been done before. In 2018, advertisers will have spent an estimated $58 billion on social media advertising alone. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made it so easy for businesses and consumers to promote their posts and target specific audience demographics based on the content others are liking, sharing, and commenting on.
In this series of blog posts, we’re focusing on different components of successful marketing and sharing some insight into why it matters if you work with a dedicated professional. While social media across the board is an important tool for marketing and developing your brand’s presence within your local industry, we’re going to be focusing solely on social media advertising.
So why do you need to worry about working with a dedicated creative professional to run social media ads? Just because something appears simple on it’s surface doesn’t mean that there aren’t hurdles like any other avenue for marketing. And if you don’t know all of the nuances of your industry’s marketing strategies for social media, you may miss the mark and spend precious marketing dollars for little return on that investment.
FIND THE RIGHT IMAGE.
Arguably the most important part of any social marketing campaign is the imagery used to help draw the audience in to the content of your sponsored posts. It’s been proven time and again that people respond to bright and colorful imagery so that’s always a good place to start. Images that are going to capture your audience’s attention are what help drive that initial engagement.
Creative or marketing professionals who are familiar with the social landscape know what kind of images are going convey the message of your campaign and also what is going to help draw as much engagement as possible from your audience. They also know not to include more than a certain amount of text on the images used for social campaigns because we know that Facebook and Instagram have algorithms that determine whether an image has text on it or not and will limit impression share based on the amount of text an image has on it. This means that your campaign will be served to less people right from the start. Our philosophy? Keep the images you use simple and let the comment/copy portion that appears above or below your social ad do the talking.
TELL YOUR STORY.
Now that your imagery has been selected and perfected for your social campaign, you have to come up with the copy that is going to tell your audience what they need to know about your brand, product or services. Like any other marketing effort, the goal behind running a campaign on social needs to be determined before you get to the build portion of it. Are you running a standard branding campaign to help drive brand recognition for your business? Are you advertising a current sale or promotion? Determining the best approach for a social campaign and sticking to that singular message helps to make sure your content is clear and concise.
A social ad doesn’t have to be everything and the kitchen sink. And it shouldn’t be. If you’re spending your marketing dollars strategically, you know having a focus for a campaign is important and that is especially true in social media marketing. You don’t have the luxury of deciding on whether to take out a full page ad or a quarter page ad and writing your content to fit either that larger or smaller space. On social media, all screen real estate is the same. So it becomes more about dialing in your messaging than anything else. The better you are at keeping it to less than 150 characters, the better performance you’ll see from your social campaigns. Dedicated professionals like us work closely with seasoned copy writers who know the right way to write your message and do so every time.
TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE.
Now that you’ve got the right image and the right message to push your social media campaign out to the world, you need to make sure that you’re targeting the right people for that message. Just like any other advertising method you use, you want to make sure your ad is going to be seen by people who would benefit from seeing it. If you’re an electrician running a promotional offer in Denver, you probably don’t want to target college students in Boston. But if you don’t set up your audience targeting for the campaign correctly, you might end up wasting money on clicks or impressions that won’t generate a viable lead for your business.
A dedicated professional who knows how to set up audience targeting correctly will make sure that they are setting up your campaign to reach people who will find value in your sponsored content based on the types of posts that they interact with. They will make sure the demographic is right for your campaign based on age or gender and will ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent strategically.
Social media marketing is a multi-faceted solution to advertising your business. But with that versatility and reach come challenges. To give a real world example of how important it is to work with an expert on this type of marketing, I wrote an email to a potential client this morning detailing the current state of social marketing for cannabis companies and how best to utilize the social space to drive their brand. If you aren’t familiar with the types of blanket regulations the federal government has put on advertisers like Facebook to prevent them from running ads for the cannabis industry, it is an extremely nuanced market and one that can be difficult to generate value from in regards to using social media platforms for marketing. Cannabis companies cannot include content, imagery, or pricing related to cannabis products within their social ads. The reason being is that social media ads have the ability to run nationally (with marijuana still listed as a federally illegal Schedule I substance here in the U.S.) and internationally as well. It is a huge liability for social platforms because they can become entangled in legal matters for running cannabis related content and potentially advertising it to an audience that it shouldn’t be seen by based on those laws. There are ways around these regulations and other avenues for disseminating content related to cannabis brands through social media but unless you know the why or how, it can be a difficult path to navigate.
Wasting time and money trying to jump through hoops that you might not be familiar with is exactly why it’s important to work with a dedicated professional who knows how best to use your marketing budget to advertise your business in the social media space.