5 Ways to Make Sure You Are Getting the Most Out of Your Social Ads

 In Social Media Marketing

By this point, you know that organic reach on social is dead, specifically for Facebook.  This means that in addition to creating great content, you also need to be concerned with building social ads across the major networks.

But it’s not as simple as setting it up and watching the engagement roll in.  There are a few fundamental things to think about before you start pouring budget into social ads.

What Do You Want to Get Out of Them?

social ads marketing goalsIt seems like an insanely simple place to start from, but it needs to be said.  Before you spend a dime on social advertising, you should be thinking about how it’s going to help your overall goals and programs.  Paying for engagement is fine, as long as there’s a long-term strategy in place to make it worth your while.

Luckily, platforms like Facebook want to simplify this process for you.  When you create an ad, the first step of the process is posed to you as “What’s Your Marketing Objective?”  There are a few options here, and if you can’t answer this question, that’s probably a good sign that it’s time to put away your wallet and re-think why you’re running ads to begin with.

Goals are different for every marketer, so no answer here is wrong – unless you’re straight-up guessing.

Who Do You Want to Reach?

The struggles with organic reach largely refer to the shrinking ability to reach people who are already opted in to like/follow your content for free.  Social ads do have a cure for this, as well as for the next level, which is getting your work in front of people who don’t even know about you yet.

The first, and simplest, solution to reaching your existing fans more effectively is through boosting posts.  There are different methodologies around this depending on where your organic reach lies.  In our opinion, you should be putting even a small amount of money behind anything that took your team time to create.  That’s blogs, videos, whitepapers – basically anything beyond a phone snapshot or someone else’s content that you’re sharing.

The next step is to use more advanced targeting for your social ads.

Custom Lists for Social Ads

social ads audience selectionA surprisingly small number of people using social ad platforms are aware of the ability to upload or generate custom lists to serve ads to.  This is a surefire way to actually reach the people you want to reach.

Think about it – if you’ve run a lead-gen campaign and have a list of 500, or 1,000, or 20,000 people who have already said they’re interested in your content, then a lot of the hard part is done.  Now it’s a matter of continuing to engage these people with relevant content, and social ads are a great way to do it.

Using Facebook’s audience tools, you can upload a list of emails to serve ads to, or create an audience based on traffic to your website.  These are extremely powerful tools to reach a specific audience.  Hopefully, this specificity helps when making the case for social ad budget.

Content Still Matters in Social Ads

Whether you’re creating an ad or making a post, you need to have the same standards for quality.  You don’t have an excuse to churn out trash just because you’re paying for it.  Whether it’s a paid social ad or not, you should be asking whether it’s worthwhile content.

High-quality video content can make for great social ad material.  It’s easy to digest, and it can quickly get a message across.  Great blogs, whitepapers, or thought leadership content all fits the bill as well.  The trap to avoid falling into is one of complacency.  It doesn’t matter to the end user if you paid or not – they’re still expecting relevant, informative content from you.

A Multi-Platform Approach

social ads twitter adsThis post has focused mainly on the advertising tools available on Facebook, but the overall lessons apply across the board.  While Facebook may well be the main avenue for your social ads, you should diversify to other networks as well.

Instagram ads are built into the social platform, so you can kill two birds with one stone there.  Beyond that, Twitter and LinkedIn offer completely different ways for you to feature your content through paid placements.  It’s also possible to catch your target audience in a different browsing mindest.  The way the average person uses LinkedIn is completely different from the way they use Facebook.  Keep this in mind when building your ads.

No matter which platform you start on, make sure to consider spreading your social ads budget across channels.  At the very least, you’ll begin to figure out where your content is working and where it’s not.

No matter what market you’re in, you should be using social ads.  If you need help jumpstarting your strategy with video content, Contact Usgive us a call.  We’ll help you figure out what to highlight to help fill out your content marketing pipeline, and in turn your social ads calendar.

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