Paid Social Media Ads and Chooseing the Best Platform
It seems like the path to business success is paved on social media. Despite the mixed feelings many people have about these platforms, they can’t seem to stay away. More importantly, what they see on social media affects how they spend their money. About 35% of all US and 50% of Gen Z consumers say paid social has influenced their purchasing decisions.
Meanwhile, the social media landscape is growing. It’s not just Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter anymore. Now we have Instagram, TikTok, and more on the horizon. Not to mention YouTube, which isn’t quite social media but does account for a massive share of online video views. All offer paid social media ad opportunities alongside organic posting options.
With so many platforms to choose from, the biggest challenge is making sure you’re spending money in the right places. You want a positive return on investment, but how do you decide which channels to invest in?
We’ll walk you through your options for different social media platforms. Before we talk about those, we need to lay some groundwork.
Go Organic Before Attempting Paid Social
Paid social media ads can be a powerful way to promote your videos, but there are challenges. Learning to use the various ad platforms can be overwhelming and paying someone to do it for you can be expensive. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use paid social, but it does mean you should make sure you’re really ready before you jump into social media advertising.
Start by maximizing your organic marketing strategy. Most people consume multiple pieces of content before they make a buying decision. If you only have one video, even if it’s an amazing video, you’re unlikely to convert the customer. This alone is enough of a reason to get your organic social media in order before you buy ads.
So consider these other two reasons a bonus:
• Organic marketing is less expensive than paying for ads
• Having a good organic social media following provides social proof to leads
Let’s assume you’ve already built out your social media profiles, invited all your existing customers to follow you, and established a strong content pipeline. Now we can start building a strategy.
What is the goal of your paid social video?
As we’ve written before, you can make video content for each stage of the customer journey. Ultimately, your goal is to turn viewers into customers, but you may have more focused goals for each piece of content along the way.
Paid social campaigns typically break down into one of three goals:
1. Brand Awareness: You want your video to reach as many people as possible to tell them what you’re offering and how it can meet their needs. This is a smart goal if your business is new or not yet well known. In fact, without brand awareness, the other goals are harder to reach.
2. Driving Traffic To Your Website: You want people to visit your website so they can access more content or explore your offer. This is a smart goal if you already have good brand awareness. If you make your video and your offer interesting enough, this goal is attainable. Just make sure you have a strong call to action built into your video so viewers know what to do next.
3. Lead Generation: You want people to sign up for a webinar, subscribe to your content, or request more information. This can be a hard sell on social media since your ads are being served to people who might not know who you are. They may be focused on consuming the content they came to see and consider your video a distraction or even an annoyance.
You can overcome this barrier by getting really specific with ad targeting. Make sure you know exactly who should see your video, then place your ad in front of these people.
Who Is Your Audience?
Hopefully, you spent some time figuring out who your audience is before you made your video. Now is the time to revisit those profiles. Consider what you know about your audience to figure out which social media platforms they’re likely to spend time on.
Take a look at:
• Demographics: The youngest audiences are on TikTok, and the oldest are on Facebook. LinkedIn users tend to have higher incomes. Use demographic information to guide your ad choices.
• Where are competitors advertising. Their audience likely overlaps with yours, so noticing where they spend their ad dollars can help you allocate yours.
• Where you already have engagement. Remember when we talked about organic social? If you already have an audience on a platform, it might just be a matter of finding more of them.
Most social media platforms have robust targeting tools. The better you understand your audience, the more useful these tools become. Use insights from metrics and targeting tools to strategically place video ads.
What’s Your Budget?
Paid social channels generally run on a bidding system. You’re not placing your ad in a specific location, instead, you’re choosing an audience and bidding on the chance to show your ad to a member of that audience. The stated goal of your video, combined with your targeting strategy and the length of your campaign will determine the total campaign spend.
The most common costing models for social video advertising are:
• Cost-Per-View (CPV) – Cost of the ad divided by the number of views
• Cost-Per-Click (CPC) – Total cost of your clicks divided by the total number of clicks
• Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) – Total spend, divided by impressions, multiplied by 1,000Paying attention to these metrics can help you understand how well your ad is performing. It’s usually a good idea to have a target range for at least one of these metrics before you start a campaign. That way you can tell whether you’re achieving a positive return on your investment.
If your campaign goal is awareness, you’ll want to pay attention to cost per view. If your goal is website traffic or lead gen, then cost per click is a more relevant metric.