Right now, there are around 7.53 billion people on the planet, and it’s estimated that 3.5 billion are actively using social media. That’s 45% of the world’s population, and that number is expected to continue to grow each year. That’s a lot of likes and shares and follows.
While there are a variety of popular social media platforms at our fingertips today, the Pew Research Center reported Facebook as the primary platform for most Americans with two billion active monthly users. When people think of Facebook, most think of it as a way to keep up with their friends and family. However, brands can benefit greatly from being in this space as well.
Having a strong social media presence allows your brand to express its voice and personality, giving you the opportunity to communicate directly with your current audience. It also allows you to reach new audiences like never before, and that can lead to serious growth for your business.
In the past, brands have been able to leverage social media to grow their followers and expand their reach through organic posts alone. In January of 2018, that method took a bit of a blow when Facebook made some changes to its algorithm to show more content from friends and family, and less organic content from brands.
Essentially, that’s turned Facebook into a “pay-to-play” environment. Since it’s critical for brands to stay in the newsfeed of potential customers, they’ll need to allocate a percentage of their advertising budget towards social media ads if they want to say relevant.
More and more, advertisers are shifting dollars away from traditional ads and placing them into digital advertising. eMarketer estimates that digital ad spending for 2019 will exceed 327 billion dollars, and a CMO survey reported that advertisers are increasing their social media advertising spend by 32% in 2019.
With more brands increasing their spend on digital advertising, it’s more important than ever for those who haven’t made the shift to do so before they get left behind. So, how should they do that?
When planning a social media ad campaign, it’s important to first establish what you’re hoping to achieve — what does a successful campaign look like? Are you looking to drive traffic to your website, build brand awareness, drive engagement with your customers, or generate leads?
Maybe it’s all four, or maybe it’s something entirely different. Whatever it is, be sure to determine what your goals are so you know what metrics to monitor.
Next, it’s time to establish who your target audience will be for the campaign. Knowing this will allow you to focus your spend on the most relevant users, and you can tailor your messaging and imagery to be more engaging with that specific audience.
For instance, let’s say you sell a hip, new baby food made from all the greatest, locally sourced ingredients. You can set your campaign up to target young, hip parents using specific imagery and verbiage that speaks to them and their needs.
Once you understand who you want your campaign to speak to, the next step is to design creative that speaks to that audience. The content should be relevant, high-quality, and feature a clear and concise message that includes a call to action. Be sure to utilize great visuals, and maybe even short-form videos, since they’re popular among all audiences.
When developing creative, it’s important to create a few different versions in order to test which performs better with your target demographic. You can test creative by using one image and creating a few different copy versions to assign to it — or vice versa. It’s also important to design mobile-friendly ads, since that’s where most active social media users are spending their time.
Digital media is different from traditional media in that it allows you to keep a very close eye on your campaign’s performance. Setting up a pixel code will allow you to track conversions and can also show you how users are navigating through your website. After just a few days of monitoring your campaign, you should be able to see which creative is outperforming the others, and that allows you to gauge the overall effectiveness of how the campaign is set up.
It’s important to track your results so you can determine the success of your social media marketing strategy. If something isn’t working, make optimizations and monitor the data to improve your targeting with each campaign. Using an analytics tool will help tremendously with this. Infinity Marketing uses Tableau, which is a live dashboard that pulls in all the data from our digital campaigns.