Social media can be a great foundation for visibility, growing your following and engaging customers and prospects. Once you have built trust with an audience, it also can be a great place for sizable returns from paid social media advertising. Let’s look at how to get the most from a social media advertising campaign.
We’re going to assume you already are aligned with a larger company goal and have identified your primary target audiences and the social channels they are most likely to use. For many manufacturing marketers, it will be LinkedIn. But it also could be Facebook or visual platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. (You don’t need to be on all of those platforms.) We’re also going to assume you have an organic social strategy in place. Paid campaigns do not replace organic social content.
Here are five ways to ensure successful returns on your social media advertising.
It’s all about custom audiences, whether you are retargeting people that have already interacted with your brand or reaching people who are new to your brand. Social platforms offer sophisticated options for these custom audiences, so the more you know about your best customers, the more impactful your paid campaign will be.
Social media–based targeting leverages the platform’s user data to help identify desires, interests and behavior patterns. Social advertising can suffer from low conversion rates, similar to search ads, but this is why custom audiences can be so important. Platforms are getting better at identifying purchase intent and behavior, which is promising for brands.
Video is the most popular content format on social media, and it provides flexibility for messaging and distribution. Video clips as short as five seconds can be effective in raising awareness or engaging prospects.
Many manufacturing marketers have been hesitant to include video in their social campaigns, due to limited budgets and often complex production processes. But don’t underestimate the impact of unpolished video clips. Authenticity is key in any social environment, including video ads. Building out your video capability will pay off in the long run for social campaigns, organic and paid. You can also use your video viewers to create a custom or lookalike audience.
Creative can get stale quickly in social channels. We’ve all seen it; we cringe when that same ad shows up for the umpteenth time, even if it first resonated with us. Varying the creative message will improve your success.
How often should you change the creative? Research shows it takes about 45 days for a consumer to retain and recall information, so that is a good starting point. Keep an eye on your ad frequency for a cue on when you should be changing up your creative. There are many variables to consider, but it helps to start with a planned schedule and adjust as appropriate.
Building a custom audience profile, by its definition, limits your reach. But the payoff can be realized if you promote relevant content to that smaller but more valuable audience. Don’t waste your social media advertising budget trying to reach an audience that doesn’t relate to your content.
Leverage what you know about your buyer behavior. If you have a high-performing conversion page, send readers from your custom audience to that page. If reading testimonials, case studies and white papers are key events for your customers, promote those with social media advertisements.
One of the advantages of paid social media advertising is the ability to track activities, analyze data and take action. We like to refer to this as playing offense and defense at the same time. You start with an approach, learn from the data, pull back on what is not working, and double down on what is working. These insights may come from A/B variant testing or be more observational in nature. If you are getting more conversions midweek, prioritize those days in your spend.
Also pay attention to wider metrics. Your campaign objective might have been to drive people to download specific content, but if you saw an increase in followers you know that prospects liked what you had to say enough to stick around to learn more. Use this learning to refine other social tactics.
Paid social media advertising can be an effective tactic for manufacturing marketers to zero in on their target audiences. Visit our integrated marketing services page to learn how we can help you plan, launch — and measure — your social media advertising program.
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