Dismissing paid social media advertising as an unnecessary expenditure for a business can be a big mistake.
Many brands see the value paid social advertising offers them, and it is often quite obvious that paid social offers a big opportunity to sell more online or grow their business. However, there are many more businesses which have never tried paid social, tried it once and didn’t get results, or simply don’t think it will work for them.
While there are always going to be businesses which aren’t suited for the channel, more businesses than not can benefit from utilising paid social advertising in order to generate more revenue online.
So why choose paid social as a digital marketing channel? Below we have picked out some of the big benefits of paid social media advertising as a channel you should be considering.
There are currently over 4.55 billion active social media users around the world, which is a rise of 9.9% compared to last year.
Facebook alone has 2.89 billion monthly users (as of 2021). Instagram has just under half, sitting at 1.39 billion. TikTok, a relative newcomer, sits at 1 billion – eclipsing Twitter at 463 million. Even Pinterest has 454 million.
The sheer scale and potential reach of social media platforms makes it a key selling point for advertising. Paid social has become a core component of successful digital marketing for businesses all around the world.
Find new customers
27% of internet users have said that they discover new products and brands via paid social ads. This comes after word-of-mouth, TV ads, and search engines. So if you aren’t utilising paid social ads, then you could be missing out on a lot of new customers.
On average, Facebook users click 12 ads each month.
When considering investing into paid social, some brands and businesses wonder, why pay for social media clicks and traffic? Why not just do the “free” side of social media and gain organic traffic?
Well, it has become increasingly difficult to reach an organic audience on social media – even from your own followers or customers. Facebook for instance, has severely limited the reach of brand pages reaching the organic news feed of Facebook users. It did this, in part, so that people on Facebook saw more of what they wanted from Facebook – photos and activity from friends and family. The more cynical argument is that they saw an opportunity to get brands to spend more on advertising on the platform.
Organic Facebook posts reach an average of 5.17% of a Page’s Likes (or followers) – while the average paid post manages to reach 28.1% of the same audience. So if you want to reach your own audience, you have to pay to play. Organic social reach just isn’t what it used to be.
We have established there are lots of people on social media and in most cases you need to pay in order to even reach your own fans and followers.
But the power of paid social comes from the targeting options.
On most social media platforms, there is a lot of data collected and stored about everyone who uses the platform. The reason they do this is because it is incredibly important for advertisers in order to fine-tune paid social campaigns.
Depending on the platform, you can find the exact target audience you are looking for. You can target based on demographics, interests, behaviours, locations, connections, and much more.
For instance, if you sell clothing, Instagram makes sense as a home for your ads. You can showcase your products in the feed of people who are interested in similar brands, and like similar forms of clothing, and specifically fit your demographic targeting.
And if you are a B2B business, LinkedIn makes perfect sense. You can then target an audience based on age, education, seniority, job titles, industries, and so on. By targeting down to such a granular level, you increase your chances of generating sales or leads from your ideal target audience, rather than paying for thousands of people to view an ad who may well not be interested in the slightest.
Utilise existing content
You can make the most of content you have created for other channels or purposes in order to build your brand, get your name out there and gain new customers.
Whether it’s a video, a download or an article, you can re-use these pieces of content in a paid social campaign in order to engage potential customers. Your page or brand may well find new followers if your content resonates with them, or they may even be inclined to convert or make a purchase.
This differs depending on the industry, but B2C brands can really benefit from finding new followers or subscribers and expanding the awareness of the brand. B2B businesses can often benefit from high quality content being visible on social media as it brings more credibility and authority to your business. This can really help establish your brand as a thought leader or industry leader. But that all depends on the content in question! But having the best quality content in the world does not matter if no-one is reading it or engaging with it. You have to get it out there – and paid social is a great way to get your content to reach new eyes andexpand outside of your normal audience which would already be aware of your brand or even be a customer.
Higher quality traffic
Due to the very granular targeting, it means the traffic you gain is higiher quality.
Volume is not everything – if you are getting tons of traffic but it’s people who won’t engage with your brand or buy from you, then it is time and effort wasted.
With paid social, you can ensure you are reaching the right people, and therefore bringing a better-suited audience to your website. If done right, they will be more inclined to do business with you.
Paid social really is all about quality over quantity, due to the fact you can pick your audience and in some cases, only pay when they actually click your ad.
Improve your social media presence
Paid social is one thing, but social media marketing in general is another.
A lot of business owners and marketers struggle with establishing themselves on any given social media channel. It has become increasingly hard to gain a foothold on social media unless you are a well known brand, or have already been active on the platform for years.
Paid social can be a good foothold to help you build a stronger social media presence.
Whatever your aim is – to sell more products, increase brand awareness, to generate leads – by investing in paid social they may well click through to your social media profile, have a browse of what is there, and possibly even give you a like or a follow. This means you will have ample opportunities to market to them in the future.
Cost effective ROI and ROAS
Whatever the advertising channel, proving ROI is critical for success. Getting a return on investment is essential for your profitability. ROAS (or return on ad spend) is quite simple to set up and view as part of your paid social campaigns.
Paid social makes it easy to reduce the costs of your digital marketing by helping you find your target audience so your money isn’t wasted on the wrong people.
While you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one proverbial basket, paid social can play a big role in helping you generate business online, and it is simple to prove ROI.
If you are an ecommerce business, then it’s very simple to see the ROAS within the platforms themselves. When set up correctly, you can see how much you have spent on each campaign, and how much the people who engaged with those ads spent on your website.
While you will certainly get morre bang for your buck if you spend more, there is no prerequisite or spend requirements on paid social.
Paid social uses the standard PPC model which means you only have to pay if someone takes the action you have pre-determined.
You can get started with a very small budget in order to experiment, and scale this up when it proves to be successful. With more budget invested in your paid social campaigns, the time you spend on the campaigns then becomes more cost efficient, and you ideally also want to have multiple campaigns with multiple ad formats set up in order to test which ads perform the best in order to get the best results out of your advertising. However, if you are just dipping a toe in, you can get started with a small budget and limited advertising knowledge.
While SEO can take a while, and building a brand doesn’t happen overnight, paid social ads can have an immediate impact on your bottom line.
Any form of paid advertising or PPC campaign is the same – paid social ads means you can quickly get content, product launches or other campaigns out in front of your target audience in a matter of hours, not days or months.
All you will have to wait for is your ads to be approved by the corresponding social media platform, and they will go live on the feeds of the people you want to see them.
Retargeting ads are a powerful form of paid social ad which often goes overlooked.
By using paid social for retargeting, you can reengage existing custotmers or website visitors via retargeted ads. This essentially shows specific ads to people who have already been on your website.
Going further than this, you can show certain products or services to people who have looked at that specific page. I’m sure you’ve seen them before – whether on Facebook or elsewhere – that you just so happen to get an ad for a product you were shoppin for the previous day or week. They are there to jolt your memory and remind you to come back and shop.
This is all done via a tracking pixel which is added to your site and is simple to do.
This then allows you to create a custom audience which can consist of people which have previously visited your website.
Using this audience you can then target customers which have browsed your site with a specific ad to reengage them.
Or you could advertise the products that people had in their baskets and subsequently abandoned. They clearly had the intent to buy by adding it to the basket, but got distracted or saw the shipping costs. You could, in theory, show them an ad offering free shipping or a discount. Then they click that to pick up where they left off, and finialise the purchase.
Remarketing campaigns often have very good conversion rates and are very cost effective. The only limitation is you cannot rely entirely on these, as you aren’t reaching a new audience and expanding your potential customer-base. But used in tandem with other more traditional campaigns they can be very effective – driving new users to the website, and then remarketing to those who don’t convert there and then.
Flexibility on ad formats
Paid social has a vast array of different ad types.
It’s likely you’ve seen a great deal of ad formats on your own social media feeds.
There are video ads, singular image ads, story ads, carousel ads, and much more, depending on your chcosen social network.
The type of ad format will depend on your product and the content you have at your disposal. But whatever your business aims, there’s an ad format which is perfect for your product or service. You can ensure you are showcasing what you do in the best way possible to the people that matter.
Of course, the best part of this is you don’t have to stick to one. You can run different ad formats simultaneously, see which works best, and then move budget over to the ad format which is most successfl. Then you can fine-tune these ads and get the best performance out of the best ad format. This is where you need expertise in paid social in order to get the most return out of your investment into paid social as a channel.
If you are looking for guidance on how your business can make the most of paid social, or want us to help with your paid social strategy, we would be more than happy to help. We have helped many businesses with their social media marketing, paid social and PPC advertising. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you succeed online!