Many businesses cannot see the importance of social media, let alone want to assign some of their hard earned budget to paid social. Understandably, some businesses have been slow to start with paid social. There can be a number of reasons for this, including; their marketing budget, the training involved for their team and even the time it will take up in your day to day operations.
As a digital agency, we can empathise with those who don’t wish to embark on using paid social just yet. But, when exactly does it make sense to begin to use paid social? Let us walk you through it.
When You are Launching a New Product/Service
It’s a common ideology throughout marketing that being too salesy on social media is a huge mistake, but the digital environment has changed in recent years to the extent that overt advertising has been expected, and indeed accepted, by social media users for some time.
So whilst frequently overposting about new products or offers, a paid advert allows you to let loose a simple sales message – and do keep it simple. A goal for social media ads is to get users to click through to another page (usually a product page on your website), so focus on what is going to tempt them to click through to that. Paid social media is an amazing opportunity to ensure these adverts are broadcast across the right channels to reach hundreds of thousands of users.
When You Are Confident About Where Your Target Audience Are
Paid social can be incredibly targeted, which is an amazon benefit as a business owner or marketer – as long as you know who you need to be targeting and where they are. There is no point running adverts on Instagram if your target demographic are known to spend the majority of their time on LinkedIn.
Ensure you research where your audience spends time. Place a small amount of budget toward the platform you’re trying to reach and create a message specifically for that audience. If it’s a positive ROI, increase the budget and monitor things closely. Social media users are fickle. Don’t have a one size fits all mindset; protect your precious marketing budget and make sure you are getting the most out of it.
When You Have a Budget Available
Paid social does not have to be expensive! It can be easily tested with a reasonably small budget. Many agencies will claim that you need a huge budget for paid social, but that’s not the case. Utilise a small amount of your new budget. Test some campaigns. Make sure you know what success looks like before you start, then test and iterate.
Not only can you test with which platforms you roll your ads out on, depending on your audience, but also where on these platforms. Just as you should never put all of your eggs in one basket, you want to diversify your ads and take full advantage of the huge range of options available to you on social media. For example, on Facebook alone, you can buy ads that appear on users’ news feeds, on a right-hand bar, or on mobile devices only. Using your budget to mix in various forms can be crucial to your budget and ad results.
When You Have Exhausted all Organic Efforts
It is common to reach a point where you feel as though you have exhausted all elements of your organic social media strategy and want to dip into paid advertising. Now, we should be clear here that paid social is not a last minute grab to bring your numbers up, but it can be a great way to optimise your organic efforts. Organic is often slower to reach business goals, and takes a lot of time and experimentation. Meanwhile, a paid social media campaign is how you connect with new potential customers or audience members.
Although paid social is no substitute for organic social and vise versa, they both provide their own unique benefits. Organic social can be solely about your brand story, thought leadership, and growing a loyal following over a long period of time. Paid social, in contrast, can be more about quicker gains, so a smart social media strategy should include both methods.
Once you are certain that paid social is going to benefit your business in your current situation, then it’s time to utilise it. Social media is a powerful channel for communicating with your audience and providing them with a community.
A sense of belonging, enthusiasm, and loyalty can be established through a thorough organic social strategy and reinforced through paid social campaigns. Modern marketing expertly combines these two approaches in a way that makes each one stronger than if they were run independently.