Now more than ever, social media is a direct and swift way for businesses to advertise their products and services. As public relations professionals at Aspen- and Fort Lauderdale-based Durée & Company, we encourage our clients to engage through social media while also using paid advertisements to boost posts and increase reach and overall exposure. But do paid social media ads really work? More importantly, should businesses set aside a budget for social media ads?
Well, consider this: Despite a stable ad-blocking trend, 45 percent of internet users today say they’re likely to buy brands they see advertised, according to the market research firm, GlobalWebIndex.
So, in today’s Dynamo Diary, we dive into social media advertisements and how to obtain the best results.
Social Media Advertising
Let’s dig deeper into the concept of social media advertising: What is it, and what are the different types?
“Social media advertising, or social media targeting, are advertisements served to users on social media platforms,” according to BigCommerce. Social media platforms monitor usage, frequently visited pages, and liked posts to learn and analyze user interaction. Specifically, likes and dislikes. This helps make an algorithm that is specific to each user, which creates a unique user experience per platform.
In addition to organic social media posts, there are paid posts and boosted posts. Unlike organic posts, social media advertising is paid for. For instance, you may notice many influencers use the hashtag “#ad” at the bottom of their post captions or include “paid partnership with” as the location of their posts. Influencer partnerships help businesses reach a new audience and increase exposure.
A boosted post is a paid post that is “boosted” to appear on user’s newsfeeds and stories, ultimately increasing visibility.
Advertising To-Do List
If you’re going to invest in paid social media ads, you should do it properly. First, have a clear plan. To be successful, paid posts should be centered around a specific product or service, according to the social media platform Sprout Social. They should include a call to action (a phrase that tells the user exactly what action to take and how to take it) and lead to a social media landing page.
Next, assess your goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your business, or generate sales? By outlining your campaign goals, you get a clearer sense of how to communicate with your audience and set the tone of your social media advertisements.
While organic social media is the preferred method, social media advertising can prove to be beneficial, especially for businesses that are looking to launch a big campaign or to share noteworthy news with their targeted audience – and beyond.
Types of Ads
When planning to advertise on social media, it’s important to research and explore your options. Ask yourself: Who is my target audience? Which platform does my target audience use?
Let’s discuss types of social media ads: There are static photos, stories and videos. Photos offer a great way to show off a product. Videos, however, help demonstrate services. Depending on the messaging, a long-form video can be effective in getting your point across. However, short-form videos can easily capture attention and result in a call to action. Regardless of which type of ad you pick, the right vehicle can go a long way.
Instagram is a great way to share compelling visuals. Sprout Social explains that Instagram Stories ads are beneficial because they naturally integrate into viewers’ Stories feeds, meaning they don’t “interrupt” their experience. It’s important that the Instagram Story matches the aesthetic of your business’ brand and messaging. This way the images create a common theme that is memorable to your targeted audience.
Twitter offers two ways for brands to create ads. It automatically promotes Tweets and allows you to set up marketing objectives, according to Hootsuite. If you’re looking to communicate directly with your targeted audience, Twitter is your go-to. It allows you to build a relationship and answer frequently asked questions.
If your business is looking to target millennials and Generation Zers, then TikTok may be the appropriate platform for you. In a short-form, 15-second or 1-minute video, you can grab the attention of this audience.
Meanwhile, “Facebook is popular across many demographics, with 2.45 billion monthly active users,” Hootsuite states. “Just as many teenagers use Facebook as their parents—and seniors are quickly catching up.”
Measure and Report
As your campaign comes to a close, be sure to measure whether your ads were effective and if you were able to meet the desired goals.
Sprout Social can show you a 360-degree view of your social media performance, including engagement, reach, share of voices, response rate and time.
Google Analytics allows you to track traffic, whether online or mobile. Hootsuite points out that you can use Google Analytics to detect unique/new visitors and get a better understanding of your conversion ratios.
Social media advertising offers an efficient way for users to research brands, read reviews, and ultimately purchase a product or service. According to GlobalWebIndex, “Globally, ads placed on social media rank as the fourth most popular source of brand discovery, with 28% of internet users saying ads help them find out about new products.” This means that, by tapping into social media advertising, businesses will have an increased opportunity for discovery and profitability.
And there you have it! In the end, yes, paid social ads really do work. However, they must be strategically planned and executed to get the desired results. There are myriad variables to consider and options to explore. If you are interested in learning more, contact our team of marketing and public relations professionals at Durée & Company.
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations and marketing firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, digital marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions, affiliate marketing and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in yachting, business, real estate, hospitality, travel, cannabis and hemp, wellness and CBD, art and culture, fashion, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; or visit its new, specialized cannabis- and CBD-specific site at cannabismarketingpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.