U.S. adults spend an average of 13 hours and 11 minutes with some form of media daily. With numbers like these, it’s easy to see that consumers are constantly connected. Whether it holds their entire focus or is in the background while they multitask, in one way or another, people are constantly consuming content. And while consumers often engage with multiple devices throughout the day, smartphones continue to be the most popular way to stay connected.
What does all of this mean for advertisers? Over the next five years, the overall portion of social media in marketing budgets is estimated to increase to 24.5%.
Fortunately, this isn’t breaking news; data has been highlighting this consumer behavior for years, and many advertisers have already shifted their efforts to keep up with trends. However, as consumers become more and more connected, it is important that you not only allocate more of your advertising budget to paid social media, but also know how to run a paid social media campaign that will generate a positive impact for your brand.
Understanding Consumers’ Wants and Needs
The best chance of actually connecting with consumers is to understand their core motivations: They want authentic, personalized content that’s tailored to their interests, and they want it on their schedule.
Consumers are no longer willing to simply consume content that’s presented to them with no forethought. Instead, they choose what they want to consume. Rather than flipping through TV channels searching for something to watch, they log in and stream exactly what they want to see. Instead of listening to the radio, they search for and listen to their favorite artist or podcaster. Social media is no different — consumers will spend time browsing apps of their choice to curate the most personalized experience that fits their interests.
These facts can make the chances of reaching consumers — or, more specifically, your optimal target audience — seem hopeless. However, consumers knowing what they want and where to get it only serves as a benefit to brands because advertisers can now know exactly what consumers want. As such, advertisers can deliver on just that.
While you might now have abundant data to understand your audience, social media is an oversaturated environment riddled with competing brands. As such, it is crucial to understand social media campaign best practices to be both authentic and cost-effective.
Paid Social Strategy: The Basics
Your brand’s ability to be agile can help spur authenticity. Navigating how to be authentic on social media can be tricky, but it is helpful to have the ability to create content that resonates with consumers at any given moment.
Social media can no longer be a throw-away channel for leftover display and video ads just so your brand can have a presence. Instead, successful paid social media campaigns involve exploring unique strategies, creatives, and resources.
A paid social media strategy that works for your brand will have the ability to:
- Switch out creatives often.
- Make offers timely and relevant.
- Target consumers with ads that fall into their position in the customer journey.
- Keep consumers at the center of ads and tactics.
- Be flexible and take risks.
- Be consistent and authentic.
- Meet consumers where they are by testing new channels.
Social media offers a multitude of options, which can make it confusing when determining where to start. Fortunately, there are a few tips to help you simplify the process:
1. Budget accordingly.
The cost of implementing a social media campaign will vary based on your goal, industry, overall budget, and other factors. However, “The CMO Survey” from February 2021 provides some insight into the percentage of marketing budgets that businesses will spend on social media over the next 12 months:
- B2B product: 14.7%.
- B2B services: 18.3%.
- B2C product: 21.8%.
- B2C services: 18.7%.
With this in mind, it is important to note that budget is more than just the cost of ads. Content creation (including images, videos, voiceovers, talent, production costs, graphic design, copywriting, etc.), software tools (including editing, media management, project management customer service, etc.), and training are all costs that need to be factored in when deciding which platforms to spend money on.
2. Determine the right platform for your brand.
When first delving into paid social media, understand the potential reach of each platform. While it is important not to shy away from testing new platforms, when starting, it can be beneficial to focus on one platform where your targeted audience already is. This can help you make the best connections and get the most out of ad spend right out of the gate.
3. Set attainable goals.
Determining goals first will make drafting campaigns, producing creative, and tracking benchmarks easier when moving through a paid social media journey. Take time to consider what your brand hopes to achieve and how that fits into the overall paid social campaign strategy.
4. Research successful campaigns.
Look into what other brands are doing well, what consumers resonate with, and how those things could fit in future campaigns. Major retailers are always a good source of inspiration, but looking through local campaigns and smaller businesses can provide inspiration that suits a more specific audience.
Now Is the Time to Begin Your Paid Social Campaign Strategy
The most important thing to remember when creating a paid social campaign strategy is to keep it flexible. Creating a strategy that involves long processes and limited social channels will cause even the best creative to be overlooked or irrelevant by the time a campaign is launched.
You must be prepared to move as quickly as the world of social media does, including refreshing creative efforts often and pivoting channels when the opportunity presents itself. Doing so will set your advertising strategies up for success and ensure your brand remains relevant across various platforms.
Want more insight on breaking into the world of effective paid social media advertising campaigns? Connect with the Digilant team to learn how we can help meet your brand’s specific needs.