7 Reasons to Consider Paid Social Media Advertising

By Ian Heinig / 28 June 2018

92% of small businesses will increase their investment in social media this year. Here are seven powerful reasons to adopt a paid approach to social media in 2018.

If you’re unsure about paying for social media advertising, here’s a status update.

More than two billion people use social media every day. The average person spends 135 minutes per day on social networks. Also, the number of small businesses advertising on Facebook has doubled to 50 million in recent months.

In today’s market, brands that don’t advertise on social media risk falling behind. This fact isn’t lost on most small business owners. According to a recent survey, 92% of small businesses will increase their investment in social media in 2018.

92% of small businesses will increase their social media investment in 2018

Paid social media advertising is very different from traditional outbound advertising.

Big data and machine learning allows you to find, target, and reach your audience with ease. Each platform is designed to facilitate the goals of your business, such as brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, and more.

You can even access the native analytics for insights into how to enhance the performance of your social media advertising campaign.

Whether you’re looking for reach, engagement, or sales – the case for advertising on social media marketing has never been stronger.

Here are seven benefits to using paid social media advertising for your small business:

  • Amplify your reach
  • Fit any budget
  • Enhance your targeting
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Maximize your content marketing
  • Gain access to mobile users
  • Gather market insights

1. Amplify Your Reach

Advertising on social media gives your brand instant visibility.

Posts from friends and family now receive priority, so organic reach for brands on social media is declining steadily – especially on Facebook. The sheer volume of posts makes connecting with your audience a statistical improbability.

However, paid ads are guaranteed a place in the user’s feed. Despite the noise of the larger social platform, this gives you a direct window to drive leads, website traffic, and sales.

To achieve the greatest reach, find where your audience spends their time online. The graphic below depicts the preferred platforms for each different age group.

Social media channel preferences by generation
(Source)

To maximize your impressions, align your social media advertising strategy with the behavior patterns of your audience.

2. Fit Any Budget

Paid social media advertising is a cost-effective way to promote your business.

Each platform uses the pay-per-click (PPC) payment model. This means that you pay only if the user takes the action you want. 

Unlike conventional advertising, this lets you engage with niche markets at a discount. After a few ad cycles, you can refine your targeting to drive greater results and ROI.

Below, we see that the average price-per-click for Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72.

Facebook advertising benchmarks
(Source)

By comparison, the average cost per promoted Tweet is $1.35 and the average cost per 1,000 impressions on Instagram is $6.70. Though the cost is greater, Instagram boasts more engagement than other platforms, according to Forrester. If your product or service is visually-oriented, paying more for Instagram may drive better results at a lower end-cost.

When creating your ad budget, start small and invest where you see results.

3. Enhance Your Targeting

Paid advertising on social media gives you complete control over who sees your ad.

Each platform offers a plethora of targeting parameters. Beyond basic user demographics, you can choose from psychographic factors such as interests, hobbies, personality types, and more.

Upload a list of contacts to target, or create a lookalike audience that resembles your existing contacts. This is a powerful way to both expand and engage your ideal audience at once.

Facebook also lets you retarget social users who’ve already visited your website. Simply install the Facebook retargeting pixel on your site and previous visitors will see ads for your company in their News Feed.

For example, Squarespace uses Facebook retargeting to promote a free 14-day trial to recent website visitors.

Squarespace Facebook example

Leverage the various targeting options of social media to hook the attention of leads throughout your marketing funnel.

4. Boost Brand Awareness

Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to create exposure for your brand.

If your business appears in the news feed regularly, people will start to recognize you. Recognition will enhance your credibility, plus drive engagement and purchasing behavior.

Consider that 80% of its users follow at least one brand on Instagram. Of this majority group, at least 30% of users have purchased a product they discovered on Instagram.

When generating awareness, serve ads that are both informative and memorable. In the following example, UberEats uses an Instagram video to introduce their service to users at mealtime.

Instagram ad example

This captivating blend of motion, color, and text allows the delivery service to secure impressions and retain user attention throughout. 

5. Maximize Your Content Marketing

Social media is an ideal way to distribute your best content.

According to Sprout Social, 73.4% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in its product or service. Nurture the curiosity of your followers with educational content that will transform them into qualified leads.

Aside from coaxing leads down the funnel, ads for content will help you to drive web traffic, boost engagement on social media, and improve the ROI of your content marketing.

Here we see Buffer use a Pinned Tweet to advertise their guide to scheduling Instagram posts.

Buffer Pinned Tweet

A blend of diagonal lines, color symmetry, and relevant imagery grabs the attention and communicates value immediately. Investing in custom graphics will enhance the allure of your content assets and maximize the impact of your paid social media advertising.

6. Access Mobile Users Anytime

The penetration of social media advertising is unparalleled. According to Pew Research, 80% of time spent on social media is spent on a mobile device.

When users want to find, know, or purchase – a social media advertising campaign will help you to reach your audience in that moment. The most effective ads emulate the organic content of their native platform.

For example, TaskRabbit uses a sponsored Facebook post to appeal to mobile users’ want for efficiency and productivity.

TaskRabbit Facebook post
(Source)

“Me” language gives this ad a personal touch that imitates the tone of the Facebook feed. The brand uses minimal text with a strong image to instantly communicate its value proposition to quick-scrolling users.

7. Gather Market Insights

How did your audience interact with your ads? Which ad type was most popular? Did video convert better – and with whom? Use the native analytics within the social media platforms to assess and refine the performance of your advertising campaign. Look to KPIs such as clicks, comments, and profile visits to determine if your ads are creating an impact.

Facebook Insights is the gold standard of platform analytics. Seen below, you get detailed information on follower demographics, metrics like reach and engagement, plus the times that users visit your page.

Facebook Insights screenshot 2
(Source)

These data will allow you to identify your best targets and narrow your targeting parameters to most effectively drive conversions and impressions.

Equipped with information, you can benchmark your performance against competitors and establish what works. 
 

Why Pay for Social Media Advertising?

As organic reach on social networks continues to fall, paid social media advertising should be on the top of your mind.

As a result, businesses of all sizes are changing their social media strategies to include paid media.

Paying for social media allows you to amplify reach, enhance targeting, and drive greater results.

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