How Important is Paid Social Media in Your Marketing Strategy?

Social media ads app on smart phone between two social media apps.

Many businesses enjoy using social media marketing because it is free (big asterisk here, but we’ll touch more on this later). Because of this, for many paying for advertising on social media is antithetical to their marketing plans. This is understandable, as all businesses look for the greatest ROI for all aspects of their business, marketing included. However, it’s important to look at it from the other perspective: how does using paid social media marketing work for businesses who want a larger social media presence or are looking to better capitalize on their current gains?

The Components of Social Media Ads

Many businesses don’t get past the cost aspect, but it’s important to understand the various components that make successful ad systems on social media. While they differ from platform to platform, these are aspects to pay attention to, in order of importance:

  • Targeting: Social media advertising is at its most powerful when it comes to targeting your ads. From basic demographics (age, gender, marital status) to their interests, tailoring these to your Ideal Client Profiles is what will drive the right kind of traffic.
  • Placement: Where are the ads located on the platform? Depending on your platform, ads can appear in multiple places, from traditional ads to “sponsored” content that integrates seamlessly. More information in the next section.
  • Difficulty: How difficult are the ads to set up? What specialized skills and tools will you need? Knowledge of graphic design, video, and keywords can be important in advanced ads.
  • Cost Per Action: What are your options for when you are charged for the ads? CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mile, though in this case, meaning cost per thousand impressions) can get you different results depending on platform and industry.
  • Interface and Integration: How do you use these ads, and how do they integrate with the platform and beyond? How easy is it to access the ads and make changes?
  • Analytics: Lastly, how do you track the success or failure of your ads? Does the platform have useful reporting software or analytics tracking code you can place on your website to track user traffic driven there?

Obvious Ads Vs. Guerilla Advertising

When it comes to social media advertising, what platforms you decide to advertise is only half the battle. From there, it’s important to know where placing your advertisements will help you the most. On most social media platforms, you’ve got two major options. Ad placement in banners and sidebars that conform to traditional online ads – that is smaller, more graphic-heavy ads. The other options are so-called “sponsored” posts, an integrated ad that resembles a normal social media post. Ads that look like normal content on the site are known as “native ads” or “guerilla advertising” due to being almost indistinguishable from normal content.

How Ads on Social Media Can Help Business Marketing

As we talked about in the opening paragraph, depending on your footing on social media currently, you can structure your ads differently to get different results. On most platforms, you’ve got two options: to either channel traffic to your social media page or to channel traffic off the platform and onto your own website or store. The best option often depends on how long (and how strong) you’ve been on social media already.

Social Media Advertising for Established Social Media

If you’ve already been active on a social media platform, ads offer a great opportunity to leverage your current users. By analyzing the demographics of your current users and how they found you, you can target your advertising to bring in additional or complementary users through targeting, and the success of your current social media can translate into better-sponsored posts.

Social Media Advertising for Social Media Newcomers

Alternatively, if you’re just entering social media as a new company or an established brand, social media advertising can be a powerful tool to build your user base by using targeted advertising to find the users you want to link and share your page. It’s important before you start investing money to establish a social media voice and content to keep the interest of these new users.

This post has only scratched the surface of how paid social media can be integrated into a larger social media strategy to bring users to your products and services. Want to learn more? Check out this complimentary post, Pay to Win: Why Online Advertising is a Marketing Essential and then reach out to us here at Vision Advertising. We’re social media experts who can build and execute a plan to reach your fanbase as well as your marketing goals.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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