Blog Post by Sarah Malcolm, Chief Digital Strategist at The News Funnel
Marketers relying on organic traffic to drive results are wistfully dreaming of days long gone. Advertising revenues drive social media networks. Facebook’s ad revenue pulled $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016. Of course social media networks want to drive businesses into paid promotions over organic strategies. Savvy marketers know they must allocate spending dollars on social campaigns, and these campaigns must produce results. Make every cent count and avoid these common paid social marketing mistakes.
Ask not what you can do for this ad, but what the ad will do for you. Why market without expectation? Every paid social media campaign needs a goal: generate more followers, add email subscribers, increase click-throughs. The ad’s design and copy hinges on the purpose. Set the objective, design the campaign accordingly, and track the results with metrics!
What we love about paid social media campaigns are the powerful targeting capabilities the social networks offer advertisers. Long gone are the days of stuffing flyers under windshields in a parking lot hoping for just one call. Social content marketers can pinpoint who can see the promotion based on everything from demographics to liking similar content. Part of a comprehensive social media strategy is designing buyer personas. Use the persona to target the audience: a Los Angeles-based new real estate agent, a freelancer searching coworking space, or a brokerage researching CRM’s.
Longer copy does not equal better copy in social media advertising. Attention spans are short, thumbs are flicking up the news feed fast. The chances of someone reading the entire benefits of the product in a promoted ad are low. Grab customer attention with concise, enticing text that makes it clear what the buyer is getting on the other side of the link. The fewer words, the better. Save the meat for after the click-through.
Refer back to mistake #1. Every ad needs an objective and the call-to-action sells that objective. Subscribe now, enter the contest, download the white paper, contact us, etc. Ads lacking a clear call to action fail. Tell the consumer what will happen next when they click the promotion.
Not Testing Ads
Social media networks like Facebook allow content marketers to create ad groups with multiple ad sets. Create more than one ad to test the copy and the imagery. Use metrics to determine what content responds best and direct more marketing dollars towards that advertising content. When testing, find the magic number of ads large enough to have copy or imagery diversity, but small enough to generate real feedback.
Not Tracking Metrics
When the boss walks in and asks how the campaign performed, how will you answer? For every paid promotion, track its performance. Social media networks know marketers want the data to offer various analytics on ad performance. Use the data to evaluate why some promotions may have performed better than others. The post-campaign analysis is essential to refine future paid campaigns.
Social media marketing is more cost effective than traditional marketing methods, but only if done correctly through smart, targeted campaigns. Stretch those cents and generate more leads by avoiding common promotion mistakes.
Sample TNF FB post showing concise copy and clear CTA.