For more than 35 years, Media Profile has been sparking conversations, raising awareness and building impactful experiences. Our approach is simple: speak to people where they are. An important element of this approach has been our expansion into paid social advertising, a service we’ve offered for many years.
Platforms and trends come and go, but there are some universally applicable considerations to keep in mind when thinking through your paid social strategy. The most important of these is to ensure that paid is not an afterthought, but rather baked into your campaign from the ideation stage. Let’s start with the basics:
What is paid social advertising?
Per HubSpot: paid social media is a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social media platforms and targeting a specific sub-audience. Put even more simply, and when executed properly, it’s an investment that gets relevant eyes on a brand’s content in the social space. This includes but is not necessarily limited to: influencer marketing, boosted organic content and more traditional paid advertising campaigns.
What can it do for you and your brand?
– Extend reach and target new audiences.
– Raise brand awareness and attract new fans/followers.
– Promote deals, content, events, etc.
– Generate leads.
– Drive conversions.
All that said, let’s set some expectations. While paid can do everything listed, it is pretty much impossible for one campaign to do it ALL at once. Paid advertising cannot make bad content perform well. Bad might mean bad creative, but it can also mean content that is ill-suited to the platform, objective or audience.
Paid ads are subject to platform limitations. Current limitations include:
– The requirement that branded partnership tags are enabled for Influencer content on Facebook/Instagram.
– The inability to promote content on LinkedIn personal profiles (for now this type of advertising is relegated to the page level).
– The time required to implement Twitter allow-listing ads (the current process requires some back-and-forth with a Twitter rep).
– The unavailability of paid advertising on certain platforms.
Okay, you’ve figured out what you can and cannot do, and you still want to launch your campaign…now what? Instagram or LinkedIn? Unique reach or engagements? Targeting by demographics or interests? When building out a paid strategy, most ad platforms have extraordinary flexibility to help set up the best campaign for your objectives. However, in the end, your strategy will largely be determined by three key factors:
1. The overall objective.
2. Social platform(s).
3. Target audience(s).
Regardless of the platform, all paid campaigns fall under one of three objectives:
1. Awareness – generating interest in a brand’s product or service. Increasing brand awareness is about telling people what makes the business or product valuable.
2. Consideration – getting people to think about a business or product and look for more information.
3. Conversion – encouraging people interested in the business to buy or use their product or service.
Ad campaigns fall within these three categories, and generally increase in cost the further down the funnel you go. Different social platforms are able to target audiences with varying levels of precision, but you can use these four questions to get started:
1. Who are we trying to reach?
2. What are they into?
3. What life stage are they in?
4. What are their behaviours?
Paid advertising can’t be an afterthought. To be effective, it needs to be built into your campaign from the start.
Any questions? We’d love to chat about how paid social can help you reach your goals!
Director, Digital Strategy