Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

How to identify whether social media advertising is the right fit for your business

With 76% of consumers confirming that they’ve purchased a product they saw on a social media post, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to give paid advertising a go. But, despite the success stories of influencers selling out entire product ranges and companies recuperating 10x their paid advertising spend on subsequent sales, social media advertising is not the right fit for every business.

While there’s no doubt that paid advertising on social media can be incredibly effective, if your target audience isn’t spending much time online or on specific social media Apps, you may want to rethink your marketing strategy.

It makes sense to start by looking at your business goals and thinking about how social media advertising fits in with them. For example, social media advertising could be effective if your business aims to improve customer retention by 50%. However, email marketing might work even better (or a combination of both).

If you’re confident that you still want to give advertising a go, take some time to consider each of your customer personas and think about where and how they spend their downtime. It may be that your business offers products or services that target a range of generations and genders, and in this case, you’ll need to make sure that you have an effective way to engage each of these different target audience groups. On the other hand, if your products or service solely targets people over 60, advertising on TikTok and Instagram doesn’t make much sense. However, Facebook advertising for a consumer-focused audience or LinkedIn for a business audience could still work well.

Once you’ve taken these steps and identified whether social media advertising suits your business, you’ll need to consider your objective, audience and message. The objective is the most fundamental pillar. An objective can be selected when your social media adverts are set up, which usually includes goals like brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, website traffic, sales or App promotion. Depending on your chosen objective, this will influence how you target your audience and deliver and execute your message to them. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, how will you know who your audience is and how to target them and reach them with a specific message? For example, if you choose lead generation, your ad will take customers to a lead generation form to collect their details. It won’t necessarily drive website traffic or purchases. If your brand isn’t so well known, brand awareness is a good objective to use on your first social media advertising campaigns, before building up to goals like leads and purchases.

The next factor to consider is your audience. You need to profile your audience into different audience segments to plan precisely who you’re targeting your social media ads to. Google Analytics is a great place to learn more about your audience and drill down into where your audience is coming from, who they are in terms of basic demographics, and keywords they’re using to find your website. Different types of targeting options exist for different social media advertising platforms, so the more you know about your target audience, the better you can engage them with your ads. Most platforms will prompt you if your audience is too large or too specific, but it’s helpful to experiment and find what works best for your business and audience.

Lastly, you should think carefully about the message you want to share with your target audience through social media ads. The type of creative you choose is really important, as social media users are shown ads repeatedly, and attention spans are notoriously short these days (8.25 seconds, according to scientists). The ad format directly impacts the objective, so for an objective where you want your audience to make purchases, you’ll need strong product imagery and a short caption that piques their interest and includes a solid call to action (announcing an offer or a new product launch). A short video will be more effective for a social campaign with the goal of engagement.

For inspiration, start taking notice of the ads you see and engage with on social media, and consider why they made you stop scrolling and pay attention.

You might be disappointed if you’ve never advertised on social channels before and need quick results. The advertising algorithms take time to learn about your business and ensure they’re targeting the right audience before they get into the flow of fruitful leads, encouraging website click-throughs and engaging new customers. This learning phase is something that I’m continually educating businesses on, as many hope to see results instantly. You’ve got to trust in the process.

In summary, start by considering your business goals, whether social media can help you reach them, who your target audience is, and how much social media they consume (and if so, which specific channels?). Then, you should factor in the three key pillars of social media: objective, audience and message to give you the best chance of social media advertising success.

Author Bio: Manpreet Singh is an entrepreneur and CEO of Bobble Digital, with a digital marketing career spanning over ten years. He’s passionate about delivering outstanding digital marketing strategies for clients and educating business owners on the power of digital marketing through business and networking events. He also runs Bobble Pod, where he shares the latest news, views and discussions on hot topics in the digital marketing world.