Top 10 Tips for Targeted Social Media Advertising
Social media gives business owners an unprecedented ability to create super-focused, extremely targeted advertising. Today, not only can you create a message that is targeted to a specific audience, you can also choose the demographics that will be exposed to your advertisement.
These are my top 10 tips to help you develop a social media advertising campaign:
1) Know Your Audience
No matter what kind of business you have, there is a specific audience that wants what you have to offer. It’s up to you to find them, work out where they hang out, create information for them and answer their questions before they ask. One of the best ways you can do this is to study, research and get to know your audience. You can do this by using social media to listen to them.
Join groups and associations where your audience goes. Be like a fly on the wall in the group, on social media or on a forum, by reading blogs by your audience or for your audience, so you can learn about them and what really interests them. As you get to know them, you’ll understand what they need to hear about your products and services in order to make the choice to buy from you.
2) Segment Your Audience
Within any one target market, you’ll have a number of different audience members who can be grouped. Some will have already purchased from you, some will not have purchased from you….yet. Some will have joined your social media pages via your website, while others will have joined due to a friend joining. It’s important that you know your audience well enough to be able to segment them into different groups. A good way to do this is to create several avatars or personas that represent different audience members.
Once you have these avatars, perhaps four or five of them, you can then create advertising messages that fit exactly with what they might want to hear about your products or services. You can explain directly to that avatar the benefits of your products or services for them. You can identify the pain points or problems that this person has and how your product or service cures their pain.
For each advertisement you create it’s imperative that you understand what you want the results to be. Do you want them to buy, share, join, or what? What exactly do you want their action to be? If you aren’t specific you won’t be successful. Knowing the point of your marketing message will enable you to create better advertisements.
When you know what you want the end result to be, it will be easier for you to create an advertisement that speaks to the emotions of your audience to get them to do what it is you want them to do. You’ll have a lot easier time during this creative process by asking yourself the question: What is the point of this ad?
Asking what the point of the advertisement is will help you develop your call to action. If you don’t include a call to action within your marketing message, while your potential customer may be intrigued, they may not be sure what they should do next. There are lots of distractions on social media all competing for their time and attention. Therefore, always include a very specific call to action.
A call to action should catch your audience’s eye, make them want to act, and provide very clear value to your market. If it doesn’t answer “what’s in it for me” then your audience will ignore your CTA because it will be weak. Your social media advertising should ideally link to a larger sales or landing page that can provide them with more information and tell your story better.
Telling the story of your brand is an important element in social media advertising. You can do this in your marketing messages by using case studies, testimonials and other content that connects your brand to your audience in a meaningful way. If you can pinpoint a common core value that your audience cares about and show that your business supports that value, you have a winning story.
A winning story will translate into marketing that gets seriously high results, shares and answers to your CTA. Remember that the stories you tell about your brand are really about your customers. Don’t approach your story about what you did, or how much money your business made, or anything other than how your business affects your audience. Always remember your story is not about you and your company but about the benefits you can provide to them.
Just as important as the story you share about your business, is the time you send out these messages. When you run your ads – on what day and at what time – will depend on your market. You will need to understand when your audience is ready to receive your messages.
Do test runs at various times of day and days of the week on the same exact advertisement to see when you get the best results. When you see what works and what doesn’t you can easily adjust the time to ensure that you get the best results from your efforts.
Even advertisements should be social on social media. Use video, stories of real people, invite commentary and get your audience involved in the marketing message. By including your audience in the advertisements by asking them to “like,” “share,” and “engage” with your ads, you’ll be seen as more accessible and therefore more socially accepted.
Having more control over your advertisements, in terms of days and times, they run will help you be a lot more social because more of your audience will see them.
As always, nothing is complete until the metrics have been studied. Of course, once you track and measure your social media advertising results, you will need to repeat what worked, tweak what didn’t and then repeat it all over again.
To do this properly, choose what you will track and measure before you even start. Don’t just stare blindly at the metrics without knowing what mattered for a particular campaign. Maybe for one campaign it was more important to get clicks to be noticed and spread brand awareness, while on another ad campaign it was more important to collect email addresses for your newsletter.
The look and feel of your social media ad matters greatly, depending on what social media the advertisement is appearing on. A Facebook ad will look very different from an advertisement placed on LinkedIn. The services are different, your audience behaves differently on each site and you’ll need to create new ads for each social media network where you want to place an advertisement.
Even your audience might be slightly different on each network. Do your homework so that you don’t waste your time or money placing an advertisement on the wrong social media site. Remember the avatars you created for your market. By knowing where each ad is going and the point of the ad, you’ll create an effective, optimised advertisement.
Don’t start any type of social media advertising campaign without choosing a budget first. Do some research about how much money advertisers spend on average and what type of results you might expect, so you can choose a realistic budget for your type of business and product.
Don’t worry, you can start with a low number which you are ready to invest, or “throw away” in a worst case scenario, as you learn or in case a particular campaign doesn’t work. If you earn your investment back, you can then choose to spend more based on the results you want to achieve.
There is no point in running any marketing campaign that is not fully targeted. Running general ads doesn’t work for large corporations and it won’t work for you either. Targeting your audience in the most focused and minute fashion will get you the best results when using social media to advertise your business.
Have you already used social media advertising? It would be great to hear your experiences of what worked and what didn’t so pop a comment in the box below.