Social media advertising is a must if you’re looking to reach a new, targeted audience – fast.
An effective social advertising strategy can help you collect new leads, drive website traffic, increase product / brand awareness, and increase sales. In today’s social media landscape, the platforms are moving away from a more traditional “organic” strategy and are slowly pushing startups and solopreneurs into the “pay to play” space.
A recent study conducted by Social Media Examiner in their 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that 85% of marketers surveyed reported that on average only about 6% of their audience was organically seeing their content.
The reason for this shift is simple, Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are generating billions of dollars a year in advertising fees. Hootsuite is reporting that social media advertising revenue generated $51.3 Billion dollars in 2018 and is forecasted to grow 10.5% annually.
So, how do you use social advertising to effectively maximize your reach? I’ve got three tips to help get you on the road to success.
#1 Know Your Goal
A successful advertising campaign on social media starts with a well-defined goal. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want more followers? Do you want people to engage with your content by liking, commenting and sharing? Do you want to drive people to sign up for your email list? Do you want to sell a specific product?
There is no wrong answer to this question, however, keep this in mind. One goal – one campaign.
The mistake many novice marketers on social make, is that they try to accomplish all of their goals in one advertisement. While you might think this is a good strategy, it often leads to consumer confusion and a disconnect with your business or brand. Think of the game Simon Says. As long as the directions are slow and clear, you have no problem with keeping track of all the tasks that “Simon” tells you to do.
When, things speedup though, the directions become jumbled and confusing and it leads to a rush in judgment, which-in-turn, leads to you losing the game. The exact same scenario is true of your target audience. Too many directions and calls to action will confuse them, frustrate them, and make them, and you lose the game.
#2 Know Your Audience
There’s an old advertising adage that says: “When you try to reach everyone, you reach no one”.
One of the biggest temptations a startup or solopreneur faces is the urge and pressure to tell everyone about your products, services and business. Rather than doing this, you should take the time to define who your product or service is for. Will your product benefit startup photographers? Podcasters? Artists? Stay-at-Home Moms? Teachers? The more specific you get with defining your audience the more niche you’ll become.
This will allow those who are seeking your information or products find you more easily. You may not show up in search if someone types in “best photo classes" this term is really broad and has stiff competition, but you have a great chance of showing up in search if your audience types in “best photo classes for beginners under the age of 35”.
Create an “Avatar” for your business or brand. Avatars represent your target audience and give you a visualization of who your content and advertising are for.
Meet Tara, the 42-year-old marketing executive who has two kids (Bobby (7) and Suzie (9)), a husband (Dick, 52) and a dog named snickers (2). She loves crossword puzzles, taking her kids to soccer practice and cooking up little mini quiches during the Holidays. While she may seem calm and collected on the outside, deep down she just wants a successful career and a loving family. At night she drowns her sorrows away in a nice, pricey, glass of chardonnay.
Based on this avatar and these metrics, we can now start to create advertising and content that will attract Tara to our brand. See how powerful this is? Take time to create an Avatar so that you can understand exactly who your target market is, and how your business or brand can help make their lives better.
#3 Make it Social & Valuable
Today’s market has changed. Seth Godin, one of the top leading marketers in today’s space is credited for saying “Content Marketing is the only marketing left”. Your target audience is constantly bombarded with sales offers, advertising and noise on the social media platforms. They are programmed to tune this type of rhetoric out in their daily lives.
In order to get through, you’ll have to get cleaver and connect with your target audience. Marketing today should build trust, loyalty and add value to the end user. Instead of spending $500 dollars on advertising, spend that $500 on creating a great product or service that your audience will get excited about and want to share.
Don’t dictate to your audience, instead guide them. Build marketing campaigns that show them how to directly act and change their lives. Add value up front without asking for anything in return. Your Content and Marketing Strategy should work hand-in-hand to ensure that you are providing the best information possible to get your customers the results they want, in the shortest amount of time.
This strategy isn’t easy to accomplish because you actually have to listen to your customers and know what their challenges are. You must make a deep connection with your customers, focus on their true pain points and provide the solutions that they desperately need. In the end, if you’re not creating content that gets people excited and talking about you, then what are you doing besides wasting money?
In closing, social media advertising is a great way to add fuel to the fire of your startup or solopreneur endeavor. However, you need to make sure that there is enough material available for the fire to burn over a long period of time. You wouldn’t add lighter fluid to just one charcoal briquette, that would be a waste. Same is true with social media advertising, you want to make sure that you are prepared and have enough material to make that lighter fluid worth it.
Charles Watson, M.B.A., T.M.
Digital Content Strategist / Founder
Connect with me on LinkedIn