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Kickstart Your Social Media Advertising Plan

Help Your Business BOOM with Paid Online Ads

"U.S. social media ad spending is expected to increase 21.3% to 49 billion USD in 2021," according to Paige Cooper's article, 140+ Social Media Statistics that Matter to Marketers in 2021.1 And with social media platforms gaining 1.3 million users a day in 2020 (or 15.5 new users every second), that's a lot of customers you don't want to be missing out on!1

You've created a Facebook® page and YouTube® channel for your business, but have you considered investing in paid online ads? Today, let's discuss the importance of social media advertising and how to develop an effective plan that will help your business BOOM.

What Is Paid Social Media Advertising? Why Is It Important?
Paid social media is when companies pay to advertise their content with specific audiences on Facebook®, LinkedIn®, Twitter®, YouTube®, etc. Why would you pay for online ads when you are already promoting your business on social media platforms for free as organic content? Good question.  

According to Basha Coleman's article, Paid Social Media: Worth the Investment?, "Ultimately, paid social media helps with targeting audiences and driving sales just as organic social media does. The advantage to paying for this type of value? Speed to market, campaign sustainability, and good old fashioned message frequency."2

Paid social media is important to your overall marketing strategy because you can use it to quickly and inexpensively: 

How Can I Develop an Effective Paid Social Media Campaign?
If you're investing money into any advertising campaign, it's best to have a strategy. There are six questions you must answer to develop an effective social media advertising campaign:

1. What Are Your Social Media Advertising Goals? What are you hoping to achieve with paid online ads? Are you focused on increasing overall brand awareness or generating new leads? It's critical that you have specific objectives for the social media advertising plan. They will help you determine the most effective social network to advertise on, the right ad solution on that platform, and the best creative approach to your ad development. 

2. Who Is Your Target Audience? "The ability to micro-target your ad campaigns is one of the key benefits of social media advertising," according to Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ad Budget by Christina Newberry and Stacey McLachlan.3 They suggest developing a buyer persona so you have a detailed description of your target audience including demographic details, purchasing patterns and behaviors, interests, goals, etc.3

3. What Is Your Budget for Paid Social Media? It's important to decide upfront how much of your overall advertising budget will be dedicated to paid online ads. For most social networks, there are several ways to pay: 

In his article, How to Set a Realistic Social Media Advertising Budget, Preston Kendig discusses how much to invest in social media advertising, the factors of your ad campaign that can affect your budget, and how to determine your return on investment (ROI). He even provides a handy Digital Marketing Budget Calculator.4

4. Which Social Media Platform Is Most Effective for My Audience? What Types of Social Media Ads Will Reach Them? Now that you have a clear picture of your social media advertising goals, target audience, and budget, it's time to figure out the most effective network for your content. The most popular social media platforms for paid ads include: 

Trying to decide where to focus your paid ad dollars to reach the greatest number of customers? Pew Research Center compiled a Social Media Fact Sheet that includes helpful statistics on who uses each social media platform, most common social networks, etc.5 Be sure to check it out!

After you've narrowed down the most effective social media platform for your campaign, it's time to decide on ad format. To complicate matters, each social media network offers a variety of ad formats including image ads, carousel ads, video ads (skippable and non-skippable), stories ads, slideshow ads, collection ads, and messenger/DM ads. Newberry and McLachlan's story on Social Media Advertising 101 provides a comprehensive description of each ad format as well as the pros and cons associated with each type of ad, depending on your target audience and advertising objectives.3

5. How Do I Develop Awesome Ad Content? In her Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Basics of Social Media Advertising, Kristen Baker provides a few tips on creating awesome ad content: 

6. How Do I Know if My Paid Online Ads Are Working? Measure, analyze and adjust. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools. Use them to gauge the effectiveness of your social media ads. Newberry and McLachlan in their Social Media Advertising 101 article also suggest A/B testing.3 A/B testing is when you show variations on your ad campaign to two random groups and compare the responses of each ad based on your metrics. Click here for more information on A/B Testing on Social Media: How to Do It with Tools You Already Have.7

If you haven't used paid social media before, try a small ad campaign to start. Once you see how a minimal investment in online ads can build brand awareness, increase leads, connect your business with new customers, boost your conversion rates, and promote your products and services, you'll be sold on social media advertising. And now you have all the tools to develop an effective social media advertising plan that will help your business BOOM!

1 https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/
2 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/paid-social-media
3 https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-advertising/
4 https://www.webstrategiesinc.com/blog/how-to-set-a-realistic-social-advertising-budget
5 https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/
7 https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-ab-testing/

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