Social media advertising is high on the agenda for many brands and marketers this year, especially due to the falling organic reach for businesses, which is being felt across many social channels, Facebook in particular! So, what do retailers need to consider when planning their paid social strategy and setting up paid campaigns?
In this blog, we've outlined 5 steps to setting up effective paid social campaigns, including key considerations and brand examples. Take a look!
1. Combine your organic and paid social strategy
Facebook's recent algorithm change and news feed update has been the talk of the industry in 2018. Our Founder, Philip Storey believes it to be the end of organic reach on Facebook for businesses. Indeed, business pages are hugely impacted by Mark Zuckerberg's announcement in January, but although the future of organic reach for brands and publishers on Facebook looks bleak, marketers can cleverly combine their organic and paid social activity to create success on the network. Here's how...
The impact of organic social is now minimal. With fewer people seeing organic posts from business pages, boosting posts with a small paid budget will help you generate a much greater reach from organic posts.
As a starting point, consider posting every couple of days on Facebook and then boost each post for two days. This way you'll have a consistent stream of content which appears in user newsfeeds without needing to boost new posts each day.
Remember, you can boost posts across Facebook and Instagram, doubling your content's exposure. Just make sure the content you share is really engaging!
2. Establish what kind of content to promote with paid social
Social media advertising is not just about increasing visibility and reach. Paid social gives you more control over who sees your content and helps you to target the right audiences, for different products and promotions. This is crucial, as there are so many brands vying for the attention of consumers on social networks.
Establish the type of content you want to use for paid activity. Consider the following:
- Awareness-based activity
- Site-wide discounts
- Limited-time offers
- Loyalty rewards and coupons
- Competitions and giveaways
- Brand updates and exciting news
- New product launches
- Free shipping opportunities
- Seasonal promotions
- Product tutorials, unboxing and other video content
Consider how you will maximise the impact of your campaigns, such as visuals, creative, persuasive marketing copy and branding. Always seek to stand out from the crowd, be authentically on-brand and never compromise.
Video is hugely effective with social media, both for organic reach and for driving engagement through paid social ads. Just make sure you optimise video content for each channel, in terms of video length and front-loading key messages. Ideally, viewers should be able to draw your entire core message within 7 seconds of video. Why? Because this is how long it takes before a video viewer decides whether they will continue to watch...
Consider influencer marketing too. Influencers are not only a great quick-win for increasing reach, but they can really give your paid campaigns social proof and brand endorsements that can really create an impact! Even if you think "that's not really for us", try to think creatively about how influencers could be utilised.
3. Set relevant goals, KPIs and budgets
It's important to establish what you're looking to achieve with each paid social campaign and ad. A lack of strategy is the downfall of many paid social campaigns. If you don't set realistic goals and targets from the start, you're limiting your chances of success and your ability to learn and gain true insights from your campaigns.
Consider some of these paid social campaign aims:
- Nurturing prospects
- Retargeting - cart abandonment is one common example
- Personalised product recommendations
Ensure you get the right backing, budget and people involved in your paid social activity. Create SMART goals and communicate your campaign goals and aims effectively within your organisation, along with the potential to measure, learn from and optimise them. This should set you up for success, long-term.
Often key decision-makers will want to see results instantly with paid social and look at top-line performance figures, so it's important to set expectations, be realistic and command patience. Make sure the right metrics and KPIs are used for measuring campaigns, rather than simply looking to engagement, clicks and conversions.
4. Utilise the advertising tools available on your chosen social channels
The top social networks have been steadily arming brands with more and more tools to make it easier for businesses to control paid social campaigns and create an impact via social media advertising. Familiarise yourself with the different tools and features available on your chosen channels, so that you can take advantage of them and create the best campaigns that you can.
Native measurement tools (or integrations with your CRM), make it easy to see the effectiveness of your campaigns, so you can test and optimise your campaigns whilst controlling your budget.
Utilise A/B testing features, campaign planning tools and retargeting pixels to drive better results and use the learnings to optimise future campaigns.
Also, there's really no limit these days in the ability scale up your paid activity once you've become more comfortable with managing campaigns and once everyone has started to see the ROI from paid social.
Not sure which channels are suitable for your brand? Read our blog on choosing the right paid social channels for your business.
5. Boost conversions through retargeting
Nowadays, retargeting through paid social is a must. Not only can you integrate your marketing channels to target users across different channels, but social retargeting tools, like the Facebook Pixel, enable businesses to create a vast range of ads accordingly to browsing behaviours and actions that specific individuals have taken on your website.
Also, retargeting is a no-brainer, as more intricate audience targeting will lead to a smaller budget for ads, which is a win-win for most types of retail campaigns.
Remarketing to prospects and customers, whether it's through automated email workflows, paid social retargeting ads or both, is a crucial process in retail. It helps brands build momentum during campaigns and drive more conversions.
We hope you found this blog helpful in demonstrating the importance of paid social and the key considerations for setting up your campaigns. Once you've dipped your feet into the water and set everything up, you'll be able to fine-tune your paid campaigns, and maximise ROI for key seasonal opportunities and peak sales periods.
Got just a small marketing budget? Paid social is often wrongly perceived as a channel that requires a large investment, but it's possible to create a big impact with a humble budget. Learn how to make the most of your digital marketing budget with our Growth Hacker's Guide to Digital Marketing on a Shoestring Budget. Get the free guide!
Enchant is a leading UK digital marketing agency, based in London. Our experienced marketing consultants specialise in paid social advertising, CRM, inbound marketing and a range of email marketing services. If you need social media marketing advice or you want help creating an effective paid social strategy, get in touch and see how we can supercharge your marketing performance!