Most businesses have learnt that content marketing is key to growing their brand. Millions of people search the web for videos, blog posts and articles to get information on products and services or to find solutions. So, where does paid social fit in?
Whilst publishing posts to your blog will drive traffic to your website, using social media advertising is how you can really boost traffic numbers. If you're currently not doing much paid social activity, here's how to get started!
What the Numbers Tell Us
There's a array of different social media networks these days for businesses to focus on, and Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp are leading the way in terms of global users.
Take a look at this chart below from Smart Insights, which demonstrates the top social networks and the number of users on each (in millions):
However, when it comes to deciding which channels to use for promoting paid social campaigns, you shouldn't just jump on the platforms with the most active users. It's essential to carry out research into your key personas to establish the social channels where your audience spends its time.
Different social networks suit different user demographics. For instance, Pinterest is used by 85% of women, whilst if you you're aiming for an audience of 18 to 29-year-olds, then YouTube (96%) and Facebook (92%) are great options.
Don't look to throw your net as wide as possible. The best results come from granular targeting. Target your personas according to their needs, challenges and desires, plus their online and social behaviours.
Now, let's get to our top 5 ways to use social ads to boost website traffic...
1. Boost engagement with audience targeting
What's great about some of the top social media platforms, in particular Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, is that they offer businesses advanced audience targeting features. Simply boosting posts on Facebook is ok, but it's not going to convert like highly-targeted paid social ads will.
It's important to use targeting features and pixels to segment your existing followers, subscribers and website visitors. For instance, if you have a product or service that's popular among the a certain segment, then you can target your ads specifically to them.
Think of it this way – it's better to have 90% of 200 people convert than it is to have 5% of 1000. Focus on getting actual engagement, not more views.
2. Use paid social ads for specific goals
If you're using Twitter for content promotion, then you may be tempted to create ad campaigns geared towards tweet engagements. But don't do it! Why? Because you'll waste a ton of money on every single type of engagement a user has with your ads.
You're paying for every profile view, image expansion, tweet expansion and hashtag click. And as you'd imagine, a lot of this engagement is frivolous and yields no meaningful ROI.
Only pay for the things that really matter for reaching your business goals. For instance, if you've produced a new video, then you should only pay for video views. Other types of engagement you can target include app installs, leads, followers, website clicks and retargeting engagements, such as basket abandonment.
3. Don't stick with one social platform
This is one way to kill your social media advertising campaign before it even kicks off. Try campaigns on several social channels and test the hell out of them!
It's recommended that you start with a small budget of around £50-100. A lot of brands begin their paid social ad campaigns with Facebook (it does boast an impressive 79% of UK online users).
Make sure you test similar campaigns on each of your chosen channels, to see which ones perform the best. And remember, the testing never ends – run A/B tests for each of your campaigns to ensure you're always create the maximum impact and learn from the results.
4. Don't just post one social ad - create a carousel!
There's no denying that today's consumers want choice. So why would it be any different when it comes to paid social ads? Rather than promoting one piece of content, you can create a carousel of your recent (or most popular) pieces of content.
You can also include a mixture of PPC ads and blog posts – while people are searching through content, they may also check out your ad for a specific product or service. Try to make your PPC ads relevant to the posts, so they're more likely to get clicks and conversions.
5. Promote your unicorn video content
If you're publishing video content, then you may have one or two videos that performed extraordinarily well. These "unicorn" videos work perfectly for social media ads.
Just make sure that the videos you select for Facebook are easy to understand without sound. You can include text on the screen or subtitles at the bottom. Roughly 85% of Facebook videos are watched muted, so this is important.
Your videos should be short, yet memorable. Tell your brand story and capture audience attention early! If you're using the audience targeting capabilities of the platform, then you should get a nice user engagement rate (and hopefully some conversions).
Now, it's time to put these tactics into action. There's a lot to learn as you dive into paid social. This are just tip of the iceberg. Prepare to make a lot of campaign mistakes, fail fast and don't quit. Instead, analyze and learn from each campaign.
If you found this blog helpful, get our free guide to creating an effective paid social strategy. The guide is packed full of great campaign tactics, best practice tips and social channel comparisons and stats. Download it now!
Want to speak to a social media marketing expert? Get in touch with us today and you can book a free consultation with a paid social expert. We're here to help!
Enchant is a leading UK digital marketing agency, based in London. Our world-class marketing consultants specialise in paid social media, inbound marketing and email marketing strategy. If you need help creating a effective paid social media marketing campaign, speak to our experts and see how we can drive awesome results and ROI for your brand!