Businesses looking to get into digital advertising are easily drawn to traditional pay-per-click (PPC) advertising via Google. Like almost everything else on the internet, PPC is dominated by the search engine giant. But do not discount paid social. It definitely has its place at the digital advertising table.
Having been involved in the digital marketing industry for many years, I have seen my fair share of small businesses sign up for PPC services, run two or three campaigns, and then decide it’s not worthwhile. Strangely enough, these same small businesses seem to put less effort into paid social advertising. They run a single campaign and do not get the results they were expecting. So what do they do? They give up.
My goal with this post is to convince you to hang in there. Don’t be quick to give up on paid social just because your first few campaigns flop. In fact, embrace the flops. Figure out why they flopped, learn from your discoveries, and try again.
You Don’t Need Billions
Many of my colleagues in PPC services point to social media usage as the primary reason for engaging with paid social. They are quick to point out that some 4.8 billion people now use social media across the globe. That is impressive, but it doesn’t matter to paid social. You don’t need 4 billion people to market to. The vast majority of them will never buy your products or services anyway.
It is great that social media enjoys such a large audience. But there is something more important to you than sheer numbers: pinpointing that target audience most likely to buy your products or services. That is where the gold is. And to a lot of digital marketers, social media pinpoints audiences better than any other PPC option.
Paying for Impressions
Paid social and traditional PPC share a lot of similarities. One key difference is payment basis. In a PPC situation, you only pay when users click your ads. That is not always the case with paid social. Rather than paying for clicks, you can pay for impressions instead.
The impression model is not inferior. It’s not automatically more expensive than paying for clicks, either. Paying for impressions is just a different way of achieving the same ultimate goal.
Optimize Your Campaigns for Success
So how do you make paid social pay off for your company? For that we turn to Webtek Digital Marketing, a Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX company that offers both paid social and PPC services. They say that optimization is the secret to paid social success.
A typical social platform lets you target audiences via key demographics. You can define your audience by location, interests, income, education levels, and more. You start with a general profile based on customer personas you have previously developed. Then you run a campaign based on that profile.
Analyze the results and modify as necessary. Then run another campaign. It shouldn’t take long to figure out who your target audience really is. From there you can design subsequent campaigns to reach them. Just remember that social media is very fluid. As such, optimization is an ongoing process. Every paid social campaign you run provides data useful for directing your next campaign.
If you tried paid social but quit after just one or two campaigns, you probably quit too soon. Try again. This time don’t be so quick to give up. Run multiple campaigns and then analyze the results. Use each one as a learning opportunity on your way to turning paid social into a powerhouse marketing tool.