Well folks, it has been an interesting week over here in the U.S. From Trump’s personal crisis to stormageddons in the Northwest, there has yet to be a dull moment in 2016. My personal favorite moment of last week’s shocking events is the recent reveal of the newest COVERGIRL.

Don’t worry, we’ll get there momentarily..

First, I want to introduce the concept of paid social. In my last post, we discussed how to create effective social media posts to help you build your business. What I failed to mention is that these organic posts don’t always reach our whole audience.

I know, I know, I should have told you. But don’t be discouraged. This doesn’t mean that social media isn’t an extremely effective way of capturing our audience. All the information in my last post still holds true. We just need to figure out the right formula for your business to generate the highest ROI and conversion rates.

As these social media channels became more and more saturated with content, organic reach isn’t enough to break through the noise. The truth is that only 10% of organically posted tweets are popping up in your follower’s feeds. Facebook posts also have an alarming organic engagement rate of only 2.27%.

Over the next year, consumers are expected to spend $327 billion online which mean our digital presence is becoming more and more critical to building business. With the rapid growth of social media advertising, companies around the globe are starting to implement paid social strategies.

Where do we begin with paid social?

1. Have a Gameplan

While building your paid social strategy, it’s extremely important to keep your end goal in mind. What are you trying to achieve by increasing engagements? This will help you calculate how much of your budget needs to be allocated in order to be successful. Here are some objectives to get your mind flowing:

  • Awareness: Build your brand
  • Consideration: Drive intent with high-value prospects
  • Conversion: Acquire new customers by finding people who are most like your best customers
  • Loyalty: Cross-sell and upsell to recent purchasers

Once you’ve decided what your overall goal is, it’s time to consider what type of ads you’re planning on running. How will these ads assist you in reaching your objective?

Will these be cold traffic or will you start with content and retarget?

For example, you might have a video on Facebook that provides rich content by teaching your audience something new. Facebook has the capability to target users based on how far they get into the video. This allows you to segment users based on how connected they were to your content.

Retargeting is particularly effective because it allows you to target consumers that are further down the marketing funnel.

Whichever type of advertisement you’re planning on posting, make sure that the content matches the goal. If you’re hoping to build brand loyalty, focus on consumers that you recently received a conversion from. If you’re looking to increase awareness, build a plan that introduces your products or services to new consumers.

2. Choose Your Audience

After deciding your objective, the next step is to find the right audience to meet your goals. There are a three different types of audiences you can build for your paid social reach. Facebook offers a blueprint to beginning your paid social strategies. This guide includes courses on how to choose your audience, particularly with Facebook.

Core Audiences:

One simple way to break up your audience is to look at basic breakdowns such as location, demographics, interests, and behaviors. This data is pulled from the information from your social media profiles and the behaviors you exhibit on your platform.

More specifically, Facebook has the ability to combine data from these categories and combines it with other syndicated data services. This data can then be broken up into more specific segments for potential targeting.

Custom Audiences:

Another option is to combine your own data with data from the platforms to produce a customized audience. These type of audiences work most effectively when you are looking to target a particular group of your customers. This allows you to leverage what you already know about your customers and target messaging that can drive action.

Creating your customs based on where your audience is in the marketing funnel is especially efficient. Targeting consumers based on behavior is one of the most practical ways to deliver content because you can reach consumers by considering how and where they’re interacting with your brand.

A recent example of building a custom audience is a campaign implemented by Olivia Rose. The popular YouTube channel targets “women who have afro hair and would like to learn about styling and maintenance.” The overall objective of the campaign was to promote the video content channel.

The brand combined data from its recent viewers on YouTube, as well as Facebook’s Power Editor. They were able to target exclusively females between the ages of 13-40 in particular locations. These are the results from the campaign with a custom audience:

  • 1,758 new Instagram followers
  • 1,784 new YouTube subscribers
  • 15,647 new Facebook fans

Lookalike Audiences:

Lastly, another strategy is targeting people that are similar to your existing customers. This method allows you to reach new consumers that are particularly valuable because they are more likely to be interested in your content. Creating a “seed” audience is a profile of your typical customer.

By targeting consumers that are especially valuable to your business, you can gain a more effective reach. For example, if the majority of your customers have searched gluten free food in the last twelve months, targeting new consumers with the same searches might spark additional interest in your product.

3. Pick Your Platform

Once you’ve determined which audience to target, we cycle back to the basic fundamental of social media, platforms. Different audiences connect with platforms in a variety of ways. For a breakdown of the pros and cons of each platform, check out Bitaly’s guide to finding the right social media channel.

Just last week, COVERGIRL brilliantly utilized paid social to reach its target audience on Instagram. With a heavy emphasis on visuals, Instagram currently has roughly 500 million active users a month. More than half of these users are between the ages of 18-29 which made it the ideal platform for COVERGIRL’s big reveal.

The popular beauty brand named its first male model, James Charles. Although controversial, the native advertisement had a wide reach with an exceptional amount of earned media. COVERGIRL found that its audience was searching for more authenticity from beauty brands.
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In addition, COVERGIRL strategically wants to focus on reaching the Generation Z, people who were born after 1988. The brand recognized that Instagram would be the most effective platform for the paid social reveal. Because of its younger demographic and focus on visual content, Instagram was the ideal place for the sponsored content.

Now that social engagements are “off the charts”, COVERGIRL can retarget consumers that interacted with the content. Whether it be on Instagram or another platform, these posts generate a massive amount of data. This data can be recycled for other paid social posts or other forms of inbound marketing.

It’s easy, it’s breezy, AND it’s beautiful.

After integrating paid social into your digital strategies, make sure to analyze your data and listen to your results. Continue to retarget in order to meet consumers further down the marketing funnel.

The more paid social you incorporate into your business, the more effective your ads will become. Ultimately, the best way to improve your paid social and maximize ROI is to practice. Stay tuned for more tips on digital marketing strategies.

Until next time,

Angie

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