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Leveraging Social Advertising to Connect with and Convert Your Target Audience

How To

What would you do if you knew you could directly access your targeted audience for nearly two thousand hours per year? Today’s mobile consumers are now more engaged than ever, with U.S. adults spending 3 hours and 17 minutes on mobile devices every day, multiplied by 365 days, we spend, on average, a whopping 1,197.2 hours surfing online, downloading apps, and accessing mobile information like directions or recommendations.

As more time is spent on mobile, how do businesses promote their brand message to an audience that will pay attention?

As an integral component of the IDM Strategic Model, the overarching goal of SoLoMo is to help brands find new ways to connect with their target audience in order to convert them into prospects, customers, and brand advocates. Here are two examples from the Big Seven social channels that illustrate how your brand can incorporate social advertising into its SoLoMo strategy.

Facebook Promoted Posts

While many users are feeling inundated with Facebook ads, the social network continues to refine how businesses are able to target audiences so the posts are welcome and natural to users’ News Feeds. Promoted Posts are an incredible tool when used with focus. The advertisements are completely customizable, giving your businesses a way to target its audience without negatively affecting your brand presence by clogging up people’s Feeds with unwanted ads.

As a best practice to make the most of your social advertising budget, you first want to decide what customer action you are trying to provoke. When trying to form initial connections, brand awareness is the key objective.

Metrics for success will be likes, comments, and follows. If the focus is on conversion, you want your customer to be led to a landing page with a specific offer.

Once you’ve sorted out campaign objectives, you can begin customizing your Promoted Post. By selecting either a custom audience (e.g. those who have visited website, downloaded a mobile app, are in your CRM system, etc.) or a lookalike audience (e.g. similar to existing customers, based on interests), you can narrow your reach to a specific location, interests, behaviors, demographics, or connections.

In a broader sense, social media advertising tools like Promoted Posts enable businesses and marketers to maximize their efforts by only accessing customers who are interested in engaging with the campaign.

Mark Jackson, an expert in SEO and web marketing, feels that the Promoted Post is like the modern day press release. By targeting the right audience, you can increase your brand exposure, leading to more shares, links, citations, and brand engagement, to more connections and conversions.

YouTube Ads

It may not come as a surprise that people soak up visual content at a faster rate than written or audio content by itself.

In fact, over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, which equates to nearly an hour for every person on Earth; nearly half of this content is watch via mobile devices.

Given YouTube’s role as one of the Big Seven social channels as well as the second largest search engine, it seems like a worthwhile investment for your social advertising budget. However, don’t be discouraged if your video content is not “going viral;” the success of your campaign is ultimately dependent on ensuring that the right people will take action.

When compared to all other social media channels, YouTube ranks just above Facebook as the #1 social media platform for social advertisements. YouTube videos provide your brand an effective medium to engage audiences in new and innovative ways. YouTube is not TV though— a traditional 30-second “commercial” will not radically impact your SoLoMo campaign. However, by creating specifically curated content for the platform and promoting it with targeted social ad placement, you can effectively leverage YouTube to connect and convert your audience.

Like Facebook Promoted Posts, YouTube video ads allow you to customize targeting based on demographic profile, interests, or location. Its free analytics tools give you a better understanding of who is watching your ads and exactly how they are interacting with them.

As before, your campaign approach should be governed by which type of consumer action you are trying to trigger. If your goal is to increase brand exposure and connect with your audience, you want to focus your ad placement and content on maximizing views, shares, and new channel subscriptions. If, on the other hand, you are trying to encourage prospects to take a conversion action such as to download an ebook or purchase a product, be sure to overlay calls-to-action (CTAs) at the end of your video ads.

Takeaway

Not all social media tactics and channels are appropriate for all products and services. According to a study by AOL, health and beauty tend to do well on paid social advertising whereas food and beverage, apparel, and accessories performed better on organic social exposure.

Today’s digital consumers have gotten accustomed to avoiding advertisements from TV to print; to connect and convert, you need to listen to the needs of your audience and then respond through your marketing efforts. In an age of “pull” marketing, the most effective way to deliver your brand message is through well-designed social campaigns that contain a mix of organic and paid elements.

Questions

  1. How can brands use other social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with and convert their target audience?
  2. What are some ways brands use targeted social advertising to maximize the impact of their content marketing efforts?
  3. If it is so effective, why aren’t more companies – especially SMBs – using targeted social advertising?
DIGITAL MARKETING RESOURCE CENTER