Social Media Advertising - why paid is here to stay

01 March 2018

Industry Insights

You’ve probably heard it before, and you’ll definitely hear it again but paid social is one to invest in this year. Over recent years, putting money behind social media content has become the norm as the social advertising landscape has dramatically changed and platforms are increasingly pushing organic content out of news feeds and prioritising paid posts.

So what do you need to know?

Campaign (2018) reported that global social media spend has increased to $41bn in 2017. It was less than $18bn only three years ago. That’s an approximate increase of 127%!

Paid social uses sponsored content to boost brand awareness in third party pages and your audience’s newsfeeds. It allows you to specify which audience you want to target right down to gender, age, demographics and interests.

By segmenting an audience using a range of demographic tools, paid social gets your message in front of your desired audience, increasing brand awareness and potential customers.

Why brands should invest in paid social

Let’s start with the wonderful world of algorithms. In a world where algorithms update overnight it has become increasingly difficult for brands to get their organic content seen meaning paid social media has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy. These changes mean platforms are increasingly pushing organic content out of news feeds and prioritising paid posts. Take Instagram for example, according to Sprout Social, 70% of content goes unseen….eek! Brands can’t afford to rely on organic content anymore if they want to see measurable results. If you want to get the right messages to the right people and drive results through social media, brands need to develop a paid social strategy. What are the benefits? ” More eyes on your content - paid social can provide you with more eyeballs on your content quickly increasing reach. ” The right eyes on your content - paid allows you to target exactly who you want making the reach more valuable ” Amplify owned content - paid social is vital to extend the reach of your top performing content, it does not replace it. ” ROI - organic content struggles to generate ROI. By putting money behind your successful campaigns you will eventually start to generate ROI. Paid social offers advantages in brand awareness, targeting, analysis and ROI.

Exploring ad types

Social media advertising is a great way to attract new customers and get a higher reach on your content. There are numerous different ad formats to explore. Many brands use paid social ads to help generate leads and help users become invested in a brand. It’s important to develop a strategy that is tailored for your company.

Common paid social goals: ” Increase traffic ” Increase visibility ” Increase lead generation ” Increase engagement ” Increase sales All channels offer paid for options now and there are numerous different ad formats that can be used depending on the objective of your content. For example, you might want to use sponsored Inmail on LinkedIn to support a lead generation campaign or use a video advert on Facebook with a call to action to help increase likes on your page. Other advertising formats include canvas adverts, carousel or slideshow adverts, follower advertising and boosted posts. Instagram is the fastest growing social network and last year they introduced Stories advertising. Adverts in Stories allows your business to use targeting and reach capabilities that make your adverts personally relevant to the audience you want to reach. The platform has 800 million monthly active users, and 80% of these users follow a brand on Instagram.

It’s all about video in 2018 and we’d recommend looking into this advertising opportunity sooner rather than later. Data from social media analytics platform, Klear, revealed that Instagram ads have grown by 28% in just six months last year (July-December 2017) - don’t get left behind.

Case Study

Let’s take a little look at some results from a paid social campaign we ran for our client Ballyclare. Our objective? To promote sales of their new fire suit.

Being active on most social media platforms and with our brand ambassador also being active we knew we wanted to amplify the campaign through paid.

So, with a budget of £400 for Facebook we created a series of boosted posts and creative ads that were targeted at people with an interest in CrossFit and firefighting.

Throughout the campaign we monitored the ads to ensure they were performing well to optimise results. Have a little look at the difference in stats from a small spend of £400 over the campaign.

Total Paid reach of campaign on Facebook: 98,924 Vs Total Organic reach of campaign on Facebook: 19,599

We can see a +404% difference in paid vs organic. Using paid social allowed us to target a new audience and align our creative to match their interests, we were reaching the right audience, gaining new followers and increasing brand awareness.

Need help with paid social? You may need assistance in setting up, monitoring and reporting on the results. Drop us a message to see how we can help

References: Sprout Social Campaign