When Does Social Media Sponsored Advertising Make Sense?

Josh Curcio

Target

As you have probably seen, you can advertise on nearly all of the social networks. These platform give you the ability to serve incredibly targeted ads and have other advantages that not even AdWords can provide. Let's go over some of the advantages of some of the sponsored advertising advantages through social media. Probably the most significant advantage is the ability to target. It's almost scary.

Here are some ways you can target with social media ads:

  1. Geographic targeting - target users in a specific area.
  2. Interest targeting - show ads to individuals that are interested in specific topics.
  3. Based on other relationships - for example, target people on Facebook that are friends of people that already like your page.
  4. Target based on age - most businesses know the general age of people that are buying or will be buying their product or service.
  5. Target based on status - for example, target people that are engaged. If you sell something that people buy for weddings, this could be huge!
  6. Show ads to either men or women.
  7. Advertise to people with a specific job title.
  8. Based on job type - if you sell something to lawyers, you can target people in the legal profession.
  9. Target people that work at a specific employer or went to a specific school.
  10. Show ads to individuals with a specific education level.

So what are some other benefits?

Social media ads have not always had an incredibly high click-through-rate (CTR)...and some still have poor CTR, but in just 12 months Facebook ad CTR has increased 4.5 times what it was a year ago. Why, you ask? In content ads are becoming the way of the future, or at least for the short term. These ads are not overly disruptive and blend in more with the content that you are actually reading. Social media has taken full advantage of in-content ads, especially with mobile. This is a great advantage of social sponsored ads.

Another advantage was actually something I have previously mentioned. Sometimes low CTR can be a benefit. You might think I am crazy right? Well low CTR can be good if your primary goal is brand awareness. I generally don't recommend this type of advertising because if you can get a conversion, why not. But, that does not mean that brand awareness is important. With low CTR you will end up paying very little for quite a lot of impressions.

There are certainly other benefits to social media ads...but when should you look elsewhere for your online ads?

One thing to consider here is the type of product or service that you sell. If you have something that people only search for when they need it, search ads are probably a better option. When you advertise on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., you are showing ads to people that are not necessarily looking for what you have to sell. They are probably there creeping on their friends, showing pictures of their dinner, or sharing their cutest pictures of their kids. Hey, we're all a bit guilty of being "that guy (or gal)". When you advertise on search you can show ads ad the moment and time when someone needs your product or service. Your rate of conversion probability is way higher.

Another time when it might be better to not use social media ads is if your ultimate goal is to get them to your website. Sure you can do this from the ads themselves, but honestly as a user it is kind of annoying. If I am on Facebook, I don't want to be taken away from there in most cases.

Still not sure?

As we always say, don't just jump into this type of thing without a plan. Determine your ultimate goals and then develop your strategy around that. If advertising in social media will help you achieve those goals, give it a shot. If not, look elsewhere. If you need help with your strategy, contact p80. We love to help with that sort of thing!

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