How to Use Paid Media to Scale Your Social Media Campaigns
A few years ago nobody knew what the hell “the algorithm” meant. We were all just happily sharing sunset photos on social media and assuming our feed was arriving in chronological order every morning.
But then people started noticing that it actually wasn’t. Cute dog pictures from friends were lost in the shuffle, while posts from an influencer on the other side of the country were popping up instead. And we weren’t even following them!
And suddenly there it was: The Social Media Algorithm (dun, dun, duuuun).
The algorithm is a complex set of math rules that decides where your posts will rank in social media. What appears in a user’s feed is dictated by the algorithm, and the guidelines change frequently. Since people want to get their content in front of as many targeted users as possible, without worrying about the algorithm tripping them up, paid social media comes into play.
Organic vs Paid Social Media
Organic media is when the people you are following post something, it shows up in your feed, and then you like, comment, or ignore, depending on your mood. Also known as free media, when you post organically it will be seen by your followers and anyone following the hashtags you use. It’s a great way to connect with clients, share your brand messaging, build trust, and post recipes you really like. Since organic media is often more thoughtful and authentic, it’s also less algorithm-friendly.
Paid social media is when you pay social networks to share your content and promotions with a targeted audience. It’s a popular advertising tactic used by businesses of all sizes when they are looking to boost their message. Paid social media plays directly into the algorithm, allowing you to reach people who are not your followers and propel your posts towards higher rankings.
Who Should Use Paid Social Media?
Paid social media is used constantly by major corporate players, but it’s certainly not limited to billion dollar companies. Anyone with a sold product or service they want to advertise can begin to scale and boost their brand with paid media. You’ll need a dedicated social media budget, and be prepared to spend a minimum of $200 per month on advertising costs.
Steps to Implementing Paid Social Media
There are specific steps everyone should take in order to create an effective social media campaign. If you’re taking the time and money to implement this tactic, it’s important that you reach the right audience in order to help achieve maximum return on investment.
1. Define Your Objective
Start by figuring out what your objectives are – to gain followers, sell more products, further audience engagement, or drive leads? Having defined goals is essential before proceeding to the next steps.
2. Decide on Metrics
You’ll also need to decide which metrics to use for tracking and measuring success. Options include engagement, brand awareness, referrals, conversions, and response rates. Many social network platforms offer integrated measurement tools, allowing users to quickly see what is working (and what isn’t).
3. Create Your Target Audience
Get super specific on your ideal audience. Age, marital status, income, job, the kind of car they drive, the type of juice they drink, etc. Creating this targeted list will help you devise content and messaging that is most relevant for that audience.
4. Choose Your Message Style
Each social media platform offers paid advertising options, so it helps to figure out which one your target audience uses the most. They also offer different styles of ads, and the ones you choose will also depend on that ideal viewers list. Types of ads that consistently perform well are image, video, carousel, product, and stories.
5. Optimize Your Reach
After your social media ad has launched, it’s time to look at those metrics again. Was the video designed to target women ages 30-35 who like apples and work in architecture a success? If not, you’ll need to pause and readjust the optimization strategy. Perhaps a carousel ad would be a better fit, or scheduling posts for a different time of day would help.
How to Use Paid Media to Scale Your Campaigns
Creating a hybrid strategy that pairs paid social with organic content harnesses all the benefits of both approaches, helping to boost your brand. Say you create an image ad for a new product and it only gets 50 likes. Then next week you share a video to drive new leads and it gets 1,000 likes. That video is now considered a successful organic post, and a smart move would be to add some dollars to promote it.
Go to your Instagram page, click on “Ad tools”, and make it rain!
You don’t have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel. Looking back at organic content that has performed well and then opting to revitalize it with some paid advertising can help elevate your business to the next level. And if you don’t know where to start, partnering with a digital marketing agency might be beneficial.
Paid social strategies are crucial for a successful digital marketing campaign. It’s the backbone to attracting, engaging, and converting readers into clients and customers. But figuring out how to tailor your messaging and choose the right platform may feel overwhelming.
The Jacob Tyler team offers the experience and the creativity to help you build the best campaign for your brand. Memorable with a little magic thrown in, we use best practices to bring our innovative approach to every project.