If you’re a small online business or start-up, chances are you’ve already dipped your toe into social media. For example you’ve probably established a business presence across the social media platforms relevant to your target market. Social media has become an integral part of marketing and if you are looking to increase your reach across these networks, it may well be worth considering advertising your business on social media.
Social media advertising continues to be big business and has seen phenomenal growth over the last few years. Indeed, according to research;
- Global social media advertising spending is likely to exceed £35 Billion by 2017
- Facebook advertising revenue reached $4.3 billion Q3 of 2015 – one $1 billion increase yr on yr
- Twitter advertising revenue in Q3 2015 totalled $513 million a 60% increase year-on-year
- Instagram predict $2.81 billion in mobile advertising revenue by 2017
What opportunities can social media advertising bring to small online businesses?
Most of the key social media platforms offer advertising options which, when executed well, can offer small business ecommerce a number of advantages. For example:
Targeted Audience. Social platforms enable you to drill down in terms of targeting. Allowing you to be specific about who you are looking to target, not only through basic demographics, but by purchase behaviour and interests. Facebook even enables you to target ‘Lookalike Audiences’ – opening the door to a wider, but still closely related audience.
Low cost of entry. Entry costs for social media advertising isn’t prohibitive to small businesses. You can set your budget on a daily or campaign basis – spending only what you can afford.
Immediacy. Social media advertising is immediate and offering you great flexibility. You can create, launch and tweak campaigns quickly and easily.
Brand awareness: Social media exposure amongst a wider, targeted audience will help increase your reach and build awareness of your brand.
Easily track performance: Most social networks offer insightful analytics to enable you to easily track your advertising campaigns’ performance and ROI.
Top tips for creating great social media ads
Before you embark on advertising on your chosen social media platform or platforms, here are a few tips to help ensure success.
Clear goals and objectives: Be very clear about what you want your advertisement to achieve? For example are you looking to drive traffic to your website, raise awareness of a new product, get more page likes, grow attendance at an event or is it a brand building exercise? Establishing clear goals will help your focus advertising making it easier to create the right content .
When you create an ad within Facebook you are given a list of advertising objectives – so match up your goal with the objective you select.
Target your audience. Be very clear about who it is you are trying to target. For example, are you going to break it down by demographics, interests or purchasing behaviour. Different audiences will respond differently to particular content. An advertisement that may appeal to one segment may not be so successful with another. If you can focus on a specific audience you can adapt your ad to reflect the triggers of that particular group.
Set your budget. Have a clear idea about your budget before you start. Otherwise you run the risk of getting carried away and spending more than you can afford. Set a daily maximum spend or a maximum campaign limit. You can always adjust your budget at a later date once you’ve tested the water.
Use interesting visuals: Social media is becoming an increasingly visual medium. Use high-quality, creative images to make your advertisement stand out from the crowd.
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
There are a number of excellent image libraries available online where you can source interesting and engaging images such as Shutterstock, istockphoto, freedigitalphotos and dreamstime. If you’re on a tight budget then check out Pixabay, they have a great library of images that are free to use even for commercial purposes. Facebook also allow you to select from hundreds of Shutterstock images at no cost when creating an ad.
Be mobile friendly: Increasingly, people are more likely to access social networks via mobile. Keep this in mind when you are creating your ads; as chances are it will be viewed on a small screen.
Call to action: Even when you have limited space to work with a clear call to action is essential. Ensure your audience is left in no doubt about what it is you are asking them to do. For example, when you are creating a Facebook advertisement you can select from some of the following call to action buttons:
- Shop Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Use App
- Book Now
Landing page: Don’t undo a great ad by sending your audiences to a general page on your website. Create campaign specific landing pages that reflect the content and reinforce the message of your advertisement. Campaign specific landing pages will provide a better conversion rate.
Track response: Keep on top of how you ads are performing – what ROI are they providing? Most social media networks enable you to closely monitor and measure the performance of your campaigns. Analysing your campaign analytics will help you identify what is working well, or not so well, so you can amend your campaigns accordingly.
Advertising options for social media platforms.
Most social networks offer advertising options for businesses. For further information for individual platforms, check out the links below:
Facebook: Facebook Adverts
Twitter: Twitter Ads
Pinterest: Promoted Pins
LinkedIn: LinkedIn Advertising
Instagram: Advertising on Instagram
Exploring the advertising options offered on the social media platforms that you are already using as business, can help amplify your social media presence through creating specific, highly targeted adverts at a manageable cost. So if you haven’t already tried social media advertising then it’s worth testing the water with your business.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on social media advertising, so please do leave a comment.