Modern marketing isn't about getting the most eyeballs on your site, it's about getting more of the right eyeballs on your site. Tons of traffic that isn’t interested in your product or service does you more harm than good, so it's in your best interest to utilize an inbound marketing philosophy to bring people in that are looking for what you have. Inbound marketing utilizes tools like SEO strategy, a compeling blog, and interesting social media presence to drive traffic and create leads, but there can be room in your marketing efforts for social advertising and other paid mediums when done correctly.
Paid social advertising can be a tremendous way to reach new people in your target audience and help convert them into leads, clients, or customers, but the paid social game is not for the faint of heart. It's become an arms race, much like Google Adwords, and you need some spending money and a rock-solid strategy to find real and consistent success. Sure, you can promote a post, slap down your credit card, and get some views and maybe some clicks, but a single spike of results isn't going to build your business in the long run, so you need to figure out what works and how to replicate it over time.
What Goes Into A Social Ad
Creating a successful social ad takes more work than any regular tweet of Facebook post. If you don't implement the correct strategy from start to finish, it's easy to flush your ad budget away without any positive results. To avoid that, let's reverse engineer a successful ad with the right strategy. Before you even start, you need to know which persona or customer type you're going after, and the type of content you want them to see when they click your ad. Some of the common landing pages for social ads are:
- a downloadable ebook or product guide (like this one ->)
- a specific product for sale
- a services page
- a special promotion
- a home page (don't do this)
A vital characteristic of any successful ad is that it will point someone directly to a relevant page, where it's obvious to the user what they should do. If you want them to download an ebook, remove the navigation. If you want them to buy a product, craft the user experience and towards making a purchase and building urgency. If you are offering a service, drive them to set up a consultation. If you don't create your ad with the end action in mind, it doesn't matter how awesome your ad is, because it's not going to drive real results, just meaningless clicks and views.
Building Your Audience
Next, you need to build the right audience. Hopefully you have build powerful buyer personas that you can use to create target segments and you know which social sites those personas are active on. Looking to sell a home product? Facebook and Twitter would probably be your best bet. Trying to sell a corporate service? LinkedIn gives you a much more professional userbase to build your segment from. When you build your ad, you'll get a range of options to create your audience like this:
In addition to demographic data like education, finances, and work status, you can select a wide range of interests, behaviors, and affinities to craft the perfect segment filled with your ideal persona. This is critical to choosing the people who will see your ad, and fine tuning it to find people receptive to your ad message.
Building Your Header
Finally, it's time to craft a headline for your ad. With Facebook, you only have 29 characters to create a headline that is interesting, catchy, and relevant to the reader and what you're promoting. If you don't write a great headline, you might as well just give your whole paid social ad budget away to charity because you're throwing it away otherwise. Let's take a look at what works for paid ad headlines:
1. Be simple and specific
You're already dealing with less than 30 characters, so don't waste them on anything confusing. Make your point quickly and easily so anyone can read it and understand what the point of the ad is.
2. Focus on benefits
The benefits are the things that will really make a difference to the user, not the features of your product or service. People want solutions to their problems and calling out the immediate benefit to them in your headline will get eyeballs. When you're Verizon, it's easier to lean on your brand recognition to get clicks; your ad might have to be more vocal about your benefits.
3. Use numbers
Highlighting the affordable cost of your product on sale, or the % discount they could receive, is always a good way to get people to click on your ecommerce products. If you're promoting a service, writing a headline like "Want to save your company thousands?" can call out the immediate value to the reader.
4. Ask a question
Questions gain attention in everyday conversation and anything you read, including paid social ads. Asking questions in your headlines are big attention grabbers, especially when you call out a pain point the user might be having, such as "Tired of overpriced sunglasses?"
5. Call the reader to action
Using language that includes a directive will galvanize the reader to click by telling them what to do. An exclamation mark goes a long way to make clicking an imperative decision.
Keep these five keys in mind when writing a paid ad headline and you'll create urgency and encourage clicks. If you've pointed them to an accurate page, you should get some of the conversions you're looking for. If you've segmented your audience correctly then your ad should be served to the right people who are more likely to be interested. Once the ad is live, keep a close eye on how it's doing. There's nothing wrong with running ads for only a couple days with a small budget to see what the returns are before launching it for a larger audience and budget. Review your ads regularly (weekly and monthly) and see what is working, and what needs to be adjusted and improved. Social budgets are wasted constantly because people don't review how well things are working and let bad ads keep going without making them better.
Paid social advertising can be a difficult piece to add into your social publishing strategy, but it's a great way to reach targeted audiences with a powerful message. Crafting the right headline is a vital part of making sure your money is spent earning conversions and growing your business and not just paying for meaningless views. Social advertising takes a lot of setup and hard work to maintain, but the results will bring in the right eyeballs to help you reach your goals!