2017 is the year for social media, especially photo-posting platform Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. It's commonly used for enhancing and posting photos. Part of the growing popularity of Instagram is that you can use it to stream live video. Social networks earn money through social media advertising services, which is also how you can increase profits.
Importance of Social Media Ads
There are multiple reasons why businesses are flocking to social media to buy ads. Most of these reasons relate to reaching a focused and customized target audience at a low cost compared with traditional media. Instead of throwing money at a crowd and hoping a small fraction will respond, which is still the case with radio, television and print, you can use drop-down menu tools to define the audience you want to reach based on keywords that reflect your business niche. Here are more specific reasons why businesses are buying ads from social media advertising services:
- builds brand awareness, authority and loyalty
- more chances to attract inbound traffic and convert leads
- helps boost search engine rankings from increased social media interaction
- increases opportunities to learn more about customer insights
- reduces marketing costs by only paying when people click ads
- reaches a wide audience based on marketing budget
Building a Social Media Audience
Before attempting to launch an ad campaign on a social media network, it's best to first build a loyal target audience. Each platform has its own parameters as to who and how you can add to your list of followers, but it usually just involves sending friend requests then waiting for them to respond. Instagram allows you to connect with like-minded individuals through hashtags, which operate like keywords that categorize your photos and videos.
The most popular social media networks reach millions of people. Facebook has over a billion followers while Instagram reaches over 500 million users. Other top social networks include YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr.
While Facebook is the most popular social media network, there are reasons to explore others such as Instagram, which is much more visual. Both are very easy to use, allowing you to build a following with clicks. Some companies like to accelerate this process by trying to invite anyone and everyone to join their profile. But the most effective way to build a target audience - as opposed to a random audience - is to find followers that fit appropriate marketing personas. Allowing random people on your list could invite trolls to make negative comments about your brand just to give you a hard time.
Creating and Monitoring Ad Campaigns
Some businesses find it easy to create and monitor their own ad campaigns through social media advertising services, which offer user-friendly tools. Other companies simply don't have the time for this modern type of marketing because they are focused more on traditional marketing of other areas of business. Many firms now outsource to digital marketing companies to handle online ad campaigns.
Instagram and other social platforms provide a wide suite of tools for marketers to use to find the best possible target audience. Even though sometimes it takes months to see ROI for social media advertising services, the key is to experiment with campaigns and to study analytics to see what strategies work the best. Once you fine-tune your campaigns it can help generate leads consistently.
Organic vs. Paid Traffic
Pay-per-click (PPC) adverting gives you instant search engine visibility by placing your ads at the top or on the sides of search results pages as well as high visibility on social networks through social media advertising services. Since most web surfers don't bother clicking ads unless they have a genuine interest, it's an efficient way to pay for new customers and prospects when they click your ad. You won't have to throw money away on people who see but don't respond to your advertising.
Organic traffic, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily cost anything other than overhead for content marketers for creating web content that appears in search results. In order for your content to attract visitors, effective SEO techniques must be packaged with the content. Effective SEO involves the following elements:
- well written content full of meaningful information
- proper use of keywords, page titles, headings, meta tags and other tags
- expertise in subject matter so that Google views the site as authoritative
- original articles or blogs instead of duplicated or syndicated content
- avoidance of web spam or other black hat tricks that draw penalties
Why Your Brand Needs Social Media Advertising
Paying for online ads is the fastest way to generate qualified leads online, but it's certainly not the only way. Attracting organic traffic through search engines that connect users with your content can help boost your sales, although it will likely occur over a much longer time frame. The combination of SEO and PPC can be a very powerful marketing strategy that still keeps costs low compared with advertising through traditional media channels.
The steadily growing popularity of mobile devices is changing how business is done. Now that people are increasingly accessing social media and making purchases on their smartphones, consumers are rapidly becoming social-mobile-oriented. That means the best way to reach consumers while they are shopping or looking for places to shop is through their smartphones.
If you just create an account and share content on social media it will be difficult to generate lead conversions. But if you promote your top content on social media, use audience filters, tag site visitors, remarket with display ads and use SEO properly, it's possible to flood your business with online leads.
Paid advertising is effective if you do it correctly, which is why many firms choose to outsource to experienced online marketers. The more you can drive visitors to your website through search engines or social media, the more you can capture leads through email or other communication channels. Social media can be used as a direct marketing channel that quickly leads to purchases.