Amidst the emotional roller coaster that is social media marketing, there is always one constant. Paid Social.
The rise of so many new businesses with access to the digital space has congested the space of social media to the nth degree. It's very difficult as a consumer to not be overwhelmed by the noise.
One solution to this: having a strong Paid Social Media Strategy.
We're going to cover the main 5 building blocks of your Paid Social Media Strategy in this article, so you can cut through the noise.
What is a Paid Social Media Strategy?
Your Paid Social Media Strategy can sit within your overall marketing strategy or, social media strategy or, completely on it's own.
It should act as a guide that allows you to stay on track when you are spending money on paid social media, detailing the who's, the what's and the why's.
It is a document that will give you a good understanding of when you are succeeding with your paid social efforts or when you are not performing, providing the framework not only to setup and start your advertising but also to change dynamically when needed.
1. What are your goals?
As with everything in digital marketing, you must have clearly set goals.
The whole point is to be as specific as possible in what you are trying to achieve and have a good understanding of performance through measurement so you can assess if it provides a return on investment or not.
Start off by writing down all the main goals your company has.
Then decide which ones are achievable via social media.
For example, if you are a mobile app and growing your user base or increasing downloads is an important goal for you, using social media can help with that.
It helps to attach a KPI to each goal, so you can easily judge success further down the line.
2. Target Audience & Buyer Personas
Once you have your goals figured out, you can start to think about who (customer) can help you hit those goals.
i.e. who is going to download your app or who is going to purchase your product.
An easy way to figure this out is ask yourself what problem does your product or service solve and who experiences these problems the most?
Essentially, who can benefit the most from using your product, app or service.
You may already have a detailed target audience and buyer persona(s) defined. In which case (in fact in all cases) you need to think about how those audiences and profiles interact with social media.
How do they consume while using social media?
Write it down. This will give you direction on when (holidays, specific weekdays, specific hours of the day), where (which channels) and what (video, image, stories, long form ect…) to advertise.
3. Channel strategy
This step requires an understanding of how your customers interact with the social media landscape.
Once you understand that then you can choose which channels you are going to run paid activity on.
For example, if you know that your most valuable customer is at work all day, they are bored because they have a mundane job and they spend most of their time using Instagram scrolling through the news feed - then boom. You know exactly which channel to use, and even some indication on what time of day (at least enough to start testing ideas).
Choosing which channel to use can be quick daunting but if you have data that suggests your users are inclined toward a certain platform, or you know your industry works very well on a certain platform then it’s definitely worth pursuing those to start with.
It could be the case that you are running an incredibly bootstrapped budget and you can’t go for the more saturated channels. This means you could try out some less popular but potentially untapped platforms in your industry.
The main thing with social media is that there are such incredible numbers using every major platform, that it will be hard not to find someone who wants your product.
The trick is cutting through the noise natively and getting them to understand your solution.
Pro Tip - Remember all platforms want users to stay. They don’t want users navigating away from their platform, especially to another social media platform. Try to use this to your advantage (*hint* native content).
4. Funnel Mapping
Mapping out your customer journey is the first place to start. Then when you can assign metrics and values to each step it becomes a funnel (in my opinion).
Begin with your initial traffic source (usually your adverts in Paid Social funnels) and note down every single action that follows this all the way to purchase.
Things like email marketing and soft re-targeting are great for this.
When you are mapping out which stages of your funnel are going to be paid social ads, you are going to want to specify the formats and audiences you are going to be running.
This allows for a deeper understanding on performance later on down the line.
Pro tip - The current landscape is so incredibly competitive that you probably can’t afford to pay an incredible amount to bring a customer into the store (metaphorically) and then let them leave forever.
Take your funnel a few steps further past purchase or download and setup how you will keep them in contact with your brand touch points so you can pay less to bring them back as a customer or repeat purchase in the future.
Bonus - Measurement & Optimisation
It’s important to be able to track and gather as much data as possible when you actually implement and setup your funnel (the landing pages, the ads, the emails ect…).
If you don’t understand how to implement tracking and attribution models then you need to hire someone to do this asap.
If you have one small part of tracking broken you can end up burning large amounts of ad spend very quickly.
So make sure you plan to measure every step of the way.
This will allow you to make quick, clear & concise decisions on where you need to take action in order to continuously improve your results over time.