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HOW TO NAVIGATE PAID MEDIA ADS

From the Paid Media Strategist's Desk

…if you spend budget on advertising on these platforms, they reward you.

The golden compass, really. The thing with social media is while is it a great way to grow organically by being “social”, you really do need to Pay to Play. The big secret not loudly publicised by the platforms themselves is that if you spend budget on advertising with them, they reward you.

Also worth keeping in mind is once you are “influential” on a platform, you are further rewarded by the algorithm (this is the code that makes social media really smart), so investing a little at the start to get yourself established is well worth it!

SO WHAT IS PAID MEDIA, REALLY?

Paid media refers to the act of buying ad space on a platform like Facebook, Instagram, Google etc. It’s what these platforms refer to as “running ads”, “boosting” or “promoting” a post.

It is made to seem fairly simple and easy to do, with quick call-to-action and uncomplicated payment systems, but in truth there is a lot more to running a successful paid media campaign than just hitting “Promote”.

If you do it right from the beginning, you can see a massive ROI from your marketing budget. And by doing it right, we mean:

  • Nailing your targeting!
  • Using ad creative (posters, videos etc.) that resonates with your audience
  • Writing ad copy that is punchy and concise, and solves a problem

There may still be people who are not comfortable buying online and that is completely alright – no one needs to feel uncomfortable, especially in times like these. Another solution that businesses could use would be to provide their customers with an option of purchasing vouchers to buy products in physical stores at a later stage.

So people who are not comfortable with online purchasing can get a virtual voucher which they can keep either in a printed copy or on their mobile device. They can only use this voucher in-store AFTER a certain date and not before. This will give people peace of mind but also encourage them to stay at home and out of public spaces.

WHICH IS BETTER: GOOGLE OR FACEBOOK?

This is a great question, and there is an argument for both. Google allows you to target people with higher intent to purchase. By using Search Network ads, which is bidding on keywords in order to appear at the top of a Google search page, you are able to target people who are actively searching for your product, service or solution. This means these people are more likely to convert (complete an action).

Google Display Ads give you amazing opportunities for retargeting, so having a little ad poster for Gumtree appear on the right of a person’s screen 5 minutes after they were browsing for a second-hand car may help you convert a user, who has expressed interest in a product or service. These are what people sometimes refer to as “follow-me” ads, due to the fact that they relentlessly follow people around until they click on them. However, you are able to manage how many times an ad is remarketed to a user, so to not annoy them.

Facebook and Instagram ads, however, give much more granular targeting options. You can narrow your audience down to their age, their life stage (recently married, for example), their interests (travel and interior design), their occupation and more. This allows you to have a much more targeted ad campaign for your budget.

SO WHERE SHOULD I START?

We always tell people to start on Facebook. It is cheaper than running Google ads, the usability of the Ads Manager is much easier than that of Google, and it shares an interface with Instagram so you can easily roll your ads out from Facebook onto Instagram without having to change much.

Google is more expensive, because of the high intent of the audience, and also because it is much more competitive – the bigger marketing budgets always win!

And start testing right away! Test, test, test, and the sooner you start learning about your audience, the better.

Want more suggestions and ideas for how to get started running your high-converting ad campaigns? Download our cheat sheet for Facebook Ad Mastery now!

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