Social media advertising is huge business. Facebook alone did over $15 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2019. Much like search engine advertising or pay per click (PPC), we always tend to talk about Facebook (social) advertising like we do about Google (search) advertising, and rightfully so. Facebook is the elephant in the room that cannot be ignored, but just like Google, there are alternatives out there. In this article we will discuss some different platforms that exist outside of Facebook and even Facebook itself, which platform you should use when creating specific targeted campaigns and the audience that each social media platform attracts. So let’s lace up our bootstraps and get down to business.
Before starting an advertising campaign it is always good to know who you are going to advertise to. Do you have a target market in mind? If so, did you segment? If you did those two, then are you ready to market? The first step is the most crucial. Without a targeted market it’ll be hard to justify cost and evaluate your return on investment (ROI) properly. So when your putting together a campaign you need to identify your target market and then segment them before marketing. Here is an example of a Facebook advertising campaign we did to drive traffic to our website. I’ll explain why we did and why we did it.
First off, we are a digital marketing company that works with small businesses and professionals. We provide SEO, SEM, PPC and blogging services. We are Mark Marketing SB (check us out). Our ad was designed for one specific market, the real estate market. How did we do it? Well…
Target: Real Estate agents / brokers
Segment: Women 24-54 years of age
Market: This video was used:
This particular video was a highly effective campaign for us. We were able to get over 300 people to our website in a roughly 24 hour time span while having an average cost per click of $.09. Our services are affordable, but they’re also not something you would find in the dollar store.
So as we can see, this was a good campaign. Every advertising agency has their good campaigns and their bad campaigns. But, depending on expectations and what you are trying to achieve, it is subjective to your preferences and outcomes. So, where should you advertise and what can you expect from the different platforms available? Here is an opinion piece on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google. When talking about Facebook, just assume Instagram is going to be rolled up in there with it unless you specifically set your ad placements through the Facebook Ads Manager.
Facebook is the worlds largest social media platform and it’s not even close. Almost everyone in America has a Facebook account and more than half of those people are daily-active users. Facebook has a great geo-targeting interface and allows you to get very specific. Facebook can also allow you to target by profession and interest which is great when you are segmenting your audience. This platform will also allow you determine the age range and sex that you would like to market your products or services too. They also give you a lot of options on how to spend your money, this is the initial screen listed here.
So who should advertise on Facebook? In short… everyone. There is a market for everything on Facebook. There’s even a Facebook Marketplace where you can sell your stuff, so there is literally a market for everything. Facebook is also cost effective as you can pay per click or impression and like we stated earlier, they have the world’s largest social platform. So as a business, you’d be missing out if you didn’t have a Facebook business page as it is also good for SEO and contact information. If you are unsure of your Facebook page, or would like help advertising and posting check us out.
This platform is pretty much Facebook Light when it comes to advertising. One thing that Twitter is doing now (still in Beta) is for $99 a month, they will boost all of your posts inside and outside of your followers. For those who are unfamiliar with boosted posts and how social media really works, here is a quick rundown… If your page has 200 followers and you post something, the social media platform will only send that post out to so many people, lets say 20% or 40 people. Out of those 40 people one or two will “like” it and then you get frustrated. That is why on business pages there is a boost option. What this does is send out your post to more people. If you would like more information on Twitter Promote and how that works feel free to click the link.
If this works the way it sounds, than you could be looking at a really good deal. For $3.33 a day you have the potential to reach thousands of people with your posts being used as ads. If done properly you could gain hundreds if not thousands of new followers every month (On Facebook it costs us roughly $10 for 12 new page likes) that you can keep advertising to. This is a new program and something that we personally are going to be using over the next couple of months. This sounds like to good of a deal to pass up and if you can run two or three
ads posts a day you can bring all of you “Cost per ____ ” performance indicators down. Remember what we said earlier, Twitter is Facebook light, so you can expect a smaller audience, typically a little younger than Facebook and people that will scroll through the news feed at a quicker pace. This platform is good to get quick attention and have your customers communicate directly with you.
Now to the place where professionals go to post, look for jobs and to network. Linkedin is by far the smallest social network of the three and has the smallest user engagement (account holders who log in) and interact. Linkedin is also the newest member to the family of social networking, but does have a lot to offer… if you go premium. We love the education section that is chocked full of video how to’s and the ability to see who has / is looking at your profile. Our favorite tool though is the segmenting tool. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Linkedin allows you to drill down and down and down. We just ran an ad campaign where we were targeting office managers. Why office managers? Well, the dentist, the doctor and the large team of lawyers don’t usually get involved in advertising, the office manger does. So what did we do with Linkedin that we couldn’t do with the other platforms? We segmented… so much so it looked like this: Office Manager —> 5+ years experience —> Bachelors degree. We wanted a person who has been there for a while and is comfortable making the decisions for the office without hesitation and worry. Linkedin’s second best tool? Lead generation. All a lead generation does is give the person a form to fill out with contact information and your company will make the call. This is great on Linkedin (we only do this on Linkedin) because it’s a professional networking platform for professionals. We just feel more comfortable with these leads then ones that are generated from other sites. So who should advertise on Linkedin? People who want to sell to professionals and businesses. Your ROI should probably be higher on this site than the others. You’ll get less traffic, but better quality traffic and leads.
Google, Bing and Yahoo:
The last three were all social networks that rely on their members to fuel your advertising campaign. Now these three are search engines that rely on the people around the world to fuel their revenue coffins. Social media will place ads in front of you if the advertiser targets something about you that they think will make you click on their ad. An impression is a term used when the ad shows up on your screen. Some you notice, some you don’t, some are at the very bottom of the page and you never make it that far, but it still counts as an impression. Search engines like to use an auction to get your page at or close to the top of the page. When running a search engine advertisement you are essentially running a keyword auction and different words go for different values. An “Injury law attorney” goes for $131 a click, while “Injury attorney” goes for $128 a click and “Shoe store near me” goes for $1.03 a click. What is a click you might say? It’s simple… you click on the ad and they pay the amount listed. It’s an auction. Typically the higher the ROI ($130 click —> $60,000 settlement) the higher the value. So how does search engine advertising work?
When creating a search engine ad you are essentially trying to make something sound interesting so that it engages the user and relate able because you are paying for that click. After you are able to be creative with a headline and a nice description, it’ll then be time to start filling in keywords. There are four ways to do this and each has different financial implications (which is why it’s good to study or hire an expert). You’ll be looking for relevant keywords to what you are selling. Here is an advertisement we had running on Google for a while. At the time we were the high bid, hence the number one spot around the country. We were very specific in what we were aiming for and set our relative keywords and our negative keywords accordingly.
It’s your choice if you want a serious tone or a funny one when advertising. As you can notice on our last line, we used a few Real Estate phrases to add a little inside humor. So who should use search engine advertising? People who have a fairly decent sized budget and want complete control over their advertising. Search engines make it easy to advertise when you want. If you target people who are active from 7am-9am, 1pm-3pm and 7pm-10pm than that is possible unlike social media that wants you to run 24 hour campaigns. It can be costly though and a high bounce rate can really hamper your ROI. Overall though, if you have the money it’s probably the best inbound marketing strategy you can employ since customers are looking for your services.
Final thoughts… there is no wrong place to advertise and each platform has it’s own advantage. Facebook and Google have the two most widely used platforms, but Bing and Yahoo can be cost efficient compared to Google. Our personal favorite platform to advertise on is Facebook as their Business Manager allows for real time tracking. All of the platforms give you the ability to turn off the ads at any time and all use geo-targeting. We suggest maybe employing a 80/20 rule and spreading your advertising dollars around if possible. Put 80% of your money in places you think work best and the other 20% on different advertising platforms. The landscape is always evolving and you won’t want to be left behind.
P.S. educate yourself and don’t fall for some advertisers bullshit.