Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is the use of social media platforms to promote products or services to a select target audience. “Social media ads provide the most scalable content promotion and are proven to turn visitors into leads and customers” (10 Best Social Media Advertising Tips for Content Marketers, 2020).
It has the ability to support an organisation's overall digital marketing effort in five different ways;
Increasing brand awareness and online traffic
Improving brand positioning and identity
Driving leads and converting sales
Building a sense of community through communication and audience interaction
Gain insight into an organisation’s target audience through social media research and analytics
(Social Media Marketing for Businesses | WordStream, 2020)
Without brand awareness, potential consumers won’t know about your business. Whilst word of mouth and face-to-face promotion can prove effective, it often has a high monetary cost and doesn’t allow you to target a specific audience and react to current trends as immediate as social media advertising can (Marketing Insider Group, 2020).
Whilst your messaging and imagery plays a huge role in how your audience perceives you, by connecting and providing support - the barrier between yourself and the consumer is broken down (Marketing Insider Group, 2020). By responding quickly and knowing how to respond to public conversations tactfully, your reputation and personification is able to shine through much faster than any other medium.
Whilst brand awareness and positioning are great goals, a business needs to generate profits, however a profit is measured (monetary, following, email database numbers), to sustain and grow. By using social media to collect leads, you’re finding people who have already reached a certain level of interest in your product/service (Sehl, 2020).
Alternatively, now businesses have the ability to embed their products directly onto their social platform, meaning less clicks a consumer has to make to purchase. Instagram and Facebook shopping is one example of this (West, 2020). Bae The Label is just one of many examples of this whereby a shoppable post has a small white shopping bag item in the corner allowing someone to click on the post and be taken directly to the item on the stores website to purchase (Bae. Maternity,Nursing,Always (@baethelabel) • Instagram photos and videos, 2020).
Building a sense of community in today’s society is of key importance. By letting your personality shine through your messaging and differentiating yourself from competitors, you’re able to connect with your audience better. For example, The Everygirl is an online resource targeted towards creative and career-driven women. By encouraging their followers to share their stories using the hashtag #Sharetheeverygirl they’re not only generating content, but bringing their followers together online (West, 2020). This same approach of generating a sense of community can also be done via social media groups and forums.
The success of a marketing campaign isn’t measurable without tracking data. Whether it be through the individual social media platforms themselves such as Facebook analytics and LinkedIn Campaign manager or through a wider tracing tool through the use of tags such as Google Analytics (Social Media Marketing for Businesses | WordStream, 2020). The specific data generated from these tools allow a business to determine exactly where and what content receives the best return on investment, and therefore, which strategies to focus more energy and investment into.
1. What key objectives can be satisfied with Facebook Advertising?
Each of the above goals and key business objectives when deciding on a social media strategy, are able to be satisfied through well executed facebook adverts and campaigns. Facebook for business sections these into three main categories; Awareness, consideration and conversions (Help: Choosing the right advertising objective | Facebook Business Help Centre, 2020).
Building awareness of your brand and services allows you to share content with your audience about who you are, what your business offers and why it is valuable to them.
Consideration takes it one step further, encouraging people to engage with your advert through likes, video views, messages received and shares whilst encouraging them to visit their business page or website (Help: Choosing the right advertising objective | Facebook Business Help Centre, 2020).
Adverts with the objective of converting have set the end goal as someone purchasing a good or service, indicated by the number of store visits an individual ad or campaign generates (Help: Choosing the right advertising objective | Facebook Business Help Centre, 2020). According to eMarketer.com, with over 2.45billion people using Facebook every month, it is the best social media platform for generating leads (Sehl, 2020).
2. What are the main Facebook advertising formats available?
There are eight main facebook advertising formats available to suit a range or business stories. Each format provides a click through option to a link set-up by the campaign manager to help drive the overall goal of the social media advertising campaign (Social Media Marketing for Businesses | WordStream, 2020).
Photo Advertisement - a simple static image which can support and reinforce the accompanied text, or be the main focal point of the advert itself.
Figure 1 from RMIT projects positive imagery, with the target audience for the ad reflected in the image. The organisation's logo is featured alongside the key take-away facts the organisation wants to project; what the ad is for, and that it is 100% online. In one glance, you understand the reason for the advert, allowing you to then decide whether to read the accompanying text and then decide whether to click through using the link provided or take other social engagement actions.
Slideshow ads consist of a series of images which include text and sound. They’re simple, effective and play as a video and often use a combination of static images (Facebook ad formats for different goals, 2020).
Carousel advertisement, much similar to the photo advertisement however, you’re able to showcase up to ten images or videos in a single ad. This helps when a more story focused advertisement is required (Facebook ad formats for different goals, 2020).
Figure 2 shows how, as you slide through the carousel images, you are provided with more information about the different types of resources available for children via Udemy.
Video Advertisement - A combination of both visual and sound allows a company to project their message in more depth through video advertisements. According to AdEspresso, videos with captions increase viewing time by an average of 12%, whilst the first three seconds of a video make the biggest impact on the viewer (Gotter, 2020).
Collection ads are more often used by online stores, allowing consumers to browse new products through the advertisement itself, and clicking through from discovery to purchase with less steps in between (Facebook collection ad format, 2020).
Stories don’t feature on the main news feed of Facebook, much like the other seven ad formats. Rather, they’re a short piece of content, available for a short period of time as either a video, static image or series of images in one clip (Facebook ad formats for different goals, 2020).
Messenger Ads send direct mail into a consumers social media inbox. They’re able to be set up as a static message or through the use of facebook chatbots. Chatbots use artificial intelligence and automated messaging to provide answers and execute tasks (Cooper, 2019). This provides consumers with a potentially great user experience, getting answers instantaneously and potentially decreasing the time between the decision making phase and purchase phase.
Playable ads are predominantly used by businesses promoting an app. This ad format provides an immersive preview for people to engage and test the app prior to deciding whether to purchase or not (Playable Ads, 2020). The cosnister of the lead-in video as featured on news feeds, the demonstration of the game and a call-to-action based on the organisation’s goals.
3. How can you target audiences when creating a Facebook advertisement?
With over 1 billion users a day, it’s imperative to any Facebook advertising strategy, that a business targets only those potentially interested in its products (The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Audiences and Targeting, 2020). Facebook advertising tools allow you to be as specific as you like, setting up your campaign based on the information facebook users provide to the platform via their profile and online activity. Audiences based on demographics and Facebook settings can be pre-set and saved for repeat use and targeting.
As indicated above in Fig. 3, Facebook customer audiences allow you to retarget past website visitors or anyone who has engaged with your facebook content and/or page in the past (The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Audiences and Targeting, 2020). From app interaction to messaging the business via facebook, this data is stored and able to be used when setting up campaigns and messaging.
A Facebook lookalike audience allows you to use the information you have on your target market, and replicate this to promote your business to those with similar interests and profiles. As with all of the above options, you’re able to exclude those consumers who don’t fit your ideal buyer, allocating your advertising spend more precisely (The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Audiences and Targeting, 2020).
4. Explain the key elements that make up a great Facebook advertisement.
A successful facebook advertising should consist of a combination of clearly defined objectives and goals which are matched to the correct ad format and target audience.
A business's goals and objectives for their campaign should align with the phase in which their business is in. I.e are they a new name amongst their competitors looking to gain exposure? Are they an established well known business with a new service offering looking to drive sales?
Once the purpose for the advertisement is established, link it to the most suitable ad type and creative imagery and copy accordingly. Ensuring the visual set-up of the ad also aligns with the target audience, referred to as the ‘winning’ audience (French, 2018) - a select group of people who are likely to provide you with the best return on investment.
Once successfully set up, it’s crucial to analyse the activity and results to derive whether an alternate advertisement should be set up to compare the results to. This is referred to as split testing (French, 2018). A feature set in facebook campaigns whereby results are measured for both campaigns allowing you to compare and select the most reliable and higher performing campaign to invest further into.
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