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July 1, 2021

217: Paid Social Media Advertising & Influence: What You Need to Know

217: Paid Social Media Advertising & Influence: What You Need to Know

There are two main ways to grow your influence in social media: Organically through your own social media content or by spending money to advertise on the various social media sites. Influencer marketing, of course, can fall in both categories, depending on the collaboration.

This episode will take a deep look at paid social media advertising on sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest and give you a solid framework for planning and measuring the increased influence you can obtain from Paid Social.

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Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Are you currently investing in social media advertising? But you can't seem to make sense of how much to spend, how to measure ROI? What are the options? What's the potential? I'd like to uncover all of this? and have a chat with you about all the different options in a new framework for thinking about your paid social media advertising? In this episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, welcome to episode number 217 of the maximize your social influence podcast. How y'all doing today? My name is Neal Schaffer, I help businesses and professionals grow their sales and marketing through innovative digital and social media marketing strategies. Specifically, I help companies through my fractional cmo, marketing consultant services. And I help small businesses and entrepreneurs solopreneurs business owners, through my group community, the digital first group coaching membership community. Now, this podcast is all about influence. And obviously, when we think about influence, we ideally want to attain influence organically. But over time, we do end up in order to expand our influence use paid methods as well, paying an influencer to talk about us is one example of that paid effort. Well, another example to expand your social influence is to directly advertise on social media. This is called paid social media, social media advertising, whatever you want to call it. But that's really what I want to hone in on today. And well, for those of you that have been doing it a while, this is going to Well, a lot of stuff you already know, but I'm hoping that there'll be some nuggets that you'll be able to relook at what you're doing and derive new meaning from it. And obviously, for those that are less experienced spending money, but really don't know why, or really don't know how to best measure or wondering, Is this all there is? That's who I want to create this episode for. So obviously, with social media, and the reason why I'm inspired to record this episode, is my recent foray into Pinterest advertising, something that I hadn't done for a while. And I really had a lot of aha moments in this Pinterest campaign that reminded me of some of these fundamental things about advertising on social media that we tend to either dismiss, or sometimes just forget about. So we begin and there's a few different categories of information categories of things that you need to consider when we consider how to maximize our social media advertising. It obviously begins with the platform's so I mentioned Pinterest. Have you even considered advertising on Pinterest? Have you even considered advertising on LinkedIn? We did a great episode talking about LinkedIn ads with AJ Wilcox. And that is episode number 147. LinkedIn ads, a comprehensive look. So you know, LinkedIn, as an example, has some very unique ad products that other networks don't have like the ability to send a sponsored message. Obviously, we have, as I mentioned, Pinterest, Pinterest is something that a lot of people forget about as well. We have Twitter, very early on in my Social Media Marketing Agency, one of my clients, Twitter outperformed Facebook day in and day out from a cost per conversion perspective, and a quality of conversion perspective. So this is a general theme. And it speaks to everything in digital and social media marketing. It speaks to everything in marketing, per se. And it's also why I call my agency Well, now my marketing, consultancy PDCA social plan, do check DAC. It's all an experiment. And paid social media advertising is one example of that. You don't know how well you're going to perform, unless you actually go through the practice of advertising on these different platforms. Now, obviously, there's Tick Tock for brands that want to engage with a younger demographic. And then we have Facebook slash Instagram. And within Facebook, Instagram, obviously you have static images, you have stories, you have videos, depending on the platform. There are a number of display options within the platform like LinkedIn. To do LinkedIn messaging. So sometimes it's not just a single platform, but it's which platforms inside the platform Do you want to advertise on. And this is something that you know what I would throw now I'm a small business owner, but you know, $50 at a time $100 at a time 500, or whatever it is, you really don't know when to throw equal amounts on equal social networks, and see how they do. And if you haven't done one in a while, I highly recommend you go through that process just to see what results you're going to get. Now, once we decide on the platform or platforms, we have the objectives now, social media networks want to make it easier for you to advertise. So they say, hey, just tell us your objective, and we'll do the rest. Generally speaking, there are outliers. But generally speaking, for an overwhelming majority of you that advertise, it's gonna come down to decision between traffic, and conversions. And pretty much all of the networks are copying each other in terms of how they display this information to you as the advertiser. So the big thing here is traffic, in general, is a cost per click exercise, you only get charged when people click on your ad conversions at the end of the day, is cost per impression, you get charged by the impression, but the social network is working hard to try to find those ideal people that convert and indeed, the reports that you see will show you how many people convert for that ad spend. Now, this is where it gets interesting. early on with that client that did really well on Twitter, Twitter ads, were just introducing cost per conversions. And when we switched from cost per click the cost per conversion, our ads performed horribly, it actually made us lose well, faith or trust in the Twitter app platform. Now, today, we understand that what the social networks are doing is they're really good at algorithms. And they're finding other people likely to convert, versus likely to click people that have converted on other ads, they can build up a database. So maybe they have 100 million users in your target audience. But only 10 million of them have ever converted, they are going to target those 10 million people and based on who converts, they're going to fine tune that ad to find more people that convert. So in an ideal world, you would do best if conversions is your objective with the cost per conversion. But it doesn't always work out that way. Obviously, when you do a cost per click, they find people who click on a lot of ads, they may not convert, but they definitely click. But even within the traffic objectives, if you customize the reports, and some of these social networks, don't make it easy for you to do. Or if you just go into your Google Analytics, you can still see for the money spent, how many conversions you got, in many ways, you almost want to start with the cost per click, and then see if the conversions objective will outperform that once again, $50 here $100 there 250 500 1000, whatever that unit of minimal ad spend is to prove something that experiment. Once you figure out the social network, you now need to figure out which of those two objectives is going to work best for you. And depending on the campaign that's targeting, they're all going to work differently. So you're not going to be able to reach one general conclusion. But just remember that not everything is perfect. Your results are going to vary. At the end of the day, unless you're experimenting, you're not maximizing your paid social influence on those platforms.

Unknown:

So another thing about social ads is when you go into the ad platforms, you'll notice that they normally divide the process of creating and publishing an ad into three different areas. Now, I'm talking primarily Facebook centric, but I've seen other social networks replicate this in terms of campaign ad set and AD. The objective really is at the campaign level. What is this campaign trying to do from when to when do you want to run it? What is your campaign budget, and everything else I'm going to talk about comes below that campaign level. So now we go down to the ad set level.

Neal Schaffer:

Now the ad set level is going to be well, I talked about platforms being one of the main things, the campaign objective being another critical thing or at the campaign level. The third of four really critical things is the targeting the targeting happens at the ad set level. And I think early on, when a lot of companies were doing, you know, Facebook light campaigns they were targeting, you know, people that liked my competitor When have you I think that we as advertisers as well as the networks have gotten a lot more sophisticated in how we can really find our target customer on the social networks. So Everything I'm talking about here, you have to go into the ad manager, stop pressing the boost button, okay, you are wasting money. It's like buying junk food, you know, right before you get to the register at the supermarket, it feels good. But once you're off that sugar high, you're going to be a pound fatter, and you just wasted some precious money. So don't hit the boost button, we always want to do this within the app platform, I think by the end of hearing the different targeting options, you will understand this, because when you press the boost button, often you just don't get these targeted options, or you only get a minimal subset like countries or age, you really need to customize each one of these ads to be able to get the biggest bang for your buck. So we begin with the interest demographics, right. So what interests do people have, you know, where do they live? What age are they? And this is all, it's all good. But for instance, I did a campaign this week for my upcoming SEO webinar. So I went into Facebook, and I was looking at Hmm, should I target people that have an interest in search engine optimization. Now, an interest in search engine optimization, according to Facebook, is someone that has shown interest in it. Now, that could mean they have liked a page that has SEO or search engine optimization somewhere in its description. They've liked a post that talked about SEO, but it could have also talked about five other things. In other words, it is very, very broad. And I think that most advertisers have moved away from that interest demographics into other things. That being said, right, and I'm going to get to this at the end of this episode, this framework of how you manage the different types of campaigns and targeting what have you, if you're in a market where nobody knows you. The interest slash demographics is is one of the great places to start. And I'll explain why as I go through these other areas. But it does give you the ability to target who you want to target, although the targeting will be very broad unless you begin to use exclusions. So interest in SEO, but they also must be interested in digital marketing is an example of trying to fine tune that audience and must also be interested in social media marketing, and must also like you know, all refs or sem rush or Moz. For instance, by tying these things together, you can do your best to try to weed out those people with irrelevant interests. But this is sort of one of the fundamental ways in which people have advertised in the past, I call it sort of the interest last demographics, you'll notice the talking about Pinterest, Pinterest actually allows you, as does Twitter, Twitter, as with hashtags, Pinterest is what keywords allow you to target people who search for things, you can't do this on a Facebook or an Instagram because people don't use them as search engines. You can't do it on LinkedIn either, for that matter. So on those networks, obviously, we don't necessarily need to do the interest in demographics, we can go straight to what are the keywords that people are searching for and utilize it as if we were using Google ads, which is pretty cool. Now, the next part is, we there's the people that don't know us and people that have heard me or see me talk about this funnel of social media engagement. We have the general public who don't know us, then we have people who do know us. And the people who do know us have affinity for us now they know us in two different ways. One is that could be our follower, they could have engaged with our content. Okay, there is some sort of engagement, they are engagers, or followers. But there's another level of brand affinity that gets even deeper, which is they have actually been to our website. And they've gone even further down the funnel, and they've actually subscribed to our email list. And now we can instead of trying to reach out to people that know nothing about us once we build up some momentum, and we begin to get some followers and some engagement and traffic on our website. And people that subscribe to our email list, we can begin to retarget these people Now, some of you may be thinking have heard about Apple iOS 14. And yes, there are a lot of people who are not going to be sharing their information across other apps. However, while that affects the retargeting, it doesn't affect people if you already have their email address, or if they have already engaged with you in that same social network. In other words, they are following you or they've liked, you know, viewed your videos, what have you with your content. So actually, that sort of makes those other parts a brand affinity even more important, but here's the thing, the more data points you have here, the more you're going to be able to reach people That's already have some sense of know, like and trust. And therefore the idea is that it's going to be a lot more effective retargeting is going to be a lot more effective than reaching out to people that don't know you. And obviously, that should make a lot of sense. Now, in those examples where I talked about that interest, slash demographics, those networks like Twitter, or Pinterest that support searching keywords, the equivalent to this in the brand affinity of website, visitors, email visitors, if you are email subscribers, is branded content searches. So if they've been searching for your brand on Pinterest or on Twitter, that's awesome. Now, if you're not that well known of a brand, then obviously you're not going to have that problem. But if you are, then that is another great way of finding people that already have brand affinity for you and retarget them. Next up, the people that don't know us, the people that do know us that we want to get them to convert. And then we have people that have converted people that are our customers, we can retarget them. And we have their email addresses. So regardless of app tracking, that we can retarget them, so that when we have a new product, or if we want to launch, you know, a brand ambassador or some sort of influencer program, this is a great way to keep top of mind. I have clients where they have a sales cycle or they have a their their b2c. So pretty much every 90 days, they should be generating new demand for the product. And this is a great way to always stay top of mind with customers they already know like and trust you they already know the value of your product, your messaging is going to be a little bit different than those that haven't converted yet. So we have one more thing here when I talk about the targeting. And that's look alikes. So once you have people that have gone your website that are unrealized that that that brand affinity, we can now create look alikes, on almost all these social media platforms now. And once again, the look alikes are taking advantage of the algorithms and all the data they have. And they're trying to find people as similar to the people on the list that you provide them that are users of that platform as possible. You may find and campaign I'm running right now on Facebook for the SEM rush SEO webinar that I'm doing well shortly after this publishes proves is that in many cases, if your list of targeted affinity is not big enough, the look alikes will perform better. Now this happens for a variety of reasons that look alikes. Inevitably, if you were to create a 1% look alike, for a country like the United States, it's going to be in the millions of people. Now, if you have millions of people visiting your website, that's a lot of people to pull from. If you don't, then the ads platforms are trying to serve ads to a limited number of people. And you're always competing with other companies that are also trying to promote to those same people, the more people that you promote to, although the less niche, the less focus that group has, the greater chances that you're going to get that ad seen and therefore action taken. So in an ideal world, you wouldn't necessarily have to go to look likes, you can retarget your own audience. But once again, in terms of the A B testing, I highly recommend if you're going to test an interest slash demographics, you know, an audience and you're going to be doing retargeting. You also want to test the look alike audience. Once again, 2550 100 250 $500,000 fighting amounts, compete them against each other for a period of time, and then switch off one and go to the other. Now, Facebook and the other ad platforms, it made it really, really easy to do. I was a big fan of a tool called ad espresso back in the day that was bought out by Hootsuite, it's still a great tool, don't get me wrong for creating, you know, Facebook ads, what have you, and automatically optimizing them. But now the social networks have offered you that functionality. So you can create each one of these targeting options, you just create a different ad set for them. And that's how they compete against each other. And the at the campaign level, it will be optimized that the ad sets to perform better will get more budget. And that's sort of the way that paid Social Media Works tonight, the algorithms and the platforms are working for you to try to optimize your ad spend. I talked a lot in targeting targeting is one of the key things that you really got to nail if you want to maximize your social influence through paid social media advertising. Now there's another category, this fourth category that is also critical, not going to talk a lot about it. But it's obviously critical comes down the creative. This is the actual ad. Now you could create one ad and use it across all These different ad sets these different targets that we have, you could create multiple ads and use them across all the ad sets, the more ads, the more creatives that you give the social platforms, the more once again, they can AB test and find the best performing ad for you, and then push more budget to that ad. So here's another area, out of all the other areas that you need to be doing a B testing, you want to create multiple ads. And obviously, no two ads are alike. You can have a static image, you can have a video, you can have something like a story ad, or even more recently, a real ad or Tick Tock ad. So all of these, you know, different creatives come down to obviously the format of the creative, as well as the creative itself. You know, what, what is included in the image video, what is the copy. And I suppose in terms of creatives, we can add one more type, which is influencer content, if we're working with influencers, we can do branded content together with them on Facebook and Instagram, at least, and promote their content, right. Or if we've sourced content from influencers, we can use that in our ad creative as well, maybe that's another ad that you use as part of the other ads in order to see what performs better. So now that we put this all together, we have the platform's we have the objective, which is the campaign level, we have the targeting, which is the ad set level, we have the creatives, which is the ad level, I know it sounds really complex, those of you that are already doing this, you're probably nodding those of you who are not as experienced at it, I highly recommend it is a great way to scale. Don't get me wrong, influencer marketing is equally a great way to scale. But your results may vary, right people are people, the app platforms guarantee, at least you'll be able to spend money with them, right. So most companies will actually have a strategy of doing both. And really comparing the results. So when we put this all together, we begin to see and I sort of hinted at these different targeting options of the brand affinity, where are people in their relationship with you. So I do believe that if you're not well enough known in the market, there is ROI in doing general brand awareness, advertising campaigns and social media. And what this means is, you're not necessarily going for convergence, you're not necessarily trying to sell product, you're trying to get better known. You're trying to build followers, you're trying to build engagement, knowing that you can retarget these people later, a lot of people on Facebook ads preach about creating Facebook video ads, as a way to begin that funnel to begin to get people engaging with your brand through the content so that you can retarget them at a later stage. I think that's really the greatest way to look at what I'm talking about here, in terms of that brand awareness for social media is you're building asset, you're building a pixel, you're building a way to retarget these people at a later date. And that is really, you know, the best way to look at it, you're not wasting money. You're not just doing a random light campaign. But you're actually doing it with intent, knowing that you're bringing people more into this funnel, right down from the general public, into the people that have that are engaged as followers. Now, you may want to bring them to your website as well. So you can do that by offering them content, right? It could be a lead magnet, it could just be a blog post, or it could be a video. If they click the link from the video great. But at the minimum, you're going to get those video views that you can leverage as part of your re targeting effort. Now going one step further, we have people that already like know and trust us, we know what the retargeting is going to be you know who those targets are, we may want to use look alikes. But here is where we want to get them closer down in the funnel. So people that engage with our videos we now want them to get if we didn't have them before, we want to get them to our website, we want to get them on our email list or we want to get them to buy product. And those are the types of campaigns that we consider here. Once we're retargeting people that already have brand affinity for us, you know which campaigns work better. It's really interesting. And the reason I bring this up is this Pinterest campaign. People forget about this but a Pinterest ad campaign versus a Facebook ad campaign, a Facebook ad campaign you have an ad with a link that will lead people elsewhere. A Pinterest campaign is a pin ad. And when people click on the pin, they don't go anywhere. When people click on the pin, they see the pin. They're not clicking on a link there clicking on a creative inside Pinterest that leads them into seeing the whole pin, the complete image the title description, then they're going to decide whether or not they're going to click out to your website or not. That's actually a two step process. Which means that if you want to really, I mean, I'm sure if you're like a ninja ad creative, uh, you might be really good at getting people to do that second click, but obviously, people are going to drop off. So, on a platform like Pinterest, it might make more sense to really try to get people to engage with your content, build that, like no one trust, and then retarget them. And you're probably gonna see a lot better results. I don't have the data to support this yet, I'm still working on it myself. But that is my hunch, based on everything else I talked about. That's why on some platforms more than others, that engagement might make sense. If you're going straight for the sale, or a lead magnet, and you're finding the cost per conversion cost per click is really high, you may want to begin by just offering plain value, a video or blog content, it's not asking people for a action, it's only asking for engagement by offering value. And then we have at the bottom of the funnel, we have our customers, and we want to make them advocates. And this is another area that we can target. Obviously, if you are b2b, or you're a startup, you don't have a lot of customers, you may not even have enough people in your pixel to be able to create a minimal, minimal, viable, targeted audience for so you may not be able to do this, but this is something in the future. As you build your business, I am hoping you are able to do. So, you know paid social is a way to scale. influencer marketing requires one to one outreach in order to be successful. Paid social media advertising is one to many you can scale. It is, as with influence marketing, it is an essential component today, in the modern digital marketing budget, I don't want you to be scared of it. I don't think it's a waste of money. I know many companies have been really successful. If you haven't been successful, or you haven't been doing enough, I hope you'll take my advice to heart and start to look at the different ways you could be new experiment and find your sweet spot. find that sweet spot in terms of social platform where that gets displayed the objective, targeting the creative once you get that sweet spot down, right revenue almost becomes predictable. For X dollars or x yen or x pounds or zeros, we can expect to get in this range of revenue, or this range of webinar signups or email signups or website chatting, it does overtime, the data does average out. And it does get to be more predictable. But you got to invest a little in it to build that equity. And that's an amazing asset to have is that predictability, I'd say the same of working with influencers. Over time, there is a sense of predictability that comes with the numbers once you work with enough of them for a long time. And that's really the final message here. This takes time, Facebook won't even approve your ad sometimes, you know if it's like on a weekend, I hate doing this. But sometimes I'll lunch out in a weekend. I gotta wait till like Monday morning to prove it right. Other networks like Twitter will like immediately approve things. But needless to say you're working with data and you're working with algorithms. And it takes a while for the algorithms to kick in. It's why on Facebook, you'll see that learning note in terms of your ad status go on for so long. Because they need to get a minimum number, I believe it's 100 clicks, to be able to really gauge as to how they need to optimize your campaign. So if you're just thinking about doing a campaign for a few dollars, or a few days, you're not going to get the best results, it has to be long term and has to be a minimal amount of money. You don't need to spend your entire marketing budget on it. But obviously, it needs to be minimal enough to allow Facebook to get to those 100 clicks, which is why $100 $1 Click is a good minimum to have for each experiment. But regardless, I hope that this episode provided you value. If you found value in it, I'd really appreciate a comment that you can make in the form of a review on your favorite podcast player or reach out to me, let me know Neil, I really liked that episode or Neil, I'd like you to talk more about this on your next episode. I'm always interested in what interests you. All I can do is follow the data of the number of downloads per episode of my past episodes, and tie them together with the topics to try to find the topics that interest you. But a more direct way would be if you let me know. I want to make this more of a two way conversation. And I hope that I will hear from you. Well that does it for another episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. As always, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day. We'll see you again next week everybody. Bye bye. And sale nada