Everyday on the internet, we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. In 2021, there were 4.66 billion internet users globally. Despite the fact that these stats are jaw dropping, why are they important to you and your business?
Well, when users are being exposed to data at unprecedented rates and amounts, it’s only natural that their attention span and retention of your content is at an all time low – this is where paid marketing becomes critical.
Now, breaking through the noise is not an easy feat and we’re not suggesting that all your problems will be solved if you invest some bands on Facebook ads – we’re hinting that if you invest in the platform you’re using, it’ll invest in you.
Skilfully integrating both forms of organic and paid media in your schedule, is the key to gaining traction and broadening your audience. This hybrid process requires thorough research, strategic planning, understanding the investment, progressively calculating the ROI and most importantly – treating this process as an iterative journey that you monitor and adjust, not set and forget!
After overloading you with all of that, if you’re feeling out of your depth, trust us – it’s normal! We’d like to dispel some of the fear surrounding paid marketing and provide a little bit of breakdown when it comes to budgets. Read on for more!
The platform is not out to get you, the platforms want your ads to do well, so that you continue to spend more.
A common misconception is that paid marketing is a ‘scam’ or ‘money grab’ and won’t actually provide conversions or results. However, if you think about this perspective logically, it doesn’t make any sense. At its core, Meta is a business no different to your own and if its services are not performing in the way their customers are paying for, their customers will simply stop engaging and paying. Meta wants to retain happy, paying customers and business owners – like we mentioned before, if you invest in the platform it’ll invest in you.
So where do you start? Read on for our guideline:
Choose a platform
From observation of our clients, we’ve noticed a general consensus that people no longer have faith in Facebook and discredit its ability to drive results. Especially since the inception of newer apps like TikTok, there’s a misconception that Facebook is dying.
We can tell you first-hand that this simply is not true and Facebook and the use of its ads, consistently drives impressive traffic and conversions for our clients. A primary reason for this is that it still remains the top platform for performance and ROI due to its immense audience.
With 2.2 billion users, the platform allows access to a diverse and enormous audience and enables unique forms of content sharing due the app’s native affordances – for starters, it allows you to place a clickable link in captions which is honestly a God-send for CTAs. Further, the users on Facebook aren’t passive and are actually generating content daily, more specifically four petabytes worth of data. (a petabyte is worth one million gigabytes FYI… crazy)
For more reasons why Facebook is alive and well, read our blog here.
Decide where you’ll allocate your budget
Like anything social media related, there’s no hard or fast rule on how you should be allocating your budget. However, when ascertaining your budget breakdown, always keep the following goals in mind:
● Brand building and brand awareness
● Acquiring new customers
● Introducing new products and new services
● Retaining current customers
Many of our clients are surprised when they find out that of these four factors, the ones that impact the company performance the most are brand building, acquiring new customers, and retaining their current customers.
Introducing new products and services can always be useful for achieving the three mentioned goals but should not be your primary goal.
Always assess performance
To successfully plan and execute, you need to assess your past successes and failures. Analysing past media reports and analytics will help you understand how your investments affected performance and act as a guide going forward. If you need help navigating Meta’s analytics, head to our blog here.
Something to keep in mind when analysing results is that digital trends are dynamic, especially on Instagram. So, if you find a previous strategy exceeded expectations, emulating it exactly, might not always give you the same results – make sure you’re making adjustments to ensure your strategy is timely and correlates with the app’s current conventions.
Other questions to keep in mind include:
- Was the targeting not precise enough?
- Was the content not adequate for the audience?
- Did you invest too little?
When you find out the reasons, adjust your strategy and set your budget accordingly.
*Message to start-ups & small businesses: Of course, your position in the market greatly affects your budget. If you are only just starting, budgeting can seem daunting but unfortunately, setting aside a bucket for marketing is necessary to drive results. Paid native ads can be estimated using a content calendar meaning you can set ‘per day’ limits to get a clearer picture on where your money is going. This should ease some of the anxiety surrounding your budget and provides the opportunity for you to pull-out if you deem necessary.
Now you may be wondering, if ads are primarily about brand awareness like we mentioned, then why can’t we just achieve this through content?
While this is of course achievable, you are granted far more agency and efficacy when using ads. Ads allow strategic brand discovery – it’s an opportunity to select your ideal clients attributes and expose them to an idea or solution they didn’t know they needed.
Both Instagram and Facebook provide a great opportunity to use a variety of ad formats, ad objectives, and targeting options to reach your target audience and drive traffic and sales for your business.
Facebook ads manager is quite impressive in how specific and targeted you can be when rolling out a strategy. Take a look for yourself in their audience options:
Finally, if we leave you with anything today it’s the importance of integrating both organic and paid content in your strategy.
We believe social success comes from organic and paid working hand in hand, since there’s pros and cons to each form.
Specifically, organic content is perfect for:
- Establishing a brand personality and voice
- Building customer relationships by sharing interesting, informative or inspiring content
- Engaging customers at different stages of the buying journey
- Cultivating consumer trust by assisting and guiding customers as a part of your service
- Creating social proof and a long-term “quick glance” into your business and its offer
However, the cons to organic content is that it is incredibly time consuming, algorithms are unavoidably ever-changing meaning it’s harder to create effective content and there’s less flexibility for immediate reach.
Alternatively, paid media is ideal for:
- Raising brand awareness and attracting new followers
- Promoting a new product deal, new content or an event
- Generating leads
- Driving conversions
- Ensuring your message gets in front of the exact eyeballs that matter most to your objectives
Paid media allows you to connect with new audiences, target a receptive audience and retarget the same users – all in an allocated and monitored format.
However, it’s important to remember that if you don’t monitor your campaigns or make adjustments, you may not see a good return on investment. It takes time to analyse and measure campaigns so you need to be willing to invest in this alongside the monetary investments you’re making.
Setting and allocating a social media budget is a challenge for both startups and already established businesses. What makes it even more challenging is that there is no clear pattern to follow because each business’s goals are unique, however we hope this blog serves as an outline for you to adapt to your needs and objectives.
We love helping our clients start their journey with ads and reaping the successes of their campaigns. If you’re interested in integrating ads in your own strategy, book a complimentary chat with our team today to get started, or learn more about our Advertising Services here.