Paid Social Media Advertising Strategy: Making Data-Driven Decisions

Written by: Dana Schmidt

The most recent projections estimate that US advertisers will increase their social media ad spending 20% this year, coming in at more than $43 billion when all is said and done. But to what end? Proving social media ROI can be incredibly challenging — and when you’re trying to make a case for increasing your budget to the C-suite, it gets even more complicated. 

Before you head into budget battle, consider arming yourself with these key points:

It’s all in the name of research

Social media ads are more customizable than ever before. Take Facebook’s dynamic ads, which change their format (carousel images, video, etc.), copy, and call-to-action buttons based on what’s resonating the most with the intended audience. You supply the creative options, and Facebook’s algorithm cycles through options until it knows exactly which combination is motivating your ideal customer to take action, down to the punctuation(!). This level of optimization used to be the stuff of [marketers’] dreams. 

This reactive pivot will end up saving you marketing dollars in the long run — but what about proactive research? While you’re busy calculating CPC and CPM, you can also use social ads to focus on CX, or customer experience. Target your ideal audience and drive them to surveys to solicit specific feedback at the beginning of a big campaign, ensuring you start off on the right foot.

The funnel is your friend

You want to sell me a pair of sunglasses? Don’t come at me with the “Buy Now” button right off the bat. I need to be wined and dined with a video first, showing the sleek design and modern colors. I need to be cultivated with this type of brand awareness ad so that my interest is piqued. After this first set of ads, you’ll have a much easier time retargeting engaged customers like me. 

Use the custom audience builder to retarget users who engaged with your content (in this case, someone who watched the full video of your killer shades), and then introduce them to the link to buy. You’ll see your conversion rates increase if you respect the consumer journey funnel.

Vanity metrics are so last year

By now, you’ve most likely heard that “3-second video views” and “page likes” are already collecting dust in digital marketing textbooks as badges of the past. Is your message really resonating if someone flicks past your video in their feed? Instead, focus on the “duration of view” and work to cultivate those users who stick around and watch at least 50% of your video content. 

The same logic can be applied to folks who click through to your website. Measure the quality of your social-driven traffic instead of the quantity by monitoring the time spent on-page, the bounce rate, and pages per session. As you fine-tune your targeting through paid social, you should see the quality of traffic increase. Keep your eyes on the prize and measure what really counts. 

You can’t make data-driven decisions unless you take time for its analysis. So don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and dig in to the numbers. Interested in an in-depth audit of your social media strategy? Contact our social media team to get started!

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