Social Media Ads – An Important Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

March 2016

Social Media Ads – An Important Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

When most business owners think about inbound marketing, they picture things like blogging, social media marketing, link building and the like. While all of those are critical elements, there’s another one that might not immediately leap to mind. We’re talking about social media ads. Yes, these are paid ads, very similar to PPC ads, but they do constitute a form of inbound marketing. When done correctly (and on the right network), they can offer very good results.
Which Network? It wasn’t that long ago that most social networks didn’t have any native advertising programs in place, but that changed very quickly. Today, almost every social network worth your time has something to offer. The problem here is that they’re not all the same. You need to know which networks to target, particularly since this is paid marketing, rather than something with a lower cost, like content marketing.
Facebook: Let’s start with the largest and most obvious choice, Facebook. You have the largest potential audience here, and the advertising system is pretty straightforward. You’ll also have access to analytics and be able to conduct A/B testing as well. However, the problem is that those analytics are more than a little limited, particularly in comparison with other social networks. With that being said, Big Blue does give you powerful targeting tools unavailable with some other networks.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn might not have the size of Facebook, but it’s worth a look, particularly if you’re a B2B company. If you’re a B2C company, then you’ll find less traction here and might be better served by considering other options. Conversion rates for LinkedIn ads tend to be relatively good, and you can target your ads pretty easily. However, you will see fewer impressions here, and it’s also more expensive to use than Facebook (up to $5 per click is normal).
Google Plus: If you’ve dismissed G+ in the past, it might be time to reconsider Google’s social network. It’s grown considerably, and it’s not going anywhere. On top of that, all of your activity here gets added to your company’s SEO efforts (it seems Google built it that way intentionally). It’s a great place if you’re a tech-related business, as well. The largest problem with G+ ads is probably obvious – the site doesn’t have the user base that other networks do, which means reach and engagement will be lower. With that being said, if your audience lives here, it can be a very wise investment. Be aware that G+ has very stringent promotional restrictions, so check them very carefully to make sure they work with your inbound marketing strategy.
Twitter: Twitter’s been offering ads for a while now, and they seem to pay off well for businesses whose audiences live on the network. However, the system is more than a little limited, particularly in terms of advertising categories. With that being said, it’s one of the simplest networks for audience targeting and analytics.
Peppersack provides a full suite of inbound marketing solutions for businesses just like yours, including expert social media services.

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