Maintaining an organic social media presence is important for all SMEs wanting to establish their brand. But it also comes with limitations.
For example, traffic can take days to build around platform algorithms, meaning if you’re running a time-sensitive campaign, it can cost you important factors like visibility and leads. Even then, content shared organically across major social platforms, is often only seen by approximately 5.5% of your following.
As a result, increasing your reach, building your audience, and maintaining a return on investment (ROI) for your time can be slow going.
That’s where paid (‘sponsored’) social media campaigns come in and help to enhance your social media strategy.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
Read on to learn why, when it comes to social media, you should always pay to play.
Amplify your brand reach
Paid advertising is becoming an expected facet of marketing strategies, leaving your brand at risk of falling behind if you don’t jump on the bandwagon.
Around the world, paid social media accounts for almost 20% of the total advertising spend, topping US$ 47.9 billion ($67 billion), in 2021 alone.
Paid social media advertising is used by 37% of Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with 80% considering it a beneficial advertising tool.
The average spend on paid advertising for Australian SMEs is 12% of their overall marketing budget, with 62% equating the success of social media advertising with a rise in sales, revenue, and profits.
While organic posts can fall by wayside due to algorithms, paid advertising on social media guarantees you a place in the newsfeed. Ideally, your organic social posts should be seen as a support for social paid campaign activity, not the other way round.
Customise to your business objectives
Paid advertising can take several different forms, allowing you to pick and choose what works best for your business, service, audience and budget. Different types of paid social media advertising include:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) branded advertising, where you only pay if a user takes the action, you want such as subscribing to your email newsletter. On Facebook, the average PPC cost per result is $1.72. On Instagram, this cost increases to $6.70 per post, but also boosts more engagement on average;
- Influencer-generated content is where you pay a relevant social media influencer to advertise your product to their own following, giving your brand heightened exposure. While only 5% of Australian SMEs report using influencer marketing in the past few years, 61% who have done so reported success via this tactic; and
- Display ads are advertisements automatically recreated by Google for traditional online banner placement (i.e. in an online article). It gives your brand cross-channel reach without reformulating your advertising creative or copy.
Easily target key audiences
Social media platforms are designed to help facilitate your business objectives and strategies, using this to target audiences further.
For example, you can select your advertisement’s purpose as:
- Brand awareness;
- Lead generation;
- Website traffic;
- Engagement; or
- Many more!
Targeting can be taken further by directing your ads to an audience based on certain demographics. Facebook even allows you to retarget individuals who have already engaged with your brand– known as ‘remarketing’, which can increase your brand’s pay-per-click ROI by roughly 2.5 times.
With so many options, the depth or breadth of your audience targeting is entirely up to you and how you want to spend your budget.
You can be ‘Always On’ social media
Paid social media is set to a schedule of your choice, allowing you to push content towards your audience whilst offline. Social media ads are also optimised for phone and tablet screens, a significant benefit considering 80% of time spent on social media is done so via mobile devices.
Having content appearing on audience’s newsfeeds 24/7 boosts your brand awareness. Recognition equates to credibility and enhances purchasing behaviour. Considering the average person spends almost two and a half hours on social media a day, this almost guarantees effective brand saturation.
Effective ads emulate organic social media posts, and the penetration of paid social media means these reach audiences in the moment they most want to see your brand or product.
As a result, with even a modest budget, paid social media advertising can launch your content far beyond its current reach and engagement.