Social media advertising is now a core component of many companies' marketing strategies. In 2019, ad spend on social media platforms amounted to more than $89 billion and will likely see a growth rate of 8.7% by the end of 2020.
Advertising on such platforms shares several benefits with other marketing channels while also offering its own unique advantages. Below are just a few benefits of advertising on social media.
Social media platforms constitute an excellent avenue for raising brand awareness. In many cases, this involves a hybrid approach: one part "organic marketing" (like branded "Instagram Stories," for example), and one part paid advertising (such as campaigns over Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and so forth).
Unlike search engine marketing, where the majority of consumers are searching with intent, social media advertising allows you to keep your brand in a "top-of-mind" position among users that may be casually browsing. Then, when they are ready to purchase in the future, they'll come to you first.
Integrated Ad Campaigns
Integrated marketing involves the development and distribution of a consistent ad campaign across multiple channels. Integrated ad campaigns are almost always more effective than standalone initiatives. One study found that a mix of radio + digital resulted in a sales lift of 23% on average compared to 17% from radio alone or 14% from digital alone.
Today's average consumer has access to a number of diverse touchpoints, such as online search engines, social media platforms, radio, television, and streaming services. An ad on one channel often helps move the buyer down the sales funnel as he engages with another channel.
Social media ads are a key component of integrated marketing. A radio host with a robust social media presence can drive a higher volume of listeners by regularly posting to his account and engaging with followers. Sponsored on-air mentions can drive consumers to a business' Facebook page.
Social media platforms are also exceptional channels for generating leads. You can distribute content such as contests, quizzes, and polls that allow you to capture data and collect leads. Moreover, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have lead generation forms that pre-fill contact information fields like "Name" and "Email address." These "out of the box" lead capture solutions reduce the friction that many consumers feel when they have to enter their information into a contact form.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram also have the ability to create "lookalike audiences" for marketing purposes. A lookalike audience is a group of users likely to share common interests with your current customers. You can create lookalike audiences from a source audience (or a pool of your existing customers), and edit them according to specific features that you believe are most valuable in terms of driving business.
Targeting lookalike audiences is often an effective way to expand your marketing reach, since it allows you to focus your advertising budget on consumers that mirror your current customer base. You'll gain the highest ROI by making your lookalike audience parameters restricted to individuals who have purchased from you in the past.
Social media advertising also offers powerful retargeting capabilities. When a social media user lands on one of your website pages, you can send them retargeted ads over social media multiple times, in different forms. This can be a highly effective way of driving "second chance" business. In fact, one study found that when prospects see a retargeted ad, they are 70% more likely to purchase the advertiser's product over a competitor’s.
Why You Should Incorporate Social Media Advertising into Your Marketing Strategy
With billions of active monthly users on their digital networks, social media platforms enjoy unprecedented global popularity. Thousands of companies have leveraged social media advertising to expand their reach, engage consumers, and drive revenue. Whether it's the 79% of Twitter users that like to discover what's new on the platform, or the 90 million senior influencers that regularly use LinkedIn to gain new insights into their industry, social media users should be prime targets for your marketing campaigns. When you make social media advertising a key element of your overall strategy, you put yourself in the best possible position for sustainable success.