To spend, or not to spend... we'll, that's not really the question anymore, is it?
It has become very clear to most marketers and business owners that allocating a portion of your advertising budget to run social media ad campaigns is a must. If you've not yet started with paid social media ad campaigns, or even if you have and you're looking for more information on the subject, here are some things to consider before clicking the "Place Order" button:
- What is your Objective?
Be clear about what it is you are hoping to gain in terms of ROI for your ad campaign. Don't just boost a post on Facebook without knowing exactly why you have chosen to do so. Knowing your goal before creating your ad will guide you to create one that is effective.
- What is the right platform for this ad?
Depending on your business and audience type and objective, you can determine which social media platform will get you the most bang for your buck. You don't have to run ads on all platforms for them to be effective.
- Who will you target?
Most social media advertising platforms offer the ability to target your audience specifically. You have the ability to choose specific demographics like age, gender, language, and location. Many also have the ability to target based on interests, job titles and even who follows your competition! If you run ads without specific targeting, they will be much less effective.
- What time frame should you choose?
The overall time frame may depend on your budget, or it may depend on the objective. If you have an event coming up, you'll obviously want to consider the date. More specifically, some platforms allow you to choose the time of day that your ad will be pushed to viewers. Consider when your audience will be online and actually be willing to click on and engage with your ad. If it's not a work-related ad, office hours may not be the best time, etc.
- What is your budget?
Choosing a budget might be the easy part. Perhaps you have a set amount from your overall marketing budget allocated to this ad already. If not, choose an amount based on your platform. On some cost per clicks can be in the $5 plus range, where on Facebook a cost per click of $0.20 - $0.50 is achievable. Whatever you choose as your budget, consider not setting the full amount right away. This way, if you are not happy with your cost per clicks you can make changes and try again. Most platforms offer suggestions to get you started.
- What images can you use?
Resist the temptation to use that image that you see on Google that is the perfect fit for your ad. Unless you have permission, using an image from Google is illegal and could cause copyright issues for you. Whenever possible, use original images. With free image sourcing and image creating sites you'll be able to create an image that is just right (and also yours!)
- What will your call to action be?
Many platforms allow you to choose a call to action to accompany your ad. What is the best fit for your objective; Book now? Call now? Visit the website?
- What will you do when it's over?
Analyze! When your social media ad campaigns end, don't hastily move on to the next. Take time to review the details of your ad. Did it perform as expected? What could you try differently for better results? Make notes and refer to them when you are ready to run your next ad campaign.
Now's the time to spend!