Incorporating Paid Social Promotion

Organic search engine marketing is something that we specialise in here at Zest. We work to ensure that our clients’ web content is in the right place at the right time when people are searching for their product, service, or brand. This means developing a solid content strategy and creating engaging online content that will convert the reader into a sale or an enquiry.

As part of improving our clients’ brand awareness, we also run social campaigns. Together with utilising the free tools that the web has to offer to connect with their audience, we also invest in sponsored and promoted content. Through the many social channels that we have available to us, we can target key audiences with direct advertising for product / service offerings, but also to encourage our clients’ audience to read their blog articles, white papers, videos, and more.

This article looks at some of the ways in which you can reach your target market with the right content at the right time, with a particular focus on Facebook and Twitter.

The Right Kind of Content

If you decide to put budget into sponsored content on social channels, you must ensure that it is the right kind of content. If you are targeting users on a mobile device, the chances are that they could be on the move – perhaps commuting, or out of office. This means that your promoted content must first entice the click, and thereafter engage the semi-distracted individual.

An uber-long detailed white paper may not fly with people on the move, but a concise and useful list format article could just do the trick. This is also where repurposing content comes in as part of your marketing strategy.

Engagement and Google

It has been suggested by many prominent sources that Google favours websites with strong engagement stats. Good engagement is reflected in a low bounce rate, a high time on site, plus high pages per visit. All this information is available through Google Analytics, and can be analysed and acted upon if certain web pages or blog posts are not performing.

If your website content is pushed out to the right audience, and those people spend time on your site reading, commenting, and sharing, this is a signal to Google that your site is valuable and that you offer something to its users. As a result, (in theory), the SERPs should favour your site over others that have poorer engagement. This is just part of a much larger SEO puzzle, and how to control rankings is one of the most contentious debates in our industry. One thing is for sure; good engagement on your site can’t hurt.

Therefore, targeting your content promotion towards people that you’re sure will enjoy it makes sense from both the awareness and technical perspectives.

Facebook Advertising

We have seen some significant success in the realms of Facebook advertising in the past couple of years, and are now incorporating this approach into more of our digital campaigns. Effective Facebook content promotion can be done in a number of ways.

At the time of writing, your options for Facebook advertising are as follows:

  • Clicks to website
  • Website conversions
  • Page post engagement
  • Page likes
  • App installations
  • App engagement
  • Event responses
  • Offer claims
  • Video views

Currently, our main points of focus are Clicks to Website, Page Post Engagement, and Page Likes. These are considered the most typical forms of Facebook sponsored promotion, and many of our clients have seen success through these channels. For boosting the reach of blog posts in particular, Page Post Engagement is ideal – and we’ve seen some superb results in terms of cost efficiency and levels of engagement.

Twitter

Back in 2010, Twitter announced their plans to allow advertising on their platform. Since then, marketers have been able to target their audience with increased detail and complexity. There are a number of options available for sponsored Twitter marketing;

  • Followers (to increase followers)
  • Website Clicks or Conversions
  • Tweet Engagements
  • App Installs or Engagements
  • Leads on Twitter
  • Custom

For different ad options, there are varying targeting techniques. These include targeting by interests, followers, keywords, television, or even via your own tailored targeting list. Although not always applicable, central to both Facebook and Twitter sponsored content for smaller businesses is “geotargeting”. By focusing your content at people in local areas, you can also tailor your approach and appeal to these localities.

For example, if you are a UK-wide security installation firm and part of your patch is South Wales, consider creating a piece of content on retail crime in the South Wales area, and targeting that content purely to individuals in the major cities; Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, etc. By using the correct targeting, you can reach an audience that will be interested in this topic, and will immediately become aware of your brand.

Incidentally; for non-sponsored social marketing on Twitter, the ad platform allows users to schedule Tweets with images attached – something that many third party tools don’t allow.

Targeting

The levels of targeting that we can now delve into are truly remarkable, and getting this right is central to the performance (efficiency and effectiveness) of your paid social campaign.

The focus must always be on the audience, and don’t be scared to look further into your audience personas than is immediately necessary. For want of a better phrase, it pays dividends to “think outside the box” on this one.

For example, if you offer high-end kitchen designs for people with considerable incomes, what do they read and where do they spend their time?

The chances are that they might read The Financial Times over The Sun. The chances are that they watch Grand Designs rather than Homes Under the Hammer. Targeting by interests in this way can give you better access to the individuals that seek what you offer.

Other Sponsored Social

Depending on the nature of your campaign, it may be worth considering other social platforms for promoting your content. If you have great video content, investing in YouTube promotion can prove to be extremely successful. Again, there are multiple targeting options available to users. Visual media will continue to increase its prominence in the digital sphere, with the future bringing increased opportunity on platforms such as Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.

For B2B organisations in particular, LinkedIn sponsored promotion can also be a useful addition to your digital marketing campaign. Their sponsored content platform allows you to target via company, job description, and location, as well as an individual’s school, skills, group, gender, age, plus more.

There is, however, a question hanging over LinkedIn about how much time users actually spend on the platform, with a recent study suggesting that user spend just 17 minutes on the site per month; as opposed to Facebook which has an average of 6.75 hours per user.

See more on this Mashable article.

Budgets

The budgets required for limited and highly targeted social promotion are not always large. Whilst multinational corporations plough hundreds of thousands of pounds, even millions, into advertising on different digital platforms – it is actually well within the realms for small businesses to earmark particular pieces of marketing material to be sponsored. If the campaign is set up well enough, costs will be minimised with maximum return.

If you’d like to know more about how to incorporate paid social promotion into your content marketing activities, give us a call on 01865 684999.

If you’re not a fan of phone calls, get in touch online anytime, and we’ll be sure to get back to you swiftly.