How to generate revenue with social media advertising
Your guide from Icarus Media Digital
Throughout our years of experience growing online businesses at Icarus Media Digital, we have seen the power of social media advertising.
There are now so many social media platforms that enable your business to connect with its ideal audience through advertising, from Facebook to Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, TikTok and others.
Why investing in social media advertising is effective
Social media advertising is an effective means of meeting the following business goals:
● Building brand awareness
● Gaining new leads
● Enrolling new clients
● Launching new products and services
● Communicating how your brand differs from the competition
It’s a fast way to get a specific message in front of a targeted audience, especially when compared to generating an audience through organic means such as SEO content writing and organic posts; unless a post happens to go viral.
Social media platforms heavily prioritise paid advertising over organic content due to the amount of money it generates. This fast route to attention is especially beneficial to new businesses and ones with big scaling ambitions.
However, getting views on your advertising is not enough. The advert needs to support your goals, whether that’s driving brand awareness, expanding your email list or directly driving sales, and it needs to capture the attention of your target audience.
Considerations for effective advertising on social media
The following steps will help to improve the effectiveness of your social media ads:
● Set a business goal: Start planning each advertising campaign by determining the “why”. What is your business goal? Brand awareness? More leads? Sales?
● Set a budget: Determine a realistic budget to test and then scale your advertising. It’s best to start smaller and then invest more as you see the advert is converting for your target audience.
● Audience targeting: First, define your audience’s demographic data, such as gender, age and geography. Then define any common areas of interest, such as hobbies. Research where your target audience spends their time on social media. Select the channels that give the biggest likelihood of being able to target your ideal audience. Also, don’t forget your existing audience — retargeting existing clients with social media ads is an effective means of launching new products and services and keeping them engaged with your brand.
● Messaging and visuals: Remember you are not just selling a product or a service with your words and pictures. You are selling what that does for the client and how that makes them feel. Your message and imagery must capture attention as your audience will likely be scrolling quickly.
● Mobile-friendly: Given how many users engage with social media from their mobile devices, ensure you optimise the advert and the following steps for mobile users.
● Segmentation: use the available segmentation options within social media platforms or advertising management tools to segment your audience and get precise about who you are targeting.
● A/B testing: Test two versions of your advert or targeting approach to identify what leads to better conversion. By changing only one variable for each test, you can quickly build a view of what elements increase the conversion rate for the advert. For example, you may test a change in the audience demographic, a change in the time the advert is visible, or a change in messaging or imagery. Keep a close eye on your spending in this testing period to ensure you stay within budget and key performance indicators (KPIs).
● Track effectiveness: Ensure you have set KPIs to track the advert’s effectiveness. Common KPIs include the cost per conversion (how much it costs on average for one individual to take the desired action from the advert) and the return on the advertising spend (the revenue generated / the cost of the ad).
Channels for social media advertising
After allocating a budget to social media ads and determining the business objectives and audience, the next question to answer is which channels to use. Typically that starts with a discussion on which channels are most effective for reaching your target clients.
In the following sections, we’ll talk about the platforms we advertise on most heavily at Icarus Media Digital.
According to Statistica, Facebook attracts a staggering 1.9 billion users daily. It remains the largest of the social media platforms.
Facebook is considered one of the most effective advertising channels for B2C businesses, especially those with mostly generation X and millennial audiences. It’s effective for building brand awareness, generating leads and converting to sales.
The platform has one of the widest choices of advertising formats, offering everything from photo and video ads to story ads and messenger ads.
The audience segmentation options on the platform enable businesses to target individuals based on location, interests, their activity on Facebook, career and other factors, allowing a high degree of targeting.
The more competitive the industry your business is in, the more expensive it is to advertise on Facebook. Typically the performance of your advert improves the more you spend and the longer the ads run on the platform.
Twitter is typically associated with access to the latest news and proximity to influencers and is particularly popular with a male audience.
The platform offers the ability to promote tweets to a specific audience that you select or to run a particular advert which aligns with your business goals, whether that’s awareness, consideration or conversion.
Snapchat is popular with millennials, and Gen Z. Its ads manager enables you to create ads that target users based on their interests, behaviour on the platform and location.
Advertising options on the platform include content at the top of a user’s feed, long-form video content, web view ads that enable users to swipe to visit a specific URL, app install ads and sponsored lenses and filters.
LinkedIn is considered a professional platform for networking with users heavily associated with their job titles and careers. While other platforms focus more on B2C advertising, LinkedIn performs well for B2B.
LinkedIn offers many advertising options, including sponsored content, sponsored messages that send users a private message through the platform, text adverts that reach desktop users and forms for collecting leads.
While TikTok is one of the newer platforms, it has seen fast growth and a lot of interest from companies, especially those wishing to target younger audiences.
To date, the platform has offered the following advertising options:
● Branded takeovers whereby an advert is shown as a user opens the app.
● Product adverts that are pushed to the “For You” pages of the target audience, similar to a standard user-generated video, with a call-to-action button.
● Branded hashtag challenges whereby brands inspire TikTok users to create fun and engaging videos using their hashtags, typically with the chance of winning prizes.
The list we have given is far from exhaustive. You’ll also find social media advertising opportunities on more visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, each with individual benefits. For example, Pinterest has an advanced search engine, enabling brands to promote their product pins to specific audiences without disrupting the user experience like adverts on other social media channels.
Social media ads are a powerful investment for any business wishing to grow. They offer one of the fastest and most effective ways to build brand awareness, create a list of interested leads and even drive direct sales for new and existing clients.
That’s why at Icarus Media Digital, social media ads are a core component of our marketing strategy for each of the businesses we scale.
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