Today, 92% of B2B marketers in North America use social media content as part of their marketing tactics. That’s compared to 83% only 1 year ago. Yes, the good ole days when social media networks were a free and easy way for businesses to organically engage with brand advocates and target audiences are gone. Now, with so many businesses aboard the social media train, platforms have adjusted their algorithms so that you can actually still communicate with your friends on Facebook and not be totally bombarded by the next iPhone launch promotion or Uber coupon. For example, Facebook users only see 2% of organic pages they follow on their feed, according to HubSpot.
Now, before you get upset about all the time it took to draft and curate content, not to mention design that beautiful graphic, all for only maybe 20 users to see it – continue reading.
In order for businesses to reach both its current following and target demographic on social channels, a combination of both organic AND paid social media campaigns have become necessary for brands to amplify content to the right audiences, at the right time, with the right message. But, when the notion of supporting social media marketing efforts with additional dollars comes up, many businesses are unable to determine how to measure success. According to Forbes, 28% of marketing agencies are struggling to quantify their social media efforts. While others are completely convinced that the sole KPI to evaluate success is a direct sale or conversion.
While I am certainly team sale/conversion, one thing that any business, big or small, has to remember when participating in social media marketing initiatives is this: social media marketing is a process. And while it’s always a great day when you spend $100 and receive 100 conversions – it’s also a day in Narnia. Those same algorithms for social are now creeping into the ad platform algorithm. And while your PR agency or marketing department should know how to tame the beast, they should also be explaining to you that the power of social media advertising goes far beyond conversions and here’s how:
DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR OFFLINE EVENTS
Is your company gearing up for a trade show? Then it’s time to promote it! Start creating buzz through a paid social media campaign in order to not only help drive website traffic to your events page, but also help increase actual booth attendance at the show. By promoting your involvement at an event, you’ll better your chance of interacting with the proper audience including prospects, analysts, influencers and media and also increase your chances of face-to-face interaction with customers that already know who you are.
HELPING YOU BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER
Many business professionals often search online for third-party and expert guidance on how to approach specific situations, which is why 35% of B2B buyers are spending about 1-3 hours per week reviewing thought leadership content. If you’re a frequent reader of the ARPR blog, you’ll know how valuable it is to position a business’ executives as experts in their industry with the development of bylines and blog posts. By promoting this type of content through paid social campaigns, you can promote your products and services to drive purchases or sign-ups for gated content. You can also further establish credibility and reach potential influencers like media, analysts as well as right-fit leads that aren’t already following them for their expertise and insights.
FILLING BOTH MIDDLE AND TOP-OF-FUNNEL LEADS
Last, but certainly, not least is adding followers to your social media accounts and driving top-of-funnel referrals to your websites, along with getting those conversions. Considering that it takes 7-13 touchpoints to qualify a lead, it’s incredibly important that you nurture users during the awareness and consideration stages, which must happen way before conversions ever take place. Paid social ads can be used to help your target audience realize that they have a need for your offering and position your brand so that you become top of mind. Once users are aware that they need a solution to their problem, you can show them what your business has to offer via organic social media posts, e-newsletters, etc. This is an incredible value that social media advertising provides that no other medium does – a chance to build a long-term and measurable relationship with your exact target audience.
So, the next time you run a paid ad campaign, know that there truly is added value and you are getting way more bang for your buck than that billboard you were considering.
To learn about the first crucial steps to creating a paid social strategy to help focus your efforts where they really count, click here. Curious to see how other brands have been able to #DriveLeads using paid social strategies? Check out our social media case studies and reach out whenever you’re ready to drive leads of your own!