Before you decide which marketing tactics you want to deploy for your business (whether online via social media/ PPC/SEO or offline with billboards/TV spots/print ads) you must decide on your goal first!
Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.)
It’s important to know where your audience lives online. Traditionally, we’ve never thought of Facebook as as place where we could properly engage with professional audiences, but we’re learning that because of targeting through ads we can actually get in front of the right people. LinkedIn is a little more challenging as their targeting hasn’t gotten as sophisticated as Facebook. And of course with Google, we’re creating PPC campaigns based around locations and keywords.
How much do you want to spend? It is important to think in terms of the cost of action. This is where things may get a little bit more technical. But how much do you want to spend to action? I’ve tested ads and boosts from $5 to $1000; the key here is to keep an eye on what happens once your ads go live. Who is responding? What’s working in your ad sets? What isn’t? When you look at the demographics, is one group responding better than another? (This is where digital ads are amazing; you can switch gears based on real-time information!) Keep in mind that your budget with a goal surrounding click thru would likely be less than budget needed for a conversion.
What is your call-to-action? What do you want people to do when they see your ad? As important as goals and audience are, so is the content you will share. If you’re creating an advertisement in Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ve got to thing of what you’re focus and intent are. What are you offering that will be of value to your audience? What problem are you solving? What is the best way to communicate this?
This is an important step we often forget to take – which is reasonable, as small business owners we’re juggling A LOT! But if we forget to analyze our social media ads, we won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. It doesn’t have to be complicated; if you’re not hooked into Google Analytics – no problem. Native analytics available within the platforms should give you an idea of whether your campaign was successful or not. In the example I give below, I believed the blog campaign was successful because I had people not only click through to a specific blog, but also come back to check out other pages on my site. Perhaps your goal is to get people to message you directly through Facebook or sign up for your newsletter – whatever it is, make sure you measure it!
Key Highlights of Social Network Ads:
Facebook Ad Example (Screenshots below)
Overview: I wrote a piece for Insurance Business Canada about the opportunity for insurance professionals to use Snapchat to reach their people and humanize their brands. I wanted to see if there was any appetite for it beyond some initial buzz. My goal was to get people to click through to the full article, but once there, I wanted them to not only read it but check out the rest of my blog.
*The below screenshots are just to demonstrate at a super high level how you can create an advertisement in Facebook.
LinkedIn Ad Example (Screenshots below)
Overview: It’s been a while since I’ve used LinkedIn’s advertising offering, so I decided to test it out ahead of the Facebook live show. It was disappointing (likely because I had had high hopes!) First, my ad was rejected but I only found out a day after I submitted it (I’ve had Facebook approve ads within minutes of submitting, so this was eye-opening!) Second, the audience drill down left a lot to be desired. At any rate, below is what I did and I’m also attaching reasons my sponsored inmail was rejected so you can learn from my mistakes!
*Rejected: excessive capitalization, contact information, non-standard text.
Facebook Advertising Policies
LinkedIn Advertisement Guidelines:
LinkedIn does not allow advertising related to any of the following: