Do you have a clear idea of where you should be spending your social media marketing budget?

Do you ever stop to wonder, where other businesses working within your space are spending their budget?

In this blog post we we will look at recent research on how effective paid social media marketing is and what is currently working in the world of small to medium sized businesses, who have limited budgets and need every dollar spent on social media to bring an effective ROI.

Most Business To Consumer Marketers Rate 4/5 In Terms Of Effectiveness

Back In Autumn of last the well renown Content Marketing Institute (In association with Marketing Profs) surveyed nearly 4000 marketers from all corners of the globe about their content and digital marketing successes. It turned out that just 236 of the respondents identified themselves as Business to Consumer marketers and business owners, but the information that shared provides us with some extremely useful insight.

If you take a look at the chart below (Source: e Marketer), seventy six of the B2C respondents told the Content Marketing Institute that they used promoted posts (IE: Boosted Facebook posts, paid promoted Twitter tweets and promoted Pinterest pins), 61% of these stated that they found promoted posts were an effective strategy. On average they were rated 4 or 5 on a 5 point scale of effectiveness, where 1 was totally ineffective, 3 was considered neutral and 5 was considered highly effective.

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You can see back in 2014 only 59% of the respondents were using promoted posts and less than half rated it as an effective marketing technique, in the space of a year this has jumped to 76% of respondents reporting its use and over half of them finding it effective.

With LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter Ads (as well as other platforms)59% of respondents rate these 4 or 5 on the 5 point effectiveness scale – 59% reported using them.

Something interesting to note is that difference in the marketers perception of how effective these kind of Ads are with a 10% increase between 2014 and 2015.

The marketers interviewed all agreed that Facebook reigns supreme at being the most effective channel for B2C social marketing.

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As you can see this data covers content marketing trends in North America and its reflective of similar statistics in other English speaking westernized countries such as the UK and Australia. YouTube is rated as a the second most effective platform – which is hardly surprising given the fact that most consumers prefer to watch a video to find out about a product or service.

So the key point here is to know that the four biggest platforms for marketing to a B2C audience are:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

So lets look at each platform individually and identify some key things to remember when running paid ads.

Facebook:

Anyone can create a Facebook Ad in just a few minutes – but if your going to be successful its worth bearing a few things in mind. If your new to paid Facebook Ads – I highly recommend you check out my earlier posts which explain the basics here and one on video Ads here.

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1.) Mobile only ads – Around 75% of all Facebook users will access Facebook using a mobile device. Facebook offers you the opportunity to create and manage mobile ads separate. One strategy that many advertisers are using is to split their targeting between their mobile campaign and desktop campaign rather than creating a separate campaign for each.

2.)Ads for your mobile app – If you have a mobile app for your brand, Facebook gives you the ability to track your app downloads. This is very effective! Especially if you want to create your own community. With each download you will be able to organically reach those users. As a new startup that is attempting to drive users that are engaged in their product there is tons of potential here.

3.)Retargeting – It seems in recent times re targeting has reached new heights in the marketing world. This is the type of ad that will follow you around the internet. For example, let’s say you are on a site that sells shoes, whether you make a purchase or not, it’s highly likely that you will see ads for the shoes you were looking at all around the edges of the internet as you visit other sites.

Facebook provides a powerful way that you can retarget using custom audiences. This tool provides you with a simple way to reach highly specific audience groups through the use of a combination of Facebook interest data and prospect data that Facebook advertisers own.

Another method that can be used to retarget is for you to create an audience using the power editor. You will need to install the Chrome plug in to be able to use this, but it will let you upload a list of customer email addresses from one of the many email marketing platforms or from an Excel spreadsheet.

4.)Experiment with your page posts – When you create a Facebook ad, you as the advertiser might decide to promote a post that has already been published on Facebook or you might decide to create a new post that has never been published before. You should always promote organic page posts that have had a high degree of engagement and sharing among Facebook users. This will instantly add social context to your target audience and provide the highest ROI.

5.) Create a Facebook Canvas and create a fully immersive experience for your audience, you can check out an in depth post about Canvas , I created recently here.

Youtube:

Of course everyone knows what YouTube is: it’s the video sharing platform owned by Google that you can use to upload videos, watch other people’s videos and comment on videos or subscribe to your favorite creators. What many people don’t realize though is just how massive YouTube is.

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YouTube has over one billion users and nearly a third of all people online have signed up for it. Every single day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of content. Through mobile alone, YouTube manages to reach more people between 18-49 than any cable TV network in the US.

To Put It Simply: Youtube Has More Reach Than The Biggest US TV Neworks!

YouTube is today the world’s second biggest search engine. It has a huge untapped traffic source. It boasts of over a whopping 30 million visitors each day.

All This Means Nothing If They Can Not Find Your Videos!

As Youtube is such a huge platform – it does have a huge amount of content on it, which means it can sometimes be very difficult to stand out 0r be found. Most people know how to upload a video to Youtube – but what most people do not know is how to label it correctly to ensure it search engine optimized and easily found. Check out the tips below to help ensure your videos reach the most people.
Identify Your Keywords

Just like anything that has to do with SEO, you need to do keyword research. The goal here is to find the keywords whose results feature on Google’s first page. These ones are called video keywords. Optimizing your video for keywords that do not have any video results in Google will mean that you will only get traffic from people who will be searching on YouTube. Conversely, if you correctly optimize for video keywords, then you will get targeted traffic coming to your video directly from the first page of Google.

The best way to find the much-needed video keywords is to conduct a search for keywords specifically in your niche. After finding the keywords, use Google’s Keyword Planner to find out whether the keyword has enough search volume every month. The threshold that the search volume of any specific video keyword should meet to qualify as enough is usually three hundred searches every month. If a keyword gets at least three hundred searches per month, then that means it gets decent amount of searches in YouTube itself.

Also check out my video, where I give you 2 additional YouTube tips here.

Make High Quality Videos That Engage

The most useful YouTube ranking signal is user engagement. No matter how much you try to optimize your video for search engines, if it is a poor quality video, then it will not rank. YouTube judges your video usually based on how YouTube users interact with it. And how does YouTube etablish this?
There is a range of metrics that YouTube uses to determine if your video is of high quality or of low quality. For example, it considers video retention, comments, people who subscribe after watching, how many people share your videos across social media sites, how many people favorite your video, and how people use the thumbs up and thumbs down feature. You can agree that these things will reveal a lot about the quality of your video. Therefore, produce high quality videos that will enamor users to your videos, and your users will thank you.
Create An Accurate Description 

The YouTube video description is very important. Google and YouTube relies on the text description of your video to determine the video’s content in order to rank it. You should bear these points in mind:

–Put your link at the topmost area of the video.

–The description should be at least 250 words.

–The first twenty five words of the description should contain the keyword.

–Include the keyword 3-4 times in the description.

Equally important are tags, video title, and video filename. Use them with SEO in mind.

IE: EMERGENCYPLUMBERCHICAGO.MP4

If you do these things well, you will see an exponential growth in the numbers of your audience as you will rank well both in Google and in YouTube itself.

Twitter:

As you probably know, Twitter is a social networking website where users post “tweets” (essentially a short message or ‘status update’) about what they are doing at a particular point in time.
A “tweet” can only be up to 140 characters in length, so the messages are very short – ie. It is micro-blogging, rather than full length blog posts.

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A tweet can be a short message or a message to another user, and it can include words, numbers and even hyperlinks.

Twitter is used by all kinds of people – from individuals who use it to keep track of their interests and follow people they know, through to celebrities who use it promote themselves and communicate with fans, and businesses of all sizes – from small local firms through to global multinational organisations.

Here are my 3 top tips for creating a storm with your next Twitter paid Ad campaign.

1) Target the followers of Influencer accounts

Use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out who the influencers are in your niche and target the followers of that account – that way you know your ad is going to be shown to people who have already displayed an interest in your niche – increasing your chances of success.

2) Target by device

Quite simply target your campaigns by device to ensure that they can easily follow your CTA using the device they are on – if your CTA requires them to visit a page where they need to enter lots of text you might want to target desktop only! Think about what you want to achieve – another example might be generating APP downloads for android – so you would target Android users only (desktop and iOS users would be pointless)

3) Set Your Own Bid Prices

Do not be tempted to accept Twitters bid prices for Ads – I have found that they are ridiculously high compared to what you can get them down to if you try to set your own prices. In some cases I have managed to lower to 10% of what Twitter has recommended to me!

Instagram:

It can be all too easy to forget about  Instagram in the mix. Compared with Facebook, Instagram has significantly less users and  it’s not as clear how it can be directly  monetized. There’s no written content in an image and people don’t react to pictures in their Instagram feed telling them to ‘buy now’ or sign up to their  mailing list…

Instagram Is King Of Social Engagement!

So with all that in mind, why would you invest a lot of time or money into the platform?  Well there are a ton of good reasons. When used correctly, Instagram is a  fantastic way to promote products and services, to increase your brand’s visibility and to  position yourself as a hip and artistic organization. Instagram is bigger than Twitter and its users are far more engaged and far happier to buy products  – even when compared with Facebook itself!

Check out my 3 top tips to get you off a to flying start below:

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1.) Be Aware Of The Full Range Of Ad Options

Advertising on Instagram is relatively new however there are already quite a few options available, here are the four main Ad types you should look out for.

  • Photo Ads  – these are what we are most used to seeing. These appear in the format of a single image with the word “sponsored” on them.A variety of Calls To Action Are Available: Install Now, Use App, Book Now, Download, Learn More, Listen Now, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video, and Watch More.
  • Carousel Ads – allow brands to include multiple images within an ad in a horizontal scrolling format. These were created to allow brands to tell stories. See the video below for a better explanation.
  • Video Ads – If you have read any of previous posts you will know that I am a great believer that video is  the most powerful form of advertising currently available. It has been proven time and time again to bring the highest levels of engagement.
  • Marquee Ads – are a one day Ad format that offers guaranteed impressions and placement in the top ad position of Instagram’s feed. With the Marquee format, brands can show an ad with a changing creative to the same user , multiple times up to 3 time a day.

2.) Make Sure Your Creative Visuals Are Inspiring

As I have stated before on numerous occasions – Instagram is all about inspiring people. If you want people to follow your call to actions – they need to feel inspired. Use high quality images to inspire people to take the action you want them to take.

3.) Use Facebook Targeting 

One of the greatest thing about Facebook owning Instagram is that you can use your Facebook targeting on your Instagram Ad campaigns! You can even run Facebook and Instagram Ad campaigns simultaneously to cross promote your product or service on both platforms at once.

If you not on Instagram – you need to be its an absolute game changer. If your new to Instagram and want to learn about creating an awesome presence please check out my post about that here.

So The Answer To Our Original Question Is: Facebook (Followed by Youtube, Twitter & Instagram)

Well I hope you have found this post useful and gained some more insight in to whats working in the world B2C social media marketing! I highly recommend reading through all the previous blog posts I have linked to here – you will gain a full understanding of everything you need to know about the most active and engaged platforms your audience is currently using.

Have a great week and I will be back on Wednesday with another in depth blog post.

Gary

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