The beauty of social media advertising is you get a lot of say in who sees your promoted content. However, without a clear understanding of who your target audience is, where to find them, and what will intrigue them enough to earn their clicks, your social ad dollars can quickly dwindle away—and without much to show for it.
Don’t wait for an uncomfortable meeting with your executives to think about who you should be targeting through social ads. Instead, use these tips to help gather insight on who your audience really is.
First Thing’s First: Audience Matching
Chances are your company has a sales team, or person and/or a CRM to help manage your leads. Unlike Goldilocks’ porridge, it doesn’t matter how hot, cold or “just right” these contacts are (as long as they’re not internal staff or competitors!).Take your contacts, remove the spam, staff and sneaky competitors—and you’ve got yourself a nice list to start matching!
Your CRM is the best place to start here - any decent CRM will have the option to export your leads into an XLS or CSV file, which you can then upload into your advertising platform as an audience. If you can’t access your company’s leads, you can always try website retargeting, which allows you to create an audience based on individuals who have visited your site. With website retargeting, you can also create audiences based on which specific pages they visited. However, be sure you confirm whether there is a required minimum number of contacts on your social platform of choice. LinkedIn, for example, requires a minimum upload of 300 contacts, but their advertising best practices recommend audiences much larger depending on the type of content you’re promoting.
Once you have a matched audience from your company contacts, it’s time to expand upon that list to generate more paid social success.
Lookalike audiences (Facebook) and audience expansion (LinkedIn) are great tools to help get your campaigns started, but they don’t always provide optimal targeting. While these can be a great tool to get started, creating a broader audience for your awareness and high-level campaigns needs to have some human touch as well. For example, if you’re trying to sell a SaaS solution in the retail industry, it would be more valuable to exclude store associates or other job titles that are not part of the decision making process.
Dig into the Results
OK, you’ve created your initial audience and expanded upon it, now it’s time to take a look at who’s generating more results. Are women between ages 18-25 always earning a 0.00% Click Through Rate (CTR)? Exclude them next time. Is the Cost Per Click (CPC) for Instagram ads 3x higher than that of Facebook Messenger? It’s time to turn it off.
But, before you get too excited, make sure you give your ads time work. Ad results will fluctuate immediately after launch because the magical algorithms are trying to earn your future business. It’s a general rule of thumb to give ads 3-4 days to get it together before intervening, Hunger Games style.
Make Sure You Check the Analytics
Your ads have an impressive CTR and metrics that would make your boss proud, but are those results actually valuable? If you can’t answer that question confidently on your own, it’s time to find your office’s analytics guru and explore the true value together.
Some high-level results that will help create a more complete picture are looking at the site traffic your ads are generating, focusing on bounce rate, session duration and pages per session. Of course, increased traffic is always exciting, and those big numbers might make a flashy edition to your quarterly marketing presentation. However, the long-term value comes from more than those larger, “vanity” metrics.
When it comes to bounce rate, the lower the better because if they’re boucin’, they ain’t buyin’. Along with a good bounce rate, it’s important to also factor in how many pages the average individual is visiting and how long they stay on your site. These three metrics will help tell the overall story of your paid social campaign.
Rinse and Repeat
Optimizing your audience isn’t a “set it and forget it” task. It needs continuous monitoring to ensure the right audience is seeing your stuff. And, once you know they’re seeing it, you have to make sure they’re making their way down your marketing funnel.
After your initial campaign launch, you can retarget new website visitors, tweak their lookalike audience and report on your findings to continuously improve your success and maybe, just maybe bring a smile to your CMO’s face.If you’re ready to make 2019 the year you refresh your social strategy, check out our offerings to see how we can help.