Social media advertising gets a reputation for being an expensive way to market a brand, but this doesn't have to be the case. If you apply the 'work smarter, not harder' principle to your social strategy, you'll find that it's actually a cost-effective marketing platform.
1. Put it into context
If you compare the costs of social media advertising to more traditional forms of marketing, estimates usually put it much cheaper. Of course it's difficult to get an accurate picture of budgets for either as it largely depends on what industry you work in and many other factors, such as how well you understand your demographic.
Lyfe Marketing compares the results of the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) across different marketing mediums and is able to demonstrate how much lower social media marketing is compared to other methods.
There are a number of advantages to social media advertising that more traditional forms don't have, which further boosts the return businesses can enjoy and should be included when you're calculating the true cost of it.
2. The core elements are free
Theoretically you can start social media advertising for free. While this doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in it at all, it's hard to think of another form of marketing where you don't need to spend a penny to get started.
Starting with $0 is a great way to see what really adds value to your strategy as you can add and trial different elements.
3. Improved targeting
The core of determining the actual value you get from any thread of marketing or advertising is based on reaching customers that genuinely need your product or service. This ensures you get financial reward for your efforts or ROI and it's where social media really comes into its own.
Not only does social listening allow you to understand what your audience is talking about but it's much easier to target consumers using the information they give online. People usually have to participate in surveys for companies to find out how consumers will be influenced by TV, radio or billboard campaigns. However, users often enter valuable information whenever they set up a social media profile.
While direct mail has a bad reputation as being 'junk' and consumers can quickly fast-forward through TV adverts, social media has become an accepted way for people, especially younger generations, to communicate with brands and vice versa. It puts the power into the hands of the user as they choose the businesses they want to interact with. This means there is the perfect opportunity for companies to build a genuine rapport with consumers in a more organic way.
4. The value of mobile
It's almost impossible to overestimate the value of being able to optimize social media campaigns for mobile devices. The vast majority of consumers now use their smartphones at some point in the buyer cycle and this offers a unique opportunity for brands to use social media.
Most social media browsing is done via a mobile device, so if companies are able to blend their social marketing with the user experience, they're onto a winner. With the importance of images and concise messaging at its heart, social media platforms are naturally suited to smaller screens - but it's important that you're making the most of this opportunity.
If you're still focusing on digital marketing campaigns that are based on the idea that users are browsing on a desktop-sized screen, then you could be throwing money out of the window. Refine your strategy to ensure that any online advertising you're doing is geared towards - or at least can be altered to suit - a mobile audience. This will help you make the most of your social media budget.