Over the past 10 years the world of social media has gone from: “Why Facebook is not a viable platform for marketing” to “There’s no life without paid advertising”. While we can forgive the skeptics, not having a paid digital presence is inexcusable.
Fast forward to today and every agency has the next best and most revolutionary (and cost-effective) distribution strategy available to businesses owners. Here is the fivefold reasoning behind the digital WHY for paid advertising:
PAYING YOUR WAY TO THE TOP
The increased popularity of paid advertising has created new challenges for businesses to become newsworthy and standing out in the (very big) crowd is largely dependent on setting yourself apart and providing solutions no-one else can.
Advertising on social media gives your brand instant visibility. Posts from friends and family now receive priority, so organic reach for brands on social media is declining steadily – especially on Facebook. The sheer volume of posts and ever changing platform algorithms makes connecting with your target audience a statistical improbability and the only way to guarantee your place in the crowd is by well-targeted paid ads to your target market.
MISSING THE TARGET
Being able to reach people in a specific town, of a specific age, a specific income level, with specific interests is the powerful advantage of targeted social media advertising. LinkedIn even has the ability to target by job title and position! But how does this help the entrepreneur stand out?
Targeting allows you to find pockets of customers with a higher likelihood of engaging with your business. Combining a brand strategy with a communication plan and aligning it to your consumer behaviour has changed the game from a shotgun to sharpshooter approach.
BATTLEGROUND FOR ATTENTION
According to Digital Specialist, Gary Vayernchuk, it is becoming simultaneously harder and easier to get in front of your audience today. Today, social media is recognised as the perfect way to distribute your best content. Nurture the curiosity of your followers with educational content that will transform them into qualified leads. The current game of social media is trading attention for value.
VANITY IS SANITY (especially in numbers)
Many misconceptions surrounding metrics of success in social media can be condensed to the belief that more is better. In some ways, more is better, but ‘more’ doesn’t always result in success. Many ‘likes’ won’t pay the rent, yet a few shares can be the difference between big deals and a strong brand. The effectiveness of your social media strategy should be run against business objectives and not vanity metrics.
BALANCING THE SCALES
How long is a piece of string? As long as you want it to be. Start by investing whatever doesn’t hurt your business (a few hundred rand a month can get you very far), evaluate and assess how much is enough to get attention and rank above the competitors without saturating. Once you’ve figured out what works, double down and capitalise on what generates the best outcome.
When times get tough there is always the temptation to pull your funding from seemingly low important initiatives and paid advertising usually the first to experience the budget cuts. Understanding your metrics and the impact regarding the direct return on your investment is critical in making the risk more calculated.
Choose your perfect media platform, target and customise your messaging for your audience and run retargeting ads. This could result in the biggest return in the very confusing social media climate and your business will reap the rewards.
Since 2011, we have provided businesses with innovative, flexible and convenient alternatives to traditional business loans. Business owners still identify access to working capital as the single biggest challenge that they are faced with. Being responsible for 50% of the country’s GDP and contributing to over 65% of employment, we are devoted to partnering with small to medium-sized businesses to grow the South African economy. This is where we can help and we are proud to have partnered with more than 5000 SMEs in providing funding of more than R1.25 billion to date.