The organic promotion party on all social networks continues to be disappointing.
Social media marketing experts with even hundreds of thousands of followers don’t see more than a few hundred click-through rates to their web site from an average update. This doesn’t inspire a lot of drive for ramping up your marketing efforts.
There are many reasons for this decline in the social channels. But, the biggest one probably is the increasing competition, with numerous businesses creating social media accounts, sharing their content marketing, and employing pay-per-click advertising strategies.
If you’re serious about reaching your target audience and extending your business on the popular social network sites, then great content and blog posts are not enough – you need to buy ppc ads. And, the sooner you get started with paid marketing and pay per clicks, the better it will be for your digital marketing strategy- so that you can get a better ROI from your content and improve your conversion rate.
I’ve experimented with paid marketing on most social networks and got a good ROI. I don’t promise that each one of you will achieve the same results for your conversion rates by investing a little time and effort into PPC ads.
But, PPC ads on the social networks like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and even Instagram accounts are worth experimenting with, for every type of small business, because target audiences for most business types hang out on these popular social networks.
So, in this post, I want to show you 4 marketing effort principles that will help you succeed on these 3 big platforms. As always, I’ll break down every element with specific examples, a case study, and actionable strategies.
Ready to rock on with paid ads, PPC advertising?
Then let’s begin looking at pay per click tactics.
1. Respect the platform and their ad policies
So obvious, right?
Yet many marketing institutes burn dollars without spending some time understanding the social channels platform’s guidelines.
For example, you might get carried away and try to use sex as a marketing campaign tool in your ad creatives. But, Facebook has clearly laid down, on its advertising policies page, that it’s against overly sexual and sexually aggressive images regardless of who your target audience is.
Generally, the 3 platforms also don’t want you to use photos and material that refers to age-restricted content, like alcohol. If you’re targeting countries where alcohol laws are strict, then you need to be even more careful hen it comes to your content marketing ideas. Read about Twitter’s take on alcohol content here.
The platforms also have specific guidelines that you need to keep in mind when it comes to your marketing efforts. For instance, if you ever mention ‘Facebook’ in your ad on Facebook, then you need to use a capital ‘F.’ And, you aren’t allowed to use the Facebook logo. Indeed, violating this rule is one of the two most common reasons that pay per click ads don’t pass Facebook review.
All of the 3 platforms also want to ensure the security of user data. So, if you’re collecting data, like name, email, phone number, date of birth and the like, then you need to take extra care in handling it. And, don’t collect sensitive data, like credit card information, user’s sexual orientation and the like on a non-secure server.
You can access Google’s data collection policy here and Twitter’s data collection policy here.
I’ve only covered a few basic advertising policies. I recommend that you read the policies document in full, at the link for each platform below if you want to succeed in social media marketing:
2. The user gets a clear picture of what you offer behind the walls of the ad
How do you feel when a business exaggerates the value of their product ?
If you end up buying it, then I am sure you’ll get frustrated when you see that the product doesn’t meet your expectations.
Digital marketing has gained a bad name, because of those few shady promotions that oversell and dodge the consumers. I would recommend that you always stay ethical in your marketing efforts. I’ve already shown you that you don’t need to push it, even when you address the pain of your customers.
In your ads whether they are ppc ads or not, you need to ensure that you don’t oversell your product’s effects and results. Facebook Ad Policies even shows an example and expects that you won’t use before-and-after images.
Facebook also advocates that you not show a non-existent functionality on your images, since it tricks a prospect.
The great content, copy and creatives on your ad must perfectly match that on the landing page. Let’s evaluate an ad that popped up in my news feed.
Branch looks to generate leads by getting people to sign up for their webinar. The first word in the caption of the update and the CTA is simple, direct and clear. The caption in itself is compelling, telling me that as a business owner I might be losing $40k in top line revenue. This all hits the mark when it comes to effective content marketing.
But, the webinar landing page is titled ‘Best practices for deep linked emails.’ Unless I know what is deep linking inside email, I might get confused and not click on the ad. A clearer value proposition might help raise their ad CTR.
3. Grab the reader’s attention with a magnetic headline
Cute babies. Cats. Memes. And, hilarious short videos. That’s what you’re going to compete with inside an average user’s Instagram account and social media feeds. If you don’t impress the passive scroller with your brand offering immediately, then your ppc campaign ad is mostly going to get ignored.
In the Facebook ad below, David Siteman Garland does a great job. He promises a 7 proven steps cheat sheet to people interested in building a profitable online course. Later, he also establishes credibility in the ad copy, stating that his students have built courses in diverse niches. And, he has himself sold over 1 million worth of online courses in 24 months.
If you’re interested in selling a course online, you’d feel intrigued by the ad. And, you’ll most probably click the ‘Learn More’ CTA button and thus improving the companies conversion rate.
Then, you’re hooked by seeing their graph and the link text that says ‘expand your content reach.’ Any content marketer would love to try out a tool that helps in expanding the reach and building their brand awareness, right?
On Twitter, users like ads that are real-time, promise a new product, are succinct and offer special discounts. I recommend reading the 7 tips for writing Twitter ad copy on the official Twitter blog.
Generally, while writing a headline for social media marketing, you can experiment with the following strategies:
- state the benefits of your offer,
- give exclusive discounts,
- tell how your product is unique,
- create urgency,
If you need more help, then read my blog posts on writing powerful headlines and crafting compelling social media headlines.
Next, let’s talk about crafting a compelling headline in AdWords. Even when a user browses through search engines and other marketing channels, they scan the results. As per the latest research by ConversionXL, it isn’t a strict F-shaped pattern. Instead, smartphones have trained us to scan vertically.
4. Ultimately A/B testing will help you find the winner
There’s no way around it. You’ve got to profusely keep experimenting with creatives and copy in your ads. That’s the only way to find your unicorn. Paid marketing and PPC ads don’t come down to a set of laws that will always deliver the best results. It’s an iterative cycle to test, learn, optimize, forget and test again.
MECLABS performed a live ad experiment, at their Web Optimization Summit. The following ads were selected for live testing, from submissions by 300+ marketers.
Facebook, Twitter and Google are all terrific channels for driving targeted visitors to your website if you get your social media marketing right. They aren’t difficult to set up. And, by following a few basic guidelines, you can expect a great ROI from your marketing efforts on these platforms.