Promoting content on social media is something that was once considered a nice-to-have rather than necessity for many brand marketers. This was back in the day when organic reach could be found in abundance and data-based scandals didn’t leave users wary of their time spent on networks.
Since then, brand marketers have been required to change their approach to pay-to-play, with a much more balanced focus on promoting content across a variety of digital platforms. When it comes to social specifically, however, remaining mindful of each network’s audiences as well as the offered advertising options and formats are key to promoted content success.
Facebook is certainly the main player in most native social content promotion strategies. It offers a wide variety of ad types, as well as robust audience targeting. Through Business Manager, marketers can create ad sets based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Custom and lookalike audiences can also be created and targeted based on business email lists and database information.
For the sake of creative, Facebook offers an abundance of formatting options to explore. They include:
1. Photo Ads: Naturally, photo ads are those that include a single photo or image. Sizing and copy restrictions will vary based on objectives and you will have the option to include action buttons for some with CTAs including Shop Now, Learn More, etc.
2. Video Ads: Similar in nature to photo ads but with a video twist, these ads have the ability to bring your brand narrative to life. Adhere to the specs and timing best practices and consider the value of closed captioning as well.
3. Carousel: Carousel ads give you the option of uploading up to 10 images and links within one single advertisement. Audiences are able to swipe from side to side to view.
4. Slideshow: This ad format creates a video from several static images.
5. Canvas: A little more robust in formatting and creation, canvas ads are full-screen mobile experiences that can combine video, photos, and call-to-action buttons all in one place. They are 100% interactive and allow audiences to tilt, zoom, and engage with imagery in a whole new way.
Another key platform in the game, Twitter allows for robust targeting. Marketers can narrow in on audiences based on location, gender, languages, device, platform, and mobile carrier. This makes the network perfect for distributing content around timely events and trends worthy subject matter.
In addition, deeper level targeting options give brands the chance to target their potential audiences by keywords, Twitter accounts followed, interest in events, and more. Similar to Facebook, the option is also provided to upload customer lists for targeting based on those already in your database.
1. Promoted Tweets: Promoted Tweets are messages that appear in the feeds of audiences you target on Twitter. They’re usually used by marketers looking to cast a wider net and boost engagement from existing followers.
2. Promoted Account: These types of ads are used to invite Twitter users to follow your brand. They appear as suggestions based on audience’s current followers and interests.
3. Promoted Trends: Promoted Trends appear on the left-hand side of a users’ feed. These are touted as the most talked about subjects on the social network and are great for building awareness around of-the-moment happenings.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s not surprising that much of the advertising options made available on the channel overlap with that of the larger network. While audience targeting is the same, marketers should be conscious of the fact that Instagram users in general skew younger than those on Facebook. The largest demographic represented is by that of young urban women (aged 18 to 29).
With this in mind, it may not always make sense to deliver the same kinds of ads on Instagram as you would Facebook. Especially since Instagram is incredibly visual in nature as well, with an emphasis on natural, lifestyle photography, distributing any old stock photo probably won’t yield the results you’re looking for.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram allows marketers to distribute ads as photos, videos, and carousels. In addition, the network supports objectives like web clicks, web conversions, mobile app installs, mobile app engagement, video views, reach, and more.
Audiences on LinkedIn are naturally geared towards employee- and company-specific targeting. Marketers can narrow in on audiences based on industry, position, seniority, company name, size of employer, etc. For these reasons, it makes sense that B2B companies tend to find the most successful advertising on this network.
LinkedIn ads are available in five main formats. They include:
1. Display Ads: These allow you to promote content across a targeted audience.
2. Sponsored InMail: These allow you to deliver promoted content directly to the inboxes of LinkedIn users.
3. Sponsored Content: These allow you to promote content across a targeted audience in their feed.
4. Text Ads: These allow you to promote content across a targeted audience as text-based ads that appear in the right column of the desktop.
5. Dynamic Ads: These allow you to promote content across a targeted audience by incorporating display ad formatting in the right column of the desktop.
Where have you found the most success promoting your brand’s content on social? Let us know and send us a Tweet at @powerpostsocial.