Social media advertising costs a lot – is it worth it?

4 minutes read
Adam - 06.12.2016
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When we speak to sales teams, they either love social media advertising or they hate it. The haters often prefer a more organic and holistic social and content strategy. Some question why it costs so much, and whether it’s really worth it.

This is a valid question, and I will be the first to admit that it works for some industries better than others (and the same goes for content focused approach). Social media advertising costs more in some sectors too, and sometimes this cost can be prohibitive. 

However, there seems to be a lack of appreciation surrounding how social media advertising (or what I like to simply call biddable) and content can work in harmony, and how an integrated approach can create tangible ROI and many other benefits.


To biddable or not to biddable?

So, let me be blunt for a second. If anyone ever throws out a blanket statement such as - “biddable is a waste of time” - they either don’t have a clue, or they are being purposefully obtuse.

Here is the reality. Just like any other marketing practice, the results of biddable will vary. Factors like industry, product, price point, competition, and ad efficacy all come into play.

If you’re wondering whether your company should be using biddable, ask yourself:

  • What are the aims of your advertising?
  • What you can afford to spend?
  • What do you stand to gain?

In the simplest terms, if biddable is making you money, then it’s worth doing, both in the short and long term. I’m going to explain why below.


Why choose social media advertising over content?

So why spend money when you can just write great content which will go viral and make you millions?

Unfortunately, the changes of that happening are slim. There are many companies out there creating great content and pushing it to go viral. This takes talent and resources to get going, and it’s an art not a science. 

The reality is that you may not have the time or resources to produce a content-only campaign.

The bigger reality is that biddable and content are like beans and cheese - they go great together! If you have a great piece of content with good organic interaction, pushing a small amount of biddable spend behind it will accelerate the performance massively.

This may not sit well with some companies who feel guilty about using biddable to promote their activity. But let’s face it, we’re not all Mark Twain (as evidenced by this blog). A good content testing and acceleration framework will do more for you than any singular approach ever will.  


Focus on the Lifetime ROI

In the past, I worked with a client who was trialling biddable in a small space with tight budgets. We were constantly in flux over the seemingly small ROI of each individual sale. However, when we widened the scope of the analysis to look at repeat purchases and multiple sales, this campaign had actually produced a 290% profit.

Not revenue, PROFIT. If there was any other marketing method or magic gorilla claw that gave that much profitable return, some might kill for it.

You have to remember that biddable is only one touch point in your marketing campaign and that adverts and impressions will interact with consumers for long periods. Looking at biddable in a myopic way will only trip up your efforts.

This can be the issue with small biddable campaigns - they are often taken out of context. By itself, biddable may not make enough money to keep a company afloat. It may be a big cost, and take time and effort to get right or make significant initial gains, this is all true. However, when you put it in context with the entire marketing process, and interweave it with content and after sales care, the picture becomes a lot clearer (just like your profit margins).

Just like other types of marketing, ROI  is a big deal, and no company should dismiss social media advertising costs out of hand, until they’ve taken the time to consider the results.

Of course, I am biased since this is my specialism. However, I fully believe that any company of any size can introduce biddable strategies alongside their content and social efforts to build and maintain healthy growth. All you need are people who understand the process and can work with you to build effective frameworks… a bit like we can. 

If you want to know how to create, integrate and profit from a social media advertising campaign, then get in touch with Six and Flow.


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