Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson waxed lyrical in the ‘90s that the best things in life are free. Easy for multi-millionaire recording artists to say! However, when it comes to your startup’s digital marketing strategy, we believe that social media advertising is often worth the extra pennies.
Social media advertising is on the rise
Twitter has recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and over that time a slew of social media sites have connected people across the world and effectively changed the way we communicate for ever.
10 years is an incredibly short time for such change to happen, and the world is still maturing to the effects of social media. Social media advertising in particular is growing at a phenomenal rate.
Startups across the globe are already using social media marketing to great effect, spreading word of their business to local audiences. Whether they are florists, travel agents, cafes or butchers, any business can create a profile on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (and the rest) totally free of charge, and start talking with potential customers.
However, to see really impressive results and take a fledging business to the next level, startups could benefit from paying for social. (Sorry Janet.)
But that’s not a bad thing!
We’d like to count ourselves as a social media advertising agency (among various other titles) and this is probably the biggest concern we hear when discussing marketing strategies with startups and small businesses.
Understandably, small business owners are protective of every single penny, and want to be certain that their investment will pay off. However, social media advertising costs can be very flexible, and as we’ve written before, very necessary for growing your business.
Used correctly, your budget goes towards specifically targeting people in your local area, or audiences further afield that are likely to have an expressive interest in your products or services. This makes social media advertising far more efficient and cost effective than interruptive marketing strategies and other traditional advertising methods.
For instance, a print ad in your local paper can get buried amongst the rest of its neighbours; the same with a local radio ad. You may have paid big money for prime time airing or front page space, but how do you know who is seeing or hearing your ad? Even more importantly, who it has inspired to visit your shop or buy products on your website?
Such problems are commonly found with traditional media advertising. In contrast, social media advertising offers a more scientific, data-led approach, and can get you in front of the right people at the right time with a highly-refined, creative advertising messages.
Comm on, feel the noise
We recently mentioned how, despite people organically and painstakingly growing their likes on Facebook, the social network’s algorithm has changed to the extent where only a small portion of people that follow a page actually see the content posted on it.
That’s a problem common to the majority of social networks. Algorithms are constantly changing not only to help them make a profit, but to also keep up-to-date with internet users’ changing tastes. Instagram has been doing incredibly well, for instance, but its algorithm is changing again to completely reinvent its news feed.
The most popular social networks’ bidding tools need a budget, but for as little as £5 on Facebook for example you can geotarget potential customers in a certain area – local or otherwise. You can target genders across specific age groups, people with certain interests, and even life events.
Possibly the biggest argument for startups to invest in social advertising though is the immediate results it can provide. You can encourage your audience to perform targeted calls-to-action such as signing up to a list, visiting your website, or increasing footfall to your shop.
You’ll probably need more than £5 for the best results - but for a system that finds the people interested in your offering, and directs them straight to your buying cycle, there really is little more effective for strong, almost immediate growth.
This is all information that could prove essential to the success of your business and your marketing budget. But can you really afford to take your eye off your business to keep up with the technological intricacies of the world’s most popular social networks?
We know many startup founders like to have control over every element of their business – but we also know just how busy they often are. Just sit down for a day and try to run your business whilst keeping your eye on all your social accounts. Tricky, isn’t it?
Pairing with the right marketing agency can allow you to benefit from their knowledge and time. This ensures that any social media advertising costs go towards generating the right leads from the right audience. This can be tougher than it sounds, but an agency can help to take that burden off your shoulders, leaving you to concentrate on running your business.
Looking for a social media advertising agency to help your small startup grow and beat the competition? Contact the Six & Flow team today to find out more.