Imagine if you could put up an advertisement on a billboard and, within a day, know if people driving by liked the ad and were interested in its message. That would be some rich data, wouldn’t it? The fact, is you can do something like that via social media advertising.
Since we focus on manufacturing marketing, we don’t need to put up a billboard on a crowded highway. We are about niche and targeted audiences. Imagine, then that we could show our billboard only shown to people who closely match our ideal customer profile? Again, you can do that with social media advertising.
You might be surprised how social media advertising is growing in its ability to reach custom audiences. In the latest episode of the Industrial Marketer podcast, Joey and Nels quiz Dan the Media Man on how manufacturing marketers can get started with paid social media.
Questions to Ask as You Consider Social Media Ads
Social media has been a tough sell for most manufacturers. So it is fair to ask, “Why should we advertise on social media?” The answer is in these two additional questions.
- Are your customers and prospects on a social media platform?
- Can you deliver an appropriate message that meets their expectations on that platform?
This thought process is similar to how you would align messaging for an audience in a trade publication. You might produce technical or solutions-based content or advertisements for some industry publications, because it meets the expectations of the audience.
Likewise, your social media advertising should be more, well, social. It should be engaging and more breezy. Or, if it’s on Pinterest or Instagram, it should be more visual. In any case, any messaging, including advertising, needs to be authentic for its audience.
Data Makes Social Media a Fertile Testing Ground
Social media — and social media advertising — offer rich data for B2B marketers. With multiple versions of a similar ad, you will know in a relatively short window if one is more effective than another.
Platforms also are getting better at identifying desires, interests and behavior patterns. For example, it would be powerful if you could combine purchase intent and behavior to target a more narrow audience.
The analytics from paid social media can help you refine your marketing approach. For instance, your campaign objective might have been to drive people to download specific content, but if you saw an increase in followers, you know that prospects liked what you had to say enough to stick around to learn more on a regular basis.
Leverage What You Know About Your Customers
The other powerful aspect of social media advertising is the ability to build a custom audience profile. This would include people who have already interacted with your brand and also include lookalike audiences — i.e., people similar to your known targets (e.g., your best customers). The more you know about your targets, the more social media platforms can match them with other like users, and the more impactful your paid campaign will be.
If we are talking about retargeting your current users and new prospects, the social media advertising payoff can be realized if you promote relevant content to that custom audience. Leverage what you know about your buyer behavior. If you have a high-performing landing page, use your social media advertising to send readers from your custom audience to that page. If reading testimonials, case studies and white papers are key events for your best customers, promote them with social media advertisements.
Align Your Approach With Other Tactics
Your social media advertising should never appear in a vacuum. Just as you would with other formats, be sure your paid social is aligned with your keyword strategy, your organic social and website content. Set goals, whether it is for awareness, qualifying leads, or conversion. Think about what types of messages are appropriate for not just the social platform but also your funnel placement.
And one of the most powerful aspects of social media advertising is the ability to measure, learn and adjust. Keep an eye on the data, and adjust accordingly.
Listen to the Podcast for More Insights into Social Media Advertising
For more insights into social media advertising for manufacturing marketers, listen to Episode 37 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.
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