As an eCommerce business owner, it falls on you to market yourself and what you offer in order to generate traffic and attract paying customers. There are a number of ways to do this, but one of the most effective routes to take is to invest in social media ads.
Social media advertising is perhaps more effective than most marketing channels; in part because it's possible to communicate with customers directly in real-time. However, that barely touches the surface of all the benefits social ads have. In addition to facilitating conversation, social advertising:
- Builds brand awareness
- Is branded marketing content
- Offers advanced customer targeting
- Is trackable via performance analytics
In this article, we'll take a closer look at advertising on social media, examining the forms it takes, and the myriad of benefits that it offers.
Paid Social Advertising
Paid social advertisements involve paying to display images, videos, or sponsored marketing content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways brands market on social media.
There are different levels of influencer marketing collaborations that you can pursue, but all are usually beneficial to help your eCommerce business get noticed by a larger audience. The terms 'nano', 'micro', and 'mega influencers' differentiate influencers based on their follower count. All types are leveraged by brands to instill trust in their products or services. Unboxing videos, product trials, and reviews are provided by the influencer to their loyal followers. This might be in return for products, payment, features, products/services, or all of the above.
To learn more about influencer marketing, check out this resource on social media brand ambassadors and how they can promote your brand.
Native advertising typically takes the form of a story, with the ad blending in perfectly with its surroundings. It will look very much like a standard blog or article, but the main aim is to make you aware of the products/services being subtly mentioned.
When reading native advertising, it may not be immediately apparent that you’re reading an ad, but with a trained eye, it’s possible to spot them quite easily. They're beneficial because they each or entertain the audience while also exposing them to the sponsoring brand.
To learn more about native advertising, check out this resource on advertising and media buying with native ads.
Sponsored content is a form of native advertising that provides value by telling a story while placing your social media branding alongside other trusted brands. These kinds of social media ads often feature products that complement each other.
Promoted posts involve paying for the social media platform in question to make your post more visible to its users - meaning that it’s promoted to a wider audience. In all senses, it’s exactly like a normal post - it’s just that its reach has been boosted artificially for a fee.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Lastly, we have PPC advertising, which is a display ad that’s shown to a targeted audience, with the marketer paying for each click-through. The amount you pay for social media ads like these will depend on exactly how many people click on them, the targeting, and other metrics such as which social platform you are running ads on.
Relying on a search marketing agency to help you determine the best configuration is highly recommended, as each platform is unique and there are many ways to both save on budget, but also to quickly burn through it. Leverage experts in the field to help you maximize returns from your ad spend.
The ads then appear in the user's timeline or feed, with the platforms able to only show it to the demographics of your choosing. They can also be shown as display or banner ads.
Organic Social Advertising
Promoting on social media doesn't have to involve a marketing budget. Organic social involves showcasing your products and services in a way that makes them relatable to your followers. It involves producing and posting content that encourages people to share it when their friends and family.
Ads like these come in the full range of forms, including:
- Blog Content
- Photo Ads
Organic social media advertising is about bringing people together and boosting awareness of your brand at the same time. Brand stories can be quite compelling when they’re put together correctly, helping to create a connection with potential followers, who ideally, will then go on to become customers further down the line.
This type of social media strategy might not cost anything, but campaigns do take time to put together, and more than a little skill! To learn more about content marketing, check out this resource on how to create a successful content marketing plan.
Get the Right Blend For Your eCommerce Needs
The truth is that the two types of social media ads covered here are not mutually exclusive. They can be used in tandem to great effect, with the right mix depending on the eCommerce company in question.
In our experience, it’s best to first focus on building your presence on the right platform, before creating clean, well-organized content. Your message also needs to be varied, with a blend of high-quality informative posts, promotional posts, exclusive offer-related posts, and user-generated content.
Once your social media branding is on point and you’re optimized for success, this content will ensure that your conversion rates are high and your marketing budget is fully utilized.