SEO has changed as it is no longer the big football player on the field. Although, search engine optimization and the usage of keywords is highly important for quality content marketing, social media advertising is now in the forefront of digital marketing. This is the difference between “push” marketing, and “pull” marketing.
Push Marketing vs Pull Marketing
Paid search is a great online advertising medium for driving visitors to your website based on user intent (i.e. their search query). But what if there are no identifiable (or affordable) keywords you can bid on to drive traffic? With Google search and pay per click, you are spending money on your advertising while you “hope and pray” your customer does a search for you. If and when they do hit on a key word that you are paying for placement with, then hopefully they will click on your link if you rank high enough for it. In this example you are “pushing” yourself onto your audience. The banner ad may not be best suited for customer engagement, either. That is because the web, the medium itself, has changed.
What your business needs is high quality engagement, rather than low quality traffic.
With Social Media, you are not targeting the keywords. You are targeting the users themselves, because the ARE going to see your ONE and ONLY ad while they are using their social platforms. This is called “pull” marketing, because you are pulling them into your Universe.
Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.
Advanced Targeting Options
Because social networks gather such a larger amount of user information, social media is able to target your audience better than other online platforms. Beyond general demographics, social media provides a deeper interest, behavioral and connection-based targeting strategy.
- Interest targeting: Reach specific audiences by looking at their topics of conversation, interests, activities, skills, pages/users they have engaged with, etc. Interest targeting is often related to keyword targeting, so there is some cross-over strategy.
- Behavioral targeting: With behavioral targeting, you can reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents and/or device usage. With connection targeting, you can reach people who have a specific kind of connection to your page, app, group, or event.
- Custom targeting: Reach audiences by uploading a list of email addresses, phone numbers, users IDs, or usernames. Facebook calls its custom targeting Custom Audiences, while Twitter calls its own Tailored Audiences. They’re largely based on the same concept: if you have a known group of people you’d like to target, you can upload lists and target them directly.
- Lookalike targeting: Reach new people who are similar to an audience you care about. Lookalike targeting helps businesses extend their custom audiences to reach new, similar users. For those businesses looking to acquire new customers through social media advertising, lookalike targeting can be a fantastic acquisition tool.
With all the new options for targeting users, tracking the performance of your advertising campaign is even more important for justifying your spend and requesting a budget. While you can still pay-per-click to your website or choose other metrics to measure the success of your ad, most social networks now offer conversion tracking. Social media ads that drive the user to take an action: like making a purchase or registering for an event, can actually report on how effective that ad was in driving those conversions.
With total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 60% of digital media time spent in the U.S., there’s no denying that reaching users while on mobile devices should be your strategy in advertising: “mobile first.” Social media advertising is the best native option. Mobile users are already checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest multiple times a day, so reaching your audience while they’re within those apps is the best way to reach them.
When deciding which platforms & channels to use to grow your business, try social media advertising to compliment your existing ad strategy. You may be happily surprised at the high rate of return.