Paid social: 5 steps to creating a sponsored campaign

We at The Practice are firm believers in crafting valuable organic content. But in today’s competitive online environment, a paid boost is often needed.

According to a 2016 figures from a Clutch survey, 60% of marketers are now incorporating a paid social media strategy into their campaigns, with 59% saying that paid social is the most effective. This, the study outlines, is down to the measurable benefits produced, specific targeting options available, and the fact that platforms tend to prioritize ads over organic content. Facebook ranks as the platform of choice for sponsored content, with 66% running paid ads here, while 34% use Twitter and 30% use LinkedIn for their initiatives- the most popular objectives being audience growth, website clicks and engagement.

So when it comes to achieving maximum ROI, what steps should you take before launching your paid social campaign?

1. Consider platform options

Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all offer advanced advertising options. Choosing where to run your ads depends on several factors- which platforms are your prospective leads likely to be most active on, where do you want your ads to be displayed, and what are your objectives? For instance, Twitter and Facebook allow businesses to create traffic driving, engagement and awareness campaigns, whereas LinkedIn’s campaign options are less suited to driving traffic externally. LinkedIn however, allows users to create sponsored InMail campaigns so they can target prospects via private message.

2. Decide on your budget and campaign duration

It’s best to start by allocating a daily budget, and deciding how much each click or lead is worth to you. Your total budget will be your daily budget multiplied by the number of days your campaign is set to run for.

3. Define your target audience

The trouble with paid social media campaigns is that your ads can often attract attention from spam accounts, so you may end up attracting spam followers as opposed to genuine prospects. Therefore, it’s important to create a very narrow target audience when setting up your campaign. This means retargeting your website visitors for instance, or uploading your own audience list. Or if simply creating a new target audience, ensure you zone in on specific features, such as people who follow a similar company to yours.

4. Choose your creatives carefully

It’s important not to rely on your spend to see you through a campaign- quality content is still paramount. Therefore, ensure your posts are visually appealing with a variety of mixed media and call-to-action wording. It’s also a good idea to experiment by creating different post versions for your campaign in order to test which perform best.

5. Set up tracking

You’ll likely want to monitor your efforts, especially when it comes to tracking visitors to your site. For this, you can set up a website tag on your chosen platforms to track conversions such as site visits, purchases, downloads, sign ups, and more. The platform (such as Twitter), will then generate a tracking code for you to embed on any desired site page- this could be a newsletter sign up page, product page, or anywhere you wish to increase action on.

From here, you can alter your budget, refine your targeting, and alter your creatives as you see fit- then it’s time to launch!

Do you prefer to use a mixture of sponsored and organic content in your social media campaigns? Have you seen a higher success rate as a result? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please tweet to us @PracticeDigital and share your comments on our Facebook page.