Going local is a sure bet for marketers aiming for the greatest online exposure for their products or services. Social media has made localized marketing easy due to location-based targeting on platforms like Facebook, as well as other tools that allow audiences in specific areas see messages tailored especially for them. Paid social media posts further ensure that ads and content are reaching the right audiences at the right time.
To make paid social marketing work requires understanding how to craft the messages, when to run them, as well as some other key elements of a good marketing strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.
Create a relevant strategy. Otherwise, you’ll be flying blind with no clear idea of where you want to go. What’s your objective? For example, do you want to generate new leads for your business, sales for your ecommerce store, or subscribers to your blog? To see consistent results, identify where in your sales funnel you can leverage paid social and then build your campaign from there.
Focus on Facebook first. Facebook offers the most localized paid marketing tools of all the social media platforms so go there first. The platform’s ad platform allows location-based targeting, which allows you to get your messages seen by people in a specific area of your choice. That way you can craft unique content that’s relevant to them and no one else. Publish sponsored posts that link to informative blog posts or a customer review on your website.
Create engaging content to share. In your strategy determine what kind of content works best for what you’re selling. Content can range from video, live video streaming, Messenger ads, feature stories, contests, quizzes, and more. You want to incentivize sharing of your paid posts because the more they travel the more people they’ll reach. Make sure you use local hashtags and other geo-filters to join local conversations. Create content that’s engaging, relevant, heartfelt, and feels local by tapping into issues, people, and places that are important to the people you’re targeting.
Build partnerships. Encourage sharing with local officials, businesses, or public figures who are influencers in the community you are targeting. Launch a social takeover by giving them access to your Facebook or Instagram account or scout other opportunities to build buzz that shows your audience you are an engaged component of their community.
Use analytics to track what works. Analytics are key to understanding which ads work and which ones don’t. Facebook Analytics lets marketers explore user interaction with advanced goal paths and sales funnels for Facebook ads. Google Analytics works with Facebook to measure conversions from your Facebook ads. You can also use Google Analytics to track the actions people take while they are on your website such as subscribing to your email list or viewing product pages. The goal is to apply these insights into your advertising via Facebook and to track your return on investment for the ads themselves.
Chris Madden is co-founder of Matchnode, a Chicago paid social agency. Matchnode works with established brands shifting to digital, including New Balance Chicago, Indiana University, and LendingTree.