Right now, there are more than 3 billion social media users around the globe. In the U.S., the percentage of adults who use at least one social media platform has skyrocketed to 72%, up from a mere 5% in 2005. Companies have followed suit, turning to social advertising in droves and using it as a key channel in their digital advertising mix. In fact, LinkedIn is where 80% of all leads originate for B2B companies.
Just like any other channel, you need a plan before you dive in. Taking the time to identify what you want to accomplish and work through logistics is imperative to develop a campaign that is measurable, will meet your company’s goals, and set you up for success.
Let’s walk through four considerations for choosing the right platform, ad placement and ad type for your campaign. We’ll be focusing mostly on LinkedIn and Twitter, as those are the platforms that are usually the most relevant for B2B brands.
1. Defining Your Business/Marketing Objective
The first step in developing a successful campaign is defining the business objective that you’re trying to achieve.
Does your company need to increase brand awareness? Establish itself as a thought leader? Improve product education and consideration? Increase foothold in a certain vertical? Or generate more leads?
The beauty of social media is that it truly has full-funnel advertising capabilities, with many paths available to execute against different objectives. Here are some of the most common types of campaigns we’ve run for our clients, which might spark some inspiration for your next campaign:
Depending on what you want to accomplish, it’s important to think in terms of on-platform and off-platform goals. Are you trying to engage with your audience on the platform or drive them to a separate landing page?
Why is this important? Platforms with higher mobile usage typically have more cost-efficient media buys, which is great for on-platform objectives. However, they generate lower quality traffic off-platform, since many mobile users don’t want to click through multiple website pages or read long-form content on their phone. The lower the quality of the traffic, the less likely you are to drive an engaged audience to your destination off of the platform.
2. Building Your Target Audience
Your target audience might be the most important factor in campaign development. After all, eye-catching creative doesn’t make a difference if it’s not reaching the right eyeballs. When creating a target audience, keep the following in mind:
- The company basics: What regions are they in? What number of employees do they have? Are they in a specific vertical? Are there any other key differentiators of your target company?
- Specific personas: Is there a specific decision maker you’re going after? If so, what makes them distinct? Job titles are the most common distinction, which makes LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities very attractive, but there are other filters to consider like age, keywords, interests, lookalike audiences, and more.
- Audience size: Through each platform’s audience builder, you can enter your criteria and see how big the audience pool will be. Each platform has a recommended minimum threshold, and if your campaign doesn’t meet that number, it’s highly encouraged to revisit your audience criteria to see what filters you can remove.
On a company and persona level, it’s important to make sure that the creative you’re developing works for any segment you’re targeting. If not, it’s best to flag this early so you can build out separate audiences and develop different creative sets relevant to each audience.
These are the basics, but through tactics such as A/B testing, or using contact lists to retarget website visitors, audience building can be a very important and informative aspect of your campaign’s success.
3. Determining Your Campaign’s Duration
The duration of your campaign will greatly influence your choice of platform. Depending on your campaign type, you may or may not have flexibility. For example, event promotions or product launches usually have set start and end dates. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to evaluate if the campaign’s timeframe aligns with the platform on which you’d like to advertise.
Campaigns on LinkedIn typically take 2-4 weeks to reach a respectable audience size and peak performance in regard to metrics like click-through rate (CTR) and engagement rate. On the flip side, you can reach large-scale audiences on Twitter within a week, at an efficient cost too.
4. Allocating Your Budget
If you think it’s too early to discuss budget, we get it. You want to know the expected results before committing to a budget. You don’t necessarily need a concrete number upfront, but having a ballpark estimate from the start is imperative to setting expectations and guardrails that will lead you to the right campaign for your goals. Platforms, ad placements, and ad units all vary in price for both media bids and ad creation. It’s important to understand these factors throughout the process.
On a platform level, Linkedin’s cost per thousand impressions (CPM) are roughly 7 times more expensive than Twitter’s. While LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities are more precise than Twitter’s, if you’re working with a smaller budget or want to reach large scale audiences quickly then Twitter may make more sense for your campaign.
Campaign creation in regard to budget consideration means considering how long different ad units take to create. For example, for sponsored content, it requires much more input to create a video unit than it does to create a carousel.
However, while some units require more input to create, like videos, the resulting uptick in engagements can make these units worthwhile, given your campaign is in market for long enough and your budget is high enough to rationalize the input needed.
Figuring out the cost of creation for your campaign vs. how much money you are spending on your media budget overall will help you to achieve the maximum profitability and success for your campaign and company overall.
The number of ways you can support your business with social media advertising are almost endless, but in order to create the right campaign on the right platform, you need to define your goals and lay out all the details you know in advance in order to have success. Walking through these considerations will give you the foundation to start planning a killer social campaign for your business.
Interested in learning more about how Scratch can set you up for success? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!Back to blog