Paid Social and Return on Investment

Faye Collings

Sep 28, 2022 . 4 minutes read

Paid social and return on investment 1

A lot of people rely heavily on Google Advertising to bring in a lot of their customers, which is great, until sometimes, it isn’t.

Often, people will come to us as an agency because they’ve hit a ceiling. They’re unable to spend any more because the traffic volumes simply aren’t there– no matter what budget they’re throwing at it.

So when this is what you’re faced with, what’s the plan? A lot of the time (industry dependent) our answer is usually Paid Social.

Google Ads is about capturing demand, Paid Social is about creating it. So if you’ve hit your AdWords ceiling, read on.

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Creating Demand 📈

You might have a product that people don’t know they need. You may think they know, but if you’re hitting a traffic source problem - then it’s clear that not enough of them do.

Paid Social allows you to target your specific demographic. You can use the plethora of data you already have from Google Ads of previous purchasers to build out custom audiences within Paid Social.

You need to get people interested in the product, whether that's using inspiration or education. Give them major FOMO (fear of missing out) by showing people what it's like to have one of your products– whether that's a video testimonial, or an influencer showing off the product, somehow you need to show them that this product exists, and that they need it.

Paid Social will always be a more ‘shot in the dark’ approach, as by its nature, you are asking people to stop and look at your ad, without them having had any intent to do so. They didn’t ask to see it, and they didn’t actively search for it, so by making the ad as valuable to them as you can, you are increasing your chances of them stopping and taking notice.

If you have a niche product, your job here should be easier - knowing who, where and how to target your audience is half the battle.

Finding the Right Platform 📲

Once you have identified your target audience(s), it's now time to do some digging and find out where they are. Here’s a little guide below that might help.

Instagram: Largest age group: 25-34 (31.2%), with 18-24 close behind at 31%

Facebook: Largest age group is 25-34, 41% of users are 35-65+

Twitter: Largest age group: 18-29 (42%)

LinkedIn: Largest age group: 25-34 (58.4%)

Pinterest: Largest age group: 50-64 (38%)

YouTube: In the UK, around 24% of YouTube users were between 16-24 years old. 44% of users were between 25-44 years old

Once you’ve identified the right platform, now you need to make sure that you curate the right content to attract them.

Do some research into the types of content they consume. Is it video? If so, a video testimonial or an explainer video might be the way to go. If you’re unsure, we’ve written a blog which goes in depth into multigenerational social media advertising.

Awareness & Engagement 🗣

You’ll need to track the engagement of these types of posts as they won’t necessarily drive high levels of sales, but they might generate engagement on the posts (if it was an educational piece or an inspirational piece).

As with most reporting metrics, just looking at one on its own won't give you all of the information. You need to look at a combination of metrics to give you the big picture.

If a post gets a lot of likes, but hasn't been shared much, it doesn't necessarily mean anything was wrong– you just need to look at the intention of the post.

It's often good to give yourself a goal for each post i.e. exactly what it is you want your customers to do. Is it likes, shares, clicks, tags or mentions? Once you've identified your goal, use it to monitor individual metric performance.

Whilst they may not lead to an immediate sale, they are potentially generating brand awareness which can trickle down sales via other routes.

Return on Investment 💸

It’s always difficult to attribute an accurate figure to paid social, and many people are quick to stop or drastically reduce spend on social channels when they see that direct sales aren’t as high as Google Ads for example, without looking at the big picture.

You can of course check and analyse your direct sales via social using Google Analytics Sales by Source– but what this data won’t show you, is how many of your customers saw/interacted with one of your social ads, before then heading to google and purchasing that way.

So you need to always be looking at the bigger picture. Have organic searches increased since you began running paid social ads? Has your direct web traffic increased? Make sure you check all of your metrics.

Image of Google Analytics, Traffic by Channel
Image of Google Analytics, Traffic by Channel

Conclusion 💭

Create demand by telling your target audience why they need your product, and tell them in a way that resonates with the demographic. Tell them on a platform they use. And monitor closely your big picture results.

If you need help with selling online, get in touch.

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