You could have the greatest product or service in the world, but if no one knows it exists then you won’t be in business for very long. This is where advertising comes into play and it should go without saying that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your target audience uses each media differently, at different times, and their receptivity towards ads would vary greatly. For example, people watching TV aren’t looking forward to commercials unless it’s the Super Bowl. On the other hand, commuters wouldn’t mind listening to an interesting radio Ad or looking at a captivating poster as they drive or take public transit to and from their offices. Social media on the other hand has a lot more potential for interaction and engagement.
Social media is definitely the new kid on the advertising block as each network is still rolling out new Ad formats, making the medium as a whole much more versatile than other advertising formats. Here’s is why they trump other forms of advertising like display and search:
- Social ads have long shelf lives: Banners and search ads are instantaneous and almost always forgettable immediately after they’re clicked on (if at all.) Social ads are much more versatile in that they can live on, such as boosted posts on a Facebook page.
- Social ads have built in word of mouth: It would be counterproductive if ads on social media didn’t have a SOCIAL component. It should go without saying that you need to invest in creating striking visuals and gripping copy for these ads. Without it, all of the money in the world won’t be able to buy you the organic reach obtained from digital word of mouth. Word of mouth in this sense will come from the interactions and engagement your ads garner. Be it from comments and shares on Facebook, retweets and favorites on Twitter, and likes and pins on Pinterest, these activities have the potential to increase your reach even further as your message pops up on your AUDIENCE’S feeds. This means of course, that you’d essentially get FREE exposure, which you cannot get from a simple search or display ad.
This is not to say that modern media plans don’t have any space for display or search ads. Display is still a powerful and cheap way to drive awareness and, with conversion tracking becoming more and more sophisticated, advertisers are able to attribute sales back to an impression or click from a banner. Search is also a great tool in the advertiser’s toolkit to implement for when the audience has moved from awareness to research in the sales funnel thus turning to Google for answers on your brand that they’ve heard so much about. And should they find that your brand is also well received by their trusted social media network to in the form of social ads, that’s just the icing on the cake.
Social ads can deliver ROI. But like any other ad medium, your message must be finely tuned before you put it out there for everyone to see. Happy advertising!
Andrea Misir is a Staff Writer and Social Media Strategist at Venerate Media Group. When she’s not busy writing about the wonders of social media and marketing and making social media and marketing wonders happen for her clients, she enjoys yoga, going to the gym, and sipping on an occasional Old Fashioned Mad Men style. She is based in NYC and has worked with a variety of big and small brands, including Sprint, J&J, Showtime, and more.