Social ad targeting can be brutally expensive during the holidays. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter turn into a blizzard of self-promoting brand posts and advertisements the second Halloween strikes midnight.
Brands are predicted to spend $23.68 billion on social ads this year. Add that to the unpaid promotional content every business is pumping out by the second, and it becomes borderline impossible to reach your customers through purely organic efforts. You must pay to be heard.
But as Christmas creeps closer, reaching your customers through standard demographic targeting is simply too expensive for many companies. We don't blame you - who wants to compete with the multi-million dollar ad budgets of branding beasts like Starbucks?
But enough with the Scrooge attitude. Turns out we've discovered the secret to saving major ad spend during the holidays. And it's no Christmas miracle - it's simple, strategic and proven to succeed.
Start with Who You Know
Imagine you're hosting a holiday dinner party. You only want to spend your hard-earned money on food and drink for your best friends.
You wouldn't invite them by standing at the North Pole and shouting as loud as you possibly could - praying that at least a few heard your message. It'd hurt your voice, the helicopter would be pricey and you'd seriously annoy a bunch of innocent people (and polar bears) just trying to enjoy their day.
Social media advertising is no different than your dinner party.
Don't spend time and money shouting to people who don't care about you and what you have to offer. Just because someone lives in the same city, watches the same TV shows or is the same gender/age/orientation as your ideal customer - does not mean they want your product or service.
If today isn't your first day on the Internet, your business already has an audience. People follow your accounts and engage with your content. Participants enter into your contests and subscribe to your email lists. Customers visit and maybe even buy things on your website.
Start your Facebook and Instagram targeting with these people. Through Facebook Custom Audiences, build a highly targeted group of Facebook users (using authorized email lists, retargeting pixels or through a third party database like Fan CRM) before you ever send out a single ad.
Even if the actual cost per click or conversion on these audiences is higher than average - it'll be worth it because these are actually qualified leads that have explicitly shown interest in your business. The budget you spend reaching these people is not a waste. And it certainly won't anger what could've been a potential future customer.
Not sure how to create a custom audience? Contact us for help.
Expand to Friends of Fans
Want to expand your reach beyond people you already know?
Much like your dinner party - the best way to expand your audience is to start with the friends of people you know. This prevents your prized family heirlooms and digital marketing budgets from being robbed blind.
Since social media doesn't happen in a vacuum, your fans have probably already spoken to their friends about your brand in real life, if not on social. They're primed to already feel positively about your products.
The execution of this one's a little more technical and requires more effort on your part. Much like you can't just go stealing your best friends' address books and calling them with unsolicited invitations - you need to gain explicit permission to contact the friends of your fans.
You gain this permission by running engagement campaigns with a branded Facebook app or social login. This essentially means that when your fans connect with you, they give you permission to access their friends on their behalf. They don't do this easily - you have to earn it.
Contact us about how to get a branded app for your business.
Create Lookalike Audiences
Now imagine you got a cloning machine for Christmas... okay, this is where our holiday party metaphor starts to break down so bear with me.
Facebook created ingenius algorithms that find other people on Facebook who exhibit the same characteristics as the fans in your custom audience. This goes way, way beyond simple demographics - Facebook knows most people better than they know themselves, so it's exceptionally accurate.
Using your custom audience of your best customers, you can create a Lookalike Audience of similar potential customers from any location. This is a powerful way to expand your audience to thousands, even millions of new potential customers - without wasting money on standard demographic targeting to people who don't care.
Sound like crazy Santa magic? Contact us and we'll show you how it works.
5 Steps to Successful Social Ads
Decide on your audience filters (fan rating, tags, location, etc.)
Automatically sync your Facebook Custom Audiences as you go
Further refine or expand your targeting in Facebook Ads Manager
Optimize as you go along (turn off underperforming ads, audiences)
Contact us to start your first optimized social ads campaign.