Over the last 12 months I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to experiment with multiple native social channels and have got to pick the brains of many innovative people that work in and around this space. This experience has exposed me to new cutting-edge companies, technology and research methodologies.
The lessons learned have been priceless and paid for with much time and failure. The end result, however, is the below list that should serve to deliver strategic success through paid content distribution on native social channels while optimizing spend. It should help to save time, too, and mitigate failure. With the social channels slowly diminishing organic visibility, look to native social advertising to get branded content seen by the audiences on these channels.
1. Target Wisely
Brands that use paid social media must remember it’s a marketplace. How they target interests, connections, behavior, demographics and geography all impact the cost of a campaign. Facebook in particular has over a million interests that can be targeted and Twitter has even more. As a result, targeting many long-tail interests that might be considered sub-interests of a broader category can help brands cut campaign costs by as much as 90 percent, thus, shoring up returns.
2. Write Logical and Attainable Goals
Marketers have to establish measurable goals for the content they wish to promote on paid social channels because they dictate which channels to use and how to allocate budget. For example, distributing content (blog articles for example) at scale every time new content is published is likely cost prohibitive on LinkedIn and maybe Twitter. However, marketers wishing to promote a sweepstakes, webinar or eBook may find LinkedIn and Twitter well worth the cost.
3. Measure What Matters
After goals are established, marketers should track each channel’s performance by cost per click, cost per action or cost per lead. It shouldn’t only be tracked inside the social network’s user interface. The networks may not be able to report on things like time on site, bounce rate, cost per unique visitor, cost per subscriber and cost per action. This data not only helps marketers calculate returns, but it also identifies possible click fraud and bots.
4. Be Careful with Terminology
Also, marketers should never equate the click in “cost per click” with a visitor to a website. A click in social media can equate to a like, share, profile view, comment, favorite, etc. Actual website traffic for every “click” paid for can be as little as one sixteenth of the total actions gained by the campaign.
5. Experiment with new tools, tactics and networks
Facebook is the most cost effective way for brands to distribute content at scale (blog articles or daily videos for example) using paid social media. Pricing is comparable to non-social native advertising networks known as content discovery. Those are the ad units that typically appear below articles from online publications.
In the last few years content marketers have demanded new and better ways to promote and distribute their content. Nobody wants their content to be at the sole mercy of search engines and organic social media. As a result, many new tools, tactics and networks have sprung up to empower them with even more opportunity to deliver the right content to the most prudent people. Paid content distribution using native social media is one of the newer tactics.
To learn about the many other tactics and strategies of content promotion download my latest book, “The Content Promotion Manifesto” for free, but only for a limited time.
This article originally appeared on SocialMediaToday.