Paid social. Nail it with 3 uncommon tips
Use the algorithm to your advance instead of swinging along on what everyone else is doing
Why it matters
Everyone gets it. You need paid for reach. Hardly anyone rocks the assets. With these three uncommon tips, you're more likely to nail it. At least, you'll use the algorithm to your advance instead of swinging along on what everyone else is doing.
One of the best in class is Nuud, and that's why I use them as an example. They rock their socials and have built an amazing (profitable) brand. Honestly, I am a big fan of their sustainable and high-quality products; I am not affiliated.
Key take aways
- Align assets with the objective and buy audiences accordingly
- Go broad to go niche
- Mix assets and test the details
Before we start, first things first. A short recap of why you need paid on social.
Use the social algorithm to your advance. Don't be stupid or stubborn, and get the experts and pros on board to help you.
Why you need paid – a recap
Two reasons why paid is indispensable for social reach.
To start, the algorithm. Social networks absolutely like money. Therefore if you pay, they'll push your content higher in the timeline. Simple as that. If you don’t pay and opt for organic, the algorithm pushes your content lower in the timeline, meaning you are less visible to your followers.
Next to this, the algorithm prefers content that is engaging to the audience, paid and organic. If your audience doesn’t engage with your content because your content is not engaging or they simply are not interested, the algorithm pushes your content further down in the timeline.
Second, brands grow by light buyers, not the heavy buyers who buy more (‘How brands grow’ by Byron Sharp). Most likely, the people who already engage and follow you are the people who are already familiar with you and even buy your product. Ergo, these are not the new light users you're looking for. To reach them, you need paid as you don't reach them with your organic content.
Small side read; why some brand focus on organic and the requirements for success.
1. Align assets with your objective
This sounds like a no-brainer. In reality, this is often overseen. Before you even start, first check the definition of the objective in the configuration of your social campaign. What Meta thinks a ‘conversion’ is, isn't always the same definition as you have.
If your objective is ‘conversion' make sure your assets are optimized for conversion and have their CTA accordingly. Again, this sounds like a no-brainer. This is often wrongly implemented for a conversion campaign with an awareness asset. By lack of knowledge, an eye for detail, or a lazy overworked marketeer. It results in ineffective assets, and you're wasting money as the audience-that-converts is more expensive than audience-that-engages.
Get the pro on board for media buying and campaign management; it's a craft for a reason.
Sanity end-to-end check
A tip from my own experience. Check the end-to-end process; run through the process from social asset to the objective, including the landing page and ecommerce process.
If you sell via paid, how easy is the purchase and check-out process, and how is the at-home delivery? The same goes for subscriptions or downloading; is the process frictionless and easy to fulfill? Please don’t hide and stick to your own job or department. Don't shuffle this part of the sales process off to another department. The customer doesn’t know and doesn't care.
2. Go broad to go niche
In the beginning, use broad targeting. You don’t know who are all the potential buyers. For sure, that audience is broader than your own definitions. Then use that data to go niche and develop bespoke campaigns.
In the example of Nuud, an all-vegan deodorant, they didn't target just vegetarians and vegans. By going broad, they discovered excellent converting niches like athletes, dancers, and housewives.
Be aware that this isn’t the case for influencer marketing; that’s vice versa. Go micro and niche with the best fit for your community first to see if it works, and go broader if it doesn’t (source).
Tip: use feedback
And if you go broad, don’t forget to check the audience feedback. In the feedback, there are hidden gems that can provoke new campaigns or niche targeting.
E.g., for Nuud, in the comments, a lady posted that the product was superb for the smelly teenager. BAM! A campaign for moms-with-smelly-teens.
Or me hustling for a discount with the founder as I sold the deo to many of my friends. He kindly referred me to their referral program, that I hadn’t even noticed. The next day I got their newsletter highlighting their great referral program. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
3. Mix assets, 20+ to start
Variety works. You should have a surplus on assets for two reasons.
Test the details
One. Usually, if you test, you do an A-B-maybe-even-C test. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and data reveals all. Test, test, and test again. What you and I think works will be confirmed or debunked by data. You can test on so many things; use that. The visual or video, intro, outro, captions, CTA, usage of emoticons, url preview, etcetera. You test on those almost invisible details that create the difference.
The only thing you need to do is to use a smart agency that almost automatically creates all variations for you and let the algorithm do the rest. No need to create all variations by hand; there’s AI for that.
Variety in assets
Second. Make sure the algorithm can serve the best assets for that person at that time of the day. This means the algorithm knows what type of content I prefer in the morning, daytime or nighttime; a visual, a short video, a long video, a long caption, a short caption, or maybe I prefer a full-screen reel. In the morning, I’m in a rush and engage more with visuals and short snappy content. During my commute, I have more time and engage more with longer videos.
Why not let the algorithm serve me the content I prefer at that time of the day? It knows based on my behavior and data. If I get the content I like most, most chances, I convert, click, read, watch, or whatever the objective is.
Make sure the algorithm has all different types of assets at hand to serve the content that is best for your objective.
Some final thoughts
Content, social, and media buying are a craft. You need the pros to get the optimal return on investment and the most bang for your buck. Not ‘just because you are on Instagram’ you know social. Or if you run a social campaign once in a while, you know it all and are the designated person. There are so many details, and those are changing so fast; if you are not involved in this crazy industry 24/7, you'll miss out.
Know when to hire the experts for strategy and execution. Even for me, quite an expert on content and social strategy, I know when to get help and to get the true nerds on board.