With websites, blogs, direct mail, emails, videos, podcasts, ebooks, infographics, and so many other ways to connect with audiences, it’s easy to lose sight of the lead generation strategies on social media. Believe it or not, there are still many companies with a small social presence or no presence at all.
Investing in a paid social media strategy can offer huge dividends for organizations looking to increase their reach, get in front of more eyes, and attract new customers. Paid social is a powerful tool for generating high-quality leads, and businesses that fail to focus on their social media marketing are ignoring scores of potential customers just waiting to engage with your brand.
But developing a strong paid social strategy is more than just tossing some cash at Meta and hoping for the best. It requires a lot of forethought, tools, and techniques aimed at the people who most want your products or services.
Is paid social worth the cost?
Even in today’s digital marketing landscape, there are plenty of people who say no, in practice if not in words. For some, especially small boutique agencies, maybe it’s a lack of demand generation resources to develop proper social media campaigns. For others, maybe it’s a lack of focus, experience, or workforce. Others might be hesitant to work on social because they think they need additional resources to create complex images, videos, or other multimedia as part of their strategy.
But with the right infrastructure in place, paid social media platforms significantly boost lead nurturing and attract new visitors, drive them to landing pages and lead forms, shooting them into the sales funnel.
Boost your social media strategy with paid social
If you don’t have a robust paid social presence, the good news is you can get started any time. If you do, though, you’re facing the next step: integrating effective lead generation strategies into your marketing strategy.
Many organizations use social to build brand awareness, attract new employees, or highlight their presence at conferences, company picnics, and “lifestyle”-type events. But by integrating paid social into the mix, you’re leveling up your presence and reaching more people in a more targeted way than most organic traffic-building campaigns are able to.
What paid social media does for your lead generation strategy: organic vs. paid social ads
Paid social is a great lead-generation tool and should be a part of most successful lead-generation strategies. Everything it does ties into reaching more people. Brand awareness and content distribution leads to increased web traffic, which leads to generating qualified leads, which leads to making sales and creating a loyal following. That means not only are you creating new leads, you’re creating brand loyalty with existing customers and garnering repeat business.
While increasing brand awareness and community engagement are two top ways organizations use social media, a strong number of companies also look to increase web traffic and generate sales and leads. In addition, the other ways companies leverage social media shows the versatility of social as a tool.
Using organic social can certainly help you build an audience over time, but it often takes time to find your social channels, then build a relationship with your organization.
Paid social helps your organization maximize reach faster, in a more targeted way. Paid social–buying ads or sponsored content on social platforms–allows you to reach the same people (and potentially more) in a more direct way. PPC marketing takes advertising directly to your target audience (which you can choose by building in custom demographic information to fit your ideal customers).
Paid social is a great way to get new site visitors, drive people to landing pages, and get more out of your target audience. You can also use it to target existing customers and remarket to them.
Lead generation strategies for paid social
Developing lead generation strategies through paid social can be a daunting task, but while there are plenty of nuances when you get down to it, it’s all about giving your audience value. Just as you would create email marketing campaigns, build landing pages, or any other lead generation tactics, you want to connect with and delight potential customers and convert them to qualified leads.
Here are a few tried-and-true ways PPC lead generation tactics that help create new customers.
- Lead magnet offers. Offering things like a free tool, webinar, online courses, download, discount code, case study, or video can be valuable content that builds relationships and generates more leads. A lead magnet is a strategy businesses use regularly, and they’re often an easy add-on to your social platforms.
- Optimized ad calls to action. If your CTAs aren’t performing on landing pages and email campaigns, they might not work on social either. Do some A/B tests and experiment with which CTAs perform. Try simpler CTAs (“Register” or “Begin here”) or add urgency (“Register Now!”), and work to integrate those that perform better.
Types of Paid Social Ads
There are a variety of social media ad types you can choose from. Depending on the platform, your needs, and whom you’re targeting, you may use any combination of these ad types as part of your paid social strategy.
Image ads use a graphic, generally linked to a specific page. They’re available on virtually any platform, and generally has little or no text associated with it. Image ads can be bought through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Video ads are used by all social media platforms and have a lot of variations: in-feed, video story, video collection, interactive video, video carousel, and others. Video ads are largely preferred over other creative ad types because they are better at grabbing and holding the user’s attention.
Lead form ads
Just what they sound like, lead form ads shuttle users to a lead form, which can be a regular lead form or an offer like an ebook or guide. These ads are available on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Carousel ads typically explain a step-by-step process in sequence, and often are good for showing how your business or product works. They’re most often used with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Twitter’s conversation ads are essentially Tweets with a CTA button promoting certain hashtags. They’re good for creating word-of-mouth buzz for a product or event. Note to use this ad you must request access by filing a support ticket on Twitter.
Product ads allow you to tag multiple products in a single ad, making it easier for people to discover and engage with multiple products at the same time. These ads can be found on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Text-only ads often appear in the right-hand sidebar of a user’s news feed in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Text ads are short and punchy and generally have a small image with them.
Collection ads use a single large image, with multiple smaller images underneath. This ad type gives your audience more detail on a single product, particularly showing different views of a product. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat use Collection ads.
Interactive ads are designed to keep the user on the ad longer and interact with it. They often have an experimental component, such as a 360-degree view of a photo, an option to answer a question, or something similar. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat use interactive ads.
Facebook and Instagram messenger interactive ads often act like chatbots, leading the customer through a string of choices, acting as a virtual shopping assistant.
“Stories” format on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram allows advertisers to post an image or video in between users’ stories. They generally go beyond a click or swipe to encourage users to stay on the ad for a longer time and engage more.
Paid social media marketing
Paid advertising targets specific audiences in ways organic cannot, giving you a higher chance of generating a qualified leads. PPC ads bring potential buyers straight to your website or landing pages, directly connecting with new customers without the need to build organically.
Social ads are also easy to use and are customizable, making them accessible to organizations no matter their size. You can spend as much, or as little, as you can, and are effective at reaching an audience with demographics as specific as you want to make them.
Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta, giving you a double-whammy in advertising opportunities for both. Facebook advertising helps you build custom audiences, targeting those most likely to use your business, and Instagram advertising works in much the same way. This helps protect your marketing spend and helps optimize results. Facebook ads are flexible and one of the most cost-effective and popular ways to build new leads through social.
Twitter ads complement an organic content strategy through promoted, paid content. It’s easy to start and increases exposure and brand visibility.
LinkedIn ads can be expensive, but that’s because they work. LinkedIn audiences have twice the buying power of the average web audience and are six times more likely to convert.
TikTok Marketing is video heavy, optimal for brands who market to customers 35 and under, particularly women ages 18-25. But TikTok’s reach is growing every day, so there is a wealth of opportunity for people across demographics.
Conclusion: FoundSM can help you use paid social strategies to generate leads
Building a strong paid social strategy for your business can be highly rewarding, but it also takes a great deal of effort, preplanning, and expertise. FoundSM’s team of skilled professionals can help scope, plan, build and deploy your paid social strategy, help you build and execute your paid strategies and campaigns, and improve lead gen, lead capture, number of website visitors, revenue, and other success metrics.