The “if you build it, they will come” mantra doesn’t always apply to creating digital content. To your dismay, that beautiful new whitepaper or infographic may only receive a handful of organic visitors.
Luckily, all the time you spent developing amazing content doesn’t have to be in vain. Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to reach a broader audience using ads.
Below are some of my favorite ad types to expand your content’s reach –
According to an article by Business Insider, people spend more time on Facebook than any other major social network. With over 1 billion active users a month, this channel can provide incredible reach.
Favorite ad type: Page post link ads
*placements set to target desktop & mobile news feeds
Selecting your ad’s objective:
1. Clicks to Website
- Perfect for driving targeted visitors to view your web content.
2. Website Conversions
- Content that requires a form fill (aka gated content).
- Great for capturing information about the visitor within a CRM.
Targeting to think about:
1. Interests & demographic targeting (non-fans)
- Job title, industry type, and similar publications work well here.
2. Current fans
- Only a small percentage of your current fan base will see a post organically. This is one of your most engaged audiences, take proper advantage by including them in a separate target.
Robust targeting for the advanced user:
3. Custom audience targeting
Do you have a large email list? You can target those specific people within Facebook.
Think about segmentation:
- Opt-in recipients of your e-newsletter
- Leads captured from a specific event
- By industry
- By job title or focus
- Targeting current vs. non Facebook fans of your brand
4. Website custom audience
This targeting allows you to reach people on Facebook who previously visited your website. If someone already visited your site, there is a good chance they are going to be interested in the latest content you produced.
With this targeting, you can segment further by certain pages visited. If you have multiple services or products, segment the audience to those who visited pages most relevant to your content piece.
With their significant enhancements to the updates feed, LinkedIn has evolved from a powerful networking directory, to also act as a content curation hub for professionals.
Favorite ad type: Sponsored Updates
Post a link to content on your company page and sponsor it to show to a select group of targeted LinkedIn users.
Core targeting options to focus on:
- Company name or industry
- Job title
Tips for success:
1. Air on the side of targeting a broader audience.
2. Bid higher for increased reach (impressions).
3. Edit the title and image of your post so that it’s attractive and geared to the user.
- When you initially post the link on your page
For a step-by-step walkthrough, you can visit our blog post, "How to Create Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn".
Twitter is the autobahn of content consumption and home to many of today’s digital thought leaders.
Favorite ad type: Promoted Tweet
Targeting types to think about:
- Great for content that's very focused around one subject.
- Use tools like Topsy to understand if the keyword is worth targeting
2. Interests and followers
- Influence specific key players and their followers
- Great for media contacts and thought leaders within your industry
3. Tailored audiences
- Drop in your email lists and influence those exact contacts on Twitter.
- Don’t forget to segment your emails (reference my tips from above)
4. Locations targeted
- Targeting an entire country or region might be too broad and burn through your budget quickly. Start of with a smaller, refined geo and expand out if needed.
Tips for success:
1. Test promoting a tweet with an image and without an image
- Twitter now shows full images if uploaded through twitter and takes up a lot of rich reality.
2. Include a tracking url
3. Keep your tweets short with enticing calls-to-action
- Use hashtags to emphasis around a certain subject or topic
Before diving into each of these channels it’s important to establish a clear strategy. Think about which audience you are trying to reach and the platform they frequent. For lean budgets, start off with one channel instead of spreading your funds across multiple channels. Keep testing and refining your targeting, driving the most cost-effective and engaged visitors to your content.