Thinking About Your Budget

In our last weekly series of posts, we discussed the advantages of using social media advertising to give your online presence and content marketing a boost, quickly honing in on your target market and generating an audience for your posts much more quickly than what you can generate on your own. As we also previously discussed, that’s not to say that social media advertising is a substitution for creating an online presence and a content marketing plan, because it isn’t. Even if you are fully committed to an ongoing and full-time online advertising budget for your business, you still need to establish your digital brand and presence, create a blog and social media account to fill out that presence and create (or commission) a steady stream of content marketing.

Just like the old fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a marketing and advertising strategy that’s too heavy on online advertising, such as through social media, may be porridge that’s too “hot” for your business. While a strategy that leaves out advertising completely may be porridge that’s too “cold” in that it may take too long to grow an audience organically. That leaves the last bowl of porridge, a strategy that’s “just right” in the sense that it’s a good balance between a powerful online presence and a persuasive content marketing campaign coupled with a cost-effective and highly effective social media advertising campaign. This should help provide your business with a steady stream of potential clients and customers. How can you, a small business with little to no experience with marketing and advertising, set the right social media advertising budget?

Before You Begin, Determine Who You Want To Target

Before you jump headfirst into advertising with your favorite social media service or platform, it’s important to understand exactly how nuanced and targeted social media advertising can be. Unlike traditional forms of advertising such as television, radio or print ads, advertising through social media services allows you to pinpoint an extremely specific audience, which means you have to identify that audience before you can begin the actual process of launching your advertising campaign. We have discussed on multiple occasions the importance of identifying your target market, and this is a prime example of how important doing so can be. While it may sound as though being able to pinpoint an advertising audience is the greatest thing ever, it can backfire if you haven’t accurately pinpointed the audience you want to reach – in that sense, attempting to reach a broad audience could even be more effective. As you can see, determining this audience is paramount to the success of your campaign.

Identify The Demographics

First begin by identifying the demographics of your target audience, which can vary depending on the platform you’re using. At the very least, identify the gender, age range and physical location of the audience you want to target. If your company provides a range of products and/or services, and your target market is therefore broader than other small businesses, you may need to repeat this step for each product or service you want to advertise. If you are not marketing specific products or services, consider changing the audience for your ads based on the content that you’re publishing each day, week or month. Finally, it may also be important to consider the timing of your advertising campaign, as seasonal shifts in your business can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your campaign or may even shift your target market.
In our next post, we will review the intricacies of setting measurable goals for your campaigns and correctly assessing their effectiveness.