Social. media. is. not. free. It’s a pay-to-play game, but it is incredibly powerful. And if you’re doing social right, where you create a plan that aligns with your business and marketing goals, implement that plan with strong content that aligns with your target audience, and analyze the effectiveness of your activities, only then can you benefit from your activities with a strong ROI.

The strength of your brand also influences your social media ROI. Especially when it comes to paid social.

Nail your branding, and you’ll benefit from a recognizable presence that positively influences trust. When you leverage your brand trust to create authentic ads that your potential customer welcomes into their news feed, your ad budget benefits. It enhances the testing process as well as optimization and engagement, all potential factors that can decrease your cost per click (CPC) for online ads.

1. Let’s talk testing.

When we create ads, we create variations of wording and copy, art and images and calls to action. We test up to ten audiences in a campaign with different geographic and demographic data. In some cases, we also create different landing pages to ensure our audience is invested in our call to action.

We spend the first 24-48 hours narrowing a big pool of possibility to a small pond of action. When we are working with an established organization with solid branding, our testing is less guess and more confirmation of the expectations we already had for the ads.

An organization with a strong brand understands their audience, which means we only need to check in with the audience to see if the ads resonate because the brand already has proof of what works well with their tribe. With newer or less known brands, we need to go looking for the audience first, and then provide them with options to see what works.

2. Optimizing your online ads

Even when we complete the testing phase of an online ad campaign and reduce our focus to the most effective ads, we continue to tweak the ads to reflect direct and indirect audience feedback.

Direct feedback is self-descriptive. The audience comments or asks questions or refers friends. This feedback indicates whether the ad is on the right track and shows if its resonating with the audience. Statistics also fall into this category, as a high cost per click or low relevance score may mean tweaking and updating the audience or creative.

Indirect feedback, such as low engagement, lack of follow through on calls to action, or leaks in the prospect-to-customer funnel, show us we aren’t meeting audience expectations.

^ This Facebook ad campaign is from a strong brand as well as a demographically and geographically targeted group.

^ This Facebook ad campaign is for a new brand working to establish its presence. The audience is targeted, but not as much so as the previous example. We know this because it has a lower number of clicks, a higher cost per result, and a lower relevance score.

Strong brands have strongly informed creative and they’re more likely to receive direct feedback. Indirect feedback needs to be interpreted and educated guesses need to be made, so it’s much easier to respond to your audience when they’re willing to speak to you.

3. It’s all about engagement.

Excellent ads have engaged customers. There are tactics we use, such as long enough text to ensure a ‘read more’ click and asking for responses in the comments, that promote engagement, as well.

Ads that receive high positive engagement also receive higher relevance scores. Both of these have a beneficial impact on the platform’s algorithms. For example, when Facebook sees that your audience enjoys your ad, they will show it more often to more of your audience, which also decreases your cost per click.

When your audience is connecting well, your return on online advertising investment is increased. All made possible by a strong, effective brand that resonates.

 

How’s your engagement and online advertising ROI? Is your audience following through on your call to action? We’d love to hear how you’re doing in the comments or contact us directly for help strengthening your brand and social presence.