The promise of social media advertising is tantalisingly simple: your message, in front of exactly the right eyes, at exactly the right time. While it’s tempting to believe that great content will naturally draw an audience, the reality is much more nuanced. There’s a common thought-process in the business world, an ‘If you build it, they will come’, mentality, that’s led me to coin the term, the Cornfield Paradox.
The Cornfield Paradox is a stark reminder that visibility and active promotion are as crucial as the quality of your content. Nothing good ever happens in a cornfield. If you’ve ever seen Field Of Dreams, you’ll know where the phrase comes from, and you’ll also have experienced a crap film. Alien abductions, murders, creepy homicidal kids, Kevin Costner. I’m telling you, nothing good ever happens in a cornfield. And nothing good comes from creating amazing content and expecting people to just magically turn up for it when you’ve done nothing to attract them.
Crafting an excellent article, creating an engaging video, or designing a captivating infographic is only half the battle. Without the right strategies and visibility, your top-tier content might as well be lost in the metaphorical ‘cornfield,’ obscured and overlooked by the very audience it’s intended to reach.
But it can be really tough to know how to get started running ads on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and the veritable smorgasbord of other social media platforms we have at our disposal these days. The good news is, when you understand the synergies between content marketing and social media advertising, you can supercharge your content – and do so on a very modest budget!
This isn’t about spending a ton of cash. It’s about strategically running the right ads, on the right platforms, to the right pieces of content, to create the very specific results you desire.
Here’s how to run ads on social media effectively, so you’re not only drawing eyes to your content, but to ushering those eyes down your content marketing funnel, from awareness all the way to conversion…
Understanding The Content Marketing Funnel
Content Marketing Funnels are often heralded as the Holy Grail for converting your audience from curious window-shoppers into loyal, card-swiping customers. If you’ve tuned it out as marketing jargon, it’s time to listen up. And if you already have one in place you’re likely wondering how you can drive enough traffic into it to effectively and consistently grow your email list.
In essence, a funnel is the key to growing an email list of the perfect ideal clients; people who are interested in exactly what you have to offer, and are precisely the type of person you want to work with or sell to. I’ve built funnels for all manner of audiences, from Belgian Beer aficionados to embroidery enthusiasts, and biohackers. A funnel is the cornerstone of any savvy digital marketing strategy.
First up in our funnel is the ‘Awareness’ stage. This is where your target audience gets their initial whiff of your brand, often as a result of social media advertising, organic search, or word-of-mouth. Now, I know we all like to think our content is like freshly-baked bread wafting out of the oven—irresistible to anyone who encounters it. But let’s face it, if no one knows your bakery exists, no one is coming for that bread, no matter how sumptuous it is.
After catching a whiff, people will hopefully be ‘Interested’ enough to saunter a little closer. This is when they’ll start interacting with your content. Maybe they’ll watch your how-to videos, read your blog posts, or indulge in your fascinating infographics. Without some level of interest, it’s like having a bakery full of divine sourdough with no one around to appreciate its crunchy crust and soft centre. And honestly, what’s more tragic than that?
As they spend more time consuming your content, ‘Desire’ starts to build. They begin to ponder how nice it would be to actually buy what you’re offering. Your persuasive articles, video testimonials, and case studies act like the expert sales staff of your digital bakery, slowly convincing them they need your loaf of artisanal bread in their life. Here, targeting the right pieces of content with your social media advertising is crucial. You don’t want to pitch a brioche to someone who’s gluten-free, do you?
Once they can practically taste that bread, they move onto the ‘Action’ phase, where they finally make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. Your calls to action need to be as enticing as a fresh, warm baguette straight from the oven. This is where your social media ads can serve as that final nudge, pushing them to take that bite.
Finally, we have ‘Retention.’ The funnel doesn’t end at purchase. Much like you’d offer loyalty cards or seasonal promotions in your hypothetical bakery, you need post-purchase content to keep them coming back. From thank-you emails to customer-only perks, this is your chance to turn a one-time transaction into a long-term relationship.
This content marketing funnel isn’t just a theoretical framework; it’s the strategy blueprint that ensures you’re targeting the right audience at the right time with the right content. And when you marry it with a carefully orchestrated social media advertising campaign, you elevate your whole game.
Ready for the next stage? Buckle up, because we’re about to explore how social media advertising and content marketing work in sublime harmony.
The Synergy between Content Marketing and Social Media Advertising
Before we get into the nuts and bolts, let’s talk about why social media advertising and content marketing are like Lennon and McCartney—great on their own, but legendary when combined. Both have unique strengths that, when paired, form a social media advertising strategy that’s more harmonious than a choir of nightingales.
Mutual Benefits of Content Marketing and Social Media Advertising
Imagine your content marketing is a beautifully designed luxury car—sleek, well-crafted, and a joy to experience. Brilliant, right? But without fuel, it’s going nowhere. That’s where social media advertising steps in. It’s the high-octane juice that propels your content down the motorway of digital engagement.
Let’s break down the mutual benefits:
Wider Reach: Social media ads catapult your content out of obscurity and into the limelight, offering your brand unprecedented visibility.
Targeting Precision: Through ad platforms, you can fine-tune who sees your content down to demographics, location, and even individual behaviours.
Data And Analytics: Both worlds provide data, but the numbers become infinitely more valuable when analysed together. You learn not just who’s clicking, but who’s converting.
Cost-Effectiveness: Thought you needed a billionaire’s budget for this? Think again. Content provides the long-term value; social media ads give it a short-term boost. A well-coordinated campaign can deliver results that belie its modest budget.
How One Fills the Gaps of the Other
While content marketing excels at building relationships and adding value, it can be agonisingly slow to produce results on its own. Conversely, social media ads can deliver instant gratification in terms of traffic and engagement but can be superficial when it comes to building lasting relationships.
Here’s how they fill in for each other:
Speed And Longevity: Social media ads are like that quick Tinder date that gets things rolling. They make the first impression. Content marketing is the five-course meal and deep conversations that follow, building a meaningful connection.
Quality And Quantity: Content marketing ensures you have something worth promoting, something your audience will find valuable. Social media ads make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible.
Awareness And Conversion: While content pulls people into the funnel, social media advertising can push them through it. From building initial awareness to encouraging that final action, each plays its part at different stages.
So, when someone asks if they should invest in social media marketing ads or focus solely on content marketing, that’s like asking whether they’d rather have tea without the biscuit. Why choose when you can dunk that biscuit into the tea and enjoy the perfect blend?
If your content is languishing in the metaphorical cornfield, waiting for someone to discover it, you need social media advertising to pull it into the light. And if your ads lack substance or a compelling message, you need the richness of well-crafted content to give them meaning.
Intrigued? Good. Because up next, we’re getting into the specifics—where exactly should you be running these social media ads? Spoiler alert: it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. Stay tuned.
Understanding Your Target Audience In 2023
Now, if you think you can just whip up an ad, throw it into the social media ether and expect a parade of customers to your doorstep, you’ve missed a beat. Understanding your audience is essential, especially in a landscape that’s as ever-changing as the British weather. To get it right, we’ll delve into some tech wizardry, specifically Google Analytics, some old-school methods like customer surveys, and the best way to effectively profile your ideal client; their personality archetype.
Audience Insights via Google Analytics and Customer Surveys
First up, Google Analytics, your digital Sherlock Holmes. If you haven’t been using this, I dare say, you’ve been doing the digital equivalent of sailing a ship without a compass.
Traffic Source Overview: Know where your audience is coming from. Is Facebook your golden goose or is LinkedIn the diamond in the rough?
User Behaviour: What content are they engaging with? This will give you clues on what to promote via your ads.
Demographics: Age, location, and even interests can be invaluable in shaping your ad strategy.
Gathering Data To Refine Your Social Media Ad Strategy
Sometimes there’s nothing like going straight to the horse’s mouth. Short, sweet, and pointed surveys can give you insights no amount of data crunching can.
Once you have all your data, you need to turn these numbers and responses into actionable insights. Are young millennials flocking to your video content? Instagram and TikTok ads can boost that. Is your blog seeing traction with an older audience? Perhaps LinkedIn or Facebook is where you should up your ad spend.
Archetypes For Audience Personas
Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s time to personify it. I’m talking about creating audience personas, something more tangible than just age brackets and geographic locales. When I was first in business everyone and their wife would tell me to create an audience persona. The problem I had was that they were like Kristen Stewart in the Twilight saga; basic, applicable to anyone.
Stewart gets a lot of stick for her portrayal of Bella Swan, but the character was written like that on purpose, to make her as relatable as possible to as many people as possible. I’m giving Stephanie Meyer the benefit of the doubt here and assuming she purposefully wrote Bella to be a blank slate, and isn’t just astonishingly bad at characterisation.
The benefit of a main character with no real personality is that everyone can relate to them. They’re a self-insert device; whoever is reading the book can project themselves into that character. Their own personality fills the character up and brings them to life, allowing anyone to read that book and feel seen. Feel like they could be Bella and this could be their life.
It’s one of the reasons the book became so wildly popular; characters with depth and nuance only appeal to some people. Bella was relatable to pretty much every teenage girl, desperate housewife and bored twenty something out there. The same thing happened when E.L. James wrote Fifty Shades of Grey; it was instantly relatable to so many people because the only interesting thing about Anastasia Steele is her name.
And that’s hardly a surprise – Fifty Shades of Grey is basically a fanfic of Twilight; one was based on the other and so achieved the same kind of runaway success.
That’s all well and good for writing fiction (at least, assuming you’re happy for your book to be derided as drivel by anyone who actually appreciates literature), but it’s no good at all for creating audience personas. You don’t need something that can apply to anyone. That completely defeats the purpose. But if all you’re working on is basic information – age, gender, location, hobbies – that’s exactly what you’re going to get.
Especially if your demographic is women aged 20-60 who can live anywhere in the world.
Do you have any idea how many people that is? The point here is to create a profile of your ideal client, not forty odd percent of the population of the planet. By using your ideal client’s archetype, you not only narrow your target audience to the specific people you genuinely want to work with, but you learn all their nuances and quirks.
The Orphan: The one who’s all about value and belonging. Facebook ads highlighting promotions or discounts will make them feel right at home.
The Enchantress: Forever captivated by beauty, allure, and the mystique of the ‘next big thing’. Instagram or TikTok will be the best places to mesmerise them.
The Warrior: Courageous and action-oriented, this archetype is all about conquering challenges. LinkedIn ads that offer solutions to business problems will speak to their innate desire to triumph.
The Rebel: The one who challenges the status quo and is driven by a desire for freedom. Twitter’s fast-paced environment will be an ideal battleground for them.
The Sage: Always seeking greater knowledge, depth, and clarity, these folks are your thought leaders. Pinterest, with its focus on curated knowledge and learning, will be your Sage’s sanctuary.
The Nurturer: Empathetic and compassionate, the Nurturer thrives on helping others. Heartwarming stories and causes that elicit empathy will work well on platforms like Facebook, where emotional connection is key.
The Ruler: Focused on power, control, and structure, these individuals are usually business-oriented. LinkedIn, with its professional focus, would be the go-to platform for reaching Rulers with ads about leadership courses or productivity tools.
The Dreamer: Always lost in thought, dreaming about possibilities and ‘what-ifs.’ Instagram, with its visual and inspirational content, is the perfect place to capture their imagination.
The Creator: These are the innovators and the makers. Pinterest, where people look for inspiration and DIY solutions, can be a potent platform for reaching this archetype.
The Seeker: Always in quest of a better life or even spiritual enlightenment. YouTube can be an ideal platform as it offers long-form content that allows you to dive deep into topics that interest them.
The Mystic: Intrigued by the unknown and the spiritual dimensions of life. Platforms like Instagram, which allows for both visual aesthetics and story-telling, can be ideal for capturing their interest.
The Jester: Life for them is a game and they want to enjoy it as much as possible. Snapchat or TikTok, with their fun and lighthearted content, can be a perfect fit for this archetype.
By tailoring your social media ads to speak directly to these archetypes, you’re not just targeting—you’re resonating. And that makes all the difference. Now that we’ve got a bead on who you’re trying to reach, let’s make sure your message hits the mark. Keep your eyes peeled for the next section, where we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of choosing the right social media platforms for your beautifully honed, archetype-specific messages.
Choosing The Right Social Media Platforms
Social media is no monolith; each platform has its own unique flavour and attracts different user archetypes. So how do you decide where to plough your resources? Especially now, in 2023, when platforms like TikTok and WhatsApp are introducing new advertising opportunities and challenges, the landscape has never been so dynamic.
Still the reigning king of social media platforms, Facebook is versatile and almost universally used. Great for reaching the Nurturer and Ruler archetypes, as well as targeting older demographics who may not have migrated to newer platforms.
Instagram’s visual orientation makes it a playground for the Dreamer, Enchantress, and Mystic. With features like Stories and Reels, you can get creative in how you reach your audience.
Quick, topical, and excellent for real-time engagement. Twitter can be a good fit for Rebels, who appreciate the unfiltered nature of the platform, and Warriors, who value strong opinions and instant updates.
The professional network is an obvious choice for Rulers and Sages, who are focused on self-improvement, professional growth, and knowledge sharing. Ads promoting whitepapers, professional courses, or leadership strategies could be particularly effective here.
A young and fast-growing platform, TikTok is great for the Jester and Seeker, but don’t underestimate its broadening appeal. With TikTok introducing shopping features and sponsored content, it’s opening up new opportunities for businesses to target a younger demographic.
Predominantly a messaging app, WhatsApp’s foray into the world of social media advertising is a fresh field. Useful for local businesses and service providers, it’s a great channel for Orphans and Creators, who value straightforward, functional communication.
Factors to Consider
Audience Demographics: Be sure where your archetypes are hanging out.
Type of Content: Match your content to the platform; for example, long-form for LinkedIn and quick, engaging videos for TikTok.
Budget: Each platform has its own cost structure; be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
TikTok and WhatsApp: These platforms are somewhat of a new frontier in social media advertising. Both offer unique opportunities but require a deep understanding of their limitations and user base.
It’s not about spreading your resources thinly across all available platforms. It’s about selecting the right field, not a generic cornfield, for planting your messages—ensuring that your content doesn’t just get viewed but gets engaged with and acts as a catalyst in your content marketing funnel. Choose wisely, and your social media advertising strategy could be the missing link between your quality content and the target audience it deserves.
Crafting Eye-Catching Social Media Ads
Creating a compelling social media ad isn’t just about slapping a message and an image together. With the ever-increasing mobile usage trends in 2023, there’s a lot more to consider. From design principles to mobile optimisation, you’re crafting a miniature experience for your viewer, not just an advert.
Ad Design Principles
The first impression really does count, especially when you’re competing with an endless stream of content on social media. In 2023, here’s what you should consider:
Visual Elements: High-resolution images or videos are no longer optional; they’re essential. Think of visuals as the shop window of your ad. They pull people in.
Consistency: Make sure that the look and feel of your ad aligns with your brand’s overall aesthetic. A misaligned brand experience is jarring and could dilute your message.
Writing Persuasive Ad Copy: You have mere seconds to captivate your audience. The copy should not only be succinct but also aligned with the archetype you’re targeting. For instance, a Warrior would appreciate direct, impactful language, while an Enchantress may respond well to storytelling and emotional hooks.
Effective CTAs: Your call to action should be as clear as a bell. Whether it’s ‘Shop Now’, ‘Learn More’, or ‘Get Started’, make sure it’s relevant to the ad’s goal.
With the rise of mobile usage for social media in 2023 and beyond, if your ad doesn’t look good on a mobile screen, you’ve lost half the battle.
Fast Loading Times: Mobile users are impatient. Optimise file sizes to ensure your ad loads swiftly.
Responsive Design: Make sure the ad looks good on screens of all sizes, especially the small ones. This is where those high-resolution images really pay off.
Simplified User Experience: Mobile screens are smaller, and nobody likes fiddly buttons. Ensure your CTA is easy to tap and that any subsequent landing page is mobile-friendly.
Localisation: Mobile users are often on the go; consider localised ad content that will appeal to users in specific geographical locations.
By considering these key ad design principles and optimising for the surge in mobile usage, you’re setting yourself up for success. Your social media ads won’t just be another post people scroll past; they’ll be engaging, compelling, and most importantly, effective in moving people down your content marketing funnel. This is not just about visibility; it’s about creating ads that demand attention and compel action.
Optimising Ad Budget And Spend In A Post-iOS Update World
Navigating the budget labyrinth can feel like dodging pitfalls in a maze. But who said it has to be complex? Whether you’re ballin’ on a budget or have some cash to splash, effective budget management remains at the heart of impactful social media advertising. Remember, the Cornfield Paradox isn’t just a catchy term; it’s a reality check. You can produce the crème de la crème of content, but if you don’t allocate your budget wisely, your efforts may just end up lost in the metaphorical cornfield.
Managing Your Social Media Ad Budget Effectively
Pilot Programmes: Starting small is the game. Launch your campaigns with a conservative budget, assess their effectiveness, and tweak as needed.
Dynamic Budgeting: Don’t stick to a rigid monthly budget. Your budget should be as dynamic as your campaigns, adjustable based on performance, seasonality, and other variables.
KPI Monitoring: Stick to your key performance indicators (KPIs) like glue. If one channel is giving you more bang for your buck, that’s where you channel your funds.
Strategies for Lowering CPC and CPA
The acronyms CPC (Cost-per-Click) and CPA (Cost-per-Acquisition) may as well stand for “Cautiously Plan and Calculate,” especially in a world changed by iOS privacy updates that have made retargeting less reliable.
Precision Targeting: It can’t be stressed enough—targeting is key. A well-defined audience is likely to engage more, reducing your CPC and CPA.
Time It Right: Use your analytics to find out when your audience is most active. Schedule your ads for these prime slots to improve engagement and subsequently lower CPC and CPA.
Quality Is King: High-quality ads attract high-quality interactions. Prioritise high-resolution images and compelling copy for lower CPC and CPA.
A/B Testing: Small tweaks in an ad’s copy or visual elements can make a big difference in CPC and CPA. Continuous A/B testing is a must.
Data-Backed Retargeting: Given the iOS updates, rely on first-party data and customer interactions on your own platforms for retargeting strategies. This approach is more dependable and often results in lower CPAs.
Budget management isn’t just about throwing money into the wind and hoping for the best. It’s a calculated strategy that, if done right, will guide your audience down the content marketing funnel, from the lofty heights of awareness to the promised land of conversion, without becoming another lost soul in the dreaded cornfield.
Key Metrics For Measuring Ad Success
So you’ve crafted alluring ads, optimised your budget, and set your ads loose into the social media jungle. Brilliant! But how do you know if your ads are doing the Charleston or just flailing about? Measuring ad success is a crucial component of any advertising strategy, especially in a landscape where tracking has become more complex post-iOS update.
Platform-Specific Analytics: Your Treasure Trove of Insights
Each social media platform provides a unique set of analytics through their business tools, such as Meta Ads Manager for Facebook, TikTok Ads Manager, and WhatsApp Business API.
Customise Metrics: These platforms often feature a ‘Customise Metrics’ option, enabling you to focus on the indicators most relevant to your business. Whether it’s engagement, click-through rate, or conversion, tailor your dashboard for actionable insights.
Data Deep Dive: Your selected metrics can reveal what’s working and what’s not. For instance, Meta Facebook Ads Manager offers comprehensive breakdowns of how your audience interacts with your ads, helping you refine your strategy for each archetype, from the Rebel to the Mystic.
Calculating ROAS: ROI’s Flashier Sibling
Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) is the belle of the ball when it comes to ad metrics. It measures the revenue generated for every pound spent on advertising. Think of it as ROI (Return on Investment), but more specific to advertising. In simple terms, it’s a ratio that tells you how effectively your advertising pounds are transforming into profits.
Example 1 – Targeting the Warrior Archetype: Imagine you run a fitness company and your ideal clients are of the Warrior archetype: goal-driven individuals looking to push their limits. You spend £500 on an Instagram ad campaign promoting your new line of high-performance gym gear. These warriors resonate with your ‘conquer your workout’ messaging and you generate £1,500 in sales. Your ROAS? A robust 3 (£1,500 ÷ £500 = 3). For every pound spent, you’re pulling in £3.
Example 2 – Targeting the Sage Archetype: Now, let’s say you have a SaaS business focused on data analytics, and your ideal client fits the Sage archetype—always seeking in-depth knowledge. You invest £200 to run LinkedIn ads spotlighting an in-depth guide on “Demystifying Data Science.” This attracts your Sage types, leading to £800 from new subscriptions to your premium data analysis service. Your ROAS here would be a smart 4 (£800 ÷ £200 = 4).
Navigating the labyrinthine world of advertising metrics might seem like a chore, but it’s vital to ensure you’re not just shouting into the void. Armed with these insights, you can refine, retarget, and revitalise your social media advertising strategy, ensuring it’s effective, efficient, and—most importantly—leads to tangible results.
Advanced Techniques: A/B Testing and ROAS
As you get more comfortable with running ads across different platforms, it’s crucial to up the ante and dive into advanced techniques to maximise your ROI. Two pivotal approaches in your toolkit should be A/B Testing and a comprehensive understanding of Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS).
How to A/B Test Your Social Media Ads for Performance Optimisation
A/B Testing, also known as split testing, involves creating two versions of an ad to identify which performs better. It’s like pitting two gladiators in an arena, each representing an element of your campaign—be it the headline, image, or CTA—and letting the audience decide the champion. A/B Testing allows you to refine your approach continuously, eliminating guesswork in favour of data-backed decisions.
To A/B test effectively:
Start Simple: Pick one element of your ad to test at a time, whether it’s the headline, image, or copy.
Run Concurrently: Make sure both versions of the ad run at the same time to ensure the results aren’t skewed by external factors like holidays or trending topics.
Analyse the Data: After running the tests, delve into the metrics to determine the winner. Your Warrior archetype, for instance, might engage more with a ‘Push Your Limits’ headline over a ‘Get Fit’ one.
The Crucial Role Of ROAS In Advanced Ad Strategies
ROAS isn’t merely a one-off metric to pat yourself on the back; it’s an ongoing tool for performance evaluation and strategic adjustments. Especially when dealing with more intricate ad campaigns, like those targeting the Sage archetype who crave depth, it’s vital to monitor how much you’re spending to attract these keen minds and what kind of revenue they’re generating for your business.
With a sharp eye on ROAS:
Reallocate Resources: If an ad targeting your Enchantress archetype isn’t yielding the desired ROAS, you might need to rethink the imagery or messaging to captivate this aesthetic-conscious segment.
Advanced Metrics: Beyond simple sales numbers, factor in lifetime value or the frequency of interaction to get a nuanced understanding of your ROAS.
By pairing A/B Testing with diligent ROAS tracking, you’re not just spending money on social media advertising; you’re making calculated investments. It’s a far cry from merely tossing your brilliant content into the abyss of the cornfield and hoping for the best.
So, there you have it—how to utilise A/B Testing and ROAS in your advanced ad strategies. No cornfields, no Kevin Costners, just straightforward, efficient methodologies to drive your business objectives.
Dynamic Creative And Asset Customisation
Understanding your audience archetypes isn’t just about knowing who they are; it’s about showing them tailored content that resonates. Dynamic Creative tools allow you to upload multiple ad components such as images, headlines, and CTAs, which the platform’s algorithm then automatically tests and optimises. For example, you might find that your Rebel archetype responds better to a provocative headline, while the Nurturer is drawn to compassionate messaging.
Lookalike And Custom Audiences
After identifying your core audience, platforms like Meta offer the option to create lookalike audiences—groups similar to your existing customers. This is an invaluable tool for scaling your campaigns without diluting their effectiveness. For the Mystic archetype, who is seeking deeper connections and meaning, you can create custom audiences based on engagement metrics, to target those who have interacted with similar content.
Ad Sequencing And Storytelling
Don’t just think of your ads in isolation; consider how they fit into a broader customer journey. Ad sequencing lets you build a narrative over multiple touchpoints, potentially leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. For your Dreamer archetype, a storytelling approach might work best, capturing their imagination step by step until they’re ready to make a purchase.
Also known as ad scheduling, this tactic involves running your ads at specific times when they’re most likely to be effective. For instance, you could run ads for your Warrior archetype during the early morning when they’re planning their day, and target your Jester archetype later in the evening when they’re more likely to be browsing for entertainment.
Automated Bidding Strategies
Let the platform do some of the heavy lifting by using automated bidding strategies. These algorithms can help manage your spend by focusing on ads that are most likely to achieve your goals, whether it’s views, clicks, or conversions. For example, the Sage archetype, who prefers in-depth content, might be more likely to click through to a long-form article, so focusing your bidding on click-through for this group could yield better results.
Each of these advanced tactics can give you a decisive edge, allowing you to move beyond the limitations of ‘hope marketing’ and the Cornfield Paradox. After all, your content should be discovered, not hidden away. When used judiciously, these advanced tactics can help ensure that your message finds its way to the right eyes, at the right time, in the right context.
Choosing The Right Content To Advertise For Maximum ROI
In a digital landscape where every click counts, making informed choices about what content to put behind your social media advertising strategy can spell the difference between a roaring success and a flop. Remember, building it isn’t enough; you have to make people aware it exists in order for them to find it..
Lead Magnets: Your Golden Ticket
One of the most effective pieces of content you can promote are lead magnets. These are offerings like eBooks, webinars, or exclusive video content that require the user to provide their email address or other contact details. Why is this so powerful? Because it turns a casual browser into a lead you can nurture over time. Compared to other content forms that offer instant gratification but zero commitment, lead magnets secure a level of investment from your audience, making them more valuable in the long run. As a result, you’ll usually get the best ROI from social media ads run on lead magnets.
Evergreen vs. Time-Sensitive Content
Evergreen content, like a guide or tutorial, offers enduring relevance, aligning well with the Sage archetype who values depth and knowledge. On the flip side, time-sensitive content, like news or seasonal offers, can attract quick but often fleeting attention.
High-conversion content naturally leads to key actions, such as signing up or making a purchase. This could be a lead magnet, but if you’ve written your content well you’ll have included calls to action in your blogs and other content – like the one at the end of this post encouraging you to sign up for a free sneaky peek at my book. The content is freely available without signup, but you’ll find some pieces naturally turn out to be high converters. So, if I’m reviewing my analytics at the end of the month and notice a lot of conversions happening on this blog, I know it’s a good converter and running an ad campaign to promote it is likely to get a lot of signups. What turns out to be high converting will vary depending on your industry and audience. If you’ve got a decent amount of organic traffic on your site you’ll be able to see from analytics which posts convert most. If you’ve not built your organic traffic through SEO yet, try split testing various pieces of content to see which converts better, then focusing on the high converters. Don’t forget to review your content on a regular basis to include new content.
This is content that inherently provides utility or solves a problem for your target audience. If they have a specific issue, providing a detailed, step-by-step guide that solves their problem will be highly valuable. If they can’t get enough or romance novels, a short-story will go down a treat. Hopping on a trending topic or a piece of breaking news and providing a clear explanation of what’s going on, or a unique perspective is also highly valuable (although it may not prove to have evergreen value, so hop on those trends fast!).
One of the best converting pieces of content I’ve created so far turned out to be a TikTok dance to promote a blog on learning how to do viral TikTok dances. The glib manner I presented it (referring to myself as a dancing whale) coupled with a body-positive message that you don’t need to be skinny to join in, really resonated with other female entrepreneurs struggling to gain confidence to promote themselves on social media.
What your audience finds valuable will vary, and may not be what you expect it to be! Remember, it’s not about what you think should or will be valuable to them, it’s about what they genuinely need and want.
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but it’s worth reiterating. Never underestimate the power of A/B or split testing to fine-tune your understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This can shape not just the current campaign but also future strategic decisions.
The strategic promotion of value-driven, high-conversion content, especially lead magnets, can serve as your North Star in navigating the complex seas of social media advertising. With the right choices, you can guide your audience effectively down your content marketing funnel, achieving maximum ROI without wandering lost in the metaphorical cornfield.
Running Ads On Social Media
The allure of social media advertising lies in its seemingly straightforward promise: your carefully crafted message, directly in front of your ideal audience, right when they need to see it. Creating compelling content is but one piece of the puzzle; you also need a well-calibrated, strategic approach to advertising that content. By doing so, you ensure that your brand doesn’t end up lost in the metaphorical ‘cornfield,’ obscured and forgotten.
Never underestimate the power of promoting the right kind of content, especially lead magnets, to transform casual browsers into committed leads.
Ready to elevate your content marketing strategy and connect more profoundly with your ideal client? Sign up below to start reading my book, Divine Blogging, for free. Discover the art and science of crafting an impactful content marketing strategy that not only avoids the Cornfield Paradox but builds into a highly effective organic funnel (complete with passive income streams)…