A promoted content strategy is typically the part of your marketing plan that involves advertising on social media to connect a specific audience with a piece of content. A coffee shop might invest in promotion for a blog post detailing seasonal offerings on Facebook, while an event planning service might choose to promote Instagram videos showcasing a recent social occasion
There are plenty of options for this type of promotion — and if you're not sure what's best for you, you're not alone. Here are some basic tips to help you get started.
Know Your Audience
In the broadest sense, the goal of promoted content is to connect customers with products and services that they can use to improve their lives. While your business may have widespread appeal, in order for this type of marketing to work, you'll need to do some research and find out exactly which demographics are most likely to click on a paid promotion.
More importantly, it's crucial to understand which ones will follow through on a purchase. Business owners can enlist the help of marketing professionals who will run several small-scale tests that could yield surprising results.
If you're looking to market a local pizza chain that has traditionally used social media advertising to connect with families, focus on the ads and the audience. A marketing professional may find that while parents see these advertisements, they're not actually very likely to click on the ads (or follow through to place an order). If that's the case, it's crucial to determine who — if anyone — is converting via social media ads. To make a promoted content strategy effective, it's helpful to have the data to back it up.
Look Beyond Facebook
Social media is constantly changing. eMarketer estimated that Facebook would lose up to 2 million of its 170 million US users in 2018. Those 2 million users represent the younger 24 and under audience who aren’t going very far. Overwhelmingly, they're migrating to Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram is owned by Facebook and the two share the same buying platform, making the audience shift simple to follow for marketers.
The changes don't end there. According to Forbes, over half of all Instagram users follow brands. Find out where your ideal customers are hanging out on social media, and focus your promoted content strategy on the channels where that audience will be most receptive.
There are a lot of moving parts to a promoted content strategy, so it's important to build a solid foundation (backed by data) to start off on the right foot. Although business owners may be tempted to set out on their own with limited data, the most successful campaigns are built with the help of a marketing professional. These specialists can teach business owners to identify key demographics and networks, so they can ensure their marketing budget is being spent as efficiently as possible.