Intro to Social Advertising

To make this miniseries so much easier for all of us, I decided to separate some of the social advertising information to its own post. I’ll be covering the information that is shared between platforms and basics of getting started, and then get into details per platform in their individual posts.

Every social media platform has some sort of advertising program that you can use. It can be a great way to promote your blog in various ways, such as specific posts, newsletter, or overall existence on a particular platform. Now which platforms you advertise on is a case by case decision, and once you learn more about each specific site you’ll start to figure out which ones have worthwhile advertising opportunities.

Now, each ad has a certain collection of things you need to have to make it. I will be covering each of these broad sections here and then in more detail for each individual platform.

Objective

The objective is the goal of the ad. Options often include getting website clicks, getting page likes and followers, getting leads (ie newsletter signups), engagement, direct messages, and more. Some platforms have you specifically pick your objective, for others, it’s just something you should have in mind when crafting your ad.

My most-often-chosen objective is website clicks because I am usually advertising a specific blog post I want people to go read. But what posts should you advertise? The main thing I consider when deciding to advertise a post is asking “Is it relevant?” And relevant covers a lot of factors, including topic, trends, and time of year. An example of a post I have used advertising to promote is The Ultimate Gift Guide for Geeks. It was relevant because it was the holiday season, aka the gift-giving season, thus the topic and the time of year were relevant.

Ad Creative

Ad creative includes all of the basic information of your ad and what your ad looks like. Here is what you should, in general, have before making your ad.

  • URL – the link you are sending people to, whether a blog post or newsletter signup or whatever your objective is.
  • Headline – Often it is the title of the link, like the name of the post you are promoting.
  • Text Caption – What you are writing in the caption, like a description of the post or why subscribe to your YouTube is worth it.
  • Call to Action – What you explicitly want them to do. Often the ad creators have you pick a specific phrase (ie Learn More, Sign Up, Call Us, etc.)
  • Media –  the images/ video you use.

Every site will want these in some fashion, so having them ready to go when you start is helpful.

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Audience

We’ve talked about audiences before in a previous Guide to Blogging post, specifically in Building an Audience, so if you’ve been following along you should have an idea what yours is. The point of defining the audience of your ad will decide who gets to see it. You choose both demographics and psychographics, and the platform will aim to get your ad in front of people who match those choices. Some platforms let you save your audience for future use which is super useful.

It can also be beneficial to segment your main audience based on specifics. An example for us geeky bloggers would be creating an audience that is specifically for video gamers. While your broad audience may include things like Disney and Harry Potter, having a video gamer specific audience will be great when what you are advertising is more niche. And this works for all kinds of bloggers so consider how you can segment your main audience for specific needs.

Duration and Budget

Duration and the budget are pretty straightforward. It is where you define how long you want this ad to run and how much you are willing to pay. Different platforms handle this slightly different when it comes to duration choices, but it is usually very similar. Budget is almost always specifically choosing a daily budget.

How do you decide what your budget should be? Ultimately it is up to you and how much you can spend and how much reach you want. More reach will cost more, and ads with higher budgets can get prioritized over ads with lower. However, never go over what you can reasonably afford. If your blog does not make you tons of money or you don’t have a huge chunk of disposable income, be smart about your budget. My max is usually $2/day, depending on the platform, because I don’t have a lot of money I can put towards these ads.

An important note, the ad will not spend exactly $2 every day. $2 is the cap it will spend in a day, but you can see that on one day it may only spend $1.25. This is normal, across all advertising platforms across the internet. It’s essentially a bidding system for ad spots.

Now that I have gone through the basics, my future posts will get into the specifics of individual platforms and cover their advertising with a little more depth.

Do you have any questions about advertising? Ask them in a comment below!


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