Beyond Boosting: It’s Time to Level Up Your Social Media Advertising Game
Your cafe is booming and customer engagement is building up for your coffee brand thanks to dedicated boosting efforts. But you know you can spread your audience reach further.
Is it time to level up your social media advertising game?
Social media advertising is ultimately a hyper-direct way of reaching your target audience. You have the liberty to target brand new customers or strengthen relationships with returning and repeat ones. It is a must if you are looking to reach a new, targeted audience at a quicker pace. Organic reach has become a harder feat to achieve and the days of going viral with minimal boost is nearly non-existent.
Here at Bean & Barley, we understand that moving from an organic marketing strategy to putting real money on advertising can be a gamble. Which is why it matters that you understand all the options and features that you, as an owner and a marketer at the same time, can take advantage of.
In this feature, we explain how you maximize your advertising spend on social media, particularly the biggest players in the market: Facebook and Instagram.
Types of social media ads
As of July 2020 Facebook alone has 2.45 billion active users in a month hailing from different demographics. Meanwhile, Instagram has an advertising audience reach of 929 million in a month as of January 2020.
Take a look at the infographic below.
It takes understanding the detailed targeting options that you can use to catch fish from this big pool of users. In general, Facebook and Instagram helps you to achieve three broad types of campaign objectives: awareness, considerations and conversion. Awareness, as the name implies, builds brand reach. Consideration sends traffic to your coffee shop’s website, increases engagement, and encourages video views and eager communication with your Facebook page or Instagram profile. Conversion aims to increase your in-app or site purchases and helps drive foot traffic to offline stores which in your case, is your coffee shop.
The Photo Ads
This is a perfect opportunity for you to simply show and tell. As the name suggests, this type of ad is visual oriented and drives more unique traffic than other types of ad formats. You have the option to include 90 characters of text along a 25-character headline. Show and tell! These ads can also include a call-to-action button like Shop Now or Download.
You have the freedom to curate your photo ad in Facebook Business Manager, or simply promote a post with an image from your Facebook Page or Instagram Feed. If you have a tangible product to promote, a photo ad is a great place to make it pop and stand out in your audience feed or timeline. Make no mistake, product photos alone sometimes do not do the work. We suggest showing people who are actually using your product to raise more awareness and draw in more potential leads.
The Video Ads
This is where it starts to get more fun and dynamic. Naturally, audiences are likely to respond more to moving posts. Video ads can range from short, looping video clips that are set to autoplay in your target users’ feeds to even up to 241-minute long videos. You can even share 360-degree video for touring customers in your cafe to stand out in an otherwise static feed.
With videos, less is more. Expect your audience to have a shorter attention span so the more you can express in a video as short as 30 seconds, the better. Case in point: short videos have higher completion rates. This is a given for videos that aim to sell. But if you feel that you have a story worth telling for more than a minute or so, you can go longer. Just make sure to have an introduction that is solid enough to capture attention within the first 15 seconds. Otherwise, it’s a miss.
With so many options, it is very important to have solid goals and understand who your target market is and where your video will reach them.
The Stories Ads
Do you see those little circles or rings we see around our favorite page or influencer’s profile? They can be a place of advertisement, too!
Stories are a full-screen format. Whenever your audience feels like killing time by viewing people’s stories or my-days, your story ad will pop in between profiles. It is wise to note that photos display for only six seconds and videos can last up to only 15 seconds. Again, the more you can express in a shorter span of time, the more effective the ad is going to be.
Here’s the thing with Stories ads: you can’t select them on your own. It becomes an option in your automatic placements when creating your ad for the News Feed or Instagram Stories campaign.
Since stories only last for 24 hours (although you can view them in your archive), stories ads can run for as long as you set them for. This type of ad is particularly useful for the in-the-heat-of-the-moment type of marketing. This includes limited time offers, sales or promos for your cafe merchandise or in-house coffee treats. Stories ads provide a simple and quick way of conveying information with hints of entertainment and aesthetic.
The Carousel Ads
No, this isn’t your usual theme park ride. It’s actually much more than that.
A Facebook and Instagram carousel ad lets you include up to 10 images or videos, each with their own link, all in one space of an ad.
You can use this type of ad to showcase the different functionalities or features of your coffee merchandise. If you have one product with different variations, a carousel is the brilliant way to execute ads, too. This allows you to present multiple products in one setting. You can tell compelling products stories in the form of a carousel. Therefore if you need these photos to stay in a certain order, simply unclick the automatic optimization feature.
The Slideshow Ads
A slideshow is an ad that enables you to create a video from several static images. This can be your own or stock images that Facebook has in its library.
The difference of slideshow from a traditional video is that the former consists of still graphics while the latter involves movement. Slideshows provide another means of telling a compelling story without requiring video-making platforms to materialize. Is this the best of both worlds? It can be.
If you are not yet familiar with dynamic video ads but you feel that you want to move beyond still photos, slideshow ads give you the flexibility to customize and express your brand identity. You can add music, too!
The Collection Ads
This type of ad highlights your products in the Facebook feed because it includes a cover photo or video along with small product images that contain your pricing and other details. Think of photo albums - but digital. Treat the collection ads as your primary digital storefront. It gives your prospects a sneak peek into your full catalog or offering.
What’s more is that this type of ad allows you to learn more about your products without having them leave Facebook. This works well for businesses like you who are in retail.
The Messenger Ads
It’s as straightforward as it can get. These Facebook ads are placed in the Messenger app. Instagram evidently does not have this kind of feature.
These ads appear in between messages in the inbox. Imagine conversing with a prospect and an ad will pop up in the middle of the messages. When a potential customer clicks these ads, you can start an automated conversation right then and there within the Messenger app. The other option is you can direct them to a link outside the app to your cafe’s website or app.
Interestingly, over 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month, most of which are not even Facebook users. Needless to say, this is a perfect opportunity for you to start a conversation with your target audience. You can also take advantage of this app to restart cold conversations that simply lost momentum.
Can’t decide which type of ads best fit your branding and target messaging? Talk to us.
Targeting Your Audience Through Advertisements
When deciding where to place your ads, it is wise to understand which platforms are most popular with your target audience. You need to identify where the target group is most engaged, concentrated and accessible depending on the specialty of your cafe business.
Utilize any of these ways to efficiently target your audience.
1. Gather data on your existing customers and social media audience
Begin with the people who are already patronizing your products and are actively engaging with your posts. Observe the behavior and classify them based on their demographics: age, location, language, spending power and patterns, interests, challenges and stage of life.
Should you expand in the future and you find yourself dealing with B2B companies, understand the size of the business and identify the decision-maker. Luckily for you, Facebook Audience Insights is free under the Business Suite and can be particularly helpful in narrowing your search for target audience.
2. Look at the hashtags.
Yes, hashtags are functional. They are a way of social listening to understand conversations about your cafe, the coffee industry and your products. You can observe the relevant keywords being used by monitoring them. Hashtags reveal what the online community is saying about your cafe, even if you are not directly mentioned.
For purposes of deeper social media audience research, you may uncover other relevant hashtags your audience uses even if it is not directly about your industry or your coffee. You can then test the effectiveness of these hashtags by adding them to your social posts to extend your reach to more relevant users.
3. Understand your competition.
This is not to say that you have to mimic their content and posting patterns. The goal is to understand the manner in which they position themselves in the market. You can use this to leverage your own advertising method to reach your target audience.
4. And the old adage remains: what does your target audience expect from your social channels?
How will your cafe make your audience’s life better, easier or more interesting? Creating benefit statements, by default, involves stating some basic information about your target demographic. Positioning your ads in a way that appeals to their pain points by providing a solution to their challenges allows you to better scale your advertising goals.
Experimenting with Social Media Advertising
A/B Testing, also known as split testing, categorizes your audience into two groups to show a different iteration to each group. You will then compare their response to each variation for you to understand which you think is more effective based on your target metrics.
A split testing works if you are testing one variation at a time. Should you find yourself inclined to test different headlines with different layouts, images or general messaging, you will have to conduct multiple testing. This is done so that you can identify which elements or which parts of your ad set worked and which one did not. These factors affect your ad results. Eventually, these will lead you to ads that you can duplicate and repeat.
You might be wondering still how can A/B testing provide you a basis for your social media strategy.
“A/B testing social media can help you find out, for example, how a tweet with a video performs compared to a tweet with a photo for your specific followers. Then, if the tweet with the video performs best, you can test variations in the video itself—short versus long, sound versus silent, animated versus live action, and so on.”
The A/B testing can apply to all aspects of your social media marketing plan - even the most minute of details you can think of. This kind of testing works well when you are testing small changes.
All the major social networks offer advertising options. This doesn’t translate to you being in all of them. As we have discussed before, you have to be where your target audience is.
Not sure how to put your advertising plan into motion? Talk to us.
Newberry, C., 2020. How to Find and Target Your Social Media Audience (Free Template). [online] Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Available at: <https://blog.hootsuite.com/target-market/>
Newberry, C. and McLachlan, S., 2020. Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ad Budget. [online] Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Available at: <https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-advertising/> .