Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Whether you use it to supplement your existing inbound marketing efforts or it makes up your entire strategy, you’ve probably used social media to meet your marketing objectives.

There are various social media platforms to choose from, and each comes with a user base that brings different advertising potential. Even though there are so many platforms, HubSpot marketing experts Kelly Hendrickson and Andrew Delaney don’t think that you should be using all of them.

Featured Resource: Digital Advertising Training Course

Hendrickson says, “When it comes to choosing which social platforms to invest in, there’s often not a one-size-fits-all answer.” This is because, based on your business’s buyer personas and marketing goals, certain channels will help your advertisements gain more traction, while others may not be as impactful.

This post covers six different social media platforms to give you an understanding of when you should and shouldn’t elect to use them in your social media advertising strategy.

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Which social networks should you advertise on?

When deciding which social networks to use, Delaney says, “It’s difficult to recommend one platform or another for social advertising.” It’s best to take a holistic view of your needs, what the platform has to offer and go from there.

That being said, some social networks are better equipped for meeting overall marketing needs than others, and we’ll discuss those below.

Facebook

Facebook has around 1.82 billion daily active users and is one of the most popular social media platforms. It is also the leading marketing platform worldwide, with 91% of B2B and 96% of B2C marketers using it for advertising and marketing.  

Given this, Hendrickson says, “For better or for worse, every business needs a Facebook advertising presence.” The platform has the most powerful tools for optimizing and targeting, enabling marketers to create a true buyer’s journey within the platform. Hendrickson adds, “It’s also a lot of bang for your buck,” meaning that conversion rates on the platform are high (4.7%, to be exact).

facebook advertising

Whether you’re a software company or a clothing business, you’ll likely find success on Facebook, especially if you use their ad management tool and create a Facebook marketing strategy that carefully considers your target audiences.

You can think of it like this: 15% of Facebook users use the platform to find and shop for products. Suppose you’re an eCommerce business that has targeted the right audiences for your advertisements. In that case, the networks’ high conversion rates say that your target market, who are already using the platform to shop, are likely to make purchases based on your ads.

Should you choose to use Facebook, you can use automation software, like Perfect Audience, to ensure that you’re continuously nurturing leads and targeting the most qualified customers. Perfect Audience helps you generate lists of users on Facebook that are most likely to become customers and re-targets them for continuous influence.

If you’re a HubSpot user, the tool integrates with Marketing Hub, and you can analyze campaign success and track conversions. Once you understand who your most qualified customers are, Perfect Audience helps you continuously re-target those customers to maximize your influence. The image below displays a summary of a campaign analysis on the Perfect Audience platform.

perfect audience hubspot integration campaign analysis demo

When shouldn’t you advertise on Facebook?

Despite being useful for most businesses, there are still times where advertising on the platform is not as beneficial.

For example, if you don’t have a deep understanding of who your target audience is, it might be best to place Facebook on the back burner until you can gain a thorough understanding of who they are. While ad targeting on Facebook is specific, and the algorithm learns from your leads over time, the process begins with a pre-existing list of groups to target.

Instagram

Instagram is a visual social media platform, favoring high-quality images and video content. The network has around 500 million daily active users, and 62.7% of its global audience are between 18-34 years old. In terms of user activity, 70% of shopping enthusiasts report using the app for product discovery.

Considering those facts, Instagram can be very profitable for B2C businesses (82% of B2C marketers are already using it), especially those that use high-quality photos and visuals to attract leads and drive conversions. Instagram has recently re-designed their mobile application to be more shopping focused than ever before, making it easier to advertise and sell products without needing customers to navigate to a website storefront.  

In addition, Instagram is beneficial for eCommerce businesses as a means of customer service. Rather than having users email questions or call customer service, you can ask followers to directly message you with questions, comment on your posts, and you can even post instructional videos explaining how your products work.

So, in sum, if you’re an eCommerce business that can produce high-quality visual content to attract and engage leads, Instagram is worth considering.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Instagram?

Unlike Facebook, Instagram really only caters to B2C businesses. If you’re a more corporate business not focused on individual consumer purchases, you’ll likely have some trouble marketing on Instagram and cultivating engagement.

However, using Instagram and not producing the high-quality content that the app requires won’t aid in your marketing efforts. Users on the app expect high-quality content, so having these visuals is crucial, regardless of your business type. If you don’t have the time or the means, turning to a different platform will likely bring more success as you dedicate time to learn about Instagram and create high-quality visual content for future use.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging social media platform, with 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users. It’s popular in 20 different countries, and its users send out around 500 million tweets per day.  It’s also popular with businesses, as 59% of B2B marketers and 53% of B2C marketers use the platform to meet their marketing goals.

Like Facebook, the possibilities for exposure on the app are incredibly high because of user count. Hendrickson says that, because of this, “Twitter is great to build awareness for your brand and reputation as a thought leader.”

social network advertising

Some of Twitter’s main features, like hashtags, make it easy to reach a wide variety of audiences without having to target them specifically (plus, hashtags don’t come with a price tag). It’s worth noting that tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement.

In addition to organic advertising, Twitter also has targeted marketing options that allow you to promote content to your key audiences.

In short, there are a variety of businesses that can advertise on Twitter. Smaller companies that may not have a large advertising budget can use free targeting with business-related hashtags. So can larger B2B enterprise businesses (as HubSpot does) that use paid advertising. Twitter can also be beneficial for any business with a significant understanding of their customer base, as ad targeting allows you to select relevant categories and demographic groups that may become qualified leads after seeing your campaigns.

However, Twitter is not the platform that will bring in a significant amount of site traffic conversions.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Twitter?

Hendrickson says, “Looking for site traffic? Twitter is probably not your friend. It’s tough to ask that audience to click and leave the platform.” If your overall marketing goal is to drive conversions to generate site traffic, it’s best to look elsewhere for those metrics.

Even though there are ways to target specific groups through hashtags without spending money, there is only so much you can do organically on Twitter to generate consistent engagement without consistent virality. If you’re a smaller business with a limited budget, relying on hashtags and mentions to advertise your business will make it challenging to hold out against larger, established businesses on the platform.

It may be best to then choose a platform that speaks more to your needs and use Twitter as a supplementary marketing channel.

Which social networks shouldn’t you advertise on?

All of the above platforms work for specific advertising needs. However, marketers with different goals can still develop a presence on the app and build their strategy until they need those marketing objectives. Delaney says, “Your success on different social media platforms can vary depending on your goal or objective, as well as your industry and where your target audience spends your time.”

social media channels to advertise on

There are other social media platforms whose audience and target demographics are so specific that it will be challenging to find success without meeting their niche requirements, like LinkedIn and TikTok.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that you should never consider these platforms. Instead, their user base is so niched that businesses who don’t have an explicit need for what the platform has to offer likely can’t make use of it.

Below, we’ll go over these two platforms, what they can be used for, and give marketers an idea of when they may be able to make use of these platforms in the future.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a unique social media platform, catered entirely towards businesses and working professionals. Although its user base is extremely specific, LinkedIn has powerful, targeted ad capabilities that can help marketers reach over 690 million users.

The costs of running LinkedIn ad campaigns are relatively high. Still, the audiences you’ll reach are higher-quality than other sites because leads are much more qualified than other social media channels. Your ads will always be seen by business-minded individuals targeted based on relevant demographic information like job title, claimed industry, and working location.

In addition to its higher costs, LinkedIn doesn’t have high click-through rates (the average is .45% lower than Facebook).

Because of its exclusivity, eCommerce businesses and B2C businesses will likely have little success in their LinkedIn marketing efforts, as platform users don’t browse with the intent of making purchases as they would on Instagram or Facebook, and even less than they would on Twitter.

Having said that, B2B businesses that use the platform may have something to gain.  

When should you advertise on LinkedIn?

82% of B2B marketers report using LinkedIn as a means of networking and making professional connections. Whether you’re hoping to raise brand awareness, get event registrations, advertise job opportunities, or recruit new employees, LinkedIn’s ad manager will help you designate target audiences and draw in the leads you need.  

If you’re looking to advertise a new job opportunity, use LinkedIn. If you’re hoping to network and grow connections in your field, use LinkedIn. If you’re a recruiter, use LinkedIn. The cost of advertising on the platform pays off for those who use it because, as mentioned above, the leads are significantly more qualified than they would be if you were to advertise a job on Facebook.

If you choose to incorporate LinkedIn into your B2B marketing strategy, using a platform like RollWorks can help you track campaign success and understand if the platform is worthwhile for your marketing strategy. RollWorks will give you campaign metrics in the form of activity graphs that provide overviews of conversions, cost per click (CPC), and return on investment (ROI).

RollWorks can be integrated with HubSpot, allowing you to get an overview of your campaign success across all platforms.

Nevertheless, B2C businesses do have opportunities to use LinkedIn for a variety of different scenarios besides engagement and conversions. For example, if you’re a B2C company looking to open a new storefront in an entirely different city, using LinkedIn to advertise job postings can be beneficial. The ad targeting will help you segment relevant audiences in that location and recruit professionals best suited for those positions.

TikTok

TikTok is a relatively new advertising platform for marketers to use. The company recently launched TikTok For Business, where marketers can learn about TikTok advertising and create ads that are best suited for the app.

The social media network has recently taken off and is available in 155 different countries, with over 600 million active monthly users. These users spend more time on the app than any other social media site, having an average session time of 10.85 minutes. Given this, the advertising potential on TikTok is high, especially when it comes to awareness and engagement.

TikTok, like over visual platforms, favors high-quality videos, but the preferred type of video content is different, which makes it more difficult to find success. This is because TikTok is popular among Generation Z, and most of its users are between the ages of 10 and 19. While the app can give you exposure to a younger audience than most other social media apps, this demographic is very specific in the types of content they enjoy. They shy away from ‘sales-to-drive’ leads promotions and prefer informal behind the scenes content ads.

They like to see a more human side of your business, like who creates the products you produce and what day-to-day looks like for your business employees. If your business is not prepared to meet these needs, it will be hard to benefit from the high engagement rates that TikTok has to offer. However, there is always room for growth and businesses to devise a marketing plan that favors TikTok preferences.

When should you use TikTok?

Businesses that will find the most success on the app are ready to, or already, create and post behind the scenes, organic content on their account. If you’re a clothing company, this could look like a behind the scenes video of a photoshoot for your new clothing line.

If your brand or business is B2B focused and typically creates sales-driven formal content, utilizing the platform would require a significant amount of focus diverted to a TikTok marketing strategy to make the content it prefers. Henrickson says, “When it comes to newer or more experimental channels like TikTok, they’re worth trying if you have the resources. Beating the competition to a platform and succeeding is great, but if your other tried and true channels suffer because of it, it probably isn’t the right move for your brand in the long run.”

advertising on social media platforms

That being said, if your business is looking to branch out and produce content to display a new, human side of your company, TikTok is a great place to start, especially since engagement rates are higher than Instagram and Twitter across all follower levels. Using the platform can help you diversify your content types and share a creative side of your business.

Additionally, TikTok does favor influencer marketing and influencer content. If your business already uses this type of advertising, using TikTok as a place to post this content is worth considering.

Making Your Final Decision

Choosing the platform you’ll use to execute your marketing strategy depends on your overall business goals and business type. If you’re consumer-purchase focused, you want to use a platform that will entice your audience to purchase your products, like high-quality Instagram photos. If you’re a recruiting company, you want professionals to know that you’re serious about your efforts and not running a scam, like LinkedIn job postings.

Delaney says, “I’m usually in favor of testing out various types of creative content across different objectives and audiences on multiple platforms, iterating on those results, and comparing over time.” You may find that a platform you initially thought was best doesn’t draw in the results you were hoping for.

If you analyze your campaign metrics and pay attention to the campaigns you run, you’ll get the information you need to make educated decisions about your marketing efforts. You can determine which platform offers the best results for your business and use that to inform future media placements.

social media content calendar

Why You Should Build Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

Why You Should Build Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

The average American sees up to 10,000 ads and brand messages every single day. Sounds a little overwhelming, right? That’s because it is.

After seeing this many ads every day, viewers simply stop noticing them—meaning they aren’t engaging with them. As a result, you miss out on sales opportunities.

You need to go further to engage your target audience and convert them by personalizing the whole marketing experience through interactive marketing tools. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Interactive Tools in Marketing?

Pretend for a moment that you’re looking for new hair color. It’s tricky because you’re unsure which colors suit you, and you could use some personalized help.

Finally, a website catches your eye because there’s an interactive tool designed to help you pick a hair color. All you need to do is input some simple details, such as your skin tone and eye color, and you’ll see a list of compatible hair dyes.

The outcome? You purchase a hair dye. In other words, you just went from a potential lead to a paying customer, and it’s all thanks to that interactive website tool.

Essentially, this is precisely how interactive tools for marketing are meant to work. And this particular example isn’t imaginary—you can check out Boots to see what I mean:

If you go through the sequence, you’ll find a list of compatible colors. Then, when you click on a color, a link pops up to take you straight to the right product:

How’s that for convenience?

With just a few minutes of interaction, users get helpful, meaningful results—and you may make a sale.

Examples of Interactive Tools

That’s just one example of interactive tools in a sales context. However, you can build many interactive tools and discover at least as many ways you can use them in your marketing strategy.

Here are five common types of interactive marketing tools we can use in different ways.

Virtual Try Ons for Interactive Marketing

This one’s similar to what we just worked through, but it’s not quite identical—we’re taking it one step further.

Embedded “quizzes” like the one we just looked at rely on customers clicking on certain answers. The algorithm then presents people with solutions matching their answers.

Conversely, virtual try-ons use augmented reality or simple image captures to let people use selfies to “try on” everything from makeup to glasses.

The benefit? Customers know whether the product suits them or not, so they’re more likely to buy. Briefly, here’s how they work:

  • Someone visits your product page.
  • They tap the “try on” link, which activates the user’s phone camera.
  • With augmented reality, the user places the product on their face to see how it looks.
  • If they’re happy with the appearance, the prospective customer moves the product to their basket and goes through checkout.

It’s not just limited to beauty products or accessories, either. For instance, platforms like Amazon allow their users to “place” furniture around the room to see if they look good in their home. The same technology applies.

Interactive Measurement Tools

Customers sometimes find buying products like shoes online challenging because it’s hard to determine what size to get.

That’s where measurement tools come in. Let’s break down Nike’s Digital Foot Measurement Tool as an example.

  • Customers shop through the Nike app.
  • They decide on the shoes they want and opt to “try them on.”
  • The camera scan’s the person’s foot to get measurements rather than using augmented reality.
  • Once the scan is complete, the app tells the person which size they should choose.

It’s easy to see how this may lead to more sales and, happily, fewer returns.

Interactive Calculators

Calculators are useful interactive tools for your website and can be used in more ways than one might think, including as:

  • Nutritional calculators
  • Pricing calculators to help potential customers build customized product “bundles”
  • Financial calculators to help people select the right financial product for their circumstances

Whichever sector you’re in, there’s a good chance you can use an interactive calculator to personalize the user experience.

For example, say you run a kitchen supplies website, and you want people to buy your recipe books. They’ve asked questions about how healthy the recipes are.

A nutritional calculator can help them out and, in turn, encourage people to spend more time on your website and potentially have more trust in your brand.

7 Reasons You Should Use Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

We’ve explored what interactive marketing tools are and how they work. There’s still a fundamental question remaining: Can these tools increase your sales?

The answer is: Yes! Here are my top seven reasons why interactive tools in your marketing strategy can increase sales:

1. Interactive Tools Boost Engagement Levels

Customer engagement is vital, but it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Here are two reasons why:

  • The average person spends almost two and a half hours a day scrolling through social media. In this time, they’re exposed to countless marketing messages, from banner ads to PPC.
  • We’ve become “conditioned” to ignore banners (a phenomenon dubbed “banner blindness.”)

Don’t worry, though. This time is where interactive tools have their chance to shine. 66% of marketers report an increase in engagement levels after introducing interactive content to their marketing plans.

Ultimately, increased customer engagement is a pretty effective way to generate more sales in the long-term, so it’s worth using interactive tools in your content.

2. Improved UX Using Interactive Tools May Convert Customers

Conversion is what marketing is all about, and interactive tools could help you do just that. Let me show you how it’s working for JINS, a prescription eyewear provider.

As a forward-thinking company, JINS wanted a new, innovative way to increase conversion rates and improve customer experience. Their solution came via virtual try-ons for glasses.

All someone needs to do is turn on their camera and upload a selfie to the platform. Once that’s done, the user chooses which frames they’re interested in and puts them onto the selfie.

Here’s what it looks like in action. On the left, we have the selfie, and on the right, the actual frames after the customer made their purchase:

Potential customers now have a quick and accurate way to gauge which glasses to buy! According to JINS, conversion rates have drastically improved since they added this interactive tool.

3. Interactive Tools Allow Customers to Feel Confident in Large Purchases

Like I said earlier, this is not just about trying on hair colors or checking out fashion accessories. This technology is about making big purchases, too.

Take Target, for example. Users upload a picture of their room and place a true-to-life copy of a furniture piece in the space. They can also download the Target app and try out the augmented reality version instead, which is a little more engaging because you can move the product around the room. Amazon does this with many of their products in their app as well.

This feature allows users to check if the furniture or other large item fits their space before purchasing it, which means they’re more likely to click “buy” and less likely to make returns.

4. Personalized User Experience via Interactive Tools Can Increase Conversions

Do you see a pattern of personalization forming? Interactive tools allow us to personalize marketing like never before. Here’s why it matters from a sales perspective:

These stats tell us two things:

First, customers crave personalization. They want to feel valued by companies.

Second, they’re more likely to become loyal customers if there’s a personal touch to your marketing efforts.

This is a no-brainer way to build brand loyalty and increase your chance of future sales.

5. Interactive Tools Increase Lead Generation

I’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth emphasizing just how effective a lead generation strategy using interactive tools can be from a sales perspective.

Firstly, there’s an SEO angle. If you can attract more social media shares and inbound links, you should generate more traffic. Additionally, if people spend more time on your website and there’s a lower bounce rate, your search engine ranking can improve. Social shares may boost your SEO ranking by over 20%, too. (You can check who’s linking back to you with my free backlink checker.)

The upshot of interactive tools catching people’s eyes is that there could be more organic traffic and better quality leads because the people you’re attracting are already looking for your product or service.

Let’s think about this from another angle, too. The data you’re capturing from prospects as they use your tools may help you figure out what your customers want so you can improve your products and services.

Consequently, you can generate more quality leads in the long-term, all without much extra effort from a marketing perspective.

Sounds great, right?

6. Automate Your Marketing With Interactive Tools

Yes, interactive tools can help you automate your marketing efforts, and the tools do much of the work for you. The algorithms detect what the customer wants and make recommendations or offer solutions based on this information.

This can help you increase sales and make alterations as needed because you can:

  • Check your metrics to ensure the tools are working how you want them to
  • Make changes to the UX based on what you’re seeing
  • Compare performance across different interactive tools and invest time, energy, and resources in the ones performing most effectively

7. Interactive Tools May Draw Traffic to Your Website  

Without traffic coming to your website, there’s little chance you’ll make sales. Again, interactive tools can help you out here. Here’s why.

Firstly, 47% of people use ad blockers now, so there’s a chance some potential customers won’t even see your marketing if you’ve focused efforts on those. Interactive tools help you sidestep this problem.

Secondly, 79% of successful marketers say interactive tools and content encourage people to return to their websites. It’s not just about creating new content, either—you can use the same content time and time again when you have interactive tools.

Think about it. If a customer loves the eyeglasses they purchased from you the first time around, they’re more likely to return to your online shop. There, they’ll use the same virtual try on tool they used before to check out different pairs. You didn’t have to try to impress them with new interactive tools, promotional emails, or any other marketing strategy—they liked what they used the first time and engaged with it again.

How’s that for a cost-efficient way to solidify a lasting relationship with your customer base?

Conclusion

Why should you build interactive tools to increase your sales? Well, as we can see, they’re not just a reliable way to generate leads and improve conversion rates, but they’re cost-effective, too.

They’re not especially challenging to deploy, either. It’s easy enough to find interactive tools you can tweak to suit your needs and embed them on your website. If you want more help with introducing interactive tools into your marketing strategy, check out my consulting services.

Have you tried interactive marketing tools yet?

10 Things Affiliate Managers Should Equip Affiliates With

10 Things Affiliate Managers Should Equip Affiliates With

Earlier today, every affiliate marketer aboard Amazon Associates program received the following announcement:

Amazon Associates' Idea Hub

We are being told that Amazon Associates‘ newly-created “Idea Hub” is meant to equip its affiliates with “content ideas such as inspirational promotions, events, deals, and products throughout Amazon in one place.”

The idea isn’t new. We’ve been encouraging merchants to put together such affiliate resources for nearly twenty years. It helps your affiliates by acquainting them with your program and what you sell, equips them, and gets their creative juices flowing. But what exactly should you equip your affiliates with? Of course, you could offer a myriad of things, but at bare minimum, we recommend providing them with the following ten:

1. Product Information

Sounds simple? It is for you, because it’s your product and no one knows it better than you. But affiliates, generally, participate in multiple affiliate programs and it is those that go the extra mile of educating them about their product(s) that truly stand out. We recommend putting together affiliate-centric slide decks highlighting the features and benefits of your products or services, and equipping affiliates with them.

2. Keywords

Keywords help with focus. Whether it is paid search efforts, hashtags on/for social media marketing, or search engine optimization, affiliates appreciate guidance on the optimal keywords and key phrases that characterize your product or service. RingCentral realizes this and on their Affiliate Program Best Practices page they equip affiliates with the keywords to consider:

RingCentral affiliate program best practices

3. Demographic Insights

Help your affiliates understand your primary target market. Start with the basics (gender, age, income), diving into the details (children, religion, ethnicity, etc), and cover also the geographic piece. Ensure that they are equipped with this knowledge to market you to the right audience(s).

4. Lists of Bestsellers

Regardless of what you sell, you know what sells best. This data is invaluable for affiliates! So, share it with them, providing respective deep links (or tools/ways to grab these), creatives, landing pages, and any other product- and audience-specific insights.

5. Reviews & Testimonials

On a recent call I’ve had with ConsumerAffairs.com, their rep gave perfect definition of a consumer review. He called it “a sales pitch from an existing customer”. That’s exactly what it is!

Consumer Reviews

When your prospective buyer enters the consideration phase of the sales funnel, other customer’s testimonials become a powerful marketing tool. As with all things marketing, you want to include these in the arsenal that empowers your affiliates to sell.

6. Videos

If there are any helpful promotional videos that you may provide to your affiliates, please do! Some affiliate tracking platforms would enable you with tracking video plays as conversions, others would allow equipping affiliates with video creatives… Whatever you have to work with, videos are powerful. They boost engagement and increase conversions. If you have them, do provide them to your affiliates.

7. Promos

No, you do not have to discount the product to offer promos. Instead, these could include an offer of free shipping over a certain amount, bundles, and other non-discounting ideas. Let me also emphasize something important here: contrary to a popular belief, promos (and coupons) aren’t “necessary” for building a solid affiliate program. They do aid in the conversion, but you don’t have to work with coupon-oriented affiliates and/or offer coupons to leverage affiliate marketing effectively.

8. Top-Converting Landing Pages

We talked about your best-selling products. Top-converting landing pages may or may not be related to these. Whether it is a product- or a promo-related landing page, if there’s something noteworthy about it in terms of its performance, do share this information with your affiliates. Steer clear of disclosing any sensitive data (which may hurt your relationship with other affiliates) but do let your affiliates know what converts best. Conversion rate is a key metric in their earnings formula.

9. Marketing Planning Calendar

To ensure aligned marketing, furnish your affiliates with a marketing planning calendar. Inform them of the key marketing efforts/plans and the exact dates when to expect the respective affiliate creatives, tools, landing pages, and promos to be made available.

Marketing planning calendar

[Source]

10. Best-Performing Channels

Finally, appreciating that affiliate marketing is not a channel of marketing, analyze which marketing channels perform best for you, and equip your affiliates with this data. This will help them prioritize the techniques and promotional methods that have the higher impact, and stay away from low potential ones.

So there you have it: your own top-10 list of the insights to equip your affiliates with. Now it’s time to build your own killer affiliate resource center and/or breathe a new life into your affiliate newsletters!