How Promo Distributors Can Get Better Results From Social Media Ads
If you want to reach more of your audience faster, online advertising is a valuable channel.
Organic reach on social media is limited to nonexistent, depending on the platforms. Especially if you don’t have a large following, which is not easy to build either. But with millions of users, paid social does provide you with a place to get seen:
According to Smart Insights, 53.6 % of the world’s population is using social media, on average, for nearly 2.5 hours daily.
Your potential clients are scrolling through social media. The hyper-targeted nature of social media ads allows you to meet them where they are.
Social media ads can help you:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase traffic to your website
- Generate leads
- Increase repeat business
- Increase brand reputation
But you need to have the proper strategy to achieve results. Here are some points to consider to make it work.
Define Your Target Audience
First and foremost, you must have a well-defined buyer persona. Only if you are crystal clear on their interests, needs and wants, as they relate to the solutions you provide, can you create an ad that will push the right buttons.
Keep in mind that visitors are only going to convert if they see value in the content you’re promoting. Make sure your content provides them with answers to their questions and solutions to their challenges.
Understand the Buyer's Journey
Some distributors try ads for a few days, get clicks but not sales, and conclude ads don’t work. They don’t work that way.
Potential clients who see your ads will be at different stages of their buying process. Some will have just made a purchase, but are not happy with their provider. Some are brand new at their job and know they’ll have to purchase products at some point in the future. Others have an event coming up and are in the planning phase.
Each of these groups will react differently to your ad. They might all be intrigued and click on it, but most won’t convert on the first click.
That’s why running ads for a couple of days won’t produce results. Ideally, you want to show your ads regularly so your potential buyers see your ads throughout their buyer journey until they are ready to buy.
Set Realistic Objectives
The main purpose of social media ads in B2B is to reach more of the right people, stay top of mind and get them into your sales funnel. According to GWI, for example, 26% of social media users say they tend to buy brands they see advertised.
However, making a ton of direct sales from social media ads in the promotional products business is not a realistic goal. The main reason is, unlike in B2C, buying merch is never an impulse purchase. So expecting to have loads of profitable orders coming from social is not likely to happen.
Keeping in mind that social media ads can help move buyers through their purchasing journey, setting objectives based on the different stages will fill the pipeline.
- Raise brand awareness
- Increase your following base
- Promote a piece of content to build your authority
- Increase sales of a specific line of products or service
With your buyer’s journey in mind, it is more effective to plan your ads to target the different stages so you can bring leads into the funnel, instead of the all-or-nothing approach.
Create a Campaign Workflow
One of the reasons ads don’t work is because of what happens after the click. The most common mistake is to have the ads go to the home page. The visitors find themselves in the land of general information, where there’s no connection to the ad, and they leave.
To fix this, you want to define the conversion path for the visitor to follow, from the click to the conversion. The ad is just the first piece of the puzzle, and it must be linked to the other parts to produce results.
1. Top of the funnel ad—they never heard of you:
Content promotion ad > piece of content with email capture CTA at the bottom > retargeting ads
2. Middle of the funnel—have clicked, shown interest:
Product bundle offer ad > Landing page with offer details, CTA, and response form > CRM entry > email follow up series
3. Bottom of the funnel—they are on your email list
Retargeting ads and nurturing emails
Choose Your Platforms
Selecting your platforms must be based on your buyer personas. There are several social channels you can run paid ads on, but the most popular include the following:
Technically, your ideal clients are likely to be on several of those platforms, but they don’t use them in the same way. Make sure you do some research and find out where they spend most of their time. You don’t want to be showing ads in the wrong place.
Monitor the Results
It is important to review performance frequently, and measure what is working well and evaluate what can be improved. Review and tweak periodically to see which audiences, placements and formats are converting the most.
You also want to experiment and test new ideas. Great discoveries can come from this.
Paid social strategies are not a quick fix type of solution, they take time to build. Implemented in the right way they help you achieve business results that grow your business.
This article was first published in Action Marketing blog. For more marketing articles, free webinars and guides specific to the promo business, visit the Resources section of ActionMarketingCo.com.
Gloria Lafont is a mother, grandmother and business owner. Throughout her business career she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. She’s currently president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007. Her company focuses on helping distributors increase visibility, generate awareness and drive traffic so they can connect with more of their ideal clients and generate more leads and sales.
Gloria is a big fan and supporter of education and the cultural arts, volunteering her time and donating marketing support over the years to help various organizations grow in membership and revenue. She also enjoys the South Florida lifestyle mix of business, beaches and arts.