What is paid social?

Paid social is a form of digital advertising which reaches a targeted audience within their chosen social media platform. From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, individuals can be targeted and reached based on their browsing and interaction habits on the platform in question. Paid Social adverts come in many forms, whether a piece of sponsored content, a promoted Tweet or an immersive Instagram story; they are now becoming increasingly more like native content.

How does paid social work?

Paid social offers us the opportunity to reach users at scale, hitting those which may not have been exposed to a brand or product previously, yet fit within your target demographic or market. This means that users no longer have to follow a brand directly in order to receive communication from them. Instead, we are bidding and constructing audiences based on specified targeting criteria; this can be through interests, affinities, those which look like current customers or using third party data. We discover where prospects spend their time online and then direct contextually relevant messages of specific interest to them at each stage in the buyer’s journey.

Content, creative and messaging used within the adverts is designed to reflect your brand and values. But it also responds to changing user behaviour in highly creative ways – from interactive carousel ads to mobile-optimised live video – to grab users’ attention as they scroll through their feed. We include a clickable call-to-action within each ad, encouraging them to ‘learn more’ or ‘buy now’. As we learn how our audience segments are behaving and interacting with content we are able to make optimisations accordingly. This can cover a number of different areas such as demographics, ad copy or creative format.

Why is paid social important?

With an ever-increasing use of social apps (and reminders telling you how long you’ve spent on them), we know that your audience is spending time here; so it is critical of your marketing mix. With organic and owned content becoming ever more challenging, paid social opens the door to reaching incremental users and helping to expand your customer base or prospect pool.

Paid Social is fundamental in the marketing funnel and, much like display advertising, keeps people moving through the funnel. Whether sparking interest in a product at the first point of contact or driving individuals back to the site to the point of conversion, paid social can be leveraged in a multitude of ways. With this in mind, we can then tailor the messaging to impact the relevant users at the correct place in the funnel.