Episode 58 of Landscape Digital Show reveals a data-driven social advertising system for reaching a larger or deeper audience.

Social Advertising: A Data-Driven System

One of the most insightful sessions I had the opportunity to experience at Social Media Marketing World 2017 was one by Larry Kim on social advertising, that’s using Facebook, Twitter, and Google advertising to promote content that drives traffic to your website to sell more products or services.

What’s beautiful about this data-driven system is its simplicity for getting the job done with a minimal advertising spend.

Here’s how it works.

#1. Find Your Unicorns

The key to the system is using social advertising to promote only your best content, what Larry Kim refers to as your unicorns. This is content that has proved its value, and therefore, merits the opportunity to reach a larger or deeper audience with the boost of social advertising behind it.

Compare that to how some companies use social advertising. They promote all of their content equally with the hope that some of it will stick. This is like sitting at the blackjack table and going all in on every hand with only hope as a plan.

There’s nothing data driven about that, and that’s why it’s called gambling.

It’s not necessary to use complex analytics to find your unicorns. Social share counts are usually enough to find content that resonates with the audience you are targeting.

Google favorably ranks content that meets the test of resonance, relevance, and recency.

Resonance is an indication that content is hitting the mark with a targeted audience. That is, it’s solving a problem a particular problem that is relevant to the audience.

One measure of resonance is relevance. Another is recency.

Recency can be tricky because sometimes evergreen content that is years old still ranks well, while content that is only a few days old is no longer considered relevant. Use your best judgment based on the type of content.

#2 – Strategically Promote Your Content

If you review your (recent) content for the past 12 months you will discover that only about 5% of it is truly relevant. That is, it has earned moderate or better social shares.

This resonant content is likely to achieve desired outcomes with social advertising. Test it with a limited advertising budget of about $10 – $50.

If it doesn’t bring a measurably favorable return you stop. To make that determination choose the desired outcome or action, such as filling out a form to get more information or calling your office.

According to Larry Kim, there are two purposes for social advertising.

1. Catalyst
2. Accelerant

A catalyst speeds up a process that will otherwise work without it. In terms of social advertising, this is giving your content a lift to see if it has a chance of running with the unicorns, so to speak.

If it doesn’t, you stop. Save your money until you have better content.

If the content is performing well with advertising as a catalyst you then employ the accelerant strategy. Invest in more social advertising to fuel the virality of your content just as gasoline fuels a fire.

The hard part is getting the fire going, so when you discover one you want to take it as far as you can, to the extent that your budget allows.

#3. Create a Bias for Your Brand

Here’s the truth about social selling and content marketing, especially for landscaping and other green industry companies whose revenues are largely dependent upon trusted customer relationships.

1. Promote inspirational and memorable content aligned with your brand to a target audience. This creates awareness.

2. Awareness creates a bias toward your brand. But there are a number of reasons why an interested buyer will choose not to take action at that time.

This is why content marketing is a forever game and why using marketing automation to nurture those relationships with unicorn quality content and social advertising should be strategically planned.

3. Buyers with a bias will take action with your brand when the need arises.

One of the outcomes of our industry research is that landscaping companies need more leads and greater conversion of the leads they get. This is what we are talking about here.

The winners today are the companies that rank highly for the search terms used by their targeted audiences. That’s a good source of leads.

The winners are also the companies that are earning social engagement that tends to create even more engagement. That’s one of the best sources of conversion.

All of this is measurable, so there’s no excuse for not taking a data-driven approach like this one.

The truth about content marketing nowadays is it is becoming a winner take all game. It’s a natural function of the maturation of social media.

Now consider that Facebook advertising is very economical today. Doesn’t it make sense to give it a try before it too becomes winner take all?

As social advertising matures it’s only a matter of time until the price to play goes up.Call to Action

Here’s the call to action for this episode.

Use BuzzSumo to find your content unicorns. You simply type in your company name or domain and it will list your most popular content in terms of social shares.

Then promote this content to a targeted audience such as visitors to your website. You’ll know who they are if you have placed the Facebook pixel on your website.

It takes time to build that audience from the Facebook pixel. In the meantime, you can target other audiences, such as your Facebook fans.