Which Social Network Is the Best Use of Your Advertising Dollars?

Marketing Trends Online Digital Concepts

THE FIRST PUBLISHED AD APPEARED IN THE BOSTON HERALD IN 1704. IT WAS A LISTING ADVERTISING A PIECE OF PROPERTY FOR SALE.

ADVERTSING EVOLVED FROM NEWSPAPERS TO PHONE BOOKS, TO DIRECT MAIL AND TO RADIO AND TELEVISION ADS.  ALONG CAME THE INTERNET AND THE INTRODUCTION OF BANNER ADS, SPAM E-MAIL, AND POP-UP ADS.

WHEN GOOGLE TOOK OVER, THINGS CALMED DOWN A BIT WITH THE ADVENT OF ADWORDS.  AND MORE RECENTLY, MUCH TO OUR CHAGRIN, ADVERTISING HAS BECOME AVAILABLE ON MANY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

IN THIS ARTICLE, I’M GOING TO PROVIDE AN OVERVIEW OF THE AD OPPORTUNITIES ON 6 OF THEMAJOR PLATFORMS: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM.

TWITTER

WITH OVER 300 MILLION ACTIVE USERS, TWITTER IS A GREAT PLATFORM TO CONSIDER WHEN ADVERTISING.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:

  • INCREASE ENGAGEMENT ON TWEETS – LIKES, RETWEETS, REPLIES
  • WEBSITE CLICKS OR CONVERSIONS
  • APP INSTALLS OR APP ENGAGEMENTS
  • VIDEO VIEWS
  • INCREASE FOLLOWERS
LEAD GENERATION

ON TWITTER, YOU CAN TARGET BASED ON LOCATION, GENDER, HASHTAGS, INTERESTS AND FOLLOWERS OF OTHER PEOPLE (PERHAPS A COMPETITOR OR AN INFLUENCER).  THE TYPES OF INTERESTS ARE NOT AS SPECIFIC AS THEY MIGHT BE.

COST OF ADS – $0.75 – $2.00 PER CLICK OR NEW FOLLOWER

FACEBOOK

LAST YEAR, IN JUST THE THIRD QUARTER ALONE, FACEBOOK MOBILE ADVERTISING BROUGHT IN OVER 3.4 BILLION IN REVENUE. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING IS HUGE.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:

ON FACEBOOK:

  • GROW PAGE LIKES
  • GET RESPONSES TO A FACEBOOK EVENT
  • WATCH A VIDEO
  • INSTALL AN APP
  • CLAIM AN OFFER
  • LEAD GENERATION (MOBILE PLACEMENT ONLY)

    OFF FACEBOOK:

  • SEND PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE
  • SEND PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE (WITH SOME EXTRA CONVERSION MEASUREMENTS)

    COST: $0.15 – $2.00 DEPENDING UPON CAMPAIGN

LINKEDIN

LINKEDIN ADVERTSING IS MORE EXPENSIVE BUT PRODUCES MORE QUALIFIED LEADS.

OPTIONS:

  • CREATE AN AD
  • SPONSORED CONTENT – ONLY AVAILABLE FROM COMPANY PAGES
YOU CAN TARGET BASED ON JOB TITLE, NICHE GROUPS, DEMOGRAPHICS AND LOCATION.
COST: $2.00 – $8.00 PER CLICK

PINTEREST

PINTEREST ADVERTISING IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO THOSE WITH A BUSINESS ACCOUNT. IT’S EASY TO CONVERT A PERSONAL ACCOUNT TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT, SO IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING, YOU MAY WANT TO DO THAT.
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:  
  • IMPRESSIONS
  • ENGAGEMENT – LIKES, COMMENTS, REPINS
  • CONVERSIONS – MUST ADD A SNIPPET OF CODE TO YOUR WEBSITE
YOU ARE ABLE TO TARGET BY KEYWORDS AND DEMOGRAPHICS.
COST: $0.25 – $1.00 OR MORE PER CLICK.
*VIDEO ADVERTISING IS COMING SOON.

YOU TUBE

YOU TUBE HAS OVER A BILLION MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS AND IS OWNED BY GOOGLE SO IT’S DEFINITELY A GOOD OPTION WHEN CONSIDERING ADVERTSING.
OPTIONS:
  • IN STREAM – PLAYS BEFORE OR DURING A VIDEO. VIEWERS CAN SKIP THE VIDEO AFTER 5 SECONDS. YOU PAY ONLY IF 30 SECONDS OF YOUR VIDEO WERE WATCHED.
  • IN SLATE – VIEWERS ARE OFFERED A CHOICE OF ADS TO WATCH. IF YOURS IS SELECTED, YOU’RE CHARGED. THESE APPEAR IN VIDEOS THAT ARE LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES.
  • IN SEARCH – THESES VIDEOS SHOW UP AT THE TOP RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN WITH SUGGESTED VIDEOS. YOU PAY WHEN VIEWERS WATCH.
  • IN DISPLAY – THESE VIDEOS ARE EMBEDDED CONTENT ON OTHER SITES. YOU PAY WHEN THE AD IS WATCHED. 
THESE ADS ARE SLIGHTLY MORE COMPLEX TO SET UP. YOU CAN TARGET BY INTEREST, DEMOGRAPHICS AND KEYWORDS. 
COST: $0.05 – $2.00

INSTAGRAM

INSTAGRAM IS THE NEWEST OF THELARGER PLATFORMS TO OFFER ADVERTISING TO THE PUBLIC AND IS MANAGED THROUGH THE FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER.
THEY ARE DISPLAYED IN THE USER’S INSTAGRAM FEED AND ARE THE ONLY POSTS THAT HAVE A CLICKABLE LINK WITHIN THE POST. 
CAMPAIGN OPTIONS:
  • LINK TO WEBSITE OR PAGE
  • INSTALL OR ENGAGE WITH AN APP
  • LEARN MORE
TARGETING IS SIMILAR TO FACEBOOK AD TARGETING.

You are able to advertise on Instagram without an Instagram account. You must have a Facebook page though.  If you don’t have an account, you will be able to see the comments and likes, but you will not be able to interact with the people who leave those comments.

*DO NOT INCLUDE INSTAGRAM AS AN OPTION WHEN SETTING UP A FACEBOOK AD. INSTAGRAM ADS SHOULD BE DONE SEPARATELY. THE IMAGE SIZE IS DIFFERENT AND THE COST PER CLICK WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE WHEN COMBINED WITH A FACEBOOK AD.

WHICH SITE IS BEST TO USE?  ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:

  • IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE THERE?
  • DO I HAVE A PRESENCE THERE?
  • IS THE PLATFORM IN MY BUDGET?
  • DO I HAVE A STRATEGY FOR LEAD GENERATION VIA THAT PLATFORM?
HAVE YOU TRIED ADVERTISING ON ANY OF THE SOCIAL PLATFORMS?  WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE?  IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS, I’D LOVE TO HEAR THEM.  COMMENT BELOW.

Guest Blog? Editorial Sponsorship? Or Just Plain Fibbing?

The word "Content" handwritten with white chalk on a blackboardOk, this will be a bit of a rant but it does have some educational value to it, so please hang in there with me.

Perhaps many of you don’t know the story of how I ended up in social media or even on-line at all.

My father came to live with me in 2005 and unbeknownst to me, he had dementia.  Over the next couple of years, it became obvious that I couldn’t leave him at home alone anymore and so I left my career in nursing to become a caregiver. (He used to call the hospital and yell at the operator to go find me; he bought a truck and had it delivered to the house; he left the water on.  But when he started burning pots of food on the stove, it became serious quickly)

In the beginning stages of caregiving, I needed something useful to do and some place to vent so I started writing on my blog The Intentional Caregiver, a site offering support to caregivers of aging parents and loved ones. I also launched onto Twitter.  There were not many caregivers or eldercare services on Twitter at that time, but there were some great people to chat with. 

Bit by bit, my blog became more popular and so did I.  Social media is a powerful tool.  I was asked to do presentations and write for Dr. Oz’s website. I was contacted by Oprah’s production team!

But what does this have to do with guest blogs and editorial sponsorships?  Well… let me tell you!  And the reason I am telling you is so that you can watch for this opportunity but also be aware of those who might take advantage of you.

First let me define what an editorial sponsorship is because they have become increasingly prevalent (Even Mashable uses them.)  Simply, an editorial sponsorship is where a sponsor embeds their information (generally just a small link to their site) into a post on a blog.  The blog post is educational to the website’s readers and it allows the website to fore go the usual sidebar advertising, so it’s usually a win-win for everyone.  The links are unobtrusive and there is usually a disclaimer in the article to identify the content as sponsored.

Editorial sponsorships may also be called “branded content”, sponsored content” or “native advertising”.

As my caregiver blog has grown more popular, I’ve begun to receive requests to post guest articles. Now I LOVE guest articles, don’t get me wrong. They provide me with more content and a different perspective on various issues than I might have. My readers deserve different opinions from time to time.  Most blogs benefit from guest articles.

I like to participate in guest blogging myself and recommend it to all of you.  It’s a wonderful way to get your name out there and be seen as an expert in your field.

Many of the blog post requests I’ve been receiving lately are from advertisers.  Some are up front and offer to pay an editorial sponsorship fee.  If the content is good, and of benefit to my audience, I willingly accept their offer.  For instance, I was recently compensated by Walgreens for two posts (written by me) on Medicare Part D.  I am absolutely grateful for their sponsorship as it offsets the cost of running the blog.

But some advertisers have become very tricky and almost insulting to the webmaster. 

First there are PR agencies writing to state that they have an excellent article that they think would be PERFECT for my site.  They don’t mention that it’s a placement for THEIR paying client but their e-mail signature gives them away and they generally state that “content is earned, never paid”.  I find it interesting that they feel it’s okay to be paid by their client and yet expect free advertising on someone else’s website.

Then there are the fibbers.

I recently received an offer to post a guest article from a person who stated they worked in the eldercare industry.  The article was excellent and so I accepted it.  It was only after I accepted it that I noticed the e-mail was from one name, the original note stated “Hi, my name is X and….” and the follow-up thank you note was signed with a completely different name (but supposedly the same person).  He had included two links in the article that went back to a home healthcare website.  Hmmmmm

I still posted the article because, as I said, it was excellent, but in my follow-up letter to them, I explained how ironic it was that they chose to be so blatantly misleading and yet represented an industry that requires a great deal of trust. 

So, as your blog becomes more popular and you begin to receive offers of guest content for your blog, do keep in mind that both guest bloggers and editorial sponsorships are wonderful opportunities. But please beware of those who want to take advantage of your hard work.

Have you had experience with editorial sponsorships?  Was it positive or negative?

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You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.