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Targeted Ads Dominate the Competition

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Advertisements must be strategically placed for the best return on investment. That could be the decider among the competition in tight markets.

Besides being a social media manager and lifestyle blogger, Ashley Mokwena is an ads master. He explained during an Africa Tweet Chat varied ways advertisements can be placed on social media, which platforms give the best bang for the buck and other tactics for business to connect with consumers.

In the battle for best social media venue, one stands above the rest.

It’s Facebook,” Mokwena said. “The number of active daily users on the platform is over 1.4 billion. Facebook gives brands access to wider audiences and advertising placement options on feeds, stories and Messenger. It also allows brands to push out an ad on Instagram.

“The platform is also easily accessible and is the one platform widely loved by many,” he said. “You can get a Facebook ad from less than $5 a day.”

Business objectives and goals are prime factors that influence location choice for social media ads. Price is also an object with Twitter being comparatively expensive.

“Twitter is also very limiting when weighing ad placement choice and variations,” Mokwena said.

Advertisements also have an edge compared to the uncertainties of influencer marketing.

“I would rather stick to ads, as opposed to spending on individuals who might not even have an interest in my products, services or brand,” Mokwena said. “I also believe ads and influencers can work hand-in-hand.”

He defined his three tiers of influencer marketing:

  • Nano: 500 to 5,000 followers
  • Micro: 5,000 to 50,000 followers
  • Macro: 50,000 to 10 million followers
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Another factor is how relevant, compelling and engaging is the content one puts out.

“Content is really key as it pushes the messaging around the brand or product or service,” Mokwena said. “The influencer plays a role in transmitting the message and hyping things up.

“Ads also allow you to also use other social media platforms and placement options,” he said. “Do that as opposed to creating a conversation on a specific or single platform for a few hours through the use of influencers.”

Although ads should vary based on which platform they are on, there are universal measures for success.

“Start by defining realistic and attainable goals,” Mokwena said. “Then create metrics to measure your goals, and then align. After aligning, you can monitor based on the metrics you set.”

Overkill can doom an advertisement no matter how effectively it performed at first.

“Run an ad for a certain duration of time,” Mokwena said. “That can be a week or a day, as long as you have the reach and engagement needed for the post.”

Video use has come to prominence in social media marketing. Savvy marketers can leverage video in ad placement.

“Video format is the best way to create engagement on social media platforms,” Mokwena said. “Videos help tell a brand’s authentic story and also helps send out important information about a product.”

He favors A/B testing of potential ads. This “is a way to compare two versions of a single variable, typically by testing a subject’s response to variant A against variant B, and determining which of the two variants is more effective.”

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“I believe in A/B testing before the actual launch of a campaign,” Mokwena said. “I feel as a marketer, I don’t want to guess the feeling of a customer or assume that a customer will react in a certain way.

“A/B testing can be valuable because different audiences behave, well, differently,” he said. “The results I get after an A/B test will have an influence on which copy or content type will be shared.”

No matter how good a video appears, there are limits to length.

“Not more than one minute,” Mokwena said. “Very often when you do reports on video performance, you notice that 35 to 50 seconds is what people can handle. More than that, they lose interest.

“Lately, as digital marketers, we have an array of platforms and placement spaces that let us do advertisements or reach out,” he said. “We use either videos or video-related formats such as GIFs or programmatic ads. These allow you to embed website links.”

Even though online ads have been around as long as social media, Mokwena feels there is a long way to go.

“Stories and instant messaging platforms are have not hit their height,” he said. “Such platforms will see growth in user numbers and ad placement. For instance, we will see a lot of brands building ads for stories and telling their stories through stories.”

Ads should be integral parts of a business marketing strategy from inception.

“Plan ads from the first day of creating social media pages,” Mokwena said. “It’s important to spend on building a community using follower campaigns.”

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Aspiring influencers should follow key steps.

“Find your niche, engage with your followers, and grow your network,” Mokwena said. “When coming to blogging, it’s important to keep blogging consistently. Use an email marketing tactic to grow the blog. Don’t forget to share links to the blog on social media.”

Those thinking about not advertising should think again.

“There’s no growth in organic reach,” Mokwena said. “It doesn’t yield results, and there’s no return on the time spent on the created content.

“To avoid wasting appealing and engaging content, a brand has to spend on ads,” he said. “Brands want — and need — more reach and engagement.”

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Jim Katzaman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services. A writer by trade, he graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He enlisted in the Air Force and served for 25 years in public affairs – better known in the civilian world as public relations. He also earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Public Affairs. Since retiring, he has been a consultant and in the federal General Service as a public affairs specialist. He also acquired life and health insurance licenses, which resulted in his present affiliation with Largo Financial Services. In addition to expertise in financial affairs, he gathers the majority of his story content from Twitter chats. This has led him to publish about a wide range of topics such as social media, marketing, sexual harassment, workplace trends, productivity and financial management. Medium has named him a top writer in social media.

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