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How to successfully allocate your ad spend across social media platforms


It has never been more critical for your business to understand how to get the most out of your advertising budget.

But advertising on social media platforms can feel like a minefield and getting your strategy wrong can be very damaging to your business. Getting expert agency advice will show you where you should be spending your money and how that will convert to sales.

How does ad spend work and where do you start?

This really depends on what you have done before. Some businesses will have a really clear idea in mind, typically when you have previously worked with an agency as you will have more insight into how things work and the best way to do things. Others are starting from scratch and have no idea and no experience, either with an agency or attempting it for yourself.

Either way, phase one is key – this is setting objectives or the ‘digital plumbing’, making sure everything is tracking and set up correctly.

From an advertising perspective, an agency will usually look at the low hanging fruit and make small improvements that have a big impact, largely based on whatever you have been doing previously. A balanced and effective retargeting funnel can get them going with a couple of easy wins. From here, and once you’ve got a bit of a platform, an agency will be able to start to compare and contrast.

Diversification of spend

Diversification of spend is going to be one of the dominating topics throughout the decade. Facebook + Instagram and Google’s ad network have dominated and, in the future, will be challenged as there will be spend going to other platforms such as TikTok, SnapChat and Pinterest.

It is highly likely that we will also see Apple ads, and this could be one of the reasons why they made the iOS 14 changes, in preparation for launching their own ad platform. This means they will be able to target the iPhone or iOS users and it’s going to be incredibly valuable. Watch this space.

Spread your budget across a number of channels

A competent agency will understand how to do this effectively, but it can be risky if you don’t have an innate understanding of each channel. Done well, it can be highly successful. One aspect of your diversification of spend is about mitigating risk; you don’t want to be solely reliant on one channel, even if it is your best performer.

It is also really important to understand where and how those channels work together. For example, Google is very much an intent based platform. It is phenomenal for remarketing and really effective if you have already generated brand awareness and someone searches a specific term or your brand name. For this aspect, it is arguably the best marketing tool available. But it is very limited when it comes to scaling.  One of the ways you can scale that channel is to increase your budget elsewhere, to make that pool of people or potential customers much bigger.

Maximise your impact with the right approach

Rather than you approach being different for each channel, it’s more about your approach being appropriate. You need to hone your style and your language to each platform as diversification of spend optimises the other ad platforms. If you use TikTok, your creative will need to be more tongue in cheek and have a ‘native’ editing style or it will stick out like a sore thumb. Facebook & Instagram can be considered more premium and even more so for YouTube as your creative has to be longer and of a certain calibre. Google is mainly copy based so allows you to hit people in lots of different, creative ways on different platforms. This is really one of the keys to diversification of spend

Identifying or quantifying the value of your sales when using multiple channels

Understanding how each platform attributes sales will play a big part in identifying or quantifying the value of your sales. The big change with iOS 14 is that Facebook has gone from, at its highest, a 28-day view down to only a one-day view and seven day click. This means that if someone clicks on an ad and then purchases within seven days, you’ll have an attributed sale.

However on TikTok and even Pinterest, the attribution windows are much shorter, so if your return on ad spend on Facebook is 3.5 but on TikTok is 1.5, then within the same attribution window, TikTok might be out-performing Facebook because on that last click basis, that performance is quite strong.

Understanding the parameters of what success is on different platforms is really important.

Influencer marketing

Whilst this is a big topic, ad spend can be extremely effective on influencer marketing if it’s used as part of an upper funnel awareness strategy and its success isn’t measured solely by an uplift in sales. The use of ambassadors or other channels distributing your media can be hugely powerful and definitely needs to be considered as part of your online marketing mix and incorporated within your paid spend.

Getting ad spend right and utilising social media platforms to maximum effect is an art, and to ensure you maximise your success, finding an agency to steer you through could be your most effective use of budget.

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How to successfully allocate your ad spend across social media platforms

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