If there is any one thing to remember about inbound, it’s this — inbound marketing works, but the process takes time. If you didn’t already have an “inbound marketing machine” up and running as of this reading, thoughtful strategic foresight and patience will eventually yield results.
Remember, though, not every aspect of inbound is the equivalent of cooking a tender pot roast. There are tried-and-true ways to jumpstart the results of your campaigns and help your planted “content seeds” bloom into beautiful marketing qualified leads (MQLs) sooner and at higher rates.
This is done with so-called “outbound” marketing tactics (pardon the oxymoron). These tactics are the inbound marketing fertilizer for your organic, cruelty-free, free-range, farm-fresh inbound content.
Most excellent inbound strategies will include their fair share of “outbound” marketing tactics, which happen to involve two of the most exceptional channels in digital marketing today. The first of these is direct email marketing (of course). The second is paid social advertising.
Assuming you’re running direct email marketing tactics in your inbound campaigns, you might be presented with the tempting option of giving your inbound campaigns that added “zip.” You might be considering the creation of a budget exclusively for social advertising.
The investment is almost always worth it — and this is why.
You Give Exceptional Inbound Content Added Exposure
No matter where you are in the inbound process, there are enormous benefits to starting a paid social advertising campaign provided that you’ve outlined a targeting strategy and you plan to allot enough budget for the ad campaign to get off the ground in the first place.
Placing your lovely inbound content in front of a target audience en masse is the glorious benefit of paid ads. Assuming your target audience is well-defined and your content strikes a chord with said audience given their pain points, you deliver that helpful content where they are without having to wait for them to come to you.
Paid has become more valuable lately as the reliability of organic social media traffic has diminished over time. As algorithms change, especially for Facebook, it’s harder for companies to be seen in the feeds of the people they are targeting. This is why companies, especially in the B2B arena, take advantage of paid social advertising to fill the gap
By allotting a budget behind the content you’re producing and getting the word out to a targeted list of people who want to read it, you put yourself at an advantage and giving yourself a better chance at succeeding with organic traffic, too.
Traffic to your site generally begets more traffic. Qualified website traffic boosts the chances of new customers.
LinkedIn and Facebook Are Powerful Ad Platforms
It goes without saying that LinkedIn will be among your most valuable social media platforms (if not the most valuable) if you happen to be in the B2B space. You’re in the business of nurturing relationships with specific people so that they do business with you, which is precisely what LinkedIn is set up for you to do. Thankfully, LinkedIn has its own paid social advertising platform that makes it easier for your to identify and target the prospects you want.
Facebook, meanwhile, often sounds counterintuitive to someone marketing or selling in a B2B space. Facebook holds a reputation of a platform more conducive for B2C if anything, but the truth is that Facebook can be one of the best ways to increase your brand exposure and engage prospects for B2B as well.
While this blog won’t get into tactical specifics of using each of these platforms, these are the benefits one can expect from both LinkedIn and Facebook:
Creation of Custom Audiences to help retarget and nurture contacts that are already in your system
Easily retarget people who have visited your website since these people have already shown a propensity to engage with you (Facebook especially)
Creation of “look-alike” audiences to target a contact list with the same profile as your existing contacts and/or your ideal customer profile
Convert leads with form fields on the social media platform to gain valuable information that might help you qualify prospects on the sales side
If you’ve already developed your marketing personas and know exactly the kind of people you want to target with your marketing assets, both Facebook and LinkedIn give you the ability to find those people with precision. This becomes all the more accurate if you already have several contacts in your system to start.
Dive In — Don’t Dip Your Toe
Unfortunately, getting traction with paid social media advertising isn’t cheap if you want to give these platforms a fair shake and see real results. The amount of budget will vary from business to business, but a couple hundred dollars isn’t usually enough to run a campaign that gets enough exposure to be worth the investment.
To put it in perspective, it’s recommended that 15% to 25% of your digital marketing budget will go towards social media marketing efforts (mostly including paid). If you’re already fronting money for content marketing, SEO, direct email campaigns and other critical marketing activities, paid ads are there to give those other investments a much-needed window into the world and added amplification.
By cannonballing into social media advertising, you magnify the content marketing initiatives you’re already starting. If qualified web traffic is a priority, this is a tactic you really can’t miss.