A social media campaign is one of the most basic marketing strategies to grow your brand and your audience. It is a bit like the ‘chicken and the egg’ scenario – which came first – building your brand or building your customer base? Actually, it is probably more like a symbiotic relationship – they each feed off the other, but only if you are smart. To grow your brand on social media you need to drive traffic and generate qualified leads (customers). And besides nurturing current and loyal customers, you also need new customers. That is where cleverly positioned social media campaigns become a digital superhero in your digital marketing strategy.
Although you try to love everyone, not everyone is necessarily going to love you or your brand – that is a fact of digital life. So, when you are prospecting for a new audience, you need to be selective. That takes research and defining who your ideal target audience is, and then using prospecting campaigns on social media to find them (and keep them).
A prospecting campaign will differ significantly from a retargeting campaign, and there needs to be a distinct difference between your approach to both. You do not want to confuse the two audiences and put all your campaign ‘eggs in one basket.’ A prospecting audience is a new audience, those who have never heard of your brand or products. You want them to be your people and so you need to strategically find them and woo them on social media. The goal, however, which keeps digital marketing such a dynamic world, is that a prospecting audience will eventually become a retargeting audience that you can further nurture into a buying customer. And so the circle of the digital life goes on.
Finding your ideal audience
Your potential customer is out there, scrolling on a multitude of social media platforms, 24/7. Social media marketing is the strategic opportunity to heighten your brand awareness, increase your social following and community, accurately target your ideal customer and convert them into qualified leads and new business. That is why you don’t want to waste your time (and budget) with just any ‘Tom, Dick or Harry.’
Take the time to know who your target audience/customer is:
When it comes to a prospecting audience, start by defining your ideal customer persona or avatar – that scroller out there who, when they come across your brand or product, will pause with intent because you have something they want – a product, a service, a solution to a problem they may be facing, or an answer to a question they are asking. Create the boxes they need to tick – location, interests, age group, gender, income etc. And then decide which social channels are the best platforms to connect with them. You will use all of this info when setting up your social media campaign.
Take the time to know who your target audience/customer is not:
Once your ideal customer persona is locked in, you will need to apply audience exclusions which social media algorithms will pick up on. Audience exclusions (aka negative audiences) help to keep unwanted traffic from seeing your ads. (Once again – this is about achieving your marketing goals and not wasting your social budget).
It is not just about the numbers; likes and follows don’t automatically translate into converting customers. You are looking for qualified prospecting customers. And while we are on this topic, you will also need to make sure you exclude people who already know about your brand (page engagers and website visitors) to ensure you continuously reach brand new audiences.
Take the time to clearly articulate your brand’s offering:
It matters who you are. So, take the time to identify your brand identity, clearly summarise your core values, and illustrate your brand value in a tangible contextso that your prospecting campaign will stand out from your competition and potential customers will immediately connect with your social media presence. These are the people who will click through to your website to find out more, sign up, contact you or add to cart.
Take the time to research your prospecting customer’s information:
Any social media campaign strategy is all about getting inside your target avatar’s head. You want to think as they think. You want to reach them with customised ad copy that makes them stop and think, “That is exactly what I was looking for!”. For a prospective audience, the way you do this is not through a hard sell CTA but through gentle and clever engagement, ad targeting and compelling copy. (Remember, this is all about the start of a beautiful online friendship).
Your data research on a prospecting social audience will have you tracking their interests and actions, which in turn will allow you to offer them personalised value – engaging content, easy sign-up options, and addressing privacy issues. That will incentivize them to move further down the sales funnel.
Keeping your ideal audience
“If you’re using social media, you should be measuring it.” -Neil Patel
You have reached out to your potential customers with a relevant and carefully curated paid social prospecting campaign, and now you need to evaluate and measure its success. Are they keepers? What worked and what didn’t? How can you improve?
Your prospecting campaign goals form part of an overall social media digital strategy, making it vital to track and measure its efficacy to optimize the results.
Each prospecting goal will depend on different metrics:
● Do you want to measure awareness? (Reach and frequency)
●Do you want to measure engagement? (Clicks and CTR’s)
● Do you want to drive traffic to your website? (New users to your site and conversions)
●Do you want to increase your brand’s voice? (Increased brand search volume on Google)
It’s important to remember the role your social media campaigns – especially prospecting campaigns – play as part of your overall digital marketing strategy and measure its success accordingly.
With any prospecting campaign on social media, you are likely to see an increase in brand search volume on Google and an increase in traffic from social organic and direct channels. It may not look like these prospecting campaigns are driving last click sales, but that is not necessarily the goal of a prospecting campaign – the goal is to find and keep new audiences and slowly nurture them down your marketing funnel. Always consider “soft” conversions like product views, time spent on your website, add to carts and assisted conversions when you evaluate the success of your social media campaigns.
In the world of digital, a prospecting campaign is a valuable player in your big picture digital marketing strategy. You just need to be smart and intentional in how you approach and measure it.