How to Advertise on Social Media as a Solopreneur
Digital advertising in large companies and agencies are massive undertakings. Typically, there’s a lot of planning, a huge budget, and a different team, or at least a different person, to handle each area – campaign strategy development, content writing, creative design, and analytics. It’s a lot!
It’s no surprise then, that handling digital advertising for your solopreneur business on your own can be crazy confusing and overwhelming. It’s just you, your tiny budget and your already-packed schedule trying to handle the jobs of five people. No wonder it’s so frustrating.
Luckily, as solopreneurship grows, more tools are being developed daily to help you with online advertising so you don’t have to feel so overwhelmed. Even social media networks have acknowledged this fact and are making their ad platforms a lot easier for solopreneurs and small businesses to use.
Let’s take a look at each area of the advertising process to see how you can make your advertising a lot more manageable, yet effective, when handling it on your own.
Develop Your Campaign
While most social media channels make it super-easy and frictionless to just boost or promote a post in your feed and get along with your day, taking this approach isn’t recommended if you don’t have a plan first. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money continuously with no real end goal in mind and you won’t know if you’re truly making a positive impact in your business.
Developing a campaign is all about getting clear on why you’re advertising, what you hope to achieve and how you’ll know if you achieved it. To make this super simple, you only need to focus on five key things needed to get your campaign started:
- Goal – What’s the ultimate business result you want to achieve?
- Audience – Who will you be targeting with these ads?
- Channels – What social media channels are best, based on the audience you’ve selected?
- Messaging – What the biggest takeaway message or action you want people to take?
- KPIs – What are the key performance indicators (i.e. metrics) that will let you know you are succeeding?
When you are clear on these, it makes it a lot easier to move forward with creating the actual ads you’ll be using, since you now know exactly what you’re working towards.
For solopreneurs without the huge budget to hire graphic designers, creating graphics with popular tools like Canva has become the standard. However, with videos and animated graphics performing 7.5 higher than image posts on social media, you’ll want to step your game up to get the most traction from your ads.
Don’t panic! Creating video content doesn’t have to be hard. As a matter of fact, one of the best apps for this – Pixaloop, which allows you to turn images in videos and animated graphics – can be used directly on your smartphone.
With Pixaloop, you can take professional-looking images with your smartphone and animate them to look as if parts of the photo are moving. Most people never even realize they’re looking at a still image to begin with. Here’s an example of how Pixaloop makes images come alive:
Mobile apps like these have developed incredible animation technology that brings so much life to regular images, which means higher CTRs for your ad campaigns.
So now, you get the best of both worlds – fantastic, eye-catching creative video without spending a boatload to hire a creative to do it. Now you just have to get these ads up and running!
Coming up with social media content is often one of the most daunting tasks for solopreneurs, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be. If there’s one technique worth borrowing from the pros, it’s that of, well, borrowing. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every time they need to come up with content ideas, they simply review content from others and use that as inspiration for their own work.
Most social media channels actually have such inspirational content readily available for their business customers. Facebook shares success stories and creative inspiration on their Business site. Twitter also has a few success stories and an Inspiration category on their blog.
Success stories from brands on Facebook [Source: Facebook Business]
Other great places to find inspiration are swipe files like this Twitter Ad Examples Pinterest board from Jess Bahr and dedicated inspiration blogs like Swipe-Worthy, AdEspresso and Really Good Emails.
Reading social media analytics can be the worst part of advertising. You’re staring at a bunch of numbers on the screen wondering which ones matter and which ones you can ignore. Thankfully, at the beginning of this process, you outlined your goal and KPIs, which means your job of analyzing campaign results just got a whole lot easier!
While you want to put the strongest focus on these critical numbers, the other statistics may come in handy as well. Once you’ve done your overall analysis, sometimes you’ll need to go deeper into the numbers to get a better understanding of your results.
For example, if your main goal was to drive traffic to your site, you may want to get granular to see which specific posts drove the most traffic, and, of those, which one drove the overall best results. This way, you know exactly which one you should keep using if you plan to do more ads in the future. To continuously optimize ads, make sure to review once every few days to see how your ads are performing and make changes if necessary.
Most social media platforms understand a solopreneur’s need to keep close track of all campaigns and make sure that budget is not being wasted away. Make sure you use each platform’s built-in analytics platform to analyze your campaigns and ensure your KPIs are being met:
- For Facebook, make sure you understand how to read Facebook’s Ads Manager analytics. On top of that, learn how to read your Facebook Page Insights.
- If you’re advertising on Instagram, this is where Facebook’s Ads Manager analytics come into play as well, since that is the platform you must use to advertise on Instagram in the first place.
- For Twitter, take a close look at Twitter’s built-in analytics platform.
- For LinkedIn, make sure you understand how to read LinkedIn’s insight metrics. Be extra careful with LinkedIn ads, since the CPM on LinkedIn’s platform tends to be higher than average.
- If you use YouTube, learn how to read your channel’s analytics.
Getting the Hang of Things
Social media advertising is definitely not the type of thing you set and forget. However, after doing it a few times, you will not only develop your own system, but you will understand your audience a lot better, and become a lot savvier with creating content and ads that drive the results you need. Of course, the more you succeed at that, the more successful your business will be overall.
In order to get there, you must get started. The sooner you do, the faster you’ll build your skills and become the social media ads pro you need to be to run a thriving solopreneur business.