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What matters in social media advertising

abstract-1233873_640I do a lot of social media advertising for my novels these days.

At the beginning, being a tactician, rather than a strategist, I got sucked into the details of ad copy and imagery.

In the process I missed some fairly important strategic considerations.

Like:

Is this ad working because it’s a “good” ad or because it’s coming out at the same time as the launch of a new book?

Although this ad has a low cost-per-click, is it leading to comparative cost per conversion?

How do my ads compare to my mailings?

As a lifelong direct marketer, I am embarrassed at these lapses.

I’m lucky. Our creative director is also a superb marketing strategist.

She got involved early on and came up with some insights that helped turn the ads around.

For example, book launches give a bump to sales of backlist titles. So maybe we should bunch up our ad spending around launches.

I am a huge fan of the way the internet has democratised ad tech.

Now, everyone, from an author to a global industrial conglomerate, has access to the same tools.

We can do multivariate testing, split-test emails, survey all competitor advertising on all social media platforms, and endlessly tweak and test new creative.

The problem for the minnows is that while we have access to the ad tech, we don’t have access to the people to make sense of all the data it generates.

And therein lies the real problem.

In pursuit of ever-more granular detail, we can lose sight of the prize.

In my case, it’s book sales.

The only numbers that really matter are royalties, fixed costs and overheads.

You take the sum of the second and third away from the first and you get net profit.

Now what I do is really simple.

I track ad performance in terms of conversions. I put more money behind high-performing ads and kill off low performing ones.

I focus on my mailing list, which, while not as sexy as Facebook ads, is packed with warm to screaming hot leads.

And I limit myself to those activities that make big changes to the bottom line, rather than simply filling spreadsheets with data.

Funny how cobblers’ children are always the ones running around in worn-out shoes.

Categories: Advertising copywriting, Marketing Copywriting, and Social media.

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