September 30, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

What PR pros need to know about social advertising

What PR pros need to know about social advertising

We’ve talked before about the PESO model—the combination of Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media that is an effective strategic way to run a public relations campaign.

Many PR pros struggle most with the first. “Paid” drifts awfully close to advertising, which is often a separate department within a company, and it’s still seen as outside of the expertise of most PR practitioners. However, when so many of the social channels that are part of the “shared” piece, it makes sense to look at how a PR strategy could involve a paid component on those social platforms.

Online ad spending grows

It is important, and the recent release by PwC of their annual Entertainment & Media Outlook Report shows why. Gould + Partners provides a good synopsis of the report, which finds that online advertising spending will top $75 billion next year, surpassing TV advertising spending. Much of this spending is expected to focus on mobile advertising, and of that segment, mobile video is anticipated to grow most rapidly.

So, considering the anticipated growth in online advertising, and the need for paid media to be a part of an overall messaging strategy using the PESO model, which platforms need to be considered?

Facebook has the broadest general audience

Of course, it depends on the audience you are targeting—but the first and most obvious one to look at is Facebook. Given the social network’s influence, and the size of the potential audience, Facebook is obviously going to represent at least a part of any sharing strategy. So it makes sense to factor in a paid strategy as well. Facebook’s promoted posts are a way to boost content that you want to make sure is seen. Select an audience that fits your budget and you’re far less likely to have that important piece get lost in the noise of your audience’s Facebook feeds.

Twitter innovates on emojis

Twitter is another commonly considered social network for sharing, and like many social platforms, they are looking for ways to make money off of a platform that is free to users. Twitter has just announced emoji-based ad targeting, which will allow brands to have advertising placed that is relevant to emojis used. A Twitter user who tweets out a pizza emoji will see local ads for pizza, for example. This type of micro-targeting based on emoji use, rather than words or phrases, is a logical evolution in social platform advertising. Food products are the most obvious, but creative marketers with a solid understanding of emoji usage will be able to craft advertising targets across a wide range of products.

Snapchat’s new API

Snapchat just recently launched Snapchat Partners, its advertising API. More than 20 tech partners are on board, and divided between Ad Partners and Creative Partners. Adweek reports that the quality of the advertising is of paramount importance to Snapchat, which will vet each advertisement. By launching Partners in a controlled way, Snapchat is ensuring that users won’t be inundated by so much advertising that they end up shunning the platform.

With the change in advertising spending that PwC has reported, and the growth and continued use of social platforms, it makes sense for PR pros to have a solid understanding of the different ways in which they can connect with audiences via paid media. The changes are likely to continue to come quickly, as social platforms leverage their large and dedicated user bases to monetize their business models.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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