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Social Media Marketing

Unleashing the Power of Paid Social: Rethinking Brand Awareness

Helen Bailey

A report from analyst company Metadata has shed light on the perceived inefficiency and high costs associated with running lead generation campaigns on social media. What exactly are the implications of this, and what should we do with this information?

According to the report’s finding, an astounding $42 million was spent on paid social advertising in 2021, with a whopping 91% of that specifically directed towards lead generation efforts. However, the results were underwhelming to say the least as only 236,000 leads were collected – working out at $177 per lead. 

Social Media Lead Gen: Facing Up to Reality

Of course, whether or not these metrics present an attractive proposition for your business depends on a variety of factors. These include your customer’s lifetime value and lead-to-revenue conversion rates, among others. 

In fact, many agencies and marketing departments alike will probably have campaign results to contract the doom – CLD included. It was not so long ago that we ran a LinkedIn campaign that generated leads at a cost of $8 each, which in turn managed to fill a pipeline with $2million worth of sales. 

When looking at studies like this, we have to remember that Metadata’s data mixes the bad in with the good: It is possible to use social media to generate profitable results, yet like with any marketing or advertising campaign, the results depend on the quality of the campaign. 

If you’re a business that genuinely has something worthy to say – or an offer that’s truly worth having – then paid social lead generation can absolutely be your friend. 

The Considerations for ROI: Lifetime Value and Conversion Rates

This is something CLD has always been candid about: That paid social media for lead generation needs careful consideration – and that it doesn’t have to be the ‘go to’ tactic for businesses looking for growth.

When it comes to paid social media advertising, we like to think a bit differently; perhaps like the people behind the other 9% of LinkedIn campaigns that are not lead gen-driven and who endorse social media as a brand awareness medium, like you would a print magazine for instance. 

Brand Awareness: Rethinking Its Place In Modern Day Marketing

Aah, brand awareness! That long forgotten strategy in the modern marketer’s arsenal. In our data driven worlds it’s often overlooked for more measurable tactics that involve clicks, and engagements. 

But let’s flip the script for a moment. Let’s consider what brand building campaigns can do for a business, and how it should always be considered in every marketing and promotional strategy as a long-term tactic. 

  • It establishes a strong reputation, allowing consumers to recognise and trust the brand, which in turn increases credibility and loyalty. 
  • It creates differentiation in a crowded marketplace, enabling businesses to stand out and attract the attention of potential customers. 
  • It fosters familiarity and recognition, making it more likely for consumers to choose the brand over competitors when making purchasing decisions. 
  • It drives word-of-mouth marketing as satisfied customers become brand advocates, spreading positive experiences and recommendation.

A strong brand presence and awareness provide a solid foundation for future marketing initiatives, as it enhances the effectiveness of other marketing strategies and campaigns. As alluded to in the report, a staggering 91% of paid social campaigns are solely focused on lead generation, with click-through rate (CTR) serving as the primary success metric. But what if we, say, redirected our thinking and embraced paid social as the digital equivalent of print media and see it instead as a plethora of platforms each for delivering reach and impressions?

Comparing CPM: LinkedIn vs. Print Publications

To truly grasp the untapped potential of paid social, let’s look at the numbers. Advertising in a leading business print publication aimed at entrepreneurs that has a circulation of 615,000 will cost $60,500. A quick look on LinkedIn shows that advertising to 615,000 entrepreneurs on social media will cost approximately $4,000. That’s a cost per mille of $98.37 compared to a cost per mille of $6.50 respectively. 

Suddenly, LinkedIn looks like quite an attractive option and although there are differences between the two mediums (e.g. lifetime value of print vs digital, the association factor etc), the cost effectiveness of paid social as a top-of-funnel ‘awareness’ tactic cannot be ignored. 

Considering this example, it’s possible to run a campaign on LinkedIn continually for over a year for the same price as running it in an issue of the magazine, switching up the creative and message as you go for ultimate impact and reinforcement. 

Amplifying Creativity: From Persuasion to Attention

When it comes to paid social advertising, shifting the campaign focus from persuasion (e.g., prompting a guide download) to capturing the attention of a broad but targeted market opens up a scope of creative possibilities. 

By refocusing on brand awareness, advertisers can craft visually stunning and impactful campaigns that not only resonate with the audience but also foster brand reputation, personality, and positioning for the brand they represent. 

Get it right and it’s a gift that can keep giving. By leveraging the relative affordability and reach of paid social, marketers can unlock new avenues for creativity and build a lasting and impactful brand presence.

Interested in switching things up when it comes to social media? Contact CLD and let’s work together to unleash our creativity and harness the true potential of paid social for extraordinary brand awareness campaigns.

It could offer an affordable and effective alternative to traditional mediums and channels.