In today’s social media landscape, it can be easy for marketers to get stuck in a routine, allocating advertising dollars to two of social media’s biggest players: Facebook and Instagram. While there’s a ton of value in exploring these mainstays as ad vehicles, clever marketers know it’s wise to spread the love among a variety of platforms where different audiences are living. Fortune favors the bold, after all, so we’re stepping off social media’s beaten path to highlight a few alternative options for your social media marketing.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the latest app to take the social media world by storm: TikTok. Boasting 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok is an app that enables users to create and view short.
Understanding the TikTok Audience
As a marketer, you’ll first want to understand that the app attracts mostly the under-30 demographic – currently, 63% of its U.S. users are between the ages of 10 and 29 – so depending upon your target audience, TikTok may or may not be the app for you. But if you’re interested in reaching Gen Z and younger millenials, you’ll find yourself right at home here.
Paid Vs. Non-Paid Ads
There are multiple ways to place ads on TikTok and because the app is still so new, the best marketing methods are still evolving. For those with smaller budgets, the most cost-efficient option is to simply create a profile, produce content and build an audience. As on any other platform, users are interested in viewing content that is timely, original, and engaging. Before you start you’ll want to spend some time scrolling through popular content to get an idea of what attracts a large viewership.
For those with bigger budgets, there’s the option to pay for official TikTok ads. While there are a number of types of ads with varying price points – everything from pre-roll video to promoted hashtag challenges – the success of attracting an audience will still come down to having engaging content. The eyes are there for those who are daring, Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge hashtag has over 1 billion views to date.
Whether you’re spending a little or a lot, if you’re creating entertaining videos, you’ll be well on your way to growing a TikTok following.
Another app that is largely embraced by the Gen Z crowd is Snapchat. If you’re looking to engage with the 18-24 demographic, look no further than the app used by 186 million people every day. With 3 billion snaps being created each day, opportunities for marketers to reach their target audience are abundant.
A Wide Variety of Ad Options
Depending upon your budgetary constraints and your marketing goals, Snapchat offers a variety of ad offerings, from the popular Web Views and Conversions (funneling customers through your sales process by first encouraging them to “swipe up”) to the more recently introduced Deep Linking (allowing marketers to link from an ad directly into their app). Once you’ve outlined your marketing goals, you can narrow down which type of Snapchat advertising will work best for your brand.
Built-in Campaign Optimization
A major bonus for Snapchat advertisers? Through Snapchat’s self-serve ad platform, you’ll be able to set up audience targeting so you can home in on the exact demographic you want to reach. An added bonus, Snapchat highlights the audience segments that interact with your brand even if they’re not ones you selected in your targeting. What does this mean? Optimization is literally built into each and every campaign, allowing your ad dollars to go even further.
Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has grown to become the third most popular social platform in the U.S. among adults, garnering more than 291 million active monthly users. While one may initially scoff at this user number when compared to those of other social media platforms like Facebook, marketers will note that Pinterest’s “stickiness” is much greater; active Pinterest users spend about 34 minutes using the site, which is far more time than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The more time users are spending on a site, the greater the opportunity for marketers to reach them.
Marketing on Pinterest is a fairly straightforward process. You simply create a business account, create a board, and then add relevant Pins. From there, you select which pins you’d like to promote, this is what your audience sees. Pinterest allows you to optimize your campaigns in accordance with your desired end result, whether that be increasing brand awareness or soliciting new customers.
Ready to up your sales game even further? Pinterest also offers the option for “Buyable Pins,” which are essentially “Buy Now” buttons that are affixed to Pins with items for sale, allowing users to purchase items without ever leaving the site. The best part? Pinterest doesn’t take a cut from sales made through Buyable Pins, so you’ll pocket every dollar of the sale.
If you hadn’t heard of it before February, you’ve heard of it now thanks to the GameStop stock drama. Reddit is a social network used by a highly engaged audience of millions but it is one of the least obvious when it comes to advertising. Reddit users can contribute content consisting of text, link, images and video and share the content into individual “sub-communities.” Topics of these communities may be as broad as “Beer” or as niche as “Best Craft Breweries in Charlotte, NC.” What does this mean for marketers? It takes the guesswork out of finding your audience since they are engaging with content that has been specifically chosen to suit their unique interests. Once you know where to find your audience, you can devote your time and money to creating customized organic and sponsored posts.
Little Investment for Potentially Large Returns
Thus far, Reddit’s advertising revenue doesn’t reflect its large, active user base –especially when compared to more lucrative social media networks that are likely more top-of-mind for marketers when considering where to spend their ad dollars. The upside to this? Competition for your target audience’s attention on Reddit is low while advertising remains cheap. In fact, it’s hard to name another social media platform where you have the ability to target a highly niche audience without breaking the bank.
Paid Versus Organic Advertising
Reddit offers marketers the option to create organic (unpaid) posts, as well as paid posts. While organic posts can be an authentic way to engage with your target audience, paid posts will allow you to achieve more impressions and a greater reach. Whichever route you go, though, Reddit offers marketers a unique opportunity to connect with a large, active and engaged audience, right in their chosen community. For advertisers, it’s hard to imagine finding a more perfect target audience than one that has completely self-segmented.
A Word of Caution
While the opportunity is there, it’s important to note the different attitude of Reddit users. The platform has a reputation of being rough. It leans more skeptical, sarcastic, and, at times, NSFW (not suitable for work). Due to this rep., many advertisers should not use this method unless they are very aware of who they are targeting and have someone to be quick and witty in their response.