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Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world. This sector has grown faster than the Internet itself. Within the first ten years of being publicly available, the Internet managed to gather roughly 1 billion users.

Since opening up for everyone to sign up on September 26, 2006, Facebook just crossed 2 billion monthly active users as of quarter two of 2017.

Facebook Population

Even though the world population has grown to over 7.5 billion, by now, one out of every four humans on this planet has a Facebook account.

Facebook, quite literally, is beginning to take over the world. 62% of people in North America use the platform, and the percentages for similar countries are equally staggering.

In some ways, Facebook is a country of its own. It’s larger than any other country in the world, and one could even argue that it’s more connected.

And that’s just Facebook. We haven’t even taken into account the usership on all the other platforms. By the end of that analysis, we’d likely have trouble keeping count.

But don’t mistakenly believe that people are only using these platforms once a month just because that’s how most people go about measuring the stats.

Frequency of Facebook usage

In reality, people are using these platforms every single day. And they use them not just once per day, but multiple times. People check, check, and check again.

In fact, we’re so addicted to our mobile phones and the social media apps on them that there’s now a word for our obsession. Nomophobia is the fear of not being near your mobile phone.

With such widespread use, social media presents an incredible marketing opportunity. If you’re not using social media marketing in your agency already, you’ll either have to learn it now or lose in the long run.

Read Also: How Can Social Media Influence Your SEO Marketing? Brief Insight You Will Find Useful!

Starting a digital marketing agency is easy but running and turning it into a successful business is tough!

There’s a lot to worry about: hiring, accounting, optimizing accounts, marketing, automation, and most importantly, getting results for clients.

Getting significant results for clients could lead to new businesses. But it’s not a guarantee. Hence, driving your own digital growth is important.

Running a digital marketing agency is no longer what it used to be. Now, we have voice search, mobile usage, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In fact, 76% of people think online marketing has been impacted more in the past two years than it did over the previous fifty, according to Adobe.

If you’re ready to adapt to these changes and drive massive growth for your agency, grow your brand, generate qualified leads, close more deals, and increase revenue, the different tips discussed in this article will be of great help.

  • What is Social Media Advertising
  • Top 5 Types of Social Media Advertising For Your Agency
  • 5 Biggest Challenges of Social Media Advertising And The Solution
  • What is a Social Media Advertising Agency
  • 5 Best Social Media Advertising Agencies
  • Strategies for Social Media Advertising Agencies
  • How do Social Media Advertising Agencies Make Money?

What is Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is an offshoot of digital marketing where paid ad campaigns are run on social media platforms to reach target audiences. Marketers and advertisers can promote their brands and inspire sales through the social channels that users frequently use.

Consider the following social media advertising statistics:

  1. 26% of users who click on Facebook ads end up buying the advertised product
  2. 7 million+ businesses use Facebook for advertising
  3. According to the CMO survey, brands will almost double their budget allocated to social media advertising by 2023.

These compelling stats provide a clear picture of how integral social media advertising has become for organizations to grow their business.

While scrolling through the Facebook news feed, you might have come across a post with a label that says Sponsored like this:

Example of sponsored ads

In the online world, it is getting increasingly complicated to get your message noticed, as user attention is increasingly becoming a scarce resource. Social media advertising is significantly impactful as it allows you to deliver your message to your ideal buyers throughout their purchase journey.

For instance, before the release of a new product, a B2C brand can run a brand awareness campaign to garner pre-buzz. Similarly, a B2B organization can re-engage their audience through remarketing campaigns to sell a high-ticket product.

Social media advertising distinguishes itself from traditional advertising with sophisticated targeting capabilities. Traditional advertising adopts the carpet-bombing approach, wherein brands deliver ads to the maximum people possible, regardless of whether they’re interested or not.

Social media, on the contrary, enables brands to connect with the ideal buyers based on their geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics/traits.

Top 5 Types of Social Media Advertising For Your Agency

Number of social media users

Being familiar with social media platforms and social media advertising could mean a lot to your brand or business.

Unlike traditional advertising, social media advertising has a great potential to spread your brand’s message and build awareness about your product or service. So, it is essential to choose the best social media platforms that are relevant to your business objectives and goals.

The following are different types of social media advertising that you need to be aware of

Facebook Advertising

Facebook is a popular social media platform across demographics and offers detailed targeting options making it an ideal choice to begin with social media advertising. With over 2 billion active users, Facebook provides an opportunity to reach almost anyone and everyone.

Since it allows more refined targeting than other social channels, you can target users by location, interests, behaviors and other valuable elements. The pricing is based on factors such as the audience you’re trying to reach and the budget you set for your ads.

Your ads should be tailor-made for each audience segment and you shouldn’t run the same ads for all your audiences. In doing so, Facebook ads can help to build brand awareness and teach people about your product or service.

No matter what your business objectives are whether it is creating brand awareness, increasing website traffic or conversions – Facebook can get you there! It is also important to note that you will need a significant advertising budget to reach your target audience and introduce potential clients to your products or services.

Instagram Advertising

With over 1 billion active users, Instagram offers the most engagement of several other social media platform for businesses. Generally, brands that are visually pleasing or that can blend visuals into their marketing campaigns tend to perform best on Instagram.

Instagram also gives brands the ability to share content that includes photos or videos and helps people to remember your brand better. Therefore, it is an excellent choice to run visual social media advertising campaigns for your products or services.

Moreover, Instagram ads can be directly linked to a landing page or a product page which helps people engage with your products instantly.

So, if your content is focused around visuals then Instagram advertising is the best platform for generating sales for products and services. At the end of the day, users are more likely to remember what they see more than what they hear or read. You don’t need to worry because setting up Instagram ads are much similar to creating Facebook ads.

Twitter Advertising

Advertising on Twitter is constantly outplayed by other popular marketing channels like Facebook and Instagram. Yet Twitter has never lost its value, and still, many brands get significant exposure with social media advertising on this platform.

Twitter ads are pretty much simple and straightforward which makes it easy to spot even on the congested Twitter feed. Moreover, promoting engaging content with Twitter helps to increase brand awareness and make people trust your brand even more with the right image.

Since Twitter requires a more focused approach than other social channels, it is essential to use content that draws your viewer’s attention and fits your brand identity.

So, while creating a Twitter ad campaign, make sure that all your ads are engaging which might encourage your audience to share and contribute to your campaign.

Likewise, when advertising on Twitter start by sharing high-quality content instead of asking them to purchase a product or service immediately. In doing so, you can spread the word about your brand or product to people who are most likely to be interested in it.

Note: A promoted tweet allows you to engage beyond your followers and reach more of your target audience.

LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn is a professional platform making it unique from all the other social networks discussed in this article – circles around B2B market. So, if you are a B2B marketer, LinkedIn ads can act as an effective tool for prospecting leads and converting them into potential customers.

You can even target specific audiences and control your budget which is much similar to what you’ve seen on other social networks. Just like Facebook, when LinkedIn ads are placed in front of the target audience, they are more likely to deliver excellent results.

However, there are times when LinkedIn ads are ignored in favor of Twitter ads, promoted pins, and Facebook ads.

LinkedIn advertising also offers the ability to target by company name, size, industry, job title, age, gender, skills, years of experience, etc., which can be highly beneficial for B2B purposes.

Therefore, LinkedIn advertising is a cost-effective method to consider if you want to drive conversions through highly targeted ad campaigns (to reach a highly targeted group of individuals).

Tip: People won’t necessarily use LinkedIn for entertainment, and hence it needs to be treated as a professional site.

Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and is popular among millennials. With over 300 million monthly active users, Snapchat has transformed into a feasible advertising platform.

So, if youngsters are part of your target market, you might want to consider social media advertising through this platform.

Snapchat has incredibly diverse features (AR filters) that you won’t find on other social channels. So, take advantage of these features if you are looking to bring in more sales and boost awareness about your brand.

With options like sponsored filters and lenses, Snapchat allows potential customers to actively interact with your brand and share it with their friends. It also offers creative ways for brands to connect with their customers and expand their market.

Snapchat may not have a lot of active users when compared to platforms like Google, Facebook or Instagram. But just like Facebook, you can target people by their interests, lifestyles, shopping behavior, age, gender, location and much more.

Note: Before setting up your ads you’ll need to decide which format works best for you.

5 Biggest Challenges of Social Media Advertising And The Solution

1. Designing Your Strategy

The first challenge you’ll face is how to design your strategy. With so many platforms that are best served for specific industries, you need to have a plan pinned down, otherwise, you risk running an ineffective campaign.

To conquer this challenge, the first thing you should do is research. By taking a look at what your competitors are doing with their strategies, you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t within your industry. While you shouldn’t copy exactly what they’re doing, if you can narrow your focus to the best types of posts, you’ll be better off.

After you know what’s possible, you can establish SMART goals to drive your efforts. If you do this before you conduct research, your goals may not actually be achievable or realistic. While a B2C makeup brand sees tremendous results on Instagram, a B2B data storage tool will likely not.

Next, ensure you have an accurate way to measure your results. Most platforms have native analytics, but many marketers don’t put them to use. Without a plan to capture your metrics, you’ll never be able to set your SMART goals.

Finally, if you can build campaigns around your audience, instead of your product, you’ll earn more engagement from your followers. This is the concept behind a customer-centric marketing approach, and it’s one you should prioritize.

Many companies make the mistake of believing that users are there because they enjoy the product. While that may be true, the real reason they’re following your account is that they have a problem they want to be solved, and your brand is positioned to help.

2. Identifying the Right Platform

The next hurdle marketers face is in the selection of which platforms to leverage. Few marketers research their target markets thoroughly enough to identify the platforms where their target audience is active.

From the chart below, there seems to be a disconnect between customers and marketers. You can see that LinkedIn is used by 38% of social media marketers whereas only 6% of consumers use the platform to follow brands. This means marketers are wasting their efforts and resources on platforms that are not bankable.

Social media marketers vs consumers

Investing in the wrong platforms can exhaust your budget, especially if you regularly use paid ads. If the decision-makers in your company are not sold on the idea of social media marketing in the first place, they might just pull the plug if you commit this misstep.

In a way, if you overcome the first challenge of goal setting, you are well on your way to overcoming this challenge too. 

For example, if you want to establish a personal connection with customers, Twitter is your best bet. On the other hand, Instagram is great if you want to leverage influencers to spread brand awareness.

However, if you need information on how other marketers select platforms, you can use the chart below as a benchmark:

Take the time to get to know your audience. Which platforms are they active on? What are their main activities on social media? Dissect your audience demographics to learn about their genders, ages, and locations. Then, meet them where they are active. A lot depends on the nature of your business as well. B2C brands need to be active on visual platforms like Facebook and Instagram to grab the attention of consumers. 

B2B brands can benefit from local SEO on Google My Business and Bing. They should also post regularly on LinkedIn to make useful connections with brands. You also need to keep tabs on your competitors. “Out of sight, out of mind,” is very true for social media users. If you don’t have a strong presence on channels that your competitors are acing, you’re bound to lose a lot of conversion opportunities. 

Social media listening can help you track the brand mentions of your competitors. Identify the channels where they are garnering attention. Then, plan outreach on those channels. 

3. Growing Your Audience

A challenge every brand will face at some point is growing an audience.

There are a lot of techniques and methods to accomplish this, but any brands are resorting to the one tactic that should never be used: purchasing followers.

Paying for an audience is one of the worst ways to grow your list. Not only is it dishonest, but those customers don’t have a stake or desire in your brand. They won’t interact with your posts because they’re not invested in solving a problem like your true customers.

Instead, focus on providing valuable, engaging content that entices the people who actually want to back your brand. By focusing on content for a smaller audience, you can cover topics with more depth, making it higher quality content and engaging the readers you have, creating assets they will want to share.

While you’re focused on giving them the correct content to help them through their problem, you should also interact with them. Customers appreciate replies and comments. It makes them feel connected to your brand and encourages them to continue interacting with your profile.

4. Increasing Audience Engagement

Even with a large following, getting people to interact can be a challenge.

To best attack this challenge, you need to know what your audience likes and needs. Once you know, it’s just a matter of distributing content that builds on it.

This proves difficult, however, if you can’t figure out the status change your audience is looking to gain. You see, people are constantly looking, often subconsciously, how they can improve their status. The issue arises because if you can’t give them tangible proof that their status will change for the positive, they’d rather stay where they are now.

This means they’ll skip over sharing your content, even if they can win a free prize because your post won’t help them earn a higher status with their crowd.

For example, an infographic on laxatives probably won’t be well-shared unless it has a comedic spin. It’s a topic some people may be embarrassed to make public, so finding an alternative approach to make it “cool” would be more effective.

To further your efforts, create conversations in your posts. If you can ask questions or create polls that generate discussion, even if you have to initiate it, more people will come out of the woodwork. By liking and sharing their posts, you’re encouraging them to interact in return.

5. Creating a Cross-Channel Approach

While your audience may prefer a single channel, you’re missing out if you limit yourself.

Many marketers get tunnel vision, seeing results from one platform. While you should definitely address your audience on the platform they prefer, it’s important not to neglect the other spots they congregate.

Using multiple platforms allows you to gain more insights into your target audience. Similarly, you may find different personas prefer different mediums, allowing you to better engage with that audience.

Each social platform has the best time to post, and they all have types of content that perform better. After knowing how you’re going to approach each channel, establish workflows for publishing and sharing that match the parameters best served for each.

If you truly want your social strategies to succeed, you need to be willing to face these challenges. Too many marketers do the minimum and expect more.

You’ll get what you put into social media marketing, but if you can conquer these challenges, it’ll be a whole lot easier.

What is a Social Media Advertising Agency

Many businesses don’t have the time or expertise to carry out their social media marketing internally. They understand the benefits and importance of social media marketing, but their staff are all busy doing other things, their job functions more connected to the firm’s area of expertise.

In that case, a business could work with a specialist social media marketing agency. These agencies often operate their clients’ social accounts on their behalf and set up and run their social media advertising campaigns.

5 Best Social Media Advertising Agencies

Are you looking for some social media inspiration? While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some amazing agencies to follow.

Whether you’re looking to hire an agency, or just need some inspiration for agencies that are doing a great job on social, check out just a few of the examples we’ve listed below.


Columbus, Ohio’s RAVE advertising agency is used to executing full-service strategies on behalf of clients, from video production and media buying to web design and SEO.

But when it came time to join the effort to keep the beloved Columbus Crew Soccer Club in the Arch City, RAVE turned to the power of social media. Read more about their campaign that in the first month generated more than 1.8 million impressions, 102,000 engagements and 18,000 link clicks across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2. Bloomerang Solutions

Bloomerang Solutions is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in the floral industry, serving small businesses and large conglomerates alike.

In addition to developing websites and implementing pay-per-click strategies, Bloomerang provides clients cutting-edge social media support with the help of automated chatbots. The benefits of chatbots work across industries, as evidenced by software provider Evernote.

Using chatbots, the company achieved an 80% increase in people helped on Twitter per week. That value adds up fast when you consider customers spend 20% to 40% more with companies that engage with and respond to service requests on social.

3. Laundry Service

Their Twitter bio says it all. The individuals at Laundry Service “Make Amazing Sh!t”. Laundry Service has worked with an array of clients, and their portfolio boasts such brands as Hennessey, Amazon, Muscle Milk and Beats by Dre.

One example of Laundry Service’s fantastic work comes with their partnering with Adobe to help promote their corporate responsibility initiative Project 1324. The initiative began by creating a global media strategy and social playbook for Project 1324, and enlisting relevant creative influencers to bring the brand positioning to life.

In the 4 months after the campaign launch, Project 1234 saw 50M total impressions, 2.5M video views, 2.2M engagements and 80K new followers.

4. Hearts & Science

Hearts & Science, an Omnicom Media Group agency, derives its name from the heart that they put into creating meaningful content, and the science that goes into pulling data and leveraging insights for their clients. Hearts & Science employees over 1,200 individuals and works with some of the world’s largest companies, like AT&T, P&G and The New York Times.

5. 360i

360i is an award winning marketing agency that creates work disrupting many spaces. Their work runs the board and they handle Insights & Planning, Search, Social Media, E-Commerce, PR, Tehnology and so much more. Recently 360i has been praised for the work that they are doing with voice search.

For one such campaign, 360i teamed up with popular television show Westworld and Amazon Alexa to create an immersive voice experience that allows fans to work their way through a game with more than two hours of unique gameplay.

Strategies for Social Media Advertising Agencies

These 7 strategies will help set your social agency apart from others and help you secure and scale new business.

1. Analyze Your Clients’ Audiences

Analyzing each client’s audience may seem obvious. Gone are the days of pure qualitative research and good old intuition. If you have access to data-driven insights, you should be leveraging them.

One thing to consider is the age of your clients’ target audiences. An example of this is found in the Sprout Social’s Q1 2017 Social Index, it specifically went into details on how different generations leverage social and interacts with brands they care about. Below is an example of social network preferences by generation.

Another way to analyze your clients’ demographic audience is with social media listening. This will show you the demographics of not just your social media followers, but of the people on social media who are actively discussing your brand.

Not only can you find out the demographic makeup of your audience while using a social media tool, but you can also find out who your most engaged users are and who your brand is frequently mentioned. This information is invaluable to research when trying to determine not just who follows you, but who engages with you.

That same report shows the topics you’re most frequently mentioned with and the hashtags most frequently used with your brand. Think through who might be using those topics when building your audience, and click around the hashtags to get a better understanding of who is sending messages with them.

If all else fails, ask your clients to set up some time with their most successful brands in order to figure out what their audience makeup looks like. Use a focus group to get more qualitative and anecdotal data on who their audience is, on or off social. Then use that information when pinning down your social audience.

2. Coordinate with Other Agencies

The world of agency marketing is incredibly competitive, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t collaborate with your peers. Agency marketers that team up and coordinate with other social agencies reap benefits over those that seclude themselves.

Your inter-agency team may be your best bet for optimizing your social media efforts since social is often the glue that holds disparate channel campaigns together. For instance, you may not be your client’s activation agency but by coordinating with whoever is, you can develop a plan for capturing and repurposing user-generated content (UGC) from your client’s events.

Let’s face it, your agency won’t be a perfect fit for every single client. Or maybe you have a contact at a social media agency whose specialty is exactly what you need to make your client’s social media strategy better. Or, by passing leads that you can’t take on or that aren’t a good fit to a different agency you strengthen the relationship and chances they return the favor.

3. Join Partner Programs

The Sprout Social Agency Directory consists of companies that are part of our Agency Partner Program.

Sprout Social’s Agency Partner Program, and other partner programs like HubSpot’s, offer exclusive benefits to help agencies scale their business. Some cool perks include:

  1. Access to co-marketing opportunities with established brands
  2. Hands-on training and custom reporting to ensure happy clients
  3. Introductions to other agencies around the world
  4. Specific resources created to help you succeed on social media

Look around for all the programs relevant to yours and if it seems like a good fit, try and join!

4. Pull Social Data for Case Studies

To close a deal as you’re pitching a client, it’s essential that you showcase past successes. Fundamentally, start by featuring a list of clients on your website, organized by name or vertical in order to make it easy to digest at a quick glance.

From there, build out case studies and customer videos, featuring as many of your top clients as possible. An effective case study tells the story of your agency’s project with a client, highlights the challenges the client faced and your strategy for addressing them, shows how your agency provided a tactical solution and shares data points around the results of your efforts.

Read Also: Best Strategies For Branding, Positioning, Marketing And Sales For Agencies

Keep in mind when creating case studies to include as much data as possible. Your potential clients want to know how you helped others succeed and the results that came with that success. If you’re using a social media tool it should be simple to pull data to show how you improved a social presence month over month.

5. Co-Market with Other Companies or Agencies

If you have an “in” with a large company or agency, it could be a great opportunity to work with them on a piece of content that both organizations can promote for a mutually beneficial lift in reach.

Here at Sprout we always make it a point to work with our agency partners to create joint content that we then share with our audiences.

Once we’ve co-created a piece of content with our agency partners, both organizations get to work promoting it.

6. Scale Content with Your Clients

Depending on the services your social agency offers, you may spend a good deal of your team’s time coordinating with your clients on what you should and shouldn’t post to social channels. Stay ahead of your content calendar with these two strategies.

Get Pre-Approved Content in Bulk
If you can sit down with your clients and identify a cache of approved creative assets, you can look for opportunities to repurpose that content when creating a content calendar. This content can be housed in an Asset Library for quick access to appropriate imagery.

Give Clients Access to Your Social Tool for Approvals
If you’re using a social media tool, chances are you can invite your client stakeholders into your account so they can become part of your content publishing workflow.

7. Get Clients Into the Reports

Clients want to keep their finger on the pulse of what is happening with their social media campaigns and to have easy access to the data. Similar to getting your clients into your publishing workflows, you can give them direct access to social media reports by inviting them into your social media tool.

How do Social Media Advertising Agencies Make Money?

Advertising agencies make money by charging their clients an hourly fee for their services. In addition to the fee, an agency places a markup on the price of all outside service work that is used, such as type, printing, photography, video production, etc., to complete a client’s project.

The markup varies with each agency, but the standard is 15 percent to 20 percent. Some agencies will charge as much as 30 percent to 50 percent. If they are asked to produce a rush job for a client (24 hour turnaround), it is not unusual for the agency to charge the client 100 percent markup on both agency fees and outside services.

Along with fees and markup, an agency also earns a 15 percent commission from most media companies for the advertisements they place. So if an agency buys $10,000 in television time to run a client’s commercials, the station that sold the time to the agency will give them a 15 percent discount off the total price of the purchase.

That means that the agency will actually bill the client for the entire $10,000, but the agency will only have to pay the station $8,500.

While some media companies were still offering discounted rates to agencies, the available client pool had thinned out, so agencies began to charge a fee for their creative and production services. Those fees today range anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour, or even more, depending on the location, size, and reputation of the agency.

Few agencies charge a single rate across the board for all services. Their rates will vary depending on the service being performed. For instance, creative services may be billed at $120 an hour, layout and copy at $90. Mechanical preparation might be $60 an hour while clerical is only $35.

An agency operates on a profit margin of 1 percent to 10 percent, depending on how the agency is run and structured. So that means if an agency has a $100,000 account, the agency will end up with anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 in its pocket as profit.

The rest of the money will be spent on buying commercial advertising space and paying the agency for marketing advice, creative and production costs. It may sound like the agency will be making money on that; too, but that money paid to the agency from the client will be used to pay staff and operating expenses. The profit is what is left over when all the money has been spent to pay salaries and other expenses.

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