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Using Video to Stretch Your Social Media Advertising Budget

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Marketers often like to say that success is all about working smarter, not harder. Especially in the case of small businesses, marketers have smaller budgets, more competition, and less time than ever. Working long hours into the night will not make advertising your small business easier or more effective. But the right tools and techniques can.

One of the best ways to maximise the impact of your resources is using video content as ad creative. Almost 60% of marketers recently told Databox that Facebook videos drive more ad clicks than photos. 

What’s more, in 2023, brands are planning to spend more on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, all social media platforms that favour vertical video, according to a study from Smartly.io. About 48% of the study’s respondents said that out of all advertising platforms, YouTube yields the most revenue per media spend. 

The main challenge associated with emphasising video ads is that the content assets can be time-consuming and expensive to create. Small business marketers can feel overwhelmed at the thought of adding yet another task to their to-do list, especially if it calls for a high volume of experimentation. 

Let’s talk about a few ways to use video to stretch your social media ad budget.

Repurpose Existing Content

How exhausting is it to make a video for a TikTok ad, just to turn around and have to make a brand new asset for YouTube? The very best way to stretch your social media ad budget is simply to find ways to reuse your existing content. Don’t create new videos from scratch – instead, look at the assets you already have and think of how they could be turned into videos.

This can be a blog post, any image you may have created, or an infographic. As you no doubt know, videos don’t need to feature a studio-shot talking head, or full custom animation, to be effective. You can easily turn static content into short videos or slideshows with text overlays.

This will save you not only money but also time. Creating content is one of the most time-consuming tasks of any marketing manager. The more you can use and reuse, the more money, time, and energy you’ll have to spend on other critical tasks.

You can streamline this even further by plugging your content into reusable templates. Developed by Lightricks, video editor app Videoleap offers a stream of community-created templates that make it easy to create video content at scale, as well as repurpose assets for multiple platforms. Just select a template you like, replace the provided footage with yours, and your video is good to go – with transitions and effects already synced to the licensed music, titles, stickers and anything else you need. 

Ask for User-Generated Content

What if you didn’t have to create the content at all? Many influencers will be more than happy to create content for you that you can use as a social media ad for free, in exchange for samples.

To do this, send out free samples to influencers in your niche. You can start by searching hashtags, or by using a tool like Impact, which easily points out the best creators in your niche. Ask them to create a video review of your thing, if they loved it. 

Once your influencer has done that, let them know how much you loved their content and ask for permission to reuse it as an ad.

This not only saves time and money, but can also be highly effective at generating conversions. A Stackla study found that people are 2.4x more likely to see user-generated content as authentic than brand-created content, thereby improving customer purchase intent. 

Go for Quality Over Quantity

Especially for overworked marketers, it can be tempting to go for a spray-and-pray approach. But instead of developing lots of assets and spreading them thinly across multiple platforms, it really pays to go the quality route.

Take the time to develop a good brand story that will resonate with your users, even though it’s an ad. If you have a newsletter, you can poll your existing audience to see what attributes they like about your brand using a tool like SurveyMonkey, which integrates with almost any email provider. 

Analyse the result of your ads on every platform and channel. Where is your audience most often? Maybe you don’t need to make an ad for TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Maybe your customer base is on Twitter. 

When you spend more time getting an ad right, you will see a much higher ROI. Ensure that you’re using the right tone, showcasing the right brand attributes, and speaking to the right people. While this approach takes more time upfront, it helps save time and money in the long run.

Test and Optimise Creative Assets

Even when you create the perfect ad, it’s not enough to put it out in the world and hope it turns out well. You need to be monitoring KPIs to make sure you’re on the right track. A tool like Hootsuite can help you stay on top of how your ads are performing with key performance metrics available at a glance. 

Look at how many views your content gets, engagement such as likes, comments, clicks, shares, and most importantly, conversions. A conversion could be an email sign-up, a download, a purchase, or any other desired outcome. 

In addition to monitoring KPIs, you can also test certain ad attributes to see if you can optimise your ad spend even further. Experiment with A/B testing on ad copy, headlines, length, or visual elements. Test ads with different audiences such as locations, age ranges, or genders. Try different ad frequencies and formats. 

Ultimately, creating the campaign is just the start. Once you have a version of any video asset, there’s so much more you can do to get the most out of your ad spend. 

Final Thoughts

Social media video ads are extremely powerful when it comes to stretching your advertising budget so you can reach and activate your target audience. But you can’t just throw time and money out onto platforms and hope for the best, because that’s a recipe for exhaustion, burnout, and an angry boss asking you where the budget went.

Instead, you have to do some hard work upfront to reap the rewards later on. And most importantly, don’t forget that ad spend is just one part of an overall marketing strategy, albeit an important one. 

Every strategy you take to conserve ad spend will be more effective when you consider your brand’s overall goals and KPIs. Don’t spend your ad pounds willy-nilly – take the time to develop a plan and use them as effectively as possible. With the right approach, social media video ads can help you achieve your marketing objectives and grow your business.

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