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I write about the need for transparency, efficiency, equity, and diversification - in contracts, in tech stack development, in content pipelines, in media placement, in investment and revenue streams, in team and channel development, in attribution methods, and more. Read all posts. >>


Should I Still Be Investing in Paid Social Ads?

advertising strategy media buying Apr 04, 2023

Should I still be investing in paid social advertising?

It's a question I get A LOT. And it's reasonable. If paid social advertising is struggling to match prospects with your known audience based on new privacy limitations, it's worth questioning its efficacy.

But the best business coaches will tell you that instead of answering the question you're actually being asked, you'll have more success if you answer the question you wish you had been asked.

So here's a few questions I find more valuable to consider. >>

What does my diversification and pivot plan look like?

I think of paid social advertising the way that I think about direct mail or SMS outreach, or any other marketing tactic. If it's profitable for you, it's worth at least keeping it on the table for consideration for investment (barring your answers to questions 2 and 3 below).

But investing smartly in anything means that you're not investing in ONLY that one channel. We don't know what the future of social media advertising looks like. If, tomorrow, social media calls it quits for some reason, could you sustain your profitability? Answer that question first.

I believe in the 80/20 rule -- in anything, opt for 80% investment in known quantities and 20% investment in unknowns. This keeps you stable without losing the chance to understand new ideas.

Do I have consent to use audience information to power my paid social ads? 

If you don't know the answer to this question, that's point number 1 to address. What does your privacy policy currently reflect about what audience information you're releasing to third parties? And when was that privacy policy last updated?

Anyone who opted into your audience communications before the date at which you put into place clear parameters for data use should be considered someone who didn't opt in, because they didn't do that explicitly. 

You can only use the audience data that you know is consented for use in any advertising, which includes paid social. Your answer to how big that remaining file is determines how effective your paid social reach will be.

What do I really think about how and why my organization is using paid social? 

Are you using social media advertising because it's easily accessible? Because you don't have the budget to explore other options? Because you haven't had the time to invest in understanding where else you could invest?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, that's something to consider and to discuss as a leadership group within your organization. There's a case to be made for investing in future-proofing your strategy -- and you'll want to make sure you've elevated it for discussion rather than sticking with something that's working well enough for now. While that might feel like the path of least resistance for now, it could quickly become a huge challenge if not managed properly. Wave the flag when you need some help. 


When you're ready, here's how I can help you with your diversification strategy:

>> Book 1:1 help to formulate your action plan or discuss a strategic objective.

>> Contact me about ongoing support with financial projections, board relationships, blended investment planning, and more.


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