If you already have a digital marketing strategy in place for your small business, it more than likely includes social media. Having a strong social media presence is essential these days, as that’s where consumers of all ages are spending a great deal of their time.

Different platforms are utilized more often by different groups. For instance, 68% of US adults are Facebook users, while 35% utilize Instagram, 29% Pinterest and 24% Twitter. When broken down by age group, 88% of 18-29-year-olds utilize some form of social media, compared to 78% of 30-49-year-olds, 64% of 50-64-year-olds and 37% for those age 65+.

In short, your customers are on social media in some capacity, and, in order to reach them at important times in a meaningful way, you need to make sure that you have a strategy in place. To better increase your chances of reaching your target audience at the right moments, you should consider investing in paid social media advertising.

Paid social utilizes sponsored content and advertising to boost your brand’s presence. This form of advertising allows small businesses to reach users who aren’t following your pages directly but have shown interest in the past in a product or service that you’re offering, or they may fall within your target demographic.

As a small business owner, it’s important to make the most of your marketing dollars to help you achieve your digital marketing goals. Social media advertising is a great channel to invest in, as it can provide a wealth of benefits. Here are some of the advantages that paid social media advertising offers.

Customized Budgets

As mentioned above, most small businesses have limited marketing budgets, and social media advertising is a moderately cost-effective way to promote your business. Before you start paying for ads on social, you’ll want to determine a budget that best feeds your individual needs.

Many social platforms offer the pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means that you’re only paying when a user does what you’re asking them to do. Take some time to research the different advertising options each platform offers and determine which ones will work best for your budget and goals.

Extended Reach

Unlike organic social media, paid social ensures that your ad will be seen by your chosen audience, paving the way for increased leads, website traffic and sales. Through paid social, you can identify a set audience based on specified options, like gender, location, age and preferences. You can then tailor your content to best fit your chosen audience.

Each platform provides different segmentation options, so you’ll want to do some research and figure out which channels your customers are utilizing most often. This will ensure that you’re targeting the right people.

Increased Brand Awareness

Paid social is an excellent way to boost brand awareness. The more often your business appears in a user’s newsfeed, the more likely they are to remember you. Such recognition can lead to enhanced credibility and increased engagement, which can ultimately lead to sales.

In order to create positive brand awareness, you’ll want to create social ads that are creative and informative. Utilize unique photos, color schemes and text that will capture consumer’s eyes and keep put your business top of mind when they require a product or service that you offer.