How many hours are you spending brainstorming, creating, and reviewing your organic social content? You’ve got to get these updates to the masses. The only problem is, the masses aren’t seeing your organic content – and that’s by design.

A decade ago, you wrote clever copy, hit “Post,” and people saw it. But today’s social platform algorithms are much more sophisticated – and always changing. It’s hard enough to ensure your followers see a post, and even harder to reach ideal members of your target audience who aren’t yet following you.

One solution? Paid media. When done correctly, it provides the boost you need to amplify your message to your entire target audience (and grow your follower base while you’re at it).

When you post organic social content, the people who are going to see that content are the users who follow you – and only a portion of them will actually see it. LinkedIn has shared an algorithm overview that details the stages each post goes through before being shown to a larger audience.

Stage 1: An initial filter, where a bot places your content into one of three categories

  • Spam
  • Low-quality
  • Clear

Stage 2: Audience testing, where your post is displayed to a small portion of your audience to see how they engage with it

Stage 3: Content scoring, where LinkedIn analyzes how much your own followers engaged with the content you’ve posted

  • Each interaction receives points – likes get a point, comments get few more points, and shares typically get the most points
  • If engagement is low, your post won’t go any further.

Stage 4: A real-people review of posts that meet the scoring threshold in Stage 3

  • These people will determine if your post is shown more broadly to your audience

Yes, this means paying to play may be your only option to reach the elusive unknown users.

The upside of paid promotions goes far beyond exposure, though. Here are three examples of how paid promotions can help grow your pipeline:

  • Make yourself a part of the decision set, before you even know a decision is being made

A majority of B2B buyers are doing their research anonymously. In fact, B2B buyers are typically 80% through the buying process before they make contact with a vendor. In other words, by the time these users reach out to sales, they are at a stage where they are ready to make a final purchase decision. Using an “if we build it, they will come” approach means missing out on the initial opportunity to even be considered as a solution.

  • Get the most from third-party content

Are you publishing content through a third party? Maybe you’re a thought leader who is being published in Forbes or Fast Company. Chances are, you have very little insight into how many people are viewing your content and even fewer insights into how many users are then taking action on your website. Paid promotion of content on third party sites gives you that visibility.

When amplifying content for Executive Thought Leadership, you can tell exactly how many users saw the content and how many of them visited their website and took action. And since we’re carefully targeting each ad, we know that all of those users meet their ideal customer profile.

As an added benefit, this strategy gives you new insight into what engages your audience so your talking points get tighter and your next article can be that much more impactful.

  • Get more efficient conversions when users know your brand 

Even a small number of touchpoints with anonymous users who are early in their journey can build brand awareness. As a result, users who are familiar with your brand will be more likely to search for you by name when the time to evaluate their options.

If people are searching for you by name, you can use branded search campaigns on Google to target them. On average, branded search campaigns have a 111% lower cost per conversion and a 16% higher conversion rate compared to non-branded search campaigns (campaigns that target related keyword searches instead of your company’s name). As a result, you can drive more MQLS and ultimately more ROI – which is proof that brand awareness pays off long term.

So the next time you think about your organic reach, think of all the ways you can augment it. Paid campaigns may cost money, but they’re an investment that can bring in revenue you never would have gotten otherwise.

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