During your scrolling session on social media, you must have passed through advertisement content. Whether it’s a video, an image, or a shoppable post, these ads have gone through targeting options to appear in your feed.
Today, social media platforms have become the modern marketer’s playground. From optimizing content to drive organic traffic to leveraging paid ads for more impactful results, social media has a lot to offer for businesses of all sizes.
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This article will walk you through some practices to advertise on social media correctly. So you can generate optimized reach, engagement, and conversions. Without further delay, let’s discover how to advertise with social media.
Social Media Advertising
It’s no surprise that today, 77% of small businesses have used social media to connect with their customers. Beyond just creating brand visibility, 44% of these enterprises rely on social media to achieve their objectives.
Among many strategies, social media advertising stands out as a cornerstone for small businesses. Precise targeting options and interactive features can convert online engagement into tangible results, such as higher sales and revenue growth.
Image via Sprout Social
Social media advertising focuses on audience targeting and tends to be highly visual. With seamless integration between branding elements and the platform’s user experience, these ads blend so naturally that they can be challenging to distinguish from regular content.
You can use various content formats, such as pictures, images, infographics, explainer videos, etc. Here are some benefits of social media advertising for businesses of all sizes:
- Expanding brand awareness quickly.
- Target specific and relevant audiences.
- Improve engagement and conversions.
- Generate quality leads.
- Cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.
- Provide measurable results and real-time feedback.
AI chatbots can be a valuable tool for advertising on social media. They can be used to engage with potential customers, answer their questions, and even generate leads. For example, you can use an AI chatbot to create a social media contest or giveaway. The chatbot can answer questions about the contest, collect entries, and even announce the winner. This is a great way to generate excitement and engagement around your brand.
You may get other benefits, such as gaining a competitive edge and boosting sales effectively. To achieve these goals, we’ll discuss some practices you must consider in your social media marketing strategy.
Best Practices to Advertise with Social Media
We’ve curated the essentials on how to advertise with social media. These eight factors are crucial in enhancing ad performance and investing in your marketing budget. Let’s break them down in more detail.
#1. Set Your Goals
Before you start any social media advertising project, defining clear and specific objectives is essential. Your goals or objectives will be the foundation for your entire social media strategy.
Choose your objectives, whether you aim to increase brand awareness, gain followers, generate leads, or boost sales. Each goal should be measurable and time-bound, allowing you to monitor progress and evaluate your success more easily.
For example, instead of a general goal like “increasing brand awareness,” it’s better to have a specific purpose like “gaining 10,000 new followers on Instagram within six months. A specific goal helps you track progress and measure your campaign success more easily.
Moreover, your goals also influence how you allocate your budget on social media ads because different goals may require different levels of investment. If you aim to drive website traffic, you may allocate more funding to PPC advertising.
#2. Research Your Target Audience
Social media advertising offers audience targeting, so having specific goals and understanding your target customer is crucial. Conduct comprehensive research and segmentations to gain insights into your potential customers’ demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points.
Consider leveraging media database and analytics tools to refine your audience targeting, such as AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) or Social Media Analytics, to gain an in-depth understanding of your audience. You can also start audience research from your CRM platform.
If you know that your ideal customer is a fashion enthusiast in their twenties, you can create ads specifically for that demographic. For instance, you can craft short videos on mix-and-match items or product reviews.
This strategy ensures your ads reach the right people at the right time while maintaining product values. Also, gaining comprehensive details about your audience helps you choose the best ad type. You can enhance your ad performance with relevant content, especially its engagement and conversion.
#3. Create Authentic Content
Authentic or original content is essential to build trust and credibility with your audience. More importantly, fresh content helps your ad content be more memorable and stand out in the sea of competitors, which is the key to a successful ad.
A way to master this strategy is to craft content that genuinely reflects your brand’s values, mission, and personality. Also, avoid overly promotional or sales-focused content. Instead, create content that targets the audience’s pain points. This strategy makes your ad resonate better with the target viewers.
Moreover, focus on providing value to your audience by sharing informative, entertaining, or inspiring content. Use focused keywords, high-quality visuals and relatable language to convey your brand’s message. Authenticity extends to both visuals and messaging.
Also, creative content fosters meaningful connections with your audience and encourages them to engage with your content. This result can ultimately drive success to your social media advertising project, making your investment worth every penny.
#4. Choose the Best Ad Type
Selecting the right ad type is crucial for enhancing your social media advertising project. Each social media platform offers various ad formats, and choosing the best one depends on your goals and target audience. Different ad types work better on specific platforms.
For example, Instagram is known for its visually appealing photo and video content, making it suitable for image and video ads. On the other hand, platforms like LinkedIn might be better suited for sponsored content or sponsored InMail messages for B2B marketing.
Most importantly, don’t hesitate to experiment with different ad types to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing allows you to compare the performance of other ad formats and make data-driven decisions.
#5. Invest in Short and Educational Videos
Short videos have soared in popularity. They can be a powerful and valuable tool for your advertising efforts on social media. 92% of marketers strongly believe that video continue to play a key role in social media marketing in the forthcoming years.
Image via Lemonlight
Social media videos provide an excellent medium for storytelling. You can convey your brand’s message, showcase products or services, and connect with your audience more emotionally with video marketing. .
In addition, short videos, typically ranging from a few seconds to a minute, can capture viewers’ attention quickly. In a fast-paced online environment, audiences are more likely to watch short videos in completion than longer content.
Most importantly, videos often generate higher engagement rates, such as likes, comments, and shares, compared to static images or text-only posts. This engagement can boost your content’s visibility on social media platforms.
Using a video hosting platform can help you manage and share your video content more effectively, ensuring a seamless experience for your audience.
#6. Pay for Impression or Engagement
When it comes to social media advertising, you typically have the option to pay for impressions (CPM – Cost Per Mille) or engagement (CPE – Cost Per Engagement). Here’s a comprehensive look at this choice:
Impressions (CPM): Paying for impressions means you’re charged based on the number of times your ad is displayed, regardless of whether or not users engage with it. This approach is effective for increasing brand visibility and reaching a broader audience.
Engagement (CPE): Paying for engagement means you pay when users interact with your ad, such as clicking, liking, sharing, or commenting. This performance-focused ad can encourage specific actions, like driving website traffic or collecting leads.
Your choice between CPM and CPE should align with your campaign objectives. Also, consider your budget and how you want to allocate it. CPM is more cost-effective for brand exposure, while CPE may lead to higher costs if you’re targeting user interactions.
#7. Test Your Ads for Optimization
A crucial step in optimizing your social media ads is by testing your ads. There are some ways you can consider, such as A/B testing and objective-oriented testing. These two tactics help you identify which elements resonate most with your audience.
A/B testing or split testing requires you to create multiple variations of your ad with slight differences. For instance, you might test different ad headlines, images, or calls to action (CTAs). You may also try different times when publishing your ad.
Meanwhile, you can also align your testing with your campaign objectives to see your ad’s performance. If your goal is to increase click-through rates (CTR), focus on testing elements that influence CTR, such as ad copy or imagery.
Optimization through testing is an iterative process. It’s not a one-time effort but an ongoing practice to fine-tune your ads continually. Identify the best practices and apply those insights to optimize your future ad campaigns.
#8. Measure Your Ad Results
To measure your ad results, look closely at the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your ad objectives. Check common metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, return on investment (ROI), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition (CPA).
Consider leveraging analytics tools provided by social media platforms or using third-party analytics tools to track and measure ad performance. These tools offer valuable insights into impressions, clicks, engagement, and audience demographics data.
You can also link to data/statistics that show the popularity of web browsers among your target audience for social media ads. Whether it is Chrome or Chrome alternatives, you will be able to make informed decisions on which browsers to prioritize for campaign optimization.
Additionally, compare the performance of different ad campaigns to identify what’s working and what needs adjustment. This helps you spend your budget more effectively and optimize future campaigns.
Most Effective Ad Formats
Each social media platform has its ad formats. With so many options, you may get confused to choose the most suitable one. So, we’ve curated the most effective ad formats from various social media.
Consider the following social media to run your advertising. These are platforms with the biggest user bases as of 2023.
Image via Statista
Facebook offers three primary ad formats: image, video, and carousel. Each format comes with distinct advantages and can yield varying outcomes. Here’s a concise overview of these formats:
Image Ads: Facebook’s image ads are a widely used format. They are straightforward yet highly impactful, enabling you to present your product or service using a captivating image.
Video Ads: Facebook provides versatile video ad options, including in-feed video ads, Stories video ads, and carousel video ads. These formats are exceptionally engaging and effectively convey your message to your audience.
Carousel Ads: Carousel ads are designed to show several images or videos within a single ad, each with its unique link. This format excels at showcasing a diverse range of products or spotlighting various features of your offerings.
If you want to advertise your product or service on YouTube, consider TrueView Ads, Bumper Ads, and Display Ads as your options. Let’s understand them briefly.
TrueView Ads: These are skippable video ads that appear before or during YouTube videos. Viewers can choose to watch the ad completely or skip the ad after a few seconds, so you only pay when viewers engage for a specified duration.
Bumper Ads: Bumper ads are short, non-skippable video ads typically lasting six seconds. They are ideal for delivering a quick and memorable message.
Display Ads: These are overlay ads that appear on the lower portion of a video. They can include text, images, or rich media to promote your product or service effectively within the video content.
Instagram is one of the most effective social media to expand your brand awareness, especially for targeting young millennials and Gen Z. Using its paid ads can help you boost content performance more powerfully.
Instagram Feed Ads: These ads appear within users’ Instagram feeds as sponsored posts. You can use images or videos to showcase and highlight your products or services in an appealing way.
Instagram Stories Ads: Stories ads are full-screen, vertical ads that appear in between users’ stories. They offer a highly immersive experience and are great for creating engaging short video content.
Carousel Ads: Similar to Facebook, Instagram supports carousel ads. You can post multiple visuals, including videos and images, to showcase multiple products and links in a single ad.
LinkedIn is a suitable platform for B2C and B2B companies seeking customers or establishing a robust online presence. You’ll find several options within LinkedIn’s advertising offerings, including sponsored content, InMail, and dynamic ads.
Sponsored Content: On LinkedIn, sponsored content ads are visible to users and can incorporate various media types, including images, videos, or carousels, to captivate, engage, and convert viewers. This format allows you to target specific professional demographics precisely.
Sponsored InMail: For a more personalized approach, sponsored InMail ads enable you to dispatch tailored messages directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes. It offers a direct and impactful means to connect with your intended audience.
Dynamic Ads: These ads have the unique ability to automatically adapt content for each viewer, which may include displaying the viewer’s profile picture and name. They can be highly personalized and effective for lead generation and recruitment efforts.
Social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have empowered businesses of all sizes to engage with their audiences, tell their stories, and achieve remarkable results. They offer various advertising options that can suit your goals and budget.
However, even paying a huge deal for social media advertising doesn’t guarantee success. The above practices can help you create optimized advertising content and enhance its performance to expand your reach and drive success for your business.
Focus on your target customers, create authentic content, and choose the most suitable ad format for your audience to drive profound results. Also, keep experimenting, analyzing data, and refining your strategies to create a better ad in the future.