With over a billion people using at least one social media channel, publishing social media ads is a sound business decision. You can use these to raise brand awareness and generate targeted leads, both of which can translate to excellent returns and customer retention.
But how do you maximize these ads to your advantage? Use this five-step guide.
5 Steps to Launching Your Social Media Ads
Your actual game plan depends on the social media platform you want to use. Growing your audience on Facebook or Twitter differs from dominating TikTok or WhatsApp.
That is why it is wise to work with an experienced digital marketing agency. The team uses its knowledge and expertise to design a social media advertising plan that truly aligns with the application, target audience, and marketing objectives.
But they do share many similarities. From these, we can create a social media ad campaign with the five steps below.
1. Identify Your Goals and Objectives
Most social media channels, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, have solid business advertising options. They let you choose a marketing objective and give you tools to measure your campaign’s success.
But how do you exactly identify your marketing goals? Consider these five ideas:
- Look into your competition. For example, if you are a startup, spy on upcoming, growing brands in your niche. Check how they design their ads. What is their tone? Do they use specific words or calls to action?
- Check your historical data. Analyze the past to create better strategies for the future. What worked best? Did you have any particular campaigns with higher user engagement rates? How about your sales? Do you want to increase it or improve customer loyalty?
- Determine your target audience. Who do you want to reach? Who are your ideal customers? What type of language attracts them? According to Digital Authority Partners (DAP), knowing your market lets you know the best social media ad ideas that resonate with them.
- Set a realistic budget. Sometimes your budget can determine the scalability of your social media ad campaign. How much can you allocate for it? Is it enough to cover your needed resources, such as tools and staff?
2. Plan Ad Groups and Keywords
Now that you have identified your marketing objective, audience, and budget, you are ready to dive deep into your advertising strategy. In particular:
- Ad groups
Let us work on each.
First, what are ad groups? These categories contain all your ads, each with a theme, message, and budget. To understand this, let us use an example. Say that you are a clothing company that wants to advertise your new merch, which is an ugly sweater.
A typical ad group example may look like this:
- Ad group: Ugly sweater for women
- Target audience: Women, ages 25-35, living in the United States, who want to wear ugly sweaters even in the office
- Keywords: ugly sweater, women office wear, winter fashion
- Ad type: Image
- Ad format: Square
As you can see, the two factors relate to one another. But let us learn more about this step. At this point, let us discuss choosing the right keywords for social media ads. Focus on two important tips:
- Match the keyword with the user intent. What keywords do your target audience use to find your product or that of your competitors? Many social media tools now allow you to search and sort keywords according to intent. These include transactional, informational, or navigational.
- To drive targeted traffic, use long-tail keywords too. These specific, longer phrases can attract users who already know what they want. Based on our example before, possible long-tail terms and phrases are “ugly sweater for women office wear,” “winter fashion trend for ladies,” and so on.
3. Use Ad Types According to User Intent
As you have noticed above, a huge factor that impacts ad groups is the ad type and format. While you can use anything you like, it is most effective when it aligns with the user intent and target audience.
Let us take the same ugly sweaters for women as an example. Note that we plan to market this on Facebook. Here are your options for ad types and how to use them,
|Image ads||Attract customers with an attention-grabbing image of your ugly sweaters. Use colors, patterns, and themes that are attractive to women.|
|Video ads||Engage people better by showing them a video. Here, promote a particular product or feature of the item in action. Encourage user-generated content (UGC) for honest reviews or product demos.|
|Carousel ads||This ad type lets you combine videos and images in one ad, and users can swipe on every visual. It is a powerful way to tell a story as well as list features and benefits.|
|Lead generation ads||Use your social media ad to support other digital marketing strategies, such as email marketing. With this, you can grow your email list. Ask people to sign up and offer them a discount or other perks, such as exclusive access to new products, in exchange.|
|Instant experience ads||It is social media advertising on steroids. This mobile-optimized Facebook ad type lets you mix other options, such as videos and images, to create a more personalized, engaging user experience.|
4. Measure Your Performance with the Right KPIs
Steps 1 to 3 let you run ads on different social media platforms. The next two steps are about optimizing their performance to ensure that you are not wasting money, the plan is efficient, and the campaigns hit your marketing goals.
Begin by determining your key performance indicators (KPIs), which are simply quantifiable measures of how well your ads work against your marketing objectives. Here are a few, with their definitions and formulas.
|Reach||The number of unique visitors or users who have seen the ad||None|
|Impressions||The number of times your ad appeared on the platform||None|
|Click-through rate (CTR)||The percentage of impressions that led to an ad click||(Clicks/impressions) x 100|
|Cost per click (CPC)||Your ad spending per click||Spend/click|
|Return on ad spend (ROAS)||The returns you obtained from running the ad campaign||Revenue/spend|
|Cost per impression (CPI)||The spending for every 1,000 ad clicks||(Spend/impressions) x 1,000|
|Conversion rate||The percentage of users who took action on your ad, such as purchasing the product||(Conversions/clicks) x 100|
While all these KPIs matter, some may be more important than others depending on your social media advertising objective. For example, if you want to raise brand awareness, you want to focus on reach, impressions, and CTR.
5. Test and Adjust the Ads Accordingly with A/B Testing
The best social media ads are dynamic. In other words, they adapt to changes in the industry, target audience, competition, and strategies. They should also be responsive to the results you get when evaluating ad performance.
How do you make these ads more dynamic? Perform A/B testing.
Here is how it works:
- Create two or more versions of each ad. The differences do not have to be significant. In fact, you are more likely to get better results if the variations are subtle. Some options include changes in color, call to action, or ad type or format.
- Run them simultaneously. Allocate at least two weeks to monitor the ads.
- Evaluate which version is performing best and adjust accordingly. Which copy has the highest impression? How about CTRs? Make changes to the underperforming versions and keep running them until you get the desired results.
- Once you have a winning ad, archive it and create another one. Repeat the process to keep your social media ads fresh and relevant.
Social media ads are nifty tools to bring your brand closer to your target audience. But to make it work, you need a system.
This five-step guide helps you launch a working social media advertising campaign that lets you achieve your marketing goals. As you scale, get help from professionals, such as a digital marketing agency, to enhance your ads’ performance and ensure these copies continue to serve their purpose.