It’s hard to beat social media advertising campaigns for cost-effective business promotion. With detailed customer targeting options, massive user databases and the ability to set your own budget, it makes sense why many companies are turning away from traditional media advertising and re-directing their budget to platforms like Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
However, working out the right platform, content and budget for your social media advertising campaigns can be difficult, especially for small businesses without a strong marketing background or resources. Companies wanting to take advantage of social media advertising must fully understand what works in their industry and ensure they’ve optimised their campaigns for performance online.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to help businesses of any size get the most out of their social media ads! Read on to learn more about social media advertising, how to set campaigns up for your business and the benefits you can gain by utilising these campaigns as part of your business’s marketing strategy.
What Is Social Media Advertising?
At its core, social media advertising refers to any paid advertising on platforms like Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and TikTok Ads, among others. An important distinction is that social media advertising is a separate marketing channel from your regular social media content. While creating a social media content plan and scheduling in posts to your pages is something all businesses should be doing, you’ll be limited to the organic reach of your individual pages, i.e. your likes or follower count.
With paid social media ads you’ll be able to reach users outside of that organic reach, utilising your chosen social media platform’s robust advertising tools to target the specific customers your business wants to advertise to. Also, unlike traditional advertising methods, social media ads are interactive and allow for real-time feedback from that target audience.
Another strong feature of social media advertising is the ability to create engaging ads in a variety of different formats, from simple text-based posts through to branded videos that showcase your products and services. This versatility makes social media advertising suitable for a wide range of marketing objectives, including building brand presence, increasing website traffic, generating leads, and boosting sales.
But don’t go creating a new business video or product slideshow just yet! When starting any new marketing campaign, it’s essential to have a detailed strategy in place, helping you to setup your social media ads correctly and avoid spending your budget on campaigns that aren’t optimised. By taking the time to understand your audience, what works in your industry and how to track the key performance indicators of a solid advertising campaign, your campaigns will be more efficient and lead to better results for your business on these channels.
Setting Up Your Social Media Advertising Campaigns For Success
Identifying a need to setup social media advertising campaigns for your company is a great first step. But with so many advertising channels to choose from, setting up these campaigns can be a little bit daunting for business owners without substantial digital marketing experience. Strong marketing campaigns are always setup for success with a detailed plan, an understanding of their target audience and the platforms that the business is advertising on.
Before you jump into your social media advertising channel of choice, ensure you consider the below factors that may determine whether these campaigns achieve the results you’re looking for online:
Determine Your Target Audience
One of the best features of advertising on platforms like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and LinkedIn Ads is the ability to narrow down your exact target audience and the customer you want to be in front of online. But if you don’t know precisely who these customers are, your campaigns may not be as successful as you would like them to be.
Determining who your target audience is, what content they engage with online and the selling points that drive growth in your industry is critical to achieving results from these campaigns. Once you have that understanding of your customer base, you’ll be able to create campaigns that correctly target that audience on the platforms they use on a daily basis.
Choose Your Advertising Campaign Goals
Working with a goal in mind is crucial in setting up a high-performing advertising campaign, ensuring you can correctly measure how your campaign is performing throughout the campaign’s life. For many new businesses, an initial goal could be building brand awareness, as your social media advertising campaign may be the first time they come in contact with your company. While you may understand who your targeted customer is and what they want from your industry, it may take a couple of contact points with your brand before they’re likely to engage with the services or products you’re offering.
Engagement goals are also an excellent option for many businesses, pushing those being served your advertising campaigns to like your page, watch your video or click a link that takes them to your website or product page. This can be a great way to build your following online or allow customers to learn more about the services that your business offers.
Or you could use a conversion-based goal to turn online traffic into new customers or sales directly. These goals are powerful tools that put you in front of the users most likely to purchase a product, sign up for a newsletter or contact your business directly. While potentially more expensive, with the right campaign a conversion goal may directly lead to more sales for your business on the platform of your choice.
Selecting The Best Social Media Advertising Platform
Choosing that platform is your next step on this social media ads journey, and with so many to pick from, making that choice can be difficult. Each platform offers up a different social media user base to market to, with different types of content working better on some platforms than others. With this in mind, it’s vital that you advertise on the channel that best suits your brand and the type of customers you want to connect with.
Perhaps you’re an e-commerce business looking to drive homewares sales online? Then you may want to market your products on visual-based platforms like Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads, putting you in front of customers during peak gift-buying periods or those looking for home décor inspiration on these visual platforms.
Or maybe you’re primarily a B2B business looking to reach new clients and customers through the power of business networking? Growing your brand’s presence and network online using a platform like LinkedIn Ads is a strong option, allowing you to identify the types of companies and professional contacts that you want to be in front of.
Finally, businesses seeking a younger, more aspirational demographic may want to take advantage of TikTok’s powerful algorithm to market your services using TikTok’s short-form video format. This is a great choice for businesses that can showcase their services easily, like personal trainers or home builders, allowing you to showcase transformations, DIY tips or new products directly to customers interested in your industry.
Creating Engaging Advertising Content
Now that you’ve determined your target audience and the channels they utilise, it’s time to create engaging advertising content to help you achieve your goals with these campaigns. Unlike expensive paid media options, like radio, newspaper or television advertisements, your content doesn’t need to be overly sophisticated as long as you know what type of content your audience will most likely engage with.
Something as simple as a still image showcasing one of your products or services could work well as long there’s a compelling call-to-action that motivates them to engage with your business. If you’re selling consumer products like baked goods, home décor or clothing items, creating engaging video content for platforms like TikTok or Instagram may directly lead to more trackable sales from these platforms.
You could also build brand awareness and your channel’s audience with a direct follower campaign, encouraging your target audience to like your page and gain the ability to market to them with organic social media content continually. Knowing exactly what your goals are for these campaigns and the type of content that best engages your audience will be key here, allowing you to create optimised campaigns that lead to the results your business is looking for.
Tracking And Measuring Your Results
The final piece of the puzzle for your social media ads will be tracking your results both during the life of the campaign and after its completion. Being able to analyse your results is always a vital part of any marketing campaign, and each social media platform offers powerful tools to analyse these results in real time.
You’ll be able to directly track how many people your ads are reaching, the results for your campaign’s goals and the types of ads that are performing best in your campaign. Testing, tracking and adjusting these ads on the fly is one of the best features of social media advertising, allowing you to work out what’s working best for your audience and the items that could be adjusted to perform better online.
This process will also help you to better understand your target audience and what drives them. This will not only help you perform well on social media, but give you further insights into what could work in other areas of your marketing efforts, like your website, email marketing channels and business branding.
Next Steps To A Successful Advertising Campaign
Businesses of almost any size can take advantage of social media campaigns, with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offering up advertising services for as little as $1 a day. It’s a great way to jumpstart your marketing and provide immediate exposure for your brand to the target audience for your industry.
But setting up these campaigns to perform online can be difficult, particularly for business owners without significant marketing experience. Finding the right platform, content and goals for your advertising campaigns is critical to success, and if you’re not sure where to start, this may be where a digital marketing agency can help.
At Sky High Digital, we specialise in helping businesses thrive online with paid advertising campaigns that help you reach new customers and drive results. Our team will work with you to research your industry, the audience best suited to your business goals and the strategies to help your social media advertising campaigns succeed online.