How to Be More Effective With Social Advertising

November 27, 2018

Organic reach is at an all-time low across all social networks, which means social advertising is a major consideration for today’s marketing mix. Social advertising provide a unique and creative way to get noticed by a highly relevant audience. It’s a daunting task to tackle, but sticking to some fundamental concepts will help set you up for success.

Set realistic goals and expectations

Without a realistic goal, it’s impossible to judge the efficacy of your advertising campaigns. At the end of the day, brands are going to be looking at sales figures. Do you sell high ticket items primarily in-store? Driving visitors to your website will have a considerably different value to you than an e-commerce brand.

Before you start spending money, benchmark your marketing results so you have a baseline for comparison. Have you seen what your competitors are up to? Facebook’s goal to be transparent about ads means you now have access to view ads that your competitors are running (and maybe even spot opportunities for yourself).

Analyze each social platform and mold a program that will get you to your primary goal. On Pinterest, you’ll mostly be reaching women who are ready to buy food products, beauty and interior design accessories. Think to yourself: Does this fit my brand?

Keep it Simple

People like simplicity. Visually compelling images and a strong call to action trump all. Look for images featuring heavy contrast which will help your messaging stand out. Feature your product or service front and center, and clearly state the value you provide.

Don’t forget that 90% of social ads are served to people using mobile devices. Scroll through Instagram on your phone. What would it take for you to stop the scroll and purchase a product you see in your feed? Capture attention and do so quickly. Vibrant colors and short videos tend to perform best.

When possible, offer an incentive. Your goal is to get potential customers to your landing page, where the nitty-gritty details kick in and you can expand on your offer.

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

It’s wise to build campaigns with an evergreen mindset, meaning they can be tested long-term in order to gauge what works and what doesn’t. Making changes to targeting and creative elements force your campaigns back into review and can negatively affect performance.  If you have a one-off, short-term sale, it’s best to make that a separate campaign so you don’t interfere with historical optimization.

Fluctuations in campaign performance can change like the weather, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep a close eye on things, and continually review performance month over month or even quarterly.

Test and Tune

One of the best features of social advertising is that it’s dynamic and allows changes to be made on the fly. If something isn’t working, you can change your copy, creative and targeting almost instantly.

Use data-driven analytics to help push the needle forward. Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics are extremely robust platforms to help get inside your audience’s head. Geography, device and demographics are a good start to building your target personas.

Vanity metrics like impressions and engagements may be readily available, but modern digital tracking allows your brand to paint a more comprehensive picture of the customer journey. While a click or engagement may not lead to an immediate conversion, the end goal will always be nurturing customers until they eventually convert. However, they just may have to go through a few touchpoints with your brand to get there first.

If there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s to test everything. Never silo your ads by running one at a time because you like it most. Keep in mind you are not always your target audience. Test, test and test again until you find what works for your brand.