In today’s world, social media is more than just a way for users to connect with friends. Besides posting pictures and sharing stories online, more and more people have started to shop on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Hence, businesses have cherished the opportunities and have utilised social media marketing strategy to get noticed in the internet world.
Social media is one of the prime marketing tools in a small business’s arsenal. Yet, it’s vital to recognise that not every social media channel shares an equal footing. Each platform possesses its unique community of users, each with their distinct behaviours and preferences when it comes to engaging with content.
If you’re new to all of this and wondering what social media advertising is and how it can be beneficial to your business, you’re in the right place!
Understanding Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is like putting up a signboard for your lemonade stand, but on the internet. When you’re scrolling through your social media feed and a sponsored ad about an item or a brand you like pops up? That’s social media advertising.
Marketers are able to establish sponsored ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Delivering paid ads on those social media platforms are called social media advertising.
What are the Benefits of Social Media Advertising?
There has been many times when we suggest our clients conducting social media advertising, the reaction we got is “Why? I’m already using Google Ads”. Here is why:
Social Media Advertising is Cost Effective
Like a savvy investment, social media advertising often delivers a great return on investment (ROI). Plus, it’s a budget-friendly alternative to directly targeting your competitors’ audience on search engines.
Social Media can Boost Brand Awareness
Social media is a dynamic tool for building brand awareness through its expansive reach and interactive features. By sharing diverse content like posts, images, and videos, businesses showcase their products and values to a wide audience, while consistent branding elements create a recognisable identity.
Targeted advertising ensures messages resonate with specific demographics, and leveraging trends through hashtags and challenges boosts visibility. Moreover, encouraging user-generated content and partnering with influencers further extends the brand’s reach. sharing the brand’s story and engaging with followers fosters a relatable connection.
In essence, the visual nature of ads on these social platforms lets you give them your unique touch, fitting perfectly with your branding and style.
Social media ads don’t just stop at clicks. Users can interact with them by giving likes, sharing, and leaving comments, adding an extra layer of engagement. Social media serves as a vibrant platform for forging meaningful interactions with followers through various engaging avenues.
Direct messaging allows businesses to establish one-on-one connections, enabling personalised conversations where customers can seek assistance, provide feedback, and ask questions discreetly. Meanwhile, the sharing of content by followers not only widens the brand’s reach but also sparks conversations among their networks, effectively amplifying engagement.
Within the comment sections, followers express their thoughts and opinions, offering a space for businesses to actively join discussions, address concerns, and express gratitude. Even the seemingly minor gesture of a ‘like’ holds significance, conveying approval and recognition. When businesses ‘like’ comments or posts mentioning their brand, it sends a message of appreciation and often leads to further interactions.
Interactive content like polls and quizzes encourages followers’ participation, providing valuable insights into preferences and fostering discussions based on the results. Additionally, contests and challenges not only boost participation but also encourage users to share content and generate user-generated material.
These active engagements build a sense of community, where followers feel a personal connection to the brand and are more likely to become enthusiastic brand advocates.
Social media ads support a whole range of formats and types of content, giving you the freedom to choose what suits your message best. The most common social media ad formats include:
- Image Ads
These ads consist of a single static image with accompanying text. They’re concise and visually engaging, aiming to convey the brand’s message or showcase products/services in a visually appealing manner.
- Video Ads
Video ads range from short clips to longer narratives. They have the power to tell a story, demonstrate products in action, or provide valuable information. Video content often captures attention more effectively and can be used on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Carousel Ads
These ads allow users to swipe through a series of images or videos within a single ad unit. Each card within the carousel can have its own unique headline, description, and call-to-action (CTA), making it versatile for showcasing multiple products or features.
- Slideshow Ads
Similar to video ads, slideshow ads are a sequence of images or short video clips that loop automatically. They offer a dynamic visual experience without the complexity of full video production.
- Collection Ads
Designed primarily for e-commerce, collection ads feature a large image or video above a set of smaller product images. Users can click on individual products to learn more or make a purchase, providing a seamless shopping experience within the ad.
- Canvas/Instant Experience Ads
These ads allow users to interact with a full-screen experience that combines images, videos, and interactive elements. They offer a deeper engagement and can be used to tell more comprehensive brand stories.
- Story Ads
Utilised on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, story ads are vertical, short-lived images or videos that appear in users’ stories feed. They’re ideal for delivering quick, engaging content in a mobile-friendly format.
- Augmented Reality (AR) Ads
Emerging as a trend, AR ads use technology to overlay interactive digital elements on real-world visuals. These ads provide a unique and engaging experience, enabling users to interact with products virtually.
- Polls and Interactive Ads
These ads encourage user engagement by incorporating interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and questions. Users’ responses can lead to further content or tailored recommendations.
- Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts appear seamlessly in users’ feeds alongside organic content. They match the platform’s regular post format but are labeled as “sponsored” to indicate their promotional nature.
- In-Stream Ads
Common on platforms like YouTube, in-stream ads are video ads that play before, during, or after the main content. Users can often skip these ads after a few seconds.
Precise targeting is like having a magnifying glass for finding your audience. Since users spill the beans about themselves on social platforms, you can fine-tune your ads to reach the right people.
Social media ads often blend in with regular posts. This subtlety makes them a less intrusive way to reach your audience.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business
Each social media platform has its own style and type of people hanging out there. Let’s take a closer look at some popular platforms:
Think of Facebook as a big community gathering. It’s great for showing your products or services to lots of people, and you can even pick those people based on their interests and where they live.
Instagram is like a photo album where people share pictures and videos. If your business is about things that look good in pictures, like clothes or food, Instagram could be your go-to spot.
Twitter is a chat room where people talk about what’s happening right now. If you want to share quick updates and be part of current conversations, Twitter might be your thing.
YouTube is a go-to place for instructional videos and reviews about nearly everything. Professionals who make decisions for businesses, known as B2B decision-makers, use YouTube a lot to learn about things they might want to buy or use. YouTube is also a very popular platform, second only to Facebook, with a big crowd of users worldwide.
LinkedIn is where professionals hang out. If your business is more serious and you want to connect with other businesses or professionals, LinkedIn can help you do that.
TikTok has swiftly risen to become one of the most rapidly expanding apps across the globe. It boasts a considerable number of active users monthly on both iOS devices and Android. During the summer of the year 2021, TikTok achieved a remarkable feat by being the inaugural app not owned by Facebook to surpass 3 billion installations around the world.
Interestingly, TikTok’s appeal isn’t restricted to just Generation Z. Surprisingly, its user community in Australia is now quite evenly divided among individuals aged 20 to 29, 30 to 39, and 40 to 49.
Creating Your Social Media Ads Step by Step
Now that you know what social media advertising is, it’s time to set up your first ad. Here’s how you plan it:
Set Clear Goals
Setting clear goals for social media advertising is essential for a successful campaign. These goals offer direction and purpose, guiding decisions on content, targeting, and budget allocation. They also enable measurement of progress through metrics such as engagement rates and conversions, ensuring the campaign’s effectiveness.
Defining objectives using the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) is crucial. Understanding the target audience helps align goals with their preferences while selecting the right metrics and setting realistic benchmarks prevents frustration and fosters focused efforts.
Know Your Customers
The initial phase of social media marketing involves pinpointing the group of people you want to connect with. Essentially, you need to figure out who your perfect customer is and how they engage on social media platforms.
A powerful approach to achieve this involves forming an image of your ideal customer, almost like creating a pretend person. This concept is called a buyer persona, and it’s a representation of the type of person you’d love as your customer.
This buyer persona serves as a tool to help you gain a deeper insight into what makes people decide to buy from you and how they react to different kinds of content on various social media sites.
For instance, let’s say your business revolves around selling baby strollers. In that case, your perfect customer would be a person who’s currently pregnant and expecting to welcome a baby in the coming year.
The more detailed and vivid your buyer persona becomes, the more effectively you can craft content that truly resonates with them. Read this article to learn how to create a buyer persona for your business.
Use Good Quality Pictures and Videos
Just like using colourful markers for your sign, use nice pictures or videos in your ads. People like things that look good. Presenting blurry images or low-resolution promotional videos generates a negative impression from your potential customers. Show off your products or what you do in a way that makes people stop and trigger their interest.
Use Call-to-action properly
Tell people what you want them to do next. It could be ‘Book Now,’ ‘Call Us,’ or ‘Learn More.’
Understand Your Budget
Before trying social media marketing, it’s wise to have a thorough thought of your financial plan and the initial investments required. Moreover, you should factor in the amount of time you can devote to managing various platforms.
To provide you with an idea, let’s talk about Instagram advertising. On average, the costs for this can vary from around $0.20 to $6.70, depending on the method of bidding you choose. For Facebook ads, you might spend anywhere between \$0.94 for a click or \$12.07 for every 1,000 times the ad is shown.
As a bonus tip, always link your higher-cost paid campaigns to your owned platforms, such as email lists. Social media acts as a bridge to connect with fresh potential customers, and once you’ve got their attention, you can continue building the relationship through email communication.
Also, don’t forget to see how your ads are doing. If you notice one ad isn’t getting much attention, adjust things like images or ad copies to make it better. Ongoing optimisation is the key to having optimal ad performance.
Find the platform that suits you most and start your social media advertising!
There you have it, a simple guide to social media advertising for your business. Choose the right platform, make ads appealing and straightforward, and keep an eye on your budget. Before you know it, your business will be making waves online. So, go ahead and give social media advertising a try – you’ve got this!