How should advertising in the form of social media look? That’s a question with a lot of answers, but within those answers are five things we think are absolute musts. From designing ads that appear to be native posts, to running ads to separate audiences while A/B testing ad creative and landing pages. Here’s our list of 5 things we think are most important when it comes to running your social media ad campaigns.
1. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Youtube?
The first part of the process is picking the right platform or combination of platforms to reach the right audience/s. Each platform has similarities, but in our experience certain ads perform better on one social platform than they do on the other. There’s a pretty easy way we remember each platform’s unique advantage:
Facebook: Great for reaching younger and older audiences with advanced demographic targeting (B2C and B2B)
Instagram: Ideal for targeting a younger audience (millennials and under) and using influencer marketing (Primarily B2C)
LinkedIn: Best for targeting businesses and working professionals (B2C and B2B)
Youtube: Very efficient for creating broad awareness (Primarily B2C)
2. Targeting Different Personas
Creating 2-4 core personas for your ads is a great place to start. This will help you gain insights on how the people you “think” should like your product/service actually feel. And if your client already has their personas or target audiences defined, you’ll get insights to share with them and data to inform the need for any pivots.
The idea is that social media actually gives the option to reach just a set of people and that set only, unlike traditional marketing. So, instead of running one ad to all age groups, narrow it down to groups that you think should, or are interested in your offer, and mirror their lifestyle with your creative. This goes a long way in raising the click through rate and ideally the conversion rate of your ads.
3. Running A/B Tests With Ad Creative
This takes the previous step a little bit further, and now you’re going to test which visual/verbal message appeals to that individual audience best. For those of you that liked science class, get your goggles out because this is the real science behind running social media ads — testing one element at a time against another, and going forward with the version that won. Tedious, but at the same time rewarding.
This might look like:
- Same headline and 2 different images
- Same image and 2 different headlines
- 2 Different images and 2 Different headlines
- 2 different videos
- Video ad vs. image ad
Of course you can move into A/B testing smaller things like CTA button callouts, colors, fonts…you can really get as meticulous as you want, if time allows that is. While it may not be possible to test everything under the sun, please do test at least two different images and headlines against each other for every buyer persona when launching a new campaign.
4. If You Have Video, Use It
Say you have a competitor that’s targeting your same audience in the same geographic area. How do you stand out? Use Video! This is where you can really stick out to to your audience by giving them a story to follow. It’s also no more costly on social media to run a video ad compared to a still image ad, which is worth taking advantage of. We live in an age where social media and video streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu are becoming the new cable tv for advertisers. But, imagine if you saw a 30 second tv ad placement that was a still image and headline…your customers are more prone to engage with video content, so it’s a good idea to try and use it when you can.
Take these stats for example:
- 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business
- Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year
- Users spend a weekly average of six hours and 48 minutes watching online videos
5. Using Consistent Branding
By using consistency in your branding it will help to create recognition when users see your ads across channels and campaigns. People want to see a professional and authentic voice coming from your company, whether they realize it or not. What does this mean? A style guide that has a set of colors, fonts, and graphics that are consistently used in ads. Sticking with consistent design elements will get your audience identifying your brand while also tightening your ad campaigns over time.
Need help creating and running your company’s social media campaigns? Reach out to a member of our team today.