A Guide to Advertising on Social Media

A Guide to Advertising on Social Media

If you’re looking to reach your targeted audience quickly and effectively, social media ads could be exactly what you need. While organic reach should be one of your digital marketing goals, it takes time to achieve favorable search engine rankings. 

Spending money on ads might seem intimidating. But it can be worth it if you are getting a positive return on your investment (ROI). Here’s what you need to know about social media advertising so you can approach this strategy with confidence. 

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising is a form of digital advertising using various social media platforms. Unlike organic reach, which refers to the people who view your content on search engines like Google, social media ads give you paid positions. Also called “paid social,” these are ads based on keywords and targeted audiences you choose on different social media sites, like Facebook or Instagram. 

Benefits of Advertising on Social Media

Similar to other paid advertising strategies, social media ads have many benefits for businesses. Here are some reasons you might want to consider using them:

  • Brand awareness — When you showcase your brand through social media ads, it can boost brand awareness, even if people don’t engage with the ads. 
  • Engagement — In addition to viewing and clicking on ads, users can also engage with them by liking, commenting, and sharing. 
  • Easy targeting — Social media ads can be highly personalized, meaning you can target them to specific audiences. 
  • Many formats — Most social media platforms offer users a wide range of media types and formats for ads. 
  • Not disruptive — In general, social media ads aren’t disruptive because they’re shown alongside organic posts, which is a less disruptive way to connect with your audience.
  • Cost-effective — When approached correctly, paid ads can yield impressive ROIs. For example, some businesses are able to achieve returns of 200% on average using these methods. 

How Social Media Ads Work

When you use social media ads, you are paying for your content to be shown to your target audience. How you can format, display, and target your ads depends on the social media platform you’re using. The same holds true for the cost structure of the ads. Some common features of social media ads include:

  • Campaign objectives — Most platforms allow you to specify your goals for your ads, such has awareness, engagement, or conversions. 
  • Targeting — You can target your ads on social media sites to certain demographics, behaviors, or interests so only your target audience is more likely to view your ads. 
  • Auction style — Similar to Google Ads, social media ads work using an auction style of pay-per-click, where the site’s algorithm determines costs and placement based on things like bids, performance, and ad quality. 

There are also many different types of social media ads you can run. Some common ones include:

  • Image Ads — These are basic ads in image form that users can click on, usually sending them to your business’s website. 
  • Video Ads — These ads include short video clips that usually showcase a brand or its products or services. 
  • Carousel Ads — These ads allow you to showcase several different images or videos, each with its own description and link. 
  • Playable Ads — These are interactive ads that allow users to try an app or game within the ad before they decide to download or purchase it. 
  • Messenger Ads—These ads appear in Facebook’s messenger tab alongside conversations people have with friends and other brands. 
  • Boosted Posts — These ads allow you to “boost” one of your social media posts so that it is seen by a broader audience than just your followers. 
  • Stories & Reels — These are sponsored short-form video ads that will show up in between other non-paid content. 

Getting Started With Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is the second biggest market in digital ads, behind only search advertising. The most popular social media platforms for advertising are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter. 

There’s a lot of opportunity with social media, but advertising on these platforms can be intimidating if you haven’t done this before. Here are some tips for getting started with social media advertising. 

1. Know Your Audience

As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential that you know who you will target with these ad campaigns. Examining your existing customer base and that of your competitors is a good start. 

2. Establish Some Goals

Decide what you want to achieve with your social media ads. Most platforms will ask this question when you set up a campaign. For example, are you trying to boost brand recognition or drive traffic?

3. Choose One Channel to Start

While cross-promotion should be a strategy at some point, choose one social media platform to get started. Depending on your industry and target audience, your choice might be different from someone else’s. 

4. Create a Budget

Establish your budget up front so you don’t run into any surprises. You can set firm limits on your social media ad accounts to avoid going over budget. Once you begin achieving positive results, however, you’ll become more comfortable with the ad spending. 

5. Design Your Ads Carefully

If your social media ads aren’t engaging or are tough to read, you won’t get the results you want and need. According to the latest statistics, there are now more than 5.61 billion mobile device users globally, which is nearly 70% of the world’s population. If you do nothing else, make sure your ads are mobile-friendly. 

6. Focus on Your Analytics

One of the biggest benefits of advertising on social media is the deep insights these platforms provide. You can do extensive testing of your ads to ensure they are optimized properly. If you aren’t hitting your targets, make appropriate adjustments to your strategy. 

Get Help With Your Social Media Advertising Strategy

Having a social media presence is a must in today’s digital age, and one strategy you can employ is social media advertising. At Too Darn Loud Marketing, we can make sure you are making the best possible use of your resources when running ads on these platforms. 

We offer results-based and personalized digital marketing solutions, using various social media strategies to elevate your brand’s message. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get found and chosen by your target audience. 

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