What is Social Media Advertising? Definition, Types and Best Platforms
Social media has been a part of everyone who is connected to the internet since its inception in 2000. Today, 59% use social media daily and spend an average of 2hrs and 29 minutes per day on their chosen platforms.
Social media is a powerful marketing channel that brands cannot ignore because of its widespread adoption. 75% of Gen Zers , and 48% of millennials base their purchasing decisions on social media ads. In total, US brands have spent $49 billion in socialmedia ads.
What is Social Media Advertising?
Businesses in the digital age have found social media advertising to be a powerful marketing tool. This refers to content that is posted to social media platforms such as Facebook or TikTok to promote a brand, product or service. This includes promoted tweets and sponsored posts.
Social media ads are the most efficient and fastest way to reach your target market. This allows companies to increase visibility and engage with their target audience, while also helping them to build relationships over time.
A brand can reach an even wider audience by using social media ads. Social media platforms offer a variety of targeting options that enable brands to target the right buyer personas and demographics to increase their sales.
Businesses can also track social media advertising analytics, such as clicks, user responses, and impressions, to optimize campaigns to achieve their desired performance goals.
How to run a successful social media advertising campaign
Although it is difficult to run a social media advertising campaign that is successful, there are many strategies that can help you do it. It is essential to understand what makes an advertising campaign successful.
These strategies will allow you to maximize your advertising spend and avoid common pitfalls in social media advertising.
The campaign overview is the brief description of the campaign. It includes the name, attributes, hashtags and other pertinent information.
It also sets out the campaign’s goals and answers questions such as what you want to accomplish with the campaign. The most common objectives include brand awareness, increased web traffic and higher sales.
A campaign overview will allow you to quickly assess how your campaigns have performed over time. You can quickly assess the performance of your campaign and identify what is working and what isn’t. You can also adjust your strategies based upon user feedback.
Rapid pivoting is a great way to ensure that your social media advertising campaigns are relevant and reach the desired results.
Set Target Audience
When social media ads are targeted at the right audience, they can be very successful. Do a deep dive into the buyer persona to determine your target audience.
It is important to take the time to learn about your customer’s social media habits and their passions. You can use analytics or surveys to determine which social networks are most effective for your campaign, based on the demographic information you have collected.
Once you have identified the recipients of your social media advertising efforts you can begin designing content that will capture your target audience and encourage them to take action, whether they click through to a site or make a purchase.
Define campaign budget and key metrics
Although it can be difficult to determine the budget, with some trial and error you will find the best budget for your brand. You must make a distinction between the expenses of an ad agency, the team that created the ad, and the costs for the platform to run the campaigns when setting a budget.
You should establish key performance indicators to ensure that your advertising budget is being used efficiently. KPIs are essential as they will track and measure the impact of your campaign, engagement and ROI.
Manual Launch of the Campaign
You will need to launch your campaign manually and test it. You’ll be watching your campaign closely and making adjustments as necessary. Manually launching a campaign will allow you to spend 100% on advertising testing and finding the best combinations of ads.
You can also learn the basics by exploring the various ad platforms and learning how to navigate them. You’ll be able to understand the language and communicate with professionals when you hire them later.
Manually running campaigns is not an option that will work long-term. It would eventually become tedious with all the details and constant updates. You’ll eventually want to use automation tools, or work with experienced professionals.
Social Media Automation Tools
Automation tools can be used to expand the functionality of a platform’s native ads manager. These tools are easy to use and allow you to set a budget, then let the platform manage it. These tools can be used to adjust audiences as your campaign progresses and keep within a budget.
There is still the possibility that the tools will not deliver the results that you want and that you may overspend the budget that you have set. These tools can be a lifesaver if they are properly set up. They allow you to concentrate on your core competencies, and not get distracted by tedious details.
Mobile-friendly Social Media Ads
Mobile-friendly design is a must with over 90% internet users using social media via smartphones. Prioritize designing your social media ads for mobile devices to ensure they are as impactful as possible.
To increase visibility on mobile devices from iPhone to Android, you can customize the layout of your ad. You should ensure that text is legible on mobile versions of your ad. Also, scale images so that content fits into the limitations of smaller screens.
Effective social media advertising campaigns require a multifaceted approach. You must consider how your message will be presented across various platforms.
A Social Media Advertising Agency can be hired
A team of experts can help you benefit from their years of experience in social media advertising. They are experts in social media advertising and know which trends work and which don’t. They also know how to navigate the various social networks.
They can help you target more customers with highly targeted ads, increase engagement with content that resonates, and even track your campaign to ensure success. Trust an agency that has a track record of providing high-quality social media advertising services when you are looking for social media expertise.
Different types of social media advertising
There are many options when it comes to advertising on social networks. These platforms are constantly evolving, so new types of advertising are being created all the time. To create relevant ads that resonate with their target audiences, social media marketers must keep up to date with these changes.
These are some examples of the most popular ad types across social media platforms.
The most popular social media ads are static images. These include photos, illustrations and gifs. They can grab users’ attention and keep them from scrolling through their feeds if done right.
Brands can increase social engagement with image ads and photo ads by grabbing people’s attention using images that are easier to remember and more responsive to. Images ads are often visuals such as eye-catching photos and artfully designed graphics. They also feature company logos that communicate a message as quickly as possible.
These ads are used frequently on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn to attract attention, increase visibility, and drive consumer involvement. These types of social media ads are highly effective at helping businesses achieve their goals by using the right messaging and word choice.
Tips to Use Image Ads:
- Avoid low-resolution images and use high-quality images
- Find out if your audience reacts better to photos that are highly curated or user-generated.
- Pictures should convey more than a thousand words. Even if the caption is not read, photos must tell a story.
- Make sure to use original images and graphics and not copy other people’s rights.
- Scroll-stopping graphics are eye-catching and should be used.
Video ads, which can be easily targeted to specific audiences, are a new form of social media advertising. You can find them in all sizes: short, sweet 15-second clips, to full-length, cinematic experiences.
Social media advertisers will increase their video advertising spending by 20% in 2022 and spend $24 trillion.
These ads are becoming more prominent among consumers, regardless of whether they are scrolling through social media or streaming a favorite video service. Businesses are increasingly turning to video ads for their engaging ways of connecting with customers and reaching as many people as possible with creative visuals.
Although video ads are a great way of advertising your product, social media users are overwhelmed with so many content that it is important to stand out.
Great Video Ad Tips:
- Keep it short and simple. If you want your viewers to stay longer, you might add subtitles.
- Visuals should accurately portray the benefits of your product. Create an engaging story to accompany it.
- Make sure to include a call to action so that viewers can continue to engage with your brand once they have seen the ad.
- Short-form videos are best, since people have a shorter attention span to watch your ads.
- You should ensure that you grab the viewers attention within the first fifteen seconds of any longer videos.
Story ads are a type of paid advertising. They appear in the form short video or image-based stories, on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. These full-screen vertical photos and videos are quickly removed after 24 hours.
Story ads offer many benefits to advertisers. They allow for interactive experiences for consumers and quick product or service showcases.
Story ads are becoming more popular for both B2C and business advertising campaigns. They have the ability to quickly capture consumers’ attention, which is especially important when there is so much content.
Tips to Make Great Story Ads:
- Visually engaging and appealing content is a must
- Keep Stories Ads are available in 15 seconds. This is the standard timeframe.
- Capture photos and videos in portrait mode to take advantage of the vertical screen.
- To enhance your visuals, use the native stickers and animated gifs of the platform
- Make sure to use a catchy CTA
- To drive your message, use text overlay
- Overlay sound effects, like in-built musical music
- Interactive features such as polls or touch-to-hold are available.
- Motion is a key element in stories
Messenger ads allow businesses to reach their target audience via Facebook’s messaging platform. This makes it simple for them to interact with potential customers in real-time. Brands can have a one-to-one conversation with potential customers, providing information about products, answering customer queries, or addressing a concern.
Messenger ads are a way for brands to tailor messages to users’ interests using Facebook’s algorithm. These ads are easy to set up and more affordable than traditional social media advertising. These ads are a great way for Facebook to generate leads after the iOS 14 update.
Tips for Using Messenger Ads:
- Your customer support team should be onboarded to handle chat replies beyond what the chatbot can handle
- To increase your chances of conversion, respond within five minutes of receiving a customer’s inquiry
- Personalize your messages to have better conversations with prospects
- To reach a large audience in your area and to drive massive engagements, you can use the local awareness feature.
- To stand out in the Newsfeed cluttered with fake news, start real conversations
- Use bots to help you start conversations
Carousel ads allow you to show multiple images or videos in one ad, with multiple calls to action. Each image/video slides through the carousel to show the viewer your products and services. They also connect the viewers back to the original call for action.
Carousel ads are more effective than a single ad and provide data insight into consumers’ interests. They increase brand awareness and drive conversions.
You can advertise on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn with Carousel ads.
Tips to Create Great Carousel Ads
- A story that stirs emotion is a good story.
- A series of videos and photos can be used to show you how to do it.
- High-quality visuals are a must
- Use eye-catching photos to showcase your products
- Make sure to use short ads that clearly convey your message
- Continue optimizing until the perfect mix of images & videos is found
Dynamic ads make it easy for you to promote your brand. You can quickly and easily create ads based upon user behavior, online shopping habits and search terms. For better results, Dynamic Ads allows brands to target their audience with highly customized content.
These campaigns can be used to improve future performance and give you the best return on your ad spend in social media advertising.
You only need to upload your listing on most social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Facebook. The algorithm will do the rest. They’ll create ads based on the images you upload and then show them to the right audiences. Your ads will be automatically adjusted based on which images are performing well and which ones are not.
Dynamic ads allow brands to easily run paid social media ads. You should still monitor performance to ensure that the algorithm is producing the desired results. Dynamic ads will limit the creativity of your social media team as the platform determines how ads are presented.
LinkedIn’s text ads are a very popular way to advertise on social media. Although text ads are not recommended for platforms like Instagram or Facebook, they work great on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. They are located on the right-hand or top of a LinkedIn desktop account feed.
Text ads are short blocks of text that may include images, links or other multimedia elements. Because they are often natural and unobtrusive, text ads can be very effective in reaching a wider audience.
They can target the right customers with the right message and at the right moment using custom targeting techniques. Tracking tools enable marketers to track the effectiveness of campaigns and make data-driven optimization decisions.
Tips for Creating Standout Text Ads
- Even if the image is optional, include it. It is preferable to use a profile picture, rather than logos and objects.
- Link to the relevant landing page.
- Use a strong call-to-action, such as “Register Now”
- Directly address your target audience, i.e. “Attn: Social Media Marketers.”
- Always optimize and test your ads.
Social Media Platforms: Examples
Although there are many social media platforms available, only a handful stand out. You should be on all of these platforms if you want to reach the largest audience. Depending on your industry, you might find smaller social media platforms you cannot afford to miss.
Understanding your audience is key to deciding which platforms you should advertise on.
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in the world, with nearly 3 Billion active users monthly. Running ads on the largest social media platform in the world will yield the highest returns. It is used by 36% percent of the world’s population, and it continues to see an increase of 15,000,000 users per quarter.
Facebook has a healthy mix between male and female users, especially in the 25-34 age range.
Running ads on Meta, Facebook’s parent company is becoming more expensive. According to the company, there has been a 24% rise in the cost of running Facebook ads. It is important to know your audience well and use the correct filters to target them correctly in order to get the best results from Facebook advertising.
It is important to clearly define your goals and establish measures that will help you know when to scale or stop your Facebook ads. The size of your budget will determine how many people you can reach via Facebook, just like on other platforms. The algorithm will be more effective in reaching the right people if the budget is larger.
Although Instagram has fewer active monthly users than Facebook’s, its advertising reach is greater than its larger sister. Instagram advertising can reach 1.48 billion people, or 18% of the global population. Its ad reach is increasing faster at 6.1%, or an additional 85,000,000 users per quarter. This is far from Facebook’s 0.5% quarterly growth.
This is due to the popularity of Instagram Stories which generated $15.95 trillion in worldwide ad revenue in 2022. This potential is recognized by brands, and Stories and Reels are growing at a faster rate than other ad formats.
Instagram is known for its visual-rich feeds and photo- and video-sharing features. It is primarily used by those aged 18-24 and 25-34, with a split between male and female users.
It is also known to have higher engagement rates that Facebook, making it a smarter investment than other platforms. It’s a good idea to test different Instagram advertising formats before you commit all of your resources to one platform.
Twitter’s unique format has not been a hit since its launch in 2006. Twitter’s limited character space and simplified feeds make it ideal for sharing breaking news with celebrities and micro-influencers.
Twitter offers two methods to promote: Twitter Ads and Quick Promote. Quick Promote allows you to promote an existing tweet from your timeline so that more of your target audience can see it. Twitter Ads function in the same way as other social media ads. You must first define your objective before you run the ad.
Twitter has 211 million monthly active Twitter users. 77,000,000 of these are located in the US. Twitter is a great advertising platform for brands looking to reach Americans. Twitter is also more popular among millennials than Gen Zers. Therefore, your Twitter advertising campaigns should be targeted at an older audience.
LinkedIn is the most used professional social networking site by more than 800 million users. Although it is dominated by men, there is still a significant female presence. LinkedIn is popular with millennials, and its ad reach increases by 11% as Gen Zers enter work.
LinkedIn ads are required for B2B companies. LinkedIn boasts a high-quality network of leads that are comprised of decision-makers from companies.
There are four options for LinkedIn advertising
- Sponsored Content can be photos, videos or carousels displayed in the newsfeed.
- Sponsored messaging – Sends customized message ads directly to the user’s LinkedIn Inbox
- Text and dynamic ads – small ads that are visible only to desktop users and placed on the sidebar or top of the newsfeed.
- Lead Gen Forms – Allows you to collect data through embedding pre-filled forms into your LinkedIn ads
TikTok, a relatively new social media platform, has quickly gained traction and driven social media trends. It has 885 million ads reach as of January 2022 and is expected to reach 1.5billion by year’s end.
Although it isn’t as popular as Facebook, TikTok’s success is remarkable considering that it was founded in 2016.
TikTok is very popular with younger females between 18-24. Advertisers should take note of how this demographic views and consumes content, which is fast-paced and lighthearted.
TikTok is still a young platform and there are many opportunities for advertising growth. It has just recently launched its advertising options including Brand Takeovers, Branded Hashtag Challenges and Branded Hashtag Challenges.
Organic content and influencer marketing are still the best ways to generate viral TikTok content. However, there are also advertising opportunities available as the platform continues to improve them.
Pinterest is another visual platform similar to Instagram, but it has Pins and Boards rather than user feeds. It is a predominantly female platform, with a 76% user base from its over 430 million monthly active members. Pinterest is used by users to inspire decorations, wedding themes and fashion ideas, as well as cooking videos and other visual inspirations.
According to Pinterest, 85% weekly Pinners buy products based upon brands’ promoted pins. This is a great opportunity for companies who sell products in niches such as DIY, fashion, beauty, or other visually-oriented pursuits.
Snapchat is TikTok’s direct competitor in the Gen Z market. There are over 300 million active users per month, with a large portion of them being 13- to 17-year olds. Although they may not be considered purchasing customers, their parents can make purchase decisions on their behalf.
Make sure your Snap Ads appeal to the younger audience. Learn the differences between Snapchat ads and how to take advantage of them.
A holistic digital marketing strategy should include social media advertising campaigns. Although you don’t need to be present on all channels, it is important that you go where your audience is most active.