80×20 Why you should be doing social media ads

You’re putting your money on the line with social media ads so you’ll want a return on investment! There are...
Fran Watson

You’re putting your money on the line with social media ads so you’ll want a return on investment! There are lots of reasons to advertise on social media but many people make common mistakes which means they’re not benefitting from social media ads.

This month’s learning slot is all about social media ads. Fran and Danni are breaking down the pros and cons of running social media ads and the reasons to advertise on social media.

Over 82% of the UK’s population uses social media. And they’re spending nearly 2 hours a day on there. That’s why over £7 billion has been spent on social media ads annually.

If those stats aren’t enough to convince you social media ads are worth it, let us dive into more detail.

In a hurry? – TLDR

  • There are many reasons to advertise on social media, social media advertising can raise awareness, increase sales and convert customers into brand advocates when it’s done right. 
  • Social advertising allows businesses to find their ideal audience, target them directly with relevant messages and create conversations that appeal to them. 
  • You need to have an understanding of your audience before you can make any targeting decisions, or you risk running ads to the wrong audience.




Reasons to advertise on social media?

  1. Raising brand awareness

Be seen more. Ensure you are getting seen by the people you want to be seen by. 

  1. Targeting capabilities

Have a very niche audience? Social ads will help you reach them easily with their range of targeting abilities.

  1. Driving traffic to your website

Ads will help get more of the RIGHT traffic to your website.

Common mistakes when running ads

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Although there are many reasons to advertise on social media you need to understand your goals before running social ads. So many businesses jump in without any thought and then are disappointed when they don’t see the results they thought they would get. 

Running social media ads can help get quicker wins compared to organic social media BUT you still have to plan.

To run successful ads consider these points:

  • What is the objective?
  • What will you track?
  • Which platform will you use?
  • Do you have an established following?
  • Do you understand what you are doing?
  • Have you planned in time to assess and evaluate your ads?
  • Have you looked at your competitors’ content for inspiration? 
  • Have you considered your audience?

Once you have a plan in place decide which campaign objective you need. These can differ slightly depending on which platform you choose to run ads on. Below are some examples of campaign objectives from LinkedIn and Facebook.

Have you ever come across those ads which just try to sell to you straight away? They’re annoying, right? Well, to help convert your audience you’ll need to warm them up before you go guns blazing into a sales pitch. Much like trying to propose on a first date, we don’t recommend this!

You need to show your target audience why your product is worth buying, what value will they get? Remember: don’t just tell them, show them.

Top tip: Retargeting is a great way to help move people down the sales funnel. For example, if you have a customer who has scrolled through your website and found something they want, and added an item to their basket, only for them to disappear, retargeting can help.

You can specifically target these people with social media ads and offer them a promotion code to help encourage a purchase.

There are lots of different ad types to choose from. Pick from a variety of choices including image, video, collections, slideshow and instant experiences.

  • Single image ad

Boost your message directly within the LinkedIn feed using single-image ads. Target a specific audience seamlessly across desktop and mobile platforms.

  • Carousel image ad

Craft an engaging narrative using a scrollable sequence of cards within the LinkedIn feed. Tailor the content and landing URL for each card to captivate your audience.

  • Video ad

Capture your audience’s attention by presenting interactive content directly within their LinkedIn feed, accessible on both desktop and mobile platforms.

  • Text ad

Text Ads are prominently displayed at the top of the page or in the right column in desktop view. The straightforward setup allows you to begin connecting with your desired audience within minutes.

  • Dynamic ad

Help your conversion rates by leveraging automatically personalised ads tailored to each member through LinkedIn profile data. Dynamic Ads are strategically positioned in the right column of the desktop view.

  • Conversation ad

Initiate meaningful conversations with your audience by providing a choose-your-own-path experience.

  • Messaging ad

Initiate direct messages to prompt immediate action. Convey a focused message with a singular call to action to enhance engagement.

  • Image ads

Image ads are one of the most common Meta ad types. They are a single image with a headline with a description. They are simple but effective.

  • Video ads

Video ads are becoming more and more popular. They are able to run in newsfeeds, stories and reels, plus many more placements.

  • Collection

These are a new format that is only available on mobile. It allows your audience to view and purchase your products and services from their mobile.

  • Carousel

These ads allow you to have up to 10 images or videos to highlight a product or service. You can add a different link for each card.

  • Slideshow

Slideshow ads are for those who don’t have the video content. These ads will help you create a video slideshow of your ad, where you can add music and text.

  • Instant experience

Instant experience ads are full-screen ads. Your audience can see videos and photos and swipe through carousels using this ad format.

You’ve got less than 30 seconds to make a good first impression, and that applies to your social media ads too!

Here are a few ways to ensure your ad looks good:

  • Consider its layout, readability and any imagery you use

You don’t want an ad with too much going on visually. Make sure to keep it simple, and easy to read with high-resolution graphics (no one wants to see a pixelated image).

  • Focus on how the ad blends into the feed

Gone are the days of ads standing out in people’s for you pages. You want your ad to blend in and audiences now don’t want to feel like they are constantly being sold to.

  • Consider how you’re going to stop the scroll

You need to catch the attention of your audience first. With either striking imagery or a good hook make sure it’s engaging.

  • When using stock images, you need to make sure that it is both relevant to you and the offer in the ad

We don’t recommend using stock imagery. These take away the personality of your ad and can look like every other ad.

So you’re directing your audience to your landing page and success you’ve actually got them there. But disaster strikes and they click straight off. But why is this?

Here are a few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:

  • The journey from your ad to your landing page flows.

Don’t make your audience reread everything they’ve just seen on your ad

  • Ensure the ad content reflects your landing page.

Don’t send your audience to a random page that has nothing to do with your ad. Ensure their journey is seamless and makes sense.

  • The aesthetics of the ad and the landing page need to work together

Don’t create a completely different-looking ad to your landing page otherwise your audience is going to think they’ve been taken somewhere else.

  • Make sure the URL is correct

Don’t let the 404 error code be the death of your ads.

Your ads are constantly evolving and changing. You need to be checking and monitoring them regularly to ensure they are effective. 

Each platform will provide you with in-depth analytics to understand how your ad is doing. Look for the stats that will help you understand how your ad is doing and if it is reaching the campaign objectives. 

Marketing jargon can be confusing at first but understanding which analytics help you understand if you are reaching your goals is important.

Platform tips

Here are a few tips when advertising on Meta, LinkedIn and TikTok.

  • Add the Meta pixel to your website
  • Aim for a 1.51% CTR
  • Aim for a 1.22% engagement rate
  • Ensure your creative fits into the ad types (Meta has a lot of sizes!)
  • Make use of audience-targeting capabilities
  • Make sure your audience isn’t too narrow
  • Don’t use audience expansion as this will show your ads to people it thinks are relevant on LinkedIn. This could waste your budget.
  • Don’t use LinkedIn Audience Network as this will show your ad on 3rd party apps
  • Aim for a 0.4% or above CTR
  • Aim for a 0.7% or above engagement rate
  • Avoid brand awareness objective if possible
  • Single image or video tend to have best results
  • Work on a customer lifetime value – IF your budget is less than this, then LI is not for you
  • Always ‘exclude’ targeting attributes as well as include
  • Be aware of trends and subcultures
  • Aim for a 0.84% CTR
  • Aim for a 5-16% engagement rate
  • Avoid using content that looks too professional. You want your ad to fit into your audience’s for you page
  • Keep your ad under 15 seconds
  • Create ads in verticle
  • Make use of UGC

Maximising ad performance

  1. UGC (User-generated content)

This is a great way to show off your product in a different way and helps with social proof. A customer is more likely to trust you and your product if they see someone else using it.

  1. Repurpose top-performing organic content

Don’t forget about your organic content that has done well! It means it has resonated with your audience and might work well with targeting new customers.

  1. Always check your content

Getting a fresh pair of eyes that hasn’t been a part of the process to check your ad over can be invaluable. Ensure links work, text is easy to read and your ad generally makes sense.

  1. Organic and paid content should work together 

For a successful ad campaign, you will need both your organic and paid content to work together to complement one another. Ensure that there is a continuity between the two and your website.

When you combine your organic social and your paid ads you can gain new customers and followers, promote quality content and research your target audience while benefitting from the individual marketing channels.

The power of social media ads

Social media ads, when used strategically, can have a huge impact on your brand. It has the potential to not only boost brand awareness and sales but also cultivate a loyal following of brand advocates.

Social platforms offer incredible tools to pinpoint your ideal customer, allowing you to craft messages that resonate directly with their needs and interests. This fosters genuine conversations and builds connections that convert into sales and brand loyalty.

Remember, the foundation of successful social media advertising is a deep understanding of your target audience. Before diving into ad creation, take the time to research and refine your ideal customer profile. By ensuring your message reaches the right people, you’ll unlock the true potential of social advertising.

You should now understand the reasons to advertise on social media and common mistakes to avoid.