It’s no secret that advertising on social media platforms can be fruitful for businesses of all varieties. Advertising on social media platforms is important as there is more real value beyond what we can get organically these days.
From expanding your reach and visibility to driving the bottom line, this post covers five reasons why brands invest in social media advertising to reach their goals and scale their business—and why you might want to, too. They include:
Now, these benefits can be used to describe a number of marketing and advertising strategies, but in this post we're going to dig into each benefit as it relates to social media advertising and cover exactly how it can set your business up for long-term success.
Whether you are new to social media ads and are considering the investment, or are already running ads elsewhere, such as on Google, the following benefits may encourage you to diversify your efforts and incorporate more social media into your mix.
Whether you’re considering running ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Snapchat, social media advertising allows you to reach out to and connect with new people who may benefit from your product or services.
Unlike intent-based, mostly keyword-centered search engine ads, social media ads target users based on their interests, behaviors, and other demographic data. This gives us the advantage of introducing our brands to new users based on targeting and how our offers match up to those interests and behaviors. People may not know about your brand or that your products or services even exist and by seeing your prospecting ad, they may realize that it could benefit their life in some manner or that they simply want what you are selling.
Compared to traditional advertising, the cost is significantly lower and if you only have a small budget, you can still enter the auction and find success. Of course, the more you have to spend for ads, the quicker you can learn what is working and what is not, optimize performance, test more variables, and reach more of your goals, such as website traffic, signups, and sales.
Most of the social platforms are in line with costs, however, from our experience, we’ve seen lower costs of about $0.13 per click on Pinterest, which makes it an excellent platform to run low-cost campaigns, especially to drive new inexpensive traffic to your website for retargeting. On the opposite end of cost, LinkedIn tends to be more costly, however, if your business can fulfill the needs of its business community through ads and if your audience size and budget are on the larger end, you can see great success there for the investment. As you can see LinkedIn can be a great way for B2B businesses to generate leads.
With more targeting options available to us as advertisers, the more audience testing we can do, and then utilize social platform built-in tools to understand audience breakdowns and how they relate to performance. For example, Facebook breakdown reporting can share details about age ranges, genders, country, region, devices they use, and more. Pairing these breakdowns with your various audiences and the respective performance metrics can help you better understand which segments of audiences resonate with your ads and you can apply these learnings to update your ad set targeting and use that to optimize your campaigns.
One other way to gain additional audience-based information is to check out Audience Insights within Facebook Ads Manager. Here, you can view a particular audience’s age and gender breakdown, relationship status, education level, job titles, location, device activity, and more. This tool used to be more robots a few years ago before additional insights were removed when Facebook had to make some changes to audience targeting options for the sake of user privacy and transparency. While it’s limited in insight, it can be helpful to an extent.
Another way to gain a better understand of your audiences and their preferences are to run Instagram Stories Ads with polling stickers. With these, you can get a better understanding of product or service preferences, they can help you gather insights for future product development and campaigns, they can help you understand a target audiences pain points that you can resolve, they can help start conversations around your brand and campaigns, they will increase audience engagement, and they will increase your ad engagement audience size for retargeting.
By utilizing reporting, audience insights, and ad placement-specific features, you can gain valuable insights about who is best to target at various stages of the funnel and then cater your messaging accordingly. Additionally, take your audience-related learnings and apply them to other platforms to save you time and money as you expand your efforts while you better understand your customers.
While each social platform has its own ad specs, placements, and formats, there are some common denominators across platforms. The beauty of social media advertising is that there is creative freedom and endless tactics and options to showcase your brand in the light you want. From static images to ephemeral and long-form video content, from horizontal and vertical rectangular formats to square, utilize every bit of the ad placement space to increase your ad real estate space on a screen so the user focuses on you and it limits outside distractions from other ads and content. One format we have seen quickly take off organically and then with paid ads across platforms is the Stories format, which can now be found organically and in most instances as an ad placement, too, is on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and as of recently, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you are able to use video creatives and formats to showcase your products, services in use, and your brand story, do so, as video content tends to be more easily digestible by users, typically more impressions are dedicated to video content, it can help better manage user expectations about your offerings, and it can bring your brand to life. When utilizing video, also be sure to captivate your user in the first few seconds by putting your best foot forward, showing your brand, and make sure your narrative is fast-paced, to the point, and actionable. If you don’t have video content, use static images and apply one of Facebook’s free templates and special effects by using the Video Creation Kit in the ad level of Ads Manager. If you need creatives for other platforms, check into royalty-free stock image and video sites until you are able to create your own.
Social media ads provide a wide range of advertising formats and through the various platforms we have available to experiment with, it can bring our brands and clients success through the various placements and mediums we have at our disposal.
Lastly, whether you are looking for ways to expand your reach and visibility, to drive engagement around your brand, increase website traffic or app use, optimize for users to add to cart, acquire more leads, and drive sales, you can accomplish these and more through social media advertising. Depending on where in the funnel your target audience is, you can select the appropriate campaign type as it relates to your goal at that stage and assist your users through the funnel and towards conversion.
With conversion objective campaigns, you can specify what the conversion is and then tell the platform which event you want a given ad set to optimize towards. Want more people to add to the cart? Select that as the event you want to optimize for. Want to optimize for more purchases? Take the same optimization approach and make sure to align your ad creative and copy to speak to these people at their stage of the funnel and be clear in the goal so users can “Shop Now” in this particular example.
As advertisers, we know that Facebook and its other platforms in their ecosystem, such as Instagram and Messenger, own a significant and larger portion of impression-share as typically, brands put most of their ad budget here. While Facebook and Instagram have robust targeting and keep prices low because of how vast their user base is, keep in mind that your efforts should not be siloed to one platform. If you have the budget, diversify so that you can reap the aforementioned benefits across platforms in case something does happen.
Facebook is notorious for having a clunky advertising interface that will oftentimes throw invalid errors, disable without reason, and glitch. If they go down, as sometimes they do, we don’t want to be left out in the cold as brands and to depend on one network to drive new users into our funnels and to later retreat them to entice a conversion. Keep that in mind and take these benefits to heart in an effort to expand into other platforms.
Whether you are looking to expand into social for the first time or are looking to expand into new channels, consider the above benefits of social media advertising and test to see how and if it works for your goals and for your brand.