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Written by Sam Yadegar on Aug 12 , 2021

Learn how to create Facebook Ads that fit your marketing plan like a glove.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to choose the best objective for your Facebook Ads campaign
  • The best FB Ads format for reaching your goals
  • Tips to create the best ads to reach your desired audience
  • Expert ways to optimize your Facebook Ads

Of all the social media marketing platforms, Facebook offers one of the most powerful advertising solutions for businesses — you can’t argue with the data around Facebook Ads ROI

But, with so many segments and tools, creating ads can get overwhelming fast.

The Facebook Ads Manager is designed to help you personalize your strategy as much as possible. This can be highly effective if you know what you’re doing — and potentially costly if you don’t. 

Need some Facebook Ads help? Let’s go over the basics of how to choose the best solution for your business.

The Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager

Prepping for your Facebook Ads campaign launch

The Facebook Pixel is vital to properly tracking interactions, building audiences, and conversion tracking. That’s why adding in the Pixel is one of the first things to put in place before campaigns launch. 

Apple’s iOS update Is changing how data is collected on Facebook. Because of this, you may want to consider using Facebook’s Conversions API in addition to the Pixel for tracking. It requires more development, but you won’t lose as much visibility.

Choosing the right Facebook Ads format for your objective

Next, you’ll want to choose a key objective or overall goal for your Facebook advertising efforts to give you a clear direction.

You can’t choose multiple objectives for each ad — and really, you wouldn’t want to. Single calls to action (CTAs) perform best because they provide straightforward direction. Instead, you can create multiple ads for each goal.

So, how do you choose the right objective for your ad campaign? First, decide which stage of the buying cycle you want to target. You can choose from Brand Awareness, Leads, Purchases, and others.

After that, you’ll need to decide which format to use. The objective you choose for your FB Ads dictates which types of media you can use.

Keep in mind that within each campaign, you’ll also set specific audiences. 

  • Custom Audiences: People who have already visited your website, liked your Facebook page, signed up for any of your email lists, or provided an email address on a landing page
  • Saved Audiences: New audiences segmented by specific demographics and interests you choose
  • Lookalike Audiences: Audiences Facebook creates based on common qualities of lists you upload (this can be especially helpful if you are using cohort analysis to increase customer retention)
  • Local Audiences: People local to your business or in a certain geolocation

Once you create a perfect audience segment, you can save it for later. Now, let’s dig into ad types.

Facebook Ads platform

A look inside the Facebook Ads platform (Image via Facebook)

Facebook Ads for awareness

Depending on your goals, you could use brand awareness FB ads to:

  • Reach the 2.8 billion monthly active users who may not know your business exists
  • Build brand trust among your current audience (this one is beneficial for B2B or “high-risk” aka pricier B2C purchases)
  • Keep your company top of mind if and when a viewer may be in the market for your product or service
  • Grow your followers to reach a larger portion of your target audience
  • Increase your SEO ranking, making you easier to find

Awareness campaigns are best suited for targeting audiences at the top of your sales funnel with straightforward content. Use them for demand generation, explaining your values, or reaching new customers within a certain distance.

Need more Facebook Ads help? Let’s talk.

For awareness, you can choose these formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Website links and branded partner content

For awareness ads in particular, it’s a good idea to use high-quality images, infographics, or short video clips to grab attention quickly. 

Historically, remarketing campaigns were ideal for people who saw your ad but weren’t ready to purchase your products or services for one reason or another. 

Due to that iOS update mentioned above, there have been some changes as to how Facebook ads work on Apple products. These changes include:

  • The SKAdNetwork API will be used by Facebook for app advertising on all iOS 14. This will delay or restrict event data.
  • Apple has also created the PCM (Private Click Measurement) protocol which will restrict data you can access. However, Facebook is working on an Aggregated Event Management tool to counter this.
  • There will be an eight-pixel event cap, meaning you’ll have a maximum of eight conversion events per domain, making you prioritize your events.

Pro tip: For e-commerce retailers, Facebook also recently launched Facebook Shops. This free feature “allows business page admins to create a Facebook or Instagram-based mobile-optimized online store that highlights products or collections of items,” according to HubSpot. 

Facebook ads for consideration

Consideration Facebook ads are best for audience members in the top or middle of the funnel. These folks know your brand exists, but they need some in-depth, high-quality content and a little nurturing.

You’ll want this audience to take some kind of action — like downloading your app, filling out a form, or requesting a consultation — even if they don’t necessarily convert into a customer quite yet.

Facebook lets you choose from several consideration formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Product collections
  • Instant lead generation forms
  • Message buttons and prompts
  • Deferred deep links (within apps)
  • FB events

Pro tip: Promote some of your best-performing blog posts, infographics, videos, or other personalized content to engage your target audience during this stage. 

facebook ads

You may want to consider using Facebook’s Conversions API in addition to the Pixel for tracking. (Image via Unsplash)

Facebook ads for conversions

Now it’s time to convert your bottom-of-the-funnel leads into buyers.

You’ve already spent time nurturing these leads and building awareness. These people are likely very familiar with your products and services. And because you nurtured them through each step of the funnel, they ideally know, like, and trust your brand. 

By providing these people with unique purchasing opportunities, you create a one-on-one buying experience that can turn them into lifetime customers.

Since these people have likely consumed several pieces of content, you can reward them with special coupons, free shipping, or buy-one-get-one promotions to sweeten the deal. 

A little can go a long way — Robert Cialdini’s methods of persuasion show that reciprocity is powerful. For example, a single mint left for customers increased tips for waitstaff by 3%.

Don’t forget to add these customers to your CRM or auto-responder so you can follow up with them after their purchase is completed. This is especially ideal for products that need to be replaced or replenished after a period of time (think: ink cartridges, water filters, and most beauty products). 

As mentioned, Facebook Pixel is particularly useful for tracking the ROI of your Facebook strategy through conversions. You can use this with ad types like:

  • Single image or video
  • Product collections
  • CTA buttons like “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” or “Donate Now”
  • Product catalogs (available for travel, e-commerce, real estate, and auto)
  • Physical store traffic (for qualifying businesses with physical locations)

Facebook can also use your inventory to create dynamic ads based on products your followers have already viewed on your website with product catalogs.

Pro tip: Facebook recently changed their policies to no longer allow advertisers to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on age, gender and location. According to Facebook, “previously available targeting options, like those based on interests or on their activity on other apps and websites, will no longer be available to advertisers.”

Facebook Ads Instant Experience

Facebook Ads Instant Experience (Image via Facebook)

Include an Instant Experience

With each objective, Facebook Ads will also ask if you’d like to include an Instant Experience. Instant Experiences allow you to create a fullscreen interactive landing page with rich media like GIFs, products, videos, and more.

Have you heard of Facebook Canvas ads? Instant Experiences replaced them. They feel like you’re visiting a web page, but you’re really just viewing a fullscreen advertisement within the Facebook app.

Instant Experiences are useful because you don’t have to worry about creating accelerated mobile landing pages (AMP) or dealing with slow load times. Your viewers don’t have to leave the Facebook app, and everything loads at lightning speed.

Facebook provides various placement options for you to show an ad to potential customers, as Search Engine Journal points out. Because of this, you want to be strategic about your ad placement. To take full advantage of this option, they recommend customizing by placement and not being too restricting when it comes to placements.

Pro tip: In summer 2021, Facebook extended Facebook Pay off-site to participating third-party websites as well.

The takeaway

The Facebook for Business platform is loaded with features that allow you to personalize your advertising content at every stage of the buying cycle. 

It can certainly be confusing if you’re not familiar with the basics, but once you get your hands dirty (metaphorically), you can create an effective strategy in no time.

This post has been updated and was originally published in December 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Jul 30 , 2021

Instead of window displays, we’ve got e-commerce ads.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to determine the best e-commerce ad platforms for your brand
  • Display ads vs. PPC ads for e-commerce
  • What elements make up a successful e-commerce ad
  • Pro tips to give you an edge over competitors

Remember the mall? We barely do too. 

Depending on what you’re in the market for, perusing through physical aisles and racks to make a purchase isn’t the hyper-common process it once was.

These days, the bulk of shopping happens online. In June 2020, global retail e-commerce traffic hit a record 22 billion monthly visits, “with demand being exceptionally high for everyday items such as groceries, clothing, but also retail tech items,” according to Statista.

If you’re an e-commerce brand looking to stay in the game, online ads are a great way to do it. Search, social, and display ads allow you to target your audience, boost your clickthrough rate (CTR), increase sales, and more. For best practices, agency tips, and expert advice when it comes to e-commerce ad platforms, keep reading. 

hawksem: e-commerce ad platforms

Before you go all in on one ad platform, you need a solid understanding of where your audience regularly shops. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Work with cohesive vendors

It’ll benefit you to work with vendors that can easily integrate with the other programs your company already uses, especially as your e-commerce business grows. When you’re launching digital ads, it’ll be a more streamlined process when you’re using hosting options (like Shopify or Nexcess) that integrate well with search engines and social media platforms.

If your e-commerce biz doesn’t use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like HubSpot or has a custom site, you may have to jump through a few hoops to make sure everything for your ads is synced and reporting properly. 

It’s also important to find a web hosting solution that makes mobile-first optimizations simple. It’s likely that most of your traffic will come from mobile, so mobile-first conversion rate optimization is key.

If you’re just starting out on the paid ads route, you can set yourself up for success by integrating with a CRM, keeping your site simple to navigate, and making sure you can easily integrate with search engines and social platforms where you’d potentially want to show your ads.

2. Understand paid search vs. display ads for e-commerce

Once you’ve decided to invest in digital ads, the next step is deciding which ad type to leverage. E-commerce brands can certainly find success with paid search or pay-per-click (PPC), particularly through dynamic search ads. 

These ads use content and keywords from your site to help better target your ads to the right people (all the more reason to have a strong e-commerce SEO strategy). Simply add a thought-out description, and let the search engine take care of the rest. 

paid search herbal dynamics beauty

An example of paid search e-commerce ads from Herbal Dynamics Beauty on the SERP.

If you want to opt for display ads, e-commerce brands can try their luck with dynamic remarketing (also called retargeting). These ads populate for people who have already visited one of your product pages vs. those who have clicked an ad. Just know that recent Apple iOS updates have made remarketing more challenging. Luckily, there’s plenty of opportunity to reach new potential audiences via display.

These ads are a good money-saving option — you don’t have to have any other forms of advertising for them to work. You can run these on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. Display ads don’t offer as much control over bidding as more traditional campaigns do, but they can be effective when paired with proper bidding strategies and as long as you’re using daily budgets.

Shopping ads can be a highly effective (and lucrative) channel for your e-commerce strategy with proper feed management. 

Pro tip: Google recently started serving shopping ads in organic search results, so if you’re already optimizing your ads and have a product feed set up through Google Merchant Center, you get additional opportunities to garner not only PPC traffic but even free traffic, too.

3. Determine where your audience is already shopping

Before you go all in on e-commerce ad platforms, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of where your audience regularly shops. The easier you make it for them to purchase your product or service, the higher ROI you’re likely to see.

Creating PPC ads for Google is a great place for an e-commerce brand to start. If more of your buyers are on Amazon or Instagram, then those could be good options as well. Just make sure you’re not competing against yourself. Running Amazon ads may cause you to outrank your own Google Shopping items, and you don’t want that. 

Knowing your audiences can guide you toward the right platforms. For example:

  • Bing could be more successful than Google with audiences 50 and older
  • Instagram is probably better than Facebook for audiences in their 20s and 30s
  • If they’re middle age, Facebook is likely better than Instagram
  • If your audience is mostly male, Reddit ads may be worth exploring

The Facebook algorithm works best the more time it has to optimize your ads with their audience pool. It typically needs about 50 conversions to “understand” who to best serve the ads to. 

And because it uses a 7-day attribution window, you can’t really get a full picture of ad performance until the 7-day window is up. Best practice: Facebook ads should run a minimum of 5 days, but 7 is optimal to properly understand how it performs.

The same can be said for certain types of Google ads. There are bidding strategies that won’t perform well if the campaigns aren’t driving a minimum of 50 conversions per month, so understanding the nuances of the bid strategies is important for success there as well.

person online shopping with credit card

Social ads are a particularly great option when you’re working with a limited budget but want a decent-size reach. (Image via Unsplash)

4. Know what makes an e-commerce ad successful

When it comes to what e-commerce ads resonate best, feel free to be your own test subject! Search for a common item like “blue t-shirt” on Google or Amazon, then check out the results. Which images and ad copy blurbs stand out most to you?

The elements of a successful e-commerce ad will vary by product, industry, and audience. But there are few good rules of thumb that are likely to benefit brands across categories. 

Clear, high-quality images without cluttered backgrounds are a good place to start. From there, be sure your products are easy to view on smartphones as mobile commerce or m-commerce continues to rise in popularity.

An example of a promoted tweet for monthly wine club Bright Cellars on Twitter.

An example of a promoted tweet for monthly wine club Bright Cellars on Twitter.

Social ads are a particularly great option when you’re working with a limited budget but want a decent-size reach. For these e-commerce ad platforms, think about how you can make your ad seamlessly fit in with organic posts on that specific platform. 

Depending on which site your ad will appear on, consider elements like emoji, GIFs or videos, hashtags, and platform-relevant verbiage like “retweet” on Twitter. And, of course, don’t forget about that strong call to action (CTA).

Pro tip: Got a brick-and-mortar location? Make sure your Google My Business (GMB) page is set up correctly with tags in place and the most up-to-date info. 

5. Don’t forget about seller ratings

Especially for highly competitive markets, having seller ratings on your ads can be a game-changer for your CTR. As we’ve mentioned, peer recommendations, research, and product reviews are some of the most influential factors that affect purchasing decisions. 

If you’ve ever compared an item with 3 out of 5 stars to one with 5 out of 5 (these ratings can be integrated with shopping ads), then gone with the latter, you know what we mean.

As with any ad, think about what sets you apart from your competitors. Something like free shipping may not be as appealing if most of the brands similar to yours are offering that as well. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Is your product the softest, fastest, the first of its kind, or something else? Use that angle in your copy to help the item shine. 

6. Perform tests to keep ads optimized

Predicting is one thing — analyzing the data is, of course, another. Once you decide which e-commerce ad platforms you want to experiment with, keep in mind that continued A/B testing will be one of the most effective ways to understand your target audience and what resonates with them. 

Eliminate variables and change one thing at a time to properly measure. Do they prefer free two-day shipping or a coupon code? Do they click more on white backgrounds or real-life images? Consistent testing and measuring will help you answer these questions.

hawksem: e-commerce ad platforms

With so much shopping taking place online these days, having ads for your e-commerce brand just makes sense. (Image via Unsplash)

Pro tip: Before beginning, determine the goals of your paid ad strategy. Especially if you’re working with an agency, it’s crucial that everyone is aligned on budget, KPIs, and what success looks like. Even if you’re just starting out, look at your spend and product costs to determine what numbers would mean a campaign was successful.

7. Plan for seasonality

Of course, shopping seasons ebb and flow depending on things like holidays and the time of year. That’s why it’s important to plan budgets and ad spend according to the way your brand historically drives sales throughout the year. 

For example, an e-commerce brand probably shouldn’t plan on spending the same amount of money on ads during June that they might spend over Black Friday or Cyber Monday, unless there’s a reason they drive huge sales during that time. 

If there are other reasons certain seasons impact their sales (i.e. if you sell winter boots or swimsuits), it’s a good idea to allocate greater portions of your budget to support greater sales during those impactful times of the year. During the slow months, pull back a bit to support your annual return on ad spend (ROAS) and overall profitability.

The takeaway

With so much shopping taking place online these days, having ads for your e-commerce brand just makes sense. It’s a great way to expand your reach, boost your sales, and beat out your competition.

By following best practices — like having goals in mind, determining where your audience likes to shop, and making sure you’re putting your business’s best face forward online — you can leverage e-commerce ad platforms and be on the right path to getting the ROI you seek.

This post has been updated and was originally published in March 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Jul 8 , 2021

From the various ad types to costs, the latest tips, and more, here’s the 411 on creating YouTube ads in 2021.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A breakdown of YouTube ad types
  • Average costs for YouTube ads
  • Expert tips for successful YouTube advertising
  • The latest video ad tools worth exploring

From the first “Evolution of Dance” viral video to vloggers-turned-bonafide celebrities, few websites have seen as much rousing success as YouTube. 

So it’s no surprise that YouTube is a fertile ground for advertising. With 81% of adults in the U.S. using the platform — up 8% from 2019 — and more than 2 billion unique monthly viewers, it’s likely where members of your target audience can be found.

Not only that, but YouTube saw the most significant growth of any social media app among American users during the pandemic, according to the Pew Research Center.

YouTube ads are an excellent way to reach out to potential clients. After all, when it comes to social media marketing, YouTube is the only online platform that matches Facebook’s reach. Here’s how to make it work for you.

HawkSEM: youtube ads blog

YouTube Ads don’t require a minimum spend. That means you can start as low as you wish and then tweak the budget according to the campaign’s results. (Image via Unsplash)

Types of YouTube Ads  

In 2021, there are six types of YouTube ads to choose from. The type you choose will depend on factors like your niche, budget, and marketing goals.

  • Discovery (display) ads: These appear among organic results and suggestions on the YouTube search page, homepage, and suggestions list with a thumbnail image and a bit of text. YouTube’s TrueView ads only count a view after it’s been watched for at least ten seconds.  
  • Overlay ads: This banner ad appears in the lower part of the video. The ad can contain text or images. It’s clickable and available only to desktop viewers. A user has a choice to close the ad at any time.
  • In-stream skippable ads: This ad appears in the beginning, middle, or end of the video. It runs for several seconds before giving the viewer a choice to close it. These ads can appear on all devices, including TVs and game consoles.
  • In-stream nonskippable ads: These ads appear the same way as their skippable partners, but they don’t allow skipping. The maximum running time for these ads is 15 seconds.
  • Bumpers: Bumpers are non-skippable ads that appear while the video is running. They can’t be longer than six seconds.
  • Sponsored cards: These clickable ads are similar to overlay ads. They offer content relevant to the video the user is watching (such as products shown in the video). The teaser appears on the right side of the video for a few seconds and then turns into a card icon.

The cost of YouTube advertising in 2021

The cost of YouTube advertising depends on the type of ads you use.

  • In-stream ads, sponsored cards, and overlay ads: These ads are between $0.10 and $0.30 per engagement (view or click). Skippable ads are generally less expensive than non-skippable ads.
  • Discovery ads: These cost about $0.30 per click.
  • Bumper ads: These ads are charged by CPM (you pay each time the ad gets 1,000 impressions) — between $1 and $4 per 1,000.

Overall, the average cost of YouTube ads in 2021 is $200 per 1,000 views. It can range from between $0.05 and $0.30 per view, which is about $50 to $300 per 1,000. Remember, you only pay per view if the user watches the video for 30 seconds. (If the ad is shorter, they have to watch the entire video.)

YouTube Ads don’t require a minimum spend. That means you can start as low as you wish and then tweak the budget according to the campaign’s results. Many companies start with a $10 daily budget and go from there.

Pro tip: As of June 2021, YouTube has started showing ads on non-monetized videos. This means that if you’re not part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), YouTube still reserves the right to run ads on your videos, as Search Engine Land reports. 

Now, let’s dive into some tried-and-true tips for successful YouTube advertising in 2021.

Explore masthead ads

Masthead ads can be a costly ad format, but they’re also known to be effective. They can produce a massive audience reach and achieve a huge boost in brand awareness. These ads appear in the YouTube home feed across all devices. They autoplay on mute for 30 seconds or longer.

The payment for these ads is based on cost-per-day or cost-per-impression. You can only take advantage of mastheads after making a reservation through a Google sales rep. They’ll give you an estimate during a consultation.

Overall, masthead ads provide the highest reach in the shortest period.

Pro tip: As of July 2021, YouTube masthead ads are no longer available for advertisers of prescription drugs, alcohol, gambling, and political content.    

HawkSEM blog: YouTube ads

To make in-stream ads appealing to your target audience, focus on attention-grabbing, hyper-targeted content. (Image via Unsplash)

Invest in remarketing

YouTube offers powerful remarketing campaign options. This can be a beneficial ad option since people who have viewed your videos, ads, or channel in the past have a higher conversion potential than brand-new leads. After linking your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account, you can create such remarketing lists as:

  • Viewed videos or ad from a channel
  • Directly viewed a particular video or ad
  • Visited a channel page
  • Liked, added, or shared a video from a channel

You can’t, however, create remarketing lists from views of the bumper and non-skippable ads.

You can also connect your website and YouTube advertising efforts. If someone visits your website and views a certain product, the remarketing feature can advertise the product the next time the visitor watches a YouTube video.

Pro tip: Looking to start a successful YouTube channel for your business? Check out this helpful guide from Shopify.

Optimize your in-stream ads

Sure, in-stream ads are a bit more intrusive to the video viewer, but it’s also true that they often bring about impressive results.

These ads have lower conversion rates than other formats but have been shown to aid tremendously in brand awareness. To make in-stream ads appealing to your target audience, focus on attention-grabbing, hyper-targeted content.

Pro tip: The first five seconds are the most important part of the in-stream ad, so prioritize grabbing the viewer’s attention during that time.

You can ensure your in-stream ad is as effective as possible by: 

  • Showing some motion in the first three seconds of the video to hook the audience’s attention
  • Creating curiosity by asking a question but leaving the answer on the other side of the five-second gap
  • Showing your brand name and logo in the first five seconds so that, even if the viewer skips the ad, you achieve brand exposure
  • Keeping ads shorter than 45 seconds
  • Using soft CTAs to lead potential clients to other videos or channels

For more paid social tips, check out our articles on best practices on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Use the YouTube Video Builder

In 2020, YouTube launched the beta version of its Video Builder. This tool lets you animate static content like text, logos, and images with music and transitions to create six to 15-second videos for further use as YouTube ads.

This is an excellent opportunity for companies with a low marketing budget to create an impressive multimedia experience for target audiences. Established brands can also use this tool for testing new content.

The Video Builder can help freshen up your existing assets to keep the target audience’s interest piqued without substantial expenses.

Embrace the person-to-person connection

A recent HubSpot article warned businesses not to forget the human element when it comes to YouTube marketing. Often, we’ve seen brands too focused on themselves and what they’re selling and not enough on helping their audience. 

After all, people don’t engage with brands to help the brands. They engage because of the ways the brand can help them. Always put that value front and center for your audience.

Additionally, it’s important that your message doesn’t feel cold and robotic. If your content feels like an interaction with a digital assistant, people won’t as easily connect or engage with it. 

Remind your audience that there are human beings behind your brand. One great way to do this is by responding to comments and engaging with the people who interact with your content, on YouTube and elsewhere.

The takeaway

YouTube is a highly engaging platform that opens up numerous possibilities for companies across all industries. In fact, 54% of YouTube users visit the platform daily and 36% do so several times per day. 

By looking into all the ad types on offer, determining what might catch your target audience’s attention, and ensuring the content is top notch, you can build a successful YouTube ads campaign, even without a huge budget. 

This post has been updated and was originally published in July 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Jun 3 , 2021

From tweets to TikTok, here’s how to pick the right paid social platform for your business.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A breakdown of the main paid social platforms
  • Pro tips for paid social success
  • How these platforms compare to one another
  • Which industries see the most success on certain platforms

The aim of social media is to help us connect with people — and the world — around us. That could mean following an influencer whose style you envy, a travel writer who always finds a city’s best hidden gems, or a vlogger with killer recipes. 

So, when your company is looking into ads on a paid social platform, it’s helpful to keep in mind why people are on them in the first place. It’s all part of understanding your target audience, their goals, and how you can meet them where they already are. 

smartphone with social media platform apps

When it comes to members, you just can’t beat Facebook — the platform boasts 2.85 billion monthly users worldwide. (Image via Unsplash)

Once you explore your audience and assess your resources (like images, videos, or brand even ambassadors), it can be a challenge to know where to begin. But don’t fear! Let’s dig into all the main paid social platforms and how you can make them work for your business.

LinkedIn

If other platforms are like happy hour, LinkedIn is the networking event. Sure, you can be quippy and share fun thoughts or links, but at the end of the day, it’s all about professionals. By its own estimations, LinkedIn has a whopping 756 million members in 200 countries and regions across the globe. 

According to Sprout Social, 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to acquire new customers, and the platform is reportedly 277% more effective than Facebook in generating leads. 

Because of its business-centric purpose, LinkedIn can be a great paid social platform for ads relating to software, services, and anything else that could be used in a professional setting or to improve workday processes.

Other industries that tend to do well with LinkedIn paid social ads include:

  • High-end retail
  • Wine and spirits
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Professional businesses (such as performing arts, banking, pharma, and international affairs)

While LinkedIn has a lot of opportunity, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager has a few minimum requirements that can be costly for small businesses to leverage. They also have limited targeting, as well as more expensive CPC and conversions compared to other platforms. 

Pro tip: Since users view LinkedIn as a professional place, it’s a good idea to have your ads follow suit — and don’t forget to maintain the correct ad specs!

Facebook

When it comes to members, you just can’t beat Facebook. That’s because the social media platform boasts 2.85 billion monthly users worldwide.

But while that number is impressive, it’s worth noting that younger generations aren’t as active as older ones, and visibility for both organic and paid posts can be hard to come by. (For example, a Facebook page with more than 1 million likes only averages an organic engagement rate of less than 2.5%.)

Regardless of the drawbacks, marketers love Facebook because it’s affordable and generally results in high engagement. When it comes to paid social ads on Facebook, retail really shines. Think: items like clothes, accessories, beauty products, and the like. The visual format ad options make it easy to showcase your products and grab people’s attention.

Industries that tend to find success with Facebook (in terms of engagement and sharing) include:

  • Automotive
  • E-commerce 
  • Travel
  • Non-profit organizations

Industries like software may do as well as the above when it comes to Facebook ads. However, if the audience isn’t right and the industry isn’t a fit, ads can really flop.

Pro tip: Facebook’s updated Ads Manager lets you duplicate ads and campaigns, edit any settings, view your metrics, customize your graphs, and more.

girl by pool looking at social media

Because of the visual nature of Instagram ads, any photos, videos, or graphics used should be high-quality and high-resolution. (Image via Unsplash)

Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook. Because of this, there are plenty of similarities between the two platforms in terms of ad offerings. Additionally, the industries that tend to do well on Facebook also perform rather well on Instagram.

While the platforms fall under the same umbrella, they’re also different in many ways. Though Instagram trails a bit behind Facebook in terms of members, its visibility and cultural relevance is significant.

After all, Instagram is basically the reason why “influencers” exist in the way they do today. And studies show ad recall from sponsored ads on Instagram is often much higher than the typical norms for online advertising.

Instagram ads also see decent engagement rates compared to other platforms. This is likely due to the visual nature of the app, and how seamlessly ads show up in Instagram Stories (temporary posts users create) and regular feeds. It could also be because the majority of Instagram users are part of younger, tech-savvy generations. 

You can manage your Instagram ads inside Facebook’s Ads Manager. This allows you to create Facebook and Instagram ads simultaneously, complete with a robust variety of targeting options to leverage.

Because of the visual nature of Instagram ads, any photos, videos, or graphics used should be high-quality and high-resolution (nothing fuzzy or grainy). And while the maximum caption length is 2,200 characters, experts say 125 characters is ideal.

Pro tip: For e-commerce brands, Instagram’s shopping capabilities allow you to add multiple hyperlinks to an ad, leverage in-app checkout, and complete sales within the app. They also recently added a dedicated “Shop” section to the home screen and launched Instagram Live Shopping. 

Twitter

Twitter has around 192 million daily active users, according to Hootsuite. That’s a lot of potential for advertisers. Not only that, but Twitter itself also reports that people spend 26% more time viewing ads on Twitter than on other leading platforms.

Similar to Instagram, Twitter ads fit subtly into members’ existing feeds and are relatively cost-effective. This platform is all about getting visibility, engagement, and spreading the word to grow awareness about your brand. Conversions can be a bit trickier here, though you can try generating quick leads with Twitter Cards or Trend Takeovers.

The platform describes promoted Trend Takeovers as “a 24-hour high-impact takeover of the Trends list on Twitter,” ideally to launch something new or weigh in on a trend. 

According to Social Media Today, industries that perform best on Twitter include:

  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Games
  • Aerospace
  • Retail & e-commerce

Pro tip: Twitter users can “like,” respond to, and share your paid ad tweets in the same way they interact with organic ones, thus boosting your reach without costing you more. This is why it’s crucial to make your ad stand out — so you can go viral for all the right reasons.

man looking at youtube on tablet

Along with TrueView ads, YouTube offers non-skippable video ads and bumper ads. (Image via Unplash)

YouTube

Owned by Google, YouTube lets you create video or image ads that play before and interstitially between videos on the platform. Much like Instagram, it’s huge with younger generations: 77% of 15 to 35 year-olds in the U.S. use the platform.

Don’t have a video to promote? No problem. YouTube’s creative directory network connects you with pros who can help you with everything from motion graphics to voiceover, animation, and more. As far as payment for skippable ads, “YouTube charges you whenever a viewer clicks on your CTA, watches for at least 30 seconds, or views your ad all the way through (if it’s shorter than 30 seconds),” according to Mailchimp.

Along with TrueView in-stream ads (which “run on videos served on YouTube or on a collection of sites and apps in the Google Display Network,” as Google explains), the platform offers non-skippable video ads and bumper ads. Non-skippable ads are ads that appear before a video, and mid-roll ads appear at the midpoint of videos that are at least 10 minutes long. Bumper ads, on the other hand, are 6 seconds max and are paid for on a CPM basis.

Want more insight into paid social success secrets? You’re in the right place. 

Pinterest, TikTok, and other platforms

While the platforms above are arguably the most popular paid social platforms, there are other players in the space that offer their own unique benefits. Apps like Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest all have ad options. While their reach may not be as wide as the Big Four, depending on your industry and target audience, they could still be worth your time and budget. 

TikTok is the fastest-growing platform in terms of popularity, particularly with Gen Z. It offers interactive ads in more than 20 global markets. Snapchat lets you target your ads based on users’ interests, behaviors, location, and more. 

Pinterest gives you the option to choose to pay for either engagement or visits to your site, and pins often have a longer lifespan than a lot of other paid social ads. As Search Engine Land reports, “for visually-driven businesses, such as wedding gown shops, food blogs, visitors’ bureaus, and clothing and accessories, the visual search engine is a way to get your products and ideas out there to an audience that is likely to click through to your site.”

girl standing and looking at phone

How you measure paid social success will depend on your goals, whether that’s purchases, engagement, followers, or CTR. (Image via Unsplash)

Leveraging multiple platforms

Because each paid social platform has its own unique benefits and users, you may want to experiment with multiple platforms at once. Of course, it’s good to have variety, and testing out a few platforms can help you determine which ones have better ROI for your company. 

Just make sure you go into any testing with a game plan for the KPIs you’ll be monitoring, and how long you want to experiment before revisiting your strategy. 

The takeaway

How you measure paid social success will depend on your goals, whether that’s purchases, engagement, followers, click-through rate (CTR), or something more.

If you’re looking for ad options that are affordable, visual-forward, and have the potential to reach far and wide, finding the right paid social platform may be just the solution you need.

This article has been updated and was originally published in April 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Want to get more likes, comments and follows? When it comes to your social media, keep SEO tactics in mind. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • How SEO translates to better social media profiles
  • Expert tips for optimizing your brand’s social media
  • How keywords play a part in organic social posts
  • Why analyzing your social content is key

As social media becomes more sophisticated (and popular), new features are added to help improve discoverability. For brands and organizations, these add-ons are particularly beneficial.

Whether you post a few times a month or multiple times a day, you want your social profiles to serve as a way to spread the word about your brand, grow your reach, and connect with your target audience. Employing a few common search engine optimization (SEO) principles can help you do just that.

Read on for a few social media SEO principles worth applying to your accounts to grow your reach and improve engagement.

1. Keep keywords in mind

While reports show that social media rarely impacts brand visibility in search engines directly, it’s still a good idea to leverage keywords when you can. Adding certain keywords to your posts can be a game changer when it comes to your discoverability on these platforms.

Instagram recently added their own keyword search tool which, according to Social Media Today, allows you to search posts that use certain words or phrases even if they’re not hashtagged. You can do this through Twitter’s search function as well.

girl outside smiling at phone

There are no end-all be-all rules for how often you should post on each platform. (Image via Unsplash)

2. Make sure all profiles are consistent

If possible, it’s a good idea to have the exact same handle across all of your profiles. This makes your brand look professional and makes it easy for people to find you. If your business name is a common term or the handle is already taken, you can consider adding your business type or city to the end (like @HawkSEMagency or @HawkSEMLosAngeles). 

From there, try to have your profiles follow a similar look and feel, ideally one that also matches your website. Any logos, URLs, addresses, and contact info should be consistent and up to date as well. 

3. Create a social content plan

Don’t have a full-time social media manager? Fear not! You don’t have to build out a super intense social media plan. However, it’s a good idea to at least create a high-level outline for how you plan to post on a regular basis, whether that’s daily, weekly, or a different frequency. As mentioned above, consistency is key.

This can be especially helpful if you’re running multiple social media accounts, as most brands do. There are no end-all be-all rules for how often you should post on each platform. It’ll likely depend on your industry, audience, and bandwidth. However, experts generally suggest posting the most frequently on Twitter (a few times a day, if you can swing it), followed by Facebook (one or two times a day), and then LinkedIn (once every day or two). 

Again, find what works best for you and your team, then keep an eye on engagement rates to see how your audience responds. The last thing you want is to overdo it by posting too much, which can lead to unfollows.

Need more help with your social media or SEO? Let’s make it happen.

4. Leverage tags on social posts when possible

Just like keywords and tagging your content help people and search engines alike understand what your posts are about before reading them, social media tags serve a similar purpose.

While you don’t want to go overboard on the hashtags, they’re a useful tool when people are searching for a certain topic or phrase on all the major social media platforms. When you add a hashtag, either to the post itself or in the comments, it becomes hyperlinked and searchable, which is an easy way to boost your post’s reach. 

5. Optimize your profiles

As we’ve mentioned before, one of the most important things you can do as a business on social media is to fully fill out your profile. The more information you provide, the more context your followers get about what you offer, and the more likely you’ll be found by the right people. 

Take advantage of options like the ability to add a brief bio, URL, and a cover photo. From there, you may be able to optimize further, depending on the platform. For example, Instagram gives users the option to add alt text to their posts. Not only is this a solid SEO tactic, but it makes your post more inclusive to those who are visually impaired. 

casual guy working on social media SEO on computer

Knowing how you’re tracking will help you reach your social media goals faster. (Image via Unsplash)

6. Analyze your social media performance

Don’t waste your time tweeting and hashtagging into the void. Just like with content and other SEO principles, the best way to make use of your profiles (and your social media manager’s time) is by analyzing your posts’ performance. 

Whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, take the time to visit the analytics section of your profiles. If you use a third-party posting service like HubSpot, you can see a certain amount of data, but you’ll get the clearest picture by going into each profile directly. From there, you can see how quickly you’re gaining followers, which posts are resonating most, and which platforms are seeing the most engagement.

This is a great opportunity to pivot your strategy. Do you need to pay more attention to your Facebook audience? Interact more in your Twitter replies? Boost a well-performing Instagram photo to get it even more exposure? Knowing how you’re tracking will help you reach your social media goals faster. 

The takeaway

SEO is an integral part of modern digital marketing programs. Social media, it could be argued, is integral as well. 

By being mindful of social media SEO best practices that can translate from your website to your profiles, you can continue to grow your reach, create better posts, keep up with industry trends, and stay ahead of the competition. 

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Don’t let competitors have an edge over you on social media — conduct a competitor analysis to stay in the game.

Here, you’ll find: 

  • Steps for conducting a competitor analysis for social media
  • Why it’s key to understand your competition’s social strategy 
  • How a competitor analysis can improve your own social results
  • Top tools when doing a competitor analysis for social media 

Social media is one of the most popular ways to engage with customers and effectively reach your target audience. In fact, HubSpot reports 90% of brands now use it to build awareness and grow their reach, among other things. 

But, just like in search engine results, there’s competition for eyeballs and attention on social media. That’s why understanding how your brand stacks up against the competition is important for developing your social strategy and making it work best for you. 

Conducting a competitive analysis for social media can be crucial for enhancing your social media performance. Besides better understanding your competition, a social media competitor analysis will put helpful information in your hands on how to improve your brand’s strategy. 

Don’t get left in the social media dust. Use these 7 steps to conduct a competitor analysis like a pro. 

competitor analysis for social media

Before you get too far in your social media analysis, identify the purpose of running one in the first place. (Image via Unsplash)

Why should I track my competitors on social media? 

There are many advantages to conducting a competitor analysis for social media, from gaining inspiration for content to identifying mistakes to avoid. Understanding how the competition engages with its target audience can also help you identify your unique value proposition and ways to grow your market share based on their weaknesses. 

Knowing what your competitors are doing on social media is essential for building an effective social strategy that stands out. Here’s how to conduct a competitor analysis for social media the right way. 

1. Determine your top competitors 

You probably already have a good idea about who your top competitors are. If not, it’s worth taking the time to identify your top five competing companies. 

To identify your competition, using Google to search for keywords your target customers use to find your business is a good place to start. Once you’ve made a list, you can put on your detective hat and dive a little deeper to determine how active each of them is on social media. Of course, you want to focus your efforts on brands that have a social strategy, so you can effectively compare. 

Pro tip: Visiting your competitors’ websites is usually a quick and easy way to find their social media profiles, as they often link to them in their site’s header or footer. 

2. Set your goals

Before you get too far in your social media analysis, identify the purpose of running one in the first place. Without knowing why you’re conducting an analysis, it will be difficult to measure and evaluate your results. 

You’ll find a lot of data when digging into your competitor’s social strategies, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for to ensure you’re not wasting time gathering irrelevant data. 

Some common goals of conducting a competitor analysis for social media are: 

  • Improving organic reach
  • Determining the best social platform for your brand
  • Increasing engagement or followers
  • Optimizing social ads

3. Pick the social networks to monitor

Most companies stick to the main social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They also may be more active on some than others. Look to see which social media platforms your competition leverages the most and why that might be.

Do they see the most engagement on Instagram or LinkedIn? The answer could indicate where your target audience is spending most of their social media scrolling time, which can help inform your own social strategy. 

4. Track key performance metrics

After identifying the social media platforms your competitors are most active on, you can work to gain a better understanding of how they engage with and grow their network. 

The following key metrics can help you examine and track their performance. 

  • Profile metrics: Note things like the number of followers, average weekly posts, and engagement 
  • Content metrics: Note the types of content shared, number of ads or boosted posts, and image to video post ratio
  • Brand metrics: Note the tone of voice, key issues most often addressed, and interaction from followers
  • Engagement metrics: Note the likes, comments, and shares of their content and the number of customers using their branded hashtags

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to look at the average engagement by post type (video, photo, text, link) to compare to your posts as well.

woman in hat looking at cell phone

Automating the tracking of competitors is the most effective way to get up-to-date data. (Image via Unsplash)

5. Determine the prime time for your social media audience

Ensuring your content is seen by followers at the best times of day and days of the week will help you work smarter vs. harder when it comes to social reach. While consistent posting is key to an effective social media strategy, it’s not enough to just post as you please. Rather, it’s helpful to know when the largest number of targeted users are online. 

Looking at each of your social platform’s analytics is a good starting point. From there, noting your competitor’s posting times and their engagement rating can help determine if adjusting your posting times will increase the chances of reaching more targeted consumers.

Need more help with your social media strategy? Let’s talk! 

6. Don’t forget about paid media

While it’s almost impossible to determine the exact amount your competition spends on paid media campaigns, you can try to determine if they’re paying for increased followers or post engagement. 

Plus, if you’re conducting a social media analysis without considering if they’re boosting or running ads, it could skew your results and have you setting unachievable organic goals. 

The tools in the next section can help you run an analysis or browse each social platform individually to look for any sponsored ads. Taking things a step further and conducting a full PPC competitor analysis will also give you more information on improving your paid reach. 

Pro tip: Facebook Ad Library is a helpful tool for checking if your competition is actively running ads on Facebook or Instagram. 

7. Find the proper tools to conduct a competitor analysis for social media

Automating the tracking of competitors is the most effective way to get up-to-date data. While you can conduct a competitor analysis for social media on your own, using the proper tools makes the process more efficient and allows for easy tracking of both your and your competitors’ results. 

Tools for running a competitive analysis and reports for improving your social strategy include: 

  • BuzzSumo
  • Brandwatch
  • Facebook Analytics
  • Facebook Ad Library
  • Sociality.io
  • Socialbakers
  • Sprout Social 

The takeaway

Comparing your social media presence and results to your competitors gives you insight into their social strategies and shows you the best ways to outrank them. 

With most of the data being public knowledge, conducting a competitor analysis for social media is easier than you might think. However, compiling the data is only the first step. 

Effectively analyzing the information and results requires using the top tools and understanding what it all means. From there, you can post more like-worthy posts, tweets, and Stories — and feel confident that you’re on the right track.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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One billion people reportedly use Instagram every month. There’s a good chance that includes your target audience.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A breakdown of Instagram ad types
  • Best Instagram ad practices to follow
  • Mistakes to avoid making in these paid social ads
  • Instagram ad guidelines to know

There are plenty of reasons to dip your toe into paid social ads, if you haven’t already. Not only are they one of the more affordable digital ad types out there, but they’re a great way to meet your audience where they often already are: staring into their phones, of course.

The success of your paid social media marketing (SMM) campaign depends on factors like your ads themselves, your target audience, and how much you can invest in the process. 

Pro tip: Before diving into these #Insta marketing tips, make sure your company’s profile is an Instagram Business Account, not a personal page. A business profile offers insights into your audience, posts, and ads that help set your Instagram marketing efforts up for success. 

hawksem: instagram ads

These days, the average cost per click (CPC) on Instagram is between $0.7 and $1. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Know the key Instagram ad types

Paid Instagram advertising goes well beyond static ads that appear in the user’s feed. To take full advantage of the opportunities, you need to know what’s available.

  • Story ads: Ads appearing organically in between a user’s Instagram Story posts
  • Photo ads: The standard ads appearing in the viewer’s feed
  • Video ads: Videos that start playing automatically in the user’s feed
  • Carousel ads: Ads consisting of several photos or videos for users to swipe through
  • Collection ads: Ads allowing the user to buy the product directly from the platform instead of being led to an external website
  • Shopping ads: Ads that take users to product description pages within the app
  • Paid partnerships: Appear as “paid partnership with (brand name and tag)” in an influencer’s post
  • Explore ads: Ads that appear when users click on a photo or video in the “Explore” section
  • IGTV ads: Appear inside IGTV videos

2. Set the right budget

These days, the average cost per click (CPC) on Instagram is between $0.70 and $1, according to HubSpot. The cost, however, depends on several factors and may go up to several dollars per click. An auction bidding system determines when your ads are posted in the place you want them most. 

Similar to other ad platforms, you need to set the budget and submit a bid. During the auction, the app determines which ads are the most valuable and relevant for the users and selects a winning bid. It’s guided by factors such as:

  • The bid size
  • How likely the viewer is to take actions your bid is optimized for
  • The perceived quality and relevance of the ad

The cost of your bid can also depend on:

  • Demographics of your target audience — Especially if you’re targeting multiple demographics, it’s important to understand how each group is likely to engage with your ads, as it will vary. 
  • Timeframe of ad posting — When more users are on the social media platform, it will result in more competition (and higher bids) for ads to be shown to prospective customers. The CPC for ads can also fluctuate at different times of the year as brands readjust advertising strategies or with changing seasons. 
  • Type of ad and ad placements — With the varying types of Instagram ad types, it’s not surprising that your CPC is impacted by the type of placements you choose. 

According to a CMO survey, most companies spend about 13% of their marketing budget on SMM. And it’s expected to reach more than 21% in the next five years. Depending on how many social media channels you’re leveraging, you can determine how much you want to spend on Instagram ads.

3. Watch IGTV ads closely

IGTV is a standalone video platform within the Instagram app meant for posting longer videos. (Videos on the main feed are limited to two minutes, and those on Stories are limited to 15 seconds per card.)

While the monetization program for IGTV was released to a select number of video creators in June 2020, it’s expected to be a widely available option in the coming months. 

IGTV ads allow you to place your ad in the middle of an IGTV stream. Similar to Facebook Watch, the video needs to be longer than three minutes to feature an ad.

4. Always split-test your ads

It’s hard to pinpoint the perfect Instagram ad design from scratch. What may have worked for other SMM channels could fail on this particular platform. That’s why it’s best to test several ad designs simultaneously to see which one gets the most clicks.

You could test and adjust elements like:

  • CTA wording
  • Image placement
  • Video length
  • Colors
  • Text and element positioning

Just remember: Visuals on Instagram are everything. If you fail to create an appealing image, your ad could stay in the dark.

hawksem: instagram advertising

To make sure your ads look appealing, you need to learn the parameters. (Image via Unsplash)

5. Cater your ads to the platform

Most Instagram viewers aren’t looking for highly polished, professional-looking ads. When you “stick” the ad into a user’s feed, you want it to look as organic as possible while they’re scrolling. That’s why it’s a good idea to use real-life situations and backgrounds to promote your products.

The “hero” (buyer persona) in your ad should appear in a situation your target audience can relate to. Don’t worry about going out of your way to shoot an impeccable video if you don’t have the budget or bandwidth.

Rather, focus on making your ad look as close to what your buyers see in their daily feed as possible. Just make sure to keep the overall quality high (no pixelated or blurry imagery). 

6. Learn the proper Instagram ad specs

Each Instagram ad type comes with certain size requirements. To make sure your ads look as appealing as possible, you’ve got to learn the parameters.

Technical requirements for Instagram Feed ads

For images: 

  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500
  • Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%

For videos: 

  • Video length:  1 second to 2 minutes
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Recommended resolution: 1,080 x 1,080 
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1% with a recommended ratio of 4:5

For Carousel:

  • Number of Carousel Cards: Minimum of 2 and maximum of 10
  • Maximum file size: video – 4GB, image – 30MB
  • Video length: 1 second to 60 minutes 
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%

For collection: 

  • Instant experience is required 
  • Maximum file size: image – 30MB, video – 4GB
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum height: 500 pixels
  • Recommended ratios: 1.91:1 to 1:1

Technical requirements for Instagram Stories ads

For images: 

  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1% (with a recommended ratio of 9:16)

For videos:

  • Length of video: 1 second to 2 minutes
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Recommended resolution: 1,080 x 1,080 
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1% (with a recommended ratio of 9:16)

For Carousel:

  • Number of Carousel Cards: 2 to 10
  • Maximum file size: video – 4GB, image – 30MB
  • Default video length: 1 second to 2 minutes 
  • Video length for a fixed number of cards: 1 to 15 seconds
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1% (with a recommended ratio of 1:1)

Technical requirements for Instagram Explore ads

When advertising in Instagram Explore, both your image and video ads will follow the same format as the Instagram Feed ads listed above. Instagram Explore ads are an excellent way to introduce your brand, products, or services to new users. 

Explore is a section that shows content across the social media platform related to a person’s interest. Therefore, having your ads show between the organic content in a person’s Explore section gives you the opportunity to connect with your target audience. 

If your image or video specs are wrong, the app will crop them according to its needs. This could inadvertently turn your perfectly-designed ad into something confusing, sloppy, and ineffective. Instead, try to maximize the usage of the available space as much as you can and make use of every pixel allowed by the app.

Pro tip: Instagram’s design recommendations include using a .jpg or .png file, uploading the highest resolution image available, and keeping in mind that only two rows of text will automatically display.

7. Take full advantage of user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) has been shown to be a highly efficient Instagram marketing tool. In fact, about 90% of consumers say they trust UGC more than traditional advertising.

When your customers take photos and videos of themselves using or recommending your product, this piece of content can turn into a priceless ad with word-of-the-mouth benefits.

You can leverage this content by following your clients on Instagram closely to find these pieces of content. When you see a post that could become good UGC for your brand, ask them for permission to repost this content on your page. 

This also makes your ad more authentic, since it’s a client testimonial vs. claims being made by your brand.

8. Keep your Instagram ads fresh

Instagram is a dynamic environment. People are often turning to the app to see diverse content. To continue grabbing their attention, it’s key to create new ads as often as possible.

Your target Instagram audience may get bored with your content faster than it would on other marketing channels. Plus, regularly switching up your ads gives you an excellent split-testing opportunity.

Pro tip: You don’t have to make new ads every day. Rather, you can create a few and regularly switch between them.

9. Take notice of Instagram Reels

Short-form videos have become a popular way users consume content. Instagram introduced Reels to take advantage of this shift, and many people see a clear comparison to the fast-growing video platform TikTok. Whether it’s because of shorter attention spans or making sharing easier, Reels is expected to grow in 2021

Instagram Reels allows the creation of 15- to 30-second multi-clip videos set to music or other audio. It lets brands showcase their personality and products creatively, in a way that’s a happy medium between professional and informal. 

While advertising on Reels is not yet an option, we expect to see it in the future. According to Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, they’re working on the new feature to ensure it’s engaging for consumers and creators before building an ad business into Reels. 

10. Analyze, analyze, analyze

A regular analysis is the pillar of your Instagram Ad campaign. Luckily, Facebook (which owns Instagram) has a number of useful tools to help track your ad performance.

As a reminder, the increase or decrease in conversions isn’t always an indication of your campaign’s quality. By keeping track of a variety of metrics, you’ll know which ads deserve an extra budget and which tactics need to be dropped.

The takeaway

To build a successful Instagram Ad campaign, you need to learn all the little nuances and take advantage of the majority of available options. 

As a social media channel, Instagram offers tremendous conversion opportunities. Take advantage of these practices and you could turn a scroll into a sale.

Looking for more social media marketing advice? You’ve come to the right place.

This article has been updated and was originally published in May 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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Create Twitter ads that fit seamlessly into your target audience’s timelines to garner attention, improve traffic, and more. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why you should consider Twitter Ads
  • The various types of Twitter advertising options
  • Twitter Ads examples
  • How to optimize your ads

Twitter began as (and, arguably, still is) a social media app to connect virtually with others, share thoughts, and have conversations. These days, it’s become a platform where users get breaking news, make jokes, post memes, and fire off random thoughts as well. 

It’s also one of the top platforms for social media marketing ads.

If you’re running Facebook and Instagram ads, you may feel like you’re set when it comes to paid social. But if you haven’t even thought about adding Twitter ads into the mix, you may be missing out. 

In fact, Twitter user numbers — and its engagement rates — are growing. Whether you’re already aboard the Twitter Ads campaign train or just want to know more, let’s dive into the info you need to succeed on Twitter in 2021.

What are Twitter Ads?

Twitter Ads are paid tweets featuring text or multimedia. They show up on the Twitter platform as Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends via desktop or on the mobile app. 

You can usually interact with these tweets the same way you would an organic tweet (such as responding, retweeting, or liking), but they’ll be marked as “promoted.”  

Why Twitter Ads deserve your attention

The popularity of Twitter can’t be understated. Reports show the platform has approximately 187 million daily users across the globe. When these users are scrolling, some of the tweets in their timelines may be sponsored ads or promoted content. 

Your target audience may very well be active on the Twitter platform. Men between 25 and 34 years of age are the largest Twitter age demographic (19%). The second-largest is 18-24 year-old women. However, Twitter users are hardly all young. More than 12% of them are ages 50 and up.

hawksem: twitter ads blog

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. (Image via Unsplash)

A few key benefits of Twitter Ads are that they’re:

  • Precise: the most effective ones are short and to the point
  • Unobtrusive: they blend into the news feed organically without jarring the reader
  • Cost-efficient: they allow you to build your campaign in a budget-friendly way
  • Tailored: it’s possible to tailor these ads precisely to target different audiences
  • Versatile: you can create an efficient retargeting campaign in just a few clicks

One of the best parts about Twitter Ads is that there’s no minimum campaign spend. Thus, they can be suited to virtually any budget.

Types of Twitter Ads

Twitter determines which audience your content is most suitable for. After that, the ads compete in an auction based on your budget. The more money you’re willing to pay and the more relevant your ads are, the more likely they are to appear where you want. 

Twitter Ads are a straightforward paid social media marketing tactic. However, the platform gives you multiple ad options for promoting your account and content.

These include:

  • Tweets – pay to get your tweets in the target audience’s timeline, user profiles, and in top search results
  • Accounts – get your account placed in your potential audience’s timeline, in search results, and in “Who to Follow” suggestions
  • Trends – your tweet is promoted in trending topics and in the “Trends for you” section, where they’re visible for 24 hours
  • Automated promote mode – pay a flat fee of $99 to automatically promote your first ten tweets of the day to your chosen target audience (Note: this mode is no longer available to new users, according to Twitter)
  • Carousel – launched in fall 2020, these interactive ads work to engage users through a combination of 2-6 images or videos in a single ad 

The latest Twitter Ads tips

Constructing a versatile Twitter Ads campaign can take time and practice. These are the latest tips to help your ads succeed in 2021.

twitter explore ad

An example of the the Promoted Trend Spotlight in the #Explore tab (via Twitter)

1. Explore the Promoted Trend Spotlight

In early 2020, Twitter introduced the Promoted Trend Spotlight global feature. It complements the Promoted Trend advertising option on the platform.

The feature allows you to place your ad at the very top of the “Explore” tab (for the first two visits per person per day), improving its visibility substantially. The option supports static messages as well as 6-second GIFs and videos.

The downside of this impressive ad solution is its price. Twitter hasn’t disclosed the actual cost of these ads. But Social Media Today says they’re likely on the same level as Promoted Trends, which can reportedly cost from $250,000 per day.

2. Take advantage of accelerated delivery

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. So, if your daily campaign budget is $100, it’ll be distributed more or less evenly within 24 hours (approximately $4 per hour).

To speed up your campaign and achieve faster results, you can turn the standard delivery option off. When you do that, Twitter will start serving impressions and generating engagement as fast as possible until the daily budget is up. This is a perfect option for time-sensitive advertising campaigns that need to achieve high engagement during a certain timeframe.

3. Rethink your Twitter cards

Twitter cards appeared back when the character limit was 140 and companies were desperately wishing for more ad space. Since tweets with images often see an increase in leads, these cards are still trending.

When you post a link, Twitter automatically pulls the featured image from the page you’ve linked to and includes that image in your visual tweet, also known as your Twitter card. If there’s no established image, the card may be blank.

hawksem blog: twitter ads

An example of an in-feed promoted tweet with a Twitter card (via Twitter)

If you want to make a bigger impression with the cards:

  • Use summary cards with larger images to take advantage of higher-quality pictures (Twitter supports 560×750 pixels)
  • Take advantage of twitter:site and twitter:creator to pack two user names in one card for a more efficient promotional effort.
  • Use up all 200 characters to give value to the card. (The Title tag is a separate piece of text, so don’t double up on verbiage.)

Pro tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the multi-image card option if it’ll improve your ad. This lets you post up to four images in one tweet, which expand when the user clicks on them.

4. Experiment with videos

Video content continues to gain momentum on Twitter and beyond. Create a Promoted Video campaign to take full advantage of this media and make your ads more appealing. These campaigns allow you to display your video in-feed and improve your engagement.

Here are the details for creating Twitter video ads:

  • Maximum video size: 1GB
  • Tweet copy: 280 characters (each link costs you 23 characters, so when you include one link, you’ll have 257 characters left)
  • Video length: the maximum is 2 minutes and 20 seconds (but the sweet spot seems to be around 15 seconds)

Ready to run a successful Twitter Ads campaign? We can help.

5. Capitalize on retargeting

Retargeting features (also called remarketing) can help Twitter Ads stand out from other paid social media advertising options. You can use this feature on Twitter by setting the campaign to retarget those who have seen your ads or engaged with them, visited your website, or used your app.

One of Twitter’s highly sophisticated retargeting options is email retargeting. Email addresses from a company’s CRM are matched with email addresses registered to a Twitter account. (Since email addresses are anonymized, this is not a breach of privacy.) This allows you to advertise to the target audience without knowing their Twitter IDs.

FYI: Twitter recently announced plans to accelerate its brand safety measures. They also committed to undergo accreditation for viewability, ad fraud (sophisticated invalid traffic filtration), audience measurement, and brand safety, according to MediaPost.

Twitter “Who to Follow” section

An example of a promoted account under the “Who to Follow” section (via Twitter)

6. Experiment, test, rotate

Paid social ads, like all digital marketing campaigns, need regular testing and optimization to perform at their best. You can run a variety of Twitter ads, then analyze how well they work for your target audience and the platform after a significant period of time.

Experiment with elements like colors, multimedia, and text to see what provides top results. Designing several ads doesn’t just give you an opportunity to improve your campaign, but it also helps hold your audience’s attention. Running the same ads over and over again can annoy potential and existing customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to rotate your most successful pieces.

The takeaway

Twitter Ads can be a successful paid social avenue for a variety of brands and industries. These ad types give you an avenue for reaching your ideal client persona in a seamless, creative way. 

Plus, with ever-changing social media trends, this is also an opportunity for you to have fun and create eye-catching, witty ads that garner double-takes. By keeping tabs on the latest developments, trends, and offerings, you can continue to improve your Twitter campaigns — and increase ROI as a result.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 23 , 2020

Let’s break down two popular social media ad types to determine which one might be right for your brand and goals. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • The difference between promoted posts and paid social ads
  • How these social media marketing ads operate
  • When to use each type of paid social ad
  • Which social ad might be right for your brand

Whether your customers like to tweet about social issues, spark conversations on Facebook, or post picturesque outdoorsy scenes on Instagram, having a business presence on the main social media platforms is a great way to connect with your target audience.

Social media is a huge part of consumers’ lives today. It’s where many of them get their news, stay connected to friends and family, and even research and buy products or services. 

Of course, you want your brand’s social media posts to be seen by as many people as possible. Even more importantly, you want your posts to be seen by the right people. 

Influencers might make it look easy, but mastering social media marketing is no easy feat. Many find it difficult to know the difference between terms that sound similar. Even once you have the jargon down, mapping out the right strategy can be a delicate task.

When you’re delving into paid social ads, you may come across two different options: creating ads and campaigns from scratch, and “boosting” or promoting existing organic posts. You can see these options on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

But what do they mean? What’s the difference? When should you use each? Knowledge is power, so let’s dive into paid social ad types and see what we can discover.

facebook boosted posts

Facebook’s explanation of boosted posts. (via facebook.com)

What are boosted posts?

A promoted or boosted post is a social media post that you pay the platform to make more visible. To boost a post is to promote it to a wider audience. On Twitter, these ads are called “promoted” tweets. Basically, you’re boosting the post’s reach so it can be seen by more people. Depending on the platform, you may be able to set any of the following variables:

  • Target audience: Decide which people you want your post to reach. You can target followers, people who have liked your page, or friends of followers. You can also segment by age, gender, location, interest, or create your own custom demographics.
  • Location of focus: Choose where in the world you want people to see it. If you have a promotion in a specific country, you can target that location and people who have listed it as their home country. If you target the right audience, you can potentially maximize your return on investment (ROI) and save precious marketing dollars.
  • Timeframe: How long should the post be promoted? Maybe you have a sale and you want to draw in as many people as possible. Once the sale is over, the post won’t be promoted anymore.
  • Budget: How much do you want to spend? The bigger the budget, the more people will see it (no surprise there). For example, a budget as little as $2 a day could help you reach as many as 872 people, while $15 could put your post in front of 6,834 people.  

The general idea behind boosted or promoted posts is that you can either grow the reach of a well-performing organic post, or create an ad from a post without creating a whole marketing campaign around it. 

hawk promoted social IG

The “Promote” option allows HawkSEM to get this Instagram post in front of a wider audience for a fee. (via Instagram)

What are paid social ads?

In general, paid social ads are any form of advertising or marketing on social media platforms that you pay to have shown to the target audience. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  • Influencer marketing partnerships
  • Social media display ads
  • In-feed ads

Depending on the content, paid social ads could have more of a call-to-action (CTA) message, and be part of a larger overall campaign. This could be anything from a general awareness campaign to a campaign around an event like a holiday sale or upcoming live webinar. 

The way these ads are displayed depends on the ad options you choose and the platform you’re advertising on. For example, Twitter ads can be on a user’s timeline or under the “What’s happening” tab to the right of the feed. And LinkedIn offers an ad type that will send a private message to users who fit a certain audience targeting profile. 

promoted social tweet

Here’s how promoted posts look on Twitter. (via twitter.com)

What’s the difference between promoted posts and paid social ads?

You may have noticed that, according to the above definition of paid social ads, promoted posts could technically fall under that umbrella. One of the main differences between the two is that paid ads were created as ads, whereas boosted posts were posted organically, for free (the boosting or promotion is where the budget comes into play). 

Some marketers feel like promoted posts are more natural and subliminal-looking than paid social ads. Another difference is the options. With paid social ads, you have quite a few additional options that allow for more advanced customization. Depending on the platform, these may include:

  • Where on the platform or related media the ad will be visible
  • The ability to optimize for more and/or broader goals for the action generated by the audience
  • More ad types, formatting options, additional graphics, and ad features
  • What time of day your ad is seen

When and why should you boost a post?

It’s important to know how to determine which organic posts are worth promoting. There are some specific goals that boosting a post is great at achieving. These include:

  • Growing brand recognition
  • Increasing post engagement
  • Fueling website traffic
  • Increasing the reach or engagement of an already high-performing post

As HubSpot explains, if you just want more eyes on a certain webpage, then promoted tweets might be a great option for you. For this option, they add, you pay a flat monthly fee for as long as you’re promoting a tweet.

All business accounts on the platforms with this feature should have access to a “boost post” or “promote” button next to the “publish” button or once their post is live. Keep in mind that the platform may take time to review your post first, so be careful with time-sensitive content. 

linkedin sidebar social ads

A look at the ads sidebar on LinkedIn’s homepage. (via linkedin.com)

When and why should you create paid social ads?

Paid social ads have several strengths of their own. They excel at accomplishing things like:

  • Generating leads
  • Increasing conversion rates
  • Growing event RSVPs or newsletter signups
  • Encouraging a specific action (like app downloads)

Paid social ads may be the way to go when you’re looking for more ROI-generating results in a shorter amount of time. To build up your audience or grow your followers, you may want the added options that come with actual paid social ads vs. promoted posts. 

How can you determine which is right for you?

It isn’t always a matter of picking just one method that fits your business. Since each approach is best at creating different outcomes, it makes sense to use both, but in separate circumstances. Your goal will be the main factor in determining which technique is ideal for you.

Good reasons to boost a post include:

  • Inform followers of updates and new features
  • Highlight new content
  • Increase views for brand awareness
  • Promote one-time events

Good reasons to launch paid social campaigns include:

  • Inform a new audience of your product or service
  • Drive sales by convincing leads to make a purchase  
  • Compel the specific behavior stated in your CTA
  • Significantly grow your audience
boosted paid social posts

While post boosting and paid social ads are similar in some ways, they also have key differences that allow them to specialize in different areas. (Image via Unsplash)

The takeaway

The ultimate aim of social media is to help people connect. And with so many consumers using these platforms, creating a thoughtful, strategic presence can be a game-changer for your business. 

Luckily, these platforms keep improving and simplifying their social media marketing tools to help you reach the most people and meet your  goals.

While promoted social and paid social media ads are similar in some ways, they also have key differences that allow them to specialize in different areas. Knowing how to use them to their fullest potential is crucial. 

The guidelines above should help you differentiate between which circumstances call for each so you can make the most of your social media marketing strategy and get the most ROI out of your marketing dollars.

For more paid social tips, check out our articles on best practices for ads for TwitterInstagram,  Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 11 , 2020

Odds are, your B2B customers are on social media — here’s how to make paid social ads work for you.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How paid social media marketing can benefit B2B companies
  • Which social media channels are worth your attention
  • The latest marketing tactics to employ for B2B paid social media
  • A breakdown of best practices on various platforms

The hype around social media marketing (SMM) doesn’t stop at the B2C level. In fact, more than 80% of B2B marketers reportedly use social media, making it one of the key digital marketing tactics to have in your arsenal.

B2B paid social media advertising can be an excellent lead generation and conversion strategy. Its ability to reach the target audience and point it in the right direction is highly advanced — and often underestimated.

Why you should consider B2B paid social media marketing

While many B2B marketers know all the staggering social media user statistics, they tend to focus on other strategies first.

Somehow, social media platforms earned a reputation for being places where people come solely for entertainment. The other myth is that it takes forever to achieve any results with social media advertising.

In reality, organic social media posting does take a decent amount of time and effort to show results. And B2B companies may not have sufficient time, resources, and patience to achieve the desired outcome. That’s where social media ads come in.

Paid social media advertising can achieve faster and more substantial results than organic posting, which is exactly what B2B companies usually want. Today, 72% of B2B marketers who use paid channels online take advantage of paid social.

b2b paid social media

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is widely considered to be the useful social media channel. (Image via Rawpixel)

The top 4 paid social media advertising channels to consider

It’s a good idea to use as many channels as possible when you’re first experimenting with paid social. That way, you can see which posts and platforms resonate most with your audience. 

However, we also know there’s a limit to how much you can stretch a marketing budget. These are the main social media platforms your B2B brand can start exploring:

1. LinkedIn

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is widely considered to be the useful social media channel. LinkedIn ad options include sponsored posts, sponsored InMail, and pay-per-click text ads. 

The platform also offers a variety of extensive targeting tools for reaching your ideal audience.

2. YouTube

Today, YouTube is much more than a video-sharing social media channel. Believe it or not, it’s the No. 2 search engine after Google

This video platform’s popularity makes it a top contender when you’re considering paid social. YouTube boasts a variety of paid advertising options, including display ads and bumper ads. You can promote both your videos and products through ads.  

3. Twitter

Twitter can be a highly productive social media channel when it comes to B2B marketing. Not only does it have hundreds of millions of users, but it’s also the second most-used platform for content marketing purposes after LinkedIn.

Twitter is also an excellent place for real-time interacting with clients and educating them about your products. The platform provides numerous opportunities for paid promotion of your tweets and accounts, and strategically leveraging hashtags can increase your exposure that much more. 

4. Facebook

While having immense outreach, Facebook has made it so that it’s nearly impossible to get significant traction from organic posts. Unsurprisingly, Facebook offers paid ad options, most of which are relatively cost-efficient. You can set a specific budget for running ads and promoting certain posts.

Even though this platform doesn’t have as many laser-focused targeting capabilities as LinkedIn, the 2.7 billion active monthly users make it a channel that’s certainly worth considering. 

b2b paid social media

Facebook determines how relevant your ads are to the audience you’re trying to reach. (Image via Unsplash)

Paid social media advertising tactics for B2B marketing

Best practices for B2B paid social media advertising change regularly. As these platforms add new functionalities, it’s vital to incorporate them into your strategy in a timely manner so you can stay relevant and competitive. Here are some ways to do just that.

1. Target group members on LinkedIn

To generate the highest quality leads, pay special attention to LinkedIn Groups when selecting targeting options. The platform describes their groups as “a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share their insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections.”

People are likely to join the group only if they are explicitly interested in the topic, ao you can advertise to group members while being fairly certain you’re reaching the right audience. To find relevant groups, simply type the keywords into LinkedIn’s “what group you want to target” section.

Pro tip: When targeting on LinkedIn, don’t forget to exclude competitors.

2. Explore promoting posts over text ads

When it comes to paid social media marketing, most platforms tend to give more attention to promoting posts, accounts, and channels over text ads. Promoted posts usually stand out better and fit organically into the users’ feed as well.

If you’re on a tight budget, leave the text for PPC ads. If not, you can use both text ads and post, channel, or account promotion on social media. Of course, that means you have to make sure your social media content is high-quality, which is also beneficial for your organic SMM efforts.

3. Use Facebook’s Ad Relevance Diagnostics tool

Facebook determines how relevant your ads are to the audience you’re trying to reach. The more relevant the ad is, the less it costs, and the higher chance it has of showing up in the right place at the right time.

Use the Ad Relevance Diagnostics tool to find out how well you’re doing when it comes to relevancy. While relevance isn’t necessarily the key indicator of an ad’s performance, it can help you increase the overall ROI of your campaign.

Need more help with your paid social strategy? Let’s talk. 

4. Leverage lead gen forms on Facebook and LinkedIn

Lead form ads are designed to collect information from the target audience, offer deals or promotions, and manage inquiries from potential customers.

By properly designing a lead form ad, you can collect valuable data not just from your current audience, but from lookalike audiences as well.

Pro tip: When uploading your CRM data to Facebook to find your clients on the platform and create lookalike audiences, don’t be taken aback by a low list match rate. Matching emails to accounts can be tough, since people usually use personal emails to sign up for social media.

5. Use website demographics on LinkedIn

It’s no secret that paid advertising on LinkedIn is more expensive than on other platforms. To cut costs, you need to focus on analytics. Luckily, LinkedIn allows you to monitor who is interacting with your ads.

With Website Demographics, you can check job titles, employers or companies, and industries of ad viewers to adjust your paid marketing campaign accordingly.

The takeaway

Paid social media advertising can be a highly useful B2B marketing tool. The ability to reach a wide audience coupled with an impressive variety of targeting options can help you improve advertising efforts substantially.

Once you’ve seen success on a platform or two, you can put more effort into those social media marketing ads and conduct tests to help you optimize accordingly.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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