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A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Paid Advertising: Part 1

Why is Paid Advertising on Social Media Necessary?

If you’re a business owner or in the field of marketing or advertising, and you’re new to the world of social media paid advertising, this article is for you.

With more than 2 billion users across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, social media has seen an unprecedented explosion in growth the past decade. Creating content that stands out from the clutter and capturing enough attention and interest to be shared by multiple people is the hardest challenge for any social media marketer.

Social media has almost infinite potential for reaching specific, targeted audiences. At this point, many marketers have already conceded to the fact that “boosting” a post or investing in paid ads is really the only way to get people to see your content outside of a handful of dedicated followers to your profile.

Don’t Let Ads Stress You Out

Considering all the options available for different ad types on different platforms, and the various targeting measures that can be employed to reach certain audiences, some brands can feel understandably overwhelmed. Not knowing where to begin or what elements are needed to successfully launch a paid ad on social media is one of the primary reasons I decided to write this blog.

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the process of creating a paid ad on social media. For most marketers out there, you’re playing with other people’s money, which can add a layer of stress to the ad creation process. Knowing what components you’ll need beforehand and what kind of research you can do to prepare will work wonders for your confidence, not to mention help you achieve the results you’re hoping to get out of your campaign. In part 1 of this series on paid advertising, I will discuss the different objectives and targeting criteria you can utilize for your ad.

What You’ll Need to Create an Ad

First off, it’s important to note that the Ads Manager platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, are fundamentally the same. All ad creation platforms will first ask you to select an objective for the campaign, then ask you to input the audience targeting criteria, followed by information regarding ad placement, schedule, and budget, and finally, end with the ad creative (copy and image).

Different Ad Objectives

What sorts of objectives can you achieve with paid advertising?

  • Brand Awareness: Cast a wide net and get the word out about your brand or product with ads that are optimized for reach and impressions
  • Website Traffic: refer social media users to your website
  • Lead Generation: Capture emails and other useful contact information that can be useful for remarketing purposes later
  • App installations: Drive traffic to either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to encourage downloads of your app
  • Conversions: Sell a product either directly in social media, or by referring them to a checkout page

Selecting Your Target Audience

Once you’ve decided what objective you’re looking to achieve, the next and arguably most important step is selecting targeting criteria. The performance of your ad hinges on many factors, but aside from having stellar visuals and a catchy tagline, you’ll need to ensure your ad is reaching the people who would be most interested in interacting with it. The best way to approach this is to develop what’s known as an Audience Persona, which contains the following elements:

  • Location(s): Where in the world do your customers live?
  • Age range: How old are your customers?
  • Gender: Male, female, or both.
  • Marital status and family characteristics: Are your customers typically married? Have children?
  • Income: How much money does your customer make in a year? How much disposable income do you believe your customers possess?
  • Education: What level of education does your average customer possess?
  • Interests & hobbies: What sorts of things do your customers do for fun or to simply pass the time?

Isolating and targeting a specific audience helps to improve what Facebook calls the “Relevance Score” of your ad. Relevance is a measure of how appropriate the message is to the target audience, as well as the strength of the connection between the ad copy and the objective/destination of the ad. The topic of ad relevance will be discussed in more detail in a future blog post.

Researching Your Audience

Here’s a tip: when conducting research for the purposes of creating an Audience Persona, try using Facebook Audience Insights. An extremely handy online tool that lets you select a location and see a demographic breakdown of all the Facebook users in that area. You can build your Audience Persona around identifying the most popular characteristics of the social media users in your target location.

In the next blog, I will delve into different budget strategies and the difference between automatic and custom bidding. I will also look at different ad placements, as well as downsides and benefits of each. Finally, I will offer up some tips on ad creative and visuals that will help improve your ad’s reach and click-through rate.

Need Help?

Are you considering launching your own social media paid advertising campaign, but need a little more assistance with developing a strategy? If you lack the experience or technical know-how to execute your campaign, you’re in luck. Brand & Mortar is here to help. Contact us to set up a consultation.




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