Welcome to “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Advertising Platforms.” In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives, connecting people and businesses worldwide. One of the most powerful tools at the disposal of businesses today is social media advertising. This guide is your go-to resource for understanding and mastering the diverse landscape of social media advertising platforms. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of each platform, providing valuable insights and strategies to help you harness the full potential of social media advertising. Get ready to elevate your marketing game and achieve remarkable results in the ever-evolving world of social media advertising. Let’s dive in!
How to Manage Your Social Media Advertising Campaigns?
To manage a successful social media advertising campaign, consider the following:
Run your ad campaigns manually.
Out of the three ways to manage a campaign, running it will be your cheapest and most straightforward option. All you have to do is choose an advertising platform and set up your campaign.
When you run an ad campaign manually, you can allocate your entire budget towards testing and discovering the best ads without needing additional funds for ad management tools or agency fees. By taking control of your campaigns, you can develop a keen eye for advertising, enabling you to learn and enhance your campaigns in the future. Rather than relying on someone else to handle the work, you can become a proficient expert who speaks the language of advertising, even if you decide to enlist the help of external advertisers later on.
Becoming proficient in advertising requires a significant amount of time and dedication, which implies that the more time you dedicate to advertising, the less you can allocate to other aspects of your business. For business owners, investing extensive hours in mastering advertising might need to align better with their demanding work schedules.
Moreover, it’s important to note that investing substantial time in becoming an advertising expert does not guarantee the success of your ads. Venturing into advertising carries inherent uncertainties, and investing such a considerable amount of time is risky, potentially yielding unsatisfactory outcomes.
Who is it ideal for?
Running your campaigns manually may be your best bet if you’re operating on a tight budget and don’t have the means to hire an advertising agency.
However, unless you’re already a seasoned advertiser, you will need to be willing to invest time and effort to learn.
Run your ad campaigns using automated software.
It should not be surprising that numerous third-party solutions are now available to assist you in managing your campaigns, given that social media ad spending in the United States is predicted to reach more than $122 billion by 2026.
Instead of utilizing Facebook’s Ad Manager, third-party solutions like AdEspresso or Revealbot can simplify optimizing Facebook ad campaigns and analyzing outcomes.
Businesses can also use automated technologies like Adext, which manages the entire campaign using AI while letting you concentrate on other aspects of your business.
With so many tools available, you can optimize campaigns, save time, and ensure that customers’ money is spent on advertisements that result in sales.
Even though they are frequently fairly inexpensive, third-party tools are nevertheless an additional expense.
Automated software carries the same danger of spending money but not producing the intended outcomes of manually conducting your advertising campaign. It could be more difficult to pinpoint the areas where the advertising manager needs improvement because you need complete control over the campaign process.
Who is it ideal for?
Using third-party tools is the happy medium for merchants working on a tight budget but needing more time to invest in running their campaigns. Creating a successful campaign is achievable with automated software and minimal invested time.
For business owners with limited resources, this is likely the best option.
Hire a professional to run your ad campaigns.
While this option is often the most expensive, it’s also the simplest and will likely reap the most benefits. Rather than relying on your own expertise or automated software, hiring a professional is likely to be the best option for achieving the results you want.
The fact that an advertising expert knows what they’re doing is undoubtedly their greatest benefit. As a result, there is a significantly greater likelihood that you will achieve your goals.
Employing a managed service also frees you from doing any work, allowing you to put your time and effort into other parts of your organization that require more concentration.
Although you would have to pay a charge and spend money on advertising, the idea is that your advertising will result in regular purchases and keep you in the black.
The main disadvantage of using an advertising agency is that you may only spend a decent amount of money if you use a decent one.
Make careful to conduct your research before hiring reputable experts. Unfortunately, some businesses pose as authorities to con people into spending their money.
Who is it ideal for?
Hiring a managed service is ideal for those with the budget to spend and are eager for immediate sales.
Since social media advertising is easily measurable — if your ads aren’t performing up to your standards — you’ll know who is responsible and if you need to hire a new and better agency.
How to Build a Creative Social Media Advertising Strategy
Making a successful social media advertising campaign is one thing, but crafting a creative ad strategy is often another matter. Before you begin, consider the following:
Determine what to sell.
If your e-commerce business revolves around a single product or already possesses an unmistakable bestseller, you can proceed without engaging in this step.
Nevertheless, if your business encompasses a vast product catalog, it becomes imperative to identify the most valuable products that should take center stage in your advertising endeavors.
By calculating the value of each product, you can ascertain which ones generate substantial profits yet need to be more adequately represented in your ad account. Consequently, you can make appropriate adjustments to prioritize these products. While creating effective advertisements for products with average sales is possible, featuring a bestselling product is likely to yield higher conversions and sales.
Research your audience.
Before selling to your audience, you must understand who they are and what they want. Knowing the functional purpose of your product and what your customers want isn’t always black and white.
To further know your audience, consider the following tips:
- Whether positive or negative, customer reviews are valuable insights into what your customers want and how they view your product. These reviews can come from your online store, blogs, YouTube videos, or Reddit posts.
- Google Trends and keyword searches can help you understand customers’ thoughts about different products or topics.
- Search for related hashtags on your brand’s social networks. This could be an excellent opportunity to find organic search for your products.
Use a creative platform.
The emergence of social media has unlocked numerous new possibilities for digital advertising, providing businesses with the means to leverage the inherent capabilities of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Despite social media platforms’ limitations, they still present valuable opportunities for businesses to engage in creative customer interactions. Whether it involves developing an informative FAQ section, directly engaging with customers, or cultivating a consistent brand presence, social media can reshape the pathways and trajectory of your advertising strategies.
Create a digital marketing campaign.
Once you know your product and audience, it’s time to start putting the pieces into action. Here are four steps to get you on your way to building a successful digital marketing campaign:
Define your goals
Establishing clear and achievable business goals forms a crucial foundation for crafting a successful campaign.
While it may be tempting to dive into a campaign fueled by grand visions and ambitions, these aspirations can easily fall short without a focused approach. Whether your objective is to enhance brand awareness, attract a larger social media following, or improve your SEO ranking, it is essential to define a specific goal that will serve as your guiding light throughout the process. A well-defined goal will help steer your decision-making and ensure your campaign remains on track and aligned with your desired outcomes.
Identify your target audience.
It is imperative to have a comprehensive and concise understanding of your audience. The more you familiarize yourself with your customers and their desires, the more effectively you can tailor your advertising efforts to fulfill their needs.
By gaining a deeper understanding of who your customers are and what they seek, you can refine your advertising strategies to better resonate with them. This knowledge allows you to craft messages and campaigns that align with their preferences, resulting in a more impactful and targeted approach. Ultimately, by knowing your audience well, you can enhance the effectiveness of your advertising and establish stronger connections with your customers.
Create customer personas
An in-depth description of your target customer’s characteristics, including age, geography, occupation, income, and other factors that may affect how they choose products or services, is called a customer persona.
Determine your budget
Assessing your budget is key to determining your limitations and how you should allocate your resources.
Social media marketing is generally less expensive than traditional marketing, so your investments in digital will often give you more bang for your buck.
Improve your performance.
Return on advertising spend (ROAS) can clue you in on whether your ads are working, but they can’t tell you why if they aren’t.
You can also use the AIDA system to help businesses understand how customers experience advertisements and content. Designed in 1898, AIDA is a behavioral model that highlights the four effects an ad should produce in a customer:
- Attention: How the content stops the prospect.
- Interest: How the content holds the prospect.
- Desire: How and why the content causes the prospect to explore further.
- Action: How the content effectively sets up the final desired results, from purchases to conversions.
Best Social Media Advertising Platforms to Advertise On
When deciding where to place your ads, remember that each social media site holds a unique audience — find out where your ideal customers are and meet them there.
The most popular platforms for social media advertising include:
Being the largest social media platform globally, Facebook is a dependable choice when considering advertising avenues. With its immense popularity spanning diverse demographics, there is a high likelihood that your target audience is actively engaging with the platform.
In addition to facilitating online connections and content sharing, Facebook provides merchants with valuable opportunities to promote their products and services. Here are several Facebook advertising options that can assist you in achieving your campaign goals:
Image and Video ads
Image and video ads are Facebook’s most basic ad formats and among the simplest to design. Advertisers can highlight new products, etc, services, and brands through a single high-quality image or video and use them at any point in the sales funnel.
Stories are full-screen images, videos, or carousel ads presented through Facebook, Messenger, or Instagram. However, unlike typical stories, story ads do not disappear after 24 hours, giving them greater breadth and freedom of expression.
Carousel ads allow advertisers to show two or more images or videos within a single ad. Each ad can have its headline, description, link, or call to action (CTA).
Slideshow ads are video-like ads that use up to ten images or a single video displayed within a slideshow. They differ from video ads due to their fast-loading and easy-to-create nature.
Collection ads make it easier for people to discover, browse and purchase products from their phones. Each ad features an introductory video or image with several accompanying images in a grid-like layout, pulling together in an immersive experience.
Messenger ads are presented in the Chats tab of the Messenger app. If a customer taps on the ad, they’ll be sent a detailed view of the product or service, complete with a call to action to go to a site or begin a conversation with an agent.
Playable ads are interactive video ads designed for mobile app advertisers to drive customers to their applications with a demo-like process. You can entice users without being intrusive by allowing users to test-drive your app before downloading or purchasing.
Renowned for its captivating photos and videos, Instagram is an optimal platform for brands with visually enticing products that seamlessly blend into visual media. Furthermore, Instagram boasts an extensive user base, exhibiting the second-highest engagement rate among social media platforms and attracting a predominantly youthful audience.
If your business and target market fit both characteristics, Instagram ads could be your best option, offering advertisements such as:
Image and Video ads
Because Instagram advertising relies so heavily on images and videos, photo and video ads are the most common type you will use and come across. Between posts by their friends and followers, users can see advertisements pointing them toward a company’s page, website, or store.
Instant Experience ads
Instant Experience (IX), formerly known as Canvas, ads are an immersive full-screen format designed primarily for mobile devices. They can be supported in both Instagram stories and feeds.
Like with Facebook, collection ads are designed to help users uncover, browse and purchase products — all from their mobile devices. Each collection ad includes a cover video or image with smaller product images added below.
Explore feed ads
Explore feed ads lie within Instagram’s Explore page, where users discover new content, watch new videos, and find new shopping experiences. With these ads, businesses can find receptive customers where they want to be found.
Polling sticker ads
Polling ads are an interactive format used in Instagram stories to drive engagement and find white looking. These ads, while simple, can be very effective in giving your audience a way to interact with your business.
Instagram Shopping ads
Instagram Shopping ads enable customers to tap a product tag to learn more about an item and discover how to purchase it. These ads are used within Instagram Shop to maximize the reach of your products and boost shoppable posts.
Since its inception in 2006, Twitter has consistently remained one of the most popular social media channels. It has become the go-to platform for staying updated on breaking news and actively engaging with big and small influencers across various domains.
Twitter ads offer several different options for brands to create advertising, including:
Image and Video ads
Twitter image and video ads allow businesses to highlight their products and capture the attention of potential customers. Easy to create and use, their ads can point people toward a site or drive campaigns via viral engagement.
Carousel ads allow you to tell a story and drive users to your website or app. You can showcase multiple products or promotions with up to six horizontally swipeable images or videos.
Moments ads allow users to craft a collection of Tweets to tell an immersive story beyond the normal character limits. They can provide different perspectives and promote unique stories.
Twitter text ads resemble a standard tweet, including likes, replies, favorites, and retweets. These native ads are meant to feel like regular Twitter content, allowing users to expand the reach of their business organically.
Follower ads promote an account to a targeted audience, building awareness and attracting new followers. They appear as Promoted Tweets in the target’s timeline, appearing natural and allowing for organic discovery.
Twitter Amplify ads
Twitter Amplify Ads are pre-roll advertisements that align brands with the premium content your customers are already watching, from highlights to viral clips. You can build off of a pre-existing audience by going where the customer is already located.
Twitter Takeover ads
Twitter Takeover ads place your brand at the top of the conversation as the first ad of the day. When your target audience refreshes their Twitter Timeline, your ad will be the first one they’ll see, leading to greater engagement.
A relatively newer player in the social advertising game, TikTok holds enormous potential for reaching potential customers, especially among younger audiences. In just three years, the platform has grown in the US from 35.7 million users in 2019 to more than 94 million in 2022.
TikTok ad options are growing and include the following:
Image and Video ads
Despite being a video platform, TikTok supports image and video ad formats. Brands can place both ad types via TikTok’s news feed apps or between videos on a user’s feed.
In-Feed ads allow brands to achieve their marketing objectives easily and flexibly. Appearing in a user’s For You Feed, these ads are designed to capture attention and drive engagement.
Hashtag challenges ads
Branded Hashtag Challenge ads transform how brands interact with their audience by sparking trends and cultural movements through viral challenges or hashtags.
Pinterest, adorned with beautiful wedding photos, captivating cooking videos, and fashionable reels, stands as another visually-focused platform. It is an ideal platform for social media advertising, given that its users primarily utilize it to discover and procure products.
Pinterest ads use a highly targeted search engine, allowing brands to advertise via the following options:
Standard and Video Pin ads
Standard and Video Pin ads are the primary option advertisers, allowing brands to present high-quality content that will stand out in people’s feeds. You can capture people’s attention and drive them toward engagement through these ads.
Carousel Pin ads
Carousel Pin ads a Standard Pin, but with multiple images. They are a fantastic way to showcase a product’s different features and capabilities or even to advertise multiple products at once.
Idea Pin ads
Idea Pin ads are a multi-page spread to share ideas, show off the brand’s personality and drive people towards your store with unique content.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network globally, and it boasts a vast user base of professionals and can target customers based on their job qualifications. Unlike many other platforms that primarily cater to B2C advertising, the nature of LinkedIn advertising makes it particularly well-suited for B2B advertising campaigns.
There are several types of LinkedIn ads, including:
Single Image and Video ads
Single image and video ads allow brands to captivate a professional audience with a native image or video content at every stage of the buyer journey — all displayed across the normal LinkedIn feed.
Carousel Ads allow brands to tell an interactive story through a swipeable series of cards, images, or videos in the LinkedIn feed. These brands are extensively customizable, from the content to the landing URL.
Event Ads allow businesses to amplify LinkedIn events or webinars to drive maximum attendance.
Document Ads help brands and businesses collect leads and drive customer engagement by sharing documents within the LinkedIn feed.
Conversation Ads work by engaging prospects in LinkedIn Messaging to drive professional conversations and promote products or services.
Message Ads allow businesses to send direct messages to prospects to spark immediate action and begin conversations.
Lead Gen Form ads
Lead Generation Forms make it easy for brands to collect quality leads from ads on LinkedIn through pre-filled forms or documents.
Text Ads can drive new customers to your business through compelling headlines, brief descriptions, or optional images.
Spotlight Ads showcase a brand’s products, services, or events to increase traffic to your website, landing page, or store.
Use existing connections to promote your LinkedIn page and acquire additional followers.
Snapchat, known for its casual nature, predominantly captures the attention of millennials and Gen Zers. However, with a staggering revenue of $2.8 billion in 2021 and an audience surpassing 300 million, Snapchat is a formidable platform and a significant opportunity for advertisers.
There are several different Snapchat ad types, including:
Single Image and Video ads
Single Image and Video Ads are full-screen ads that are easy to create and can be used for all business objectives, from awareness to purchase.
Collection Ads showcase a series of products through four tappable tiles, providing a frictionless path for users to browse, select and purchase.
Story Ads make it simple to reach users with 3-20 Singe Image or Video ads through the Content page or a branded tile in the Discover section.
Lenses AR ads
Lenses AR Experience ads allow brands to create interactive moments with augmented reality experiences that users can play with or send to friends.
Commercials are non-skippable ads that appear for six seconds up to three minutes. They are used within Snapchat’s curated content to engage with the audience and drive brand awareness.
Filter ads use Snapchat’s various artistic overlays to drive conversations as they visit different areas or participate in viral engagements.
Want to learn more about which social channels best fit your business? Take our omnichannel personality quiz to find out.
Social Media Advertising Tactics
Once you’ve determined your social platform and the types of ads you want to display, it’s time to put your advertising wheels in motion. To help get you started, here are several tips to get more eyes on your content and turn viewers into customers:
Targeting your audience involves honing in on specific demographics, such as age, gender, occupation, or interests.
It is advantageous to use various techniques, like doing keyword searches, putting customer surveys into place, conducting interviews, and building well-defined client personas to improve your understanding of your customers and effectively target them. With these tactics, you may gain a thorough grasp of the preferences and traits of your target market, which will help you build more specialized marketing plans. By putting these strategies into practice, you may learn a lot about your target market, giving you the knowledge you need to create marketing campaigns that are more effective and personalized.
In addition to targeting new and potential customers, it is equally important to retarget existing customers. By doing so, you can reinforce your brand in their minds, even after they have made a purchase. Retargeting existing customers is not only a cost-effective approach but also helps to maintain their engagement and loyalty.
Promote on social media platforms.
Enhancing your social media strategy is a pivotal element of social media advertising. Leveraging your organic content by promoting and repurposing it across various social media channels can support your advertising campaigns. This approach enables you to effectively narrate your brand story and differentiate it from competitors, ultimately helping your brand to stand out in the digital landscape.
We paid search and social ads.
Using remarketing lists for search ads, you can customize your PPC search advertisements depending on whether a customer has visited your online store and the pages they viewed (RLSA). You can target customers already familiar with your company in this way.
To increase the effectiveness of this, target both people who are familiar with and unfamiliar with your brand by combining paid search with social ads. You can increase brand recognition and assist clients in getting more familiar with your products by first targeting social media ads. They will feel more at ease and likely to click on your website when they see your PPC advertisements.
Improve quality score.
The quality score is a ranking metric used by search engines to assess the quality of your keywords and PPC ads. It holds significant importance in the realm of social media advertising. A higher quality score corresponds to a higher ad ranking and increased impressions at a lower cost per engagement.
You can identify the top-performing paid ads by engaging in organic posting on social advertising platforms and diligently tracking the engagement levels for each ad. This information allows you to optimize your social media advertising strategy and allocate resources effectively toward the ads that yield the best results.
Optimize user engagement.
Optimizing your ad content is one of the primary methods to increase website traffic and drive sales.
In addition to other essential ranking factors like keywords, page speed, and mobile friendliness, user engagement is critical in SEO. User engagement metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, and conversion rate, are vital for determining the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.
While user engagement may not be a direct core ranking factor for search engines, high CTRs, and conversion rates contribute to better organic search rankings and increased conversions. Therefore, improving user engagement can positively impact your organic search visibility and drive more successful outcomes.
Mobile-friendly ads are a must.
With more than 98% of Facebook users accessing the platform through mobile devices, ensuring that your ads are optimized for mobile use is crucial. It’s about making your ads fit on a mobile screen and designing them with the mobile user experience in mind.
To effectively engage mobile users, your ads should feature legible branding, clear and sizable text, visually captivating graphics, and interactive elements whenever feasible. These elements enhance the mobile user’s ability to comprehend and interact with your ads, ultimately leading to better engagement and results. By prioritizing mobile-friendly design, you can effectively reach and connect with the vast mobile user base on Facebook.
In conclusion, social media advertising platforms have revolutionized how businesses connect with their target audience. With their vast user bases, precise targeting options, and diverse ad formats, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat offer unprecedented opportunities for brands to reach and engage customers. By understanding each platform’s unique strengths and features, businesses can craft effective advertising strategies that resonate with their audience and drive meaningful results. Whether building brand awareness, increasing conversions, or fostering customer loyalty, social media advertising platforms continue to evolve and provide businesses with powerful tools to amplify their online presence and thrive in the digital landscape. Embracing the potential of these platforms and staying attuned to emerging trends will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the success of any modern marketing strategy.