Driving Growth with Social Media Advertising: Benefits and Strategies

Driving Growth with Social Media Advertising: Benefits and Strategies

Driving Growth with Social Media Advertising: Benefits and Strategies



Wednesday, 14 June 2023

14 June 2023


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social media advertising
social media advertising

Table of Contents

      Table of Contents

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        Why Social Media Advertising?

        Welcome to the digital age, where we (and your customers) snap, tweet, like, and share our way through the day.

        No longer is it just a way to keep up with your weird aunt's ever-growing cat collection, or laugh at those awkward skateboarding fails.

        social media, social, marketing

        The social media landscape has evolved into a playground teeming with potential customers, ready to discover their next favourite brand!

        Understanding the Importance of Advertising on Social Media

        Whether you're a tech-savvy start-up, or a traditional business taking your first digital steps, it's time to wake up and smell the internet.

        With over 4 billion people on various social platforms, it's the perfect place to show off your products or services.

        Graph displaying the total active social media users in billions across all platforms from 2017 to 2023

        Imagine being able to talk directly to your customers, understand their needs, wants and wishes, and provide them with products and services that tick all the right boxes.

        This is the magic that social media advertising brings to your business. When done right, social media advertising can easily drive business growth in ways that were either difficult straight-up impossible before:

        • Expanding your reach to global audiences.

        • Building brand loyalty through direct engagement.

        • Accelerating sales with targeted promotions.

        • Gathering customer insights for improved offerings.

        The social sphere might seem a bit confusing at first, but don't worry - that's where this guide comes in.

        In This Guide...

        We've compiled some of the most important info to wrap your head around it all, in easy-to-digest chunks covering the important topics:

        With a bit of strategy, creativity and savvy, there's really no limit to what you can achieve with social media ads. Let's get started:

        Benefits of Social Media Ads

        1. Reaching Your Target Audience Effectively

        Imagine trying to find a needle in a haystack. Now imagine that all you've got to do is call out, and the needle comes whizzing out to you. That's essentially what social media advertising can do. But what does this mean?

        Target audience

        We're all aware that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram saves more information about us than we'd really care to know.

        It might feel a bit strange, but, as an advertiser, you can use this information tastefully to call out to, or hone in on, your target audience based on important identifiers such as:

        • Location

        • Age

        • Interests

        • Behaviour

        • Even relationship status!

        This allows you to show your ads specifically to groups that are looking for a product or service like yours, instead of taking wild guesses and wasting time and effort seeing what sticks.

        2. Cost-Effective Advertising with High ROI

        The cost of effective paid ads doesn't have to put a dent in your savings.

        With a comparatively small budget, and a high quality ad campaign, you could reach thousands, or even millions, of potential customers.

        And the best part? You can track every like, click, share, comment, and sale, giving you a clear picture of your return on investment (ROI).

        So, whether you're filthy rich or pinching pennies, you can easily evaluate your ROI and know if you're spending your money wisely or if it's time to switch things up.

        3. Benefits of Different Ad Types

        If you've explored advertising before, you'll remember the time when a single ad type was enough.

        Nowadays, with the rise of social platforms, you've got a whole buffet of ad types to choose from.

        From spicy video ads that tell a captivating story, to striking image ads, you have a whole array of tools available to woo your target audience.

        graph showing different ad types available on different social media platforms

        Let's briefly explore some of the biggest social platforms for advertising:

        • Facebook Video Ads: Video content is a powerful tool for engagement. Facebook video ads can be used in the news feed, Stories, or even as in-stream videos.

        • Instagram Carousel Ads: These Instagram ads allow users to swipe through a series of images or videos, with a call-to-action button that leads them directly to your website.

        • Instagram Stories Ads: Full-screen ads that appear between users' stories, these ads are perfect for increasing brand awareness and reaching a younger target audience.

        • LinkedIn Sponsored Content: These native ads run in the LinkedIn feed with options for single image ads, video ads, or carousel ads.

        • Twitter Promoted Tweets: Promoted tweets look like regular tweets but are promoted to users who don't follow your Twitter account.

        • YouTube Video Ads: These ads appear before or during videos on YouTube. They're a great way to reach a large audience and build brand recognition.

        It's important to experiment with different types of ads and monitor their performance to determine what works best for your business.

        Remember, these are just a few, and the choice of ad type depends on your goals, target audience, and the nature of your message.

        4. Social Media Advertising vs Traditional Advertising

        Imagine being at a party. In one corner, you have traditional advertising, the old-school chap, a little hard of hearing, telling the same stories over and over.

        In the other corner, there's social media advertising, the life of the party, chatting, engaging, and making everyone feel included.

        Infograph showing bubbles containing icons represents elements of both traditional marketing and social media marketing

        Unlike traditional advertising, which blasts a generic message to anyone within earshot, social media advertising is like having a personal conversation with your audience.

        Learning how to target your audience specifically, without having to worry about missing the mark, is crucial for crafting effective social media advertising campaigns.

        Plus, with real-time feedback and analytics, you can continue this line of communication with your audience and build a lasting relationship with your audience.

        5. Building Brand Awareness and Recognition

        If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a well-placed social media ad could be worth a thousand likes (or more!). These platforms provide an excellent stage for your brand.

        With eye-catching creatives, catchy copy, and strategic targeting, your brand could become as recognisable as Heisenberg's bowler hat.

        Here are a few ways you can harness the power of social media advertising to build brand awareness and recognition:

        • Tell your brand story: Use your paid ads to communicate what your brand stands for. What's your origin story? What's your mission? What sets you apart? Remember, people connect with stories, not just products.

        • Showcase your products or services: Feature your best-selling products or services in your ads. Highlight their features, benefits, and what makes them unique.

        • Run a contest or giveaway: Everybody loves a freebie! Running a contest or giveaway can generate buzz, increase engagement, and get more eyes on your brand.

        • Leverage user-generated content: Feature photos, videos, or reviews from your happy customers in your ads. It’s a powerful way to build trust and showcase your products in action.

        • Educate your audience: Create ads that provide useful information related to your industry or product. It positions your brand as an expert and keeps your audience engaged.

        • Use consistent branding: Ensure your ads reflect your brand's visual identity and voice. Consistency in colours, font, style, and tone can make your brand instantly recognisable.

        Remember, brand awareness doesn't happen overnight. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Consistently showing up in your audience's feed with content that resonates with them will gradually build awareness and recognition for your brand.

        6. Driving Traffic and Lead Generation

        If your website is feeling a bit lonely, it might be time to pay a bit more attention to your social media presence!

        Social Media can be your secret weapon for driving more traffic and generating those all-important leads.

        Here's a few ways how:

        • Driving Traffic to Your Website: Strategic ad placement can guide social media users directly to your site. By highlighting the benefits of visiting – be it an informative blog post, a cool product, or a not-to-be-missed sale – you can pique their curiosity and encourage those clicks.

        • Increasing Enquiries About Your Services: By showcasing your services in your social media ads, you can spark interest and invite enquiries. Make sure to highlight what sets your services apart and why the reader can't afford to miss out.

        • Converting Leads into Customers: It's not just about attracting new leads; it's also about nurturing them until they're ready to become customers. With retargeting ads, you can stay top-of-mind and gently guide your leads down the conversion path.

        So, get ready to roll out the welcome mat and greet your new customers!

        Exploring Social Media Platforms for Advertising

        Navigating the realm of social media ads can feel daunting, we know. Each platform - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube - boasts its unique culture, audience, and yes, even ad costs.

        social media, social, marketing

        Choosing the right platform(s) for your advertising efforts is crucial. It's not just about where your audience hangs out, but also about where your ad campaigns can fetch the most value.

        1. Facebook Ads: Reaching a Diverse Audience

        Facebook has 2.9 billion active users. Kind of scary right? Don't let it intimidate you though. From millennials sharing memes to grandmas posting their pets, it's a melting pot of diverse audiences.

        Social advert

        Using Facebook ads, you can reach this vast crowd, making it perfect for almost any type of business.

        Whether you're selling eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes or offering salsa dancing classes, Facebook's sophisticated targeting tools let you reach the right people at the right time.

        2. Instagram Ads: Harnessing Visual Content

        Instagram is the art gallery of the social media world. It's a visual feast filled with beautifully curated photos, catchy videos, and engaging stories.


        If your product or service is visually appealing, or you're a whizz at creating amazing content, then Instagram Ads might just be your ticket to success.

        From stylish fashion brands to quirky cafes, businesses are leveraging Instagram's aesthetic appeal to showcase their products and services in the most enticing ways.

        So, it's time to unleash your creativity and let your brand shine!

        3. Twitter Ads: Engaging in Real-time Conversations

        Twitter, the speed-talking social media platform, is all about being in the moment. News, opinions, debates, even customer complaints – everything unravels in real-time on Twitter.

        If your business thrives on timely communication and engagement, then Twitter ads could be your new best friend.

        With Twitter's promoted tweets, you can amplify your message, join trending conversations, and engage directly with your customers.

        Think of it as your very own digital soapbox. Now, who's got something to say?

        4. LinkedIn Ads: Targeting Professionals

        LinkedIn is like the corporate conference of the social media world, teeming with professionals discussing industry trends and networking opportunities.

        linkedin ads

        If you're a B2B business or a recruitment agency, LinkedIn Ads could be your golden ticket.

        With LinkedIn's precise targeting options, you can reach decision-makers, job seekers, or even specific industries.

        So, if you're selling productivity software or headhunting for a tech startup, LinkedIn is the platform for you.

        5. YouTube Ads: Leveraging Video Content

        YouTube, the blockbuster of social media platforms, has over 2 billion users tuning in to watch everything from Peaky Blinders shorts to insightful TED talks.

        If you've got a knack for storytelling or a message that needs more than a static image, then YouTube Ads can bring your brand to the big screen.

        From short bumper ads that tease your audience to longer, storytelling ads that captivate viewers, YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to suit your brand. So, lights, camera, action!

        Understanding Social Media Advertising Costs

        Social media ad costs can sometimes feel a bit wild. One minute you think you've got it figured out, and the next minute everything changes!

        But don't worry, we're going to help clear things up.

        Several factors can influence how much your social media advertising will cost:

        • Platform: Just like buying a posh espresso or a budget cup of joe, different platforms come with different costs. Instagram might be pricier than Facebook, and LinkedIn could cost more than Twitter. So, choose your platform wisely!

        • Audience: Targeting a niche audience can be more expensive than a broader group. But remember, you want quality, not just quantity.

        • Ad Quality: Social platforms want to keep their users happy, so they favour high-quality social ads. The better your ad, the less you might have to pay. So, no cutting corners on creative, okay?

        • Time of Year: Holiday season got you feeling generous? Well, you're not alone! Advertising costs can rise during peak times when everyone's clamouring for attention.

        So, while budgeting for your social media advertising, make sure you take these factors into account.

        Cost Comparison Between Different Social Media Platforms

        Each social media platform is unique, just like your brand! They come with their own audiences, ad formats, and, as mentioned above, advertising costs.

        Here's a quick comparison:

        • Facebook: This versatile platform can be quite affordable, but costs can vary based on your targeting.

        • Instagram: Generally a bit pricier than Facebook, but its high engagement rates could mean more bang for your buck.

        • Twitter: With lower costs per click, Twitter can be a cost-effective option, especially for real-time engagement.

        • LinkedIn: This professional platform often has higher costs, but if you're a B2B company, it could be worth every penny.

        • YouTube: With costs per view instead of costs per click, YouTube could offer good value if you've got compelling video content.

        Remember, it's not just about the cost, but also the value you get for your investment.

        Tips to Optimize Your Social Media Ad Spend

        Now that we've covered the costs, let's look at how you can get the most out of your social media ad spend:

        • Know Your Audience: Understanding your audience can help you target your ads more effectively, reducing wasted spend.

        • Test and Learn: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Test different ad formats, creatives, and platforms to see what works best for you.

        • Quality Over Quantity: Invest in creating high-quality ads that engage your audience. A good ad could lower your costs and boost your results.

        So, ready to make every penny count? With the right approach, your social media advertising can deliver excellent value for your investment. It's like getting a designer brand at a bargain price!

        Creating Effective Social Media Ad Campaigns

        Trying to launch one of the next great ad campaigns?

        Below we've outlined the steps we use at Plug Social Media to launch successful social ad campaigns.

        1. Setting Clear Campaign Objectives

        Before you set sail on the sea of social media marketing, you need a compass to guide you, and that’s where campaign objectives come in.

        First, we like to identify a few key things, like are you looking to:

        • Increase brand awareness?

        • Drive traffic to your website?

        • Get more people to download your shiny new app?

        Identifying these goals are crucial because these objectives will shape your entire campaign, from ad design to targeting specifics. In essence, they are the roadmap we use to ensure your ad campaign is headed in the right direction.

        They keep your campaign focused and measurable, and ultimately, they are the yardstick by which we can determine your success.

        2. Understanding Your Target Users

        Imagine trying to sell swimming trunks at the North Pole. It doesn’t make much sense, right?

        That’s why we believe understanding your target users is crucial.

        target user

        We delve into your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviours, and online habits. This is so we can tailor your ads to resonate with them, making your ad campaign more effective than a belly laugh at a stand-up show.

        We use demographic, geographic, and psychographic data, to ensure your social ads reach the right people at the right time.

        Plus, with dynamic ads, we can personalise your message based on user behaviour, making your ads as relevant as possible.

        3. Creating Engaging Ad Creatives

        Ad creatives are the star of any campaign, so it's important to let them shine!

        We use our graphic design expertise to produce high-quality images, compelling copy, and clear call-to-actions.

        Remember, your ad should capture attention, evoke emotion, and prompt action. It should be the James Bond of social ads – stylish, impactful, and impossible to ignore!

        4. Choosing the Right Ad Types

        From video ads that tell a compelling story, to carousel ads that showcase your products, each ad type offers unique benefits.

        Before making a pick, we put specific importance on considering your:

        • Campaign objectives.

        • Audience preferences.

        • The nature of your product or service.

        These specific factors are important when deciding what type of ads to use, because, for example, certain audiences might favour certain platforms where certain ad types do best.

        Tips for Social Media Advertising Success

        We know that unlocking the true advantages of social media advertising requires more than just crafting a catchy ad and crossing your fingers.

        Below, we're sharing some important tips for success including:

        • Incorporating Video Ads for Greater Engagement

        • Leveraging UGC (User-Generated Content)

        • Using Carousel & Collection Ads

        • Effective Use of Story Ads

        • A/B Testing and Campaign Optimization

        • Catering to Mobile Users

        Remember: it's an art form, requiring a blend of creativity, strategy, and a good understanding of your audience!

        1. Incorporating Video Ads for Greater Engagement

        Ever watched a video of a puppy learning to walk or a chef preparing a gourmet meal and found yourself totally engrossed?

        That's the power of video! In an increasingly visual world, video ads can grab attention, evoke emotion, and tell a story in a way that static images can't.

        So, why not add a bit of action to your social media advertising campaign?

        Whether it's a short, snappy clip or a longer, narrative-driven ad, video can increase engagement, boost brand recall, and even improve conversion rates. Just remember to keep it authentic, entertaining, and relevant to your audience.

        It's like making your very own mini-movie!

        2. Leveraging User-Generated Content

        User-generated content (UGC) is like the digital version of word-of-mouth advertising. It's content created by your customers, showcasing your products or services in real-world situations.

        You know, like those Instagram posts of people flaunting your trendy sneakers, or reviews of your mouth-watering vegan burgers.

        So, why not sprinkle some UGC magic into your social media marketing strategy? It's authentic, relatable, and can boost credibility. Plus, it's a fantastic way to engage your customers and build a community around your brand.

        Go on, give your customers the spotlight and watch your brand shine!

        3. Utilising Carousel and Collection Ads

        These ad formats let you showcase multiple products or features in a single ad, giving your audience more to engage with.

        Whether you want to highlight different uses of a single product, showcase a range of products, or tell a story in a sequence, these ad formats can be incredibly effective.

        4. Effective Use of Stories Ads

        Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn offer Stories – short, engaging pieces of content that disappear after 24 hours. And Stories ads are a fantastic way to grab this transient attention.

        With their full-screen format, Stories ads offer a more immersive experience. You can use images, videos, text, stickers, and even interactive elements like polls or quizzes.

        Remember, with stories ads, the goal is to engage, not hard-sell.

        5. A/B Testing and Campaign Optimization

        A/B testing in social media advertising is like trying on two outfits to see which one looks better. It involves creating two versions of an ad (version A and version B, hence the name), with one key difference between them.

        This could be the headline, image, call-to-action, or any other element.

        By running both versions simultaneously, you can see which one performs better, and then optimize your campaign accordingly. So, no more guesswork – let your audience tell you what they prefer!

        6. Adapting Your Strategy for Mobile Users

        Let's face it, most of us are practically glued to our phones. So, when it comes to social media advertising, a mobile-first approach is essential.

        From ensuring your creatives look good on smaller screens, to optimizing your landing pages for mobile, it's important to provide a seamless experience for your mobile users.

        Just imagine: your ad could be the first thing someone sees when they wake up, or their distraction during a dull meeting (we won't tell!).

        So, make sure your ads are ready to impress, no matter where your audience is scrolling.

        Measuring Social Media Advertising Success

        Understanding Key Advertising Metrics

        In the world of social media advertising, understanding your metrics is like reading your tea leaves. They can predict success, indicate areas for improvement, and help you understand how well your campaign is doing.

        Here are a few key metrics to keep an eye on:

        • Reach: This tells you how many people have seen your ad.

        • Impressions: This counts how many times your ad has been displayed, even if it's to the same person multiple times.

        • Clicks: This is the number of times people have clicked on your ad.

        • Engagement: This measures likes, shares, comments, and other interactions with your ad.

        • Conversion: This is the ultimate goal – the action you want people to take, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.

        Keeping an eye on these metrics can help you measure your campaign's performance and optimise for better results.

        Evaluating Social Media Advertising ROI

        Just like making sure you're getting your money's worth from your Friday night takeaway, it's important to evaluate your Return on Investment (ROI).

        At Plug we like to use social media monitoring tools to keep an eye on how our clients are soaring.

        ROI is calculated by dividing the gains from your investment (like sales or leads) by the cost of your investment (your ad spend).

        return on investment

        It tells you how much you're getting back for every pound you spend.

        Utilising Social Media Advertising Statistics for Improvement

        Social platforms provide a treasure trove of statistics that can help you improve your campaigns.

        From audience insights (like what time your audience is most active) to ad performance (like which ad format is performing best), these statistics can guide your strategy and help you get more from your ad spend.

        So, put on your detective hat and start digging!


        Embracing the Future of Digital Advertising

        There you have it – your guide to social media advertising, wrapped up with a bow!

        With its ability to reach a wide audience, engage users, and deliver measurable results, social media advertising is a potent tool for businesses of all sizes.

        Remember, the key is to keep experimenting, learning, and adapting your strategy to suit your audience and objectives. So, embrace this exciting world of digital advertising, and who knows – you could be the next big success story!

        So, are you ready to dive into social media advertising and swim with the big fishes?

        Good luck, and remember, we're cheering for you every step of the way!