You’ve seen them all over your social media feeds: ads, ads, and more ads. Ever wonder as you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed where the real content went? Business owners are flooding people’s feeds with sponsored ads because of the success other businesses have had with them. This is the evolution of social media, and it’s here to stay. It has become one of the most beneficial types of marketing across all industries.
According to Cody Neer, a successful CEO of several multimillion-dollar e-commerce companies, social media is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs who work online. Neer uses social media to drive traffic to over 300 of his e-commerce retailers. Most of his success has happened because he has channeled his brands’ social media followers to his stores using Facebook advertising.
So how can you benefit from social media ads, and what are the best practices you need to follow? Here is a simplified list to get you started.
- Develop audience personas.
There are about 1.4 billion active users every day on Facebook, so when you create your ads, remember that it’s all about capturing the attention of your specific audience. Ask yourself who you’re targeting—are they male, female, millennials, baby boomers? What are their interests? Where do they live? Are they local, nationwide, or worldwide? All of these factors should play a role in how you create your ads. The Hootsuite blog offers a guide on how to create well-thought-out audience personas.
- Use your organic posts’ data as a guide.
Look at which of your organic posts on your social media channels get the most traffic, likes, and shares. Use this data to guide you in what type of ads you should serve your audience.
- Tell a story.
The content of your ads should be well thought out. Simply stating that you have a product for sale or you provide a service won’t do your ad justice. Be creative with your words. Think of your audience and how those words will resonate with them. Will they like it? Will they get it? Will it make them click the button and engage with your business?
Emotions play a crucial part in a customer’s decision to make a purchase. For this reason, brand storytelling is an important way to stand out. It allows you to connect with customers, increase brand loyalty, and sell your vision.
- Create engaging videos.
Video content is an important tool to reach your audience. Today’s browser algorithms have changed to prefer video content over other content forms. Leading companies have noticed this; at least 86 percent of businesses make use of video on their websites, and approximately 77 percent use video on social media.
- Provide free content.
Internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk introduced the idea of providing lots of free content on social media in order to entice visitors and get them to buy. He believes that customers hate being sold things but love to buy nevertheless. Offering a copious amount of useful resources and content on social media builds trust with an audience. If you solve their problems, they will love you and be happy to purchase something from you rather than from someone else when they need it.
- Design your ads with mobile devices in mind.
According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, more than 3.25 billion active social media users access social networks through a mobile device. That means more often than not, your customers will see your ads on their mobile device, so it is important to design your ads for a smaller screen. If you have text in your ad, make sure it is large enough and legible enough for someone to quickly see it and read it without having to zoom in.
- Test your ads for optimum performance.
When it comes to social media ads, one of the greatest benefits is instant feedback. You can see within 24 hours or sooner how your ads are performing. If they are performing well, then great, you can leave them running. If the results are not to your liking, you can stop running them, make changes, and run them again to see if the changes make a difference.
Another and more effective way of testing your ads is to do A/B testing (testing one ad against the other to determine which works best). This guide on A/B testing can help you get started.
- Understand your results and report on them.
When you start your ad campaigns, you start with a goal in mind, so it is important to measure your results so you’ll know if you’ve hit your targets. This will allow you to understand what worked and what didn’t so you can make changes going forward.
In today’s competitive environment, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach a niche audience that is interested in what you’re offering. Making use of this powerful resource will help you engage customers and increase sales.