Getting your posts seen without social media advertising can be difficult. Nowadays, social media platforms are a free-for-all, with all types of content being uploaded and competing with one another. It’s therefore no surprise that digital advertising has become a key budget for businesses.

However, complex algorithms have made it even harder for businesses to cut through the white noise. If you are putting your money behind social media advertising, you need to think logically and stylistically about copy, images, and the overall purpose of your ad to make it stand out, rather than blend in.

There’s also a wealth of information that you need to know before developing your social media advertising strategy and setting up a social media ad. That’s why we have collated a checklist of the key points you should consider to help make your digital ad a success.

a mobile with facebook logins open with social media spelt on scrabble letters. A blog outlining social media advertising.
Collating a checklist for social media will help you deliver targeted ads to the right audience. (Image Credit: William Iven)

What do I need to know about social media advertising?

Social media advertising is a great tool to raise awareness, attract new customers and generate leads – if it is done right. 

Often, businesses who use social media advertising operate and schedule on an ad-hoc basis as they are fairly easy to set up on-the-go. However, there is a lot more to social media ads than a nice image and some keyword-focused text. 

image for the social media advertising checklist

With paid-for social media marketing, there are a wide variety of formats, types and platforms to think about. However, before you start, you need to know the do’s, the don’ts, and everything in between. 

Here we have created the following social media advertising checklist – to help you get started and get it right, everytime.

a laptop open on facebook reading to begin a social media checklist
Social media advertising is a great tool to raise awareness of your brand, attract new customers and generate leads that will bring conversions to your site. (Image Credit: Will Francis)

Research ad types

The world of digital advertising can seem a little daunting at first. There are hundreds of different ways you can get your ad seen. But before you start designing or even thinking about your ad – you should know what you’re working with.

We are lucky to have so many methods to choose from when it comes to social media advertising. From a business perspective: it gives us close access to a long list of hard-to-reach audiences and provides us with data on their response rates. This means we can find out what works and what doesn’t and use this information to improve our online advertising practices.
Here’s a brief rundown of what kind of ads you can create at your fingertips on each core social media platform:

  • Facebook: photo ads, video ads, story ads, carousel ads, slideshow ads, collection ads, messenger ads, playable ads;
  • Instagram: photo ads, video ads, story ads, carousel ads, collection ads, ads in explore, IGTV ads;
  • Twitter: Twitter ads;
  • Snapchat: Snap ads, story ads, collection ads, filter ads, Snapchat commercials;
  • TikTik: photo ads, video ads, brand collaborations.

After familiarising yourself with each ad type and its requirements, you will be able to better visualise what direction you want your social media advertising to go in. The next step is who you want your ad to appeal to.

social media buttons to press for easy access to social platforms
Every social media has a wide range of methods of advertising that you can avail of (Image Credit: Norwood Themes)

Know your audience

It is important to recognise that you cannot advertise to everyone. There are no cutting corners, as some people tend to believe if they make a social media ad as general as possible, that it will appeal to a broader audience. This is not the case. Instead, taking the time to understand a niche audience is key.

For social media ads, the platforms you use are highly relevant to the audience you will target. For example, if you’re aiming an ad towards teenagers, TikTok and Snapchat would be the prime places to look. If you’re targeting millennials, Instagram and Twitter are most effective. For parents or people over 30 – Facebook would be your best bet.

If you think about the people you know (friends, family, colleagues) and what their preferred platforms are, this is another good indicator to help you make a decision. 

Consider every format

From mobile to desktop, it matters how your ad looks and fits in with your chosen platform. 

For example, with Instagram, the feed takes up the majority of a user’s screen, therefore it would be beneficial to create an ad that favours eye-catching images or videos, rather than a text-heavy graphic or long caption.

However, each platform has different requirements. While something wordy may not suit Instagram, it would fit better in LinkedIn. This reinstates why there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to social ads. Therefore, we advise you to take the time to understand each platform and follow the audience you are trying to reach.

Another top tip would be to educate yourself on the dimensions needed for each ad and create your own cheat sheet. This will be a handy, time-saving tool to refer to rather than scouring the internet all over again.

a marketer holding a phone with a Instagram grid open, browsing it
Digital ads allow you to easily tailor, save and alter your audience targeting settings for future use, making it much easier for marketers to utilise.
(Image Credit: Georgia de Lotz)

Sincerity over spam

Although we know social media advertising is an effective marketing tool, it is important to limit any spam-like language. Users do not appreciate blatant ads and will make the conscious decision to unfollow businesses that hound their audience with promotional messages. 

That’s why it is recommended that you try to effortlessly blend your ad with your usual organic, unpaid content. If you take this approach when creating your ad, people will be more susceptible to believing it is there to provide them with sincere information, rather than extract a sale out of them.

Try taking a step back and looking at what you already post day-to-day and use this as a starting point. The more implicit the advertising message, the better.

Save your audiences

The good thing about digital ads is that they allow you to easily tailor, save and alter your audience targeting settings for future use. 

It is best that you start out broad with your audience targeting and then begin to streamline your search. Marketing with social media is not an overnight solution; therefore, you will need to be prepared for a trial-and-error situation until you find out what works and who is responding to it. 

Once you have exacted your demographics, it is extremely handy to save these for future use. This means you will have a fully adapted list of audiences to aim your ad at, making the process much more seamless.

By ticking off each step in this checklist, you will be able to achieve seamless, successful social media advertising that people will respond to. By building your knowledge on each of these aspects, you will not only resonate with your chosen audience but generate leads as well as boost your confidence with the process each time. 

Experimenting With Social Media Advertising

When developing your social media advertising strategy, it’s important to recognise the value of experimenting with different ad formats and content. As discussed above, some of the best social media ads are those that effectively promote your products and services while seamlessly blending with other organic content.

With this in mind, understanding the best types of content for your social media ads is critical to ensuring that your target audience resonates with your ads. Here are some recommendations when experimenting with different types of content:

How-To Guides and Tutorials

Content that offers valuable knowledge and information generates engagement and conversions. Because of this, how-to guides and tutorials are incredibly effective at generating conversions as they allow customers to understand how your products and services work. Therefore, the more information that your customers receive about your products and services, the more likely they will take action. 

This type of content can be shown through the following different formats:

  • Video Tutorial: Video is incredibly effective at engaging your audience and communicating your brand messaging. Aim to create video tutorials that include information that the customer will find valuable, such as how to use products, the benefits of utilising particular services, etc.
  • Infographics: Infographics are a great way to summarise the main benefits of utilising your products and services. When developing social media advertising, ensure to create graphics that feature images of your products or services along with text to communicate their benefits.
  • Influencer Collaboration: Consider collaborating with an influencer who could effectively demonstrate the benefits of using your products and services. This can be achieved through short video content or images demonstrating before and after transformations. This type of advertising content is particularly effective at building trust with your audience and having a recognisable face to promote your business.

Testimonials and Customer Reviews

Testimonials and customer reviews are an excellent way to increase the authority of your social media pages and your business. This type of content is important as it communicates positive customer feedback. At the end of the day, people trust other people when deciding which products and services they will use. 

Let’s say for example you are looking for a restaurant to book a dinner and you are stuck between two locations. When you check out their social media pages, both clearly have attractive imagery of their dishes. However, one restaurant utilises social media advertising by promoting ads that display 5-star customer reviews and testimonials communicating how much they have enjoyed their dining experience. In this case, which restaurant would convince you to book a table? The one that utilises testimonials and customer reviews through social media advertising!

This is because customer reviews and testimonials generate a fear of missing out on customers. Therefore, be sure to utilise this type of content when developing social media advertising as this will help convert your reach into customers!

social media advertising

Telling Your Brand Story

Social media advertising is also incredibly effective at promoting brand awareness, including communicating your brand story. In today’s digital age, there are millions of businesses that utilise social media to increase their brand awareness and sell their products and services. Due to the fierce competition online, it is more important than ever to establish your brand identity and communicate your brand story.

If you want to go further with your online presence and social media advertising, ProfileTree offers a range of social media marketing services. If you want to enquire or simply ask for advice, contact us today.

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