6 Types of Instagram Ads [With Examples]

6 Types of Instagram Ads [With Examples]

6 Types of Instagram Ads [With Examples]

Though Facebook still takes the cake for the most popular social media advertising platform, Instagram is steadily gaining its own foothold as a successful, lead-converting option.

Social media advertising is an essential component of any outbound marketing or growth strategy, and many companies are starting to find that when done right, Instagram can produce more of the right results than even Facebook ads. 

In the past, Instagram has gotten the snub because it’s so segmented. Many brands find it difficult to generate an organic following on Instagram, but since Instagram was acquired by Facebook, its advertising capabilities have been unleashed. 

It’s a well-known fact that Instagram gets much more engagement than Facebook. (Check out this blog about Instagram’s epic engagement if that’s news to you.) Combine that with Instagram’s exceptional user experience, and the platform has become quite attractive for digital marketing agencies: there’s plenty of opportunity, Instagram users are highly engaged, and there’s also the simple fact that Instagram ads just look better. 

Two Key Benefits of Instagram Advertising

  • Instagram ads are seamlessly integrated into the platform. It’s very difficult to tell immediately which posts on a feed are ads and which are organic posts. This helps boost ad interaction on the platform.
  • The majority of Instagram ads open up links that remain in-app. So, users are clicking over to the advertiser’s site, but they remain in the app. When they’re done interacting with the advertiser’s site, they can easily click out of it, and Instagram will take them back to their feed, without losing their place.

Because Instagram ads offer very little disruption to the user, they have the potential to do very well. Let’s take a look at the different types of Instagram ads:

Types of Instagram Ads

Instagram ads are set up similarly to Facebook ads, primarily because Facebook owns Instagram. That means you can benefit from the same microtargeting qualities of Facebook, while also benefiting from Instagram’s increased engagement and seamless native ads. 

01. Instagram Photo Ads

Instagram is a visual platform. The entire concept of the social media site is to share imagery, so if you want to advertise effectively, you need to have quality creative. Photo ads are the most basic way to do this. 

Like the title suggests, photo ads are comprised of a photo, along with a description, and a call to action button.

You can also optimize Instagram photo ads to include a “view profile” button, that will take viewers to your Instagram profile if they want to see what else you’ve posted lately, or if they want to click a link in your bio. 

02. Instagram Video Ads

Video is the social media content of the future. It only increases in popularity, especially on Instagram, a platform that was designed with visuals in mind. Take your Instagram ads an extra step forward by using video. 

Video does a better job of engaging your audience, catching their eye with Insta’s autoplay feature, and clueing them into your brand at just a glance. 

Instagram video ads have the same capabilities as photo ads but can do a better job of capturing attention if you have the creative capabilities to produce them. 

This ad from Public Goods is cool as it uses video to cleverly swap out the products that are shown on the ad.

Each new product featured is another opportunity to catch a viewer’s attention and convince them to convert. 

While this might not sound earthshaking, a video ad does the talking for you. It’s a great way to pack a big punch in a very short amount of time. 

03. Instagram Collection and Shopping Ads

If you ask me, these ads are the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

Though they’re particularly useful for quick-decision e-commerce companies, like we’ll see in this example, I can see them being just as effective for those in industrial and commercial industries with specific parts to sell. 

Collection ads look like this one from Aerie. At first glance, this looks like a traditional Instagram photo post.

You can see the little shopping back in the bottom left corner, however, which indicates that this is a collection ad.

When you click on the shopping bag, the ad takes you directly to the products featured in the post.

You can click and check out right from here, all within the Instagram app.  

These are pretty powerful ads, and like I said, I could see them working well outside of traditional e-commerce industries. Let’s say you sell aftermarket Corvette parts. An ad with a picture of a recently restored Corvette could easily feature a collection of the parts used in the restoration, showing people exactly what they need to complete a similar renovation. 

Pretty cool, hey?

Shopping ads function pretty similarly to collection ads. When you tap on the image in a shopping ad, a link pops up taking you to the page where you can buy that item. It’s just another great way to offer viewers a seamless experience by removing any barriers between the time they decide they want to purchase something and the actual action of making the purchase. 

04. Instagram Explore Ads

Instagram Explore ads work just like any other Instagram ad, but they show up in the Explore section of the platform. You’ll have to indicate in Ads Manager that you want your ads to show up here, but it’s a good option if you’re great at identifying your target audience or if you’re looking for ways to increase your brand awareness. 

These ads won’t show up in the Explore grid that pops up, but instead, show up after a user has clicked on a post they find interesting. As they scroll down for more similar content, your ad will pop up.

This ad for a ceramics business is a great example of an Explore Ad that’s also a collection. 

If you were interested in ceramics, you might see this ad as you were exploring for new posts or accounts to follow.

The collection aspect of the ad enables you to make an immediate purchase if this is something you really want. 

05. Instagram Carousel Ads

Remember when Instagram introduced multi-image posts and everyone freaked out?

Yeah, us too. 

Well now, Instagram lets advertisers leverage those multi-image posts as carousel ads. 

Everyone does them a little differently, but the positive is that you get to show off more sides of your product, service, or brand in just one ad. This is a great way to boost awareness for your brand, or show off the versatility of your product. 

Check out this carousel Instagram Ad from Blue Apron:

They used each image in their carousel ad to show off a different plan option — showcasing their diverse offerings perfect for any food preference or family size. They topped it off with the final image encouraging viewers to get six meals free, which paired with their caption “Get $60 off!” smartly. 

This is a great example of using Instagram carousel ads to show off multiple sides of your product or service. It’s also good to know that you can now use video on carousel ads for an even greater impact. 

06. Instagram Story Ads

The last two types of ads aren’t found on the typical Instagram feed. Instead, they show up in users’ Stories. 300 million Instagram users view Instagram Stories every day, which means there are plenty of people who will see your Story Ad. Instagram Story Ads can be done in two ways:

Traditional Story Ads

Plain ole Instagram Stories ads look and feel like a normal story.

Check out this one from Hungryroot for an example.

Story ads are a full-screen sized image or video of your choosing, with a swipe up call-to-action that can take users to your profile, your website, or anywhere else you’d like them to go.

Canvas Story Ads – AKA Instant Experiences

If a story image or video doesn’t seem like quite enough of a punch, you can upgrade to Instant Experience story ads. Previously known as Canvas ads, these ads are known for their exceptional ability to immerse the viewer in the ad. 

You can use the Facebook Instant Experiences ad developing tool and templates to design an ad that’s totally immersive — either an image or a video — and the ad will be deployed through Instagram Stories. Instant Experiences Ads offer an expanded range of ad design options, as you can see in this example from Hint. 

Hint does a great job of telling their story with an immersive video that shows a woman ordering their water, and then having it immediately delivered to her home.

Instant Experience Ads’ expanded functions allow them to include cute text tags that call out specific benefits, as well as the swipe-up option that takes the visitor directly to their website. 

You can also use Instant Experience ads for your Facebook account, or in Instagram feed placement, but many marketers have seen the best results in Instagram stories. 

To create a truly effective ad, your digital marketing agency will develop immersive content that is customized to fit Instagram, and optimized for a seamless, quick-loading experience that’s sure to drive traffic and conversions.

Is My Product Right for Instagram?

It’s true that all products might not be perfect for Instagram. That said — if any aspect of your company or product is visually appealing, and if your ideal buyer skews below the age of 45-50, you’re likely to do well on Instagram. 

If you’re struggling to understand what your target market might be on Instagram, or how you can frame your product or service for the youthful platform, you might consider talking to a digital marketing agency. 

Digital marketing agencies live to identify target audiences across platforms and will be able to help you determine if Instagram is right for your marketing strategy. 

Optimizing Instagram Ads to Work For You

While there are certainly products that aren’t well suited to Instagram, if you think your brand will do well on Instagram, incorporate the following best practices to see quality engagement: 

Make It Visual

We’ve said it before, but quality visuals are kind of Instagram’s schtick. 

If your ad is going to do well on the platform, it has to look good. And really, it’s not as hard as you think. Most images just need to be clear and incorporate a lot of natural light. 

Engage Your Viewer’s Attention

This is where video typically comes in. 

If you have images that are intriguing or invite followers to engage with them, that’s great. If not, video is usually your best bet. It’s engaging without trying to be. 

When most social media audiences see a video, they’ll at least stop to watch the first few seconds. And if your company name is in the first few seconds, you’re golden. 

Your Message Must Be Authentic

Above all, Instagram ads have to be authentic. The platform is dominated by millennials and younger generations who are proven to respond most positively to brands with purpose and authenticity. 

Any quality digital marketing agency knows that advertisements do a lot more than just show off your product — they make a statement about your brand, and can make or break new relationships with potential clients. 

That’s one of the absolute best ways to make certain that your ads will do well. 

Instagram Ads and Strategic Growth

After deploying a few different types of Instagram ads —  image, video, and story ads — you will be able to identify which are working best for your target audience. From there, you can optimize and improve future Instagram campaigns to generate more leads, create greater awareness for your brand in target demographics, and ultimately help contribute to overall company growth. 

Continuous improvement is the key to getting the most out of your Instagram ad campaigns. As you optimize and refine over time, you’re likely to start seeing better results and more engagement. 

Instagram advertising is a lot. There are a ton of types of Instagram ads, and even deciding which is best for your brand can take some work. If you’re new to social media advertising, we’re here to help.

The Evenbound team can answer any questions, and help get you going in the right direction with your next social media advertising campaign. Just let us know what you need.

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Facebook Advertising 101: Types of Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising 101: Types of Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising 101: Types of Facebook Ads

Facebook advertising is the most popular social media advertising platform, and one of the most popular digital advertising platforms, surpassed only by Google Ads. 

In the beginning of Facebook Ads, super low-cost ad prices were drawing advertisers to the platform to supplement pre-existing Facebook followings (tips on how to grow a FB following here). Now, digital marketing agencies recognize Facebook as a powerful tool for narrowly targeted ads (a great way to see quality conversions, especially if you apply inbound marketing methodology to your Facebook ad campaigns).

Whether you’d like to segment by interest, age, occupation, income level, or more, Facebook makes it easy to drill down on an ad set that’s highly specific. The key is to choose the right ad type for your social media ad campaign goals. To do that, it’s important to understand the different types of Facebook Ads. Let’s look at a comprehensive breakdown of each type of Facebook ad, with examples, here:

The Different Types of Facebook Ads

There are a number of different types of Facebook ads, each with their own pros and cons depending on what your objective is for your Facebook ad campaign. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of Facebook ads available:

Brand Awareness

Facebook Ads

If you’re new to Facebook, or are hoping to get the word out about your product, a brand awareness campaign can help you get new followers and let people know that your brand exists. Facebook’s brand awareness ads are pretty flexible, so you’ll see them used often, even for campaigns that aren’t related to brand awareness. 

To get the most out of these ads, though, you’ll want to create some show-stopping content. The goal is to make an impression that helps people remember you.

Facebook Brand Awareness Ad Example

This ad from Promo is a great example of a brand awareness ad that makes people stop and look. The creative for this ad is a bright, powerful burst video that catches the eye. 

They’ve included a “learn more” button for those who are interested in checking out their brand, but even if you don’t click on the ad, you’re likely to remember its vibrant colors and associate them with the Promo brand name. Brand awareness mission accomplished. 

Local Awareness Ad

Got a local company or brick and mortar store? Local awareness ads work just like brand awareness ads, but they’re tied to your specific location. If you’re trying to create awareness for a new store you have opening up, these ads can be targeted to specific geographic locations, ensuring you’re only spending money on ads going to people in your area — people who will actually be able to visit you. 

Store Visit Facebook Ads

If you’re trying to drive foot traffic, a store visit ad is the way to go. Store visit ads not only target audiences based on geographic location, but they can provide a “get directions” button so your followers or new ad recipients can figure out how to get to you at just the push of a button. 

Website Conversion Ads

Brand awareness campaigns are a great way to drive long-term success. If you’re looking to see immediate conversions though, a website conversions ad campaign is a better choice. If you have a quality offer, like a discount or a cool ebook you know your target audience won’t be able to say no to, a web conversion ad is the way to go. 

Website Conversion Ad Example

Check out this simple web conversion ad from The Sill. It’s bright, eye-catching (it’s a video ad) and it speaks to millennials by encouraging them to grow their “indoor jungle”. Their “Shop Now” button links right over to their website, where visitors are immediately met with their newsletter sign-up CTA. A quick, easy way to add to an email list.

Just make sure to use web conversion ads intuitively — you’re spending money to get people on your website, after all. Make sure they’re headed somewhere useful, like The Sill sending users to their newsletter sign-up CTA. 

A landing page or a content offer download would also work to collect that contact information. 

Clicks-to-Website or Traffic Ads

If traffic is what you’re after, the clicks-to-website ad type is Facebook’s best option. Possibly one of the easiest ads to develop, they look just like a sponsored post, but link over to your latest blog post or product offer, or even a landing page on your website. 

Clicks-to-Website Ad Example

This click-to-website ad from Inside Weather is particularly effective, as it’s a video ad. The video works to show off the customization and ease of assembly their product offers, and the ad doesn’t ask too much from the viewer. 

A simple “shop now” CTA ensures ad viewers make it to the website. Inside Weather isn’t asking much from consumers, probably because they know that if they get consumers to their page, the rest of their marketing strategy will work to capture contact information, and close on a sale. 

This is a simple, effective example of a click-to-website or traffic ad you’ll see often on Facebook. Here, the goal is just to get the viewer to the advertiser’s website. Then, its optimized marketing strategy can do the rest.  

Facebook Event Ads

Hosting an event? Have a booth at an upcoming festival or show? Let people know, and get them excited about it with an event ad. These ads are designed to help you promote events. They do a great job of getting the word out and give you an idea of how many people are interested in the event; plus, they’re shareable, so you can hope to gain more exposure there too. 

If you’re looking for event signups, though, you’re probably better off using a website conversion ad to meet on-page goals and collect contact information. 

Offer Claim Facebook Ad

An offer claim ad is a great way to drive sales if you have a specific offer or discount you’re promoting. Offer claim ads allow you to customize your CTA, and can be used for both in-store or online promotions. 

Whether it’s a 20% off discount code or a free coffee thermos with purchase, Facebook will keep track of the people who have claimed the offer, and send them notifications when your offer is about to expire, helping drive traffic to your site. 

Example of an Offer Claim Ad

Check out this offer claim ad from HelloFresh. It’s simple but attractive, and $80 Off makes a pretty compelling offer. 

When you click the “get offer” button, you’re taken right to their site, and the discount is loaded into your cart immediately. Then, users can check out with the click of a button. Pretty effective. 

Full-Form Lead Generation Facebook Ads

One of the biggest issues with most Facebooks ads that work to drive conversions is that they require the user to leave Facebook. 

Facebook has addressed that issue with their full-form lead generation ads. These ads actually allow users to fill out your lead generation forms in-app, and Facebook will help by auto-filling their contact information for some of the more general fields. 

Take a look at this one we created for our client, Renewed Homes: 

When a Facebook user clicks on the “learn more” button, they get this pop-up, still on the Facebook website or in the Facebook app:

You can see that the form will auto-populate the user’s information, so all they have to fill in are the three top fields and their ZIP code, and then submit the form. Once they hit that submit button, their information goes to our client, and the user can go right back to their social media surfing. 

The lead generation ads are perfect if you’re looking to capture contact information. They offer the most seamless conversion experience possible, and you can sync Facebook to your existing CRM, so those leads are waiting for you the moment you log in on Monday morning. 

Facebook Like Campaigns

If you’re just looking to get the word out about your brand or company and expand your reach, a page like campaign is another great way to go. Unlike an awareness campaign, a like campaign does offer a little measurable engagement. Instead of linking to your website or an offer, like campaigns encourage users to like your Facebook page, so they’ll see your organic content in the future. 

Example of a Like Campaign Ad

This Funny or Die ad is a great example of like campaign that also works to generate engagement. It’s a video — which will help boost engagement right off the bat, and it features two well-known comedians. 

That’s a pretty good way to drive up those reactions, comments, and shares, while reminding people to like your page at the same time.

Engagement Ads or Boosted Posts

Engagement ads are similar to boosted posts, in that they mostly look like organic Facebook posts. The difference? You can target who your post goes to, and you can encourage engagement with comments, shares, and reactions. You can tell you’re looking at an engagement ad by the little “sponsored” indicator just below the title of whoever has created the ad. 

Example of a Boosted Post

Check out this example. This is an ad that’s been created by a blogger, to promote a brand she’s sponsored by.  It shows up in my feed like a shared article or blog — I wouldn’t know this was an ad if I didn’t see the “sponsored” tag.

Since there are no buttons to “Learn More” or “Shop Now” this just looks like an organic post within my feed. The difference is that it has been boosted, and specifically targeted to a demographic of Facebook users likely to appreciate the brand this blogger is promoting.

App Engagement and App Install Ads

If you’ve got an app, Facebook’s got an ad for you. Choose from their app install ads that encourage people to either engage with your app (usually targeted to people who already like your app) or download it (encouraging new people to try out your app). 

How to Choose the Right Types of Facebook Ads for Your Campaign

Clearly, Facebook offers a ton of different ad styles, each better for different objectives. So how do you choose the right ad type? First, think about what your objectives are:

  • Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? 
  • Are you hoping to boost lead generation? 
  • Maybe you want to jumpstart sales with a discount promo. 
  • Or maybe you’re just launching your brand on Facebook and you need a boost to get started. 

Whatever your objective, it’s important to choose it before you choose a Facebook ad type, because each Facebook ad type is optimized to deliver different results based on your objectives. 

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic and conversions to your site, a like campaign won’t work. It’s an in-app Facebook ad type that doesn’t encourage users to navigate away from Facebook. Instead, a web conversion or click-to-website, or even an offer claim ad would make more sense.

If you’re not sure which types of Facebook ads are right for your goals, a digital marketing agency can help. It’s their job to optimize ad campaigns for optimal results based on your campaign objectives. Here at Evenbound, that’s something we do every day. If you’d like a bit of guidance on your Facebook ad campaigns, or you’re looking for permanent support, we can help

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How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

If your organization is like most, you’ve probably been using social media platforms organically for your business for a while, posting occasional company updates or sharing your content. To level-up in the social media space and use social media to its best advantage for your business, you need to start investing in outbound marketing and running social media ad campaigns. But that can be a daunting task. Here’s our guide on how to get your social media ad campaign off the ground.

Why Run a Social Media Ad Campaign?

You want to reach people. Everyone is using social media. It’s really that simple. According to Hubspot, 42 percent of people in the world are using social media. That’s 90.4 percent of Millennials, 77.5 percent of Generation X, and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers using social media, and on average, they’re spending over two hours every day on social networks. If you want to reach people, social media is where you can find them. Click To Tweet

Because of this, social media ad campaigns are scalable, relatively inexpensive, and can have a huge ROI. Most social media advertising platforms also have great analytics to help you analyze and hone your strategy and report on campaign performance.

Determine Your Social Media Ad Campaign Goals

Like any and all advertising campaigns, for your social media campaign to be successful, you need to begin with clearly defined goals. What do you want this campaign to do? That can depend on your industry, position, brand, and current situation. Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness
    • We’re a new company and we want people to know that we and our products/services are out there
    • We’re an established company who wants to stay top of mind for our consumers
  • Engagement
    • We want people to like/share/comment on our content
  • Traffic
    • We want to drive traffic to our website or a specific page
  • Lead generation
    • We want leads for our new product line
    • We want leads to subscribe to our email list
  • Sales
    • We want people to buy this product or service

Social media ad campaigns can help you reach any of those goals, and your goal will determine who you target with your campaign, the ad creative and copy you use, and how you target your desired audience. Your goal will also determine how you calculate ROI and the effectiveness of your campaign.

Determine Your Target Audiences

One of the major benefits of social media advertising are the targeting options available to you, so determining your target audience is crucial to taking advantage of these options.On social media, people are just giving away useful demographic and behavioral information about themselves that you can use to find interested and decision-ready customers. Click To Tweet

Social media users enter their names, locations, age, gender, and other demographic indicators, plus indicate their interests by their behaviors: watching certain videos, liking and engaging with posts, people, and brands, and clicking on all sorts of things that catch their eyes. Social media platforms leverage this information to serve the most relevant ads—the ones most likely to result in a like, click, or conversion.

Who Do You Want to Reach?

So, you need to determine who you want to target with your ads. This will depend in part on the previous step, determining your goals. You might have various different groups of people you want to reach, but because of the differences in these groups, like their industry or stage in the buyer’s journey, you may have different goals pertaining to them. 

Check Your Buyer Personas

If you don’t already have buyer personas, creating them would be helpful to understanding who you want to target with your ad campaign. Knowing basic demographic information about your ideal client, as well as their roles, goals, and challenges pertaining to your offerings can help you know who to try to get your ad in front of.

Let’s say that you’re a book publisher who publishes historical fiction. You want to grow your email list to send marketing content to readers of historical fiction who are likely to buy your books. Your campaign goal is lead generation, and your target audience will be historical fiction readers… but you want to be more specific than that, and social media can help. You know that people who like certain historical fiction authors and titles will like your books—and you can target them based on their demonstrated interests.

Select Social Media Ad Campaign Platforms

Guess what? This depends on your industry, target audience, and goals (ugh, we always say that). 

That historical fiction publisher has an audience of women between ages 18 and 70, skewing toward 45-65, and they want to generate leads. For them, Facebook is going to be their primary advertising platform, though they might also use Pinterest, etc.

But for an industrial manufacturer who is selling to B2B clients, specifically, sourcing specialists/buyers who work for other large manufacturers, LinkedIn is probably going to be the most useful and relevant platform. This is both because that’s where professionals will be engaging with content related to their work and the targeting options that let you target audiences by their company and job title.

Maximize Your Budget

There are several factors to maximizing your budget, including choosing the right audience and targeting them precisely, using the right platforms, and having clearly defined goals for your campaign that guide all aspects from creative to targeting to placement. Another critical factor is actually setting the right budgets and parameters, and adjusting those as needed.

Keep an Eye on Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

One of the great things about social media advertising is that you can monitor campaigns in real time and make adjustments as necessary. “Set it and forget it” sounds nice, and if you’re a social media advertising pro with lots of experience, maybe you can do that. For everyone else, monitoring your campaigns is crucial. Why? You might find that your budget is too low or too high, and you’re spending too much without seeing results or seeing marginal returns for additional spending.

Adjust Social Media Ad Campaigns According to Data

If a campaign is spending all of its percentage of the lifetime budget for that day before noon, you might decide to end it sooner so the daily budgets would be higher and the ads would serve more each day. You might also discover that a campaign is working really well and you want to extend it past your original end date—that’s a great way to maximize your budget, because you already know it works and has the necessary ROI to be worthwhile.

Social media has so much potential in the marketing and advertising space because an audience—your audience—is already there, engaging with content. Taking advantage of that with advertisements can boost your advertising reach and ROI immensely, and the first step to doing that is getting a campaign off the ground. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll see the benefits of those campaigns in your bottom line.

Still want a little help getting those social media ad campaigns going? We got you.

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Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

TL;DR Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social media marketing is any social media action you take that is unpaid. If you’re posting about your blogs, sharing info with your followers, or commenting in social media groups, you’re marketing. Social media advertising is any action you take on social media that is paid. From boosted posts to full-on ads to like campaigns, social media advertising is what you pay for. 

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If you don’t know the difference between social media marketing and social media advertising, it’s okay to admit it. The distinction can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re new to the social media world or to digital marketing—especially since they’re sometimes used (carelessly) as interchangeable. There is a difference between social media marketing vs. social media advertising, and it pays to know that difference and to incorporate both into your overarching digital strategy.  

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a crucial facet of any digital marketing strategy today. It encompasses your business’s online profiles on social media platforms, along with the social media activity of those platforms: posting, liking, commenting, sharing, and so on.

Social media marketing begins with creating company pages or profiles on relevant social networks. The networks that you choose will depend on your industry; B2Bs will likely find LinkedIn to be the most relevant network, since they’re marketing to other business professionals, while home builders and developers might make use of platforms like Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram to show off images of their homes and properties.

But it doesn’t end with just a page or profile. To effectively market using social media, interaction and engagement are key. Click To TweetYou need to interact with others on the platform by liking, commenting, and sharing their content, as well as by posting and sharing your own content. This will drive engagement, which is when others interact with your content—liking, commenting, sharing, and clicking.  

What kind of content should you share and post? 

Again, this depends on the platform and your industry. Industrial manufacturers may not have much luck posting photos of their products on Instagram. (Are the insides of factories usually very aesthetically pleasing? No.) But, they’ll have more success posting content about their processes, sharing their blog content, sharing relevant articles and news from industry publications, and posting infographics on LinkedIn. 

Twitter is great for sharing links, but because tweets are limited to 280 characters, it’s not the place for longform content. 

Instagram is designed for sharing images, and while you can use an image to promote a piece of content, you can’t link from a post directly. You have to include the link in your bio, which might not be the most effective way to direct people to that link. 

Why Do Social Media Marketing?

One of the major principles of inbound marketing is bringing your ideal customers to you. Since your ideal customers are using social media—everyone is—having a social media presence is a necessity if you want to draw in potential customers. 

Creating a community through social media marketing has some major benefits, like building brand awareness and helping to establish your industry reputation as an authority in your field. Also, it can establish your company as enjoyable to interact with, which can result in people converting to customers when they do need your company’s products or services.  

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising (also known as paid social) involves running paid ads on various social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These can include banner ads as well as native ads and activities like boosting posts or like campaigns. Social media ads are often charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression basis. 

You can use paid social to promote content, like a whitepaper or guide that your company or marketing agency has created. You can develop an ad around this content you’re offering, or boost the posts where you shared the content offer. This increases the reach of your content, which can lead to more website traffic and conversions of visitors to leads. 

Why do Paid Social?

Targeting

Promotional posts on social media don’t have a ton of reach on their own and aren’t likely to get a lot of organic engagement. Paid social allows you to specifically target audiences. This targeting is no joke, either. Depending on the platform, you can target audiences by criteria such as location, age, gender, search history, interests and activities, device use, even things like employer or job title. 

Since you’re paying either by the number of clicks or impressions (views) your ad gets, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most for your social media ad budget. You do this through targeting, which ensures that only the most relevant people (aka, your ideal customers) see your ads. This makes paid social a high-ROI advertising strategy. 

Additionally, the analytics that social media advertising platforms provide you can help better understand your audience and fine-tune your advertisements for better reach, engagement, and ROI.

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Essentially, advertising is a form of marketing that uses advertisements, which are paid notices that appear on public platforms. Not all marketing is advertising, but all advertising is marketing. 

When we talk about social media marketing vs. social media advertising, however, we’re generally making a distinction between paid and unpaid methods of marketing using social media. Social media advertising refers to the paid methods (like PPC ads) and social media marketing the unpaid methods (like your social media posts and shares). Click To Tweet

Which is Better? Social Media Marketing or Social Media Advertising?

If you’ve read this far, you probably already know what we’re going to say: you need both. 

  • Social media marketing helps you build a community and foster relationships with current and potential customers—it’s a long game. 

  • Social media advertising puts your name/products/services/links in front of people who are looking for what you offer right now

Both of these strategies can generate leads and sales, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. Using social media for both its organic (unpaid) and paid methods of reaching your intended audience is simply the most effective use of the vast power of social media. 

Marketing vs. advertising: that is the question. Click To Tweet However, when you use both, you can optimize your results for the best possible outcome. Not sure you have the team to handle both advertising and marketing? Get in touch with Evenbound. We specialize in both inbound and outbound marketing and would love to help. 

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7 Ways to Apply Inbound Marketing Tactics to Your Facebook Ad Strategy

7 Ways to Apply Inbound Marketing Tactics to Your Facebook Ad Strategy

7 Ways to Apply Inbound Marketing Tactics to Your Facebook Ad Strategy

Optimizing Your Facebook Ad Spend With Inbound Marketing

In recent years, a solid social media ad campaign has become just as important as a PPC ad campaign for many industries. The fact is, most people spend a great deal of time on social media sites, and because of the exceptional targeting power of social media giants like Facebook, the platforms offer the segmentation data and the exposure many inbound marketers are looking for.

If your company is thinking of starting a Facebook ad campaign, or already has a Facebook ad strategy in place, applying a few inbound marketing tactics can help optimize your Facebook ads for ultimate results. Here are 7 inbound marketing tactics you can use to boost the effectiveness of your Facebook ad strategy:

#1 Target Facebook Ads To Your Buyer Personas

Remember those buyer personas you spent so long drafting and editing? Well, they’re good for a lot more than just your website content. Use your buyer personas to determine your Facebook ad targeting settings. You can’t make content (or ads) perfectly suited for everyone — so don’t try.

Instead, segment your ads based on buyer persona, and build different Facebook ad sets to target different personas with different interests. Facebook offers a vast suite of targeting tools, so you can set ads to go out to people with specific likes, dislikes, hobbies, job titles, and more — all things you probably already have outlined in your buyer personas. Use those buyer personas to develop Facebook ad campaigns that go out to consumers you already know have an interest in the products or services you offer.

#2 Set Clear, SMART Goals

Inbound Methodology tells us that we should always set SMART Goals. That is, goals that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

This principle is directly applicable to your Facebook ad strategy as well. Whether you’re looking to boost engagement, or drive traffic to your website, it’s important to define a goal for each Facebook ad you create, so you understand immediately when your ad is successful, and when it’s not. Here’s how you can apply SMART goal setting to your Facebook ads:

  • Specific: 500 likes, or 100 new followers. A specific, ultimate goal for your campaign to work towards.
  • Measurable: If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, is there a certain percentage of traffic you’re looking for? Do you want a certain number of new contacts? How will you measure the success of your Facebook ad?
  • Attainable: If your last campaign resulted in 15 new followers, you shouldn’t set a new campaign goal of 100 followers. That’s just unrealistic. While it would be amazing if you reached 100 new followers, you need to make sure your goals are set based on real, hard data, and are possible to reach. Otherwise, your results will always be discouraging, and you may not be able to see the benefits that your ads are creating.
  • Relevant: Your goal should be relevant to the campaign you’re putting out. If your ad talks about the story behind your company, your goal might be engagement focused. If you’re advertising a free ebook or webinar, your goal might be more conversion-based.
  • Timely: Don’t let your Facebook ad run in perpetuity, but don’t set it to run for just a few hours either. Plan for your campaign to run for a specific amount of time that will help your company work to its goal, and that will produce enough data for you to learn from and implement on your next ad campaign.

#3 Tell, Don’t Sell

When it comes to creating ads for social media, especially for Facebook, it’s key to keep inbound marketing best practices in mind. That means forget about the hard sell. Especially if you’re a B2B company, a “Buy Now” ad isn’t likely to convert the way you want.

Write a bit of compelling content that tells a story, rather than tries to “sell” your company or your product.

Consumers run from the hard sale like the plague, so put effort into drafting a narrative, and offering up something unique and worthwhile. The more interesting and compelling your offer, the more effective your campaign will be.

#4 Test, Smartly

Always test for your goals by sending out more than one version of your ad. You never know what photo, what content, or even what call-to-action button consumers will respond best to, so it’s always good to test your ads.

How to test multiple Facebook ads:

Let’s say you have two different graphics for the same ad. Create one ad set, targeted to your specific buyer persona, and upload the first image to that set. Launch the first set, and then go back into your Facebook ad manager. You can now duplicate that set — so the ad with the other graphic goes out to the exact same consumers — and simply change the image. Set both ads to deploy simultaneously, and you’ll be able to watch the ads progress, and see which graphic performs best in your targeted audience.

When you’re testing your ads, it’s important to only change one aspect at a time, so you know exactly what is driving more or less engagement, and so you can accurately apply those results to future ad campaigns.

#5 Adjust in Real Time

Facebook allows you to adjust and tweak ads at any point in your campaign, and you should take advantage of that. If you’re a few days into an ad that’s just not performing, you can pause it or adjust your settings for better performance. On the other hand, if you have an ad that’s facilitating a ton of conversions and boosted engagement, you can extend it or bump up the budget slightly. Making adjustments in real-time allows you to maximize your budget on the spot. This way, you’re not wasting money on an underperforming ad.

#6 Focus on Long Term Value

While your immediate budget and spending goals are important, it’s equally important to keep an eye on how much you’re spending relevant to your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). When you’re just starting your Facebook Ad campaign, it’s easy to worry that the money you’re spending isn’t worth the leads you’re getting. A surefire way to figure out if that’s true is to consider your customer lifetime value.

For example, let’s say it costs you $80 to acquire a customer. Let’s also say that your average loyal customer spends about $800 over their lifetime as your customer. Even if you don’t make $800 immediately from each customer, you know that over their lifetime as your client, you have essentially spent $80 to earn $800. That’s a pretty attractive ROI, if you ask us.

Bottom line — Don’t get caught up in the immediate shock of spending, unless you’re shelling out a lot on ads that aren’t producing new business. Your goal should always be long-term success, and to accurately measure that, you need to look at the ratio of what you’re spending compared to what you’ll make in the long run from each of those new customers you’ve acquired.

#7 Inbound-ify Your Facebook Ads — Turn Them Into Funnels

Finally, if you want to apply really successful inbound marketing tactics to your Facebook ad strategy — embrace the funnel.

If you’re familiar with inbound marketing, you’ll know that it’s best practice to create content for consumers in every stage of the inbound marketing funnel. From a stranger to your brand to an interested lead, each consumer at each level of the funnel will be seeking different information. Traditional inbound marketing targets leads moving through the funnel with email workflows that provide the right content, at just the right time. You can apply this idea of nurturing leads through the funnel to your Facebook ad strategy too!

Facebook Ad Funnel Basics

Facebook allows you to create ad funnels, which work much the same as an email workflow.  You start with a top-level ad that tells consumers a little bit about your company. Let that ad run for a few days.

Then, send out a second ad to the consumers who interacted with the first ad. If your first ad was a video, then you can send your second ad to just the people who watched say, 20 percent of your video. If your first ad was a static image, you can send the second one to just those consumers who clicked on or in some way interacted with the first.

From there, you can keep your ad funnel going about as far as you want, until you’re targeting only the most interested, engaged consumers for that particular ad set. This is a great way to optimize your spending, and it also helps to pull people through the inbound marketing funnel, ensuring they’re even more qualified for your products and services by the time they make it to your website.

Though it’ll take a bit more work to set up a Facebook ad funnel, it’s a useful tool that will give you increased insight into how your ideal customers and target buyers react to your social media advertising strategy.

Why Inbound Marketing Tactics Work for Facebook Ads

Inbound marketing tactics are so effective for Facebook advertising campaigns because they are already designed specifically for today’s consumer. The average consumer (who just so happens to be the exact same person you’re targeting on Facebook) prefers a warmer sales experience than the traditional hard-sell. Since inbound marketing is already geared to those consumers, it’s easily applied to a Facebook ad campaign to boost your results and maximize your spend. Learn more about using outbound marketing to attract, engage, and close qualified leads here. 

The foundation of inbound marketing is getting to know, on a personal level, your ideal consumer. If you’d like to know a little bit more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your company in 2019, let’s chat. We’re a HubSpot Gold Certified Agency Partner, and we’ve been doing inbound marketing for about as long as it’s been around. We’d love to help you grow, so schedule time with our president, John Heritage to see what Evenbound is all about.

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