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.
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:
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
We want people to like/share/comment on our content
We want to drive traffic to our website or a specific page
We want leads for our new product line
We want leads to subscribe to our email list
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The fact is, when you advertise on Facebook, you have the opportunity to reach a huge number of qualified buyers who are already interested in your product or service. It’s a pretty attractive outbound marketing method, and it’s easily paired with your inbound marketing strategy too.
So what’s the catch?
Well, it does cost money.
There’s also the fact that a ton of marketers already use Facebook’s platform to advertise, which can drive Facebook advertising costs up.
But what if we told you there was a way to optimize your Facebook ad campaigns that could minimize spending and maximize performance?
It sounds wild, sure, but it’s actually something our social media advertising experts do every single day. And we’re going to tell you how they do it.
Here are six methods our social media experts use every day to minimize Facebook ad campaign spend, and maximize performance:
#1 Know Your Goals
Facebook offers a massive platform of opportunity. There are more than 5 different types of Facebook ads to choose from, and the Facebook ad manager lets you pick from a variety of campaign goals for each ad you create. It’s important to know what your goals are going into any Facebook Ad campaign, so you can optimize everything to fit that specific goal.
For example, if you were hoping to drive traffic to your website, you wouldn’t choose Facebook’s app install ad or an event promotion ad template. Instead, you’d want to choose a clicks-to-website ad or even a web conversion ad.
If your goal was to boost your brand’s awareness or get more likes for your company Facebook page, then a conversion or lead generation ad wouldn’t make sense either. You’d run a like campaign or sponsor a few of your favorite, eye-catching posts to reach a greater number of potential followers.
While these examples might seem a little obvious, it’s important to remember that every aspect of the ad you create should work towards your campaign goal. With a campaign goal in mind, you can better develop content, creative, and design that work to direct consumers to whatever your goal might be.
You need a solid goal for each Facebook advertising campaign before you start building the ad if you want to see quality results.
#2 Understand Your Facebook Ad’s Audience
We’ve already talked about Facebook having a huge platform on which to advertise your product or company. There are millions of Facebook users, and the fact is, they don’t all want your product. So don’t market to all of them.
If you’re hoping to minimize your budget while still maximizing Facebook ad performance, you might want to look into microtargeting. It’s a thing the HA Digital Marketing ad team does really well (if you don’t mind our saying so), and it’s produced some impressive results for our clients.
Microtargeting is the art of narrowing down your ad campaign’s audience to just the very key consumers who are likely to be interested, or who already are interested in the product or service you’re offering. Effective microtargeting can take a little bit of practice and market research, but when it’s done properly, the results don’t lie.
Whether you’re up on the microtargeting trend or not, it’s good to know at least a few defining factors about your target buyer — their age, their occupation or industry, and maybe even one or two of their interests. These qualifiers make for targeted ad campaigns that can produce better results, for less money.
#3 Don’t Forget About Creative
It’s easy to get caught up in the goals and targeting aspects of Facebook advertising, but it’s important to remember that in the end, your ad is going to real humans. Make sure your creative reflects that.
Try not to forget that the content — both visual and written — that accompanies your ad is what’s really going to sell you. Take the time to get it right, and be sure to keep in mind that audience you’re targeting and your goal for the ad campaign as a whole.
#4 Link to Something Good (Like a Landing Page)
If your Facebook advertising campaign’s goal is to drive traffic or web conversions to your site, you have to offer something good, and you need to link to a page that will perform well.
It’s pretty obvious that you need to offer something attractive to get people to click on your ad. What’s not always obvious is how you offer that content or promotion when they get to your site.
Let’s say you wrote a killer ebook that will solve your target audience’s pain points, like right now. That’s life-changing content they need.
Too many advertisers miss out on a quality opportunity by just serving up that content as soon as a Facebook user clicks over to their website. Instead of sending those users to a general page, send them to a landing page.
From here, you can ask for just a little bit of information from them, like an email address and a first name, before they download that awesome ebook. This way, your Facebook ad campaign is proving legitimate, tangible ROI — a qualified lead, with all the contact information you need to keep pulling them through the rest of the sales funnel.
It’s important to remember that your ad is bigger than just a little advertisement on Facebook. That ad should be working on every level to deliver you more leads, for as little money as possible. By linking your web conversion and traffic ads to a landing page that can capture key lead information, you’re boosting the campaign’s overall value to your company.
#5 Keep Optimizing in Real Time
Facebook ads can run for as long as you’d like. Set them to run until you’ve spent your budget, or choose instead to let them run for a few weeks of your choosing.
Facebook ads offer some incredible insights into your target buyer’s ad preferences as well as the effectiveness of the ads you’ve created. Best of all, Facebook lets you optimize those ads in real time. If one ad set is outperforming the others, you can stop the others and let that one use the majority of the budget.
If another ad starts slowing down, consider changing the creative to bump up audience interest.
Take a look at your stats while your ads are running, and optimize them based on the data you’re receiving in real time. These adjustments will help you minimize your ad budget while optimizing the ad’s overall performance.
#6 Think Big-Picture
Our last tip for optimizing your Facebook ad performance is to always keep the big picture in mind.
We’ve already talked about placing a priority on your ad’s objective, but it’s also important to think about how your Facebook ads fit into the bigger picture of your digital marketing strategy.
If you’re able to keep the big picture in mind, it’s easier to realize that a Facebook engagement or awareness campaign can help get the word out about your company and generate more traffic for your website in the grand scheme of things. Your Facebook advertising campaigns are just one part of your digital marketing strategy and should function as such.
Facebook Ads: One Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
A Facebook campaign can help you get more traffic, more conversions, or raise more awareness for your company, but it can’t do everything for you. If your Facebook ad campaigns are returning good metrics, and aren’t costing you much money, they’re working in your favor. It’s the rest of your digital marketing strategy’s job to convert those positive results into future leads, contacts, and sales.
Facebook advertising is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Facebook offers one of the most comprehensive targeting platforms, allowing you to develop and deploy ads that are specific and relevant to key audiences.
That said, Facebook ads take a bit of time and finesse to get just right. If you’re not sure you’re there yet, or if you’d like a little help microtargeting Facebook ad campaigns that deliver exceptional results, the Evenbound team can help. Let’s chat about how we can optimize your Facebook ads and digital marketing strategy for overall company growth.
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.
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.
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.