What Is Social Media Advertising and How Can It Help You Grow Your Business Today?

Grace Donaldson
June 2, 2021

In this comprehensive social media guide, learn how to successfully integrate various forms of social media ads into your business’s content marketing strategy to achieve real results all while maximizing your company’s spend.

There’s no doubt that social media advertising is vital if you’re looking to rapidly reach a new targeted audience. Organic reach is only getting more difficult to achieve. Meaning, your business going viral could take forever without a little boost.

 

It’s no secret that moving from an organic social strategy to investing in paid social media advertising is a daunting task. Thus, it’s crucial to understand the numerous options your business has on the table.

 

This guide is designed to help you understand how to use the most popular types of social media ads to gain impressive and real business results while maximizing your organization’s spend. Continue reading to find out more.

What is Social Media Advertising?

 

Social media marketing can be classified as optimizing the use of social media platforms to connect with a target audience. The purpose of this type of advertising is to increase sales, build brand image, and drive website traffic. When implementing correctly, the inclusion of social media ads can make your business's marketing strategy more dynamic and soar to greater heights.

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of social media marketing and learn how you can use it to enhance your business’s marketing strategy and overall performance today.  

Types of Social Media Advertising

 

Advertising on any social media platform is known for being a hyper-direct method of reaching your targeted audience. You can easily target returning customers or new ones. Additionally, it provides you with the opportunity to do hands-on A/B testing.

 

With that being said, all major social media networks provide advertising features to a business. However, that doesn't mean you should be using all of these. It's always valuable to research which networks are popular with your targeted audience before choosing where to place these advertisements.

 

Thus, it’s vital to ask where this audience is most concentrated, engaged, and accessible. An example would be a teenage demographic. The best place to advertise on would be TikTok. Alternatively, mothers are known to thrive on Facebook, which is where you’re going to want to place your business ads if they are your target audience.

 

After mentioning this, it would be incredibly advantageous to search for social media platforms that are equipped to organically perform well with your brand. Understanding where your content naturally hits a chord with customers is going to help you choose your first step in social media ad campaigns.

 

Now that you understand what social networks might work best for your business, you can go ahead and take a look at the types of advertisements you can purchase for each major network. Knowing this can enhance your advertising strategy and make it more dynamic and cost-effective.

#1 - Facebook Ads

 

Facebook ads are commonly used by businesses to achieve one of three broad types of campaign goals. These are:

 

· Conversion: Increasing leads or purchases through a business app or website, and drive foot traffic to physical offline stores.

· Consideration: Send traffic to a business website while increasing engagement, encouraging video views or app installs, enticing potential customers to communicate with you on Facebook Messenger, and generate leads.

· Awareness: increase reach or grow a business’s brand awareness.

 

This type of social media ad is extremely well-liked by business owners for a variety of reasons. However, one of the most prominent benefits of advertising through Facebook’s ads is that you can broadcast your business on a platform with more than 2.45 billion monthly active users! Additionally, this platform also offers a detailed targeting option to ensure you’re advertising to the right audience within these 2.45billion users.

 

When choosing Facebook as your business’s social media ad platform, you have an array of advertisement choices. These include:

 

· Photo ads: Used for driving more unique traffic than from other Facebook ad format types.

· Video ads: Interactive ways of increasing engagement and leads to your website.

· Stories ads: Offer an easy way to reach an audience and grab their attention.

· Carousel ads: Work well to showcase various features of a product or highlight a step-by-step process.

· Slideshow ads: Offers the compelling motion associated with videos without needing any video-specific resources.

· Collection ads: Functions as a digital storefront or rapid peek into your catalogue.

· Messenger ads: Used to start an automated conversion with prospective customers.

· Playable ads: Offer interactive previews of your app or game that allows users to experience it before installing or buying it.

#2 – Instagram Ads

 

Facebook owns the Instagram platform, which is why it isn’t surprising that Instagram ads support the same broad categories commonly associated with Facebook advertisements. These are:

· Conversion

· Consideration

· Awareness

You might be wondering why you would want to post your social ads on Instagram if Facebook offers the same benefits. Well, Instagram is known for being exceptionally popular when advertising with millennials. In cases where this is the target audience for business owners, Instagram ads would be the most obvious place to begin.

Additionally, Instagram offers the same targeting system as Facebook that helps you advertise to your ideal viewer. When choosing Instagram to place your social media ads, you can choose between similar ad placements to Facebook. These include:

 

· Collection ads

· Carousel ads

· Video ads

· Photo ads

#3 – Twitter Ads

 

Twitter advertisements help business owners meet three business objectives. These include:

 

· Maximizing the reach of a specific ad to gain brand awareness.

· Bring more users to your website or app to enhance the conversion of these advertisements.

· Depending on what you’re wishing to achieve from these social media ads, you can gain more pre-roll views, video views, app installs, followers, engagement, or web traffic.

 

The most addressable audience when advertising on Twitter are males. This is because the male demographic makes up approximately two-thirds of the users on this social media platform. When choosing to use Twitter for your social media advertising strategy, you have two methods of creating Twitter ads. These are:

 

· Twitter Ads are designed as campaigns that allow business owners to set up their own individual campaigns that align with their marketing objectives.

· Twitter Promote is equipped to automatically promote Tweets for the business. However, this service is no longer available for new Twitter Advertisement users.  

#4 – Snapchat Ads

 

Snapchat advertisement placements are equipped to achieve three types of marketing goals. These are:

 

· Driving traffic to a business’s app or website, encouraging app installs, increasing engagement, lead generation, and video views.

· Reaching a larger audience to enhance brand awareness and showcase various products and services from this brand.

· Drive more catalogue sales or website conversions.

 

These Snapchat social media advertisements are designed around the Instant Create service. This offers a simplified method to get your video or image app placed in less than five minutes. These social media ad placements are the most effective if your marketing objectives surrounding these advertisements are simple, such as encouraging potential customers to call up your business.

 

However, you might want to use Snapchat's Advanced create for more in-depth advertising goals. This feature is best for advertisers who have more long-term or particular marketing objectives and need more control over-optimization, bids, or budgets.

 

Snapchat is known for being extremely popular with younger users and has more than 220 million users under the age of 25 while almost three-quarters of individuals who are 18 to 24 years old using this app in North America. Additionally, 60 percent of Snapchat’s audience is female.

 

When selecting Snapchat for your social media ad placements, you have a choice between six types of advertisements to help meet your marketing objectives. These include:

 

· Snap ads: a video or image that lasts for three minutes (but it’s recommended to keep these ads short and sweet at three to five seconds each).

· Story ads: takes form in branded tile in the users’ Discover feed.

· Collection ads: allow users to showcase various products with four thumbnail images in a single ad.

· Filters: graphic overlays that can be applied to Snaps.

· Lenses: a method of layering your brand on a user’s content (are similar to Filters).

· Commercials: non-skippable six-second video advertisements that need to be videos with audio and are only available in certain regions.

#5 – LinkedIn Ads

 

LinkedIn advertisements are equipped to help businesses with three forms of marketing goals. These include:

 

· Gain leads and drives website conversions.

· Increase engagement, drive website visits and encourage video views.

· Enhance awareness of a brand or company.

 

When looking at the audience of LinkedIn, these advertisements are more business-orientated than other social networks mentioned in this post. Thus, it provides targeting options that are based on professional qualifications like seniority and job title. When selecting this type of advertisement placement, you can choose between numerous ad placements, such as:

 

· Sponsored content: appears in news feeds on mobile and desktop and can get your content to a larger audience while showcasing your brand expertise.

· Sponsored InMail: is similar to email marketing, but these messages go directly to user’s inboxes on the LinkedIn platform.

· Text ads: are smaller ad units that appear on the right and at the top of LinkedIn news feeds and only appear to desktop users.

· Dynamic ads: are automatically formed specifically for each of your business's prospects.

What are the Benefits of Social Media Advertising?

 

Many advantages come with implementing social media advertising into your business’s marketing strategy. Here are some of the most well-liked and prominent benefits of investing in social media ads.

#1 – Enhanced Brand Recognition

 

It’s widely known that advertising through social media can help enhance brand recognition. Regularly posting to social media platforms provides businesses with the opportunity to interact with their clientele in a way that’s most comfortable for customers.

 

The benefit of this constant interaction establishes a more credible image while making customers more eager to listen to what the business has to say and offer rapid feedback. The beauty behind this is that your customers are more likely to recommend your business to friends and family once they are familiar with your company. Thus, increasing your brand reach.

 

Now that all sounds fantastic, right? Well, too much of a good thing can quickly become bad, and the same applies here. Constantly hammering your business’s presence is going to cause these customers to retreat. Instead, attracting this enhanced brand recognition can come from being subtle. Not to mention, sticking to a specific theme of fonts and colours is also bound to help make a great impact in a simplistic and subtle way.

 

#2 – Enhanced Brand Loyalty

 

Every business requires a loyal clientele base to remain afloat. It isn't a stretch to say that no loyal customers equal no stable business. Of course, new customers are a welcomed addition, but a business's conversion rates would probably sit around sad and non-existent without loyalists.

 

You might be wondering how brand loyalty can be increased through social media ads, as it only seems like a method for enticing new customers. Well, advertising on social media provides a place where customers can express their feelings and views about products and services offered.

 

This results in customer satisfaction levels exponentially rising because a business can listen to customer opinions. Thus, helping increase loyalty to your brand, as consumers are bound to be more impressed by your turnaround time and have a deeper appreciation for your business.

#3 – Improved Conversion Rates

 

Most people are using social media. Thus, combining social media and advertising help to target potential clients on various social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. The increased brand visibility resulting from social media advertising encourages more customers to visit your business's website. This causes the chance of conversion to also increase. From here, a business can enhance its sales and profits from a well-articulated media advertising plan.

#4 – Decreased Marketing Costs

 

Social media marketing doesn't need many monetary resources when compared to the cost of implementing conventional marketing. A company has the potential to minimize its marketing costs by a significant margin with computers and a high-speed internet connection. Resulting from this, the business landscape continues to evolve, making more traditional marketing methods redundant.

 

Thus, using social media ads to market your products and services is one of the most efficient ways of reducing operational costs. The beauty behind forming a social media marketing strategy is that these social media platforms are equipped to handle most of the work involved in this investment. These costs associated with such content marketing are greatly reduced because larger audiences are being reached with the same monthly budget.

 

Now, these benefits of such social media content marketing can’t be denied. Nonetheless, your business should place great emphasis on forming a consistent theme, tonality, and content marketing strategy for these various social media platforms. This is because a marketing strategy is known to reap the most benefits available from social media ads.  

#5 – Enhanced Search Engine Rankings

 

Even though a social media page isn't directly linked to improved search rankings, your business's page is undoubtedly going to gain more traffic. Many customers use Google and other search engines to find specific products or services on the internet. The chances are great that a business is going to appear among the top search results of related services or products if you have a social media listing. This leads to wider visibility.

 

Additionally, search engine optimization (or SEO) tools are attractive features that can be implemented to drive more traffic to your business's website and gain higher search engine rankings simultaneously. Furthermore, this social media advertising helps businesses achieve results almost immediately and allows your targeted audience to find you.  

What Is Influencer Advertising and Why Should It Form Part of Your Social Media Advertising?

 

Influencer marketing can be described as effectively leveraging the reach of an existing influencer. This influencer is someone who has a massive following and robust brand reputation in a specific niche. Thus, such a presence can help support your business and its brand, endorse one of your products or services or co-create content.

 

This influencer advertising is done with the intent of increasing brand awareness while driving sales. This type of advertising is beneficial to a business because you’re practically getting the influencer to inspire potential customers for you, which can help make your business more efficient. The reason for this is because more manpower can be used in other business processes.

 

Additionally, you skip introductory steps that help you gain your potential customers' trust. These followers likely trust what this influencer has to say and believe in what they are promoting. Thus, they already have faith in your product without having an interaction with your business separate from the influencer. This also saves time and offers a quicker impact on sales volumes.

What are the Costs Associated with Social Media Advertising?

 

A social media ad solution is available to fit every budget. It doesn’t matter if you have a few hundred dollars or millions of dollars to invest in this marketing campaign. Ads on most social media networks are typically sold in an auction format. Thus, you set your maximum bid for a target result (like a click). Otherwise, you can choose a maximum budget for each day.

 

There isn’t a fixed amount to pay for these social media ads. After creating this ad, the ad manager interface is going to recommend a bid based on your specific goals. From here, you’re typically going to pay using one of these methods, which generally depends on your social media campaign goals.

 

· Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)

· Cost per click (CPC)

· Cost per video view

· Cost per conversion

 

The costs of these social media advertisements are subject to several factors apart from what your competitors are bidding during these auctions. These include:

 

· Your campaign goals

· The quality of your advertisement

· The placement of these ads within the network

· The time of year and day you choose to place these advertisements

· The type of audience you’re targeting

· The country you’re advertising to

Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Out of Your Social Media Advertising Strategy

 

Here are some of the most effective tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your social media advertising campaign:

#1 - Know the Business Objectives You Wish to Achieve

 

There’s no accident that reviewing business objectives is always a must when creating an effective marketing strategy. This is because social media ads can help you achieve these business objectives.

 

Thus, reviewing these goals is extremely beneficial. The reason for this is that it’s going to be challenging to achieve these objectives if you aren’t sure of what these goals are in the first place.

 

Understanding your business objectives is vital because it ensures that you’re selecting the right social network to advertise on. From here, you can choose the right advertising method within this platform. This can even aid in guiding your creative strategy.  

#2 - Know Your Target Audience

 

We’ve already listed some audience considerations for the various social networks mentioned in this guide. It’s vital to keep in mind that these networks provide specific ad targeting. Thus, it’s beneficial to know your target audience to take maximum advantage of these various targeting options and ensures you gain the biggest impact for your buck.

 

You need to consider that you don't want to place your social media ads on a platform that your target audience doesn't use. The micro-targeting features of social media ads are one of the most prevalent advantages, so you should use such targeting capabilities.

 

#3 - Allow Your Organic Posts to Inform Your Ads

 

You’re possibly already posting content on various social media platforms for your business. Some of these posts are going to resonate with followers while others aren’t. That’s why you should track the posts that are being shared, liked, clicked, and commented on, as these high-performing posts make the best candidates for social media ads.

 

Additionally, you should start small when branching out into a new network with your social media advertising. Use the knowledge you’ve gained from these organic posts as your starting point. However, we would also like to advise that some of these lessons you’ve learnt aren’t going to necessarily translate across the various social media networks.

#4 - Only Pay for the Costs That Matter (Engagement or Impressions)

 

Thinking about whether you want engagement or impressions is going to help you keep your marketing budget under control. Your message can cast a wide net if you’re paying every time a potential lead sees your advertisement. This is known as impressions.

 

However, you’re only going to want individuals who are seriously interested in doing business with you viewing and engaging with your social media posts if you’re paying for this engagement.

 

You want to refrain from paying for engagements that aren’t relevant to your business objectives. It’s no secret that impressions and engagement can be valuable for your business. However, it’s vital that you choose the right one to ensure you’re aligning with your business goals. Thus, you’re only going to pay for real business results.

#5 - Design Your Advertising Content for Mobile-Users

 

The final tip that we would like to share with you is possibly one of the most crucial points you should take with you. Research has shown that more than 3.25 billion active social media users are accessing these platforms through a mobile device.

 

Meaning, the majority of social media ads are being viewed from a phone. Due to this, it would be beneficial for businesses to optimize their social media posts for mobile users. Not offering this optimization is going to leave you missing out on a massive group of potential customers.

 

This optimization process isn’t as complex as it seems. You can easily incorporate images that can be viewed on a pocket-sized device. However, this is unless you decide that you would rather advertise for desktop social media ad placements exclusively. Nonetheless, our recommendation is to provide ads for both devices while focusing on mobile device optimization.

The Bottom Line: Growing Your Business with an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

 

This form of marketing has become a favourite for business owners because of the many advantages offered when investing in social media advertising. This is the case for massive corporations, start-up businesses, and anything in-between.

 

One of the reasons behind this immense popularity is the effortless ease of use that comes with utilizing social networking sites to sell a business's products and services. These results are almost instant, which provides business owners with the opportunity to gauge their content marketing campaign's effectiveness.  

 

Social media advertising has become an integral role in any marketing program despite the nature and size of this marketing form. It's an excellent opportunity to enhance sales while minimizing marketing costs for a business. The advantages offered make it irresistible for any organization or company.

Are you ready to put your business on the map with an effective social media advertising campaign? Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your business to the next level.