Chances are, you've seen paid ads on social media, in Google search results, and on other websites. The opportunity to promote your own site through advertisements can be attractive. However, taking advantage of these types of campaigns can be more complicated than you think. Fortunately, by familiarizing yourself with the requirements of paid advertising on various platforms, you can use it to its full potential. As you generate more clicks, you can increase your brand awareness, sales, and generate new business and revenue for your brand.
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What is Paid Advertising?
Paid advertising, put simply, is when a company or person pays for their content to appear in certain places on the internet, targeting specific demographic groups. If you have a growing business and finally have the resources to invest in marketing, you want to ensure that your promotion is done in a way that maximizes your budget and ROI, using the optimal advertising channels.
For most businesses, the indispensable natural advertising channel is through social media, and it must be said that this is rightly so. Experts believe that by the end of 2019, more than 2.77 billion people will be added to social networks, and by 2021 this number will exceed 3 billion. In the US alone, almost 80% of the total population is present on social media.
Any size business can use social media advertising to increase brand awareness and to connect with potential customers. So how does paid advertising work?
While each advertising platform (Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok, etc.) has a different interface and ad setup process, the bulk of the setup is very similar as far as the information each platform requests. Did you know that every third post on Facebook and Instagram is an advertisement? Feel free to fact-check that next time you catch yourself scrolling through your feed.
There’s a lot that goes into a successful ad buildout, from goals, A/B testing, targeting, messaging, and much more. First, we’ll talk through choosing the right platform, and the benefits of paid advertising, then we’ll break down the various elements of a digital advertising campaign and considerations you’ll need to make when creating your next campaign.
How to Choose the Right Paid Advertising Platform
The decision to invest in advertising through social media is not that simple; There are many platforms and each has its own pros and cons for businesses of all sizes, depending on your industry, your goals, and your budget.
When reviewing the different social media channels that you would like to promote on, keep the following questions in mind:
- Where is your target audience?
- What are the goals or objectives of your advertising?
- What is your budget?
Knowing the answers to those questions will help you understand which channel will be the best avenue for you to experience better results. While platform choice is important, understanding that the work you do at the forefront of each campaign will set your ads up for success.
For example, if you run a design agency and want to increase your brand awareness and showcase your work, you will want to invest in Instagram, as it is the most popular visual-based social media platform. If you have a software agency and are looking to establish yourself as an industry expert to attract business abroad, consider investing in creating videos and distributing them through YouTube.
Audience Demographics to Consider When Choosing Facebook as an Advertising Avenue
Next, let’s take a look at some of the audience demographics for Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world, followed by YouTube, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
- Age: The majority of users on Facebook are between the ages of 25 - 34, followed closely by those who are 18-24.
- Gender: 56% of Facebook users are male, 44% of users are female
- Locations: India has the most users on the platform, followed by the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines.
- Interests: The most popular interests on Facebook include business & industry, news, music, and travel & lifestyle.
Audience Demographics to Consider When Choosing Instagram as an Advertising Avenue
Let’s take a look at some of the audience demographics for Instagram in total.
- Age: The majority of users on Instagram are between the ages of 25 - 34, followed closely by those who are 18-24.
- Gender: 51% of Instagram users are female, 49% are male.
- Locations: The United States takes 1st place for the most users on Instagram, followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Japan, and Mexico to name a few.
- Interests: According to a study done by Facebook, 91% reported that they use Instagram to keep up with interests. The most popular were travel, music, food & drink for the United States, however, India’s most popular interest was technology.
Audience Demographics to Consider When Choosing LinkedIn as an Advertising Avenue
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the audience demographics for LinkedIn.
- Age: The vast majority of users on LinkedIn are between the ages of 25 - 34, followed by those who are ages 18-24.
- Gender: 57% of LinkedIn users are male, and 43% of users are female.
- Locations: The United States has the most users on the platform, followed by India, Brazil, China, and the United Kingdom.
- Interests: The most popular interests on YouTube include entertainment, food, gaming, beauty and fashion, music, sports, science and technology, and travel.
Audience Demographics to Consider When Choosing Twitter as an Advertising Avenue
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the audience demographics for Twitter.
- Age: The vast majority of users on LinkedIn are between the ages of 25 - 34, followed by those who are ages 35 - 49, with those who are ages 50+ and 18 - 24 following equally behind.
- Gender: 68% of Twitter users are male, and 31% of users are female.
- Locations: The United States has the most users on the platform, followed by Japan, India, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.
- Interests: The most popular interests on YouTube include entertainment, food, gaming, beauty and fashion, music, sports, science and technology, and travel.
Benefits of Paid Advertising
If you want to achieve measurable goals, paid social media ad campaigns are the right way to go. Paid campaigns can be launched to generate leads, increase likes, drive engagement, drive traffic to your website, or even achieve conversions. Therefore, this is the most powerful tool for businesses trying to reach their target demographics with paid digital efforts. Let’s dive into the various benefits of paid advertising.
Paid Ads Can Help to Extend Your Reach
Paid social media advertising is the best way to expand your reach, especially internationally. Paid campaigns give you the ability to control your target audience and their location, giving you the ability to instantly reach the right audience where you think they are. This is because paid advertising guarantees visibility of the source, so you can ensure that your potential customers will see your campaign.
It Fits Any Budget
Paid campaigns can be launched on any budget, making them an excellent solution for businesses of all sizes. Most social channels offer a pay-per-click model to ensure that the budget set is not exceeded. The average price per click on Facebook is $1.72 and on Instagram, it’s $6.70. If your budget is lower, Facebook may be a more successful avenue, depending on your industry, goals, and target audience. However, if you are wanting the audience you’re targeting to engage with your content, it may be more suitable to choose Instagram, as ads on this channel tend to yield a higher level of engagement.
Paid Ads Can Help to Maximize Content Marketing Efforts
You spend a lot of time creating content for your ideal audience to find value in. Paid ads are a great way to maximize the efficiency of your content advertising. Because of the variety of targeting options available, you can push a particular piece of content (such as an eBook or article) to segmented audiences based on their interests. This allows you to deliver content that will be impactful or valuable to your target audience. Doing so will increase your brand visibility, and establish your brand as a thought leader within the topics and industries you deliver content around.
Gain a Stronger Understanding of Your Target Audience
When you begin implementing paid campaigns, you can use your results to learn even more about your audience. Campaign results can provide your business with valuable market insight about your industry and your audience.
Facebook, for example, offers continuous metrics throughout your campaign, delivering information around ad performance and results over time. This information can be used to assess ad interactions across different locations, different age groups, and a variety of diverse interests. You can use this information to create hyper-segmented content for your target audience.
Paid Ads Help to Increase Brand Awareness
Your paid ads brand and content in front of your ideal audiences. This helps bring traffic to your social channels, potentially yielding an increase in followers, or to your website, for your audience to better understand your company and the solutions you provide.
Because your paid ads have created traffic to your various channels, the followers and prospects that come down your funnel, as a result, can now experience the value you deliver in the organic content you’re delivering. Potential customers will be able to get a clear idea of your brand's unique value just by visiting your social media channels.
As you share content on your social media channels, interest and engagement will increase. By engaging with your followers, addressing issues that concern them, and continually sharing value-added content, you will build more than just followers - you can build a community. This will not only strengthen brand loyalty but increase trust and prove your authenticity to potential customers.
How Does Paid Advertising Work
Currently, almost every company, no matter how small, has social channels with which they interact and provide information to build loyalty and get new customers. This is why social networks have become one of the most important means for creating paid digital campaigns.
Whether you have a marketing team or work with an external agency, here we will explain, step-by-step, how to create campaigns on the most impactful social networks: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Each platform has its own setup process, but what’s included is primarily the same across the board. Each platform will give you options around your campaign objective, budget, audience segmentation, location, optimization and delivery, and finally, ad creative and display. Now, let’s dive into creation on each platform!
How to Create a Paid Ad Campaign on Facebook
One of the advantages of advertising on Facebook is that the campaigns that run on its platform can be integrated with other company properties such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and others. Another benefit is the ability to impact a large number of users and future prospects in many ways (organic posts, paid advertising, videos, surveys, and more).
If you have determined that Facebook would be an ideal platform to run paid campaigns for your company, you have two ways to do them. The first is to create your ads directly from your company page; There you will find the option to promote the posts you have published organically or also promote the page to get new followers. This alternative does not have many segmentation alternatives or many analytics to evaluate campaigns.
A second option is through Facebook's ad management platform: Facebook Ads Manager. Here you create your campaigns from scratch taking into account the objective you have (brand awareness, consideration, conversion, etc.) and you also have to segment the audience(s) you want to reach through personalized and similar audiences. This ability to manage audiences allows this investment to be more profitable, since your ads will only impact the target audience that you want.
Before launching your advertising campaign on Facebook, you need a company page or a fan page. Next, you must create an advertising account on Facebook, and then you can explore the Ad Manager tool and all its functions.
When you have already taken a look at the dashboard in general, you click on the advertising account and the "Create campaign" button. The first thing that will appear to you is the objective that your campaign will have.
These are the different types of objectives you can find:
- Brand awareness: If your objective is to deliver the message and the services offered by your company with the goal of impacting future prospects and staying at the top of minds of these people, brand awareness would be your choice.
- Reach: Expose your ad to the largest number of users.
- Traffic: Guide users to a landing page on your website, thus increasing the number of visitors.
- Interaction: Allows you to obtain actions or interactions in your publications, “like”, “share”, add reactions and confirm requests (download, more information, reserve, among others).
- App installs: Direct users to an app store to install your company's application.
- Video Views: Show your video to as many people as possible.
- Lead Generation: Collect information (name, phone number, email, etc.) from people who are interested in a product, service, or information that your company is providing.
- Messages: Generate conversations for users to interact through messages on Messenger, Instagram Direct, or WhatsApp.
- Conversion: Allow users to perform precise actions within your website (fill out a form, make a purchase).
- Catalog sales: Allows you to display products from your catalog.
After choosing the objective, you’ll choose a name for the campaign, another for the ad set, and finally for the ads. Then you’ll move forward following the steps listed below:
In this section, you must choose the budget that your campaign is going to spend. You can choose between daily or total budget. The money allocated will be distributed in each of the ad sets you have created.
If you already have your ideal client profile or your defined buyer persona, you already have information and ideal characteristics of your target audience. With this data, you will be able to build out audience segmentation so that it reaches the people you want and will determine the success of your strategy once your campaign has completed.
3. Location and Delivery
Here you can choose the locations where you want your ads to be seen. Delivery options for displaying your ads include Facebook, Audience Network, Instagram, and Messenger.
4. Optimization and Delivery
Next is ad optimization. This means that you choose the method by which you are going to be charged: click per link, visits to the destination page, impressions, daily unique reach.
5. Ad Creation
The last point of digital advertising campaigns on Facebook is the creation of ads. Here you will choose the type of format (video, images, sequence of images), the copy or main text, the destination URL (link), and the respective call to action (action that you want the user to perform).
6. Performance and Analysis
At the end of your campaigns, it is essential that you analyze with your marketing team what aspects work and what aspects need to be improved. Ads Manager will display various metrics including: number of impressions, reach, frequency, clicks, CTR, CPC, new followers, number of video views, among others.
How to Create a Paid Ad Campaign on Instagram
Instagram has quickly gone from being a network to publish personal photos of users, to being a great ally for brands in the B2C and B2B sectors. The ads on Instagram are shown in the users' feed and also through stories, and are notated as ‘Sponsored’ below the profile name.
The various ad formats for Instagram are listed below:
- Image: it is the most popular and basic, typically displaying a square or horizontal image. Instagram displays some specifications in sizing for the photos you choose, to avoid portions of the image being cut off, or not displayed entirely.
- Video: You can also use this audiovisual alternative in your ads and create videos at a maximum of 60 seconds and a minimum of 15 seconds. Similarly, there are 15-second paid stories.
- Pro Tip: If your content has people talking, or a voiceover, include subtitles, as many users scroll through their feed in public, at their desk at work (We are all guilty!), and in other settings where blaring audio is not necessarily socially appropriate, so they tend to keep their volume at a minimum.
- Carousel: This creative format supports ten photos in one ad. Each photo includes a precise call to action to drive people to view the content on your site.
- Stories: This is one of the most attractive resources on Instagram right now. You can use this way of advertising and promoting your company, products, or services with stories of 15 seconds that appear between organic story posts in a user’s story feed.
1. Connect Your Instagram Account to Facebook
The first thing you should do is connect your Instagram account with your company's business page. The two social networks have the same platform to manage the ads.
2. Create a Campaign From the Ad Manager
If you have previously created ads on Facebook, they are the same steps. The difference is that in the location segment, in the delivery portion you will only select the Instagram option. Define the objective you want, the segmentation, the start and end dates, the budget, and the functionalities that apply according to your objective.
3. Ad Settings
After all the configuration is done, the creation of the ads continues. Here you can select the format: video, image, or stories. Next, you’ll add in the copy and the URL of the destination page that you want users to visit and the call to action.
4. Measure Your Results
The only way to guarantee successful campaigns is by creating and testing. For all your campaigns you should be reviewing metrics, identifying the impact of your ads, and what needs to be improved. A good cost per lead, or cost per action, and low CPC, or the number of clicks, are indicators of success.
Advertising on Instagram From the Instagram App
If you don't want to use Facebook, you can create your Instagram ad campaigns from the Instagram app on your phone. It’s important to note that these ads are far less customizable, as you are only able to promote posts that already exist on your feed.
Here are the steps for mobile Instagram ad creation:
- Before starting your profile, you must convert it into an account or business profile. Navigate to Settings > Account > Switch to Business Account.
- Choose the post you want to promote and click on the word “Promote”.
- Choose the objective.
- Select the call to action or CTA Register, Buy or Learn More.
- Designate a budget, duration time, and finally, press the "Create Promotion" button.
How to Create a Paid Ad Campaign on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is characterized by a purely professional audience. Ads on LinkedIn are typically B2B focused, as ads can be targeted to directly impact the key decision-makers of an organization or impact people who work within a specific industry.
Remember that before starting your campaigns you must have a business profile on LinkedIn and assign the proper permissions to the person who will manage the entire process. By having access, this person on your team will be able to enter the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Follow the steps below to create a campaign.
1. Choose Your Goal
The objective of your campaign is related to the action you want your audience to take. LinkedIn breaks these goals down into 3 segments: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions.
Here are the goals you are able to select in LinkedIn when building your campaign:
- Brand Awareness: Tell more people about your product, services, company, or LinkedIn Event
- Website Visits: Drive traffic to your website, marketing landing pages, or to your LinkedIn Event
- Engagement: Increase social engagement with your content or LinkedIn Event, or increase followers to your Company Page
- Video Views: Share your videos with more people
- Lead Generation: Capture leads on LinkedIn using a lead generation form pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data, with the ability to directly integrate with a lead management platform
- Website Conversions: Capture leads on your website and drive actions that are valuable to your business
- Job Applicants: Tell people about relevant job opportunities at your company and drive more applications to your job opportunities
2. Establish Your Audience
At this point, you can choose and segment the audiences you want to impact. You will find options such as countries, languages, companies, job functions, company size, experience level, and many more. The key to the good performance of your campaign depends on the audience segmentation that you carry out. LinkedIn support is always available to help you make decisions around optimizations for a successful campaign.
3. Ad Format
The format of your ad is the way you want your advertising to be viewed. It can be through an image, several carousel images, video, text, and LinkedIn messaging. Testing various formats will help you identify which format will generate the most ad interactions.
You can indicate if the budget will be focused on daily or monthly spend. You also choose the start and end date and the Bid (bid strategy) optimization that you would like to move forward with. Remember that the topic of digital advertising revolves around an online auction; The higher your bid, the more your content will be seen. That is why it is important to establish a balance between what you can spend and the cost per metric on the platform.
5. Ad Creation
Next, it’s time to create your ads. You have the option of creating them from scratch or promoting a post that you have previously published. Here, you’ll include the copy, the destination URL or link, the image, the call to action, and other relevant aspects in relation to the objective you have.
LinkedIn delivers a variety of metrics similar to those of Facebook and Instagram that will help you to know how your ads performed. Allowing you to evaluate data that drives the creation of a new strategy for successful future campaigns.
How to Create a Paid Ad Campaign on Twitter
If your target audience is made up of users who exist and consume content on this platform, this is the ideal channel to create your ads. You must have an active Twitter account to begin the process of creating ads. Next, you’ll create the advertising account by going to ads.Twitter.com. There, you will add the country and time zone, clicking Let’s Go to continue.
1. Define Your Goal
Twitter has several objective options to select from:
- Reach: Show your product/solution to the largest number of users.
- In-stream video views: The ad will be sponsored and promoted as a short video at the beginning of relevant and prominent videos on the platform.
- Video views: If you have an impactful video you want to promote, this would be your choice.
- App installs: You want people to install your app. You’re billed for each app install.
- Website clicks or conversions: Increase your website traffic.
- Engagements: You want to maximize engagements such as comments, likes, and retweets.
- Followers: Increase your follower count.
App re-engagements: You want people who have already downloaded your app to open and use it.
2. Campaign Settings
In this section, you will include the name of your campaign, the budget, the start and end date, and the payment method.
3. Ad Group Settings
Next, you’ll name your ad group and select your bidding option from the following: automatic bid, target cost, or maximum bid.
In automatic bidding, Twitter decides the auction value so that you get more results at a lower cost. In the target cost, Twitter shows multiple bids so that you have a reference to what other advertisers are making. For the maximum bid, you will indicate the maximum that you are willing to pay per result.
Twitter gives you the option to segment your audience based on aspects such as age range, gender, location, language, and technology. Also included are features such as keywords, interests, followers, events, movies, TV shows, among others. Additionally, you can select the types of devices to display your ad (mobile, tablet, computer) or operating system (iOS or Android).
In this step, you will select the creatives for your campaign. You can use tweets that you have already published on your profile or design a new tweet. Next, you’ll add the copy, an image, or video, and finally, add the URL (destination link) that you want to direct traffic to.
As with any campaign, it’s essential to the success of future campaigns that you carry out an analysis of the performance of your campaign. Keep in mind the metrics that the platform offers in order to identify improvements to implement in your next ad strategy.
As you can see, there are a lot of considerations to make when implementing a paid campaign on any platform. It’s important for you to have a strong grasp on your buyer personas, what platforms they are most active on, content that is relevant to your audience, and the variety of parameters you can set to ensure that your campaign is impactful.
Successful ad strategy blooms from running and rerunning campaigns, reviewing metrics, optimizing your audiences, creatives, and messaging. You may not see the results you are hoping for until you’ve taken the time to familiarize yourself with the process of learning from your ads and taking that information into account when building future campaigns.
Each of these platforms offers support for those who are creating paid campaigns, to ensure the success of your campaigns. While you’re getting started, lean on these kinds of resources to help you make informed decisions around your ad creation. You’ll be glad you did!
The LAIRE Method
At LAIRE, we have worked with a variety of clients to create a multitude of successful paid social media campaigns. We also take the time to invest in ourselves on the paid advertising front. Our team of digital growth experts is continuously reviewing and optimizing every aspect of the ads we run to improve results across the board. Our strategy wasn’t perfect, years ago, when we first began running campaigns, and that’s to be expected. Our team is always researching, learning, and executing new strategies for growth, which has paved the way for successful campaign creation and implementation time and time again.
If you’re looking for a rock-solid strategy around campaign creation, connect with our team today to discuss if LAIRE is the right fit for your company. Our team will deliver a free marketing assessment of your company to help you understand where you can see success and growth through a variety of digital efforts.