Virtually every brand has or will, at some point, use social media advertising to help build brand awareness and place their products or services in front of different audiences. And while social media ads can be cost-effective and provide a high ROI, the results you get from these ad types depends entirely on how optimized your ads are and whether they’re built to succeed.
Getting your social ads seen by the right audiences means ensuring your ads are optimized; from creative and placement to demographics and additional targeting, social media ads can be a tough nut to crack!
If you’ve ever created a social media ad or ad campaign and haven’t seen optimal results, you may need to rethink your approach or tweak how you’ve set up your ads. But have no fear, because optimizing your strategy and maximize ad delivery can be simple with 5 of our top tips.
Check creative and placements
When it comes to social media ads, knowing where to place your creative and how it’ll best perform can be confusing. And in most cases, brands may pass over placements when developing ads, but you’ll want to pay close attention to placements because this is where you choose where your ads will be displayed and served up to audiences.
For example, Instagram may be the optimal platform for your brand because it’s where your audiences are most engaged, and customers already shop your products from Instagram. So, Facebook placements (like News Feed, Messenger or Instant Articles) may not make sense from an ad point of view. Instead, you’d probably lean towards Instagram Feed and Story placements.
But one thing to keep in mind is that social ad platforms use machine learning to understand where and how your ads will best perform, which is why marketers look at placements so closely, to determine where ads perform the best. So, the more placements you have, the more the ad platform (like Facebook) can deliver them to audiences and essentially test them for you.
And your creative can impact the success of those placements and ads. It’s a good rule of thumb to limit the amount of text on photos and videos that you use in ads, and instead use copy like Headlines, Descriptions, and CTAs to get your message across in writing. That means that any photos you use should have as little text (writing) on them as possible. For photos, it’s also a good idea to use original content, as stock photography can sometimes be perceived as fake or disingenuous.
Oh, and don’t forget about mobile! More people shop online using their mobile devices, so prioritizing mobile placements can put you ahead of the curve.
Try A/B Testing
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is a technique many marketers use to test small variations in marketing initiatives to determine which creative or collateral is most effective. And you can employ A/B testing with social ads to discover which audiences or content works best for your ad campaigns.
When creating social ads in Facebook’s Ad Manager, you have the option of selecting A/B Testing before you dive into fleshing out the other details of your ad, and you can test variables like creative, audience, or placement.
Another option is to create multiple ad campaigns for the same ad, but test different audiences, different text in Headlines, Descriptions, CTAs, etc. or even the creative itself. You may find that some audiences resonate more with video versus imagery, or that a headline from one of your ads was more effective than the headline from another.
The benefit of A/B or split-testing is that you gain insight into what actually works for your audiences, and what interests them about your product or service. And that insight can be incredibly valuable when you retarget audiences or promote different products in future ad campaigns.
Consider a dedicated landing page
A dedicated landing page for your ad campaign can be extremely helpful in driving traffic to a dedicated source where you can track things like traffic, visits, time on page, clickthrough rates, and even purchases.
But dedicated landing pages have to be optimized just like your ads do, so it’s a good idea to first research how to set up a high-converting landing page, and the best platforms to host them on (like Unbounce or Squarespace). You’ll also want to consider making your landing page a mobile-friendly one, to cater to the large share of audiences that shop online using mobile.
By driving traffic from your social ads to a specific landing page, you can better track whether your ads are working, if they’re targeting the right audience, and if people are actually purchasing once they get to your landing page.
An important thing to keep in mind is that your dedicated landing page should focus on one product or service, instead of offering your full suite. That’s because you can only do so much with one social ad, and by creating product fatigue, you can alienate your audience from making a purchase. Sometimes, less is more, and giving too many options can confuse customers.
Create custom URL parameters
URL parameters are a great way of understanding the efficacy of your ads but can also be helpful in tracking ad results in platforms like Google Analytics.
Most social media ads will benefit from custom URL parameters to identify where your ad traffic has originated from and which ads are succeeding. Beyond that, it can also help you pinpoint which ad audiences were the most engaged, so you can remarket to them later on.
When building custom URL parameters in your ad campaign using Facebook Ads Manager, you can choose to include specific variables, like campaign source, campaign content, and campaign medium, but you can also include your own parameters.
Once you’ve created the URL, you can use it to track traffic and other metrics using a tool or platform like Google Analytics. Keep in mind that, while you can create these URLs in Facebook, you have to track them independently.
Don’t forget about content sizes
Have you ever come across an ad on Instagram, for example, and noticed that the text is blurry, or the image is too large for your Feed, or that some text is completely cut-off in a Story ad? That’s likely due to incorrect sizing, and it’s one of the easiest ways to set up a social media ad for failure.
You’ll notice when setting up an ad in the Facebook Ads Manager that different placements require different sizes for content; for example, Instagram Story placements will need content that is 9:16, whereas some Facebook ad placements prefer 16:9. The good news is that you can explore those sizes right in the ad creator, and Facebook will tell you if your ad content isn’t the appropriate size, which helps in creating content with the right aspect ratios.
If you’re not familiar with creating content for social ads, you can always explore Canva’s robust library of social media ad templates but remember that original content (like photography) works much better than stock imagery or content with too much text or graphic elements.
Once you’re ready to make your next social media ad campaign a roaring success, work with our experienced social media experts here at StreetDog Marketing for pawsitively effective ad campaigns!