Social Media Advertising 101: The Basics of Running Effective Ads

Many social media sites offer the capability to advertise. You might be wondering why you should pay for advertising on social media sites when you can just publish a post and send it off to the masses. 

Well, posting to social media doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting as many views as you should. Some sites, for example, Facebook, don’t make it easy for consumers to see posts from brands — even if those people liked the brand’s page. When you pay for advertising on social media sites, you’re paying for the ability to reach more people.

Social media has the advertising world in ferment. As applications from social media companies mature, audiences grow, and technology improves, the companies expand their advertising opportunities to make money for their investors — everyone is just trying to make a buck, especially through mobile advertising.

Many social media sites, especially blogs, have long accepted advertising that you can incorporate into your plans for paid advertising (if any). Some large channels (such as Google+, Blogger, and YouTube) and many smaller social media venues display standard PPC, banner, and multimedia ads from Google AdWords or Yahoo! Advertising. Other social media channels offer their own advertising programs.

In this article, we discuss the major ones: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can also explore additional popular social media sites offering paid advertising.

Why Use Social Media Advertising?

The increased advertising offerings on social media channels could be interpreted as attempts to overcome consumers’ acquired banner blindness to ads appearing in predictable online locations — and a deep desire to cut into Google’s share of total online advertising revenue.

In 2021, Digital ad revenue in the U.S. jumped 35% to $189 billion as marketers chased consumers spending ever more time on social media sites. 

The growth in social advertising is also driven by greater reach, better analytics, higher click-through rates, and a higher degree of engagement with mobile ads. Mobile ads not only catch people who seek something specific, but they catch them at the very moment they’re on the move and interested in a purchase.

Demand for mobile advertising will likely drive up costs while performance and targeting improve. If mobile ad space becomes scarce, competition for it will increase. 

Don’t expect social media channels to increase the number of ads they show to a particular user. They can simply raise their prices, in effect slamming shut the advertising window for small businesses that have limited budgets.

How To Maximize Your Advertising Dollars

You can and should take advantage of targeting your audience as closely as the tools allow, selecting by geography, demographics, education, and interest area whenever possible. Some folks object to the targeting: Older women seem to receive a disproportionate number of ads for skin creams and diets; those who change their status to Engaged are quickly deluged with ads from wedding service providers.

You can evaluate advertising placements on these sites just as you would evaluate advertising placed anywhere else. Using relevant advertising metrics, consider cost per click (CPC), cost per 1,000 (CPM) impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and the resulting conversions to decide whether any of these ads pay off for you.

Sometimes, social media advertising is less expensive than traditional pay-per-click (PPC), banner, or retargeting ads through search engines, but not always.

CPC refers to the measure of how one will pay for an ad; PPC is more about the system of buying the ads.

Results so far indicate that display ads appearing on social media pages generally perform about the same as display ads on other sites. The average CTR in 2016 was 0.17 percent, according to Smart Insights.

So many variables affect CTR — ad size, placement, quality of the ad, match to the audience, and value of the offer — that it’s hard to predict exactly how your ad will perform.

Averages are averages. The range at both ends may be extreme. Like so much material on the web, the only metrics that matter are your own.

Although you can test the same ad in several places at the same time to see which publishers yield the most bang for your advertising buck, also take into consideration whether the audiences on different social channels respond to a different message.

Advertising on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook offers several forms of advertising, each of which can appear in three places: in the right-hand column of a desktop Facebook page, in a user’s desktop news feed, or with Facebook’s mobile news feed.

Instagram ads appear for those who are viewing the app on mobile devices but aren’t visible for desktop users. Learn more about how to advertise on Instagram.

News feed ads are much more visible to viewers because they appear in the middle of posts from their friends and others, and because they almost always involve large, eye-catching graphics. Right-column ads are often ignored, so you might want to save those for branding.

Like Google AdWords, pricing is on a bid basis, where you can set your daily maximum and campaign duration.

Getting started

To start developing a Facebook ad campaign, access your Facebook account and then follow these steps:

Step 1: To start advertising, go to www.facebook.com/ads/create.

Alternatively, select Create Ads from the drop-down list that appears when you click the down-pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the blue toolbar at the top of your page.

Step 2: On the screen that appears, establish an objective for your ad by selecting an option from the Choose Your Objective page, under the What’s Your Marketing Objective menu.

Choose the objective that comes closest to your needs. Don’t worry — you can always change your mind later! Facebook distinguishes the following objectives:

  1. Send people to your website: Drive traffic to your website (away from Facebook).
  2. Increase brand awareness: Increase awareness of your company by promoting to people who are most likely to be interested in it.
  3. Increase local awareness: Promote to people who live in the area.
  4. Reach: Target your ad to reach the maximum amount of people.
  5. Increase conversions on your website: Promote specific actions (conversions) on your website, such as a newsletter sign-up, white paper download, or purchase.
  6. Drive people to a brick-and-mortar location: Promote to the people who live in the area with the types of content that will encourage them to visit a specific location.
  7. Product catalog sales: Drive sales by displaying enticing pictures from an online catalog.
  8. Boost your posts: Promote a specific post on your timeline to increase reach; this is an internal Facebook objective.
  9. Promote your Page: Increase traffic or likes to grow your brand or audience; this is an internal Facebook objective.
  10. Get installs of your app: Encourage downloads of your apps.
  11. Increase engagement in your app: Encourage people to use your desktop app.
  12. Raise attendance at your event: Get more people to attend your events.
  13. Get people to claim your offer: Offer discounts, promo codes, or coupons for buyers to use on your site, in your storefront, or when purchasing a service.
  14. Get video views: Get more people to view your videos. After you select an objective, you are sent to an explanation panel at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: Enter a name for your campaign in the Campaign Name box and then click the blue Continue button to start your campaign.

Step 4: Define your audience.

You can choose to Create New for a new target audience, or use a Saved Audience from a previous campaign. For our purposes, we’ll create a new target audience.

Select options to target audiences based on specific demographics, including location, age, gender, language, and interests.

Next, select how you want to reach this target audience, such as through an app, an event, or a Facebook page. You can also choose whether to limit and add to friends only, or friends of friends.

Step 5: Choose the page you want to promote.

Enter the page’s URL, or select it from the drop-down list that appears when you place your cursor in the Choose Page field.

Step 6: Click Save This Audience.

Step 7: Choose your placements:

  1. Instant articles: This new Facebook tool allows media publishers to deliver interactive articles to readers via Messenger or the mobile app.
  2. Automatic placements: Your ad will automatically target your audience based on where they’re likely to have the best performance.
  3. Edit placements: Gives you the option of removing placements, which can reduce the amount of people who see your ad.

Step 8: Determine your budget.

Use the drop-down menu to decide how much you’d like to spend and for how long. For example, you can choose to spend $5 per day for 30 days.

Step 9: (Optional) Choose advanced settings.

If you select this option, you can choose how you want ads delivered based on goals. However, Facebook sets the bid amount based on how effectively they can optimize delivery. In this scenario, you’re charged for impressions. You can also schedule ad delivery — all the time or per a schedule — and the type of delivery.

If you’ve never worked with Facebook ads before, it’s better to go with the basic options. When you get the hang of Facebook advertising, you can play around with advanced options.

Step 10: Give your ad set a name, and then click the blue Continue button.

You can name the ad what you like, but most people name it to describe the type of campaign.

Step 11: Choose your ad’s format.

For example, you can have a carousel of images, a single image, a slide show, a video, or a story canvas.

Step 12: Choose the page you’re promoting and the text to go with your ad.

Step 13: Enter a URL if the ad is to direct traffic, and choose a call of action if necessary.

Step 14: Preview your ad to make sure it’s exactly as you’d like it.

Step 15: Review and place your order.

Boosting or promoting a post

You can boost a post directly from your Facebook page. By boosting a post, you get more views on a specific, targeted post. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to any recent post.
  2. Click the Boost Post button at the bottom of the post.
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, choose your audience, budget, and how you want the Boost Post campaign to run.
  4. Click Boost.

A boosted post has two special characteristics:

  1. It appears higher in viewers’ news feeds, so it attracts more attention.
  2. It gets a much broader distribution than an ordinary post. You can boost any post, including status updates, photos, offers, or videos. Only 6 to 8 percent of your followers or likes may actually see a specific, un-boosted post in their news feeds. There’s simply too much material for Facebook to show everyone everything. By boosting a post, you ensure wider distribution to your likes and to followers who may not yet have liked your page, thus dramatically increasing the reach for that post.

Paying for your Facebook ads

Facebook offers a bid-based ad auction. You specify the amount you’re willing to pay, but the winning bid may vary constantly based on the number of competing ads and the quality of your ad performance.

As with online advertising elsewhere, Facebook generally offers several options for pricing ads:

  • Cost per click (CPC): You pay for the ad only when someone clicks on an ad that takes him or her to either an external link or another internal Facebook page. The minimum bid for a click is one cent. You might also pay per type of engagement, such as a like or a comment.
  • Cost per thousand (CPM) impressions: Your cost is based on how many thousands of people see your ad, whether they click or not. This type of pricing makes more sense for branding ads.
  • Flat fee (available only for boosted posts): You set a flat fee to boost a post that will last for the length of time you set for your boost campaign. Charges, which are calculated by impression, are deducted from that budget.

No matter what option you select, Facebook will never charge more per click than you enter, or charge more than the lifetime or daily budget you specify when you set up your ad campaign.

Advertising on YouTube

YouTube is an excellent traffic platform for building relationships with customers and prospects. With the different types of ads you can create on this traffic platform, you can build relationships and convert cold prospects into hot repeat buyers, all within the YouTube platform. Learn more about different types of YouTube ads.

Getting Started

Once your marketing video is completed, the next step is to create the campaign in which you will advertise your clip on YouTube. To get started, go to Google AdWords account (sign up if you don’t have one) and let’s create the campaign:

Type – Click on the ‘+ Campaign’ button and choose ‘Video’ to choose the type of your campaign.

Name – Here, enter the name of your campaign.

Ad Format – Choose the format of your video ad. For instance, choose ‘In- stream or video discovery ads’.

Budget – Set how much money you wish to spend per day. Here, you can also select the method of delivery, meaning you can choose whether to show your video ads evenly during that day (standard delivery), or you can choose to drive views quickly (accelerated delivery).

Networks – You can choose where you want your video ads to appear. You have two options:

  • YouTube Videos: These ads will play before or mid-roll videos.
  • YouTube Search: Your ad will appear on the YouTube homepage, the video search results, and listed in the related video column.

Make sure to create different campaigns for these two networks so you can measure the success separately and more effectively.

Locations – Filter the location of the users that you want the ad to be shown to, for instance, you can only choose California, United States. You also have the option to exclude some places as well.

Language, Device & Mobile Bidding – This is a great option that allows you to specify the device, mobile carrier, and operating system for a more successful targeting. You can also decrease or increase your bid if the video is shown on a mobile device.

Advanced Settings – In this section, you can set the start and end date of your campaign, limit the daily views, create a schedule for when the ad should be displayed, etc. This allows you to personalize your ad and get the most return.

Creating the Video Ad Creative – Once you name your ad group, you can also add the link to the YouTube video that you wish the ad to play for. Then, you will choose whether you wish to display the ad as an in-display or in-stream ad.

Bidding – Choose the maximum price that you want to pay for each ad view.

Targeting – Define your audience even further to ensure views from people who will want to be engaged with the ad. You can target by age, gender, location, interest, parental status, etc.

Advanced Targeting – Here, you can target your audience by relevant keywords or even websites that you want your ad to be shown.

Linking – Finally, if you haven’t done it already, link your Google AdWord account to your YouTube channel, Click ‘Finish’ and start your campaign.

Using AdWords for video ad campaign

You can set up your YouTube video ads campaign from your AdWords account. Doing so will allow you to leverage advertising settings that are unique to the AdWords platform such as more detailed audience targeting options and pre-set marketing objectives. 

To use AdWords for video you will simply have to start on your AdWords account and from there click on the “campaigns” tab. Now click on the “new campaign” button and click on the “video” option from the campaign type selection menu to use the AdWords for video feature to launch your YouTube campaigns from AdWords. 

So, the first step is to create your new video campaign, so let’s show you how step by step. Start by naming your new video campaign in the “campaign name” field. Now select your type of video campaign.

You will have two type of video campaigns to choose from. The “standard” type is designed to drive views, awareness and conversions with video ads running on YouTube and on other places around the web. 

The “shopping” type is designed to encourage people to buy products specifically listed in your Google Merchant Center account. You can also use the “load settings from” menu to load settings from existing video campaigns. 

In our case, we are going to select the “standard” video campaign type to drive people to our business website and to increase awareness about our brand. 

Now over the “video ad formats” section you will have to select your new video ad format. You can use the “in-stream or video discovery ads” format to publish video ads that appear during playtime and as search results on YouTube, or you can use the “bumper ads” format to show un-skippable 6 second video ads during mid play on YouTube videos.

In our case, we are going to select the “in-stream or video discovery ads” format to show our engaging sweepstake advert on YouTube videos and on YouTube search results, but you might want to select a different format depending on how you created your video ad and on how you would like to show your adverts to viewers on the platform.

Please note that the “maximum cost per mile” option is only available if you select the “bumper ads” format. Now, over the “budget” section you will have the options to either set a “daily” budget or a fixed “campaign total”.

The “daily” budget option will allow you to set up a daily amount of money towards advertising your video campaign, which means that your daily budget will be the amount of money that you will spend on a given video ad campaign on a daily basis, and the “campaign total” option will allow you to set up a lifetime budget for this campaign’s run.

Our recommendation here is to select a “daily” budget and to allocate from $5 to $30 a day depending on how much you can afford to spend on a daily basis. This will allow you to test out your campaigns and to increase your daily budget amount if you are achieving your target objectives, or to pause your campaigns and optimize them if you are not seeing an adequate return on investment over your ad spend.

Click on the “campaign start and end date” display button to set up your campaign’s start and end dates. It will be set by default to start as soon as it is approved and without an end date, but you can check the calendar boxes below and to use the calendar functions to schedule your video ad campaigns.

In our case, we are going to leave our new video campaign unscheduled so we can stop it on a later date on our own. You can select on the “delivery method” display button to select an ad delivery speed.

You can select “standard” to deliver your ads evenly over the course of the day or during the length of the campaign’s lifetime, or you can select “accelerated” to show your ads quickly and to as many people as possible.

In the “networks” section you can select placements to show your video ads, including YouTube search results, on YouTube videos, and on “Video partners on the display network”. Our recommendation here is to leave all the options selected.

Now in the “locations” section you can select where to show your video ads, either in “all countries and territories”, or in your current location. You can check the “let me choose” option to select your own target locations, which is what we recommend. In our case, we are going to select some high-spending, English speaking locations where to advertise our offer.

In the “languages” section you will be able to specify the language of your potential customers, and in the “device” section you can adjust advanced device targeting settings. Lastly, you will be able to create custom ad schedules by clicking on the “ad scheduling” display button and to set up frequency caps and content exclusions by clicking on the “ad delivery” display button.

Once you have set this up simply click on “save and continue” to move on. Now it is time to create your ad and your ad group. Start by naming your new ad group in the “ad group” field. Now enter your video ad URL in the “video ad” field.

​​In our case, because we selected the “in-stream or video discovery ad” format, we will have the option to customize each ad format variation separately. Start by selecting “in-stream ad” if this is your case as well.

You will simply have to enter your “display URL”, which is the website address that appears in your ad, and the “final URL”, which is the valid URL that people will click through to go to your site. Now select the “video discovery ad” to customize your discovery ad. Start by selecting your video ad thumbnail. Then you have to customize your headline and your description lines.

Just like we advised you on the basic campaign set up video, use headlines for short copy where you include the name of your brand, your product, or service, as well as keywords that describe the use and benefits of your offer, and use the “description line 1” field to enter your website URL, and the “description line 2” field to add a call to action or an incentive.

Then on the “landing page” section select whether to make your “channel page on YouTube” or “the video’s watch page on YouTube” the video ad’s landing page, and then name your video ad in the “ad name” field.

In the “bidding” section you can set a fixed maximum bid according to your bidding objective. In other words, it is the highest amount that you are willing to pay for a single view or impression, depending on which one you choose as your objective. Our recommendation here is to apply an amount a little bit above the “typical” amount recommended by AdWords right beside the amount box.

Lastly, in the “targeting” section you will be able to set up your audience targeting options. Here you will be able to customize your target audience according to “demographics” and “interests”.

In the “demographics” subsection you will be able to target audiences by “gender”, “age”, “parental status” and “household income”. How you adjust these demographic settings will mostly depend on the offer that you want to promote and the message that you want to send through your video ads, so take the time to research your target audience!

Once you have made your adjustments in this subsection simply click on “done” to save your changes. Now in the “interests” subsection, you will be able to target “affinity audiences” for maximum reach, to target “in-market audiences” for maximum return on investment, and to target “custom affinity audiences”.

You will also have the option to target audiences by “life events” such as “college graduation”, “marriage” and “moving”. Lastly, you will be able to use the “narrow your audience” menu to add targeting criteria to your targeting settings including specific “keywords” and “placements”, as well as to target website visitors through “remarketing” and by targeting specific topics.

Once you have set up your ad groups and ads, simply click on “save ad group”. Awesome! Now your new YouTube video ad campaign is up and running alongside the rest of your AdWord campaigns.

Advertising on Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter offers you the ability to reach more people through advertisements. By using Twitter ads, you can create campaigns to meet specific goals, gain followers, and drive engagement.

In this section, you explore how to get started with Twitter ads and how to use them to achieve your goals.

Promoting your tweets

Promoted tweets, like organic tweets, may include hashtags, rich media, and links to your website, and they offer the same forms of engagement: replies, favorites, and retweets.

Unlike organic tweets, however, you can target non-followers by demographics, interests, keywords, geography, device, similarity to current followers, and more. You pay only when someone engages with your tweet. Whether you promote an existing organic tweet or create a new one, you can reach a new audience to grow your Twitter presence.

Promoted tweets may appear other places besides viewers’ timelines, including in search results for terms or trends, on Twitter’s mobile products, and syndicated to some third-party clients, such as Hootsuite.

Pretest your content or look at results of existing organic tweets to select one for promotion that already performs well. According to BI Intelligence, a good engagement rate for a promoted tweet would be about 3 percent.

Promoting your account

Like a promoted tweet, a promoted account can be targeted to your desired audience. However, it differs from a tweet in content and format. A promoted account ad includes a short, vivid description of the benefits of following your business on Twitter, plus your company logo and a call to action.

For this type of promotion, you might want to target users who are similar to your existing followers, are similar to influential figures in your industry, or share an interest in the products, services, issues, or concepts relevant to your business.

Promoted accounts appear in somewhat different places than promoted tweets. In addition to the timeline, they appear in the Who to Follow widget, which appears on multiple pages. This advertising choice is priced on a cost-per-follow (CPF) basis. You pay only when new visitors choose to follow your account.

Promoting a trend

Trending topics, which appear on the left side of a viewer’s home page, show topics of interest in different countries during a 24-hour window. Promoted trends, if any, are labeled in this module. Although trends are updated every 24 hours, you can promote a trend for several weeks if you want.

Promoted trends are fairly subtle. They make sense for large corporate branding campaigns, when you need to reach a mass (relatively untargeted) audience, or if you want to launch a new product line — say to promote the next Apple iPhone introduction.

Remarketing with Twitter

Like remarketing products on other platforms, Twitter remarketing lets you target only Twitter users who have already visited your website. Twitter visitors who see one of your promoted tweets or Twitter cards will then see a reminder ad to help keep your company top of mind.

Engaging your Twitter audience

It does sometimes seem that social media platforms are spending more time watching their competitors than developing new ideas of their own. Fortunately, Twitter, like Facebook, enables you to place ads that help you to achieve your goals and provide an engaging, interactive experience for your audience.

While your audience reacts to your content, you can achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase traffic or conversions on your website. Follow Twitter’s targeting options for keywords, location, or interest to drive a more qualified audience to your website.
  • Increase the number of installations of your app or engagement with it. Create campaigns designed so that Twitter users can download and open your app from a tweet.
  • Increase your Twitter followers. Target Twitter users who are most like your current followers or who match the profile of those you seek as followers.
  • Improve lead generation. Add a special lead generation card to your tweet. This allows prospects to share their contact information with two simple clicks instead of leaving Twitter or filling out a form. Then, all you have to do is follow up.

Pricing and bidding on Twitter

Twitter’s ad prices are based on actions other than clicks. You bid a price for a specific action based on the type of advertising you choose. You’re charged a flat price only when a viewer takes that action, whether it’s submitting information through your campaign, following you, or retweeting.

Twitter doesn’t charge for organic tweets.

Follow these steps to bid:

Step 1: Go to https://biz.twitter.com/start-advertising to set up your account.

Step 2:Using the drop-down menus indicate the country where your business is located and whether your monthly budget will be less than or more than $5,000.

Step 3:Click the Let’s Go button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4:Click the down arrow on the Create Campaign button in the top-right corner of the screen.

A drop-down menu with advertising objectives appears.

Step 5: Select your objective from the six choices on the list. 

The choices are Followers, Website Clicks or Conversions, Tweet Engagements, App Installs or Re-engagements, Leads on Twitter, and Custom. A new screen appears for the objective you selected.

  1. Followers: Helps you to grow a Twitter follower base.
  2. Website Clicks or Conversions: Directs people to your website or specific sales pages.
  3. Tweet Engagements: Geared toward encouraging retweets, likes, and conversation.
  4. App Installs or Re-engagements: Promotes your apps to new users or encourages previous users of that app to revisit. You can choose options based on your objective.
  5. Leads on Twitter: Encourages lead generation to drive potential customers to perform a specific action.
  6. Custom: Allows you to customize your advertising experience.

Step 6: Name your campaign.

Choose a name that describes your goal or target audience.

Step 7: Determine tracking options so you can see specific metrics such as site visits, purchases, and other options.

Step 8: Select your audience.

You can target specific ages and demographics, including location, language, gender, mobile users and more.

Step 9: In the budget section, set a daily spending maximum.

No matter where you set your maximum bid, Twitter won’t charge more than a penny above the next highest bid until you reach your maximum price. You’ll receive information about what other advertisers are bidding so you can optimize your spending.

Set a total budget (optional) for the duration of your campaign. Your ads will stop showing as soon as your budget has been met.

Step 10: Under Creative Options, create a new tweet or promote an existing tweet.

Step 11:  Click the Launch button at the top right.

Dealing with Twitter cards

Twitter cards allow you to attach photos, videos, and other rich media to tweets. And guess what? Twitter cards are free. However, you’ll have to set up a payment account to create them.

Although it’s possible to create some Twitter cards on your own, you’ll probably need the person who handles coding for your website to deal with some of the less intuitive options.

Twitter offers the following types of cards:

  • Summary card (default): Includes title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account information
  • Summary card with large image: Same as the default summary card, plus a large photo
  • Photo card: One photo only
  • Gallery card: Four photos
  • App card: Info about a mobile app, including a download link
  • Player card: Offers video, audio, or other rich media as part of a tweet
  • Product card: Displays optimized product information

Because most Twitter cards interact with your website, your web developer will need to add a few lines of HTML code to your site. When users tweet a link to your content, their tweet will include a card that their followers can see. For more information, send your developer to https://dev.twitter.com/cards/overview or https://dev.twitter.com/cards/getting-started.

Advertising on LinkedIn

Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the best social media channel for reaching professionals and business-to-business prospects. Although its user population is smaller than many of the other, broader B2C social media channels, LinkedIn still offers opportunities for advertising to reach targeted populations.

Be cautious about creating too narrow a target market for your advertising in LinkedIn. You can quickly exhaust the potential reach for your ad if the base is too small.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers a combination of externally focused ads that appear in the right column of various pages and promoted posts that appear in viewers’ news feeds to drive people to a specific post you’ve created.

Ads may appear on the profile pages of other LinkedIn members, on a user’s own home page, in a user’s message inbox, on a search results page, or on LinkedIn group pages.

Follow these steps to set up an ad account on LinkedIn:

Step 1: Go to https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads?lr=1 and click the Create Ad button located at top right. Log in using your LinkedIn password.

Step 2: From the Campaign Manager dashboard, choose the type of ad you want to place:

  • Sponsored Content: Attracts new people to your LinkedIn page, and drives engagement with branded content.
  • Text Ads: Targeted campaigns appearing in LinkedIn’s right sidebar. You can tailor them to meet budgetary needs.
  • Sponsored Inmail: Send targeted direct messages.

Step 3: Add your LinkedIn business page.

Step 4: Name your campaign. Most people include details such as date, demographic information, or campaign type.

Step 5: Add information about your brand.

Step 6: Include the target URL, the title of your ad, and the ad copy.

Step 7: Save your ad to put it in LinkedIn’s queue to review. Select your target audience, choose your price, and enter payment info.

After your ad is approved, it will run as requested.

Targeting your LinkedIn ads

Not surprisingly, the categories available for targeting an audience on LinkedIn are different from the categories you see on Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn collects many strictly business-oriented items that other social media simply don’t ask about for their profiles.

Because members supply most of the information in their own profiles, business pages, and showcase pages that LinkedIn uses for targeting, you have to accept that self-revealed information may not always be accurate. LinkedIn generally allows you to select multiple items in a category or offers you the chance to drill down so that you can narrow a field. Categories include the following:

  • Job title: Choose C-suite executives, purchasing agents, members of technical staff, and more.
  • Job function: Select from engineers, human resources, or marketing, for example.
  • Company or industry: Select from dozens of drill-down categories.
  • Member schools: Choose different schools and types of schools.
  • Fields of study: Target academic experience.
  • Degrees: Reach members by levels of education.
  • Years of experience: Choose targeted audience based on how long they’ve been working and doing business.
  • Member skills: Target specific levels and areas of expertise.
  • Company size: Based on the number of employees.
  • Company name: Great for targeting everyone on LinkedIn who works for a large multinational corporation — for example, everyone who might need your travel services.
  • Job seniority: Position in firm, such as owner.
  • Member age: Standard demographic choices.
  • Member gender: Standard demographic choices.

Pricing and bidding

LinkedIn’s pricing and bidding structure works much like Facebook and Twitter. You specify a daily budget and a bid price based on either cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand (CPM) impressions. Like with other advertising options, LinkedIn must approve your ads. You can start and stop your ads whenever you want.

LinkedIn requires a $10-per-day minimum budget. LinkedIn will suggest a bid range based on the competition, but the choice is up to you. It also charges a one-time $5 activation fee.

Generally, clicks on LinkedIn are more costly than on Facebook and other social media advertising channels because it delivers such a coveted and detailed target audience.

Advertising on Pinterest

According to DataReportal, Pinterest has now accumulated 433 million active users. In 2016, Pinterest released an advertising option called Promoted Pins, which allows you to target non-followers with pins of interest and drive those users directly to your website.

Pinterest allows advertisers to place conversion pixels on their website to track from click-through to purchase. Your programmer will need to place a tiny piece of code on your site, probably on the thank-you page following a purchase.

Based on information provided by its users, Pinterest lets you target your audience by geography, demographics, devices, and search-term use. It also allows advertisers to supply coded identifiers that can be matched to Pinterest users to define a target audience. For example, the email addresses of your newsletter subscribers can be cross-matched to the database of Pinterest users.

Pinterest has established some specific rules for what constitutes an acceptable Promoted Pin and reviews all Promoted Pins. In particular, Pinterest specifies, “There can be no promotional information, calls to action, service claims, price listing, or deceptive content in the pin image. Ads must be accurate, and lead to a relevant landing page with no sign-up requests.”

Pricing and bidding

Charges for Promoted Pins are based on a cost per click (CPC). As usual, you specify a daily budget, duration, and a CPC bid. You’re charged only when someone clicks from your Promoted Pin to your website.

Engagement ads

Users have obviously started to tune out banner ads online, even when the ads spill all over content and refuse to close, irritate eyeballs with annoying animation, or interrupt concentration with surprising bursts of unwanted sound. New forms of advertising that incorporate user information from social media are beginning to populate pages all over the Internet.

The fuse was lit for this form of innovation, and social media technologies ignited it, for good or ill. The marriage of advertising message with individual user information — with the potential of turning every viewer into a shill — has serious implications for privacy. Although the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has published best practices for user opt-in and privacy protection, it isn’t clear how well they will be followed. The IAB defines these engagement ads, sometimes called social banners, as

a type of banner that incorporates social or conversational functionality within it… . The key to success is for social banner ads to enable consumers to have a real interactive experience within the unit, as opposed to just passively viewing the content within the ad.

Comment-style ads seem to work well for entertainment, new products, cars, and clothes, although virtual gift ads seem to attract consumer product and entertainment advertisers. Clicking the like button on an ad now turns viewers into connections for that brand. This call-to-action ad works well for any established brand, luxury products, and products or entertainers that have a passionate following.

More complex engagement ads draw content from a social network: the photo image and name from a profile (presuming an emotionally effective brand endorsement) or user-generated phrases from tweets, blogs, or RSS feeds. Users review the modified ads; if they agree to allow it, the ads are then distributed to their personal networks. For these complex ads to operate, the user must already be connected to her social network. (One could imagine using these ads to play an interesting game of rumor.)

Interactive engagement ads probably require involvement from tech support or your web developer.

Marketers currently hypothesize that engagement ads, like promoted tweets, have an enhanced value based on factors other than click-through rates (CTRs), such as how long consumers spend interacting with an ad or how often consumers share the ad with their friends. If the sharing results in a cascading effect of recommended impressions to presumably qualified prospects, who just so happen to be friends, all the better for you.

Advertising on TikTok

TikTok is one of the newest social networking apps available, and it’s one of the most popular with a large worldwide audience of 1 billion users, 850 million of those monthly active users. One of the draws is that TikTok videos, although no more than a minute long, grab the attention because of how easy it is to get creative by adding special effects, music, and voice-overs, and even creating “duets” which are two videos running side by side.

TikTok is available in over 150 countries and has been downloaded more than 2 billion times, 175 million times in the United States alone. The user base tends to skew younger, with just over 32 percent of users being between the ages of 10 and 19 years old and nearly 30 percent being in the 20 to 29 age range.

At the time of this writing, TikTok is 5 years old overall, but only 3 years old in the United States. That’s right … an app that has only been in the U.S. has already amassed over 175 million downloads. If that doesn’t speak to the popularity of the video app, I don’t know what will!

Brands have taken notice and more and more companies (of all sizes) are showing up in the feeds of TikTok users. Why not jump on the train?

As is the case with all advertising opportunities, be sure to do your research to determine if your target audience is on TikTok. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money to get in front of an audience that isn’t interested in your product.

To get started advertising on TikTok, follow these steps:

  1. Point your browser to www.tiktok.com/business/en and click the red Get Started button in the top right. The Ads Manager login page appears and you’ll need to create an Ads Manager account even if you already have a TikTok user account.
  2. Click Sign Up underneath the login box and follow the instructions to get an account. Be sure to use the same email address and/or phone number you used for your regular TikTok account to make sure the Ads Manager account is connected.
  3. Click the blue Register button after you’re finished. You’ll be taken to the Ads Manager dashboard.
  4. Click the blue Create an Ad button in the center of the screen at the top. You’re now on the Campaign screen.
  5. Select your Advertising Objective from the options in the center of the screen. The options are Reach, Traffic, App Installs, Video Views, and Conversions. For the purpose of this example, I selected Traffic.
  6. Scroll down the screen and enter your campaign name, whether or not you want to A/B test your ads, your budget, and click Continue. Don’t worry about unchecking the Budget box on this screen, because you’ll be able to set your ad budget on the next screen.
  7. On the following screen, fill out all the information and click Next. This is the screen where you’ll do the bulk of your ad creation including Ad placement, budget, target audience, the location your ad will take visitors, schedule, and bidding. As you adjust the settings, the Audience Size gauge on the right of the page changes to reflect how many people your ad will reach.
  8. Create your TikTok ad. Select whether you want to create a single video or an ad with one image and follow the instructions that appear. Be sure to take note of the ad specifications to the right of the page. Following these specs ensures your ad looks and performs its best.
  9. Once you upload or create your ad image, click the blue Submit button. Your ad is now submitted for approval, and you’re taken to the screen to enter your business’ information such as address, verify your business by filling in fields such as a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (Optional), and choose your payment type.
  10. Fill out the required information and click Next. Now you’re on the account balance page.
  11. Click the Add Balance button and decide on how much money you want to add to your Ads account. You can choose a pre-selected amount or enter your own amount. The lowest amount you can add is $10.00. Click the Add Now button and the Confirm button in the pop-up box that appears.
  12. On the next screen, add your payment information and click Finish. Congratulations! You placed your first ad on TikTok! You will receive an email when your ad has been approved.

Interfacing with Influencers

Influencer marketing has been around since the dawn of time. Okay, so maybe not that long. But it’s been around quite a while under the term endorsements. You’re probably familiar with that term, right? But, in the past, endorsements were only done by celebrities and other famous folks like athletes. Nowadays, however, influencer marketing is done by anyone with a social media following. You can go big and work with celebrities with millions of followers, or you can choose to work with microinfluencers, people with fewer than 2,000 followers. Whichever avenue you choose, expect the cost to reflect that.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to work with influencers:

  • Does the influencer have an engaged following? In other words, are their followers liking and commenting on posts and does the influencer respond? How much of a community does the influencer cultivate?
  • Has the influencer worked with brands such as yours in the past? For example, you don’t want to necessarily work with a home improvement influencer if you sell all natural beauty products. Their endorsement will be less believable, and their audience doesn’t follow them for beauty advice.
  • How long has the influencer been doing this? Are they skilled at creating engaging and eye-catching posts? Do you have the option of creating the posts for them or do they create their own?
  • What posting frequency are you looking for? Do you want the post to stay up, or are they allowed to take them down after a certain amount of time?
  • What is the goal of your campaign? Do you want to sell product, push people to a website, build brand awareness?
  • What does a successful campaign look like? How will you gauge whether or not the campaign was successful?

Influencer marketing is still a pretty new marketing strategy, but it’s one that’s proving to be successful if done correctly. 

Social Media Advertising Tips

1. Strengthening your offer

The first aspect to focus on when your campaign isn’t performing as expected is your offer. Ask yourself: Do people want what you’re selling? If you don’t offer something that your market actually wants or needs, you won’t get conversions. To see whether your offer is appealing, answer these three questions:

  • Are you solving a problem for a specific group of people?
  • Does a specific need exist for what you’re offering?
  • Are you offering your market value?

If your answer is “No” to any of these questions, you’ve already found your problem.

No matter how compelling your landing page copy is or how attention-grabbing your image may be, the best marketing campaign in the world can’t solve an offer issue. 

This is why your offer is so crucial and is the key to the success or failure of any marketing campaign. A poorly executed marketing campaign with a great offer usually outperforms a great marketing campaign with a poor offer. If a poor offer is your problem, you need to come up with a new and better offer before you run traffic to it.

2. Tweaking your targeting

Another big culprit of a struggling ad campaign is your targeting. If you’ve concluded that your offer isn’t the problem and have proof to back that up, examine whether you’re targeting the right people. Regardless of whether you have the best offer and marketing message, putting your offer in front of the wrong audience means that your campaign will fail. Are you targeting people who will actually buy?

The biggest targeting mistake you can make is to get too specific, or too broad in fear of missing out on potential prospects. If you’re in doubt about the size of the audience you’re targeting, go a bit smaller. Then, if the campaign meets or exceeds expectations for this smaller audience, you can scale it and make your audience a little broader.Also, don’t forget that platforms like Facebook have really great AI that can do a great job targeting for you.

If you believe that your targeting is off, reassess your customer avatar. You might have a misconception of your audience. Go back and make sure that you’re being specific enough and that your information on your audience is correct.

Another big issue that can impede your targeting is to advertise on the wrong traffic platform. You might be placing ads on a platform where your market doesn’t hang out online.

3. Scrutinizing your ad copy and creative

After confirming that your offer is enticing and you’re putting your offer in front of the right people, examine your marketing message. The ad copy and the creative (the image) are the segue between your offer and your target market. 

The copy and creative ensures that people can see the end benefit of your offer. If your marketing message doesn’t catch your target audience’s attention and give people a reason to click, your campaign will fail because you aren’t generating traffic.

Inspect your ad copy to make sure that it does the following:

  • Calls out to your audience
  • Hits a pain point that your audience experiences
  • Gives your market a solution or a benefit (a reason to click)

Next, the image needs

  • To be eye-catching
  • To correspond with your marketing message

Overall, verify that your creative and your copy don’t say different things. They need to match or you risk confusing your audience. In addition, this matchup helps make your ad copy and your creative more compelling, which also leads to the next area to troubleshoot.

4. Checking the congruency of your campaign

Finally, you need to troubleshoot the congruency of your ad as you move prospects to the next step of your marketing funnel. For instance, after people click your ad and visit your landing page, do they get what they expected? 

If your landing page doesn’t have the same look and feel as your ad, people may think they’ve landed in the wrong place or that you won’t deliver on the benefit promised in the ad. Something seems wrong to site visitors, causing them to click the Back button in their browser.

So not only do you want each step of the campaign to build off the previous, you also want the campaign to remain congruent throughout. To maintain congruence, consider keeping the following elements in your ad design consistent throughout the campaign’s path:

  • Color scheme
  • Layout
  • Imagery
  • Font type, size, and color

Next, if you make an offer or touch on a pain point or benefit within the ad, reference that again on the landing page. Make sure that these items appear quickly and aren’t buried down the page or you risk losing the prospect. 

The easiest way to assure the prominence of these items is with the copy: Use the exact same language from your ad to your landing page headline, subheadline, and body copy. Also include the same images from the ad within the landing page.

By ensuring that your ad and your landing page both reflect the same benefit, pain point, offer, and design, you can maintain familiarity and preserve congruency.

Leave a Comment