Paid Social ads are a great way to expand your reach and inform consumers about your brand. Before beginning a campaign, it’s important to establish a plan or one might risk inefficiently severing their ads to an audience that does not align with their messaging. Here at AVX Digital, we have created a helpful guide that beginner marketers can use as a road map to planning an effective campaign. STEP 1: ESTABLISH A CAMPAIGN GOAL The very first step to creating a paid social campaign is determining what it is you want to achieve. Are you hoping to increase your overall brand’s awareness? Increase traffic to your site? Maybe you want to generate leads and build up your mailing list. Regardless, make sure to have a clear idea of what that goal is before you begin to plan out the campaign. STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE Once you have solidified your objective, the next step is to plan out who your target audience is. Create a persona of people who most align with your marketing objective. For example, maybe your goal is to increase awareness of your clothing brand. Think of demographics, are men more likely to be interested, women, or maybe even both? What age range would wear your clothes? Perhaps you are targeting a young adult audience, people between 18 – 35. Have you thought about location? Where are the people who might be interested in your brand? The list continues, in terms of how you can target your audience, so it is important to really solidify the idea of who this particular group of people are. STEP 3: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM(S) Not all social media platforms are created equally. Your goal and who your target audience is will have an impact on which platform will be most beneficial for you to market on. Below is a list of the current social media platforms and their benefits: Facebook/Instagram – With more than 1 billion people active on this platform, this provides a huge audience for marketers to work with and plenty of opportunity to scale. Due to Facebook’s network of apps marketers can have their ads displayed on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or even a mix of the three. Combine this with extensive targeting abilities, a diverse age demographic, and the ability to display visually appealing creatives Facebook is a great place to get started with any campaign you are running. LinkedIn – Some might call LinkedIn the Facebook of the professional world. B2B marketing reigns king here. With the ability to target professionals by job title, educational level, industry etc., LinkedIn serves as an excellent platform for those who want to target decision makers and other high level business executives. Marketers can expect to pay a slightly higher CPA on LinkedIn due to lower ad inventory and niche targeting segments. Snapchat – With over 60% of its monthly users being millennials, this is the platform to use when targeting a younger audience. Marketers can run single image, video, or collection ads that appear in-between user Stories. Story ads, on the other hand, are more robust and are a series of 3-20 Snaps that live alongside popular content tailored to Snapchatter’s preferences in the Discover section. Since this type of ad does not appear automatically and users have to click on it to view, it is a great way to reach a highly qualified audience. Marketers can also take advantage of Snapchat’s Snap Select service by running Commercials. This service allows for brands to run 6 second non-skippable video ads during premium shows via a fixed CPM in Ads Manager. Snapchat is a great platform if your campaign is focused on a certain location or if you are wanting to create an interactive experience for your audience via augmented reality lenses and dynamic overlays like sponsored geofilters. TikTok – If you are focusing on a video campaign or you are targeting Gen Z, this the platform to tap into. In the TikTok environment, fun, quirky, and colorful content aligns best with users on this platform. However, given the fact that TikTok’s self-serve platform is still in its infancy, they’re still working out the kinks that any new UI experiences, and are continuing to grow their targeting segments to be more robust. Pinterest – Pinterest is a highly visual medium where users go to plan and feel inspired. According to Pinterest, 84% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest when actively considering products/services to purchase but are undecided, so it’s a great platform to target those who are in the initial stages of their purchase journey. Features such as their visual search, allows for marketers to advertise their products that are similar to a product image a user uploaded. Marketers can also use Pinterest’s keyword targeting, to display their ads in front of individuals that are searching a particular topic on the platform. Also, with recent updates to the platform such as the ability to shop from a board, Pinterest remains beneficial to those wanting to participate in e-commerce. Twitter – Twitter provides awareness opportunities for brands surrounding specific moments in real-time, as well as unique targeting capabilities. With useful features such as event and conversation targeting, this platform aligns perfectly for those who have business that connects to a social issue, or those who are planning or in the midst of a time sensitive event. By using the Promoted Trend marketers can allow for authentic Tweets to appear alongside your Promoted Tweet. Also, Promoted Trends are visible to everyone on Twitter, so it is a good way to serve your content on a massive scale. In-Stream video ads is another opportunity marketers can take advantage of. Here, marketers can use Twitter’s premium network of brand sponsorships, and have their ads displayed with pre-roll video. STEP 4: CREATE CONTENT Be sure to create content that closely aligns with your objective. Many users do not like being spammed or content that is obvious it’s an ad. It is crucial to create something that does not detract from their experience on the platform. As a best practice, when creating your content, you will want to start with a few variations. This will allow you to test and see which ad resonates best with your audience. Your creative should be interesting, appealing, and designed to align with the platform you are serving on. For example, having a perfectly crafted flat lay is visually appealing on Pinterest or Instagram, but on TikTok, marketers should go for something that is a bit more carefree and fun. Focus more on the visual and less on adding words. While some platforms require your creativity to have less than 20% text, it is a good idea to keep this in mind as a guideline when creating across all platforms. If you do use text, make sure that it is used strategically in the creative and test it against creatives without text. As for the copy, less is more. In fact, studies have shown that posts with less than 80 characters receive 66% higher engagement. When creating the copy, go with something that will captivate your audience and is concise enough so that it does not get truncated. STEP 5: TEST, OPTIMIZE, AND TEST AGAIN Once everything has been set up, it’s time to launch your ads! Throughout the duration of your campaign, be sure to consistently monitor performance and make note of any optimizations that need to occur along the way. Once the campaign is complete and you’ve had a chance to analyze the performance data, be sure to implement those new optimizations upon relaunch and monitor how it impacts your campaign over time. With social media usage continuing to be on the rise, now is a great time for brands to really start thinking about their long-term digital marketing goals. If you’re interested in elevating your strategy and taking your paid social to the next level, contact AVX Digital today and see how we can help you.