February 9, 2022

It's Paid Advertising, Not Rocket Science

Paid Advertising on social media can feel intimidating - but with a strategic approach, it can be approachable and effective, even with a shoestring budget! Follow the steps below to build your paid advertising campaign, and set yourself up for success.

Step 1: Set Objective.

One campaign won’t accomplish every digital marketing goal you have, and in fact, trying to force a single campaign to do so will set you up for failure.

Pick one single objective in an area in your digital marketing where you’d like to see a lift.

Ad objectives can include:

  • Reach
  • Page likes
  • Engagements
  • Video views
  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions*

*Important note: sales and conversions are often the primary business goal for many brands; however, that doesn’t mean running a conversion campaign will ultimately be your best use of your advertising resources. Conversion ads tend to have a higher cost per result, compared to ads designed for awareness or consideration. Depending on where you are in your business, it may make more sense to build your audience with a page likes campaign so you can sell more through your organic content, or set up your ads to drive traffic rather than sales. Conversion ads must also have a running Pixel (see below for more details), so website conversions can be tracked and attributed to corresponding ads.

Based on your business and marketing goals, determine where ads might be able to help you succeed. For example, are you trying to increase foot traffic to a physical storefront? A reach campaign can help increase brand awareness and get your business name and information out in front of relevant potential customers. 

If you have an e-commerce website, you may want to increase your social following so you can do more through your organic content and engagement.

Or, if you have strong customer data and an engaged online audience, it may make sense to run conversion ads to promote special sales, promotions, and/or product launches.

Step 2: Build Audience.

Once you’ve determined your campaign objectives, think about the type of individual who will be seeing your ad, and where they are in their customer journey.

Think about where your audience for this campaign currently is on the conversion funnel, so you can specify your ad targeting accordingly.

First, start with the data you have! Do you have a Pixel set up that has been tracking website visitors? If so, you can retarget them, and build a lookalike audience. (If that was all Greek to you, don’t worry! A Pixel is embedded code on your website that helps you retarget website visitors, and understand your digital audience. You can learn more about the Pixel and how it works here: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-ads-pixel. A lookalike audience is an audience outside of your existing website visitors or email subscribers, but behaves similarly to them online - for example, they may share similar demographics, online shopping habits, or interests.)

You can also upload your email list to retarget individuals on that list, and build a lookalike audience based on that list to reach new individuals with similar characteristics.

If you don’t have a Pixel or email list yet, don’t fret! It’s a good idea to start building an email list and get a Pixel up and running as soon as possible, so you can better understand and access your audience on an ongoing basis. (Remember, you will need a running Pixel to run conversion ads). 

But if you’re still building this data, you can optimize your targeting based on location, demographics, and interests that align with your target audience.

Once you’ve reviewed your existing audience data, determine your target audience to align with your ad objective. The table below shows some sample ad objectives, and some considerations you may want to make with your audience:

Step 3: Develop Ad Creative.

Ad creative refers to the imagery and copy accompanying an ad on Facebook.

Your creative can be a photo, graphic, or video, but should be visually appealing and eye-catching. It also should be designed so that it's visually relevant to the audience who will be delivered the ad content. This can be achieved by adding text on the image, but it's a good practice to limit this text so that it takes up less than 30% of the image space.

Optimize your copy to align with your objective and the audience you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting a Top of Funnel (TOF) audience to drive website traffic, you may want to start with a sentence introducing your brand and what you do. You won’t, however, want to introduce yourself in a conversion ad targeted to a Bottom-of-Funnel audience who already knows your brand well, as you risk losing authenticity and brand trust.

No matter the ad objective, make your copy concise, easy to read, relevant to the audience (making it clear why they should care), and social!

Step 4: Set Budget.

It’s no surprise that the more you spend, the higher quantity results you’ll see.

However, 100 engagements out of a reach of 1,000 means something far different than 100 engagements out of a reach of 10.000.

Whatever your budget, focus on nailing your audience targeting and creative, to get the most bang for your buck! It’s also a good idea to limit your geographic targeting, so your ad is reaching a more concentrated audience, and give your budget the opportunity to test various audiences.

Step 5: Analyze Results.

After your campaign has run for 3-4 days - giving it a little time to test audience segmentation - pop into Ads Manager and take a look at the results.

What is your reach? Click through rate? How many engagements is the ad generating, and what is the engagement rate?

Make sure you’re looking at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligned with your campaign objectives. For example, purchases will be a poor indicator of how well an awareness campaign is performing; you’ll instead want to look at reach and impressions.

Below are some KPIs aligned with the campaign objectives we’ve addressed above:

Growth Marketing Genie has some helpful benchmarks you can use to compare your ad performance and KPIs to other brands in your industry.

If your ad didn’t generate the results you were looking for, don’t panic - this is an opportunity to learn! Analyze your audience targeting and ad creative. Is everything aligned with your campaign objective? What are some things you might be able to try next time?

Bottom line:
Paid ads are complex, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science, and we hope these tips help you set up and manage your own campaign!

If you’d like some guidance setting up your ad account and campaign, sign up for an Intensive Strategy Session, or if you’d like to have an experienced team fully manage your social media advertising for you, get in touch to talk about our retainer options.