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Social Media Marketing

4 Best Practices for Your Paid Social Media Strategy

Organic social media marketing provides a crucial foundation for strengthening your brand equity and building a sense of rapport with your target audience. However, paid social media marketing remains one of the best ways to give your business a quick, aggressive increase in visibility, and reach new people from outside your core audience demographic.

While the potential in paid social is huge for any brand, it's important to distinguish the right approach from common mistakes and ensure your budget is put to good use.

If you’re launching a paid campaign in the near future, and want to make sure you’re on the right track, here’s four best practices to bear in mind as you develop your paid social media strategy.

1. Know Your Audience

Like any arm of digital marketing, it’s essential to make sure your social media strategy is guided by a clear understanding of your target audience. The more detailed this understanding is, the better.

Even if zooming in on a specific buyer persona means you’re limiting your reach considerably, it’s important to remember that targeting your ads at people who are more likely to engage and convert is going to maximize your chances of earning a healthy Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS), giving you greater financial flexibility if you want to expand into other target markets later.

Some of the general variables to consider when articulating your target audience for a paid social media strategy include:

  • Industry.
  • Level of seniority.
  • Location.
  • Company size.
  • Growth stage.
  • Key business objectives and pain points.

While these can be applied to many different campaigns, it’s also important to consider some social-media-specific audience variables, such as:

  • Preferred platforms.
  • Engagement trends in terms of types of content.
  • The times of day when an audience is most active on a given platform.
  • Whether audiences have interacted with your brand in the past.

Building a full, detailed picture of who your audience is for a paid social media strategy will not only increase the odds of your initial campaign being successful, but give you a stronger foundation for creating lookalike audiences and leveraging retargeting ads in the future.

2. Map Your Ads According to Stages in Your Sales Funnel

To ensure your paid social media strategy is as relevant as possible to your audience’s intent and level of awareness, it’s important to map out the ads you’re planning to run according to different stages in your sales or conversion funnel.

Here’s a quick look at how you can adjust your ads according to different stages in the funnel:

Awareness

In the awareness stage, you should be aiming to make a good first impression and increase people’s awareness of your products or services, as well as the features that solve their biggest pain points.

When designing creative for the awareness stage of the funnel, it’s important to make it eye-catching and easily distinguishable from the kinds of competitor ads your target audience is likely to see. This will ensure your ads can pull people’s attention away from the content on a given social media platform, and increase the likelihood that they’ll remember your brand at the next touchpoint.

Consideration

In the consideration stage, your audience will have a better understanding of the solution you’re offering for their pain points, but will still be mulling over whether or not it’s the right choice for them.

Common variables that might affect someone’s decision-making at this stage include a product’s price, quality, accessibility/shipping, and more. At this stage, your ad creative should move past the “headline” summary of your solution’s value, and give more detailed, helpful information on the features and benefits that your product or service offers.

By running a few ads focusing on different benefits offered by your solution, you’ll make it easier for your audience to understand the USPs that set your brand apart, and enable more effective targeting based on which segments show more engagement with ads focusing on different features. 

Conversion

When your audience has become more convinced that your offer is the one for them, you’ll be ready to deploy messaging designed to get them over the line and snatch up a conversion. 

At this stage, your ad creative should highlight another benefit that goes past the core features, sweetens the deal, and gives your audience another compelling reason to click through and convert, e.g an introductory offer, coupon codes, etc. This should be coupled with a compelling call to action that gets to the heart of the issue you’re able to solve for your customers.

3. Adjust Ad Creatives According to Platform

One of the mistakes you can make when mapping out a paid social media strategy is trying to apply a single set of ad creatives across several platforms without the right consideration to those platform’s nuances.

While the ad creative you use across different platforms can show consistency in terms of theme and feature/benefit focus, it’s important to accommodate for the differences in the way your audience is going to see your content depending on the social media app or site where they encounter it. 

There are obvious adjustments you should make to accommodate the general audience of different platforms, for example restricting the more text-heavy ads to LinkedIn and vertical video content for Instagram. 

Past this, however, there are going to be details you’ll need to understand to keep your ads looking great, for example the different interfaces for Instagram and TikTok video ads having the potential to cover up important information on your ad.

Take the time to tailor ads to the platform where they’ll appear, and you’ll ensure a higher rate of engagement across all your campaigns. 

For more support in this area, check out our suite of free AI tools, designed to tackle a number of creative tasks specifically for different social media platforms.

4. Split-Test, Develop, and Improve

Even if you get an impressive ROAS from your first campaign right out of the gate, your paid social media strategy can always be improved. As with other marketing channels, it’s important to keep a close eye on how your campaigns are doing after launch, stay flexible, and make improvements for the best results possible.

For each stage in the sales funnel, try to run a variation of different creatives per ad set, with acute changes in areas such as copy, visuals, font, and other aspects of your creative. Stick to one aspect per ad set, and make sure your budget and placements are more or less the same for each variation, and you’ll quickly begin to see patterns in the kinds of ad content your audience responds to.

As you take these lessons on board and apply them to each new campaign, you’ll be able to build a detailed “rule book” for running ads that emphasizes the kind of ads that get results, and avoids diverting your time and resources to less effective activities.

Building a Powerful Paid Social Media Strategy

When it’s approached the right way, a strong paid social media strategy will help to bolster your organic efforts and build velocity in your overall marketing for better results across campaigns and audience segments.

If you’re looking to support your paid social media with robust analytics, an intuitive CRM view, and forward-thinking AI tools, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

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