Advertising on social media: Starting out

Want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website or generate more leads? Social media advertising gives you the opportunity to create targeted ads with a specific goal in mind.

Have you started using social media, but it's not delivering the impact you were expecting? Sometimes organic reach isn't enough!

That's where advertising and sponsored posts come in. The benefits of advertising on social media are many. The format, direction and budget are entirely in your own hands, making the strategy accurate and results-driven.

Which channel should I choose? That's the question.

Today, you have the option to advertise on most social media channels, but that doesn't mean you have to invest in all of them. Go for the channel that your target audience is primarily on. A younger target group usually prefers TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, while an older one sticks to Facebook. If you want to recruit or target B2B, LinkedIn is the obvious choice.

Don't have a clear picture of your target audience today? Start from the channels you are present on today, and figure out from there which platform works best. Track who your followers are and what percentage of them interact with your content in the analytics tool for each app. This will give you a clearer picture of which channel you should focus on.

Examples of advertising tools you can use to make tracking a lot easier.

How much should I budget?

Initially, we recommend you keep your budget low to see what results your ads will produce. As you get a better understanding of what your audience responds to, what content you should highlight and formats you should use, you can increase your budget over time.

The average cost of a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) campaign is $5,2 for 1000 impressions. For CPC (cost per click) campaigns, the cost ranges from $0.15 to $1.5 per click on Instagram, while it is $0.7 for CPC campaigns and $5.5 for CPM campaigns on Facebook according to Nordic Tech Institute.

Create your strategy in 5 easy steps

1. Clarify your target audience description 

Who do you want to reach? If you have a broad target audience today, it might be a good idea to break it down into smaller "groups" so that the age range is not between 20-80, the interests are over 20 in different directions and the geographical locations cover the whole country, etc.

Instead, try making ads tailored to your different personas, which have a clear identification of what, for example, the 20-40 year old is interested in, where they are located and what their finances are like. Then make a new one for the 40-60 year old, etc. If you'd rather create a more general ad to see who chooses to interact with your ads at first, this can be a good first step, and then tailor the targeting according to the results.

2. The choice of format

You have the option to work with video, image and text content in your social media ads. Depending on your target audience and range, you should design your ads according to what attracts the most interest. A good idea is to A/B test different versions of your ads at first. In most cases, it is the video or image that attracts the most interest. Then the headline, the sub-headline and finally the CTA button. Other factors include color and emojis. Dare to challenge your audience in new ways, so eventually will engage with them in a meaningful way.

3. Purpose of the campaign

What are your marketing objectives? Do you want to spread information, increase brand awareness, drive traffic, capture new leads or recruit? Having a concrete goal for your ads is important to design and target them accurately. Without objectives, you can't monitor whether or not they generate results. Here's some of the most common objectives when it comes to social media advertising:

  • Traffic: driving visitors to your website, a specific product or offer.
  • Brand awareness: increases awareness of your brand, offer, product or service.
  • Reach: this goal interacts with awareness, but allows you to reach more users.
  • Conversions: if you run an e-commerce business, you have the opportunity to increase your sales through conversion-generating ads. Push for a specific product or offer.
  • Lead generation: gather information from potential customers by asking them to sign up for a meeting, webinar, free trial, newsletter etc.

4. Analyse the results

The job isn't done after the ad is created and activated. Quite the oppesite, actually! This is when you have the opportunity to monitor the results and optimize the content and target audience as you go along.

A click alone doesn't tell you much, you want to know where they have navigated on the website and how their experience was. Chatting with website visitors in real time is a great opportunity to learn more about visitor's thoughts and questions when they're on the site. Often it's the small changes that make a big difference when it comes to social media advertising.

5. Retargeting ads

Retargeting ads give you the opportunity to reach out to previous visitors to your website. This is to keep the potential leads warm and remind them of the products they previously looked at, but didn't buy. We recommend grouping visitors into categories to create unique retargeting lists. This way, you can attract previous visitors to buy or make their second, third, maybe even fourth purchase!

Advertising can help you be visible to the right recipients, in the right place at the right time. Purchased traffic and organic traffic often interact very well, and generate increased results together. With a few simple steps, you're well on your way and the fun can begin. Traffic is flowing, bookings are filling up or product is running out of stock? It's up to you to decide. Good luck!