By David Tomas, on 17 March 2023
Social media ads are one of the quickest and most effective ways to connect with your target audience. These ads provide plenty of profitable opportunities and are a great way to boost your digital marketing campaigns!
These small but mighty ads utilize all the data users share on social media to offer highly personalized and relevant content, which ultimately increases conversion opportunities and introduces your brand to more potential customers.
It's important to understand how this advertising medium works. It is incredibly profitable and versatile and allows brands to meet different business goals at relatively low costs.
To clue you in a bit more on how social media advertising works, let’s review some examples of social media ad campaigns and how your brand can start using them.
What Exactly Are Social Ads?
What is the best way to invest in social ads? While you may think the answer lies in knowing which social media platform has the largest user base, that's not necessarily. The truth is that it depends on where your target audience spends the most time. When making your decision, you need to think about where you can find your audience on social media, what kind of campaign you're looking to create, and how you can optimize your ad investment.
Below is a short summary of the different types of social media advertising options.
Social ads on Meta: Meta is the world’s largest social media platform, with one of the largest user bases. Its advertising platform is solid and reliable. Meta Business Suite is very visual and offers multiple, detailed segmentation options, from demographics to lookalike audiences.
Social ads on Instagram: to take maximum advantage of Instagram’s potential, find examples of Instagram advertising that you would like to emulate and focus on optimizing your images and videos for this platform.
Social ads on Twitter: Twitter lets advertisers create campaigns adapted to different objectives such as conversion, lead generation, and app installs. If you want to make the most of it, combine it with artificial intelligence.
Social ads on YouTube: make the most out of video marketing on YouTube by telling your audience stories they'll connect with.
Social ads on TikTok: TikTok advertising is an exciting option, and it's safe to say that the ads will be just as creative as the content on the platform and reach a large, well segmented audience.
Social ads on Pinterest: Pinterest brings a largely female audience to social media and is an absolute hotspot for topics like weddings, cooking, or fashion. This makes it very useful for advertisements in these areas.
Social ads on LinkedIn: this social media platform has a large professional user base and offers an advertising solution for those looking to reach out to a corporate audience through B2B marketing.
Image Source: RealWeb
Tips for Social Media Advertising
Before we delve into the various types and examples of social ads, let's consider what they are, how they are designed, and why they're so important in digital marketing today.
About 500 million Tweets are published per day. On Meta, over 350 million photos are uploaded a day and millions of shares occur in just a minute. Amidst this staggering amount of content, how can you make your advertising campaigns stand out on social media?
Tips for Designing Social Ads
The look and feel of an ad will have a major impact on the success of your social ads, so it's important to nail the design.
4 Key Design Takeaways
When creating a social media campaign with the goal of achieving maximum visibility on Meta or Twitter, work with distinctive images, strong contrasts, and striking colors. These can stand out amongst the blue and white colors of the platforms themselves.
Don't overuse filters.
Make sure that all image elements are clearly legible. Avoid overlapped logos and or text that covers important parts of the background image.
If you are offering discounts, it helps to include them in the image by using colors that are associated with sales, such as red for the previous price, and green for the reduced one.
If the objectives for your social ads campaigns are app installations, purchases, or registrations, it is important to use designs that are optimized for conversions.
3 Benefits of Social Media Advertising on Meta
Over the last few years, Meta has developed a very competent advertising solution, with a range of tools that help you create your ads exactly as you want.
But the best is still to come, as Meta is constantly perfecting its interface to be as precise as possible. If you are able to fully understand and master all of its new features and details, the sky will be the limit when it comes to your social ads.
1. Audience Network’s Improved Location Filters
Audience Network allows your ads to have a greater reach.
This tool has the same segmentation and delivery options as Meta, but also allows you to exclude any websites, apps, or content that you don't want your ads to appear on. You can restrict your ads from showing up in:
- Specific categories: you can block your ads from appearing on dating, politics, gambling, or religious apps or websites.
- URL domains and apps: you can upload a blacklist of specific websites and apps where you do not want your ad to be displayed.
This feature gives you control over the context in which your ads are shown.
To activate this feature, all you have to do is click on Show Advanced Audience Network Options when configuring your campaign locations. Then, go to Explore to select the categories you want to block or Activate Blacklist for Audience Network to restrict specific places.
2. Lookalike Audiences in Other Countries
Lookalike audiences allow you to search for Meta users who share similar characteristics to your existing target audience.
Previously, the lookalike function could only be used to look for users in the same country. However, you can now use this tool to search for users with common characteristics in other countries, making international strategies significantly easier to set in motion.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however:
- To create a lookalike audience, the original database must have at least 100 people from the same country.
- You do not need to have anyone from the country you are trying to target in your original audience. For example, if your original audience is made up of 5,000 people in the United States, you can use it to create a lookalike audience in Canada or the United Kingdom.
3. Global Demographic Segmentation
Last but not least, you can also aim your ads at a global audience on Meta, making it even easier to launch international campaigns. Before, you could only segment your campaigns by country, meaning that global campaigns had to be created manually.
At the moment, these new segmentation options can only be applied to campaigns with objectives of website conversions, app installs, or app engagement campaigns.
Here are some key points to consider:
- You can target your ads at a single region, like Asia, or a free-trade zone, such as the European Economic Area.
- You can exclude specific areas from a region, like targeting Europe but excluding France, for example.
- If your ads prove to be more successful in certain locations, you can assign a larger part of your budget to those locations.
- Meta Business Suite recommends using the same language for each ad group, so you might have to create separate ad groups for different regions.
Examples of Social Media Ads
Sephora and Meta Business Suite
Multinational beauty retailer Sephora used a video ads strategy on social media to grab the public's attention. Videos are known to have a high engagement rate so, to capitalize on this, Sephora created a stunning campaign.
Its high production value and beautiful visuals led to great results for the brand. They saw a 41% increase in CTR and a 32% higher return than they had from previous campaigns.
Shopify and Meta Business Suite
Shopify helps people create and run their own online stores and streamlines the process of setting everything up so that anyone can start their business venture easily. They launched social ads on Meta Business Suite to inform and encourage people to start their own ecommerce businesses.
Although this ad is more minimalistic, it is has a clear, inspirational message. It encourages the viewer to take action in an easy-to-understand and motivational way.
Wix on Instagram
Wix is a software company that, among other things, lets users build their own websites. This company created an ad for Instagram, which is actually part of Meta. Because of this, Instagram ads are run through Meta and can can be easily made for and shown on both platforms.
The ad posted by Wix is minimal but informative and offers to share valuable insight with the viewer.
Examples of Cyberclick's Social Media Ads
Iberia on Social Media
Here at Cyberclick, we worked with the Spanish international airline, Iberia, to promote its main routes through Latin America, Spain, and other European markets. We used Twitter tech marketing to do this.
Our primary goal was to get to know users’ purchasing behavior. We were targeting a mobile audience that still finalized the majority of their purchases from their desktops.
In the first phase, the campaigns were “always on” and contained generic messages. In the second phase, we introduced Real-Time Ads, which displayed real-time prices and destinations and updated according to the Iberia's offers. In order for this to work properly, we developed a pioneering integration with the company’s price feed.
The campaign had some noteworthy results:
- Over 1,000 active segmentations in live campaigns.
- Over 70,000 visits were directed to the landing pages from our ads.
- The average CTR was around 0.25%, with special emphasis on premium destinations such as New York (with a CTR of over 0.60%).
- After entering the website, users showed high rates of interaction, with almost 27,000 availability requests using the forms (38.5% conversion rate in terms of visitors).
- The cost per search came down to under 1€, which is 10 times lower than the the costs of previous campaigns.
Groupalia on Social Media
Here, we tried out the Twitter Audience Platform, a tool that allows advertisers to significantly increase their Twitter Ads campaign's outreach with the help of an external mobile app network.
We did a 60 day test with Groupalia, launching a campaign designed to boost app installs.
The results were powerful:
- A significant amount of generated impressions and outreach, especially on mobile
- The engagement rates for banner and interstitial formats were around 0.45% for banners and 4.20% for static interstitials. Because of this, there was a less frequent need to update creative elements in the Twitter-only campaigns.
- The cost per engagement was between 0.02 and 0.03€. In essence, we attracted a high volume of visitors with a very low investment.
- Installation and purchase data were very similar to the app’s Twitter campaigns, with a purchase conversion rate of 3.85% after installation.