Tips to Design Social Media Ads for Your Audience
One of the most powerful types of advertising for online businesses is social media. You can use geo-targeted advertisements specifically geared toward your customer base. However, using a tool that puts your ad in front of the right people isn’t everything.
“It is pointless and a waste of money to advertise just for the sake of advertising,” warns Jessica Moreno, Social Media Manager and Digital Marketing Manager at Active Web Group. “An effective ad always has a clear message, promoting awareness and/or persuasive action. Without a measurable goal, the ad’s quality will suffer, as will the metrics, which are key elements in successful long-term campaigns.”
You need a solid ad format that will appeal to your audience. To elicit better reactions from your customers, here are some tips for creating social advertisements.
1. Define the Goal
A goal to unify your efforts should always be the first step when creating ad content. “So many organizations feel overwhelmed by the need to create content for every social media channel on the planet,” says Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute. “Or worse yet, many brands create one type of content and then blast that content onto every social platform.”
They don’t have a clear goal in mind, and therefore, their content always falls short of its aim. Create a social media channel plan, and incorporate these goals into the design of our advertisements.
2. Use Social Proof
One of the biggest reasons why people back out of a purchase is fear. They’re worried that they won’t have enough money or that the product will be low quality. Using social proof, such as testimonials, reviews, celebrity endorsements, etc. is a great way to assuage some of those fears.
3. Add a Call to Action
Calls to action on your social advertisements will increase conversion rates while lowering your cost per conversion. It gives users a direction so that as soon as they enter your website, they know what they’re looking for.
Make your calls to action simple and enticing. It should be something the reader wants to do. A simple “Click now!” might not be enough to draw their attention. But if you say something like “Subscribe to our newsletter and receive 20 percent off your first purchase” or “Download our FREE eBook now,” you’re more likely to get the conversion.
4. Test Multiple Designs
“Always test everything,” advises Massimo Chieruzzi of AdEspresso by Hootsuite. “No matter what your level of expertise is or how long you’ve been advertising on Facebook, always test both your ad’s design and its targeting.”
You might go through several rounds of testing for each design, but the time and effort put into this metric will pay off in the end.
5. Simplify the Message
Jessica Moreno of Active Web Group also advises making the message as simple as possible. “Social media users scroll their timelines in search of content from those feeds that they subscribe to...because these outlets are what pique their interests,” she says. “These consumers are not, however, present for the sake of viewing your ad(s), so make sure your ad grabs attention, conveys a message, and either leaves a lasting impression, or drives an action.”
If your consumer can’t get the point of the ad in less than two seconds, it’s probably not simple enough.
6. Utilize the Power of Repetition
There’s a reason companies use brand logos and slogans: the more someone hears, reads, or sees something, the more familiar they become with it. It starts to feel trustworthy, and since so many people are wary of false advertising today, building a little more trust is key.
Experiment with using some of the same ideas, images, facts, calls to action, and other messages over and over in your advertising. The more customers see these ideas, the more they’ll buy into them.
7. Understand Needs vs. Wants
A great advertiser knows the difference between needs and wants, and they use that to create a strong emotional reaction in the consumer.
“People need functional things like food, cleaning products, and website development services. People want things that serve emotional needs, such as a relaxing vacation or a specific type of food or cleaning product that makes them feel a certain way,” identifies an AdSolutions article. “Try to hit your customers’ emotional wants while making them feel like they need your offerings to be happy and complete.”
8. Analyze Past Content
Use the resulting data to reveal patterns and determine the best content to post. “Most businesses analyze the effectiveness of their social media after they publish,” states Neal Schaffer, president of Maximize Your Social. “Now, there are tools available to analyze data for content curation before you post.... Armed with this data, you can increase the effectiveness of your content curation by publishing content that has a greater chance of success on a specific network.”
All the tools for great ad content are made easily available to you. It’s up to you to bring the ideas together and design an advertisement to get the conversion.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, iMediaConnection.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and...