Some of the questions I get asked most often are: which platform should I choose to run ads on? What are the tech requirements? What kind of content works?
In this article, we are going to talk about the most common social media platforms to run ads on, the most used advertising goals, and based on that, we will respond to the question: what are the tech requirements to run social media ads?
Social media is an essential online tool for businesses of all sizes. As a business owner, you can use social media ads to reach new customers in different markets and increase your sales. When done correctly, social media advertising can be cost-effective, targeted and measurable.
Three of the most popular social media platforms to run ads on
The types of social media marketing ads you choose to run across different social media platforms may vary, as the audiences you have across your social platforms do not necessarily overlap and the types of content people consume or engage with on each platform may differ significantly.
LinkedIn is the place where more than 875 million professionals hang out. It is the perfect option for business-to–business engagement.
LinkedIn ads allow businesses to target people based on industries, job titles, member groups, skills, and more. On LinkedIn, you are able to create highly targeted campaigns that are likely to attract the right people.
Meta advertising includes Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook the place where 2.934 billion people go to catch up with their family and friends on a monthly basis. When we look at Instagram, it slightly different. There are over 1.386 billion monthly users where the demographics tend to be younger, although that is slowly changing.
Meta ads can be tailored to target a specific segment of the population. You can target specific audiences based on their interests or demographics. Here you can find a wide range of ad formats available, such as ads that show up in the feed, carousel ads, video ads, reels ads, etc. Meta uses very sophisticated algorithms that allow you to reach the right audience for your social media ads.
In recent years, more and more businesses have started to take advantage of TikTok’s user base to reach their target market. With over 800 million active users worldwide, the platform offers a valuable opportunity for marketers and advertisers alike.
The targeting works very similar to Meta ads. You can tailor your campaigns with detailed targeting options like location, gender, age range, device type and interests.
Although you can create image ads on TikTok, video ads are most common due to the nature of the platform where more than a billion users spend their time, expecting to be entertained.
Social media advertising goals
An easy way to choose your objectives for your social media campaigns is to look at them through the lens of the marketing funnel. This will help you to understand the importance of each objective and strategies around it. The funnel consists of three stages that the customer goes through: awareness, consideration, and conversation. Keep in mind what strategies you use for each objective according to what stage the customer is at in the marketing funnel.
This is the most common social media ad goal that businesses use. The main aim here is to build awareness around your brand, product or service. It helps your business to reach new potential customers.
In this first marketing funnel stage, you can use the brand awareness objective to make potential customers familiar with your business.
The goal of this type of objective is to reach out to customers and make them interested in your offering so that they can consider buying. It is the second stage of making them a customer by engaging with them after making them aware of your brand. In this stage of the marketing funnel, the most common campaign objectives you can use is engagement and website traffic.
You can achieve engagement through getting people to engage with your business online, send a message, or take desired actions on your ad, website, or landing page. An engagement example is when you create a video ad promoting a product or service.
And of course, the end goal of a full marketing campaign is usually to generate conversions from your target audience. Your potential customer has now been made aware, and is interested. In this last stage of the marketing funnel, you want to create an ad campaign that encourages them to be “converted”. They either become clients by buying what you offer, or they can also become leads by signing up to your newsletter. The campaign objectives here include engagement, website traffic, lead generation and sales.
What are the tech requirements to run social media ads?
The technical requirements vary depending on the platform and the campaign objective you select. Let’s first talk about the formats and text requirements you will need for your campaign, depending on the platform you will run it on.
Creative and ad copy requirements
With engagement, awareness or consideration campaigns on social media, such as video views, post engagement, and reach for example, your requirements will be the ones established by each platform. As these change quite often, I've added the link to each platform with the latest ad format requirements:
- Meta Advertising (Facebook/Instagram) Ad Format Requirements
- LinkedIn Advertising Ad Format Requirements
- TikTok Advertising Ad Format Requirements
Lead generation ads
For lead generation campaigns, you will need a form, besides your creative and your ad copy. You create the form inside the ads manager in each platform. Keep in mind that the less questions asked in your form, the better. If you can simply ask for their name, email and one more thing, that would be ideal. But that is not always the case. Sometimes you will find that you need to ask for more details depending on your campaign.
You will also need the lead magnet for them to download, depending on what you offered to give them in exchange for their information. A lead magnet is simply an item or service that you give away for free in exchange for their contact details.
Traffic or conversion ads
If you run conversion ads, you need more tech requirements here. First of all, since you will be sending people to your website or landing page, you will need to have the pixel installed on your website or landing page platform. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn have their own pixel (on LinkedIn it’s called Insight Tag).
You should also use campaign url tags or UTM parameters. These are parameters that you add to your website or landing page link to tell Google Analytics where the traffic is coming from (which campaign, which ad, with creative, etc.).
I wrote an article about this here.
Mobile friendly test
You need to test if your website and landing page are mobile friendly as most of the people using social media will use their mobile phone or iPad to go to your website.
It is always a good idea to have Google Analytics installed on your website, especially now with the information on any platform being less than accurate. Having two places where you collect data will give you a better idea on how well your ads are doing.
Email marketing tool
Before creating your first campaign, make sure you have a reliable email marketing tool that will allow you to capture your potential clients’ emails. As you might know, most of your potential clients are not ready to buy. By having their email address, you can continue the email nurturing process, stay top-of-mind and make the sale when they are ready.
Retarget your potential clients
Think about retargeting your audience within the same platform or across different platforms. For this, the pixel, the past campaigns, your organic engagement and even your email list can be used to retarget audiences. Make sure you have all your tech in place and that you keep a record of your campaigns so you can easily target those interested in your offer, but who have not quite yet converted.
Record the performance of your ads.
You can create an excel sheet where you can record the date, the type of ad, the audience, the budget, etc. about your campaign so next time you run ads again, you know what worked, what didn’t work and what you can improve.
Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish with your social media campaigns puts you at a great start! This will enable you to set your objectives, which you can then use to create your marketing strategies and aid you in figuring out who you want to advertise to, where you want to advertise to them, how you want to advertise to them and what is the best way to get them to engage with your brand.
Do you need help with your social media ads? Book a call with me and let's talk about how we can take your online presence to the next level.