Should you pay to play? 5 Do's and don'ts of paid social media advertisements
Sometimes, opting to pay for social media advertisements provides brands with the quickest way to disseminate a message to a large audience. Essentially, you pay a social media platform a set amount of money for them to boost your post beyond your page’s typical reach potential. This allows those who do not follow your accounts to see your brand on their feeds and raise awareness among the individual users.
In 2016, Statista reported that social media advertising budgets nearly doubled worldwide, going from $16 billion to nearly $31 billion in a two-year time span. Clearly, other brands are taking the paid advertisement opportunities on social networks seriously.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help your paid ads stand out:
Do: Make it visually appealing
Like unsponsored content, paid advertisements need to grab the user’s interest immediately. Having an appealing visual, whether it be a custom graphic, a photograph, or a video, is paramount. This will increase the chances of stopping the social media consumer from scrolling past your ad in their newsfeed.
Don’t: Make your visuals complex
Make sure the visual is not only appealing, but that it is also simple and relates to the content you are paying to promote. Instead of cramming as many words as you can into the visual, save that for the text within the ad.
Don’t: Make it a billboard
An engaging paid social media advertisement will feature one of these three elements: An intriguing question only you can answer, a thought-provoking statement relevant to your company’s products or services, or a reason why your brand is unique among competitors and is worthy of viewers’ attention. Simply throwing your logo onto a paid ad and hoping for conversions will not yield the results you desire. Speak to the people who are using the platform.
Do: Prompt further engagement with an intriguing question or call to action
Provide text within your paid advertisement that will entice those who see it to engage with your brand further. This can be done with either an intriguing question or a call to action (CTA). For example, an exterminator could post a paid advertisement that asks: “Do you want carpenter bees to go away and actually stay away for good?” That same advertisement could be presented in the form of a CTA that says: “Message us now to learn how we can help get those carpenter bees out of your home for good.” Both statements are communicating the same message but are voiced in different ways. No matter which way you choose to present your idea to a potential new customer, do so in a manner that will prompt them to engage beyond viewing the sponsored content.
Don’t: Sacrifice authenticity
In the effort to promote your brand more aggressively through social media advertisements, you should not do so at the expense of your brand’s authenticity. Remember to put your brand’s core message, imagery, and values at the forefront. Though the ad will likely be identified as sponsored content on others’ social feeds, it is best to have it look like it was made with care and attention to brand identity.
It’s All About Human Connection
Though most social media platforms denote paid ads as “sponsored” on user feeds, that does not mean that the paid ads have to appear robotic or uninspired. Remember, you are creating them to reach a large number of humans. Make sure that your content is positioned as such. Speaking to the customer as a person and not a statistic will help carry your paid ad even further than the money you spend on it.