For better or worse, social media has changed the world around us significantly over the last two decades. The positives of platforms such as Facebook are obvious: keeping in touch with our friends and family is easier than ever before, which in many cases has brought these groups of people closer together than was possible in the past.
For businesses looking to advertise, having a single platform such as Facebook where people of all ages can be found – and targeted – is a golden opportunity to expand the reach of their company.
In a capitalist society, however, brands and businesses both large and small are sure to end up fighting one another for those all-important clicks, likes, and shares. In such an environment, how can you make your own advert stand out from the crowd?
The content chosen to represent your promotion needs to be the best it can be if you want to stand out. That means choosing great stock images and stock video, as well as writing clear and concise copy that will catch your target audiences’ attention whilst still giving an accurate representation of your product or business.
The best social media ads will combine the following six elements:
1. Choose a small target audience; If your product is suitable for several generations or distinct groups of people, create separate advertisements for each of them. You can choose several metrics by which to sort the people who are likely to see your advert, so take advantage of as many of them as possible.
Basics such as age, sex, and location are a great starting point, but the algorithms used by social media companies allow you to be much more specific with the groups that you target.
2. Have a clearly defined goal. How will you gauge the success of your advertisement? What will make you spend more, change the content, or cancel the promotion?
Examples of well-defined goals include boosting engagement, perhaps by funnelling traffic over to your own social media page or website, or it may be something as simple as just earning more likes and reviews for your product.
3. Include a brief description of your offer. If there are more important details than you can squeeze into the space available, direct your customers to your website or mobile app to find out more.
Remember that advertisements can be annoying in the first instance, so you need to ensure that whatever text you include is both short and clear – don’t confuse your target audience.
If the description of your offer is too long, people are simply unlikely to bother reading it. Use as few words as possible and take advantage of visual elements such as video to fill in the gaps.
4. Find a relevant high-quality set of images or even video to accompany the textual description. These might be pictures of the product you are selling, or it may be something else such as aspirational visuals designed to appeal to the target audience.
If the images or video that you select are good enough, viewers who were previously just scrolling down the page are much more likely to stop and pay attention to your ad.
Once you have the person’s attention, that is when they are ready to read about your offer. This is why so many adverts leave the textual description until the end, after the important visual elements have been shown.
5. Always include a direct link to a landing page specific to this one advertisement. If you followed the first rule and created different advertisements for specific groups of people, your landing pages can take advantage of this here as well.
Not all users are willing to blindly click on links these days, so it’s important to make sure that the name of your company and the product is shown clearly as well as offering a direct link. If a user does follow the link, you have the best possible opportunity to show them relevant content that will encourage them to make a purchase.
6. Include a call to action! This may be something as simple as “Buy now!”, but it can also be something a little longer (and more interesting) such as “Register your interest using the link below to ensure you don’t miss our big launch event”.
You may not think this is especially important, but repeated studies have frequently shown that directing a user in this way has a subliminal effect on what they are likely to do immediately after viewing an advertisement for a product or service that they are interested in.
Even if it is something as simple as inviting a user to like your page, why not take advantage of this predicted behavior to maximize the return on investment of your social media campaign?