Getting your business discovered organically is getting harder and harder these days. Google, Facebook, Instagram—basically all the power players customers find businesses—are starting to prioritize paid ads and posts over organic content.
That pivot puts more pressure on small businesses to step up their paid ad strategy to compete with bigger brands and bring in new customers. But where do you even start? It may seem complicated to learn at first, but you don’t have to hire an entire digital marketing agency to start using paid ads.
Google ads and PPC campaigns are great to have in a paid ads strategy—but if you’re just starting to get into paid ads, it can quickly become overwhelming. paid ads on social media platforms is a great way to use your already existing social accounts to help grow your business.
Small Businesses Can Win Big With Social Ads
Social media is a great place to show off your small business and cultivate a community—it’s also prime real estate for paid ads.
Let’s look at an example.
COVID-19 hit the daycare industry hard. Many centers had to shut down because parents were too scared to send their kids off and risk infection.Now, centers and slowly but surely opening back up again.
Most daycares are family-run and don’t have big advertising budgets. Making sure every marketing dollar counts is crucial in getting them back on their feet. Daycare centers’ core advertising audience—young parents with enough income to pay for child care—are often on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Crafting social ads catered specifically to them on those platforms (instead of platforms like Snapchat or TikTok) will resonate more with your target demographic. If done right, social ads will show off your business’s key selling points and bring more eyes to your account—and more customers to your business. You may also consider a free ad maker for beautiful online ads.
Figure Out Your Objective
Before you start anything, you need to figure out what you hope to get out of a paid social media campaign. Of course you want to eventually get more sales, but there are other objectives that can be helpful to your overall business. Do you want to get more followers on your accounts? Do you want more people to visit your site? Do you want more likes and comments on your post? Or are you interested in just getting more brand awareness?
Once you’ve figured out what your goal is, you can craft the rest of your social ad strategy around that. This will determine your platform, your budget, the design of your ads, and your Call to Action.
Defining Your Paid Social Budget
Small businesses need to make every ad dollar count. To figure out how much of your marketing budget you can justify spending on social ads, you need to ask yourself:
- How much are you willing to pay for a click?
- How often does a visitor convert into a lead on your website?
- What percentage of your leads turn into customers?
- How valuable is a single customer?
HubSpot’s ad spend calculator is a great tool to help businesses figure out how much businesses should spend once they figure out those questions. You should also plan on setting aside around 1/3 of your paid ad budget in case you need to adjust your spending throughout the course of a campaign.
Choose Your Social Platform
Different target demographic live on different social media platforms. If your business sells baby toys and items for expecting parents, you’re probably going to find the most success on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest since those sites are where that demographic is most active. This guide to finding your target social media audience can help you figure out where those best leads will come from.
New social platforms are always popping up, but the most popular ones for social ads are:
Create Your Ad Set
Once you have all of your research done, you can begin to put together the actual ads. Do some competitor research—basically stalk your competition and other businesses in your industry that are doing well on your platform of choice—and see what sort of creative they’re putting out there.
- What type of assets are they making? Are they using photos, videos, GIFs, or text-based content in their post?
- What style of ads are they using? Are they bright and colorful? Or muted and professional?
- How much text or copy are they using?
- How often are they posting?
- What type of language are they using? Is it fun and exciting? Do they use lots of emojis? Or is it more professional?
There are lots of resources out there that can guide you through creating the actual ads on your chosen social platform—the real lift is this initial research outlined in this article. Once you’ve put together a plan of attack, setting up your social ad campaigns will be much easier and you’ll start to see your hard work pay off almost immediately. Good luck!