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  • Aaron Beashel

How to construct the perfect social media ad for your business

Every business with an online presence can benefit from a social ad strategy. They’re affordable, scalable, and can drive conversions with efficacy.

But you can’t just knock up a basic ad, up your ad spend, and wait for the results to start rolling in — a solid social ad strategy relies on a number of factors to make it successful.

To that end, read on to discover how to construct the perfect social media ad that works for your business.

Concise, compelling copy that converts

There are three key copy elements on your social ad that need attention: your headline, your sales copy, and the final call-to-action.

The ideal social ad isn’t overtly salesy — it is informal and friendly, and this should be reflected in your headline and your ad copy. This mitigates the risk of putting off customers wary or bored or sales pitches.

The copy you use will depend on the type of ad you’re showing (more on this later), but it should be simple and concise. Avoid lofty language or meandering sentences and keep it tight — no more than 2 or 3 sentences per ad.

Finally, your call-to-action is the directive that tells your prospective customers the action they need to take. As such, it should be simple, bold and clear, both in design and copy. Leave no doubt in your customers’ minds as to what they need to do to buy or sign-up.

Strive for high-end aesthetics

While a compelling headline and strong copy go a long way towards hooking customers’ attention on social, it’s equally important to focus on the visual elements on your social ad too.

A striking image is a good way to grab your prospective customers as they scroll through their feed. But it’s important to find the right image, one that combines high-quality with relevancy. The image you choose should relate to the product or service you’re selling to create a connection in your customer’s mind between your ad and what you’re actually selling.

And as with every good design, less is more. Avoid using too many images on a single ad (with the exception of carousel product ads on Facebook or Instagram), and stick to 2 or 3 colors for your design. Qwilr has a range of beautiful templates to inspire you — you’ll see that they only use one or two high-res images, and they’re aesthetically sleek and minimalist.

If you lack the graphic design skills necessary to create a social ad, fear not — design tools like Snappa make it easy to create slick social ads in minutes, regardless of your experience or skills.

Take advantage of platform-specific features

Each social platform has its own unique features to help you create social ads that convert. It’s worth getting to know each platform’s features and learning how they can enhance your own social ad strategy too.

Facebook, for example, has several different types of ads. Link click ads are basic social ads that let you drive traffic to your website or dedicated landing pages. Video ads, on the other hand, are good for showcasing a product or service in action.

And while most other social platforms offer buyable product ads, Instagram is perhaps the best at this (especially for businesses selling physical products like clothing or jewelry). Instagram’s Shoppable ads let you show a selection of products on a carousel, with the option for customers to purchase in-app.

Pinterest, too, has a variety of different ad types to help grow your business. Promoted Pins work in the same way as regular Pins, except they can be targeted at specific audiences for higher engagement. Alongside these are promoted carousels, which let you showcase a selection of images that the user can swipe through, in a similar vein to Instagram’s Shoppable ads.

Many ecommerce platforms actually let you take this further, letting customers browse and buy from everywhere on your Instagram. For example, Shopify lets merchants with an Instagram channel easily create high-quality Instagram Stories or post ads that your customers can buy from in-app. Alternatively, if you lack an ecommerce presence, you can use a dedicated tool such as InstaOrders to turn your Instagram into an online store in minutes.

Educate yourself on each social platform’s different offerings. This will help you craft social ads for different platforms that drive conversions with greater success as a result.

Targeted audiences make for targeted sales

One of the many benefits of social media ads is their huge targeting potential. Social ads let you target them to specific consumer demographics, pushing your product or service to those who are most likely to purchase.

Facebook, in particular, is good for this. Use its Custom Audience function to upload your own consumer data to the social platform. Facebook then matches this with the information it already has on your customers, for example, their interests, location, gender, and so on.

You can then create comprehensive profiles of your customers, which you can then use to target your ads to entirely new customers. Targeted social ads ensure you don’t just cast a wide net and hope for the best — it lets you go after the right kind of customers with a higher success rate.

Successful social ads stem from savvy split-testing

The best way to construct the perfect social media ad is through calculated trial-and-error. A good social ad is built through iteration, testing and tweaking it to find which elements work best. This is performed through split-testing, also known as A/B testing.

Through split-testing, you can create two separate social ads with different elements in each. For example, one might use a photograph while another might have a vector graphic. They might even have different headlines, call-to-actions, special offers — anything.

The success of each ad — click-throughs, conversions, and so — are measured and recorded. This lets you select the most quantifiably successful elements to create a social ad that will get results.

Most good social platforms let businesses tweak and adjust their social ads through in-built split-testing features. Facebook’s offering is a particularly good option. But there are plenty of third-party A/B testing that help you split-test with precision and accuracy.

Think about the buyer’s journey from start to finish

Your social media ads are not standalone elements that drive clicks and sales. They are part of a wider network, playing an important role in your sales funnel to help foster conversions.

It starts by targeting new customers at the awareness stage, reaching new shoppers who are not yet acquainted with your brand. The Facebook custom audiences feature I mentioned earlier is great for this, as is the information gleaned from your Facebook Pixel.

You can then build on this to draw your customers down the sales funnel with different types of social ads. For example:

Awareness: grab your customers’ attention with high-quality images of your best-selling products. Target your ads to those customers whose interests overlap with your business.

Consideration: use retargeting to show your ads to customers who interacted with the awareness ads above, for example by clicking through to a landing page or watching a video ad. Focus these to more specific products that your customers will be interested in.

Purchase: the final stage of your ad sequence gives your customers a reason to purchase. Discount codes and special offers are an incentive that compels your prospective shoppers to convert.

By knowing where your social ads fit in the buyer’s journey, you can create better social ads that are effective in driving sales.

The perfect social ad is many things. It’s visually-appealing, targeted, and plays a vital role in your buyer’s journey, to name but a few. Use the tips above and create a social ad that works for your business, and enjoy the myriad benefits of paid social advertising in 2019.

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