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Social Media Advertising 101: How to Make the Perfect Ad

Social Media Advertising 101: How to Make the Perfect Ad

Ads are everywhere. The average person views between 4,000 and 10,000 ads every single day and encounters them on every medium, from radio and television to billboards and social media.

When it comes to meeting your customers where they spend their time, social media ads are hard to beat. In 2021 social media marketing was expected to be used by 92 percent of US marketers in companies with more than 100 employees. In 2013, the percentage was 86.2 percent.

About 28 percent of people find new products and services via social ads, and 49 percent say they are likely to purchase from brands they see advertising on social media.

So how do we create an ad that taps into the revenue potential of social media? Here is a look at the basics that go into a social ad that performs.

What makes a good ad?

When a consumer encounters an ad so compelling that they stop their scrolling to learn more, what are they really responding to? What qualities turn an ad from mediocre to wallet-opening extraordinary? In short: Relevant, compelling content.

Relevance refers to the ad’s ability to connect with the consumer in a way they understand. Often, it involves addressing the consumer’s pain points and frustrations around your products and services. For example, a home builder may use their ads to address their audience’s desire for total customization.

In addition, relevance usually includes targeting the ad to individuals who would benefit from your products and services. For example, a florist may target their ads to consumers in their service area, and a nail salon may target their ads to a primarily female crowd.

Compelling content refers to the ad’s ability to capture and maintain the consumer’s attention. Through a combination of powerful graphics and clear, compelling copy, the ad communicates your message in a way that makes the consumer take time out of their day to engage with your brand.

What to know before running social advertising

Must-knows before social advertising

Before you begin building relevant, compelling social media ads, you need to do some prep work. The perfect ads are the ones that are created with a clear understanding of the goal, the audience, and the message that is required.

Your Goals

The purpose for which you create your ad is known as the goal, and it will guide every element of your social advertising, from the images to the headline, the copy to the call to action (CTA). That is why determining measurable, specific goals for each ad is the critical first step in creating a perfect social ad. Here are some examples of the kinds of goals you can set:

  • Brand awareness
  • Purchases
  • Website traffic
  • Event attendance
  • Email list subscriptions

Your Audience

The people you want to talk to with your ad are called your audience, or your target audience. In order to create an effective ad, you need to clearly define your audience. Then you can make sure your social ads are targeted to those people. Here are some details you can define for your audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Geographic location
  • Pain points and frustrations
  • Interests
  • Former engagement with your brand (e.g. Website visits, emails, etc.)
  • Budget
  • And more

Your Message

Once you know what your goal is and who your target audience is for your social media ads, you can choose a message for your ads. This is the main point you want consumers to take away from your ads, and will almost always guide the CTA you choose for your ads as well.

Here are some examples of messages you may want to use:

  • Promote a new product.
  • Offer a discount.
  • Announce a sale or promotion.
  • Encourage the consumer to revisit a product or service.
  • Announce an event.
  • Announce a contest or giveaway.
  • Educate about your industry, product, or business.

5 Elements of the Perfect Social Media Ad

Once you know your goals, your audience, and your message, you can put together powerful social advertising that help you meet your business goals. Here are the 5 most important elements that every perfect ad has in common.

Compelling Images

Social media has a strong visual component. Consumers notice, and remember, images much more quickly than they do words alone. Plus, images can help individuals connect emotionally with the content they are viewing, which can make it more compelling (And compelling means engagement, leads, and conversions).

The right images or videos have the following characteristics:

  • Relevance – Make sure your images mesh with your overall message.
  • Quality – Make sure your images are original, clear, and beautiful.
  • Power – Ensure your images are powerful enough to create interest and encourage action.

Each ad should consist of at least one compelling image or video that will serve as the powerful first impression of your business and your offer.

Engaging Headlines

Besides your images, the first element of your ad that consumers will notice is your headline. Consisting of just a few words, this bit of copy is central to capturing their attention and getting them to read the rest of your offer. Your headlines should possess the following characteristics:

  • Brevity – The ads that earn the most engagement are only around 5 words long.
  • Clarity – Get right to the point so consumers know right away what your message is.
  • Interest – Include information that will compel consumers to learn more.

A headline may only be a few words long, but it has the power to get consumers to take a deeper look at your ads. Make them count.

Clear Offers

Your social media ads should communicate the message you chose for your campaign. That means that every ad should contain a clear and compelling offer for consumers to consider. The best ad copy has the follow characteristics:

  • Brevity – Keep your copy concise and to the point.
  • Clarity – Make sure the consumer understands exactly what your offer is.
  • Interest – Create copy that connects with your consumer’s pain points, frustrations, and desires.
  • Customization – Your ad should be created with your target audiences in mind.

Each ad’s copy should immediately capture the consumer’s interest and demonstrate exactly how your offer can help better their lives.

Powerful Call to Action

Each ad you create should include a specific goal, and that goal should inform a powerful call to action. This CTA should tell the consumer exactly what to do when they finish reading your ad. A great CTA includes the following features:

  • One single action for the consumer to take
  • Clear and concise wording
  • Relevance to the target audiences
  • Consistency with your campaign goal

The right call to action is the capstone to a well-written and visually compelling ad.

Landing Page Link

Once you tell consumers what to do with your ad, you need to show them where to go. That is why the perfect social media ad includes a link to the related landing page. The link should lead to a landing page with these characteristics:

  • Seamless integration with your ad
  • Additional information regarding your message
  • Clear call to action
  • Related forms or purchase options

The link is your chance to follow up on your ad and get consumers to convert.

Powerful social media advertising can get your brand noticed on any social media platform. Need help creating social ad campaigns that work? Contact the marketing partner who can make your ads work for you.

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