Running paid social media ad campaigns is great because it is really easy to tell if it is successful. Simply subtract the cost of the ad campaign from the profit generated by the resulting sales.
Simple enough right? Simple, yes. Easy? Not so much.
What makes paid social media ad campaigns complex is the array of skills required to make them profitable. Many business owners have wasted tens of thousands of dollars monthly in a vain attempt to crack the profitability of Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.
This doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be attempted. Mostly it takes a willingness to learn. But what needs to be learned?
Social Media Ad Campaign Platforms
Learning the platforms of the various social media properties will teach you more than you can imagine. The first thing to learn is the various types of ads available on each site.
This varies more than you might think. There are similarities to be sure, but the nature of each social media website dictates what can be done with ads there.
The best place to start is with the Facebook Ad Platform because it also gives you access to Instagram, which it also owns. Attempting to dive into this cold is possible, but not the best way to get started. Especially when a little time gets you so much education.
Start with these two no cost video tutorials and take notes:
At this point if you watched all of each of these video tutorials then you know a lot more than most novice marketers about running paid social media ads. More is not enough. Now you have to be willing to run campaigns that have little hope of being profitable.
That’s right. This is the toughest skill of all. There is no other way to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to run consistently profitable campaigns. The good news is that once you have them, these skills will serve you well.
Whatever you wish to promote, the skill sets are the same. Making money with profitable paid social media ads becomes routine. That doesn’t mean that every campaign will be a winner, but it does mean that you will know how to work them until they are.
These are by no means the only worthwhile social media sites to market on, but they are both great places to learn and have very wide based user bases allowing you the best chance to find an audience.
The Marketers Job – Test and Measure
This is the real job. No doubt you saw in the tutorial that these platforms give you access to more analysis than you feel like you will ever need. There is no such thing as too much data.
If you weren’t before, you are now familiar with terms like A/B Split Testing, Keyword Bids, Conversion Rages, ROI and a lot more PPC vocabulary will come along as you go. Every single one requires testing and measuring again and again and again.
Most do not have the patience for this., which is why this is where we start. Without the willingness to consistently and persistently examine ever bit of data available success will elude you. This is the toughest part of the game.
Now the easier stuff…
Learning To Write Copy
Only with this could writing skill be considered among the easy stuff. Writing copy to motivate clicks is a writing skill like no other.
Your best copy will be around the length of a Haiku. Within just a few lines you must motivate the reader that they want to click through for more information on your product or service.
There is as much written about writing these types of ads as there is about any aspect of this whole process. Whether the ad is a simple text ad, or combined with an image, a video, or any other type of media, the job is the same. Get the click thru.
The people you will be marketing to have no interest in your products and services at all. They are interested in how the quality of their lives will be improved if they make a purchase. Another way to say this is that people aren’t buying your product or service, they are buying how that will make them feel.
Gary Halbert is considered by many to have been the greatest copy writer of all time. In a hypothetical challenge about selling hamburgers he said that as opposed to quality meat, or interesting condiments the only advantage he wanted was a starving crowd.
Write your copy aimed at the hunger your crowd possesses and your campaigns will succeed. How do you find out what they hunger for?
Test and measure, of course. Test and measure.
The types of content you will need for your ads depends on the nature of your products and services. Physical products like clothing, cookware, etc. do quite well on Instagram with still images and minimal text. Most software, or service based sales are promoted there with video.
Some videos do quite well without an audio track as many people browse with their sound turned off. Even if you do decide to add sound to your video, consider how the ad will affect those that cannot hear it. You will potentially double your chances of success if you apply this strategy.
There are more video creation tools available than could possibly be covered in a single article, so suffice it to say you really don’t need to spend much on the platform you create your videos on, and that while most stock picture sites also sell video clips, I find quite a few high quality video clips on Pixabay, where I find quite a few of my images too.
To return to images, again you could spend a fortune on Photoshop by the time you get all the extras, but most marketers in our experience make most of their ad images on platforms that are either free, or they already own for other purposes.
Any software creating slide presentations like Powerpoint, OpenOffice, or even Google Drive will make 99% of the images you will ever need. Pixlr is an online image editor which operates very similarly to Photoshop, with both free and low cost options.
Starting off with text, image (display) and video ads will keep you busy for quite a while, but as you venture into other platforms, and even explore the hidden corners of these two you will find others.
Being able to create a good Powerpoint, appealing PDF documents, etc. will take you a long way as well. The same content formats you use elsewhere will serve you running paid campaigns on social media platforms.
Learn From Successful Competitors
The best tutors you will find are those selling products and services similar to your own successfully. Out and out plagiarism is always a bad idea. That doesn’t mean you can’t imitate aspects of what is working for others.
If you have been in your marketplace for a while, you have no doubt notices ads selling similar wares, and you can bet that if you see the same ad repeatedly that it is successful. Ask yourself:
- What Ad Formats Are They Using?
- Is It Visually Appealing?
- What Emotion Are They Seeking To Evoke?
- Is It Effective With You?
- How Does Your Product/Service Compare?
- How Can You Exploit The Differences?
Imitating others is a two ways street. You will find that as you run more and more successful campaigns, others will copy your ads. While imitation is flattering, the best thing to do is to move on to other ideas and designs. Getting identical ads removed is difficult if not impossible.
Bad ads will teach you almost as much as good ones do. Many of these began as worthwhile ideas that just got lost somewhere in translation. See if you can take a really bad ad and save the concept if it is obvious enough, and worth saving. Take the time to appreciate ads not within your own market, and see if the ideas will translate.
The best ads are generally a combination of science and art. Creating successful campaigns is a lot like catching lightning in a bottle. When you get it right, it is something to add to your library of ads, but not to ignore all others. Be sure to keep developing new campaigns even if you hit it with a hugely converting ad, as even the best ads will eventually lose effectiveness.
Test and measure, repeat what works, and test and measure some more.
Get Some Professional Help
Yes, we are talking about learning to run paid social media ad campaigns on your own. It can be helpful to have access to someone with some experience in the field.
Years ago, day trading commodities markets was how I made some of my income. A very technical business in its own right, my success would have been far more difficult if I didn’t have a broker that was willing to spend some time taking a quick look at the trades I came up with.
Managing social media ad campaigns is every bit as technical as day trading coffee, with equal opportunity for both profit and loss. Bouncing ideas and samples of your work off of a pro in the field can be helpful even just to cut down on tunnel vision.
A pro will also tell you to develop a strategy that you can apply to your whole stable of ads. The number one commonality between successful ad campaign is a cohesive, written plan. Conversely, lack of said plan is the top commonality with losing campaign management.
Want help establishing a plan?
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