Dec 10 2020
Basis Technologies

Effective Strategies for Social Media Advertising


The secret is out! Social media advertising is a highly effective digital media partner for top-performing brands across the globe. EMarketer shares that 43% of small businesses report social media advertising as the channel that helps them achieve their marketing goals over other digital and traditional means of advertising.

That said there isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy that leads to an effective social media campaign. Rather, here are three of the top considerations we use at Centro to create effective and efficient media strategies for our clients:

1. Prioritize business goals, not media KPIs

“There is no significant correlation between click-through rate and any Nielsen Brand Effect metrics” according to a study led by Facebook and Nielsen.

As media has evolved in the past decade, so have the ways we are able to measure performance. What was once only trackable through impressions and clicks can now be connected back to deeper signals like conversions or brand lift—allowing advertisers to understand more about the quality of audiences they are reaching with their ads.

The most successful campaigns are those that consider a business’ core objectives to guide the choice of their key performance indicator instead of prioritizing site traffic and impression delivery as those signals. Rather than optimize to a click—brand awareness, messenger engagement, lead generation, and conversion campaigns pulling in signals from your website, your app, and even offline data can paint a much more complete picture of success.

Many of these goals can be met across one of all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit or TikTok. The right platform for the job depends on the audience you are trying to reach.

You should know that when investing in these strategies on certain platforms, you may see a high cost per click and cost per impression result. The reason is the media buy is focused on generating an efficient cost per “action” – and you could end up paying more per click or impression in order to get an ad in front of the highest quality audiences that are going to drive that deeper impact to business objectives.

2. Maximize data sources

Audience data is a major conversation in the digital space as consumers and platforms prioritize privacy and control of personal information. Over the years we’ve seen these trends transpire in the form of government-led policy (like GDPR or CCPA) or platform capability updates (Chrome’s cookie updates, or Facebook’s limit of targeting options for housing, employment, and credit advertisers).

While it’s necessary to communicate how you are collecting your audience’s data, and to give them the option to have a say in how it is used—advertisers should also look to use as many sources of data as possible to help identify the most relevant audiences and personalize ad messaging to them.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Place pixels across your website to pass audience data back to the social platforms you are activating on. This allows you to create retargeting audiences and track intent and conversion signals through the website.
  • Consider server-to-server integrations with your site where possible, to lessen any impact of browser cookie limitations and maintain the integrity of your conversion tracking. Facebook’s Conversion API helps with this!
  • Use offline data to connect activity that happens out of the digital stratosphere to your campaign.
  • Upload custom audience lists to utilize the first-party data you’ve collected on prospects and customers and target those individuals across social campaigns.
  • Leverage lookalike (or actalike) audiences to prospect people who are similar to your customers, leads, or website visitors.

3. Don't make creative an afterthought

Advertisers can no longer expect one good commercial blasted across TV, programmatic video, and paid social to create a decent return on investment. The market is cluttered, and audiences are being inundated with more ads than ever before.  In this environment, ads need to stop the scroll and command the audience’s attention.

On social, most active users browse the platforms via a mobile device as opposed to on desktop/other devices (with the exception of LinkedIn).  This means that the following mobile best practices will get you ahead:

  • Keep copy short. Long text doesn’t work with social browsing patterns across most platforms and may deter users from interacting with the ad.
  • Maximize screen space by testing different creative sizes. Full-screen, immersive content like you see on Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram Stories/Reels are powerful for capturing attention.
  • Keeping videos under 15 seconds is key! The first 2 seconds of any video are the most important.
  • After creating an engaging experience with your social ads, maintain high user interest by optimizing your website for mobile devices.
  • Test and learn with your ad strategy by experimenting with a variety of messaging and imagery across each platform.

Use these core principles to lay the framework upon which you’ll build your own effective paid social advertising strategy. Remember: there is no cookie-cutter approach!

To learn more about social media advertising with Centro, check out our managed service solutions.