Social media advertising is a powerful tool. About 70 percent of U.S. adults have a Facebook page, a statistic you won’t find for very many other websites. Being able to reach that much of your target audience is amazing, but you need to have a solid advertising strategy to make the most of that opportunity.

Marketing on social media can feel a lot like shouting in a crowded room; if you want to get any attention, you need to talk to only the people who are interested in what you have to say. Luckily, there are some advertising strategies you can use to create social media ads that get results. Read on to learn how to make this format work for you.

Focus on One Campaign Objective

One of the worst mistakes you can make in a social media campaign is to try to do too many things at once with a campaign. Your campaign will wind up being disorganized and sloppy, and your audience will pass it over. Instead, you want to pick one specific goal for your campaign and focus your ads on that objective.

There are a few common goals for social media ad campaigns that you may want to pick from. You could aim to increase traffic, engagement, sales, visibility, or lead generation. Pick one of these goals, or a different goal for your company, write it down, and focus your ad development on meeting that goal.

Pick Your Social Platforms

Where you advertise is just as important, if not more important, than what you advertise. Each of the main social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. – has a different community, vibe, and focus. You want to choose the platform that will best serve your audience and your message.

A good place to start when determining which platform to advertise on is the demographics of each. Try to find the platform that has the closest demographic to your company’s target demographic. From there, look at the format and goals of each platform – if your company is artsy and visual, Pinterest or Instagram might be good choices; if it’s more business-focused, try LinkedIn or Facebook.

Set Your Target Audience

Although you likely have a target demographic for your company as a whole, you want to set a specific target demographic for this advertisement. The more localized your targeting is (within reason), the better. This means the difference between shouting your message into a virtual room of millions of people versus delivering it to a room of a few thousand people who are interested in what you have to say.

Facebook lets you narrow down your target demographic to some pretty specific groups. You can choose the usual options – age, gender, income, location, etc. But you can also target people by interest, and this is where you really want to shine; set your ad to target anyone interested in topics related to your business and you’ll be more likely to find customers who will be receptive to your message.

Look Like Organic Content

These days, ads are all around us every waking moment. From billboards on the highway to video advertisements at gas stations to email promotions, we live in an era where advertising is the backdrop of our world. Because of this, creating an ad that doesn’t look like an ad can be a better way to engage with your customers.

It may seem counterintuitive, but creating an ad that looks like organic content can make your customers more willing to engage with it. If they feel like you’re trying to sell them something – even though you are – they’ll shut down. Customers want to feel like you care about them, not their money, and so having an ad that looks like it’s trying to give them information about how to better their lives can be a smart strategy.

Set Up a Funnel

A lot of advertisers focus only on the part of advertising where you snag the customer’s attention and convince them to click on your link. But you have to focus on what happens after that, too. Where will your customers land when they arrive at your site and will what they see keep them looking?

You need to set up a marketing funnel to lead different customers to different portions of your website. In general, you want to focus on three subsets of customers: people who don’t know you, people who have heard of you, and people who are about to buy something from you. You should target your ads to one of these groups and create landing pages tailored to the needs of each.

Optimize Your Bidding Strategy

With so many companies advertising on social media, everybody is jockeying for screen time. How often your content gets put in front of your potential customers depends on how much you bid when you set up your advertisement. Lower bids will receive lower priority status, while higher bids will get much more screen time.

How much you bid on an ad can be a tricky thing to determine, since you want to be competitive without blowing your whole advertising budget on one campaign. In general, you want to calculate how much your cost per acquisition is by dividing your total cost per acquisition by your total conversions, and then decide how much each acquisition is worth to you.

So, for example, if you got 50 clicks from an ad and paid $1 for each of them, and you got a 2 percent conversion rate off that ad, your cost per acquisition is $5; if you make $20 off each sale, your investment has paid for itself.

Keep Updating

While the rules we’ve mentioned are good rules of thumb, you never want to rest on your laurels when it comes to advertising. The world of the internet and social media is always changing, and you have to keep up. You need to make sure you’re updating your advertising strategy to match the latest in internet trends.

Take a look at the data from all your ad campaigns and see which ones got more attention. What worked with your audience, what didn’t, and how can you fold that information into new campaigns? Learn from experience and keep adapting your strategy to appeal to your customers.

Establish Better Advertising Strategies

If you’re going to advertise on social media, you need to have some killer advertising strategies lined up. Putting content out without tailoring it to your audience is a waste of resources. But if you follow the advice above, you’ll have campaigns that get you more bang for your buck.

If you’d like to learn more about social media advertising, check out the rest of our site at Drive Social Media. We helped more than a thousand partners drive over a million dollars in client revenue in 2018. Learn about how our team can help you take your social media marketing to the next level today.