October 3, 2022

4 Ways to Create a More Effective Paid Social Media Campaign

4 Ways to Create a More Effective Paid Social Media Campaign

Odds are you know a paid social media campaign is an effective way to grow your brand and drive conversions. 

You also know that you should probably be looking into an updated paid social strategy for your organization in 2023. If your brand doesn’t have an effective paid social media strategy, you’ll be missing out on hundreds of thousands of potential customers and brand loyalists. 

In this article, we will lay out four ways you can create a more effective paid social media campaign. 

Want to get started with paid media campaigns? Our experts can help. Click here to get started.

1. Identify Your Target Audience and Platforms 

Getting to know your current audience in addition to your target audience is a critical first step in any paid social media campaign.

Learn as much as possible about them: Where they live, their ages, interests, problems, and how your brand is helping to solve those problems. This differs by social platform as well. Your audience on X will be different from that on LinkedIn and TikTok.

Before launching a paid social media campaign, consider doing an audit of your accounts. This will help assess your current followers, areas for growth, and to get a holistic look at your brand on social media. 

Plus, this will set you up for success ahead of launching your paid campaign.

READ: 5 Steps to Creating Engaging Platform Specific Content (in 2022)

Once you’re familiar with who your audience is, dive into the platforms where they’re most active and where your organization has the most established presence. 

These are the platforms you’ll want to focus on for your paid social media campaigns. 

The opportunity to serve paid ads to your existing followers is an additional bonus since people who are already familiar with your brand are more likely to engage.

Consider the graphic below: potential audience reach is the most important factor for marketers determining which platforms to run paid social media campaigns. It’s crucial to know the channels where you’re planning to run your paid campaign as that will directly affect the rest of your strategy from overall goals to creative assets.

paid social media campaign graphic

2. Create Paid Social Media Campaign Goals

This might sound obvious, but it’s massively important to be clear on what you want your paid social media to accomplish for your brand.

Do you want to drive tune-in or newsletter sign ups? Are you trying to build brand awareness or drive traffic directly to your site? 

Take a look at the graphic below for some of the most common paid media campaign objectives.

paid media chart

Once your objective is established, it will craft your flighting strategy (cadence of your paid ads) and make it easier for campaign measurement and analysis.

Hot tip: When developing projections and benchmarks, create a goal setting sheet to easily track results and through the campaign progress.

“Paid social is an absolute necessity. It should be included in every brand’s overall marketing plan and will only continue to grow over the next few years. While the landscape can be overwhelming for those new to paid social, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help navigate the rough course.” – Senior Director of Media, Elizabeth Ninivaggi

READ: Do’s and Don’ts of Reaching Gen Z on Social Media

3. Utilize a Multi-Phased Paid Social Strategy

Just as marketing campaigns are broken down into multiple phases, the same is true with your paid social media campaign. 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when launching a paid social campaign is setting up ads that look to convert users without first establishing awareness for your brand. It takes time to convert leads into customers. 

Each stage of the buyer’s journey is represented in a full funnel strategy. A typical paid social media campaign funnel looks something like the image below:

paid media campaign awareness graphic

Let’s break down the phases:

Awareness phase:

  • This is your brand’s first impression with a new audience. 
  • People in the awareness stage typically don’t know much about your organization or your services/ products offered. 
  • GOAL: generate interest and educate users about your brand. Paid targeting here should be a mix of broad audiences that have interests in similar brands.

Consideration phase:

  • Those in the consideration phase are familiar with your brand but they have yet to be converted to customers. 
  • Provide more detail about your brand in this stage to build trust among your audience.
  • GOAL: stand out from competitors in an effort to retain the new audience captured during the awareness stage. Provide more detail about your brand in this stage to build trust among your audience.

Conversion phase: 

  • The awareness and trust you built during the first two phases of your funnel has primed users to take your desired conversion action (the goal of the campaign we established in our second tip).
  • GOAL: turn your engaged audience into customers. 

Full funnel strategies allow you to structure your paid social media campaign in a smart and efficient way to achieve your goals. 

In addition to increasing the likelihood of conversion actions, a full funnel strategy can grow your overall audience pool by retargeting the users you reached in each phase. Think retargeting mid-funnel website visitors. This level of detail can work wonders for your overall conversions and campaign goals.

Hot tip: When creating these phases make sure your goals and metrics are defined for each phase. For example, if awareness is your objective look at metrics such as cost-per-thousand (CPM) and reach and change these through each phase.


4. Test and Optimize Your Paid Media Campaigns

As is true in any marketing campaign, you should be actively monitoring the effectiveness of your ads throughout the duration of your paid media campaign. 

This is especially impactful during the awareness and consideration phases where you can run tests to learn what grabs your audience’s attention best. However, keep in mind you only want to change one thing at a time, whether it’s your audience targeting, ad copy or creative so that you can identify what changed in each test.

How to run audience targeting tests for your paid social media campaigns:

  • Look to see which interests or broad based targets are performing best and expand on these by incorporating additional contextually relevant keywords or interest groups.
  • For smaller, custom audiences such as lookalikes and retargeting groups – you can test the parameters. Think increasing or decreasing lookalike percentages or lookback windows (period of time in which a conversion can be matched to a particular ad) and determine which of these provides the highest value.
  • You can also run tests to optimize the creative you’re using for your ad to determine the most optimal piece of content. This includes everything from static vs. video content, copy variations, placements (feed vs Story) as well as headlines and link descriptions.

With so many areas of opportunity for testing and optimization, having your paid media and creative team under the same roof increases efficiency and the overall success of your campaign. 

It allows for the creative team to be briefed on paid strategy and create assets to fit the specific needs and stages of the campaign without the traditional back and forth of agency to agency communication.

STN Paid Social Media Campaign Example

To support the syndication launch of Young Sheldon, STN partnered with Warner Bros. to build creative that spoke directly to audiences in key geographic markets. This helped to generate top of mind awareness and drive tune-in in these key areas.

With STN’s paid strategists and creative team working together, communication was streamlined and our designers created optimal assets for each market.

Hot tip: Create a testing plan prior to your launch to make sure you are measuring variables clearly. For example, start testing content buckets with one audience and then move forward with testing audience buckets.

young sheldon paid social media campaign image
young sheldon paid social media campaign image

When you’re equipped with an effective paid media strategy, the sky’s the limit for what your brand can achieve. 

Keep these four best practices in mind as you embark on your next paid campaign and if you have any questions on what we discussed here or want to get in touch with one of STN’s paid media strategists, fill out the form below.

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