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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Haynes

5 things to consider before you launch a paid social media campaign

In today's digital landscape, paid social media advertising offers unparalleled reach and targeting capabilities for businesses seeking to generate new leads, create brand awareness, drive traffic and optimise conversions. However, before allocating budget and crafting eye-catching creatives, a strategic approach is paramount to maximise campaign effectiveness. Here, we explore 5 key considerations to ensure your next paid social media campaign delivers exceptional results.

1. Deep Audience Insights: Beyond Demographics

While demographics provide a foundation, successful targeting hinges on a nuanced understanding of your ideal customer. Consider psychographics – the values, lifestyles and online behaviours that define your audience. Meta, for example, allows targeting based on life events (newly engaged, new jobs, friends with birthdays) or purchase behaviours, enabling you to reach users with a high propensity to convert. Whereas, Google Ads excels at reaching users actively searching for products or services related to your signals and keywords. Leverage this understanding to tailor your ads for maximum impact. 

Develop buyer personas to capture a comprehensive picture of your target audience. By understanding their aspirations and challenges, you can tailor messaging and creatives that resonate deeply. Think about what social media platforms they use most. What kind of content catches their eye? What challenges are they trying to solve or what goals are they striving for?  By personalising your approach based on these personas, you can create compelling ads that grab attention, spark engagement and ultimately drive conversions.

2. SMART Goals: Specificity is Key

Ensure your paid social ads support your broader marketing goals and are achievable within your budget and campaign timeframe. Don’t be afraid to move beyond generic goals like "increased brand awareness." Establish Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) goals to determine success. Are you aiming for a 20% increase in website traffic or 500 qualified leads in the next quarter? SMART goals provide a clear roadmap for your campaign strategy and guide success measurement. Another key factor to consider before you launch a paid social campaign is that your goals should be aligned with your budget. Ambitious goals like driving significant sales and focusing on ROAS alone usually require a larger budget than brand awareness and traffic campaigns. Remember to balance upper-funnel (brand awareness) and lower-funnel (conversions) goals and prioritise audience relevance for maximum impact.

3. Compelling Creatives and Content that Converts

As of 2024, the average daily social media usage for internet users worldwide is 143 minutes (c.2 hours 23 minutes). While users spend a significant amount of time on social media, it doesn't guarantee they'll actively look at every ad. To stand out in ever-scrolling feeds, developing high-quality visuals that grab attention and align with your brand identity, and writing persuasive copy that compels your ideal customer to stop and engage is now more important than ever. Prioritise clear calls to action (CTAs) within your ad copy, speaking directly to your target audience's needs and desires. 

Experiment with various creative formats, messaging approaches, content durations, captions and headlines. Analyse data to measure performance and understand which audience and creative combinations work best for your specific goals, allowing for continuous campaign optimisation and efficient resource allocation.

4. Focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Metrics like clicks and impressions, while valuable for reach, don't tell the whole story. Research average KPIs for your industry and campaign type. This provides a benchmark to understand how your performance compares to competitors.

On Meta, prioritise cost-per-lead (CPL) and conversion rates to assess lead generation campaign efficiency. For conversion-focused campaigns, return on ad spend (ROAS) is the primary metric, offering a clear view of revenue generated from ad spend. However, cost per acquisition (CPA) is equally as important to determine ad and audience quality.

On Google, common metrics to monitor include impressions, clicks, conversion rate and interaction rate to measure the success of a campaign. Use these insights to understand if you need to further refine your targeting, ad copy, landing pages and bidding strategies. 

Remember, don't be a launch-and-forget advertiser. Closely monitor your campaign's performance but don't get overwhelmed by tracking too many KPIs. Focus on 3-5 key metrics that are most crucial for your specific campaign goals. Continuously analysing the data to identify what's working and what's not allows you to optimise campaigns in real time. Bear in mind that a winning campaign often involves ongoing testing and optimisations and you can’t expect overnight success. Larger budgets usually allow for faster data collection and potentially quicker insights. With smaller budgets, it might take longer to see definitive trends. Track your KPIs regularly, even during the initial learning phase as this allows for early identification of any issues or opportunities for improvement. Don't get discouraged by minor day-to-day fluctuations — look for patterns and trends over a longer period to assess performance accurately.

5. Seamless Landing Page Journey

The user experience doesn't end with the ad click. Ensure the landing page is relevant to your ad and optimised for conversions. The landing page content should seamlessly continue the story from the ad and clearly guide users towards the desired action and maintain their interest, such as making a purchase, receiving an offer or signing up for a newsletter.

Landing page optimisation is paramount for both desktop and mobile users. Ensure your website and landing pages are optimised for user experience, mobile responsiveness and clear conversion actions (e.g., sign-up forms, checkout buttons). This ensures a smooth user experience, eliminates confusion and keeps users engaged with the conversion goal. In turn, this increases conversion rates and maximises the return on your ad spend. 

By implementing these strategic considerations, you can establish a robust framework for launching high-performance paid social media campaigns. Remember, success hinges on continuous testing, optimisation and data-driven analysis. By adopting this data-centric approach, you'll be well-positioned to leverage the immense power of paid social media advertising and achieve your business objectives.

The Consultancy Collective

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