Social ads are a powerful way to grow your reach and audience quickly. But not all social ads are created equal. Certain elements can detract from your messaging while others can boost your ad’s effectiveness. Here’s what you need to know about what goes into an effective social ad, and the key elements of social media marketing.

The Right Target Audience

One of the greatest benefits to advertising on Facebook and Instagram is that the platforms have a lot of information on their users. And as a smart marketer or business owner, you’ve already developed a profile of the kind of consumer who represents your ideal customer.

Social ads allow you to target your messaging directly at those ideal consumers. You can use all sorts of demographic and behavioral information to narrow down the audience for your advertising. Targeting based on demographic factors (like location, age, gender, industry, and job title) or behaviors (like certain pages they’ve liked on Facebook) allows you to define the ideal audience for your messaging. As far as elements of social media ads go, identifying and connecting with the right target audience is a big one.

Eye-Catching Visuals

All Facebook and Instagram ads include a visual element ““ either a still image or a video. If you’ve ever scrolled through a feed on one of these sites, you understand the importance of making a strong visual statement. There’s a lot of content, and if your visuals are outdated, generic, or off-brand, it’s nearly a guarantee that you’ll simply fade into the background.

Instead, include an image that’s likely to stand out: something bright and clean, but not over-edited or inauthentic. Incorporate colors that make sense with your branding to establish a link between the visuals and your brand.

Visual appeal is one of the most universal elements of social media marketing, but within that you have tremendous range. If you’re undecided on where you want to focus your lens, you can strive for images that bring out your company’s personality. If you can make someone smile, they’ll be that much more likely to give your link a click. Have fun with it!

Tight, Effective Copy

The Shakespeare character that said that “brevity is the soul of wit” may have made a good marketer! The key to a great Facebook or Instagram ad is getting to the point as quickly as possible.

Again, consider the format: Consumers are encountering this messaging in their social media feeds. What are the odds they’re going to stop and read a lengthy, meandering post?

Keep your copy short and focused on your ideal consumer’s problem. What is it that you can solve for them with your product or service? This is the kind of messaging that grabs attention in a crowded feed, and is one of the more crucial elements of social media marketing.

Compelling Call to Action

Once you’ve gotten their attention, you need to follow it up with a strong call to action. You’ve proven that you understand their problem and have teased that your business offers the solution. Your call to action becomes the specific next step you want that consumer to take on their journey to becoming a full-fledged customer.

This messaging will vary based on the target audience for the ad, their place in the customer journey, and your company’s typical sales cycle. If you’re targeting your messaging at consumers who will be totally new to your brand, a call to action inviting them to learn more or undertake any other low-stakes, entry-level behavior is the way to go. The other elements of social media ads, while essential, don’t count for much if you never see engagement.

Customized Landing Page

Once the consumer clicks on your ad, you want to take them to a place filled with relevant information. That’s why every social ad you create should have an associated custom landing page.

Directing traffic from your social ads to a generic page on your website”“like your homepage”“is a surefire way to lose out on valuable conversions. They clicked on your ad because they were interested in the specific offer you made there, but now they’ve been taken to a page with general information and no clear path forward. Don’t make your prospects hunt around for the next step they should take with your business. Instead, present them with a landing page that gives them a way to quickly and easily make the conversion move you desire.

Creating a great social ad isn’t impossible, but you do need to understand the key elements of social media marketing that go into grabbing a consumer’s attention and driving conversion on busy social networks. Fortunately, by creating highly targeted audiences and following best practices when it comes to writing and designing your ads, you can generate lots of new attention for your brand in a short period of time with relatively low costs.

If you’re looking for help getting your social ads off the ground, check out what our team can do for you.

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