Getting more reach on social media is the greatest asset in social media marketing. In addition to target group-specific, exciting content and personal community management, you can also boost the awareness of your own channels further: By placing advertisements. Why this has become necessary in the last few years, which formats are available on which platforms and how to place them is explained in the article.
On Facebook, Instagram and Co. you can no longer reach as many people with your activities as you did a few years ago. The reason for this is the fact that organic reach is on the decline. Facebook in particular is relying on users to display content from family and friends in their news feed rather than from companies – much to the chagrin of us marketers. But don't panic, the decline in organic reach can be absorbed. Among other things, by regularly publishing great content that is adapted to the respective platform. But especially for companies that are still in the early stages of social media presence, a little advertising can work wonders.
Why invest in social media advertising?
Worldwide, more than 3 billion people are active on social media, so the reach nationally and internationally can be very large. Advertising campaigns can be easily set up and are suitable in principle for any company. Even with a low advertising budget of a few euros per day you can achieve a relatively extensive reach. Whoever places advertising on Facebook and Co. only pays if the ads also lead to the desired success (click or impression). This payment method is called Cost-per-Click or Pay-per-Click. To prevent the costs from rising immeasurably, advertisers can define a fixed maximum ad spend, a kind of credit whose limit can be reached. The large amount of user data collected by the platforms plays a major role in this process: the amount of data allows ads to be targeted to specific groups of people.
There are six big players in social media advertising, on which advertising in the European area is worthwhile. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Xing. These channels differ from one another in terms of costs, targeting accuracy and ad formats, among other things. For our clients we produce content for social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Facebook is interesting above all because of its precise target group management. On no other channel advertising can be targeted so precisely and interest-based. Before you want to start a campaign on Facebook, you have to select the campaign targets. You can find some information about the 11 possibilities to do so here.
Advertisements on Facebook can have a total of nine different forms of presentation:
- Photo Ads
The classic ad is easy to create and is suitable for many campaign objectives. They usually consist of an image, a short text and a link to a website or landing page. You can also insert an additional call-to-action button. You can either convert an existing post into a photo ad, or you can create a new one in Facebook Business Manager.
- Video Ads
Without videos, nothing works on social media nowadays: by using video ads you can reach more people than with any other format. Videos can be from a few seconds to several minutes long, displayed directly in the feed or even in the stories. Regardless of what you choose: All videos must also be optimized for mobile devices.
- Carousel Ads
If you want to present several products at once or a coherent photo series, Carousel Ads are a suitable choice. Within the ad, up to ten pictures and videos can be inserted and each can be provided with its own link.
- Collection Ads
Similar to Carousel Ads you can combine several images within one post, in this case a maximum of four. When customers click on the ad, they are taken to an "Instant Experience"
- Instant Experience
Instant Experiences are nothing more than landing pages, except that they are located within Facebook instead of an external website. Facebook also offers some templates for this purpose, which can be customized.
- Playable Ads
This form of ads makes sense if you distribute an app. After clicking on the Playable Ad, users are redirected to an interactive full-screen demo and via a CTA to an App Store for downloading the program.
- Slideshow Ads
If you want to play an ad in video format but do not have a clip, you can use this feature to make a video from multiple frames.
- Stories Ads
First and foremost known from Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook stories are also becoming increasingly popular. Although they do not represent a format of their own, they are automatically selected for placement in the course of photo, video and carousel ads.
- Messenger Ads
Like Stories Ads, Messenger Ads are additional placements. The content is then displayed between the chats of the users and redirects them to a website or invites them to contact us. Messenger marketing is becoming more and more important and will become even more popular in the future – also in the form of chat bots. You can read more about this in our article "Moricz Kopitsch in an interview: The next stage of development in marketing? Service".
High interaction rates and focus on visual content: Instagram is the most popular channel for social media advertising right behind Facebook. The provider is now part of Facebook, which is immediately noticeable in the ad formats offered. Another advantage of the takeover: Ads for Instagram can be created and analyzed directly in Facebook Business Manager. Two in one. Here, too, campaign targets must be selected, but the selection is much clearer than on Facebook. You can choose between brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installations, interactions, video views and conversions. We also already know the ad formats from Facebook:
- Photo Ads
- Video Ads (max. 60 seconds)
- Carousel Ads
- Stories Ads
- Collection Ads
- Instant Experience Ads
On both Facebook and Instagram you win with authentic photos and videos. To find out how you can make your content shine in all visual facets, read our article "Follow me! A feast for the eyes".
The world's largest business network is perfect if you want to reach people in the B2B sector, e.g. influencers, decision makers or opinion leaders.
Here, there is the possibility of selecting campaign targets, too. These are based on the classic three-stage marketing funnel "Awareness, Consideration, Conversions".
On LinkedIn you also have the possibility to choose different ad formats:
- Sponsored Content
Sponsored posts appear directly in the feeds of users. The posts can be single image ads, video ads or carousel ads. There also is the possibility to integrate forms to generate leads. No matter if it’s blog articles, videos or internal news – here, you can be creative regarding advertising.
- Sponsored InMail
Sponsored InMails are personalized messages that land directly in the target group's mailbox when they are online. This format is well suited for invitations to events and functions.
- Text Ads
Text ads appear in the right sidebar and at the top of the banner. They are ideal for posting job ads. Contrary to the name, the ad consists of a headline, description and an image.
- Dynamic Ads
These ads are dynamically generated and automatically provided with pictures of members. So a member of your target group receives a personalized ad with their own profile picture. Due to the personalization, dynamic ads generate a lot of attention.
Test, adapt, test again
Ads that have been played must be checked daily to adjust them if necessary and intervene if they do not work as well as expected. The data that you obtain from the key figures must be subject to constant review. Think about which content worked particularly well on which platform with which persona, which channel was most successful and whether your objectives are realistic. After all, your social media strategy is a constant cycle with potential for optimisation. The key is to have the courage to fail, because only then can you improve your own activities. We have summarised here once again in a clear and concise manner which key figures really do make a difference in controlling the ads.
Many possibilities, but which is the right one?
That depends entirely on your company, your goals and your target group. Let us advise you in a non-binding conversation to define your own social media advertising strategy.