Seven Tips to Upgrade Your Social Media Advertising Strategy

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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When it comes to social media advertising, change is one of the only constants. A social media advertising strategy that worked well last year is likely obsolete at this point.

Therefore, those who possess a stagnant social media advertising strategy will inevitably fall behind and lose ground to their competitors.

However, understanding how to change with the times can be difficult for some. After all, humans tend to be creatures of habit and many of us like developing routines and sticking to them. As a result, some have a challenging time embracing change in a constantly evolving PPC landscape.

That said, regardless of the discomfort it might bring, marketers must continue to alter their social media advertising strategies to stay fresh, relevant and effective.

To help advertisers achieve that aim, today, we will be exploring seven tips for upgrading a company’s social advertising efforts to increase followers, leads and sales.

The first step to improving efforts is to create a plan of attack.

Create a Master Plan

As Business2Community reports, 70 percent of small businesses are failing with Facebook ads. One of the main reasons for their lack of success is that they have not established a defined plan with clear goals.

Before a retailer launches an ad campaign, possessing a documented social media advertising strategy is necessary. After all, those who succeed in nearly anything plan out their efforts beforehand.

Therefore, it is critical that merchants create an advertising strategy that clearly delineates the business’s goals, as well as its approach to achieving those aims.

Some things that sellers will want to record include:

Business Goals

When getting ready to launch an ad campaign, it is vital that everyone involved possesses a solid and consistent view of the company’s goals on the micro and macro levels.

social media advertising goals graphic

The macro view of the social media advertising strategy is the brand’s overarching objectives. The overall goal might be to increase business revenue. Viewing the approach through the micro lens, the aim might be to raise a campaign’s CTR as this is the first step in earning a conversion.

Therefore, before a retailer can get their campaign off the ground, it is first necessary to establish the aims of their social media advertising strategy on these two levels.

Some goals that eCommerce merchants might establish include:

  • Increasing Awareness
  • Earning More Onsite Traffic
  • Building an Email List
  • Generating New Leads
  • Boosting Sales

Chances are, retailers will be after a blend of these objectives as many are dependent on one another. Nonetheless, it is vital to establish clear goals that will guide the direction of the brand’s social media advertising strategy.

An Advertising Strategy

With the goals laid out, the next step is to create an ad plan that aligns with the established objectives. For instance, if the aim that merchants have set up for themselves is to increase customer lifetime value, it is wise to engage in retargeting campaigns that feature products that specific shoppers have viewed but not purchased.

Additionally, sellers should take this opportunity to assess where their most active users reside. While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the rest are all popular destinations, a business’s ideal buyer is not likely to be equally active on all of these sites. Through this process, retailers might uncover that it is actually best for them to leverage TikTok advertising instead of Facebook adverts.

In this step, it is vital that retailers lay out their goals and assign different ad types and tactics for each platform to help reach their ultimate aims. Merchants may even want to address this step on a monthly basis. Doing so will allow retailers to assess their campaign performance and determine if their social media advertising requires adjusting.

Metrics to Measure

In many ways, the success of a campaign rides on retailers selecting the right metrics to measure and optimizing ads toward those ends.

While there are a variety of must-measure PPC metrics, the ones that sellers opt to pay the most attention to will depend on the objectives they are trying to reach.

must measure ppc metrics graphic

Based on the campaign’s goals, merchants might opt to measure KPIs such as:

  • Impressions
  • Cost per click
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversions
  • Cost per conversion
  • Return on ad spend

No matter which metrics advertisers decide to focus on, it is vital to assess the performance of their social media advertising strategy through the lens of the KPIs chosen. By selecting metrics that align with the brand’s overall aims and monitoring those figures closely, advertisers can tweak and adjust campaigns to better meet their intended goals.

Consider Increasing Ad Budgets

It’s no secret that social media platforms have become increasingly competitive for eCommerce companies over the years, particularly Facebook and Instagram. With the heightened level of competition, the price of adverts has also risen.

Therefore, in 2020, retailers who want to get their ads in front of the right consumers will have to increase budgets to reach them. However, the problem here is that many companies have opted instead to slash their budgets in the face of economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are two things that sellers must consider in this scenario. Firstly, economic downturns can be a golden opportunity for eCommerce brands that maintain their marketing and advertising efforts–if not increase them. This is because retailers can quickly drum up more awareness, sales and market share as competing businesses recede into the background because of their budget cuts.

Secondly, because of all the industries that have been forced to halt advertising due to the lockdown (e.g., travel, physical retail, etc.), combined with a slew of brands minimizing their advertising spend, ad prices have plummeted.

This means that those who opt to increase their advertising budget now can buy ads for bottom-dollar prices and compete against far fewer retailers for clicks. Through a beefing up of budgets, online merchants can gain significantly more followers, traffic, conversions and sales.

While this may seem counterintuitive to some, those who know where to focus their eCommerce marketing efforts amid COVID-19 will come out on top, as a panoply of examples from previous recessions has shown.

The current situation has presented eCommerce businesses with an unparalleled opportunity for growth that they may never see again.

Don’t let this moment go to waste.

Invest in Video

Everyone knows that video content is incredibly popular, and for a good reason. It produces results.

For instance, a study from HubSpot on video advertising revealed that video adverts generate 20 percent more clicks than image-based ads. This is the exact reason why a majority of marketers utilize video in their advertising, educational and entertainment efforts.

youtube sign up button ad

Part of the reason why video ads produce more clicks is that they are more exciting, engaging and enticing than just words and images. Therefore, videos should be a central component of a brand’s social media advertising strategy.

Through features like Facebook’s Custom Audiences, merchants can target a “warm” audience of individuals who have watched a certain percentage of a video from their page. These folks are ripe to receive video adverts in their feed, as they have already shown interest in the business and its video content.

From there, sellers can create Lookalike Audiences of prospective customers who behave in ways similar to those in a Custom Audience. Retailers can utilize this targeting feature to deliver video ads to people who are unaware of their brand but are likely to view a video ad and click-through to convert.

Since retailers have a variety of options as to how to segment their video viewers, those who have watched at least 50 percent of a video are the most likely to make a purchase. While this does reduce the size of the audience, the Lookalike Audience will help to make up for the loss in numbers.

Check Out Chatbots

Chatbots are one of the top eCommerce trends for 2020. The reason for this is that they are highly effective at serving customers and even increasing retail sales.

As Forbes reports on the effectiveness of chatbots:

“The sales function is the most common use case for chatbots (41%), followed closely by support (37%) and marketing (17%); chatbots increased sales by an average of 67%, with 26% of all sales starting through a chatbot interaction; 35% of business leaders said chatbots helped them close sales deals.”

As far as how this relates to a social media advertising strategy, retailers can deploy Facebook Click-to-Messenger ad campaigns that send shoppers into conversation with the company’s Messenger-connected chatbot.

Through the interaction that follows, retailers can gain a shopper’s contact info, increase engagement and earn sales. As Search Engine Journal details in its chatbot-fueled Facebook click-to-Messenger ad experiment:

“With a $130 budget, we were able to get 26 New Messaging Conversations, for a total of $2.59 per result. The same ad with the traffic objective would average about $5 or $6 per click. Moreover…we obtained the contact information of all the people who engaged with our ad. So, not only did we spend half the amount we would have on traditional Facebook ads, we also have the invaluable opportunity to follow up with our fresh contacts.”

Get Granular with Audience Targeting

An effective social media advertising strategy is highly dependent on how well advertisers utilize audience targeting features.

Thankfully, platforms like Facebook and Instagram provide marketers with insanely specific targeting abilities. Through these social media sites, retailers can target consumers by their:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Generation
  • Gender
  • Languages spoken
  • Relationship status
  • Level of education
  • Employment
  • Income
  • Living situation (home type, renter or owner, household composition, etc.)
  • Parental status
  • Politics
  • Life events
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Behaviors

This list is just a small taste of all the options Facebook provides when targeting consumers. Through these advertising abilities, retailers can target single, male, Gen-X fathers who are expats living in Australia who recently graduated with a master’s degree and are really into rugby.

While we have no clue if such a person actually exists, this goes to show how immensely specific advertisers can get with their audience targeting.

youtube create new audience options

Inevitably, getting this granular will cast a much smaller net, so if the goal is to generate traffic and awareness, it might not be in the brand’s best interest to get this specific.

However, if a merchant is looking to reach their ideal buyer, earn sales and then create a Lookalike Audience, drilling down to a highly niche audience will be the best method for achieving that aim.

Craft Congruent Creative

When eCommerce retailers center their social media advertising strategy on reaching an extremely niche audience, it is critical that they maintain a high degree of relevance in order to achieve high marks from Facebook.

Through Facebook’s Ad Relevance Diagnostics, the network measures the performance of a campaign in three ways:

  • Quality ranking: This shows an ad’s “perceived quality” when compared to other competing adverts.
  • Engagement rate ranking: Here, Facebook measures the ad’s expected rate of engagement to similar ads.
  • Conversion rate ranking: This is the same as engagement rate ranking, but for conversions.

If ads fail to garner high marks in these areas, something is clearly amiss.

To ensure that a merchant’s ad performs well, it is crucial to align the interests and intent of the audience with the ad’s creative and destination page.

sculpthouse boutique instagram shop now option

Therefore, if sellers are attempting to advertise a promotion on rugby-related hoodies to that single, male, Gen-X father living in Australia, it is necessary to include imagery (or video content) that clearly shows similarly aged men wearing the item to a game, playing rugby with their friends or something else that allows them to see themselves in the scenario.

At the same time, it is necessary to draft copy that resonates with the consumer. After all, the rugby-loving dad won’t relate to the same type of language that college-aged girls in San Francisco will find appealing.

Much like writing product descriptions that sell, retailers have to get into the mind of the target audience to figure out what it is they want, what verbiage will resonate and how to communicate in a way that engenders conversions.

Finally, don’t create just one version of an advert. Generate two or three variations with the same image but different text and vice versa. The only way to optimize an ad’s performance is to A/B test them to see which work best for meeting the intended goal.

Engage in Retargeting

While this has been touched on throughout the piece, it is worth talking about more in-depth as retargeting is essential to eCommerce sales.

For those who are somehow unaware, retargeting is the process of re-engaging those who have previously interacted with a brand’s website or social profiles and serving them relevant ads in popular online destinations.

The fact is that retargeting is a vital component of an effective social media advertising strategy as it reaches consumers who have already shown some level of interest in a brand. Through these types of ads, sellers can turn curious consumers into paying customers.

Additionally, retargeting adverts are becoming increasingly easy to use through certain social media platforms. For instance, using Dynamic Facebook Ads allows merchants to easily promote products of interest to audiences. As the company states on its Dynamic Ads info page:

“With dynamic ads, you can retarget people who have taken an action on your website or app, or use broad audience targeting to reach people who may not have visited your website or app before. Your ads then show relevant products from your catalog to people when they visit Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network or Messenger… When you optimize your ads for a specific goal (such as link clicks or conversions), Facebook chooses products from your catalog that generate the best outcome for you.”

While this ad type sounds nice, what really matters is if it works or not.

In a Lenovo case study using Facebook Dynamic Ads, the company was able to achieve a:

  • 10% Boost in Online Sales
  • 54% Increase in Product Pageviews
  • Ninefold List in ROAS

The best part is that this case study is far from an anomaly.

 Final Thoughts

When it comes to upgrading a social media advertising strategy, it is critical that retailers think things through and document their approach to success. Without a precise aim, hitting the target will be near impossible.

Moreover, while it is certainly advisable to leverage tried and true strategies such as retargeting, retailers shouldn’t be afraid to conduct a bit of experimentation, such as through the utilization of Click-to-Messenger campaigns.

However, we understand that in uncertain economic times that testing out unproven methods can feel like more of a gamble than some are willing to take. If your brand wants to ensure the success of its ad strategy and campaign outcomes, reach out to Visiture’s social media advertising specialists.

Our team of seasoned eCommerce advertisers can help your company put into action a customized social media advertising strategy that is sure to generate the type of results that help your brand grow and expand.

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