When social media platforms were invented around a decade ago, there weren’t many competitors, and organic social media marketing was relatively easy.
However, social media is now a busy place. If you are a new business, you cannot beat all that noise and barrage of content generated by users and competitors, using only organic (free) content.
You will also need to supplement your organic content campaigns with a line of ads ready to break through the noise. These will give your brand mere seconds of exposure on the world stage.
How to optimize your Facebook and Instagram Ads
In this article, we’ll be limiting our scope to just Facebook and Instagram Ads.
Most businesses from a majority of industries are likely to use Facebook and Instagram as they are the world’s most popular social media platforms.
Combined, they serve content to 3.7 billion users, around half of the world’s population. Since Instagram is owned by the Facebook company, you are given the choice to place your ads in either or both platforms when working with only one Facebook Ads Manager.
In essence, optimizing social media adverts means you take account of all the known factors that contribute to the success of a particular campaign objectives. Not all campaign objectives are to increase revenue, although there are many campaign goals that directly contribute to revenue increase, such as store visit, product catalogue viewing, and more — we will dive into campaign objectives in detail.
Factors that contribute to the success of social media advertising campaigns
In general, the factors fall into two categories — audience and budget. Simply put, audience-related factors are those that are unaffected by your chosen budget limit.
Audience-related factors are often overlooked as technical advertisers focus on competing for ad space with budget. This is because there tends to be very clear data patterns between ad spend, placement, click-through-rate, and level of reach.
However, psychological factors like the ad type, image or video content, ad copy, call-to-action, brand awareness, and the social/cultural/economical context in which the ad is served is, to say the least, difficult to predict. Every new campaign is its own unique psychological experiment, and marketers’ best tools to measure the effectiveness between two ad variations is the A/B test.
However, it has been shown that focusing more on the psychological factors will leverage your advertising campaign success. This is because you shouldn’t treat social media advertising any different from conventional advertising. That humorous billboard ad that you saw on your way to work? Marketers must have paid a hefty sum of money to rent that space. It must attract attention and makes people think about the brand, otherwise it will be all for nothing.
General strategies to optimize social media ad campaigns
1. Using Existing And Well-Performing Content
Promoting your existing content isn’t lazy. Your existing content has already earned many likes, and has been shared by many people as it spends more time in your content collection, and gaining organic reach on its own.
This is a gold mine of social proof, which is necessary to create an engaging ad.
If you are looking for content that will engage with your current audience, pick a post which already works with your current audience demography. You will then attract roughly the same kinds of audience to your page, increasing your share of the audience that will most likely buy your product or service.
Use this strategy if you want to increase brand awareness and if you believe that there is still market potential to tap into.
2. A/B Test Your Social Media Ad Variations
Creating a new campaign doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. You can take inspiration from all the campaigns that have worked in the past.
What makes them so good? Is it the choice of media (images and video)? Is it the type of post (carousel, single image, etc.)? Or could it be the choice of words?
Analyzing this will narrow down your choices greatly, however, to know exactly which factors contribute to your ads’ success, you can conduct an A/B test on each factor. Test two ads with incremental differences. The more you test, the more likely you are to find a pattern.
You can form a simple conclusion and your own tactic just from this activity. This tactic is uniquely for your business. Use this strategy whenever you want to create new ads.
3. Auto-Optimization Is Your Friend
Auto-optimization seems not a popular choice when it comes to setting up an ad spend limit.
However, as mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of an ad doesn’t solely depend on how much you spend. You can trust Facebook to ‘lend’ you their algorithm and pool of user data.
You may know roughly the kinds of people that may be interested in your ads. However, sometimes the customer demography or interests are not strongly correlated with your brand affinity. There are just some things that Facebook, Google, and the majority of tech companies already know about the market. It is simply how they make their money.
Don’t be afraid to let Facebook know about the campaign objective, to help you find look-alike audiences, and to exclude people who are already customers. On the surface, these settings may seem too convenient and too good to be true, but in reality, digital marketing technologies on social media have evolved faster than you think.
Use this strategy whenever you want to learn more about possible campaign tactics that you can use in the future.
Work With A Specialist Agent
What makes social media advertising difficult is that it is an intersection between two sciences — mass communication and data science. At Island Media Management, our ads specialists have been trained to consider from both a human perspective and machine logic, in order to find valuable patterns that will result in profit.