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Social media advertising best practice

Social Media Advertising: Best Practice Tips

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Social media advertising best practice
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Social Media Advertising: Best Practice Tips

Social media advertising has revolutionised the face of marketing. More affordable than traditional OOH, television or radio, they are straightforward to set up (once you know what to do), highly targeted and provide a whole heap of insights.

While there are tons of social media channels these days, this best practice guide focuses on the big four: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These are the most common channels we use with our clients, and for good reason: they get results.

Benchmarks

First, let’s look at the kinds of results you can expect. Of course, this will differ according to a number of variables, such as your budget, demographics and content.

For example, here’s what you can expect from Facebook:

Facebook advertising benchmarkBusiness accounts

Often, the page you create for your business is a ‘personal’ account by default. This means you won’t have access to all the insights and options as a business account. So converting the account is a crucial first step.

As well as ‘unlocking’ the advertising side, a business account also opens up reporting and communication streams. This includes followers being able to send DMs (direct messages) and:

  • Follower demographics
  • Engagement metrics
  • App integrations

Each social media platform has an equivalent business advertising platform, seen below:

Social media business accounts

Budget

As with most platforms that allow advertising, there are a number ways to manage your spend: total budget, daily budget and setting bids based on clicks (CPC), impressions (CPM) and delivered InMails (CPS).

You can be as conservative or extravagant as you like. Hubspot has created a helpful calculator to give you an idea on spend and return for social media ads.

LinkedIn

  • 690m members
  • 180m senior-level influencers
  • 63m decision makers
  • 10m C-level executives
  • There are 675m monthly users
  • 40% of those monthly users login daily
  • 63m unique mobile users, monthly! (so make sure that ad is optimised)
  • 57% of LinkedIn users identify as male

LinkedIn users worldwide 2020Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn works best when you’re targeting professionals. While arguably professionals also use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s more likely that they’ve got their business and decision making hats on when they’re active on LinkedIn.

Not only this, but you can really zone in on those B2B segments, provided that users keep their profiles up to date.

Ad types:

  • Carousel
  • Conversion
  • Dynamic
  • Jobs
  • Lead gen
  • Message
  • Single image
  • Single job
  • Text
  • Video

LinkedIn Promoted post adLinkedIn ad example - job

LinkedIn recommends the following best practice tips to maximise success when advertising across it’s channel:

  • Write ad headlines that are under 150 characters. Concise headlines lead to more engagement.
  • Keep descriptive copy under 70 characters. Note that anything over 100 characters could be truncated on desktop.
  • Embed larger images instead of standard thumbnails. An image size of 1200 x 627 pixels is recommended. Content with larger visuals tend to get up to 38% higher CTR (click-through rates).
  • Feature a clear CTA (call to action), so your audience knows how to act on their interest.

Facebook

  • 2.6 billion monthly active users
  • 1.73 billion daily active users
  • 60% of internet users have a Facebook profile: which breaks down further to 83% of women and 75% of men
  • 96% of active users are most engaged via mobile devices
  • 58.5 minutes per day is the average daily use
  • 54% of users identify as female
  • 85% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off

Why Facebook?

The social media channel we all love to hate (but we’re all addicted). Whether it’s nosing at people we used to know, laughing at memes or discovering new brands, Facebook is the reigning monarch of modern day social media (sorry MySpace!) with 60% of all internet users reported to have a profile.

This in theory provides the most varied reach. And with so many data captures along the way (in addition to what you fill in on your profile, a shout out here to page likes, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger), there’s potential for incredibly in-depth segmentation possibilities.

Ad types:

  • Video
  • Image
  • Collection (formally known as product catalogue, customised for the individual)
  • Carousel
  • Instant experience (formally known as Canvas, full-screen, mobile optimised)
  • Lead generation ads
  • Offers
  • Post engagement (boost)
  • Event responses
  • Page likes

Best practice tips from Facebook business

Here’s what the Facebook business manager team themselves recommend to optimise your campaigns for success:

  • Use vertical videos: Use a vertical or square aspect ratio. Most people hold their phones vertically, so you’ll cover more of their screen.
  • Avoid text on images: If you can, use the text/headline/link description boxes instead. If you have to use text on your image, try a smaller font and fewer words to lower the proportion of text to image. Our text overlay tool can help you get your ad approved. Learn more about text on images.
  • Shorten text: People on Facebook and Instagram scan quickly. In research conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association, it took 2-3 seconds for two out of three for people to see and cognitively recognise desktop ads compared to 0.4 seconds on mobile. Keep your text short, clear and concise to get your message across.
  • Add multiple images using the carousel format: Carousel allows you to show several images for people to scroll through at the same cost. It’s a great opportunity if you have lots of product or brand images. Get carousel tips.
  • Add movement: Ads with movement stand out in News Feed. When you make a Stories ad, you can use free templates that automatically animate your ad. You can also edit the colours, images and fonts. You could also try these free apps:
  • Hyperlapse – Create timelapse videos
  • Boomerang – Loop videos
  • Legend – Animate text
  • Videoshop – Edit videos
  • Adobe PhotoShop Express – Edit photos
  • Adobe Spark – Build videos from templates with text, images, photos and narration
  • Use calls to action: A range of call-to-action (CTA) buttons are available for Facebook and Instagram ads. These buttons draw attention and encourage people to engage with your ad. Based on what you want people to do when they see your ad, experiment with the CTA buttons available for different ad objectives and formats. See which ones get your audience to take action.

Instagram

  • 1 billion+ monthly active users
  • 500 million+ daily active users
  • 500 million+ stories uploaded daily
  • 4.2 billion post likes daily
  • Apparently, 56.3% female (although this is interesting as this isn’t a formal data capture… hello data sharing)
  • 60% of adult internet users have an Instagram account
  • 130 million users tap on the shop call to action to learn more about products, monthly!
  • User generated content has 4.5% higher conversion rate for brands using Instagram

Why Instagram?

Instagram and Facebook are connected. So it’s easier to target your audience based on Facebook data. All budgeting and scheduling tasks, the setup and creation of ads are done through Facebook. So you don’t need to start from scratch and learn about Instagram, once you’ve already used its sister platform for marketing and ads.”

Although Instagram is essentially the same platform as Facebook, the demographic differs slightly, as does their engagement. It is thought that Instagram users are more engaged with brands than any other social media platform.

Ad types

social media ads instagramTwitter

  • 1.3 billion+ accounts
  • 330 million monthly active users
  • 152 million daily active users (42% of users)
  • 500 million tweets daily
  • Average session is 3.39 minutes

Why Twitter?

If your target demographic is mostly male, Twitter is a good place to advertise. According to Omnicore stats, 66% of its users are male, making up for 24% of all male internet users.

Not only this, but according to Kantar, 53% of Twitter users are likely to be early adopters, being the first to buy new products.

Twitter is also a good balance between the strictly business interaction of LinkedIn and the more personal uses of Facebook and Instagram.

Ad types

  • Reach (maximise your ad’s reach)
  • Video views
  • Pre-roll views (pair your ad with premium content)
  • App installs
  • Website clicks
  • Engagement
  • Followers
  • App re-engagements (get people to do something in particular with your app)

Twitter text only ad Twitter promoted imageTwitter promoted account

Best practice tips from Twitter business

#1 Choose an ad format that works for your campaign goals

Promoted Tweets: Create a regular Tweet with your account with text and/or images. With a Promoted Tweet, visibility is boosted to help your content reach more people.

Promoted Videos: Have a great video that you want to draw more attention to? Share it on Twitter, and then launch a Promoted Video campaign.

Pre-roll videos: Pre-roll videos are advertisements from one of our 200+ content partners that are played at the beginning of a video.

Website Cards: Image and video Website Cards enable your brand to share eye- catching creative that seamlessly drives to a landing page of your choice. Create a card and attach it to a Tweet to share with your audience.

App Cards: Twitter App Cards drives both app installations and engagement, and allows you to present your app and the supporting content in a rich and interesting way.

#2 Understand the creative guidelines for each format

#3 Embrace video best practices across multiple formats

Summary

Social media is a great way to create affordable advertising campaigns for any budget. If you’re thinking about dabbling with social media ads but aren’t sure where to begin, leave your details below and we will be in touch!

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Digital advertising

Digital Advertising 101

By Blog posts, Digitisation
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Digital Advertising 101

What is digital advertising?

Those adverts you see on Facebook, sponsored search results on Google (or Bing, if you’re that way inclined). A cheeky sidebar banner featuring those shoes you were thinking of buying last night but didn’t. And of course, those infamous moments where you swear Facebook is reading your mind. It’s all digital advertising.

The more sophisticated, modern sibling of traditional ads. If done well, they are targeted, trackable and a wealth of information to marketing teams.

With so many tools to set up digital ads, there is scope for a full range of real-time reports. You can learn what motivates them to convert, and use this information to help build your buyer personas.

And, if you can’t decide on the creative or copy, you can even split test a multi-variant ad.

WebFX reports that 80% of shoppers research online. It’s fair to say a higher percentage of B2B decision makers will research suppliers this way too.

Inbound vs Paid Advertising

Digital strategy: social media ads

What about inbound marketing vs. paid advertising? Both have their pros and cons, and a successful digital marketing strategy will use a balance of the two. For instance, inbound or organic content is a great foundation to building consideration.

Whereas paid (or ads) are great for driving awareness and boosting conversion. They do this by reaching targeted leads who are further down the sales funnel, ready to make a decision.

Inbound marketing takes time and effort to get results. You’re stretching your net far and wide, inviting as many users as possible to visit your site. And they might not always be the best quality leads.

Budgets for digital ads are a lot more flexible than traditional, making it is less of a gamble to experiment.

Find out how we helped Mum&You with their digital ad strategy.

How to choose the right channel for your ads

How DPC+UP plan digital marketing projectsSo you’re ready to allocate some of your budget to digital ads, but how do you know which channels are right for you? As always, refer to your customer personas.

If you choose to work with a digital marketing agency like us, we do the “hard work” identifying the best channels. To achieve this, we look at the following factors of your target audience:

  • The sites they use
  • What media they consume
  • What motivates them to convert

It’s also a good idea to audit your key competitors. We also carry out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).

What channels are available?

You are spoilt for choice. That said, different channels work better for different audiences and ad types.

Paid search is great for capturing active leads. These users are already seeking information based on the keywords from your campaign. PPC get an average conversion rate of 3.17%.

Display ads tend to perform best for driving brand awareness and consideration. They work best for retargeting rather than prospecting. So for example those ‘hey, remember those shoes you were looking at yesterday?’ banners.

Social media advertising is the MVP here. Not only is it ideal for building awareness, it’s also great for driving traffic and conversions. Plus you have a wide selection of channels at your disposal, each with their own merits depending on your target audience.

Before you can start planning the where and how, you need to start out with what you want to achieve.

Create clear goals

Ask yourself: what do you want the user to do when they see your ad?

It’s not enough to just want new business to come in. You need to consider:

  • What’s your proposition?
  • What problems are you looking to solve?
  • Who are you targeting?
  • Are you linking to content, a product/service, or an event?
  • Are you looking to build your database?

To convert the user into a lead, the goal is to ‘pixel/tag’ them or capture their contact details. From there, you can trigger a lead nurture workflow to warm them. This is where inbound marketing goes hand in hand with paid.

Summary

Digital advertising is an ideal way to generate leads. With a flexible budget, you can create targeted campaigns across a range of channels, such as PPC, display retargeting and social media.

You’re likely to convert more leads and faster than your organic, inbound marketing activities. That said, the two work in partnership to help raise awareness, drive consideration.

Having clear goals will help you create a campaign that not only performs, but helps you learn more about your ideal customers.

Thinking about your digital advertising strategy?

Leave your details below and we’ll get in touch!

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digital inbound marketing

Inbound marketing: the basics

By Blog posts, Digitisation
Digital marketing inbound
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Inbound marketing: the basics

Inbound marketing refers to the methodology that ‘invites’ visitors to your website. So, a combination of content (such as blogs, videos etc.) and channels (e.g. social media, email and marketing automation, and conversation bots).

It requires a tight strategy that is informed by personas (based on your best or ideal customers), which should identify:

  • What your ideal customer wants to know
  • The problems they are looking to solve
  • How they are most likely to engage with a business in that industry

Here are some of the tools you could use in your inbound marketing process:

inbound marketing cycle: attract, engage and delight

What you say is important!

As is always the case, your messaging is crucial to the success of your inbound marketing efforts. Think about what you expect to learn about a business when you’re first introduced. And then think about how much (or how little) time you want to invest in the initial contact points. Chances are, your attention span and patience isn’t at its maximum.

The initial touch points should be clear and concise, positioning your business as trustworthy and a credible leader who will solve problems.

Identify your key service or product pillars and how they solve your best customer’s pain points. Next step is to consider how you can replicate that. The best way to do this is through creating user personas (this is a standard part of our research and analysis for any digital marketing project).

What’s a user persona and why does my business need to do them?

The cornerstone for a successful marketing strategy is identifying your ideal customer. You need to know how to effectively communicate with them: what you should be saying and the tone of voice.

If you haven’t created any, have a think about your best customer:

  • What is their job title?
  • How did they find you? (e.g. recommendation, google, social media, trade show)
  • How do they engage with you? Do they prefer phone calls, emails or are they avid social media users?
  • What are their main pain points, and how did your business solve them?
  • What motivates them to make a decision?
  • What kind of relationship do you have? Can you have a joke with them or is it more professional?

Through answering these questions, it’ll help you identify not only tone of voice, but the channels your best leads are most likely to engage with.

Your personas inform your content

In turn, this will help you form an idea of what your leads want to read. Rather than assuming knowledge gaps, you’ll have an educated guess as to what they know, what’s interesting and what turns them off.

It’s crucial to do your research each time you create content! If you’re going to position yourself as an industry leader, you can’t just bluff your way through. Whether it’s you, a member of your team, a digital marketing agency or a freelancer creating your content, a solid brief is essential.

Your personas will also help you decide which marketing channels to use.

The pool of marketing channels is so much larger than simply Facebook, LinkedIn, email and Google. It covers all means of communications:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Commerce
  • Apps
  • Blogs
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Press releases
  • Webinars
  • SMS marketing
  • SEO
  • PPC

And that’s just what’s available in the digital realm!

We often recommend digital content marketing over print and direct, as it’s trackable. It’s much easier to measure your ROI (return on investment) with the plethora of tools available these days than print consumption.

Drilling down on social media marketing, for example, there are many channels, all differing in approach and audience. If you’re in B2B, you’ll no doubt find LinkedIn and Twitter best for conversion than Instagram and TikTok.

For example, when we worked with Flexgenius on their new business acquisition, we approached it in the following way:

  • A series of social media campaigns on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
  • Google PPC
  • Retargeting
  • An email strategy to nurture the new leads, converting them to enquiries

Content structure for lead generation

In addition to getting the tone of voice and the channels right for your leads, the type of content you share with them is of equal importance. Using a lead scoring tool on your website is one simple way of segmenting your leads. You can then create a marketing automation workflow based on engagement. You can create a content structure that looks something like this:

Intrigue

Lead score: 0 – 10 points

Content: blogs, videos, hints & tips.

Light content that doesn’t require too much time or attention. That said, it provides a good insight into who you are, what you do and how you can help them.

Discover

Lead score: 11 – 30 points

Content: whitepapers, guides, resources.

Slightly heavier content that introduces your leads to your ways of working and inspires them.

Consider

Lead score: 31 – 49 points

Content: product features, case studies

This content should showcase your success stories. Talk about how you have helped relatable customers achieve their goals.

Decide

Lead score: 50+ points

Content: pricing, demos, sales interactions, book a meeting

In theory, by this point, these leads have done a lot of research and may be ready to make a decision soon. Now is a good time to schedule a call, demo, meeting or an event where they can engage directly with your sales leads.

What about using inbound marketing in combination with paid advertising?

Digital strategy: social media ads

Both have their own merits. Having the foundations set and ready to go will serve organic and paid leads well. It means there will be plenty of content available to educate them on your offering.

Organic inbound marketing tends to be lower cost but more time intensive.

Paid advertising, as suggested in the title, will cost money. You can scale your campaigns to suit your budget, and if executed well, reaps rewards much quicker than organic marketing.

Find out how we helped Mum&You with their digital ad strategy.

Summary

Inbound marketing is a highly effective way to raise awareness of your business and generate leads, if planned and executed well. It’s essential to create customer personas first, so you know not only who to target but where and how.

Interested in taking your inbound marketing up a level?

Leave your details below and we’ll get in touch!

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