When it comes to social media ads, Facebook is the dominant platform. While other major platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn offer ads, thanks to its ownership of Instagram, Facebook's enormous reach makes it the best place to start with paid social campaigns. (Note: when we refer to Facebook ads, we're referring to all placements across the Facebook ecosystem, including Instagram, Messenger and even WhatsApp). Facebook's interruptive ads are great for introducing new brands or products to previously unfamiliar users. These campaigns are known as "new acquisition" campaigns. You can also use Facebook ads to retarget users who've visited your site and viewed your products, urging them closer to purchase. These are known as "retargeting" or "remarketing" campaigns.
Though it may seem simple to fire up your Facebook campaigns, make sure you know the facts and aren't making dangerous assumptions. Facebook ads are priced based on a cost-per-mille (CPM) model, which means you're charged by the number of impressions your ad receives - make sure your creative and copy are on point, or you'll be wasting your money on serving a bad ad to users who won't click through. It's also important to note that there's more to a successful ad than eye-catching imagery and a sharp caption - the target URL (the page your ad sends users to if they click through) must align with the expectations you've created with your ad. If the branding, content or voice on your homepage, landing page or product page is different from the ad's, users will be sure to exit your site at a much higher rate. Always make sure you're paying attention to the metrics!
You should complement your social ads with SEM campaigns. While there are other search engines out there, with Google's 90+% market share, we'll keep our focus on Google Ads. Google offers a wide variety of ad solutions, but your SEM campaigns should begin with search ads - placements that appear alongside relevant searches. These ads capture user intent, meaning they address search engine users who are expressing interest in something related to your product or service. As with Facebook ads, be careful not to fall prey to misconceptions around SEM.
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