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How to Get Started With Social Media Advertising

social media ads

For a good social media marketing strategy, you need the right combination of organic and paid marketing. Keeping up with social media algorithms can be very difficult. It is tough to ensure that all your organic content compels your audience to engage and generate conversions. As such, relying on your organic content alone will not be enough to get your audience to act.

You need to have a powerful social media advertising strategy that will help you achieve your respective social media goals. Investing in paid social media marketing can help you target your audience more effectively and efficiently.

If you are new to social media advertising, it can be intimidating to venture into social media ads. After all, you are investing your time, money and efforts into these ads.

But we’ve got you covered. You can ace your paid marketing campaigns and reap your goals, too. In order to help you achieve that, we have prepared a guide for you. From different formats and types of social media advertising to optimising your ads for best customer targeting, this guide will help you create fruitful social media marketing campaigns.

So, let’s jump right in!

Determine Your Social Media Goal (s)

If you are investing money into social media advertising, you need to be foolproof. To start with, you need to be clear about your social media goals.

If you just set up a social media account, you may be looking at building your presence on the platform (s). Once you have built an online presence, you may want to push for engagement on the platform. If you already have a loyal and engaged follower base on the platforms, you may want to aim at pushing for more conversions.

Having clear, concise goals in mind will help you in creating better content marketing strategies. From your budget and ads frequency to your ads creative and copies, your social media goals will give direction to your overall ads strategy.

Understand Formats And Types Of Advertising Across Social Media Platforms

Once you are clear about your social media goals, you will have to understand how to approach advertising on every platform. Different social media platforms offer different formats and types of ads to deliver your message. Let’s look at each of these platforms one by one


Facebook allows you to run ads through the comprehensive Facebook ads manager. In fact, the ads manager on Facebook lets you start with setting up an ads objective for your campaign. After following a few steps, you will have to select a format for your ads.

Image ads are one of the types of formats on the platform. These ads allow you to have 125-character long text along with a link description as well as a relevant headline. Apart from that, you may also add Calls to Action like ‘Send Message’ and ‘Shop Now’. You may add images of your newly launched collections or individual products. You can also boost already existing pictures on Facebook.

You can use carousel ads to showcase up to 10 images or videos in a single ad. This ad format is perfect for story-telling and effective messaging. For inspiration, you can look at this carousel ad by Mini Cooper. You can showcase the different features of your product, like Mini Cooper did, in this particular ad, through a Carousel format.

Facebook Carousel ads

Facebook offers the video ads mode as well. These range from short video ads suited for viewing on mobile to long-form videos which can be as long as 240-minutes for desktop-viewing.

Apart from that, Facebook also has collection ads, messenger ads, Leads and slideshow ads’ formats.

Want to know how to ace your Facebook ads campaign? Read on to know how you can ace your Facebook ads’ strategy.


On Instagram, you can target your audience with photo and video ads with relevant Calls to Action buttons, based on your goals.

Like Facebook, on Instagram too, you can run carousel ads. A good idea would be to feature different products from your collection in your ad creatives. You may also use this space to bring out an effective brand story, based on a particular theme. Here’s an example of an Instagram carousel ad for your Inspiration. A visually appealing carousel ad can easily attract the attention of your target audience.

Instagram Carousel ads

Another ads’ format is the Instagram Stories’ ads. You can showcase photo or 15-second video ads through stories in a full-screen format. You can use this format for generating awareness about special, short-term offers.


Twitter Promote is a format through which Twitter algorithm automatically targets your audience with your first 10 organic tweets on a daily basis. Through this format, you can also promote your account to bring more followers.

On Twitter, you can generate ads’ campaigns by either creating new, specific campaigns or by boosting existing tweets. Here’s an example of a Twitter ad for your reference:

Twitter ads Examples


YouTube also offers diverse ads formats on the platform to help you target your audience with relevant content.

There are TrueView In-Stream ads which are 12 second-3 minute long videos that play either before, between or after your videos on YouTube. The viewer may skip TrueView In-Stream ads.

TrueView Discovery video ads are those videos that appear in the YouTube search results, next to the related videos or on the YouTube homepage.

Bumper ads are those ads that are typically 6-seconds long. Bumper ads also appear either before, between or after the videos. In this case, the viewer cannot skip the ads.

Here’s an example of a YouTube TrueView In-Stream Ad:

YouTube ads’ Examples

Have A Clear Picture Of Your Budget

You will have to allocate an ads’ budget according to your goals as well as the social media platforms you are targeting. So, for instance, your goal may be to get at least 500 people to buy the tickets to your event or pay for a subscription to your services. Based on an estimated cost per conversion, you can allocate a budget for your ads campaign.

Also, don’t forget to take the social media accounts you are targeting into account while calculating your ads’ budget. Depending upon the platforms you are aiming to use for your social media ads and your strategy, you can build a budget for your ads campaign.

When selecting a budget option for your ads’ campaign, you will most likely have to choose from Daily budget or Lifetime budget. In order to have better control over how you spend your money on your ads, a daily budget will make for a better option.

By going for the daily budget, you can determine the duration for which you want to run your social media ads. This also gives you the liberty to increase your spending or decrease your spending for a given day, rather than keeping it fixed.

Identify Your Target Audience

Once you have a clear budget for your social media ads’ campaigns, you can start looking at your target audience. You need to have a clear, concise idea about your target audience. This will help you shape up your ads’ creatives, copies, content delivery strategies, etc.

Which age group is composed of your target audience? Where is your audience located? What are their interests and preferences?

All these questions will help you come up with relevant social media ads campaigns. These campaigns will also help you shape your content delivery strategies.  

In fact, most of the social media platforms offer an ads’ management tool that lets you target according to audience personas that you have built. So, a well-defined target audience is an essential part of a good social media strategy.

You can also build custom audiences using your contact lists, website visitors and app users.

Build Compelling Social Media ads Creatives

Now that you have defined your target audience and have a clear goal in mind, you need to build social media ads’ creatives that convert. Add eye-catching images and infuse relevant text overlay into your creatives. The idea is to make your messaging effective through relevant visuals.

Based on the content of your social media ads, you will also have to add appropriate calls to action buttons. Your call to action buttons must resonate with your goal and message.

Fine-tune your visuals, whether it is imagery or videos, to create top-notch content. Add relevant text overlays and build ads that help you convert.

Here is an example of an ad creative for Instagram stories’ ads-

Instagram Story ads

Create Captions That Convert

So you have created a good social media ads campaign for your Facebook marketing or Instagram marketing campaign. But, is that enough for compelling your audience to take action?

You need compelling social media ads’ copies to generate relevant responses from your audience. Make sure that your ads’ copies align with the content of your Ad creative. Keep it catchy and compelling. Don’t make it too long.

For more tips on how you can create great social media ads copies, click here.

Run Ad Tests

To bring efficiency into your social media ads campaigns, you can test different Ad Sets for a given campaign. The idea behind ad testing is to understand the audience response to different types of content placements, creatives, and copies.

A/B testing helps you optimise your ads’ campaigns. By simultaneously running 2 or more ads with different variations, you can stay on top of what is working for you and what is not.

You can try using different ads with different copies and calls to action. You can also try testing your ads with different images and videos. In fact, you can also try and test different audience segments with ad testing.

You can look at Asana’s example for Ad testing, for inspiration.

A/B Testing

Take Inspiration From Your Organic Content

Take inspiration for your paid content from all your organic content. Look at what’s working for you and what’s not, with respect to your organic marketing strategy.

Is it videos that are generating better engagement or pictures are helping you get more conversions? What kind of captions does the audience usually responds to, easily?

You can employ a good social media analytics tool to measure your social media performance. You can track your reach, engagement and other important metrics using such reporting and analytics tools for your organic content.

Based on insights and intelligence derived with this tool, you can create ad strategies for your business. Look at your most engaging posts. Which are the elements in your ads that worked for you? Was it the visuals or the caption? Or was it the text overlay that you added?

Identify elements that are working for your brand and employ these into your ads’ campaigns.

Boost social media posts that are generating a good response.

Cross-promote Content Through Social Media ads

Repurpose old content, and other such content for social media ads to create content that ensures better exposure. By putting out your content on multiple platforms, you can reach out to a larger audience base. It is important to modify your content according to the platform on which you are putting out your ads.

Use cross-platform promotion for a more effective social media ads campaign.

Optimise Your Landing Page

In order to get your audience to act, you need to backup your social media ads with relevant, optimised landing pages.

Make sure to customise your landing page according to what your ad promises to offer. Your landing page should also be optimised for viewing on mobile as well. Don’t forget to keep your goals in mind, while building the landing pages for your ads. If it is to generate sales for your products, your ad links should lead your audience to a landing page featuring the said products.

Similarly, if you want to push for more subscriptions, you should lead your audience directly to the page where they can fill in the subscription form. Rather than making your audience look for the links that you want them to check out, lead your audience directly to the landing page.

Monitor Your ads Results

Besides constantly testing your ads, you should also monitor the results on your ads through the native ads managers. Staying on top of the response on your social media ads is essential for a more efficient social media ads campaign. Which ads are not getting a good response and which ones aren’t?

Keep track of your top ads and build campaigns that will help you stay ahead of your social media game.


A good social media strategy calls for a mix of organic and paid marketing strategies. For enhancing your social media advertising strategy, here is a set of tips and tricks you should follow:

  • Clearly define your social media goals
  • Know the different types and formats of social media ads across platforms
  • Be clear about your social media budget
  • Have clarity about your target audience
  • Draft compelling social media creatives for your ads
  • Frame social media copies that help you convert
  • Test out different Ad sets for better efficiency
  • Use organic content as inspiration for your ads content
  • Run cross-platform ads campaigns for better reach
  • Optimise your landing pages for optimised results
  • Track the response on your social media ads

What is Unbox Social?

Unbox Social is a powerful tool that offers solutions for influencer search, social media analytics, and competition tracking. The platform helps you get in-depth social media performance data of your brands, campaigns, and competitors. Get detailed reports and implement the findings in your strategies to get the most out of your campaigns!

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Working with influencers?

Use our brand scan to find who competition works with!