You’d be hard-pressed to find a marketing plan that couldn’t benefit from a dash of social display advertising in some capacity. Social display ads, or ads drawn from a brand’s active social channels to be distributed to specific audiences, are one of modern digital marketing’s foundational components.
Any advertiser looking to get the most out of their social campaigns and ad placements (without the need for additional budgets or resources!) can benefit from understanding when and how to best use social display to their advantage.
Understanding Social Display
In effect, a social display ad takes all the benefits of branded social media posts and boosts them well beyond the realm of your preferred social media platforms. Social display ads are simply your brand’s existing content, repurposed as traditional ad placements and dynamically delivered to target audiences.
In practice, this means your Instagram posts can be reconfigured into a clickable “shop now” placement on a user’s feed. Facebook posts can appear as small ad breaks as users browse their friends’ latest stories. Promoted Tweets, sponsored TikTok videos, and targeted Pins are all part of the social display ad family.
For the everyday advertiser, social display’s blend of reach and performance provides an opportunity to amplify content already refined by the optimization and performance process. By spreading ads or posts you’ve already taken time to research and develop to wider audiences, marketers can simultaneously expand their brand’s reach and drive already qualified (ie. retargeted) users through the sales funnel — and that’s the dream, right?
Questions to Ask For Building Effective Social Display Strategies
Reconfiguring your best content into multi-channel social display ads requires a simple sync to a social display platform. All the requisite data included in your initial post can be pulled from social platforms through the use of an ad tag, which is then managed by your brand like an active campaign. Marketing teams maintain full control over the media buying process, budgets, and activation/deactivation of individual ads and campaigns.
The fun part comes after the sync is complete. Bearing in mind that KPIs for each social channel are likely to vary, here are three guiding principles to aid in optimizing your social display efforts:
1. What Audience Am I Trying to Reach? Is your goal strictly to retarget and re-engage previous site visitors, or are you seeking more fresh eyeballs on your product? Incorporating programmatic elements to help personalize ads will of course aid your mid-to-low funnel efforts. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking a wide-netted brand awareness campaign ought to throw personalization out the window.
In our never-ending quest to proclaim the benefits of audience segmentation (yes, even for top-funnel marketing campaigns), we’d urge advertisers to take a careful look into their current campaign data to establish a number of customer profiles representing the best chance to stir up new interest.
2. What Action Do I Want That Audience to Take? What’s the goal? No problem if it’s different for every channel (it probably should be). Take Instagram and its rising-star cousin Tiktok as an example — these are 100% visual mediums primed for eye-catching video display ads. The metrics used to determine success on such platforms won’t be the same metrics used when you check Twitter analytics.
Every channel has its part to play in aiding users toward conversion; there’s a reason the “sharable and shoppable” mantra has seemingly guided every major social channel update in recent years. Without a clear pathway to your desired action (or even taking the time to establish what action that might be), even the best advertising campaign will allow a captive audience to slip through holes in its net. Make clear, actionable goals for each platform, and ensure social display ads are oriented toward specific outcomes.
3. What Actions Can Advertisers Take to Better Answer These Two Questions? As you might expect, optimizing begins and ends with how you utilize your data. Campaign optimizations aren’t yet to the point where fully autonomous decision-making can refine your campaigns free of oversight (we know, it is a bummer — they’re working on it). Fortunately, the user-friendly dashboards for each of the major social channels do manage to highlight what’s performing best and give insight into replicating an ad’s success.
Remember, social display ads deliver the same content your most loyal followers see on their social feed every day to an entirely new audience. Engagement data from your most earnest customers can always be used to formulate new profiles and strategies for expanding your brand’s current scope.
Results of an Effective Social Display Strategy
Properly employing social display ads provides a low-maintenance, efficient, evergreen branch to a digital marketing plan that helps marketers maximize their most effective content. The results from one of Adtaxi’s own in-house studies confirmed a 3x higher clickthrough rate on social display compared to standard display ads. When it came time for users to convert, social display cut the cost of conversion in half — effectively doubling the ROAS seen in traditional display campaigns.
Even if your available resources or budgets are slim, social display ads are a worthy investment. Not only can they attract users away from the walled gardens of social media platforms — they can do so without additional production costs. Whatever the future of digital marketing holds, there will likely always be a place for the ever-mighty social display ad.
This content was originally published here.