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7 Best Practices for Building Paid Social Creative Campaigns



7 Best Practices for Building Paid Social Creative Campaigns

You probably know that you have to meet your audience where it is, especially online. You might also know that your target audience is more likely to be on certain social media platforms than anywhere else in the digital landscape. But did you know that a proven way to connect with that audience on social media is via paid campaigns?

Organic reach on social media is down — near zero on some platforms. Social platforms like Meta don’t deny this and even say it makes sense. After all, with thousands of people and businesses competing for audience attention, there’s only so much to go round. That’s why paid social campaigns are so important — and why you have to put some strong creative effort behind those campaigns. 

Why Does Creative Matter for Paid Social Campaigns?

Many people turn to social media when researching a purchase decision. They might want to ask their followers for recommendations or connect with a brand’s profile to learn more about it. This makes paid social campaigns potentially lucrative because you can get your product or service in front of people who are actively looking for information about them.

However, everyone else is doing the same thing, which means your campaigns must be backed by strong creative elements. The goal is to capture audience attention, make a connection, and entice the person to follow through on your call-to-action — all within just a few seconds!

“Your ad design and testing processes are the cornerstone to moving paid social performance. All these platforms are so visual that you really need to have content that stands out to ensure your brand is being seen and heard.”

Avi Ben-Zvi,  VP, Paid Social at Tinuiti


7 Paid Social Creative Best Practices

Successful paid social campaigns are built on a few best practices. Discover seven ways you can increase the success of your social campaigns below.

1. Set Measurable Goals for Each Ad

The right goals are critical to success. Without goals, you don’t even know when you’ve reached success. By taking time to set goals for each ad, you also ensure that all your efforts align with your business goals. This can avoid falling into common traps, such as seeking to go viral on social media simply for the sake of vanity metrics.

Ensure that your goals are measurable, too. Strong goals are built on performance marketing metrics such as click-through rates or conversions driven by a specific ad.

2. Know Your Audience

You can’t succeed with creative campaigns on social unless you know your audience. First, you have to know where your audience is likely to be. Are they reading posts on Facebook or Reddit, or are they watching Instagram reels and TikToks?

Once you decide which platforms you need to target, knowledge of your audience helps you understand how best to target them. For example, you might know your audience is on Instagram. But you also need to know whether they’re likely to engage better with reels, stories or traditional feed posts.

Finally, when you know your audience, you can better target them with messaging. For example, you can create an ad or video that offers a specific solution that’s highly relevant to your audience. 

3. Match Your Creative to Conversion Funnel Stages

Paid social campaigns should address each part of the marketing funnel. We recommend creative several different ad designs that will shepherd your audience through each stage seamlessly.

Top of Funnel — Awareness

The awareness stage is all about first impressions and making people aware of your goods and services. You may also need to make them aware of the need for your products. Creative at this stage should be eye-catching, helping to pull people’s attention away from your competitors while ensuring they’re likely to remember your brand later. 

Middle of Funnel — Consideration

During consideration, individuals understand the need for a solution and they are evaluating whether it might be right for them. They may be considering factors such as features and benefits, price, shipping or quality. You still need to keep your ad creative short and sweet, but at this stage of the funnel, you also need to infuse it with helpful information. 

Bottom of Funnel — Conversion

Here’s where you make your best offer and back it with an easy-to-follow call-to-action. To cinch a conversion, draw attention to coupon codes, free shipping, limited-time offers, or another incentive in this stage of the funnel.

4. Optimize Creative for Mobile and Desktop

Did you know that approximately 83% of all social media visits occur on mobile devices? While that’s a staggering number, it also means 17% of visits are occurring on desktop – so if marketers don’t create ads optimized for mobile and desktop, they may be leaving money on the table.

Your creative needs to work on both mobile and desktop devices to maximize your reach. If your time and budget allows, it’s best to create two different versions of the same ad: One optimized for desktop, and one optimized for mobile. Otherwise, adopt a mobile-first approach. Keep in mind what works on mobile text- and image-wise is likely to work on desktop, but the opposite isn’t true. 

5. Use Different Creative for Different Platforms

What works on one platform doesn’t always work on another, so don’t fall prey to the copy-and-paste mentality. For example, the type of images that might stop the scroll for your audience on Instagram may not stand out on Twitter or Facebook. You may have better luck on those platforms with clever writing and relevant links. 

And even if one media format works on several platforms, the intricacies of each platform means your ad won’t be one-size-fits all. For example, TikTok and Instagram reels have a different user interface, so your content might be obscured by buttons or captions. Additionally, the Instagram algorithm is different from the TikTok algorithm – so an ad that goes viral on TikTok could get no engagement on Instagram.

6. Remember: People Turn Their Sound Off

Never rely solely on sound to connect with your audience. 69% of people consume online media with the sound turned off — even videos. 

That means your creative has to include enough visual content to keep the viewer on board. Use captions so people can read your messages, and if sound is super important for a specific ad or video, include a “sound on” sticker to remind people to unmute the video. Know, however, that people may ignore your suggestions, so you still need to use captions and other elements to support a muted viewing experience. 

7. Test and Learn From Previous Campaigns

No paid social media campaign is perfect, and you can always find ways to improve your efforts. Use A/B testing to find out what works best for your audience and look at data from previous campaigns to find takeaways that can be applied to future campaigns. 

Just take it from Boston Proper, who partnered with Tinuiti’s Creative and Paid Social teams to run a series of A/B testing campaigns. Over the course of a year, Tinuiti’s Creative team executed a series of A/B testing on Facebook and Instagram (also known as the “Best Foot Forward” campaign) to better understand which ad format and creative was resonating with Boston Proper customers.

The results were outstanding. Boston proper saw a +37% increase in click-through rate (CTR) and a +11% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS). The “Best Foot Forward” ad is now a staple in the Boston Proper’s marketing mix. Since May 2021, it has consistently been the top-performing ad format run on the client’s account with the highest amount of purchases, most efficient CTR, and greatest ROAS.
Boston Proper social media ad example
“Adding Creative to our existing Tinuiti team made complete sense. We were looking to perfect our incredible assets into the paid social landscape, and this offered us the opportunity to do so seamlessly. The team took the time to understand who we are as a company, and more importantly who our customer is. They worked within our timelines and offered best practices and strategies that allowed us to see immediate increases in our paid social campaigns, which have since grown year over year, post-pandemic. The cooperation is augmented by having Creative integrated within the team, allowing us to move effortlessly from testing one creative to another while gleaning results. We look forward to maximizing our efforts further in the year to come along with the addition of influencers.”

Bari Horton, Director of Marketing, Boston Proper

Ready to Start Your Paid Social Strategy?

Ready to rock new revenue or convert new customers? Paid social media campaigns can help you do that. If you’re ready to start creating successful campaigns, check out our Paid Social services – we’ll put those best practices above into action to increase your chances of success. 

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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