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7 Best Practices for Building Paid Social Creative Campaigns

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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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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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