Experts say consumers are seeing somewhere between 4,000-10,000 ads every day. You read that right.
That’s a lot of ads.
Think about it: every marketing email in your inbox. The never-ending junk mail in your physical mailbox. Billboards on your drive to work. Ads on streaming platforms. YouTube ads. Ads on search results pages every time you use Google. Every ad that pops up on your social media feeds.
Chances are, you can’t remember the ads you’ve seen today on one hand. At this point, consumers all all-but-desensitized to ads. So, what’s a modern marketer to do?
How to Create Actually Compelling Social Ads
To compete with the barrage of ads on social media, you need to spend time crafting each component of your ad to create a cohesive user experience.
Make Your Ads Visually Appealing
While the audience of social media channels differ across platforms, one thing is universal: internet users are attracted to visuals. Consumers increase their recall and attention span 82% when presented with an image or video.
By including a motion graphic, video clip, infographic, or even just a still image, your social ads will see an increase in performance. Not only does a visual add an aesthetically pleasing element to your ad, a visual in itself takes up more space, making your ad more eye-catching and far more likely to ‘stop the scroll.’
Write Snappy, Catchy Copy
Combine an engaging, memorable visual with strategically written ad copy. Remember that mind-blowing statistic above, and consider how many ads your target audience is consuming on a daily basis. Your ad copy needs to stand out from the noise.
Avoid cliche phrases in your sales copy. Focus on the unique features or solutions that your product or service provides. Be descriptive. Use an active voice. Use concise, clear language to make your ad an easy read. Internet users already have a dwindling attention span; overly wordy or industry jargon might catch their attention, but won’t retain it.
Unless You’re Selling Exclamation Points, Ditch ‘em
Excessive use of punctuation makes a social ad seem desperate, insincere, and, well, far too much like an ad. People scroll through their social media news feeds to be entertained, not to be sold to. Overusing exclamation points, question marks, or other extraneous punctuation cheapens your message, and your brand perception. Effective use of punctuation helps establish your credibility and strengthens your brand’s image.
The same applies to writing in all caps.
Drop the Hard Sell
The internet marketplace has increased competition for every business sector. This might lead some marketers to believe that in order to make a sale and make it now, they need to deploy hard-sell tactics. This, however, is counterintuitive. While urgency has its place in advertising, consumers know that they can find what they’re looking for somewhere else with a simple Google search, and will avoid high-pressure marketing.
Laser-Target Your Audience
Let’s say you’ve created the perfect ad. Your visuals are impeccable, your ad copy is witty, intriguing, and memorable, and your messaging is confident and compelling. If you’re serving your ad to the wrong audience, all of your hard work will result in minimal return.
For your ads to be effective, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your audience. Social ads will perform better when they match the ‘flavor’ of the platform. Before spending money on your ads, you need to know where to place them. An ad that appeals to a tech-savvy, meme-driven audience will perform better than a platform where business professionals are spending their time. If you’re not sure where your ad will perform its best, conduct A/B testing until you have more clear direction.
Don’t Forget about the “Other Side of the Click”
A user clicking your ad isn’t the endgame. Once your audience reaches what’s on the other side of your ad, the real challenge begins.
Brand-Consistent, High-Quality Content
Where an audience lands after clicking your ad should be exactly as advertised. Don’t use deceptive ad techniques such as offering something for free and then fail to deliver. The same goes for brand consistency; if your ad was witty and engaging, sending readers to a stale sales page shows your business in a disingenuous light.
Ensure that wherever you are directing your audience is consistent with your advertising, what you’re offering, and is of high-value to the consumer.
Make Content Share-Worthy
If you’ve chosen to run an ad on a social channel, you understand that this is a platform where your audience can be found. This means that creating share-worthy content that finds itself back on that same platform can help further your initiatives (and save you ad dollars!).
Social platforms are useful in that a reader if compelled, will then reshare your content which acts as a sort of digital word of mouth. By creating shareable content, your audience does your advertising for you.
Take Advantage of Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that plays to ‘herd mentality.’ People are more likely to partake in an activity, support a brand, or buy a product if their peers are doing so. Similar to the results of creating share-worthy content, using social proof to your advantage can increase brand awareness and improve audience perception.
A way to use social proof in your marketing is to encourage your audience to follow you and interact with your social media pages within your calls to action. Asking your readers for their reactions and opinions on your content will result in increased engagement, and many social media algorithms will show their friends and followers what others are engaging with.
Social Ads: Worth the Effort?
It can be challenging to achieve the results you want from your social media advertising, but it is absolutely worth the tedium. When you see success from social media ads, you have the potential of creating a ripple effect that in turn affects your marketing holistically.
Liz Slyman. Over the past decade, Liz has worked as a copywriter and digital marketing executive for a multitude of companies from startups to and mid-sized businesses to working as the VP of marketing for award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Leveraging an understanding of the nuance of language in marketing, Liz founded Amplihigher, a content marketing and copywriting agency, designed to connect consumers to companies in a way that results in next-level brand expansion.