How to Create Better Social Media Ads

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Key Takeaways

​What? Consumers see so many ads every day it can be hard to differentiate yourself.

So what? Finding ways to translate social ads to real-world experiences can help you break through the noise and delight your audience.

Now what? Download "Social Advertising Techniques for Advanced Marketers" to learn more: Get the Step-by-Step Guide.

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We are bombarded with social ads every single day on nearly every platform. As a brand, it’s hard to cut through the “Oh that’s just another ad” mindset and make a real impression on potential customers.

That’s why we recommend bringing real-life experiences to advertising. The idea is simple: Your business is targeting real people who want real experiences. A real-life approach to ads gives the consumer exactly that. Rather than just encouraging them to click through to a page or “like” an ad, enable them to make a memory and have fun.

This makes ads powerful and turns consumers into brand advocates who are excited to share their experience with friends. And when all is said and done, we’ve made potential customers feel something – and there are few things that are more memorable than that.

Here are some tips for how to use the real-life approach with your brand, too.

1. Create a Real-world Experience

The digital world often feels removed from the physical, but there are ways that brands can bridge the two and create an engaging, accessible consumer experience.

Set up an in-person display with free samples or a demonstration of your product, and then use social to target people within a close radius of the display’s location. Let them know what the product is, and encourage them to visit and check it out for free.

You won’t catch everyone, but there is a futuristic appeal to receiving a promotion on one’s phone, and then seeing the relevant real-world location around the corner.

And when it comes to the on-the-ground effort, don’t stop at free samples. Consider setting up a photo booth that allows people to interact with the campaign, post about it on social, and become brand advocates.

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“For us to be successful, we need to know what clients across our entire network think, feel, have issues with, and want more of. Then we can take out the subjective viewpoints and get aligned on delivering a great experience for our clients.”

— Jeremy Skule, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Nasdaq

2. Own a Holiday

Social media loves random holidays. How often do you scroll through your feed and learn that it’s National Coffee Day because everyone’s posting about it? As a brand, you can own one of these holidays and use it to push traffic to your site or social pages.

Consider paying for the rights to one of these myriad special occasions, and think about fun ways to capitalize on the day’s worth of attention that they bring. Say you’re a pet brand and there’s a national animal day of some sort. Prepare a collection of lively visual homages to said animal, and give the internet what it wants: kittens and puppies.

Brands of all stripes can get involved when there’s a holiday dedicated to a famous movie or some other piece of pop culture. Buy the rights to the holiday, and develop content that honors its spirit and appeals to your audience’s nostalgia.

In times like these, it pays to provide an experience that’s lighthearted, familiar and personalized. Social media holidays – ubiquitous as they are – provide a great opportunity to do so.

How to Bring Your Ads to the Real World

If you’re ready to capitalize on a moment and give consumers a real experience, here are a few strategies to remember.

  • Tell a story with your ad and the contextual pieces that go along with it, such as infographics, fun imagery and social posts.

  • Don’t push the product, push the emotion. When you do that, everything else falls into place.

  • It doesn’t have to cost a lot. When you piggyback on a holiday, for example, the organic excitement can be maximized significantly with a small spend.

  • Change your ask. When throwing an event like the ones I discussed above, tell social audiences why it’s cool – not why they should come.

Giving consumers a real-life experience by using social ads as a marketing vehicle is a smart way of connecting with potential customers. Instead of being one more brand that’s asking for a  like or a share, you’re saying, “Come be a part of this awesome experience with us!” This powerful tactic can help you drive brand impressions, grow your social platforms and create brand advocates along the way.

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