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Anatomy of a Social Media Ad: Understanding the Most Important Aspects

Let’s be frank. Social media marketing can be confusing and frustrating. Just creating an account can be a challenge at times, much less actually finding your fans and followers, interacting with them and growing your success. While social media ads can be undeniably beneficial, they must be created in the right way for them to work the way you want. To really do that, you’ll need to know more about the anatomy of a successful ad.

First, a Caveat

Before we get too far, understand that the actual anatomy of ads will vary from one network to another. The overall layout and design elements that go into a Facebook ad will be very different from one on Pinterest or Twitter. With that being said, they do have many similarities, and whether you’re creating an ad for the desktop, mobile, photo engagement, website conversion or something else, these tips will help.

Headline

Headlines should be short, evocative and punchy. They should not be used for explaining, highlighting features or the like. With Facebook, you have a mere 25 characters, so you need to make them count. It should grab attention and encourage the viewer to move from the headline down to the body copy below it.

Body Copy

In most instances, you will have some sort of body copy for your ad. This is just the text that speaks to your viewer. It should be concise, compelling and at least marginally tied to the image you’re using (more on images later). Remember that this is ad copy, so it cannot be purely informational. However, it can also not be an outright sales pitch. It should strike a balance, inciting curiosity, or even evoking humor, but encouraging the reader to take whatever action you want (click, sign up, download, etc.).

Photo/Image

In most instances, you’ll use an image of some type, although you may also use a video snippet in your ad. In no case should you use plain text for your ad without any supporting graphics. That is a short road to failure. Make sure your image is evocative and ties at least somewhat into the text and into your offering, whether that’s a service, a product, an experience or something else. For instance, a travel company could use an image of a happy couple aboard the deck of a yacht. A sportswear company could use an image of their product in action, a sports figure/player, or something similar.

Call to Action

All ads should have some sort of call to action. These can be direct, such as “Click here to buy now” or they can be indirect, such as “learn more”. The call to action should match the tone of the body copy, and should also relate to the action you want the user to take. For instance, you wouldn’t use “buy now” if you want the user to click the ad and follow your Facebook account, rather than making a purchase.

Again, while the elements mentioned above are specific to Facebook ads, all social media ads have similar characteristics. The tips above should help you create more compelling, engaging ads, although ads should never be the entirety of your social media marketing strategy. You need to combine this with content marketing and other efforts. To learn more about how to succeed with content marketing, get in touch with Words You Want.

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Tips for Improving Social Media Ad Performance

Social media communicationThere is no doubt about it – the total amount of social ad dollars is steadily increasing. According to recent reports, 2016 is expected to generate upward of $13.43 billion in social advertisement dollars, with social networks accounting for 20 percent of all U.S. digital advertisement spending.

Social giants such as Twitter and Facebook are going up against one another to grab their own piece of the pie by offering advertisers the shiniest and newest ad formats. These are providing a number of new promises to advertisers, including lower CPEs and higher ad recalls.

Some methods you can implement now to see greater returns on all your social media ad dollars can be found here.

Invest in Twitter Video Campaigns

If you distribute your videos on Twitter, you will have a cost efficient and effective way to drive up the frequency and reach of your video buys.

When you purchase and run a video campaign through Twitter, you are going to pay-per-view. Twitter states that a video view is chargeable when the video is 100 percent in view on the device being used and has been playing for, at a minimum, three seconds. This is efficient because you only have to pay for actual engagement, rather than impressions.

Run the Same Advertisement on Instagram and Facebook Simultaneously

Facebook refers to this strategy with the #CheckTheBox hashtag internally. This means that in order for you to run your ads on each platform, you have to check the right box in the Power Editor. This is pretty self-explanatory once you begin creating your ad.

This will allow you to not only have a presence on Instagram but also minimize the costs of your Facebook ads by providing more opportunities to reach potential customers throughout the day.

The ad you create will be optimized based on the actual objective selected. An example would be if you opt to “Send People to Your Website.” This means that the ad will be optimized to get additional clicks to your actual website. When you run your ad on both Instagram placement and Facebook placements it will be optimized to show on the location that will acquire the most clicks for your website at the lowest possible cost.

The Carousel Ads on Facebook

Another effective method to improve ad performance is by using Facebook Carousel ads. This allows you to showcase a number of images and links all in a single advertisement. These ads are able to be used in a number of ways, across any campaign objectives, which is typically determined by your brand.

According to Facebook, using a carousel link ad will drive a lower cost-per-conversion of 30 to 50 percent, which can be beneficial for businesses trying to make the most of their social media advertising dollars.

Another benefit of this type of ad is that it provides Facebook with insights to the links in the ad that are performing at the highest levels and provides you with the option to optimize the image order based on overall engagement.

The fact is, different ad formats and platforms will work differently for each business and industry. You may have to implement a bit of trial and error to ensure that the results you achieve meet your goals and objectives. Taking the time to get to know the latest and greatest options available can help you target and optimize your efforts better than ever before. When you use social media ads properly they can help drive traffic and conversions, which all businesses could benefit from.

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Improve Your Social Engagement: 4 Strategies that Work

eWhile today’s business owners are more enlightened to what makes great social media posts, there are still quite a few that are using these sites as a free advertising platform where they try to sell, sell, sell. While this drive to increase sales on any platform is somewhat admirable, modern social media platforms play by a different set of rules.

A symbiotic relationship has to be developed between a business (or brand) and their fans. You will only be able to drive results on social media when your fans really like you and what you offer, identify with the project value and find value in the content you publish.

Here are some tips to help push your business past “sales” mode and into true “relationship” mode.

See Your Brand as Fans Do

When you are working to shape a distinct brand identity to help and influence your audience on social media, you need to know what they actually think about you right now. You need to get to know how aware these fans are of your brand, what it has to offer and if they perceive you in a negative or positive manner. Other information that can be valuable is figuring out how your competitors are doing. This will allow you to make more informed decisions, opposed to just a shot in the dark.

One of the easiest ways to figure out what people are saying about your brand on social media is with a tool such as Mention. You can listen in on various conversations about your brand, as well as any related keywords across the Internet. With Mention, you can see, in real time, what is being said about your business and participate in the conversations directly.

Schedule Your Social Posts and Save Time

Being able to post relevant and valuable content regularly is critical if you want to show up on the overpopulated social media feeds of your fans. While one or two posts each day may seem relatively simple, it will not have much of an impact on your fans. The chances of your single posts showing up amongst all the others posted by family, friends and even other brands, is extremely low.

There are a number of tools that will help you organize, manage and schedule posts to ensure that you have the best possible chances of being seen by your audience.

Attract the Right Type of Attention

While you can talk up your brand on social media, you need to also spur the conversation and get others to talk about it. Professionals in advertising know a fact that social media marketers are just realizing – acquiring a celebrity endorsement is the best way to get some buzz.

A tool that can help and put your brand on the front of the New York Times is HARO. This is a real possibility, and you don’t have to spend a penny. With HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, you are connected to journalists who need interesting and new content. This is a win-win since you will have a new location to publish various ports and content.

Manage Complaints

Being able to get face to face, or even screen to screen, with your customers in real time is a unique feature of social media. You don’t have to use the traditional and impersonal options of email or phone. With this instant ability to engage in conversations, customers will be able to be heard, rather than just having a complaint resolution.

The fact is, when it all comes down to it, it is not the prices of your products, but rather the relationships you build. Getting more true engagement with your customer base through social media offers the ability to build strong and lasting relationships.

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The Ins and Outs of Periscope

Screenshot 2015-10-19 14.30.45Social media has taken the world by storm and businesses are working hard to keep up. Perhaps your business has a Facebook page and Twitter following. Great! But, did you know another effective media tool is audio and video? Your following is busy and they will consume your content, albeit at times in small chunks. However, people respond to video.

Customers will watch a video because it is visually stimulating and perceived as quick (even if the video is ten minutes). Give your customers valuable and useful information in this video and you will create fans. The challenge for many businesses is not knowing where to start. Now there is a way to make video quick and painless.

Periscope is an app launched in the Spring of 2015 and is available for both iOS and Android. It is a social networking site that integrates with Twitter and provides live video streaming from your phone. With Periscope you can use your phone to stream a live video to promote your business by offering useful information or showing your following what you are involved in.

Customers will deal with people they like, know, and trust. This includes businesses. Your live video broadcast will reveal your authentic self and show transparency. And once you build relationships with your followers using that trust factor, your business can monetize Periscope. According to Periscope’s website by August 2015, only four months after launching, 10 million people had accounts. Your community or tribe is on Periscope.

The following is a list of 5 ways you can use Periscope for your business and connect with your community.

Make an Account

Joining Periscope is easy. Just fill out the simple form and add your website URL. Think about the type of useful information and topics you want to share with the world.

Learn From a Pro

With any new technology, there may be a learning curve. Check out what other people in your industry are doing. Don’t copy them, but use this information to spark ideas for your broadcast.

Use a Snappy Headline

Broadcasts are only available for 24 hours, so you will want to make sure you get the public’s attention the right way. Create several headlines before choosing one and make sure it contains attention-getting strategies, like being unique, useful, or urgent.

Be a Good Steward of Time

Don’t monopolize other people’s time. Keep your video to less than 20 minutes at least. You may prefer to do shorter videos with a high-value punch instead of long videos that may lose your follower if you hit a slow part. With Periscope you can choose who you want your broadcast to be for, public or private. This will help you focus on what to say to your specific group or to the World Wide Web.

Tell Them What You Want Them To Do

Many business owners leave out a call to action at the end of a social media post or campaign. If you manage a company that sells high-end lawn mowers and live streamed a video on how to use your lawn mower to mulch, be sure to remind your viewer to “visit our website and click Lawn Ideas.” Any directives will do and do not necessarily have to be to order a product. You can tell your viewer to subscribe to a list, register for a webinar, or sign up for a free e-Book.

The possibilities are endless with Periscope. Your business can scope a wide range of views or topics, how-to, or even just thanking your viewers for following you. It really is all about social networking and building a relationship.

The Value of Reposting to Social Media

There’s no question about it: this is the age of social media. If your company doesn’t have a presence on Facebook and Twitter yet, it’s time to get that ball rolling. More likely, you do, and you’re struggling to keep it constantly updated—it’s a job that never ends. But don’t worry: when it comes to social media, you’re not required to post 100% original content all the time. Sometimes it’s as easy as re-posting links to content like news articles and blog posts. Here’s why you should be hitting “share” now and then.

Introduces New Followers to a Topic

When people have recently liked your page or followed your account, they’re probably not coming in completely blind—they most likely already know some basic information about your company and its products or services. So instead of only posting information about things they might know already, connect them with articles that introduce them to a relevant topic. It should have a logical connection to your industry (sharing “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kanye West” when your company sells camping and outdoor gear will only confuse people), but not directly plug your product.

Refreshes Old Readers on a Topic

Maybe your page has been around for a while now. Try to avoid re-posting links you’ve shared before, but it’s okay to post articles or posts with similar content to ones you’ve posted before (just give it a little while in between, so it acts as a memory refresher rather than a barrage of articles that essentially say the same thing). You could share more specific articles that elaborate on a specific aspect of a topic you’ve introduced in the past, to help older customers achieve a deeper understanding of a subject they already have a surface familiarity with.

What Should I Post?

You want this information to be useful to your readership, but also help out your company. The ideal articles and blog posts to share will do both. Here are a few ideas of the kinds of links you should be looking for.

Ideas for how to use your products—without mentioning your products. So, if you’re still that camping and outdoors company, link to an article about the best foods to cook on a portable camp stove. You sell one, of course, but you don’t need to say that. Your readers are smart enough to figure that out for themselves.

Breaking news that’s relevant to your industry. Are there flash flood warnings along certain areas of the Appalachian trail? That’s something your hikers will want to be aware of. This definitely builds trust in your readership, since they’ll know you’re not just trying to sell them things; you’re also looking out for their well-being.

News about your company. It’s good to show your fan base that other people are writing about your company, so feel free to link to external news sources that are talking about you. We’re not talking about spammy press releases that you hired some SEO company to write, but real, trustworthy sources that your audience won’t have to be skeptical about.

Trends in your industry. What’s this season’s hottest outdoor athletic gear? What are the best materials for tents to be made of? Where are the most popular new camping destinations? Share information that relates to your entire industry, not only your own company.

Navigating social media doesn’t have to be hard. Reposting content is a great, easy way to connect with your readers without worrying about writing an article every day by yourself. Sharing information that’s not just trying to sell something helps you build loyalty and establish legitimacy in your customers’ eyes. So get clicking!

The Value of Reposting to Social Media

Send applicationsThere’s no question about it: this is the age of social media. If your company doesn’t have a presence on Facebook and Twitter yet, it’s time to get that ball rolling. More likely, you do, and you’re struggling to keep it constantly updated—it’s a job that never ends. But don’t worry: when it comes to social media, you’re not required to post 100% original content all the time. Sometimes it’s as easy as re-posting links to content like news articles and blog posts. Here’s why you should be hitting “share” now and then.

Introduces New Followers to a Topic

When people have recently liked your page or followed your account, they’re probably not coming in completely blind—they most likely already know some basic information about your company and its products or services. So instead of only posting information about things they might know already, connect them with articles that introduce them to a relevant topic. It should have a logical connection to your industry (sharing “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kanye West” when your company sells camping and outdoor gear will only confuse people), but not directly plug your product.

Refreshes Old Readers on a Topic

Maybe your page has been around for a while now. Try to avoid re-posting links you’ve shared before, but it’s okay to post articles or posts with similar content to ones you’ve posted before (just give it a little while in between, so it acts as a memory refresher rather than a barrage of articles that essentially say the same thing). You could share more specific articles that elaborate on a specific aspect of a topic you’ve introduced in the past, to help older customers achieve a deeper understanding of a subject they already have a surface familiarity with.

What Should I Post?

You want this information to be useful to your readership, but also help out your company. The ideal articles and blog posts to share will do both. Here are a few ideas of the kinds of links you should be looking for.

Ideas for how to use your products—without mentioning your products. So, if you’re still that camping and outdoors company, link to an article about the best foods to cook on a portable camp stove. You sell one, of course, but you don’t need to say that. Your readers are smart enough to figure that out for themselves.

Breaking news that’s relevant to your industry. Are there flash flood warnings along certain areas of the Appalachian trail? That’s something your hikers will want to be aware of. This definitely builds trust in your readership, since they’ll know you’re not just trying to sell them things; you’re also looking out for their well-being.

News about your company. It’s good to show your fan base that other people are writing about your company, so feel free to link to external news sources that are talking about you. We’re not talking about spammy press releases that you hired some SEO company to write, but real, trustworthy sources that your audience won’t have to be skeptical about.

Trends in your industry. What’s this season’s hottest outdoor athletic gear? What are the best materials for tents to be made of? Where are the most popular new camping destinations? Share information that relates to your entire industry, not only your own company.

Navigating social media doesn’t have to be hard. Reposting content is a great, easy way to connect with your readers without worrying about writing an article every day by yourself. Sharing information that’s not just trying to sell something helps you build loyalty and establish legitimacy in your customers’ eyes. So get clicking!