There’s no doubt that each of the social media platforms provide some wonderful opportunities for marketing and advertising people to expand their company’s reach enormously, while also getting the most value for market spend. However, that doesn’t mean that as a marketer, you should just plunge right in to any or all of the social media, and just broadcast your posts to anyone and everyone.
It will be much more effective for you to first determine which of the social media platforms your true target audience frequents the majority of the time, and focus your efforts on those particular platforms. But you can refine your efforts even more, by researching which types of online marketing ads are received most enthusiastically by your target customers on their favorite social media sites.
When you can channel your marketing and advertising in this way, you stand the best chance of reaching the people most likely to buy your products or services. Below you’ll find descriptions of the most commonly used types of ads in the online world of social media, and if you can figure out which of these your targeted customers respond best to (for instance by using Google Analytics), you can expect to achieve great success in your advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Slideshow ads – these ads are created from photos that you provide, or which Facebook provides as stock photos, and their real appeal stems from the fact that they present the illusion of motion
- Photo ads – you can include a photo with 125 characters of text, plus a headline, and you can create your photo ad right in Facebook Business Manager
- Video ads – Facebook offers a tremendous amount of flexibility with this option, since your video can be as long as 240 minutes. That makes it all the more important that you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and what kind of video will accomplish that.
- Carousel ads – in a single carousel ad, you can include up to 10 photos or videos, and this is ideal for showing several different views of a new product, or views of a home you might be selling
- Collection ads – these kinds of ads allow users to view your photo or video ads right in the Facebook feed, without ever leaving the medium, which is a good strategy for travel ads and retail
- Messenger ads – Messenger ads are normal Facebook ads which are situated on the home screen of Messenger, and the advantage here is that users can be encouraged to engage with you on Messenger
- Lead ads – available only to mobile users, lead ads come with a contact form which has been pre-filled, so that users can opt in for a free newsletter, product sample, or free quote.
- Sponsored InMail – this is very similar to email marketing, except that the email goes directly to users’ LinkedIn in-boxes
- Sponsored content – these kinds of ads appear in a user’s news feed for both mobile and desktop applications, and if you keep your headline to less than 150 characters, you’ll have the best chance of capturing user attention
- Text ads – these ads only appear to desktop users, and can include a thumbnail if you desire, ideally a human face.
- Ads Manager – the Ads Manager starts your campaign off by asking what your objectives are, and then has you choose where your ads will appear, i.e. when browsing, searching, or both
- Promote Button– this is a rapid-fire method for creating your Pinterest ads, since all you have to do is choose a Pin to promote, click a button, and establish a personal daily budget.
- Twitter Promote – when you use Twitter Promote, the platform automatically posts your first 10 Tweets of the day to an audience which you specify, and it promotes your account so as to attract new followers for you
- Ad campaigns – when using Twitter ad campaigns, you start with a defined business goal, and then use Tweets already in existence, or you can create entirely new Tweets for your ads.
- Ads Manager – the manager allows you to create video or photo ad campaigns which appear interspersed with stories on the app. Videos are in full-screen, vertical format, and it’s best to keep them between three and five seconds in length.
- Filter Tool – filters are graphic overlays which users can apply to their snaps, for a specific geographic area where your business is located. Your snaps should have relevance to your campaign’s purpose, as well as to the time and place of the snap.
- Snap Publisher – this is a kind of do-it-yourself tool, which allows you to create your own personal Snap ad directly from the convenience of your browser.
- Story Ads – a branded tile in the user’s Discover feed announces this form of ad, and it can be setup to take the user to a whole collection of Snaps, including a Call for Action.
- InStream ads – these ads play automatically before, after, and during users’ YouTube videos, but keep in mind that users will have the option to skip the ad after five seconds
- Discovery ads – these ads are initiated by users clicking to start your video, and they can be positioned on the YouTube homepage or next to related videos
- Bumper ads – these videos can be a maximum of six seconds long, and users cannot skip them to proceed to a selected video.
- Photo and video ads – these ads will appear to be normal Instagram ads, except they will bear the word ‘Sponsored’ at upper right, and to be most effective, you should ensure that your ads are similar in style to your regular posts, so they’ll be recognized as your brand
- Carousel ads – users will be able to scroll through the individual photos or videos one at a time, all of which should all have a common theme
- Story ads – you can create 15-second story videos in Instagram, but they only persist for a single day, so make them count.
While this article is just a glimpse into the types of advertising options each of the popular social media channels offers, it can be a helpful place to start targeting what you think will work best for you. Keep in mind that your audience will determine the success of your ads, so it may help to start with an analysis of their behavior before you put your advertising plan in motion. Here’s to your success!