Top Takeaways from LEARN: Paid Social

On Tuesday 24th July, we hosted our seventh #LEARNbyVERB around the topic of paid social, with a strong focus on Facebook and Instagram. The workshop was hosted by Verb’s PPC Account Director Emma Searle and Verb’s Social Media Account Director Sarah Keeble.

We welcomed brands such as Corbin & King, Highlands Hospitality, Thomas Pink, Grosvenor and ALEXACHUNG.

Here are the top takeaways:

When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, it had 30 million users in total. Today, there are 1 billion daily active users on Instagram and 2.19 billion monthly active users on Facebook.

Against popular belief amongst the attendees, Facebook is still the most popular social platform amongst 16-22 year olds (and all other age brackets), therefore it’s essential to really do your research before launching a campaign to understand where your audience lies.

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The steps taken to set up your campaign

1- Objective: The first thing to do when setting up your campaign is to carefully select your campaign objective based on the outcome you want to see. Whether this is engagement, brand awareness or conversion, Facebook ad manager offers a number of options to help your campaign run as effectively as possible.

2- Ad Set

a. Audience: The next step is to choose who you want to target. Facebook Ads Manager gives a number of options for choosing your audience, such as lookalike audiences, interest targeting, audience location and audience demographic.

Keeble suggested that when using things like interest targeting, think outside the box here than simply opting for ‘fashion’ or ‘shopping’, using your GA audience data can also be very helpful to do so. Think about what your customers may do outside of these broad terms and also consider targeting those interested in competitors. Furthermore, when targeting by demographic, Sarah advised to avoid setting the language as this will likely limit those who may have a different mother tongue than the location they are currently living (e.g. a French person living in London).

b. Placement: It’s essential that you carefully consider where your ad is being placed. This may sound obvious, however simply letting Facebook automatically distribute the ad may have negative consequences. For example, if you include Audience Networks here, your ad could be shown on any third party app or site which could be off-brand (i.e. a luxury skincare ad appearing on a dating app). At the same time, if you place the same ad on Facebook, Instagram posts and stories, the image may need to be resized for optimal results.

c. Budget: When setting budget, there are two options. Daily budgets will maintain an average daily spend, however may spend slightly more or less, whereas the lifetime budget option guarantees that you will never spend more than a set amount. Advice from Hilary Pid, a Facebook Marketing Expert says:

“A bid cap can be a good way to put more control on conversion costs that are getting out of control and you can’t figure out why. However it is more than likely you are just being beat by competitors and if you place a bid cap on you can expect to drop in conversion amounts.”

3- Creating your ads: We then discussed the various ad formats on both Facebook and Instagram and talked through which ad formats to consider based on your objective. For example, if you are running a brand awareness campaign, Keeble suggested opting for a video or slideshow format as this will help people to remember your brand. Searle then explained how: “70% of ad recall, brand awareness & purchase intent is driven by creative”, therefore although ad copy, audience targeting and placement are essential, be careful not to overlook the creative. If you’re unsure whether the creative will resonate with your audience, look to organic social engagement rates on similar posts to give you an idea.

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When creating ads, Keeble and Searle suggested you follow the VERB guidelines for maximum paid social success:

Visual – Facebook and Instagram will usually disapprove any creative asset that has more than 20% text on it. Social should be a very visual channel and the ads which work best are always the ones which work with the platform they are on.

Engaging – There is a lot of noise on social channels due to the sheer volume of content being posted each day. It’s essential that your ads make people take note to prevent them scrolling past.

Relevant – We’ve seen that we’re able to reach very specific audience segments via Paid Social so don’t waste that by then having one blanket ad that runs across them all. Tailor your creative and messaging to the audience you are engaging with.

B/A Testing – You must consistently test, learn and update in order to maximise the effectiveness of your campaign. Ensure you clearly define and set out your goals for your tests at the start, as with your campaign objective, so that you know which elements to change. Whether this is a change of image with the same caption or vice versa, only change one aspect at a time so that the impact can be correctly measured.

If you would like to learn more about paid social including set up and strategy, please get in touch. If you’d like to receive a copy of the presentation from the event, please email hello@verbbrands.com.

What’s next?

The next LEARN event will take place in October, topic TBC. Stay tuned for more info #LEARNbyVERB.