How to Master Paid Social in Five Steps

The rules are constantly changing for Paid Social meaning marketers are always trying to stay ahead of the curve . Each campaign is completely unique, however, there are some key factors to bare in mind when setting one up. The team at Verb have reflected on some of the biggest campaigns we ran in 2018 and compiled our 5 top tips for successful paid social in 2019.

1. Understand your Objectives

Before embarking on the campaign set up, it is absolutely crucial to consider your objectives for the campaign. Different campaign objectives can have a significant influence on what is considered ‘successful’. For example, Verb has run a number of campaigns where the client is looking to attract new consumers. For this, the best objective to use would be reach or brand awareness. Alternatively, when the client wishes to drive online or instore sales we would suggest using a traffic or footfall objective.  

It should be noted that although the campaign would be set up with these objectives, it doesn’t mean that the campaign will only produce one set of results. Any campaign conducted can produce lots of data which can be used for a variety of ways. For example, we saw that when our goal was video views, we actually achieved some other impressive stats including a high number of website purchases. Similarly, traffic campaigns still reach a positive number of consumers. An objective gives your campaign a purpose and should always be a starting point but be sure to measure all relevant performance indicators. For this, it is very important to understand how to set up your attribution model.

2. Assets Matter

In recent years, high-quality imagery is very easy to obtain with sites such as Unsplash, Pexels and Pikiwizard providing content to many agencies and brands. These images are high resolution and pre-edit, taking the stress out of sourcing assets.  

Through the experimental A/B testing that Verb ran this year, we found that ads that were text heavy or showed overly simplistic imagery performed weaker. We concluded from this that ads which have these qualities lack the ability to grab consumers attention and therefore underperform as ads.

Facebook and Instagram rely heavily on imagery, the key to creating great ads is to give consumers a reason to engage with your ads and not just scroll past. Verb ran a number of campaigns with Intimissimi this year, one of the most successful using imagery and video content from their Autumn catwalk show. The assets used in this particular campaign were both high quality and engaging, as consumers were able to see an insight into the catwalk not necessarily available elsewhere.

Intimissimi catwalk

3. Targeting is Key

Perhaps the biggest learning of 2018 for our team was that niche audiences simply don’t work for some of our clients. Again, through extensive A/B testing during our Calzedonia campaigns, we found that remarketing to previous consumers or targeting lookalike audiences didn’t produce the results we anticipated. Whilst this won’t be the case for every campaign or brand, it shows that careful consideration of your targeting strategy is very important. The right audiences is crucial to campaign success.

4. Influencers

Influencers became close to unavoidable in 2018, especially when it came to organic content. New laws came in which made it a necessity to include a #AD disclaimer on any paid posts which led to some influencers being penalised for failing to comply with increased ad transparency. This clearly demonstrated that influencers are truly considered worthy assets to many brands. They are no longer underestimated.

In 2018 Verb ran a number of campaigns with influencers such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jourdan Dunn. In conjunction with engaging video and imagery these campaigns performed very well. The Jourdan Dunn campaigns featured a pre launch teaser campaign which worked well to generate interest in the upcoming collection using an influencer before launching the products themselves. That being said, a key tip is to remember to strike the right balance between using influencers to grab consumers attention and promoting your product. Make sure consumers are still able to see what’s being advertised.

5. A/B testing

Mentioned throughout and arguably the most important piece of advice, make sure to A/B test. At Verb our paid social tends to revolve around Facebook and Instagram advertising, platforms which are constantly evolving.

Each campaign we run is centred around A/B testing. We always want to understand which assets, platforms, objectives and targeting produce the best ROI. For example, we found that younger audiences (18 -35) worked best for one brand and older audiences (25 – 50) best for another. Furthermore, we saw that the younger audiences worked better for Instagram and older audiences worked better for Facebook.

A/B testing formed the foundation of our campaigns in 2018 and we are excited to see what we can learn next year!

If you’d like some help with your Paid Social, get in touch here.

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