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How To Make Your Social Ad Campaigns Instantly More Meaningful

Despite its power being evident (particularly through the immense Facebook network), and plenty of companies and marketers alike investing in it, social advertising remains oddly underused in one specific way: its potential to be meaningful is often overlooked. Meaningful social ad content is vastly more potent and attention-grabbing, so creating it is worth your time — but how do you do it? Here are some tips to help you out!

Use a More Subtle Focus on What You’re Promoting

An ad that gets too pushy about its fundamental promotion will lose the bulk of the value that makes it worth looking at. You can be telling a very touching story, offering compelling content, but being on-the-nose about the thing you’re selling will create a glaring reminder that the viewer is being marketed to — something that they might have wanted to briefly forget.

If you dial back the prominence of the promotional element, allowing more room for the advertising concern to breathe, it will immediately make it more inviting. People will be more strongly drawn to it, and the marketing influence will be more understated but ultimately more effective — shoppers may know that advertising sways them, but they want to feel as though their decisions are relaxed and independent (as opposed to cajoled).

Target the Right Audience

Its incredible reach is one (over 2 billion active monthly users), but the other core benefit of Facebook’s advertising network is the remarkable granularity of the data set you can use to select your advertising audience. For instance, you can target people with specific political inclinations, hobbies, or professions — and dig even deeper through remarketing to those who’ve seen your ads before (you can monitor site actions using Facebook Pixels).

You do need to be delicate with optimising for specific audiences, however. As the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, Dennis Yu revealed on the podcast Marketing Speak: “People over-optimise, they keep trying to touch their campaigns every day, which resets the ad rank. Let the thing learn.''If you keep making changes, you won’t gather enough data to see what’s really working.''

What’s the middle ground, then? It’s simple: use targeting to define the core audience you want to reach, finely hone your message to be most meaningful to that audience, then leave the targeting alone until you’ve reached a firm conclusion about the efficacy of the ads. Using auto-optimisation services will get you the results you need while keeping everything in check.

Delicately Touch upon Important Issues

We’re all human, and certain emotive issues will always get a lot of attention: in particular, matters of charity, achievement, love, loss, heartbreak, resilience, and joy. We tend to idly breeze through digital content, with ads being seen as particularly insubstantial — only when they surprise us somehow do we investigate them further.

To make your social ad campaigns mean something, work something powerfully emotive into your copy, and provide more ways to take action beyond simply buying whatever you’re selling. For example, you could encourage someone to sign up to your newsletter to learn more. You’re looking for a longer sell: steadily building someone’s interest until they’re primed to be introduced to your product or service.

Let’s consider an example of how this could be done: suppose that you ran a store selling DIY tools, and you were looking to promote a new range (hammers, saws, etc.). You could just make ads featuring those tools in a basic way, or you could run social ads all about the bonding experience of parents teaching their children basic carpentry. That type of thing is powerful, even nostalgic for many. You’d essentially be selling them on the importance of DIY, then (at the opportune time) reminding them that you happen to sell useful tools.

Provide Evocative Visuals

Visuals are far more impactful than text. We notice them faster, and parse them faster — it’s in our nature. Early humans didn’t need to race through introductory paragraphs, but they did need to be able to spot predators lurking in the grass. Particularly if you’re touching on something emotive in your ads, it’s essential that you put a lot of thought into your visuals.

They should be glossy, bold, high-resolution, and carefully cropped to ensure prominent positioning. You can include text on them if you feel the need, but keep it minimal if it can’t be avoided. Imagine someone speeding through a lengthy social media feed, with posts of all kinds flashing by, most barely acknowledge — will your visuals have a hope of standing out?

A great way to see how visuals can catch the eye is to look at how charitable organisations use them across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — after all, they’ve firmly concentrated on doing whatever is necessary to maximise donations. The organisations on this list get a lot of attention, so visit their accounts and see which images stand out the most, then use that information to inform how you set up your advertising.

Wrapping up, there are some simple improvements you can make to produce more meaningful social ads: dial back the promotional strength, cater to a narrower audience, add some emotional resonance, and sprinkle in some powerful images. Give these tactics a try, and start getting improved results!

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Kayleigh Alexandra

Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer and campaign designer for MicroStartups, a website focused on charities and microbusinesses. After years working in the sustainability, marketing and creative industries, Kayleigh loves to help others grow their business. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter @getmicrostarted for the latest startup and entrepreneur-based news, tips, and advice.