Written by Dave Shrein

Creating Great Paid Social Ads

Everyone around you is succeeding with their social media ads. Their ads are perfectly constructed, perfectly targeted, and converting at record rates. You’ve give social ads your best shot and all you have to show for it is a credit card bill and a couple email addresses that appear to original from somewhere in Asia. 

There is a lot that goes into making social ads work and in order to get results you need to get clear on what you’ve done right and where you’ve got more work to do. That’s what we’re talking about in this episode of The Donut Shop Online Marketing Podcast. 

From audience, to copy, to create, to landing pages, and everything beyond, you’re about to learn what you need to have in place before you spend one time on a social media ad and how you can optimize every dollar you spend moving forward. This is The Donut Shop Online Marketing Podcast episode 9, Great Paid Social Ads.

How To Use Paid Social Media Advertising To Jumpstart Your Online Presence

As an online business owner, you know that social media is a powerful tool for marketing your products and services. But did you know that you can also use paid social media advertising to jumpstart your online presence?

Paid social media advertising is a great way to get your business in front of a larger audience quickly and efficiently. With paid advertising, you can target specific demographics and interests and even target people who have visited your website before.

Paid advertising can significantly increase brand awareness and encourage people to visit your website or make a purchase. Below are tips for using paid social media advertising to jumpstart your online presence.

If you’re reading this article, it could be because you realize that your online presence needs a boost. Maybe you have a few scattered social media accounts, but nothing showcases your expertise in your field or gets you noticed by the right people. 

Paid social media advertising can make a difference for your company. Well-targeted and intentionally created ads can help you reach the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You can increase your profit and audience with paid social media advertising!

What are you waiting on?

‍What is Paid Social Media Advertising?

When starting your online business, one of the most important things to do is get your name out there. Paid social media advertising is a great way to do that.

Paid social media advertising, also known as paid social media optimization, is the process of advertising your products or services on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google but paying for this exposure through paid advertising. 

Pay to get attention, don’t wait for attention. 

Advertising on social media is highly effective, but it can take time and effort to manage and review. You need to be willing to put in the time it takes to grow your online presence organically and build a loyal following. Paid social media advertising is an excellent option for boosting visibility and bringing in new customers. 

There are a few different types of paid advertising. The simplest is paid social media optimization or paid ads, which are the ads you see on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

On the other hand, an amplification ad campaign artificially boosts your reach by putting your ads on sites like Google, Bing, and YouTube, which then show your ad to a much wider audience and can even result in millions of impressions. You can also buy ad space in sponsored social media posts, where your ad is part of a user’s post, and in-text ads, where your ad is placed within a post or comment, similar to how ads appear in Google search results.

One of the main benefits of paid social media advertising is that it can help to jumpstart a site’s traffic. If you’re just starting and haven’t had much time to build up your audience organically, paid social media advertising can be a great way to get your name out there quickly.

How Does Paid Social Media Advertising Work?

Paid social media optimization, or paid ads, is relatively simple. Choose social media platforms where you want your ads to appear. Once you’ve done this, you’ll submit your ad to those social media platforms. Paid social media advertising can give your online presence a jumpstart.

If your ad gets approved, you’ll start seeing your ad everywhere your content appears. 

Paid social media advertising allows you to specifically target your audience, which means you can reach more people than you would through organic methods. It also allows you to control your budget, so you can spend as much or as little as you want.

Depending on the platform and your specifications, paid ads can last anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks, so if your ad runs, your potential customers will see it, too. 

Business owners should integrate paid social media advertising into their digital marketing strategy. Integrating paid social ads and a more comprehensive, cyclical marketing strategy will help improve SEO and reach a larger audience.

Which Sites are Best for Paid Social Advertising?

Some sites offer great opportunities for business owners looking to jump-start their online presence regarding paid social media advertising. Your choice will depend on your audience’s likes and where they spend their time online.

In general, the most popular platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, are better for paid social media ads than less-used platforms, like LinkedIn, because they have much larger audiences, meaning more visibility for your business.

Facebook is the biggest social media site in the world, with 1.19 billion active users. It’s also the best site for targeting specific demographics, as you can target users based on age, location, interests, and more.

Instagram has been snowballing in popularity since its creation in 2010. In addition to photos, users can share short videos (called “stories”) up to 15 seconds long and post videos to their feeds. 

It’s worth noting that Facebook owns Instagram, which is beneficial because you can manage your ads on both platforms together. Instagram is perfect for businesses that want to showcase their products or services visually.

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google. It’s an excellent platform for businesses that want to create engaging video-based content to drive their website traffic.

Paid social media advertising is an effective way to reach a large audience and jump-start your online presence. You can effectively reach your target market and grow your business by targeting specific factors on popular social media sites.

However you choose to advertise, it’s important to remember that paid social media is only a supplement to organic growth, not a replacement for it. You should still focus on building your brand and growing your online presence organically.

Why Should You Use Paid Social Advertising?

Paid social media advertising is an excellent way to reach new customers and expand your online presence. Still, it’s important to remember that paid social media is not an alternative to organic growth. Paid social media advertising should be a crucial part of your strategy, not the entire blueprint or plan.

You must still be proactive about sharing your content, building your email list, and growing your online following. That’s because paid social media is supplemental to organic growth. Paid social media advertising can help you reach new customers, but it will only work if you have a solid foundation on which you’re building. That’s why it’s essential to focus on organic growth as well. Paid social media should be a crucial part of your strategy but not the only factor.

Social media advertising is beneficial to boost your visibility on sites already bringing you traffic rather than solely focusing on new visitors. That way, you can increase your overall online presence and reach a much larger number of people. 

Businesses often struggle to create longer-form, shareable content that is both effective and appealing to potential customers, resulting in wasted time and resources. And copywriting is hard. You must appeal to your audience, make a persuasive argument, and ensure everything is clear, straightforward, and readable. It can be tough to know if you’re getting it right, especially without running any sort of advertising to help test it.

To help alleviate copywriting questions, you can create a few different versions of an ad and see which one performs the best. Then, once you have a winner, you can make more content like it and know that you’re on the right track. Not only will this save you time and money in the long run, but it will also help you create better content overall.

Just create a few examples and versions of your ad and see how they each perform. You can run them for different audiences, demographics, and interests – and run them concurrently.

If your ad set doesn’t get the response you want, keep trying versions until you find something that works. Paid social media advertising is a great way to test your copywriting skills and see accurate results quickly.

How to Set Up Your Campaign

Before you start advertising, decide on the social media platforms where you want your ads to appear. Once you’ve picked your platforms, you can start researching what type of content to post and which images to use. 

When planning a paid social media campaign, you must consider your goals and ensure the ads target your audience. You’ll also need to set a budget for the ad spend.

As your ad runs (and after it finishes), you’ll need to track your campaign results to determine whether or not it was successful and if you’d like to repeat it. You’ll also be able to make changes and adjustments before rerunning your campaign. 

Here are some best practices to get you started:

  • Set a budget. 
  • Research and use the correct audience targeting for your ads.
  • Pick a headline and a short sentence summarizing your post’s main idea. Your ads should be attention-grabbing and exciting, as well as relevant.
  • Choose a relevant, high-quality image to accompany your post, ensuring you meet each platform’s image requirements.
    • Each social advertising platform utilizes guidelines about sizing, resolution, and character count on images.
  • Research and use the appropriate hashtags.
  • Ensure your copy is clear, concise, and free of grammatical and spelling errors.

Dialing in the Right Audience for Your Paid Social Advertising Campaign

You can target several different audiences for your paid social advertising campaign. Targeting makes it easy to find potential leads with interests or hobbies similar to what your product or service offers. Additionally, you can choose only to view people of a certain age or who are located within a certain distance of your physical business if you have a brick-and-mortar location. 

You can also choose to filter people by their values. Filtering allows you to quickly find people with similar interests and morals or principles to your company, increasing your chances of conversion from your campaign leads. 

Remember, people love to buy, but they hate being sold to. 

Shared values and interests help you develop a relationship with someone via your ad, and that’s exactly what you want! Starting a relationship based on values and interests means you can create motivated and curious leads for those who want to click and take the next step.

Here are more examples of ways to target your paid social advertising campaigns:

  • A specific demographic, such as gender identity.
  • An exact geographic location, such as the United States or Canada.
    • If you want a broad audience, you can also select North America, which would encapsulate the above locations and other countries in North America. (Location selection is platform-dependent.) 
    • Be aware that this could advertise your products and offerings to people outside your shipping area if you have a physical product.
    • You may want to consider using country-based restrictions if you cannot ship to certain countries so that you don’t frustrate people who want to opt-in to your ad. Restricting by country helps you protect your metrics and analytics because you will only track people who say yes, and can buy your products.
  • An audience highly engaged with your brand and product, such as millennials.
  • An audience highly engaged with a flagship product, or type of product but not necessarily highly engaged with the brand itself. 
    • For example, suppose you’re targeting a group of people interested in fashion but don’t necessarily buy from your brand. In that case, if they’re interested in fashion, ads with images of clothes should attract them. you should be targeting this group.
    • Here’s another example but from the customer side! Imagine someone buying a new webcam because of its’ technological specifications, without knowing much about the brand that created it. That purchase was made because the features and benefits were clearly laid out, not because of brand loyalty. 

Specific Targeting for Your Social Ads

Specific targeting by demographic is sometimes seen as old-school marketing because it’s a strategy that has been around since sales and marketing were invented. They are old-school, and they work. They’re consistently proven to help you reach your intended audience with your ads. Here are some specific examples of targeting. 

1. Target specific demographics and interests.

Paid social media advertising is a great way to target specific demographics and interests. You can use paid social media advertising to target people interested in products and services similar to your products or services or looking for information about your business.

 You can also use your platform’s demographic information, such as age, interests, hobbies, whether or not someone is a parent, etc. On Facebook, you can utilize life events and updates, like someone getting engaged or married, starting a new job, or moving to a new state. 

These groups and categories can be instrumental if you’re mindful of how your ad content, campaign, and brand fit their needs. Tailoring your ad content to how a particular group of people relates will bring you more success in your campaigns. 

2. Target people who have visited your website before.

Paid social media advertising is a great way to target people who have visited your website before, and you can use these ads to increase brand awareness among these visitors. Use targeted ads relevant to their previous visits to focus your campaign on the fact that they’re a repeat visitor to your website. 

3. Target people who are interested in your products or services. 

Paid social media advertising is an effective tool for increasing brand awareness among visitors interested in your products or services. You can accomplish this by targeting them with ads that appeal to them based on their interests and previous visits to your site or other sites like yours. 

Budgeting for and Tracking Results of Your Campaign

Business owners can sometimes struggle to target their ads correctly, leading to an increase in spending without a corresponding increase in leads or sales. A mismatch like this happens when ads are placed incorrectly or used too often. Campaigns also struggle when they are too generic.

When determining the proper budget, look at many factors, such as the number of social media platforms used, the target audience, and the desired results.

It can be difficult to accurately measure your social media advertising campaigns’ return on investment (ROI). Without accurate data, it can be challenging to determine whether or not a particular campaign was successful and how much investment should be made in future campaigns.

You already know that paid social media should not be substituted for organic growth, but it can certainly help with the initial stages. While paid social media may assist in accelerating your marketing efforts, developing and maintaining your audience using organic methods is critical.

Starting a paid social advertising campaign can be daunting for many business owners. Spending money on ads can become a mental roadblock when you’re new to selling online. Your budget isn’t unlimited! It’s essential to ensure you’re not making common mistakes when you start a campaign budget. 

Something that can derail your budget is not having a clear strategy for your paid social media campaign. 

If you’re unsure how your fans will react to a new topic or campaign, or if you’re worried about people forgetting about a specific campaign, you should test these topics in advance.

You should also continue testing different versions of your message to ensure it’s getting through to your followers.

Even if you have a large and loyal following, they might not react the same way as the public, so you should test your messages out in many different ways. Testing with other versions is essential for businesses that have only recently started using social media or have been using it for a short time. A clear strategy will help you avoid mistakes and ensure your paid social media campaign is successful. 

For example, if you are running a Facebook ad campaign, knowing how many people will see your ad and how long they will stay on the page would be helpful. If you run an Instagram ad campaign, you may want to look at how many shares your promotion got or how many interactions it had with its viewers (the audience you selected). 

If you are running an email campaign, it is helpful to know how many people have opened your email, whether or not they clicked on your CTA/link, and how long they continue reading your email before leaving for another screen or message. If you are running a Twitter ad campaign, it would be helpful to know how many people will see your tweet, how many interactions there have been, and your ad cost per click. 

When done correctly, paid social advertising can be an extremely effective marketing tool. It allows you to target a specific audience with laser precision, and you can track your results to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. 

Effective Cyclical Marketing Includes Paid Social Advertising

Paid social media ads work best with other online marketing strategies, such as blog posts, social media posts, and email campaigns. You can also use paid social media to boost your visibility on sites like Google, which is especially important for smaller businesses and organizations as it has a large user base.

One of the benefits of paid social media advertising is that it can help to support other pieces of a business’ marketing. For example, if you are running a blog post campaign, you can use paid social media ads to direct people to your blog post. You can also use paid social media ads to promote your social media accounts. Businesses can use paid social media ads to encourage and uplift email campaigns! 

Like organic social media posts, paid social media ads can help you build an audience. Still, they’re not a replacement for in-person events, email marketing, and other forms of organic marketing.


Paid social media advertising is an essential part of any online marketing strategy. If done efficiently, targeted advertising is an excellent way to save money while reaching your ideal consumers.

When combined with other marketing efforts, paid social media advertising can help build an audience, boost your online presence, and improve your bottom line. Paid social media can also be a great way to test messages and campaigns before rolling them out to a larger audience.

Just remember to create a clear strategy, integrate your paid social media efforts with all the other pieces of your cyclical marketing campaign, and track your results so you can adjust your approach as needed.

Have you used paid social media advertising? What tips would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

Are you curious about social media advertising? Are you wondering if it’s right for your business? In a full-length episode of The Donut Shop Podcast, we dedicate the entire episode to all things paid social advertising – what it is, how to do it, and why it’s crucial to your marketing. Click here to listen in and learn more!

Great Paid Social Ads Chapter Markers

0:22 Welcome
7:02 The Basics of Great Paid Social Ads
11:10 Position Your Ads Relevancy
14:59 Overcome Toddler Emotions
19:04 Washington Post Article
22:40 Viral, Highlight Solutions, Engage Senses
29:16 One Piece of the Jigsaw Puzzle
33:39 Part of Customer Journey
37:14 Social Ads Final Thoughts
42:35 Next Episode

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