Pros & Cons of Paid Social Ads on each Platform

Pros & Cons of Paid Social Ads on each Platform

Currently, around three-quarters of all marketers run paid social ad campaigns which include both SMEs and large corporations. A well-crafted advert can help raise your brand awareness, drive web traffic and increase those all-important sales. 

It’s important to understand that paid and organic content isn’t a case of either-or. Paid campaigns can often support your organic social media efforts in the long term. 

The concept and implementation of social media ads can often feel daunting, especially if you have little experience with them. “Which platform do I use?”, “Who should I target?” and “Will the ROI be worth it?” are all valid questions when it comes to your advertisement strategy, but fear not, as we will guide you through a few pros and cons of each social media platform to give you a better understanding of where to spend your ad budget. 

Instagram

Instagram Ads can give you an opportunity to create well-rounded campaigns for users at any stage of the funnel, build brand awareness and drive conversions at the same time. As it is integrated with Facebook Ads Manager, you can take advantage of their customisation and formatting options, and assorted targeting capabilities. There are 5 main ad formats on the platform which include: Stories, Photos, Videos, Carousels and Collections.

Pros:

  • Instagram gives you a direct connection to Gen Z and Millenials
  • Instagram Ads will typically have more engagement than Facebook
  • It’s estimated that 75% of users will take action on at least 1 Ad at some point
  • Around 50% of people have made a purchase off-app after seeing the product or service in a Story
  • Story Ads increase ad recall, purchase intent, message association, and CTR

Cons: 

  • It typically costs more per click (CPC) than Facebook ($1.28 vs. $0.51)
  • Creating enough visual content can be demanding
  • You need to have an associated Facebook Account, Instagram does not offer its own native ad manager

Facebook

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to Facebook advertising and there’s some divide as to whether the Ads Manager offers a good user experience. However, it’s undeniable that the platform boasts the largest target audience and is a great place to capture people at the top of the marketing funnel. 

Pros:

  • Wide customer reach with 1.9 billion daily active users (DAU) and a diverse demographic in both age and location
  • It’s one of the most cost-effective platforms, as you can get your ad up and running for as little as £1 per day
  • Its lead generation ability makes it easier for potential customers to request information or book services and appointments

Cons: 

  • Some types of adverts are limited from some industries, and all ads can take up to 24 hours to become live, so plan accordingly!
  • Due to the sheer volume of ads on Facebook, it can be hard to stand out from the competition
  • Making mistakes in audience selection, ad placement, and goal tracking means your valuable marketing budget can be easily squandered
  • Remember, Facebook is a social media platform first; people don’t often come to Facebook to research and buy products

LinkedIn

LinkedIn statistics look a little different than they do for some of the other social networks. It’s not the biggest social network or the one with the largest reach. But, when you understand the ways both LinkedIn members and other brands use this network, you can gain insights into how you can better incorporate LinkedIn into your paid social plan.

Pros:

  • Audience targeting on LinkedIn is relatively simple, for example, you can target job title, industry, working location and more
  • Content ads are unobtrusive yet eye-catching because they use the user’s photo, name, and title and appear more like a recommendation than an ad
  • Specific targeting for recruitment opportunities alongside 200 targeting characteristics

Cons: 

  • Higher CPC than most other channels, standing around $5.58 (around £4.00), alongside a minimum daily budget of £10 per day
  • Not the right environment for any B2C advertising

Twitter

Twitter ads are among the most underutilised paid social media marketing tools. But, when used correctly, they can be one of the most powerful and efficient lead drivers available to B2B marketers.

Pros:

  • You pay for performance, in that you only pay a CPC when someone clicks through to a website or installs an app, for example. You’re not wasting any money paying for reach or engagement.
  • There’s less competition on Twitter with around 130,000 business advertisers
  • You can target specific keywords or hashtags within your ad. For example, #PPCChat if you wanted to target the PPC community on Twitter
  • According to Twitter’s Q3 2020 report, users are increasingly engaging with ads and says that the CPE (cost per engagement) is down 9%

Cons: 

  • Twitter has limited Ad analytics in comparison to Facebook or Google, which can make it difficult to measure your outcomes
  • The feed can be cluttered, so it’s possible for people to skip right past your ad!
  • A smaller audience than Facebook or Instagram, with around 206 million daily active users

TikTok

If you market a product or service to Gen Z and Millenials, then TikTok could be a crucial part of your social media marketing strategy with TikTok reporting that 80% of all users are between the ages 16-34, confirming that this probably isn’t the channel for marketing to an older generation.

Pros:

  • The TikTok ad manager will help you expose your content to new audiences and the “similar audiences” feature will allow you to target people that are similar
  • TikTok thrives on “informal” and behind the scenes content which could help humanise your brand

Cons: 

  • Since its primary user base is very young, the audiences that businesses market to on the platform may be significantly younger than the intended target audiences
  • The type of content that TikTok calls for may not be in-line with your brand mission
  • It’s not easy to link your website to your TikTok videos

Hopefully that gives you a good overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the main social media platforms. Of course, there are other options such as Pinterest, Snapchat or even Reddit, but these are rather niche in comparison and would depend heavily on your industry, product and target audience. Gone are the days where marketers can rely solely on organic reach, so it’s worth considering implementing an ad strategy, whether that be in house or outsourcing to an agency that can fully manage your paid social campaigns. As always, social media is changing and evolving, so it’s well worth researching the best platform/s for you. You may find that a single platform or a combination of them work best for your brand, it’s all about trial and error in the first instance, but hopefully now you have a better idea!



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