Your guide to a great paid social ad

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Organic media can only get you so far. You’ll probably need paid social ads to reach your destination.

If you want to drastically increase your customer reach, you need to invest in paid social media. It can help you target audiences, accelerate traffic and drive sales at a speed that organic posts typically can’t match.

Paid social enables you to reach a ready-primed audience – potential customers who are already actively seeking your products and services, making them your best leads to nurture.

Examples of paid social media include:

  • ppc ads
  • branded/influencer content
  • display ads.

To successfully take your target customer from seeing your ad in their newsfeed to the relevant landing page, you need to understand the anatomy of a great paid social ad.

Here’s our take on what that looks like:

Goal: Fuel the ad engine

The overarching goal of your marketing strategy should fuel the engine of the ad. You must know what you’re wanting to achieve before investing hard-earned dollars into your ads. Without a goal, your paid social efforts remain at a standstill.

Your defined goal informs:

  • headline
  • body copy
  • accompanying image
  • target audience
  • allocated budget
  • social ad campaign duration
  • call to action (CTA).

Whether your goal is to generate brand awareness, garner more sales or build attendance for an upcoming event, every action in your campaign must help advance this objective.


Be specific with your target audience

Ever encountered an ad on your newsfeed that made you ask – why am I seeing this? That’s a clear sign of an audience that’s too broad.

You need to be specific with social media targeting. Don’t waste valuable dollars trying to broadcast to people who have no reason to be engaging with your products or services. For instance, a Swedish realtor company wouldn’t gain anything by targeting school teachers in Japan. Think carefully about who would most benefit from what your business offers.

To define your audience, ask:

  • Who can benefit from your products and services?
  • What are the pain points your customers face in each stage of the buying cycle?
  • Where are your target customers located?
  • What professions do your target customers have?
  • What do your target customers value?

Having a well-defined audience gives you the material you need to create more compelling, targeted ad copy.

Thumb-stopping image

The image is likely the first thing people see when they encounter your ad. Images aren’t there to merely add aesthetic value. They offer you the opportunity to communicate what can’t be fully encapsulated in words.

Research from the Visual Communication Agency suggests that the human brain processes images faster than text. To create an effective ad, the image must be so relevant that the user can guess what the ad is about without reading the text.

Images add further meaning to your ad by resonating with the audience on an unconscious level. Humans are innately visual creatures. Many of our unconscious beliefs, desires, feelings and sensations are embodied in visual stimuli. Ads that take advantage of this are the most successful.

Images must also align with the visual code of your brand. This helps people form connections between your business, what you offer, the pain points you help solve and how people’s lives can be enhanced by what you offer. Images play a critical role in building brand awareness and brand prestige.

Concise copy

The primary purpose of a paid social campaign is to increase business revenue. When you need to accelerate conversions, little room for fluffs and frills is left. People need to understand what you’re offering and how it can enrich their lives instantly. Every word must have a purpose.

Here are some tips for crafting concise, compelling ad copy:

  • speak in present tense
  • avoid “-ing” words (e.g. ACT sounds active compared with “ACTing,” which sounds passive)
  • avoid framing copy around how great your product or service is
  • orient copy around the benefit the product or service gives customers.

Clear CTA

The CTA is the reason your ad exists in the first place. For your ad to generate tangible impact, the CTA needs to be clear and specific (e.g. Sign up, RVSP, etc). The words of the CTA must also accurately match the landing page that the CTA button directs traffic to.

The destination: Relevant landing page

Now that you have a specific goal, target audience, a thumb-stopping image, concise copy and a clear CTA, here’s where it all counts.

All your efforts work together in directing people to the landing page. Landing pages provide both a resource for your audience and the opportunity for them to perform the desired action.

Customize ads for each channel 

You need to tailor your paid social ads for each channel. The audience, channel functions and algorithm are different on each. You’ll also need to use the ad tool native in each channel to create, schedule and post targeted ads.

To successfully customize your ads for each channel, you need to understand what the channel best lends itself to.

Here’s a quick breakdown:


Facebook ads allow you to advertise to customers based on their behavior. Based on what Facebook tells you about how your customers use the app, you can keep advertising to your existing Facebook customers even while their intent evolves.

Facebook also has an inbuilt marketplace. Utilizing this feature helps you connect with active shoppers, allowing you to readily build new leads and generate brand awareness.


Sponsored content is less obvious on Twitter than on other channels. This is because a sponsored post visually appears like a regular tweet. Marketer’s can capitalize on this in executing short form content that readily captivates the audience (without being too intrusive).

Twitter offers different formats to choose from based on your goals. This makes it easy to target specific demographics.


Instagram is an effective platform for sharing products online. If you have a business profile, you can set up an e-commerce store within the app and readily attract people with an active commercial intent.


Linkedin is great for B2B advertising. A professional social networking platform, advertising on Linkedin can help you reach thought leaders, hiring managers and key decision makers. Linkedin’s targeted ads enable you to type in keywords and select audiences by category.

Paid social ads are an effective way to share your brand with new audiences. But keeping track of your paid social performance across all your channels can be a messy, time-consuming process.

We make it a whole lot easier with our Digivizer platform.

Connect all your accounts in Digivizer to harness a single source truth across all your digital channels. With the relevant data-driven insights at the tip of your fingertips, you can readily execute paid social ads that hit the target.

Sign up for free and become a data-driven marketer.

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