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Paid Social Ads 101: How to Create Ads for the Paid Social Funnel

Most marketers know the marketing funnel contains at least three main levels: awareness, consideration and conversion. But before you implement your next paid social media plan, make sure to consider the right types of creative tactics to use for each layer.

First, think about your marketing goals and objectives as well as how well known your product or service may be to the audience you’re targeting. For instance, if you’re launching a new product, service or brand, it’s important to have at least a little bit of awareness level work in your mix. But if your brand has been around a while, and you’re considering retargeting existing customers, perhaps heavying up on consideration tactics is the way to go.

The point is savvy digital marketers take the time to think through their strategy, their objectives, and their audience before they create content.

Very Important Note

If you remember anything from this article, remember this: As you execute work at each layer of the funnel, make sure your approach aligns to the media units you buy. For instance, you wouldn’t want to run a high-level brand concept video in a conversion ad unit served to a target that might be ready to buy. We recommend creative approaches that align to each level of the funnel and the units associated with each. Keep reading to learn more.

3 Creative Approaches That Work at the Awareness Level

If your audience doesn’t know much about your brand, product or service, or your brand’s been around awhile but you are launching a new product, awareness paid social ads should play an important role in your marketing mix.

Why? As tempting as it may be to simply heavy up on conversion ads, helping your target understand your brand, what you do, who you are and how you’re different, can go a long way toward establishing your brand and guiding new customers to a conversion.

1. Video Content Rules.

Short- and long-form video is a great awareness tactic that allows your audience to understand who you are and what you do. As with any content you execute, you should take special care to grab your audience’s attention with work that engages, educates and/or entertains your prospect.

2. Make it move.

Even if you don’t have the budget or assets for quality video content, a much more budget-friendly way to engage is to utilize animation in the form of gifs, cinemagraphs or other simple animation techniques.

3. Be conceptual.

People see hundreds of ads and messages each day. So, working hard on a good, memorable, campaign-able concept or eye-catching execution can help you stop thumbs and grab eyeballs. Your goal with awareness work is to make sure your audience understands and remembers your brand, product or service when you come back with some consideration- and conversion-level work.

Awareness Units to Consider: Brand Awareness Ads, Video View Ads, Reach Ads, Boosted Posts, Like Ads

4 Ways to Conquer the Consideration Level of the Funnel

If you’ve already got an awareness campaign running, or your audience already has familiarity with your brand, product or service, then consideration-level tactics are a great way to remind people of who you are while providing a deeper level of information about why they should purchase your product or service.

1. Bridge the gap between awareness and conversion.

If you have an awareness campaign running, think about how to make the work nod back the campaign while allowing time and room for deeper messaging points. If you do it right, they’ll remember your awareness work and brand and be primed for more information.

2. Educate.

At this point in the funnel, your audience and prospects are in the research and education phase. So, make sure your captions and copy points are rich with deeper details.

3. Videos and Gifs are still great.

BUT, don’t do elaborate prolonged animations of headlines and information. You’ll want to get to the point a little faster.

4. Hop on the carousels.

Carousel ads are great consideration-level units. You can use simple animations in the first frame to grab attention and nod back to the existing campaign. Then you can provide more photos in the carousel for a deeper dive into important product attributes or simply show off more of your products.

Consideration Units that Work Well: Website Click Ads, Lead Ads

5 Ways to Kill It with Conversion Ads

There are several ways to think about the conversion level of the purchase funnel. First, if the audience you are targeting is already familiar with the brand, purchased from you before, or if you’re running a retargeting campaign, it may not be necessary to implement awareness- and consideration-level work to get them primed to purchase. It depends on your buy and who you are targeting.

If you’re targeting new customers and people unfamiliar with your product, then it’s smart to use the full funnel approach outlined here. If your content and the media buys have done their job, then you’ll have prospects ready to convert.

1. Hesitate Before You Animate.

Yeah. We said it. Everybody loves video and gifs, right? But it’s important to remember what the conversion level of the funnel is all about…closing the deal. It’s not to say animation or video won’t work. But if you go this route, make sure you get to the point immediately. Don’t have long drawn-out type animation or get too conceptual with these ad units. Get to the point.

2. Offers and promos work well.

Remember, if you’re running conversion ads, you’re assuming your audience knows who you are and would consider purchasing. So, sweeten the deal with an offer if it makes sense for your brand.

3. Show them the price.

If you are offering a good price or a discount, show it. That can be the tipping point that gets cursors clicking buy.

4. Be direct.

If you animate, don’t get elaborate. And don’t get too cute or too conceptual with your conversion-level work. It’s not needed!

5. Create a sense of urgency.

If you have an offer, let them know it won’t last. If there’s a chance you’ll run out of supply, let them know. It can be all that’s needed to close the deal.

Units to Consider: Increase Conversion Ads, Dynamic Catalog Ads

Bringing it all together.

Now you know how to leverage the full paid social funnel for your next campaign. Remember, make sure you know who you’re targeting and whether or not they know anything about your brand before you start crafting concepts or pushing pixels. And if you’re crafting a full funnel paid social campaign, take the time to customize your creative to work for each level of the funnel, and the unique units each level offers.

At The Brandon Agency, we’re experts at crafting full funnel social campaigns. So, if you’d like help with your next paid social campaign, let us know. You’ll like the results you get.