Running social media ads is simply a part of doing business for eCommerce brands. It’s like the eggs and flour in a cake recipe – you can’t do without it. You could also skip the frosting and still have cake (but who would, right?). You can’t leave out the stuff that holds it all together.
So how do you run successful ads on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn? Here are some general tips "and a special ingredient" for each.
Why Run Ads on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn?
The most important thing to remember is that each platform has a very different audience:
- Instagram audiences are generally younger but very engaged. It is a visual (image/video) driven platform.
- Facebook audiences can be specifically targeted (although that is changing), and your ad copy and images must work together to drive your call to action (CTA).
- LinkedIn is a great platform for business-to-business (B2B) companies and marketing work or business-related products.
As an eCommerce brand, you can take advantage of each platform for different kinds of marketing. Social Media for eCommerce undoubtedly has its place, but not everyone has the same tastes, and you need to target and nurture your audience carefully. This is where eCommerce social media strategies need to be concise, like measuring the ingredients in your recipe!
A Recipe for Running eCommerce Social Media Ads
So what is the simplest, clearest recipe that works on all of these platforms? Well, there is a pretty common set of ingredients that make them all work:
- Know your audience. Which audience is on each platform, and what are they interested in?
- Know your goal for each platform. What do good metrics look like for the different platforms? How are you going to achieve those goals?
- Design and refine powerful ad creative. Presentation matters and a great tasting cake that looks like it was stepped on doesn’t inspire sampling. Make your creative better through the next step – testing.
- Test, test, test. Nearly every good cook or baker will taste test as they go, adding a pinch of this and a dash of that. For ads, this means A/B testing and making decisions and refinements based on the data you gather. Give your audience on each platform exactly what they want.
Get to know each platform and the tools they offer. You’ll need to understand the native analytics features, the tools you have to enhance conversions, and how you handle testing. You’ll also want to understand how to handle your ad budget, and where to send your audience for maximum conversions.
Instagram Ingredients for Success
Instagram allows you as a marketer to do some really cool things, but one of the tastiest ingredients at the moment is the ability to run ads with shoppable posts. While you could already create shoppable posts by adding product tags, now you can also run ads using these posts, getting even more engagement. Try it for your brand, and let us know how it works for you. Instagram for eCommerce is an essential ingredient for your overall success.
What else is hot on Insta? Influencer marketing is a huge booster, but often even better is user-generated content (UGC). Encourage your users to create Instagram content around your brand, whether through sharing examples or running competitions. You can then amplify the best UGC (with due permission from the creator) using Instagram ad campaigns. This is a tried and true tactic our Instagram experts use with great success.
The Facebook Frosting
Consumer privacy is a large concern, and it is changing the way advertisers can target audiences on Facebook. However, there are workarounds, and one of the best for eCommerce brands is website and app activity retargeting.
While website retargeting is being, well, targeted for removal, you can still use the data you get from your own website and applications to harness the power of Facebook ads. If it’s possible to create a low-carb cheesecake that still tastes good, you can still target effectively with Facebook.
Also, don’t forget about page and video engagement targeting. Knowing what people respond to on your page and the videos they engage with can help you target future audiences with that type of content. While it can be true that “friends don’t let friends boost posts” you can sometimes gain valuable audience data from doing so, even if you don’t get as many conversions.
The LinkedIn Liqueur
When it comes to eCommerce social media marketing, LinkedIn is — well, different. Preferences vary from “love it” to “hate it” with little middle ground. That is because LinkedIn is a place to connect with like-minded career and business individuals and has often been an “all about me” platform for those in search of a job.
That landscape has changed, but it’s best to be careful with what and how you advertise to both businesses and consumers on LinkedIn. The key ingredient goes back to the beginning of this guide – knowing your audience:
- Make your ad about the buyer, not you and your company. Let them know how you will help solve their problems or meet their needs.
- Keep ad copy brief and relevant. LinkedIn users are less inclined to scroll and click; most of the time they are purpose-driven and time-sensitive.
- Create ads that instigate discussions and add value.
Finally, remember that although eCommerce social media marketing is about being social and driving conversations, LinkedIn is also all about doing business and can be very transaction-driven. Make it easy for your customer to respond to your LinkedIn ad and take the action you want them to. Whether that is making an immediate purchase or joining your lead generation funnel, be sure the process is seamless and simple.
Making your brand appetizing on LinkedIn takes work, but it also can pay off in a huge way.
Let CAKE Help You with the Perfect Ad Recipe
Running ads on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn is an essential part of your marketing strategy but getting the right recipe can be tricky. Want an expert to taste test your marketing for you? Contact one of our strategists today to talk about where you are now, and how CAKE Commerce can help you get where you want to be.