Chances are you’re investing in some paid social media advertising. When used effectively, these ads can be a powerful lead generation tool and a method to reinforce other targeted marketing efforts.
Still, if you aren’t using them yet, we get it.
With so many different platforms offering various formats, it can be challenging to decide which is best for your company. But don’t give up yet! In this blog, we’ll cover different types of ads and whether they’re more suitable for a B2B or B2C environment so you can make an informed decision.
In 2021, Facebook still reigns supreme. Over 1.73 billion users access the platform daily, spending anywhere from a few minutes to hours posting and reading their news feeds – and of course, looking at ads. Facebook also allows the most advanced targeting of any social platform. You can target users by location within a five-mile radius, job description, interests, past activity, and other hyper-focused criteria.
So, both B2B and B2C companies shouldn’t ignore Facebook advertising. Here are two widely popular formats that garner results:
Video: Across all platforms, videos perform the best. It’s even higher for video advertisements – or a sponsored, branded video seen in a user’s news feed or timeline. In fact, 70% of all consumers think these ads are relevant to them. They particularly think Facebook video ads are relatable, too. The clickthrough rate of these ads averages between 1.05 – 3.42%, higher than any other network. The average cost per spend on these ads is low also, making them a solid choice if you have time and skill sets to make quality videos.
Carousel or Image Ads: If you can’t produce a video ad, a carousel or image ad is a great alternative. They’re popular and cheap, and easy to make without having a design team on staff. They’re simply a branded, sponsored image or collection of images with corresponding copy and CTA. According to Databox, image ads are likely to influence 25% of people who see them to visit that company’s website or landing page. If you can whip up a simple, unique image with an enticing copy and a CTA to go along with it, you’ll be successful!
Over the years, Instagram has developed into a powerful marketing tool for businesses – especially for B2C companies in the eCommerce, restaurant, beauty, clothing, and home décor industries. The platform has one billion active and engaged users, with 72% reporting purchasing after seeing something on Instagram.
It is worth noting that this user base skews heavily to women between 18-29, so keep that in mind when designing and writing ads. But, if you sell consumer products, your ears are likely perked up by now right? So here are two ad formats to help drive conversions and awareness:
Story Ads: After the success of Instagram Stories, the platform introduced story ads to offer businesses a more authentic, less filtered way to highlight their brand and products. And it worked. A study done by Facebook revealed 62% of users said they become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story. Why? Stories are less intrusive, better designed, shorter, and more genuine to consumers. So they’re something to consider!
Shoppable Posts: Instagram introduced shoppable posts or ads in late 2020, making them one of the newest forms of social media advertising. The platform released them as a way to help brands that shuttered their doors due to COVID-19. These ads have shortened the path to purchase and driven conversion rates up by 50%. They’ve also increased clickthrough rates to websites by 50%. They’re similar to a sponsored image but utilize product tags and an “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” CTA under the ad’s copy. If you have the design skills on hand, this is worth checking out.
While Twitter’s 353.1 million monthly active users seem significantly smaller than its counterparts, it’s an excellent advertising source for both B2C and B2B companies. These users are highly engaged, particularly when it comes to small businesses. Twitter itself reports that 60% of users have purchased something from Twitter from a small business. When you consider the fact you only pay for your ad if you reach your goal, it’s worth giving these two types of ads a try:
Promoted Tweets: Promoted tweets seamlessly incorporate themselves into a user’s newsfeed, making them non-intrusive. Because of this, they garner a lot of impressions. If you design and write them well, you’ll benefit from a high clickthrough rate to your website or landing page. As noted, you’ll also only pay when you meet your marketing objective, making them cost-effective.
Video Ads: Like Facebook, Twitter also offers video advertising, a highly effective way to drive conversions on the platform. A promoted video or GIF also helps propel brand awareness as they are six times more likely to be retweeted than any other form of content. Remember, Twitter’s nature is fast-paced and up to date, so video ads work well for timely video promotion centered around an event, movie, or TV show. If you can time a video or gif around this, or simply want to dip your toes into video advertising, don’t skip these ads.
Most of the platforms on this list work well for B2B and B2C companies, with a slight edge for B2C. That’s not the case with LinkedIn, the king of B2B social advertising. Nearly 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions. You can target based on job role, job function, company size, and more, so you can easily reach these stakeholders. Try these ads to boost your conversions:
Sponsored Post: A LinkedIn sponsored post appears in a user’s news feed like any other post. They’re a non-evaise and reliable way to generate quality leads because you don’t need a ton of engagement on your company’s LinkedIn profile to get your ad in front of the right person’s eyes. You can also easily edit the content as your objectives or content changes over time, making them a good avenue to try out for any B2B company.
InMail: LinkedIn InMail is a premium messaging feature that lets you directly message people you’re not connected to on LinkedIn. They’re technically a form of advertisement and a great tool for sales executives to reach their most promising leads. Businesses have reported open rates of up to 85% and clickthrough rates over 5%. If you work on an account-based marketing model, you’ll want to try sending InMail.
Pinterest and Snapchat
Pinterest and Snapchat each have niche audiences that favor B2C companies. For example, 81% of Pinterest users are females, generally looking for shopping, health, or food inspiration. Promoted pins, or a sponsored version of any pin you create, can help 61% of all Pinterest users discover new products or brands.
For Snapchat, their user base tilts to the younger generations, with the bulk of their users falling into the 18-39 age group. Additionally, 61% of their user base is female. Snapchat ads to explore that may benefit your B2C company include Snap Ads, a mobile, interactive ad with a five times higher swipe-up rate than comparable social platforms, and Snapchat Discover. Snapchat Discover puts a brand’s story at the tip of the user’s discovery feed – but it is costly, at $50,000 per day.
Any of these ads can be effective if you take the time to develop the design, copy, targeting, placement, and CTA. However, depending on your budget, business type, and experience, some will outperform others. For instance, a B2B company will want to try LinkedIn sponsored posts. On the other hand, an eCommerce company with stunning visuals will benefit more from Instagram stories.