Social Display Ads: Why You Need Them and Why They Work
Jul 20 2022
The increasing popularity of social commerce makes social media one of the most important components of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Considering the amount of research, budget, and time that goes into creating optimal social media messaging, repurposing this content to create social display ads is not only smart but also highly effective. Learn how social display ads can improve the customer experience by connecting with a new audience outside of social platforms.
Benefits of Adding Social Display to Your Media Mix
Social display ads take the potentially costly guesswork out of paid advertising. You’re investing in paid advertising anyway — you might as well capitalize on posts that have already delivered on social media campaign goals. If your current audience was intrigued enough to interact with the post, it’s more likely that an audience segment with similar interests will also see value in your ad.
Evolving algorithms, emerging technology, and new platforms are all part of the digital marketing landscape. Social display advertising can be used to inexpensively and effectively deliver ads while your team tests and optimizes other marketing mix components to keep up with consumer preferences and behaviors.
Plus, this form of programmatic advertising offers more control over your budget because ads are purchased outside of the in-platform systems where paid social typically originates. Handling the bidding and budgeting in-house allows teams to accurately tailor the display campaign to meet your business’s specific goals.
Why You Need Social Display Now
Consumer familiarity with and enthusiasm for social media means more ecommerce is taking place through these platforms. Consider these statistics:
- Social commerce sales are projected to reach $45.7 billion this year in the U.S.
- The number of social buyers (people making purchases through social networks) in the U.S. is projected to hit 108 million by 2025.
- Nearly 45% of internet users worldwide search for brand information on social media.
- 49% of consumers report finding the “perfect product” by seeing a targeted ad.
People turn to social media to discover new brands, ways to wear or use new products and hear what influencers recommend. They’re comfortable making purchase decisions from what they learn via social media. It makes sense, then, to utilize socially proven ads with the look and feel of a native social media post on display networks with a significantly larger audience reach.
Beyond improved user experience, using social display provides more insights into the larger audience outside of a brand’s current followers and fans. While the social post’s original data can help to determine which posts you should use for ads, the resulting ad’s data can help to inform future social media messaging as well.
Let Goals Guide You to Ideal Ad Content
The factors determining the best content depend on which part of the customer journey your campaign is focused on.
Awareness/reach: how far your message has spread. Total follower count, impressions, post reach, the share of voice, and web traffic are ideal metrics to pay attention to in awareness campaigns. Web traffic is especially important for display ads intended for use in conversion messaging.
One example of a well-executed awareness campaign comes from UGG. Using social display as part of a recent holiday campaign, they saw over 2x ROAS over native and banner ads for that same campaign.
Engagement: how people interact with your post and good indicators for what could be used for a social display ad. Commonly referenced metrics include:
- profile visits
Looking at total shares is a strategic way to determine which of your posts offer the most intriguing, did-you-see-this content. This kind of social proof goes a long way when creating social display ads as well. One cosmetics brand’s engagement campaign saw a 66% increase in CTR and 3.5x higher average spend from customers when using social display.
Conversion: Although what qualifies as a lead or conversion will vary by industry, this buyer stage includes figures such as sales revenue, average order value (AOV), and lead conversions. Ad copy should help viewers determine if the ad is meant for them — i.e., that clicking on this ad will present them with an ideal product or service solution — with the goal of increasing CTR.
In the case of a display ad, the associated landing pages must be top-notch with clear CTAs. Many social platforms allow you to add relevant CTA buttons to display ads. Conversion-focused posts should look to “buy now,” “shop now,” and other similar CTAs.
As with all marketing tactics, it’s important to tie your social display ad goals to your larger business goals. Getting clear on these connections will make it easier to select the best content to use for social display ads.