Social media advertising: Why you could be missing out

Person scrolling on instagram on their phone surrounded by thumbs up and heart social media icons.

In today’s world, social media has a lot of influence over our lives, from the news we consume to the purchases we make, but is your business making the most of this?

Advertising on social media offers a wealth of benefits for brands and businesses, including increased conversion, traffic, and leads, to name a few. It can also help other areas of your digital marketing by complementing content marketing and SEO strategies.

If your digital marketing strategy doesn’t currently involve paid media, continue reading to find out how it can help and why you could be missing out.

What is paid media?

The term ‘paid media’ refers to a form of marketing where businesses pay social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, to have their advertisements displayed.

Many businesses often invest in paid advertising to reach their target market, tap into new audiences, promote their organic content, and improve their brand’s visibility and awareness.

For reference, here are some of the forms paid media can take:

  • Display ads
  • Search ads
  • Video ads
  • Native ads

If you’re not seeing the benefits or return on investment of traditional advertising methods, it may be worth adding social media advertising to your digital marketing strategy to take it to new heights.

What is the difference between paid media and PPC?

Paid media and PPC are often discussed as if they are the same – after all, they are both paid advertising, right? However, PPC is a specific model that falls under the umbrella of paid media.

As we have previously mentioned, paid media is content that is promoted through ad placements and can be displayed in various formats and styles to reach their target audience.

Meanwhile, PPC is a specific branch of paid media directed more at search engines, with businesses bidding on keywords to make sure they appear on their intended audience’s search engine results page.

It can be easy to confuse the two, however, it is important to remember that PPC, same as paid social, are both branches of online marketing that fall under the term of paid media.

Why invest in paid social?

If you’re interested in investing further in paid social, we’ve listed some of the key benefits below so you can make an informed decision:

Supports organic social strategy

If your organic posts aren’t receiving much traffic or engagement, paid social is a great way of introducing new audiences to your organic efforts. This can then lead to more users becoming aware of your brand, services, or products, sharing them with others, and increasing leads and conversions.

Provides guaranteed reach to your target audience

Social media advertising is not only useful for reaching your target market but also for learning about them. Using paid social provides invaluable insights such as your audience demographics, interests, and engagement, and interactions with posts.

Using these insights can help you assess your overall paid advertising campaign performance and allow you to see what is working and what is not, so you can regroup and reassess your efforts.

Allows you to retarget

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of paid social is the positive impact it can have on a site’s conversion. As well as helping you reach your target audience, paid social ads allow you to retarget and remarket to customers who have previously shown an interest in or interacted with your brand.

You’ll often see examples of retargeting from the sites you have interacted with, from follow-up emails requesting feedback on a product to Facebook ads from a website you have previously browsed.


Social media ads are often deemed more cost-effective, as you can filter your audience down into demographics, so you are only targeting those who you feel will interact with and purchase from your brand.

Improve brand loyalty

Businesses that advertise on social media are easily able to build relationships and interact with the customers who are purchasing from them. They can respond to comments, reply to direct messages, share user-generated content, take users behind the scenes of the business, promote customer incentives, and encourage influencer partnerships.

Performance tracking

Paid social media allows you to track a variety of metrics, including clicks, engagement, impressions, conversions, and return on investment, to assess your campaign’s performance. By having these insights at your disposal, you can see what is working effectively and what may need fine tuning.

How to create an effective social media advertising campaign

Set goals and objectives

Begin your campaign by outlining clear goals that align with your business’s objectives. An effective way to do this is by using the S.M.A.R.T. method to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Common goals often set by businesses include increasing traffic to their website, improving brand awareness and visibility, boosting sales and conversion, or wanting to enhance their brand’s reputation.

Establish a target audience

Essential to any social media advertising campaign is the audience it will be seen by. When establishing your target audience, some important demographics you may look at include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Employment
  • Language
  • Interests
  • Income

This will help you structure your campaign, so it appeals to your desired market and encourages them to want to interact with your brand and purchase your products or services.

Choose the right social media channels

When it comes to paid advertising, you now have more social media channels to choose from than ever. Each channel offers its own benefits:

  • Facebook – has a user base of billions, offers advanced targeting for demographics, and ads can have various formats.
  • Youtube – has a user base of billions, ideal for storytelling video content, brands only pay when users click to watch their ad.
  • X (previously Twitter) – offers real-time engagement, a user base of millions, demographic targeting, and promoted trends.
  • TikTok – short-form videos offering digestible content, in-feed ads, a user base of billions and influencer partnerships.
  • Instagram – offers nonintrusive advertising, can create visually appealing ads, high engagement rate, able to link to products and websites in posts and stories.

It is important to check that your target audience is active on these channels when considering which to use, otherwise, it could result in wasted time and budget.

Look at successful competitor campaigns

As with any digital marketing campaign, there is nothing wrong with checking out the competition. You can analyse:

  • what is working well for them
  • what they are missing
  • which techniques could be added to your campaign
  • how users are interacting with their ads
  • what channels they are using
  • what they are promoting
  • what offers they are running

…plus much more!

Set a budget

It may seem obvious, but make sure your social media advertising campaign fits into your company’s budget, is realistic, and is adjusted as and when it is needed.

A well-structured and well-thought-out campaign can see businesses benefitting from a significant return on investment, which can be put towards bigger and better campaigns in the future.

Decide on an ad format

Once you have selected the best social media channel for your campaign, you need to consider what formats you would like your ads to be seen in. Things to consider when choosing are:

  • What is going to appeal to your desired audience?
  • Will the format be appropriate for the social media your audience uses?
  • Is the format fitting for the message you are trying to get across?
  • Does the ad format and the creation that follows fit into your budget?

Create your content

It’s now time to bring your ads to life with striking imagery and video, compelling content, and a call to action that will have users clicking on your site time and time again. Remember to have fun with creating your ads and that you can create multiple versions to experiment through A/B testing to see which type of content performs better.

Track your campaign

You have created your campaign, and it’s out there, but now is not the time to sit back and relax, as this is just the beginning of your paid advertising journey. Remain consistent in monitoring your ad performance and analytics, and don’t abandon your campaign because it is performing well.

The paid media landscape can change quickly, and it is important that you are consistently reviewing your results to react to any changes and stay ahead of your competitors.

Need help with your paid media strategy?

If you think your paid media strategy needs improving or you don’t know where to start with social media advertising, get in touch today to see how we can help you move forward.

We also offer Free Acquisitions Workshops, where you can gain invaluable insights into your current performance from our marketing experts, a personalised action plan, and free resources you can use right away.

Book today to avoid disappointment!


Sophie Brodie

Senior Content Executive

Sophie Brodie is the Senior Content Executive at Skittle Digital. Sophie has worked in digital marketing since 2019. She has produced content for hardback books and magazines for design et al, followed by managing the content and SEO for multiple brands at Sykes Holiday Cottages. She enjoys creating a variety of content across different mediums and working with new clients to achieve their content goals. In her spare time, you will find Sophie listening to podcasts, at a music gig, or absorbed in a book.

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