We’ll not wait until the end of this article for the big reveal – the question of which type of social media ad is most effective is ultimately a trick question. It will largely depend on what your company is trying to achieve through social media.
Do you want to increase the awareness of your brand throughout your target audience? Do you want to use a social channel to drive more traffic to your website? Maybe, you just want to use social media ads to gauge interest in a new product you’re about to launch? Regardless, the context matters.
That said, there may well be certain types of ads that are most effective based on your company and its objectives. We’re unable to run through every single possibility, but we’ve listed a series of scenarios where using a particular ad type on social media could be more effective than others.
What are the most effective social media ads?
There’s no secret recipe, but there are definitely a few key factors that relate to all great social media ad campaigns. Rather than list ads that we think might work well for your brand, we’ve mentioned some tips for three prominent social channels: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
1. Leverage the reach of Facebook video ads
Let’s cut to the chase – Facebook has over 1.47 billion active daily users. Using the line, “my target audience doesn’t use Facebook has never been more redundant.”
At a tentative level, Facebook is a great place to test new advertising content and material, but its real power lies in its reach and the in-depth targeting options that are available to your business.
One of the most effective ad types that you can test on Facebook are video ads – and they know it. They’re not shy to promote the fact that videos ads of all style and length can be effective on their platform, and it’s not surprising.
For some fantastic examples of success stories from companies who used Facebook video ads, you can check out their case study section, including this Color Run campaign.
2. Get your creative funk on and advertise on Instagram
Instagram boosts some of the most impressive engagement rates compared to their social media rivals. Instagram content has shown 58 percent more engagement than Facebook and 2000 percent higher than Twitter. That’s not a typo!
So how can you get the most from Instagram ads? Well, while standard photo/video ads are great, and carousel ads definitely have their place, we actually suggest you focus your attention on Instagram Stories.
These ads will slot in between the Stories that your target audience follow, making it a fairly frictionless ad placement (that is, if you create a great story!).
For fantastic examples of how powerful Instagram Stories ads can be, you should look no further than fitness apparel brand Gymshark, who returned 9x on their ad spend at a 50% lower cost per acquisition compared to other ad placements.We also have an article covering some of the best Instagram Stories ads examples.
3. Channel your inner Spielberg on YouTube
Ok, so maybe that’s a little ambitious, but creating an effective video ad on YouTube can be incredibly powerful. In terms of what type of ad, we’re going to stray slightly from what you might be thinking and suggest that you sponsor a YouTube channel or creator.
This type of ad will rely on the creator to put together a 60-90 second slip promoting your product or brand, accompanied by a link in the video description. It’s a combination that you’ve probably come across before, for example:
- Blinkist sponsored PickupLimes to promote their app.
- Audible sponsored Jon Olsson to promote their audiobook service
What do these both have in common? Well, the products that both of these ads are promoting perfectly resonate with the YouTube channel’s target audience. As a result, more of the desired users for both Audible and Blinkist are viewing the ads, and in turn, both brands experienced higher conversion rates through the subscription link in the description below the video.
So, which social media ads should I try?
In summary, we’re going to recommend that you take a look at the following types of social media ads:
- Facebook video ads
- Instagram stories ads
- YouTube channel sponsorships