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Social media advertising 101: Your guide to set up, spend, and success on any social media channel

Last Updated 
Posted on
March 15, 2021

Online advertising is one of the most effective ways to get the word out about your business and generate revenue. In fact, social media advertising and search engine marketing are among the top three paid channels used by both B2C and B2B businesses.

How do brands manage their online advertising campaigns? First, they invest their money wisely by setting clear advertising goals. Today, online advertising platforms offer streamlined ad management capabilities that suggest campaigns and features based on your stated business goals.

Why is it important to select the right advertising goal?

In this blog post, you’ll learn about the advertising goals suggested by YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But before diving into an ad platform’s suggested goals, it’s important to know what you want to accomplish with your social media ad campaign. Are you aiming for:

  • Awareness: Increasing the number of people who know about your brand
  • Consideration: Nurturing customers who’ve indicated interest but have yet to make a purchase
  • Lead generation: Bringing in more marketing-qualified leads for your sales team
  • Online sales: Generating an instant sale

Selecting the right advertising goal impacts your marketing budget. If your business sets up an ad campaign under the wrong goal, then you won’t generate the return you were hoping to receive. For example, many businesses set their ads up as “awareness” ads instead of “conversion” ads and then struggle to understand why they aren’t generating any leads. Selecting the wrong ad goal is oftentimes the source of the problem.
Once you know what your business and marketing goals are, you can map them over to the goal-setting tools within your chosen advertising platform.

Youtube banner

YouTube advertising goals

YouTube offers a paid advertising channel that shows your videos to customers before or during YouTube video content. YouTube recently extended the reach of their ads to all YouTube videos, even if content creators wish to remain ad-free. To help you get the most for your advertising dollars, YouTube suggests  these five campaign goals and campaign types:  

  • Sales: Use this goal if you’re engaging with people who are already familiar with your brand and are primed to make a sale. The best campaign type for a sales-oriented YouTube ad campaign is the Shopping campaign which promotes your products or services and prompts viewers to buy.
  • Leads: Use this goal if you’re trying to generate email addresses and phone numbers for your sales team. A suitable campaign type is Bumper ads that promote your webinar or free ebook.
  • Website Traffic: Use this goal if you’re trying to send viewers to your website. Skippable in-stream ads are a useful campaign type for this goal.
  • Product and Brand Consideration: Use this goal if you’re engaging an audience that’s familiar with your company, but unfamiliar with your new line of products. Skippable or non-skippable in-stream ads will help you build this awareness. You can also opt for Shopping ads if you believe customers will bite based on your existing brand reputation.
  • Brand Awareness and Reach: Use this goal if you’re trying to build as much brand recognition as possible in a short amount of time. Non-skippable in-stream ads are an effective way to do this. They are in-stream ads that are 15 seconds long, and they’re the online equivalent of a commercial break.

Linkedin Banner

LinkedIn Advertising Goals

LinkedIn Advertising organizes its platform using “Objectives”. They offer three main categories of advertising objectives to help you streamline your campaign creation:

  • Awareness objective: Choose this goal if you’re focused on building brand awareness and maximizing your reach. If you’re a new B2B brand on the market, a LinkedIn ad campaign with an awareness goal helps build familiarity of your company among your target audience.
  • Consideration objective: Choose this goal if you’re focused on attracting visits to your website, engagement with your content, or video views. In a conversation about marketing, some might consider these awareness stage activities. But on B2B platforms like LinkedIn, the sale usually happens with a representative, not by hitting “Buy Now”. As a result, the buyer’s journey lengthens, and the activities within the buyer’s journey shift. You’re creating campaigns under this goal if you’re trying to build an initial relationship with your target audience through comments, likes, and shares.
  • Conversion objective: Choose this goal if your focus is on building an email list and generating leads. Your focus here is on click-through rates and sign-ups for your webinars, Ebooks, whitepapers, and other gated content.

Twitter Banner

Twitter advertising goals

Twitter Advertising offers three main categories of goals that mirror LinkedIn Advertising’s brand categories. They then discuss what specific cost model and features you should opt for within these goals:

  • Awareness: Choose this goal if you’re focused on maximizing your reach. Twitter encourages advertisers with an Awareness goal to create a Reach campaign. A reach campaign focuses on maximizing the Twitter ad’s reach. The advertiser pays for the number of impressions, and they are billed a cost per 1,000 Tweet Impressions.
  • Consideration: At this stage, you want engagement on your paid tweets, not just views or impressions. Twitter encourages the following campaigns:
  • Video views campaign: You promote a video and pay for each view.
  • Pre-roll views campaign: Your video gets played before another video in Twitter’s network of content partners. You pay each time someone views your pre-roll video.
  • App install campaigns: You include a CTA for people to install your app and pay Twitter for every click through to the app store.
  • Website click campaigns: You promote a tweet that includes a link to one of your web pages, and you pay Twitter every time someone clicks through to your website.
  • Engagement campaign: You promote a tweet of any kind (e.g. text, photo, video) and pay each time someone engages with it, which includes retweeting, replying, liking, voting in a poll, or clicking a hashtag.
  • Followers campaign: Your account is promoted and you pay for every new follower.
  • Conversion: At this stage, you’re trying to either land more sales or downloads or re-engage existing customers. Twitter offers an App re-engagement campaign. This campaign targets existing users of a brand’s app. The CTA links directly to the app so that it opens automatically on the user’s phone. The brand pays for every app click.

Goal setting is critical to an effective online advertising strategy

Online advertising platforms offer rich features, a wide audience, and sophisticated targeting techniques for digital marketing teams. That said, online advertising costs quickly add up if you aren’t careful about where you allocate your ad dollars. Clearly articulate your business and marketing goals and align these goals with the sub-goals offered by your chosen online advertising channel.

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