Promoting your business has never been easier with paid social advertising. Highly targeted campaigns can be launched to highly engaged audiences, driving results in a matter of minutes.
But with a plethora of channels to choose form, each with its own unique features and benefits, it can be difficult to know which will get you the best ROI – especially with ever-increasing budget constraints.
If you’re wanting to promote your business via paid social advertising, but unsure which channel is right for you – keep reading as we guide you through each of the key paid social media channels and the types of businesses and objectives they’re best suited to.
- Benefits of paid social advertising
- Before starting paid social: What you need
- TDMP tip: Approach as a test
- Should I advertise on every paid social platform?
- Which platforms are right for my business?
There’s a reason why £3.6 billion is spent on social media advertising in the UK every year. Paid social advertising boasts many benefits including:
Targeted audience reach: Paid social platforms provide the ability to target specific demographics, interests, behaviours, and locations.
Cost-effective: Compared to traditional advertising, paid social can be more cost-effective thanks to its highly targeted nature, reach, and engagement.
Efficiency: Ads can get results, fast. After launching a campaign – traffic and conversions can happen almost instantly making it an efficient way to promote your brand.
Measurable results: Paid social campaigns can be easily tracked and measured, allowing for adjustments to be made in real-time.
Flexibility: Campaigns can be easily scaled up or down based on performance and budget.
Testing: It’s possible to test different ad formats, targeting, and messaging before investing heavily in a particular paid social strategy.
Before starting a paid social campaign, it’s important to:
Identify your target audience – You will already have an idea of who your target audience is. Think about sales data, customer encounters, feedback and who your ideal customer is. This can always be honed later on in the campaign.
Define clear goals – Do you want to achieve conversions first and foremost? Or do you want to increase awareness? Your objectives will influence your choice of platform and campaign elements.
Decide on budget – This will influence the scope of campaign and where to allocate resources (creatives, number of ad formats, media budget).
Establish landing pages – Landing pages provide the first impression of your business after clicking your ad. Make sure they are created with usability and your objectives in mind. Read more about optimising landing pages for conversions here.
Our advice for all businesses new to paid social is to always to regard initial campaign activity as a test. It’s important to enter an information gathering phase, taking learnings from each campaign to identify the best formats, audiences, and messaging – ultimately resulting in streamlined targeting and increased ROI in subsequent campaigns.
Not every channel will be right for your business and advertising on every platform is costly.
With dreaded budget constraints, it’s more important than ever to make your budget go further by selecting the most relevant channels for your business and going where your customers are.
From Facebook and Instagram to TikTok and LinkedIn, the variety of platforms can seem overwhelming. But understanding the different types of paid social platforms and their specific business applications can help you choose the right one for your marketing goals.
Below we dive into each of the key paid social platforms and how they might benefit your business.
Instagram has a visual focus which allows all kinds of businesses showcase the quality of their products or services. In fact, surveys show that Instagram is the top platform for their 2 billion+ active users to connect with brands.
Ecommerce, fashion, beauty, travel, home interior, entertainment, and fitness brands all perform particularly well via Instagram advertising, but the diverse range of ad formats and the highly engaged audience means any business with a strong visual identity will succeed.
The channel can help businesses increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate sales and leads – and Instagram ads allows you to add your campaign objective at the start – helping to drive the most relevant traffic to your ads.
Instagram's parent company, Facebook, also allows for cross-promotion and integration with other Facebook-owned platforms and features, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and their tracking Pixel, making a combined approach seamless.
Instagram advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Single image, carousel, video, stories, reels, and shopping ads|
|Ad placements||Instagram Feed, Stories, Explore, Reels and Shop|
|Targeting||Instagram allows advertisers to target specific demographics, interests, behaviours, and locations|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is relatively low - between £0.80–£1.10 per click [Startups]|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is around 0.58% [AdBraze]|
|Ideal for||Reaching a large and engaged audience across many age groups
Visual brands & offerings
Increasing brand awareness
Driving traffic to website
Increasing followers & community
Connecting with customers
As the original social network, Facebook has an emphasis on connections and community, making it a great option for local and community-orientated businesses.
Local shops and services like hairdressers, accountants, estate agents, and tradesmen all benefit from Facebook advertising, as well as larger community-based businesses such as those operating within education, events, charity, and healthcare sectors.
Facebook’s many integrations and similarities with Instagram – such as stories and carousel ad formats - also lends itself to visually-focused brands, for example within ecommerce, fashion, home, and beauty.
As the 2nd most used app globally, users are highly engaged and is the preferred social platform for 35-44 year olds [Hootsuite] – meaning users are slightly older with a higher purchasing power.
Targeting can be hyper granular and based on specific interests like those who have added particular categories to their profiles or liked certain pages – perfect for engaging with and reaching highly relevant audiences.
Facebook advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Single image, carousel, video, stories, Messenger, Slideshow, Collection, Playable|
|Ad placements||Feed, Stories, In-stream ads for videos, Search, Messages, In-Article|
|Targeting||Facebook allows advertisers to target specific demographics, interests, behaviours, and locations.|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is relatively low – between £0.76 – £1.06 per click [Startups]|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is 0.90% [AdBraze]|
|Ideal for||Reaching communities and highly engaged audiences
Visual and ecommerce businesses
Generating leads and conversions
Driving traffic to website
With Twitter's real-time nature and large user base, businesses can benefit from increased brand exposure and staying relevant to their audience. Cost per click is also very low, making advertising great value for money.
42% of Twitter users have a university education, and have a higher income on average than users on other platforms. Users also report turning to Twitter daily to keep up to date with current affairs and news.
Brands operating within technology, software, automotive, mobile, energy, entertainment, and news sectors perform well. As do those whose marketing efforts align with topical affairs. The ability to target by keywords and hashtags ensures ads are hyper relevant.
The information-gathering stages users are in also works well for education, consumer goods and finance businesses.
In general, Twitter advertising works best for businesses that have a well-defined target audience and can create visually appealing, engaging ads that align with the platform's fast-paced and conversational tone.
Twitter also has a very strong mobile presence - making it an effective platform for businesses to reach users on-the-go and drive mobile conversions.
Twitter advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Image, video, carousel, moments, and text-based [Twitter]|
|Ad placements||Twitter feed, replies, profiles|
|Targeting options||Demographics, interests, behaviours, keywords, hashtags, and followers|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is very low – between £0.37 and £1.27 [UpBeat]|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is 2.00%, the highest out of all channels [CXL]|
|Ideal for||Reaching a large, educated audience in information-gathering stages
Increasing awareness at low cost
Business with innovative and topical offerings
Reaching users on the go
Driving mobile conversions
LinkedIn's B2B focus, high average income of users, and emphasis on professional development make it a valuable advertising platform for businesses looking to reach decision-makers, establish thought leadership, and drive quality leads in a professional setting.
With 4 in 5 LinkedIn members driving business decisions, it’s the go-to platform for B2B businesses. Marketers see up to 2x higher conversion rates on LinkedIn, and 40% consider it the best platform for quality leads.
LinkedIn advertising works especially well for businesses within education, recruitment, consulting, professional services, legal, charity, insurance, technology, corporate, and software (SaaS) industries.
Targeting is hyper granular (for example targeting job titles, company size, and seniority), allowing for highly targeted campaigns to hyper relevant B2B audiences.
Ads that also provide commercial value and share industry insights can expect high engagement rates, for example those which promote industry reports, surveys and guides – and are excellent strategies for lead generation.
LinkedIn advertising is expensive, with a very high cost per click, however the highly engaged audiences, ability to reach decision makers, and high conversion rates makes it one of the most effective and profitable platforms for B2B businesses.
LinkedIn advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Sponsored content (Single image, carousel, video), Sponsored Messaging, Lead Gen Forms, Text and Dynamic Ads|
|Ad placements||Feed, messages, right hand rail of LinkedIn pages|
|Targeting||Demographics including job titles, industries, company size, seniority, skills and more|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is high - £3.89 per click on average, but clicks are of high quality|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is between 0.44% – 0.65% [getuplead]|
|Ideal for||Reaching decision makers
B2B businesses & professional offerings
Increasing brand awareness
Generating quality leads & conversions
Increasing thought leadership amongst professionals
With over 1 billion active users, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, making it a prime platform for businesses looking to expand their reach.
The platform is particularly well-suited to visually-focused businesses in industries such as fashion, beauty, lifestyle, music, sports, fitness, and entertainment, but any business with a creative and engaging brand identity can benefit from advertising on TikTok.
One recent study found that 67% of TikTok users discover new products on the platform, highlighting the platform's potential for driving sales and brand awareness.
TikTok users tend to be young and highly active, making the platform an effective way to reach a demographic that can be difficult to target through traditional advertising methods.
71.3% of all TikTok adult users fall within the age range of 18-34, however the next largest age group of TikTok users is 35-44 – meaning brands shouldn’t dismiss the potential reach of older age demographics [Oberlo].
TikTok offers a variety of ad formats, giving businesses the flexibility to connect with their target customers in a fun and engaging way. TikTok Shop is also becoming a popular way for ecommerce businesses to sell their products directly through the app – helping to drive conversions.
TikTok advertising key information:
|Ad formats||In-feed video ads, Brand Takeover popups, TopView, Branded Hashtag Challenge, Branded Effects custom filter ads|
|Ad placements||For You feed, Shopping ads placements|
|Targeting options||Age, gender, location, interests, behaviours, and device|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is relatively low – £0.90 on average [Admiral]
Minimum campaign spend is $500
|Click through rate||Average CTR is 0.58% [Lebesgue]|
|Ideal for||Reaching a younger audience open to discovering new brands
Reaching slightly older untapped audiences
Visual & ecommerce brands
Creative and engaging brands
Increasing awareness & conversions
Pinterest can often be overlooked as a paid social platform, but with over 400 million active users worldwide who are open to discovering new brands and products, it can produce impressive advertising results for business looking to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their website.
Allowing users to discover, save, and share ideas and inspiration through images and videos, known as "pins", Pinterest’s highly visual focus makes it a great option for businesses within health, food, travel, home decor, DIY, crafts, fitness, photography, and fashion in particular.
The platform also boasts high purchase intent amongst its users and a low cost per click, making it highly effective for conversions.
Pinterest advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Promoted pins, promoted carousels, promoted video pins, and promoted app pins|
|Ad placements||Home feeds, related pins, search|
|Targeting options||Interests, keywords, demographics|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is very low, between £0.075 and £1.13 [WebFX]|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is 0.28% [Admiral Media]|
|Ideal for||Reaching highly engaged audiences looking for new brands & products
Brands with strong visual presence & offerings
Driving traffic to website
With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the world’s second most visited website and offers businesses the opportunity to reach a wide and diverse audience with video content that can be highly engaging and memorable.
Males between the ages of 25-34 are the most engaged audience, but the diversity of content on YouTube and the popularity of the site makes advertising on the platform an excellent choice for reaching all kinds of customers for all kinds of businesses.
Users are also in highly engaged ‘discovery’ purchase stages, making them open to discovering new brands.
Businesses that perform particularly well on YouTube ads include consumer goods, software, technology, services, B2B.
YouTube advertising key information:
|Ad formats||Skippable video, non-skippable video, non-skippable bumper, overlay image or text|
|Ad placements||YouTube videos|
|Targeting options||Demographics, interests, topics, keywords, devices|
|Cost per click||Average CPC is low at $0.49 [AdStage]|
|Click through rate||Average CTR is 0.65% [AdStage]|
|Ideal for||Reaching large audiences in a ‘discovery’ stage
Driving traffic to website
Businesses within all sectors
Paid social is a powerful strategy to promote your business and choosing the right paid social channel can make a significant impact on the success of your advertising campaign.
At TDMP, we offer tailored paid social strategies that cater to your business needs, ensuring that you get the best possible ROI.
If you're ready to take your social media advertising to the next level, contact us today to find out how we can grow your business.