Paying for Placement: Social Media Ad Buys

Have you ever scrolled through your feed and stumbled upon an account you didn’t recognize? Then upon closer examination, you find the word “Sponsored.” This is a strategically placed advertisement. You have been targeted.

Now the effectiveness of this marketing campaign isn’t black and white. It depends on dozens of factors. Do you click on the post? Do you follow the account? Do you click on the link in the bio? Do you scroll through the website? Do you purchase anything?

Are ads always a good tool to reach a wider audience? Unfortunately, the answer to that lives in a gray zone.

While owned and shared content mixed with smart use of hashtags and geotags can generate interest and engage new audiences, paid ads are an easy way to reach more people within your target market.

However, it’s easier said than done. Every paid advertisement is strategically placed on an individual’s feeds who have shown interest in similar products already. This means the person will be more likely to engage with the content. On top of this, the ad needs to be visually engaging, straight-to-the-point and clear.

Let’s take a look at some smart paid advertisements.

It is difficult to ignore Airbnb’s sponsored posts. It’s not a coincidence that this post shows up on your feed the day after you were searching through Airbnb’s places in Mexico. This is the brand’s nice little way of reminding you to book a home. These ads are effective because they are visually appealing, simple and engaging. Plus, the price of the home is right there on the post. You can’t resist.

This New York Times ad is a great example of a good paid ad because it’s also simple, yet the font and classic colors make it visually appealing enough without being overwhelming. This ad also fits the overall brand of the NYT well because the newspaper itself isn’t flashy, so neither is this post. If the advertisement shows up on your feed, chances are you have either looked at articles online, follow other news organizations on social media or have liked pictures from stories. This means you’re more likely to click on this sponsored post.

You may not think about them much when you’re scrolling through your feed and find a sponsored post. However, lots of thought, time, planning, research and implementation have gone into the whole process of getting that one sponsored ad onto your feed. It may seem like mountains of work for one picture, but when done right– you might just click on it.

Notice sponsored messages when you scroll?

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