If you’re using social media ads to promote your products or services, you’re in good company. According to HubSpot, it’s the number one reason why marketers are weighing how much to spend on online ads in 2023 (the number two reason is increasing their brand awareness).
Given the growth of social media users worldwide -predicted to rise to almost 6 billion by 2027- marketers are keen to leverage the positive influence social media ads have on shopping behavior. They hear that the combination of paid Facebook ads coupled with pay-per-click (PPC) ads is a great way to tap into maximum returns on their advertising investment (ROAI).
The good news is, 49% of people who use the internet say they are likely to purchase from brands they see advertised on social media. Here are the top five most popular social media platforms among adults in the United States:
- YouTube (81%)
- Facebook (69%)
- Instagram (40%)
- Pinterest (31%)
- LinkedIn (28%)
Yet, in the last few years, only 77% of social media marketers would agree that their online advertising is somewhat to very effective for their companies. And they definitely want to know why their social advertising isn’t converting up to their expectations so they can fix it.
5 Reasons Social Ads Drive Less Web Traffic Than You Think
- Ad Fatigue … and Then There’s The Tracking
It’s well-known that a person’s attention only spans about eight seconds, something that the frequency, duration, quality, and relevance of social ads challenges. These days, an average of 76% of social media users think way too many ads run on social media platforms. They’re not interested in watching a boatload of pitches before getting to the content they’re looking for. They’re annoyed when an ad interrupts something they’re watching, especially more than once. They’ll bail before sitting through the same boring message again and again, or one that has no meaning for them. And they don’t appreciate advertisers tracking their viewing and retargeting them somewhere else.
- Ineffective Personalization For Engagement
Survey research shows that members of different generations respond to different types of advertising messages, and they’ll engage with only those messages they prefer when they see them in their social media feeds:
- Gen-Z (16-23) are more likely to watch your ad if it’s entertaining. They also respond favorably to personalized recommendations.
- Millennials (24-36) appreciate product information when viewing ads online.
- Gen-X (37-56) engage with ads that are relevant to how they see themselves and their families. They also like it when advertisers support diversity and inclusivity.
- Baby Boomers (57-64) want the details about your products and services before they’ll engage.
- Trouble Reaching The Right Customers At The Right Time
Marketing wisdom says your audience doesn’t show up for your ads on social media, your social media ads need to show up for your audience. When marketers don’t have enough valuable data on their customers, their ad campaigns won’t cast a wide enough net to find them. When targeting parameters are not fully optimized, your ads will miss their mark. If your ads aren’t created for segmented audiences and specific conversion goals, your messaging can get lost on the wrong audience.
- Suitability and Safety Issues
Companies can run ads that are unsuitable for a certain social media platform, or the platform is not right for the type of product or service an organization is advertising. Many platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feature user-generated content that is difficult to monitor or police. Advertisers get no guarantees that their ads won’t run next to unsuitable content. Both advertisers and consumers face the unauthorized use of their data.
- Maybe It’s Your Website
Google research finds that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. Does your website load quickly? Is your site easy to navigate? Do the messaging and visuals match what you publish on social media? Do you give your visitors a great user experience? All these things are required for your social media advertising to have an impact on website traffic and conversions.
7 Fixes For Social Media Ad Campaigns To Drive More Website Traffic And Conversions
These fixes address audience gripes about social media advertising as well as marketing goals for ROAI.
- Get your website checked out by a professional. 11outof11 will audit your website to see whether it will deliver leads and opportunities.
- Take a deeper dive into analytics. Make sure you have the most relevant audience data possible. Review your targeting parameters and optimize them using personas. Segment your ad campaigns and implement A/B testing to create marketing messages that always provide something useful to each of your desired audiences.
- Make short ads. Studies show that a six-second non-skippable video ad can be as effective as a 15-second ad in terms of audience awareness. For longer ads, create skippable versions for people so they have the option of viewing them or not.
- Respect the social media experience. It’s one huge pet peeve: people get annoyed when their social media viewing or scrolling is interrupted by (too many) ads, and they take it out on you, the advertiser. Make sure your ads are placed in a "native" context to natural viewing and scrolling habits.
- Cut back on ads. Big advertisers such as Procter & Gamble have run fewer ads to improve performance, with great success. The scarcity effect on social media users often results in an aura of higher value.
- Cut out overexposure. Sixty-three percent of social media users say they see the same ads running again and again and again. Work with your social media platforms to use frequency caps in your ad schedules.
- Avoid being associated with negative content. Just seeing your ads running next to or near negative, inappropriate, or unsavory user-generated content could void your brand with consumers. Avoid putting your business reputation at risk. Make sure your ads are running next to professionally-generated content.