Turn More Browsers Into Buyers With Ecommerce Paid Social Ads

Girls on couch looking at social media

Social media has always been where consumers go online to connect with the people and things they love. More recently, social platforms have expanded to enable shoppers to connect with the brands and products they love too through paid social ads.

Adult users’ time spent on social media platforms while in the midst of the pandemic grew by 13 minutes in 2020 eMarketer found, and today the average time spent on social per day is 1 hour and 35 minutes. So it comes as no surprise that more and more ecommerce advertisers are turning to social media to help people do more than just casually browse. They’re helping people get inspired, find new products and make purchases.

Case in point, over 60% of direct-to-consumer brands worldwide list social as the leading customer acquisition channel according to Yotpo. Paid social ads are also a great way for emerging brands or small businesses to expand their ecommerce strategy without a large advertising budget. But social media best practices vary greatly from platform to platform. If you aren’t sure if paid social is right for your ecommerce business, find out more about these ads and if they make sense for your brand in our FAQs below:

What social platforms should ecommerce brands consider first?

The biggest players in the space are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Online stores and product listings on these platforms are a new way for shoppers to discover your brand and buy your products, especially during the pandemic. Factor in each platform’s exclusive data targeting as well, and everyone from small business owners to global brand marketers can gain confidence knowing their paid search ads are personally relevant and will inspire action among the people they want to reach.

Begin with one platform – we most often recommend Facebook first due to its extensive first-party data – and prioritize products with the best margin or inventory levels. Focus on the placements that can make the quickest impact on your goals with a single platform; then use the real-time data and results from that campaign to fund waterfall budgets for the other platforms.

Here’s a look at a few social platforms that can help you reimagine retail shopping.

What’s needed to advertise on social platforms?

Ecommerce brands typically need a shop or business account and product feed set up with the platform before you can begin advertising. Each social platform will have different feed specifications, so it’s crucial that you monitor your feed regularly and ensure it stays up to date with all platform requirements.

While we recommend building out your ecommerce strategy to run across multiple social media platforms over time, you should never duplicate creative content. Instead, vary your messaging from platform to platform to help prevent creative fatigue. A robust set of ad creatives in a variety of formats for desktop and mobile is necessary to capture the attention of potential buyers and share your brand message in a way that fits how consumers use social media.

Why should you bother with paid social ads if you already have a strong organic social media program?

While an organic social media presence is key to your overall branding efforts, the number of things a consumer can watch, listen to and read on social is infinite. This means social platforms have largely shifted to a pay-to-play model, using algorithms to sift through the abundance of noise and streamline what users see. To get in on the best social media real estate, marketers must supplement their organic initiatives with paid campaigns.

What types of advertisers are a good fit for these ads?

Because social platforms are creative-driven, it’s important to feature attractive product images and videos to streamline the online shopping experience and make it easy for consumers to visually search for products. Therefore, brands with highly visual offerings, such as clothing, beauty products or accessories, are a natural fit. Also, advertisers targeting younger audiences with their products are ideal for newer platforms like Snapchat, as 83% of its 84 million users are Millennials or Generation Z according to eMarketer.

Always remember if you allocate your budget across too many efforts, you won’t win at any of them. Instead, align your ecommerce advertising strategy to the channels most relevant to your goals and stay flexible. To check out more advertising tactics that might be a good addition to your next ecommerce ad campaign, download our updated Ecommerce Advertising Playbook now.

Looking for more hands-on help? Let our experts help you find the right paid social ads or advertising solutions for your business. Reach out to us to schedule a complimentary ecommerce advertising analysis today.