Losing Money on Social Ads? You’re Probably Missing One of These Six Components

The social performance marketing discipline has been turned upside down and right side up over the past year, with many brands calling into question the effectiveness of the channel overall. After working with countless clients to weather this changing landscape over the past 12 months, we can tell you definitively that social-media advertising is still a great way to generate revenue. However, the tools in our toolbox have changed. We must not only work harder to achieve growth in key metrics like return on ad spend (ROAS), but we also have to work even harder to maintain this growth. 

Here are six key strategies that are must-haves to be successful in today’s social performance landscape. 

1. Engaging content and enough of it

In a world flooded by ads, users are becoming increasingly prone to ad blindness. Even influencers are having to get more creative with how they interact with their audiences. Not a creative person? Hire someone. Yes, it’s more money upfront, but having the best product in the world means nothing if you can’t first get people to your website. 

2. A solid email marketing strategy

Email is still the most direct way to reach a person. An effective email marketing strategy will not only help with prospecting but also helps with upselling, retention, and reengagement for only a fraction of the cost of digital and print ads. 

3. An optimised website

Even the best ads will fail if your website isn’t optimised correctly. Long checkout flows, poorly mobile-optimized pages, and broken buttons are the proverbial nails in your advertising coffin. Most important is the ability to make changes to your website as you get data back from your ads. Continuing to direct traffic to a poorly optimized website while running digital ads is like setting your cash on fire.

4. Know your margins

One of the biggest mistakes we see with new brands is they don’t know their break-even ROAS and cost per acquisition (CPA). Before you even start to consider running social ads, you first need to figure out this key metric. Knowing what return on investment (ROI) your business can tolerate will help you determine what’s working and what’s not with your ad campaigns. The sooner you figure this out, the quicker you can make optimizations.

5. Money to spend

While social media ads are still one of the most effective ways to grow your business, they are not cheap. Between the increasing competition and privacy changes in tracking, it’s getting harder to not only get your ads noticed but also for your ads to be seen by your ideal audience. Can’t afford to pay an agency and allocate at least $7-10k a month in ad spend? Hire a consultant or learn to do it yourself. It will take time and money to get actionable data, so be ready to spend it. 

6. Realistic key performance-indicator (KPI) goals and an open mind that you will likely fail to meet them in the beginning 

Social ads do not equal instant money and success. Understanding that you will most likely lose money during your first month of social ads will go a long way. Not only will you ground yourself in your expectations, but it will also be much easier to pick yourself up after you inevitably fail that first month. Had an ad creative absolutely tank? Targeted the wrong audience? It will happen. The point is to learn from the data and tweak your strategy accordingly. It’s highly unlikely you will hit a home run right out of the gate – and that’s okay. 

The social media performance discipline is ever evolving, and the platforms are always keeping us on our toes. What works today may not work tomorrow, but with these core strategies and a progressive always-on optimisation plan by your side, you can start to realize the power of social in driving efficient growth for your business.