Using Paid Social Media Ads to Get More From Your Marketing Budget

Paid social media advertising is for both small and big businesses alike. Paid social media ads should factor into your social media strategy, even if you are waiting to get the funds to use it. If that is the case for your business, you can afford to think ahead about your approach. Your budget sets your limit, but once you know how to make the most of paid social ads, your budget is only likely to grow. 

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about why paid social media ads are worth the investment, what types you may want to leverage, and what an effective strategy should include.

Now let’s dive in before Black Friday arrives!

What paid social media advertising is

We’ll start with the basics for anyone who may be completely new to this form of marketing.

Paid social media ads are, unsurprisingly, what they sound like: paid advertising that is found on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. 

You pay a social media platform to use your target audience data to ensure that your ad gets right in front of the people who should see it. When you start to utilize paid social ads, you’ll be using the ad tools on your chosen channel (i.e., Facebook or Instagram) to create, schedule and post ads that are going to more accurately reach targeted audiences and personas in the market. 

This shouldn’t replace your organic advertising efforts but it can be a great way to get a bigger, and faster, return on the investment of your time and money.

Why paid social ads are worth the investment

The shortest answer is that social media platforms are where your audience likely is.

Recent data shows that in 2021, up to 75% of Generation Z and up to 48% of Millennials made purchasing decisions that were influenced by social ads. 

As outlined by Constant Contact, the benefits of paid social ads can include “wider reach, more visibility, enhanced brand awareness, in-depth market insights, and targeted advertising.” It makes sense then why, according to Sproutsocial, approximately 75% of all marketers utilize this form of advertising. Paid social media ads are more likely to reach the intended target audience and create a measurable response much more quickly.

Types of social media ads to use

When you start creating your social media advertising plan, you’ll need to know what your options are. Here are some types of social media ads that you may want to include in your strategy:

  • Photo ads: These are static images that can be a great option to drive unique traffic. You will need to consider the dimensions of the photo for each platform along with any caption or CTA button that you include with it. An example of this can include photos of the products featured in your online shop or it may showcase a stock image describing your service.
  • Video ads: Facebook video ads can range from short, looped videos that autoplay on a user’s feed or videos that play within other video ads. You can use a short video showcasing a product on a display or on a human model. This can also be great for showing a client giving a testimony about their experience with you. Again, just make sure to format your video ads for your chosen platform’s dimensions. For those on a tighter budget, you can check out our blog on DIY Video Content Creation Tips to help your strategizing efforts.
  • Carousel ads: These types of ads can include a series of static photos or a series of videos or a combination of both. Users can click through these kinds of ads, which often makes them a great fit for ecommerce sites to showcase multiple products with one post.
  • Slideshow ads: This is a video ad that consists of multiple static images. This can be a great fit for anyone who is still improving their skill with video. You can use your own images or stock images in a slideshow ad. 
  • Collection ads: This last ad type is another that is going to be ideal for anyone with an ecommerce site. With one cover image and a series of product photos, a collection ad can be like a preview of what a user can find more of when they visit your store.

Getting more from your paid social media ad campaigns

If there is ever a time to allocate a part of your budget into your social media advertising efforts, it is now. Now is when everyone is upping their game so you are going to want to make sure that your ads are done right and marketed properly so you get the best return for your efforts.

  • Get every detail you can about your target audience: The more information that you have about your target audience, the more accurately Facebook or Instagram will be able to get ads in front of them. Think of it like this: If you know that your ideal audience is largely female, then your chosen platform is going to reach a LOT of people in that targeted gender group. If you narrow that down by age, region and certain shared interests however, fewer people may see the ad but are far more likely to actually interact with it.
  • Design your ads with both computer and mobile layouts in mind: It is rare to come across people who aren’t looking things up on their phones now. When you design ads for Facebook or Instagram, make sure that they look the way you want them to on a computer screen and a phone screen. Only optimizing for one is going to undercut your ability to get the most out of your ad.
  • Choose the type(s) of ads you want to focus on: We listed some of the most common types of social media ads above but there may be other ads you want to explore such as Stories ads or even IGTV ads. You will need to decide on the types of ads you want to create and then work with your design team, or design person, to create those ads and make sure they look good and are on brand. 
  • Know your goals and your timeframe: How can you know that your ad campaign is going well if you never set checkpoints? Setting up a timeframe and a measurable goal for your campaign is an important part of your strategy. For example, an ecommerce business may want their ad to bring in a certain number of conversions and sales while a service provider may be more focused on interactions and leads. Set your goals and create a timeframe to check in on them so that you know if you are getting close to reaching your goal or if you need to switch strategies or change your ad to achieve better results.
  • Make sure to measure your results: It is vital that you track and measure the results of your campaign. This is how you figure out if your ad worked or not. One of the most important things to do for tracking your Facebook or Instagram ad campaign results is to use the Meta pixel. Also called the Facebook pixel, the term refers to a piece of code that you add into your website. As stated by Hootsuite, this code allows you to “track conversions from Facebook ads—from leads to sales. That way you can see the full value each Facebook ad creates, rather than just clicks or immediate sales. It also helps you improve social ROI by ensuring you show your Facebook and Instagram ads to the audiences most likely to respond to your content, including through remarketing.” 

We don’t want you to ditch your organic search efforts and switch to 100% paid ads on social media. But using paid ads should be a part of your social media strategy–in fact, what you learn about your audience from your organic search efforts should help guide your approach with your paid social ads. If you have room in your marketing budget this holiday season, a robust paid social media advertising strategy is a worthwhile investment. 

Now is the time to get your paid social media advertising efforts organized and put into practice. If you need help with your social media marketing strategy, you can reach out  to our team so you can get your advertising plan kicked off before the holidays arrive.

Contact RM Creative Services by sending a message to or visiting our Contact page.

Written by Brianna Fries, a California-based writer, editor, bookworm, and mother of two. You can discover more of her work at

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