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A Complete Guide to Social Media Advertising: Top 6 Strategies to Boost Your ROAS

Social media advertising is a pillar in most businesses’ marketing strategies. For effective social media advertising, the campaign has to have a goal. These goals can vary from brand awareness and growing newsletter subscriptions to increasing revenue. 

When the campaign's goal is to grow revenue, there are several ways to measure the campaign's success. They might use cost per conversion, return on investment, click-through rate, conversion tracking, and revenue per conversion. But one of the most critical ones is measuring your ROAS.

What Is ROAS in Marketing?

ROAS stands for return on ad spend. It is the ratio of the money you commit to a social media advertising campaign to the money the campaign earns your business. Simply put, ROAS is a metric that measures the effectiveness of a social media marketing campaign in dollar terms. 

Usually, ROAS is expressed as a ratio of earnings to advertising costs. When calculating return on ad spend, you need a comprehensive understanding of your cost and the earnings gained from the ad. Then, divide your earnings by your cost to get your ROAS.

By calculating the return on ad spend, you can identify which social media ad campaigns to discard and which to double down on. 

Measure ROAS across all marketing channels with Improvado

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What Is the Ideal ROAS?

The ideal social media advertising ROAS should at least double every dollar committed. That said, the ideal ROAS varies from industry to industry and the medium you use to run your campaign.

ROAS across different social media platforms
ROAS across different social media platforms | Source

As shown in the graph above, Instagram has the highest ROAS for most businesses. However, you must run your iteration to find the most favorable social media platform for your business. 

Generally, a well-curated social media advertising strategy will see a business get a high ROAS of 4:1, but an average ROAS on Google ad spend is usually 2:1.

6 Strategies to Boost Your ROAS

Good ROAS is pertinent to your business growth, whether you are an ecommerce site, a B2B manufacturing website, or any other type of business. So now that you know what ROAS is in marketing, how to calculate it and the ideal ROAS, let’s dive deeper and discuss how to increase ROAS. 

1. Refine Your Keywords on a Timely Basis

Your brand should use a keyword strategy that will expose your social ads not only to more people but also to the right people. That means targeting the right keywords that your ideal target audience uses. 

If you are a business that has a physical location, make sure you run location-specific keywords. These location-specific keywords can be of a big city and can also be run for the specific neighborhoods within the city—for example, “affordable vegan restaurants in Sacramento.”

Furthermore, ensure that your social media campaign keywords are highly targeted long tail keywords that serve user intent and are timely. Here is how to go about it.

  • Develop a list of keywords relevant to your business.
  • Monitor these keywords and corresponding popular trendy topics on social media
  • Ride the wave of the trend of the keyword
  • Ensure you engage and not spam the trend
  • Ensure you are always there on time

Nonetheless, even if a keyword has a high search frequency on a social site, you should also know when the conversation happened. Endeavor to contribute to conversations that are taking off rather than dying.

There are tools you can use to execute the process specified above.

You can use different tools to monitor social media trends relevant to your campaigns, such as Sprout Social, Mention, or RivalIQ, for example. 

Sprout Social
Sprout Social listening tool | Source

Mention, in particular, also allows you to track the keywords you specify.

Once you have your list, incorporate these keywords. When inserting keywords, your overall message should still be understandable, though. Don’t just insert keywords without taking into account whether they actually make sense or not.

Check out how ClickMinded does it. 

Social media keyword usage example
How to use keywords effectively | Source

In the ad above, ClickMinded uses keywords that are relevant to them and their target audience. These keywords include marketing agency owner, agency growth, SOP toolkit, digital marketing strategy, and so on. But they aren’t randomly placed throughout the status update. The placement of the keywords and the resulting overall message always make sense.

By employing an effective keyword strategy, you can ensure your brand remains visible where and when it matters.

2. Create a Strong Social Media Landing Page 

Getting a prospective customer to click on your social media ad is only the beginning of their purchase journey. The customer should be able to follow the journey to the end and be motivated to make a repeat purchase.

Therefore, you must ensure that you make their purchase journey as smooth as possible to maximize your conversion rate and increase ROAS. 

After clicking on the ad, then, you need to send them to a landing page that delivers on what the ad promised. 

Let me illustrate.

This is an example of a Facebook ad that promises instant access to 3,500+ PPT templates:

Social media advertising campaign on LinkedIn
Social media ad for PPT templates | Source

When you click on the ad, that’s exactly what you get from this landing page:

Social media ad landing page
Landing page with PPT templates | Source

Users typically click through an ad because they found something interesting within that ad copy. When you follow through with the promise, you can increase the chances of a visitor taking action again. 

There are other elements in the social media landing page that need to be consistent with your ad. Ensure the copy and style on your landing page are the same, for example. This helps the ad traffic know they’re in the right place. The landing page, like the ad, needs to use plain language and be as straightforward as possible as well. 

Landing page messaging | Source

Lastly, your landing page should be very persuasive. Apart from the clear CTA, you can leverage social proof to make the visitors commit. You can also take advantage of the fear of missing out by using an irresistible time-limited offer. 

In the screenshot above, for instance, Infograpia has a banner at the top showing a countdown before the sale expires.

3. Probe Issues Unrelated to Ads 

ROAS paints the bigger picture of how good or bad your social media advertising campaign is. Monitoring other issues that are not related can help you increase ROAS. 

For example, issues such as the website UX, navigation, checkout, and loading times, affect the effectiveness of your campaign. 

You may find that you have an incredible click-through rate from your ad, but the ROAS is still low. After noticing this, it is worth interrogating what other unrelated issues are hindering your ad traffic from completing their customer journey. 

It might be that your site navigation is unclear or your load times are long. The page should load quickly. The benchmark for load times is usually under three seconds.

Furthermore, you might find that your checkout process is too complicated, causing prospects to abandon their carts. 

Having a low ROAS does not automatically translate to a failed campaign. The ROAS metric should just be one of the indicators you use to monitor your social media advertising. Combining the ROAS with other metrics will do your social campaigns much good.

4. Opt for Data-Driven Approach to Ads 

You must track how your ads perform to increase ROAS of your social media advertising campaigns. Every social media platform provides analytics that can help you gain insights into your campaigns. However, the data they provide may not be enough.

So, use third-party services such as Improvado. With Improvado, you can extract real-time performance data from 300+ marketing and sales data sources. It allows you to build accurate reports in minutes not days. Improvado automates all data-related activities and lets you focus solely on analysis.

 Improvado's data sources
Here are some of the data sources supported by Improvado

But how should you use the data you collate to enhance your social media ads and improve your ROAS in the first place? Let me give you an example.

On Facebook, you can have your ad go on the newsfeed, like this:

Newsfeed ads on Facebook
Newsfeed ads on Facebook Source

Or outside the newsfeed, like this highlighted ad to the right:

Sidebar ads
Sidebar ads on Facebook | Source

Ads on the newsfeed typically outperform ads on the right side but you shouldn’t just take that as the gospel truth. By tracking your analytics (ad clicks, other types of engagement, etc..), you can tell which placement allows your own ad to perform better. 

Also, different ad formats can be used on various social media platforms. These ad formats may include photos, videos, and:

  • Carousel – A collection of images or videos in one advert.
  • Slideshow – Multiple videos that connect with different people
  • Canvas – Fast-loading custom ads that you use to tell your message

The choice of these ad formats, too, should be informed by accurate data from the marketing metrics in place.

You don’t have to use all of these formats at once, though. Use your previous research on your audience to determine the content type they may resonate with. Then observe how the ad performs. After some time, you can switch to another content type and make comparisons with your findings on the previous content type. 

Use your data to get rid of what doesn’t work. On the other hand, identify what works and triple down on it.

Predict the engagement rate across different channels with social media benchmarks

5. Use Rigorous Creative Strategies in Testing 

When running a social media advertising campaign, you must run a lot of creative testing on your ads. Creative testing is figuring out what creative elements resonate with your target audience more than others. 

Finding the creative elements that resonate with your target audience more helps you optimize your ads and hence increase the ROAS of your social media campaigns. 

A/B testing in social media advertising
A/B testing Source

Ideally, you can start with split testing to determine which type of content, content design, or content presentation converts more. Once you get the winning ad from the split testing results, refine it by running A/B tests. The example above shows an A/B test on the ad format.

When A/B testing, zero in on specific ad elements. For example, you could test different headlines, CTAs, offers, and font types. You can even see which visuals work better than the others.

However, don’t test too many elements at the same time. This can make it really hard to attribute changes in ROAS to a specific element. Don’t test more than two vital elements at any given time.

6. Expand Audience to Scale Ads 

Once your ads have started to bring business, you can start thinking of scaling them. Scaling ads can help boost your reach so they can increase ROAS. You can scale your ads in two ways. 

You can increase your ad spend and run the same social media ad to more people for a more extended period. Increasing ad spending is relatively straightforward because if your initial budget gave your brand exposure to 1000 people, raising your ad spend should ideally also increase that number to, say, 2000 people.  

The other option is to explore other approaches that will expand the reach of your social media ads. For example, you could adjust your bidding strategies to target new types of keywords, exposing your ads to another set of audiences.

In Closing

Social media advertising is a great way to acquire potential customers for your business. Nevertheless, it costs money to run these social media advertisements. Therefore, these social media adverts must convert and give value for the money spent. That’s why ROAS is so important. ROAS is one of the metrics that will help you determine whether your ad campaign is paying off.

To increase ROAS of your campaigns, you must do several things. Refine your keywords timely, create highly converting landing pages, and use data to advise your ad placement. Rigorously testing your ads and scaling your ads to new audiences are also necessary. You should probe other matters unrelated to the ad but affect the ad’s effectiveness as well.

Execute these tips and watch your ad dollar earn you multifold returns.

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