Social Media Trends: Competitive Ads

Think back to the last time you opened Facebook or Instagram and scrolled through your feed. Did you notice the sponsored posts throughout your timeline? At some point, one of these advertisements might’ve triggered you to visit a website or check out a new product. In such a case, the ad did its job.

The pay-to-play era on social media is in full effect. Businesses are increasing their social ad budgets and pushing out more content to reach larger audiences. To put it in perspective, one of every four Facebook Pages uses paid advertising. This rise in competition is forcing businesses to up their game.

If you haven't been creating ads, don't fret! We're here to help you get started. Here's some things you can do to break through the noise.

Understand and target the right audience

Without a defined audience, your ads might end up in front of the wrong users. If you're not reaching people who might find an interest in your business or services, then you'll fail to see actual results from your ads. Advertising without an understanding of your target audience could lead to a waste of time, money, and quality content.

Try focusing each ad campaign on a targeted group of consumers based on their interests, behaviors, demographics, and previous interaction with your business. This will help you reach people who are more likely to engage with you.

Define your goals and metrics up front

You’re less likely to show that social media has a positive bottom-line impact on your business if you don't have goals and metrics to back it up.

Tie your goals and metrics in with your business objectives to get the most out of your paid ad efforts. It's important to remember that metrics vary depending on the type of campaign you’re running.

If you’re looking to build brand awareness, you might focus on measuring impressions. If you want to increase conversions, you should put more value on click-through-rates.

Invest in creative and high-quality content

Your audience sees a relentless stream of targeted ads each day. If you spend any sort of time on social media, you likely experience the same thing. Many have learned how to identify and avoid irrelevant ads by scrolling past them or installing ad blockers. Because of this, cutting through the noise and scoring attention from your audience is more difficult than ever.

Try focusing on producing content that stands out from the noise and adds value to consumers. Caring about how you can improve the lives of your audience through interests and enjoyment will allow you to build real connections.

Your content should speak to and resonate with your audience. If it doesn't, users will continue scrolling without a second thought. Invest in creating compelling visuals that encourage discussion and engagement. These are key to acquiring clicks and high conversion rates on social.

Don't be afraid to play around with different types of visuals too. Video, motion graphics, and design are all great options to experiment with. If you're worried about throwing money away on ads that may not work, try testing them as organic content beforehand. Once you have an idea of what performs best, you can adapt or repurpose that content for your paid campaign.

Experiment with different ad formats

Give your audience something different to look at! In an over-saturated environment, using a variety of formats could make all the difference. You'll never know what works best for your business if you don't test it out.

Above all, embrace change. We see platforms roll out new formats at a constant rate. Adopt these features early on to tap into consumer curiosity and dodge ad fatigue.

Take Instagram stories ads for example. Until February of last year, they only allowed one piece of media per stories ad. Now brands have the ability to use three consecutive photos or videos per ad.

Learn and adapt

Ad campaigns aren’t one-size-fits-all. It takes time to mold a campaign that works best for your business.

Measure the performance of previous ads and compare your results. What do they tell you? Take that information, create benchmarks, and adjust your efforts! The more you adapt, the better results you’ll see.


We’re in the pay-to-play era. Advertising on social media is much more than boosting organic posts. Pair your ad budget with equal time investment, creativity, and targeting savvy to stay competitive.

We help businesses create meaningful conversations that spark engagement and lead to measurable results. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create social media ads and optimize your existing campaigns.