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8 min read Social media ads in 2023, paid marketing

Why You Should Focus on Social Media Ads In 2023

Key takeaways

  • Paid reach is going to trump organic reach in 2023, giving social media ads higher profitability this year.
  • We now know that consumers are more receptive to video marketing and social media ads than other kinds of advertising, making 2023 the best time to develop your social media ads.
  • Social media platforms have refined their targeting and personalisation methods, so your ads will be more effective than ever.

With glob­al social media users expect­ed to hit almost 5 bil­lion in 2023, focus­ing on social media ads in 2023 could be the key to unlock­ing new lev­els of suc­cess for your busi­ness. We’ll explore why — and show you how to get started.

But first, what are the key points you need to know?

Why You Should Focus on Social Media Ads in 2023

As the sec­ond most pop­u­lar form of dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing, social media adver­tis­ing helps businesses:

  • Cre­ate brand awareness
  • Gen­er­ate web­site traffic
  • Gen­er­ate high-qual­i­ty leads
  • Increase brand signals
  • Boost sales

But why will 2023 be any different?

Paid social reach now trumps organic reach

With more busi­ness­es flock­ing to social media, it’s get­ting hard­er to stand out, let alone grow organ­i­cal­ly. Paid adver­tis­ing cuts through the noise and gets you in front of the right audi­ences to help you increase your reach, dri­ve con­ver­sions and boost sales.

Lead generation remains a challenge

In a clas­sic con­ver­sion fun­nel, only 2 to 4% of fun­nel entries yield desired results. This means that busi­ness­es are con­stant­ly under pres­sure to gen­er­ate more leads. Because cast­ing a wider net often results in more leads and oppor­tu­ni­ties for con­ver­sions, social medi­a’s vast poten­tial ad reach is an advantage.

Social ads are more engaging

Although con­sumers gen­er­al­ly dis­like adver­tis­ing, they are more recep­tive to ads that are tai­lored to their needs and inter­ests. Peo­ple have also learnt to block out typ­i­cal ads (ban­ners on web­sites), so social media ads tend to gar­ner high­er lev­els of engage­ment as they’re seam­less­ly woven into the social media experience.

Social platforms leverage personalisation

Per­son­al­i­sa­tion enables social plat­forms to under­stand users bet­ter and show them ads that are tied to their inter­ests and favourite prod­ucts. This works out great for busi­ness­es want­i­ng to beat ad fatigue and reach the right audi­ences with the right offers at the right time.


Through sophis­ti­cat­ed algo­rithms, social plat­forms allow you to hyper-tar­get audi­ences based on fac­tors such as demo­graph­ics, inter­ests, habits and more. But that’s not all: social ads can also be used to tar­get users who have pre­vi­ous­ly shown inter­est in your prod­ucts (retar­get­ing) or users with sim­i­lar inter­ests and demo­graph­ics to your cur­rent customers.

Social commerce is expected to grow

With 74% of social media users using social media to make buy­ing deci­sions, social media adver­tis­ing is expect­ed to dri­ve bil­lions of dol­lars in sales in 2023. Addi­tion­al­ly, the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of shop­pable ads across major social plat­forms is set to turn the cus­tomer jour­ney into an infi­nite loop that busi­ness­es can lever­age to max­imise revenue.

Social ads lower barriers to visibility

Social media ads aren’t depen­dent on fac­tors like domain age or author­i­ty, nor do they require you to under­stand com­pli­cat­ed PPC key­word bid­ding strate­gies. This means brand-new brands or busi­ness­es with small­er mar­ket­ing bud­gets have a shot at imme­di­ate vis­i­bil­i­ty and leads.

With the right tar­get­ing and strate­gies, social media ads can gen­er­ate traf­fic, attract high-qual­i­ty leads, and dri­ve con­ver­sions more cost-effec­tive­ly than PPC ads.

Access to diverse audiences

Social media plat­forms allow you to lever­age both new and exist­ing audi­ences. New­er plat­forms like Tik­Tok and Snapchat offer nov­el ways to con­nect with younger audiences.

Even old­er plat­forms like Red­dit and Quo­ra (which are gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty with inter­net users who aren’t on major social plat­forms) pro­vide fresh audi­ences and oppor­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness­es. The best part is as you cre­ate and test these audi­ences, you can store them for future campaigns.

Social ads exploit the video marketing boom

Video con­tent is the most pop­u­lar type of con­tent for social media engage­ment. The boom of video con­tent is evi­dent in the pop­u­lar­i­ty of plat­forms like Tik­Tok and short video for­mats like reels, sto­ries, and shorts. Because video is a major part of most social plat­forms today, tak­ing advan­tage of this can be a game chang­er for your adver­tis­ing campaigns.

Access to valuable insights

Because social media plat­forms pro­vide detailed ana­lyt­ics, you can track the return on ad spend, tweak your bud­get for max­i­mum returns, and improve your ads.

Top 10 Social Ad Platforms to Leverage In 2023

Social media ad plat­forms don’t only give you access to mas­sive audi­ences, but they also pro­vide the nec­es­sary resources to man­age and scale your ad cam­paigns. With user-friend­ly ad inter­faces and AI-backed tar­get­ing based on demo­graph­ics, inter­ests, and oth­er fac­tors, they’re just what you need to up your social media mar­ket­ing game.

Let’s run through the top plat­forms to lever­age in 2023:

*CPC (cost per click) & CPM (cost per 1000 impres­sions) are based on Sta­tista aver­ages. Actu­al adver­tis­ing costs may vary depend­ing on goals, tar­get­ing, ad qual­i­ty, indus­try com­pet­i­tive­ness and oth­er fac­tors. Demo­graph­ics and Poten­tial Ad Reach sta­tis­tics are from DataRe­por­tal and Hoot­suite.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 3 billion

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 25–65; 56.8% male

CPC: $0.97

CPM: $7.19

Best for: reach­ing large audi­ences, ad clicks

Face­book is the largest social media plat­form. Its pow­er­ful algo­rithm, vast amounts of user data and high click-through rates make it an attrac­tive plat­form for tar­get­ing spe­cif­ic audi­ences. You can choose from a vari­ety of ad for­mats, includ­ing image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and col­lec­tion ads, to show­case your prod­ucts and services.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 2.515 billion

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 18–34

CPC: $3.21

CPM: $9.68

Best for: gran­u­lar tar­get­ing, brand aware­ness or advo­ca­cy ads

YouTube is a social video plat­form offer­ing a large user base for adver­tis­ing. Because it is owned by Google and inte­grat­ed with the Google Ads ser­vice, you can seam­less­ly inte­grate it into your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strategy.

You also have access to pow­er­ful tar­get­ing tools, so your ads can be per­son­alised to dri­ve more con­ver­sions. With skip­pable, non-skip­pable, bumper, and over­lay ads, as well as their mobile or desk­top-only vari­ants — you have every­thing you need to achieve your busi­ness goals.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 1.48 billion

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 18–34

CPC: $3.56

CPM: $7.91

Best for: B2C ads, mil­len­ni­als, social commerce

As a pho­to and video-shar­ing plat­form, Insta­gram appeals to younger audi­ences. It has a high­er pur­chase intent than Face­book, with 36% of users fol­low­ing brands on the plat­form com­pared to just 19% on Facebook.

You can pro­mote your prod­ucts or ser­vices through image and video ads that appear in users’ feeds, sto­ries, and dis­cov­er pages. Insta­gram’s shop­pable ads encour­age prod­uct dis­cov­ery and impulse buy­ing, mak­ing it one of the most influ­en­tial social media plat­forms for social commerce.

In fact, Insta­gram sto­ries ads alone are expect­ed to bring in $16 bil­lion in sales world­wide in 2022.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 1.023 billion

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 16–34

CPC: $1.00

CPM: $10

Best for: B2C ads, tar­get­ing younger female audi­ences, beau­ty, and fash­ion brands

Tik­Tok is a social media plat­form for cre­at­ing and shar­ing short videos. With supe­ri­or engage­ment, tar­get­ing options and in-app sales, Tik­Tok ad rev­enue is expect­ed to sur­pass $18.4 bil­lion dol­lars in 2023.

Tik­Tok offers sev­er­al paid adver­tis­ing options, includ­ing In-Feed Video Ads, Brand­ed Hash­tag Chal­lenges, Brand Takeovers, TopView Ads, and Brand­ed Effects. These options allow you to pro­mote your brand in engag­ing ways, such as user chal­lenges or cus­tom fil­ters with AR features.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 849.6 million

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 46–55; pro­fes­sion­al; high earners

CPC: $5.26

CPM: $6.59

Best for: B2B ads, lead generation

LinkedIn is a pro­fes­sion­al net­work­ing plat­form. Its objec­tive-based adver­tis­ing options make it an effec­tive plat­form for tar­get­ing all the stages of your con­ver­sion fun­nel. Options for

adver­tis­ing on LinkedIn include Spon­sored Con­tent, Spon­sored Mes­sag­ing, Text Ads, and Dynam­ic Ads.

Con­ver­sion rates on LinkedIn tend to be high­er than on oth­er plat­forms because of the unique user demographics.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 616.9 million

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 13–34

CPM: $2.95

Best for: social com­merce, video ads, Gen Z’s, and millennials

Snapchat is anoth­er pop­u­lar social net­work for young audi­ences. Users are more recep­tive to ads because of the plat­for­m’s focus on authen­tic­i­ty and free­dom of expres­sion. It is also one of the lead­ing social shop­ping plat­forms, with users hav­ing a total of $4.4 tril­lion in glob­al spend­ing pow­er.

The plat­form has six dif­fer­ent ad for­mats, and its ad solu­tions make cre­at­ing ads eas­i­er. Whether you have aware­ness, con­sid­er­a­tion, or con­ver­sion goals, Snapchat allows you to align your ad cam­paigns with your busi­ness objec­tives while mak­ing the most of your budget.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 544 million

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 25–49; 70% male; edu­cat­ed; high earners

CPC: $0.38

CPM: $6.46

Best for: key­word tar­get­ing and cap­tur­ing high­ly engaged leads

Twit­ter is a microblog­ging plat­form pop­u­lar with pub­lic fig­ures, celebri­ties, and politi­cians. Twit­ter offers sev­er­al paid ad options that can be tar­get­ed based on key­words, inter­ests, behav­iours, and more.

These include Pro­mot­ed Tweets, Pro­mot­ed Accounts, Pro­mot­ed Trends, and Pro­mot­ed Moments. You can also opt for Auto­mat­ed Ads, which allow Twit­ter to pro­mote your pro­file and tweets to a cho­sen tar­get audi­ence on your behalf.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 433 million

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 30–65; 76.5% female

CPC: $1.50

CPM: $30

Best for: B2C ads, women, social commerce

Pin­ter­est is a visu­al dis­cov­ery plat­form that favours busi­ness-to-con­sumer (B2C) brands. Because over 90% of Pin­ter­est users log on to seek shop­ping inspi­ra­tion, the plat­form offers a high­er return on ad spend than oth­er social media platforms.

Pin­ter­est Ads are essen­tial­ly pro­mot­ed pins that appear at the top of users’ feeds. These ads can be tar­get­ed based on key­words, inter­ests, behav­iours, and fac­tors such as geog­ra­phy, demo­graph­ics, and device.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 430 million

Demo­graph­ics: Ages 18–29; 63.2% male

CPC: $3.50

Best for: busi­ness­es look­ing to access high­ly engaged communities

Red­dit is a social media plat­form for shar­ing news and engag­ing in dis­cus­sions with­in spe­cif­ic com­mu­ni­ties called sub­red­dits. With near­ly 3 mil­lion sub­red­dits on a vari­ety of top­ics, Red­dit users can be tar­get­ed based on their inter­ests and favourite com­mu­ni­ties rather than demographics.


Poten­tial Ad Reach: 300 million

Demo­graph­ics: 55% Male; high­ly edu­cat­ed; top earners

Best for: B2B ads, estab­lish­ing brand leadership

Quo­ra is a plat­form that allows users to ask or answer ques­tions on a vari­ety of top­ics and get accu­rate and reli­able infor­ma­tion from experts in the field. Most Quo­ra vis­its come from online search­es, which gives you access to audi­ences that can’t be found on pop­u­lar social networks.

Since the plat­form engages audi­ences at key points of the cus­tomer jour­ney (when they are active­ly seek­ing infor­ma­tion and mak­ing deci­sions), it promis­es 4x high­er con­ver­sions than oth­er platforms.

How To Create a Successful Social Media Ad Strategy

If you’re sold and ready to hit the ground run­ning, use this sim­ple 10-step process to craft social ad cam­paigns that push you clos­er to your goals:

1. Define your goals for using social media ads. Do you want to increase aware­ness, cap­ture leads or dri­ve sales?

2. Con­duct social media and mar­ket research to iden­ti­fy and under­stand ide­al customers.

3. Study your most influ­en­tial com­peti­tors to learn from their strate­gies and gain even deep­er insight into what moti­vates your tar­get audience.

4. Cre­ate dif­fer­ent seg­ments or per­sonas and fig­ure out what types of con­tent, ads and mar­ket­ing tac­tics would be effective.

5. Select the right social platform.

6. Cre­ate your ad with your goals, audi­ence insights, plat­form guide­lines and AIDA (Aware­ness, Inter­est, Desire, and Action) prin­ci­ples in mind.

7. Set up your ad by defin­ing your audi­ence char­ac­ter­is­tics and tar­get­ing options, allo­cat­ing a bud­get, and deter­min­ing the dura­tion of your campaign.

8. Test, launch and track your ad campaign.

9. Analyse plat­form insights or use ana­lyt­ics tools such as Hoot­suite and Google Ana­lyt­ics to eval­u­ate your ad campaign.

10. Adjust your ad and mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy based on the per­for­mance of your campaigns.

Social Media Ads Best Practices

As you embark on your social adver­tis­ing jour­ney, keep these best prac­tices in mind:

  • Lever­age paid and organ­ic reach to inform your adver­tis­ing efforts
  • Find out where your ide­al cus­tomers are and tai­lor your ads accordingly
  • Opti­mise your ads for mobile and PC
  • Use visu­al­ly appeal­ing, rel­e­vant ads to avoid ban­ner blindness
  • Use A/B test­ing to find the best com­bi­na­tion of ele­ments to cap­ture atten­tion, dri­ve engage­ment, and increase conversions
  • Ads may need to be reviewed for up to 24 hours before run­ning, so fol­low plat­form guide­lines to avoid seri­ous delays in your ads going live
  • Avoid ad fatigue by vary­ing your ads and keep­ing things fresh for your audience
  • Stay up to date with plat­form updates, changes in the mar­ket and shifts in con­sumer behaviour

Final thoughts

With their mas­sive reach, sophis­ti­cat­ed tar­get­ing capa­bil­i­ties, and track­able results, social media ads are a valu­able invest­ment for busi­ness­es look­ing to grow and suc­ceed in the new year. Want to har­ness the pow­er of social media ads in 2023 but not sure how to get started?

Our team of experts is ready to help you run effec­tive social media ad cam­paigns. Book a strat­e­gy call with us today.

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