Paid Social Media Advertising: Beginners Guide to Run a Successful Social Media Campaign

paid advertising

Launching your first social media campaign can be intimidating for any beginner. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best advice we could give you to make sure that your freshman launch is successful. 

By following these steps, and taking some deep breaths, you’ll be off to a great start with serving your target audience and growing your business all thanks to the power of social media and paid advertising. 

Begin With the End in Mind

Chances are you’ve heard that homage before and it’s for a good reason. This ideology is popular in the marketing world because it helps you keep your ultimate goal in mind when making business decisions. So, why are you getting ready for your first social media campaign? 

Here are some of our possible reasons: 

  • I want to use my new course to help my ideal customer better their lives and increase their joy. 
  • My business has the potential to better my community but nobody knows about it so I need to get more exposure. 
  • I’ve created the most useful course that will help make our roads safer and I need more people to download it to make a difference.  

It doesn’t have to be deep to matter. It just has to be honest and specific if it’s going to help you make the best business choices to meet your end goal. Write it down and keep it visible as we move forward. 

Time to Meet Your Target Audience

If this is your first social media campaign, there’s a good chance that you haven’t taken the time to clearly define your target audience yet. Considering all of the following decisions will be based on this group of people, there’s no time like the present so let’s figure out who they are. 

The easiest way to get started with this step is to imagine your ideal client. Who do you want to serve with your product or service? Knowing your audience will be extremely important. For example, an app that helps people pass their driver’s test has an audience that is largely composed of teenagers ranging from 15 to 18 years old that have little to no income and live at home with their families.

Whatever your launch is for, ask WHO are you launching to and what are their specific demographics such as age range, education background, home life, and values. Then further define what their buying habits and pain points are to clearly identify your audience and their mindsets. Their pain points would be anything that’s bothering them or keeping them from engaging with your business. Buying habits include things like how they spend their money and where they do their shopping be it online or in physical stores. 

Take the time to write these characteristics out and put them next to your WHY. Now you have your WHO and your WHY, the rest of the steps should be taken with these two things in mind. 

Decide What Your Budget Is and How to Spend It

Nobody likes to talk about money, we get it. But considering everyone likes to make it (that’s why we’re in business after all), we need to address the elephant in the room. Social media campaigns are typically most successful when they’re tied to a form of paid advertising. The amount of money that you spend on a campaign is entirely up to you and the good news is that you don’t have to go broke to be successful with your campaign. 

Once you decide on your budget, big or small, you’ll then need to decide how to spend it. You can set a daily dollar limit to spend or set the total amount that you want to spend and let the algorithms choose how to allocate the budget on a daily basis. Many social media platforms will give you suggested budget amounts based on what they’ve seen to be successful taking the guesswork out of it for you. 

Choose Where to Run Your Launch

The most popular social media outlet can sometimes vary by the time of day so we won’t try to tell you which specific one to go with. What we will tell you is that every platform is used differently and by different groups of people. 

Now that you know your target audience, try doing some research to see what their preferred social media app is. This can be accomplished with a quick Google search and it should help you decide where to spend your advertising dollars. Basically, you want to be where they are. 

We’ll quickly cover the three social media apps that are used frequently for purchasing and business decisions. Based on the type of product or service you’re launching, you’ll likely find that one of these three will serve you well. If you feel like your target audience uses more than one social media app (very likely) consider advertising on multiple platforms at first until you see where you’re getting the best return for your investment. 


Let’s start with the one that you probably haven’t even considered. LinkedIn is a hugely popular social media platform created to connect professionals and business owners. Their advertising is done through ad auctions and it’s a great place to allocate some of your budgets if your target audience is in the business world. 


Now, onto the first social media app that most people think of. Facebook is used by millions of people every day and is one of the first places people go to for purchasing decisions and looking up businesses. It’s also an easy platform to use for your first campaign since their advertisements are based on algorithms and settings that you select personally. Simply work through their prompts and make selections based on your WHO and WHY. 


Facebook bought Instagram but it’s still a unique platform and has some of the highest engagement rates of any platform out there. If you’re targeting a younger demographic, this may be a great fit for you. You’ll want to use imagery that grabs people’s attention as well as strategic hashtags. Think of these as keywords and use them #liberally. 

Use Your Words and Tell a Story

One of the most important parts of your campaign is the copy. Campaign copy refers to any wording that you use from the titles to the description. The biggest mistake that people make when writing their copy is thinking they have to come across as professional and highly educated to best sell their product. In reality, most consumers connect and engage with businesses that use what’s called conversational copy. 

Conversational copy simply means using words that sound like something you’d actually say. Take out any words that you wouldn’t use if you were talking to someone in real life. Next, swap any industry jargon for laymen’s terms to make sure the average person would understand what you’re trying to say. Also, don’t shy away from slang and contractions if you’d normally use them with your customers. 

Next, try to tell a story if possible and let your audience know why they need what it is that you’re selling. Stories sell because they form connections and give people a reason to want to engage. Anecdotes and personal stories help relay your message and personalize your offering so that your target audience feels like they’re getting to know a real person they’d like to do business with. 

Keeping those tips in mind, write your script and then read it over aloud. Does it sound stuffy or inviting? Is it interesting? If not, try again until you get it right. Remember, your words are what will sell your product, or not. 

Launch Your Campaign and Fine-Tune Repeatedly

It’s time for the scariest part: launch day. We know it can be sweat-inducing to hit that button and put yourself out there but you’ll never reach your goals if you don’t so go ahead and take the plunge. 

After you’ve launched, it’s up to you to keep refining your campaign and making it better and better through updates and new additions. By doing this on a monthly basis, you’ll keep your users engaged by adding value to what they purchased with their hard-earned money. It also gives you the opportunity to make tweaks as needed. If you’re not seeing the results that you want, maybe you need to adjust your demographics or expand your target area. 

Launching is just one step of a successful campaign, if you want to continue to be successful, you’ll have to keep putting in the work to improve your product so you’ll not only retain your current customers but also attract new ones. The best apps and campaigns are the ones that are constantly pushing updates and new editions. 

Success Brought to You by Research and Dedication

Any successful social media campaign first starts with good research and dedication to improving your product or service. If you can commit to those two things from the start and then have the drive to see it through, your campaign will be successful at both attracting new customers and helping you reach your end goal. All it takes is a little hard work, so what are you waiting for?

Author Bio

Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online driver education to help teens get their licenses. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.


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