Social Media Display Ad Basics

Social Media Display Ad Basics

There’s so much to learn with social media advertising that it’s difficult to know exactly where to start. For example, audience targeting, budgeting, A/B testing, pixel tracking, writing, designing, and analyzing all need to be taken into account if you want to see positive ROI from social media advertising. There’s time and resources to consider as well.

Even incredibly talented social media managers that oversee multi-million dollar advertising budgets understand that it takes hundreds of experiments (and failures) to master the art of social media ads. After speaking with top brands and marketers from around the globe, we’ve discovered a simple 3-step approach to successful social media advertising. This approach will help you bring all the various elements of advertising together in perfect harmony and how to drive more ROI from your ad spend.

Let’s dive in!

A 3-step approach to social media advertising

Over the years, we’ve spent countless hours experimenting with various social media advertising strategies.

Whilst research each of these experiments, we found that there was a ton of awesome advice on tactics for each individual channel, but what we were missing was an overall strategic approach or “way of thinking” about social media advertising.

Instead of focusing on individual tactics and channels that frequently change, we wanted to focus on a blueprint that could be applied to any business or brand, no matter the industry or product. And that’s what I’d love to share with you below.

That social media advertising blueprint is broken up into three distinct stages:

  • Awareness (Top-of-the-funnel or TOFU)
  • Consideration (Middle-of-the-funnel or MOFU)
  • Conversion (Bottom-of-the-funnel or BOFU)

3-Step Approach to Social Media Advertising

Unless you have a product that’s flying off the shelf or a viral marketing campaign, you’ll often need all three stages (awareness, consideration, and conversion) working in tandem to attract and acquire new customers.

Why all three stages are important

One of the things I hear most from businesses is that they’re having trouble finding success with social media advertising, particularly Facebook, in trying to sell their product or services. Whenever we get that comment, one of the first questions we ask those businesses is: “Do you have any campaigns set up that aren’t simply trying to sell, but to generate awareness?”

More often than not the answer is “no.”

It can be quite a challenge to immediately begin selling your product through social media advertising. As a marketer, you have to be willing to build relationships with potential customers first before you ask for the purchase. That’s where this idea of awareness, consideration, and conversions come into play.

Pros and cons of social media advertising


  • Campaigns are easy to track
  • You can begin to drive traffic and conversions immediately (depending on your knowledge of your customers)
  • You’ll have a complete picture of the ROI on each campaign
  • Tons of targeting options, including: age, likes, interests, income bracket, location, and other demographics
  • Retargeting options for people who have interacted with your content or visited your website
  • Relative to other advertising mediums, social media can be extremely affordable (which we all love)


  • Depending on your target market, a majority of the audience may be irrelevant – Leading to “wasted” ad spend
  • Easy to create ads and leave them without ever checking on performance which can also lead to costliness
  • Social media advertising requires a lot of time and attention in order to maximize results
  • Run the risk of what marketers call ad fatigue. Potential customers might be shown an ad too early or too often and be turned off
  • Larger investment upfront while you figure out a good combination of content, visuals, and copy
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