Social Media Ads: How To Get the Most From Your Budget

Oct 08, 2023

Marketing News

Social Media Ads: How To Get the Most From Your Budget

There is no denying that social media is a huge part of our daily lives. Our phones, computers and even conversations, are filled with and fueled by social media. Thus, it stands to reason that as a brand you would want to inhabit this space that we spend so much time in. This is called paid social media advertising, or simply social media ads

Social media advertising, which can also be called social network advertising, is the act of paying to deliver ads to a specific audience on a social media platform. For example, when you skip past ads at the start of a YouTube video, or get sucked into a carousel ad about Amazon fashion must haves, these are social media ads

The amount of people who see your social media ads are your paid reach. This differs from your organic reach, which refers to the viewers you achieve without spending a dime; they find your content organically. 

Social media ads are so beloved because of their efficiency. Rather than praying that your content and ads get views, social media ads ensure that the right people are seeing your content. This is done by lots of fancy algorithms that keep track of what users are liking, and sending ads their way that fit those niches. Neat! 


Trying to figure out which type of social media ad is best for you is a daunting task. There are many different kinds of ads, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. On top of this, once you decide which ad you want to employ, you’ve got to choose a platform. It’s a lot. We know. 

To help ease the confusion, we’ve broken down all the different kinds of social media ads for you. You’re welcome. 

Branded Content Ads

Branded content ads, or Spark ads if you’re coming from TikTok, allow you to amplify content from an influencer’s account. This allows you to share organic content from influencers who endorse your brand. 

So, if you’ve got a great influencer partnership that you want to share with the world, a branded content ad allows you to do so. Branded content ads have the advantage of seeming very authentic and off the cuff, thus encouraging brand trust. 


Always “accidently” matching. #servingsummer #jackwills #ad #OOTD #grwm #couplegoals

♬ OUT NOW Enzo Smooth Operator – Enzo is Burning

Stories Ads  

What began as a Snapchat invention has become so popular that most major platforms now have stories. Stories ads allow you to slot your ad in between users’ stories. Due to the quick swiping nature of Stories, short form ads that promote time-sensitive content suit this format best. On Instagram and Facebook, a Stories ad can be a video, photo, or carousel. 

Stories ads

Carousel Ads 

Can’t decide which ad to post? Then don’t! 

A carousel ad allows you to include multiple ads in a slideshow format. This can include videos or static images and can feature a headline, CTA, description and link for each ad. Carousel ads allow you to showcase multiple features of a product, or even tell a story. Facebook is a great place to post carousel ads, as they have a feature that pushes your best performing ad to the start of the display.

social media ads

Video Ads

Video ads are arguably the most popular form of social media advertising. As shown by Wyzowl, video ads are utilised by 91% of businesses. This dedication to video ads makes sense, given that the average consumer watches 19 hours of video content a week. 

Video ads are supported by every major social media platform, and provide a visually engaging way for your customers to view your content. You can pack a lot of information into a short clip, making these ads great for drawing people in quickly and successfully. 


12 signs, 12 seasons,12 limited edition shades! Enjoy free shipping when you spend £25 and over

♬ Promoted Music – OPI_UK

Static Image Ads

Also known as image ads, static image ads are supported by almost every social media platform. They can be found in banner form, on sidebars, or hidden in news feeds. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest champion these sorts of ads as they focus on image heavy content. Image ads are a great way to show off your brand aesthetic, and can naturally feature a CTA. 

Adobe ads

Reels Ads

Found on Instagram, Reels ads operate on a loop and can be up to thirty seconds long. Users can like, view, save and even share Reels ads, meaning that your audience can grow exponentially. 

Reels ads are a great way for your ads to reach users who don’t already follow you, and suit bright, engaging ads that fit in with the overall vibe of Reels itself. 

social media ads

Message Ads 

Message Ads stand out from the typical in-feed based social media ads that we have covered so far. 

Found on Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn, message ads appear in a user’s message inbox. Interested users can either engage in an automated conversation by clicking on the message and find out more about your brand and products, or be led to your product and services. 

Message ads are a fantastic way of creating and nurturing leads, as you can leverage a CRM to keep track of which leads have gone cold or should be targeted. 

Collection Ads 

Looking for a way to encourage your audience to purchase your products directly from social media? Collection ads do just that! 

These social media ads appear as a miniature storefront, featuring a selection of your products accompanied by images, prices and features. Collection ads allow users to simply click on the item they are interested in and purchase it right away, without even leaving the app! Too easy. 

social media ads

Display Ads 

A sneaky but successful type of social media ads, display ads have the appearance of a genuine social media post, but are instead an ad. These ads fit neatly into a user’s timeline and create an authentic experience that still promotes your product. 


Watch our Tea Tree facial wash work its magic ? #thebodyshop #teatree #teatreefacialwash #skinclearing #skincaretiktok

♬ original sound – The Body Shop UK

Ad Prices 

Now that you have a grasp on the different kinds of ads on offer, the next natural question is, how much is this going to cost you? 

While we wish we could give you a detailed list of how much each type of ad costs, unfortunately it’s just not that simple. 

Ad prices vary greatly depending on which platform you are using, and it is extremely difficult to get specifics on how much an ad will cost you. In spite of this, we have put together a list of the average cost social media ads on each major platform will cost you in terms of average cost-per-click:

  • TikTok = $1 per click 
  • Facebook = $0.97 per click 
  • Twitter = $0.38 per click 
  • Instagram = $3.56 per click 
  • LinkedIn = $5.26 per click 
  • YouTube = $3.21 per click 
  • Pinterest = $1.50 per click 


Now that you’re almost an expert on social media ads – congratulations! – let’s have a look at budgeting. 

Setting a firm social media ads budget for your marketing campaign is a key way to ensure your campaign is as successful as it can be. Whilst your marketing budget will greatly depend on the goals that your company sets, there are several factors that should be considered across the board. The main areas you need to consider are ad spend, software, talent, and services. 

1. Ad Spend 

Your ad spend is the portion of your budget that is dedicated to ads solely. Meaning, the part of your overall budget that goes directly to the social media platforms you are advertising on. This will typically be the largest part of your budget. 

2. Software/Technology 

To properly carry out your social media campaign, your business will need to utilise a variety of technological tools. For example, photo editing software such as Photoshop may be essential to professionally carrying out your campaign. 

A key tip is to try out your preferred software before purchasing it. There’s nothing worse than paying for a software that turns out to be inefficient. 

3. Talent 

Naturally, you are going to need a solid team to help you achieve your marketing goals. Whether you are working with an in-house team or hiring freelancers, the talented workers behind your campaign are a cost that needs to be budgeted for. Influencer partnerships also fall under this umbrella. 

4. Services

If your company has decided to work with a digital marketing agency, then this cost will fall under services in your budget. There are hundreds of digital marketing agencies out there, so make sure to do your research before committing to one. As with many things in life, often the agency promoting its cheap and low costs isn’t going to be the most successful. 


To ensure that your social media ads budget is accurate and achievable, there are several things one should keep in mind when sitting down to hash it all out. 

Know Your Audience’s Journey 

Understanding the journey your buyers take as they move from prospective consumer to paying customer is essential to understanding how your audience is interacting with your marketing. Understanding your buyer’s journey allows you to better reach your customers. 

Try to gather information on how your customers discover your products, what information they need to know before purchasing, how many leads you are generating monthly and which of these turn into customers, and how much it costs to do this. 

By establishing a complex understanding of how your customers are generated, you are able to budget to generate more customers and make their journey more successful. 

Align Your Budget with Your Marketing Goals 

Another key piece of the budget puzzle is your marketing goals. Aligning your budget with your marketing goals means putting your money where your goals are. Rather than dedicating some of your budget to things that don’t contribute to your goals, strip it all back and only focus on acts that you know will achieve your goals. 

Stay Aware of Hidden Costs 

When drafting a budget, it is important to ensure that all of your money is accounted for and going to the right place. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the month and realising some of your budget has been slipping out the window on things you have not accounted for. 

To ensure all your money is staying where you left it, make sure to account for things like conducting research and message testing; little activities that are essential to your campaigns but might slip your mind as actual expenses. 

Remember Your Priorities 

It is scarily easy to get sucked into the endless amount of up-sells, add-ons and premium experiences that float around the marketing world. When creating your budget, stick to your priorities. Don’t get swept up in the need for fancy tools or unnecessary upgrades; just do what needs to be done. 

Industry Standards 

As we mentioned, marketing budgets differ enormously from company to company. Despite this, it is helpful to understand standards across the industry, so that you have a general idea of how much you should be allocating for your budget. 

As of 2023, most businesses are spending around $200 to $350 a day on advertising. This translates to $6000 to $10, 500 per month or $72,000 to $126, 000 per year. Moreover, most businesses spend around 10-13 % of their annual revenue on marketing.  

Keep in mind that depending on your social media ROI and your social media marketing goals, it may make sense for you to spend more or less than these figures. It is totally up to you! 


Congratulations,you are now a social media ads budget expert! But there’s just a few more tips we want to leave you with, to make certain you are getting the most out of your budget. 

Set Goals You Can Track Easily 

A sure fire way to make sure you are sticking to your budget, is to set trackable goals. What this means is setting goals that you and your company can keep track of across the year, to see how your budget is working. 

Goals such as “we want to expand our Facebook reach” are too broad to really be followed. Try instead setting goals like, “By December we want to earn 500 more likes on our Facebook page than November.” This way, it is really easy to track how your budget and your campaign is doing. 

Create Eye Catching Ads 

Social media is overflooded with content, and it can be extremely difficult to make sure your ads are standing out in all that noise. Try and ensure that your social media ads are as eye-catching and unique to your brand as possible. A key part of this is understanding what your audience likes and dislikes. 

@Lipton UK

When the sun comes out it brings out the best in us. Lipton Bring Out the Sunshine

♬ Promoted Music – Lipton UK

Understand Your Audience 

Understanding what drives your audience to engage with your content and begin their journey from surveyor to customer allows you to produce ads that will definitely hit the mark. 

Take stock of your audience demographics and create content that speaks to these people. For example, if your demographic is predominantly females ages 18 to 25, then colourful, aesthetically pleasing content is a great option. In contrast, women aged 30 and above are far more likely to respond to ads on Facebook. 

Run A/B tests 

Running A/B tests allows you to manage your campaign long after it goes live. 

Rather than simply posting an ad and letting it do its thing (however appealing this is), running A/B tests allow you to try out different headlines, images, descriptions and more. As a result, you will be able to create the best social media ads possible! 

Tailor Ads to Platforms

Similar to tailoring your ads for your demographic, it is important to create specific ads for each social media platform you are engaging with. The best social media advertising fits its platform perfectly. Whilst a humorous, short video that participates in a micro-trend will do fantastically on TikTok, it will probably fall on deaf ears on Facebook. 


What are examples of social media ads?

Examples of social media advertising include branded content ads (AKA Spark ads on TikTok), Stories ads, carousel ads, video ads, static image ads and Reels ads. 

How do social media ads work?

Social media ads reach specific audiences based on their interests. For example, if an Instagram user is liking lots of posts about sneakers, then the app will start to show sneaker ads to that user. 

What are social media display ads?

Social media display ads are ads that appear to be a genuine social media post, but instead are in fact an ad. 

Why are social media ads effective?

Social media ads are effective as they efficiently reach their target audience, and are often more dynamic than traditional advertising. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

@ Socially Powerful



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Ella Proctor

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