Best practice for starting paid social in 2022

As we leave a busy festive period behind and head into the new year, thoughts turn to plans for 2022 and beyond. If you’re looking to explore Paid Social for the first time, or just looking for a refresh on best practise, we’ve pulled together our core pillars on what makes a successful Paid Social campaign.

Tracking:

There has been a lot of talk in 2021 around tracking within Paid Social, given Apple’s privacy update. In a nutshell, Apple’s policy prohibits certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14.5 or later devices. As a result, personalised adverts, custom audiences, and performance reporting may be limited for both app and web conversion events.

In response to these changes, pixel conversion events and app events from iOS 14.5 or later devices are being processed using Aggregated Event Measurement. This means user level reporting is no longer supported, and there are delays by roughly 24-48 hours, from when an event happens, to being passed back into the system.

Here at CreativeRace, we have audited a few accounts recently that still aren’t up to date, and although it won’t solve all the problems, it will make sure you are compliant and tracking what you can, when you can.

Here is what you need to do, to make sure the account is iOS14 compliant:

  • Make sure your domain is verified – to do this, go to Business Settings and then under Brand Safety, follow the instructions on how to add the code to the website
  • Once this is done, you then need to choose your top 8 events you wish to track – bear in mind your current KPIs and any future campaigns
  • You then need to configure these into priority order, in order of importance based on current campaigns and key information you want or need to track

 

Structure:

A good structure is needed to ensure that the algorithm can serve your ads correctly and efficiently. It’s also important for optimisations, so you can clearly understand performance and what is driving that.

In recent months we’ve found structure to be more important than ever, given the changes from Apple. Historically, a more granular campaign with lots of custom audiences would have been the ideal set-up. However, with lack of data visibility, this makes adsets unable to leave the learning phase and ultimately causes volatile performance.

By merging similar audiences into one adset, you should be able to collect more data, and improve performance.

We recently took over an account with a very granular setup, split out by age, gender, and interest. We restructured this in line with our new, best practises and saw the following results:

  • CPM decreased by 27% (even over the peak period of BF)
  • Cost per landing page view decreased 61%
  • CTR increased 71%
  • Sales and ROAS increased 600%

 

Feeding the algorithm more data is one of the most important things right now and you can still be clever with creative and learnings, but you just need to think about the structure in a more holistic way.

Creative:

This is fundamentally the core of Paid Social, and one of the most important areas. The creative needs to fit the platform, stand out in a noisy space and relate to your target audience. Even with best structure in the world, if the creative isn’t right, you won’t see success.

Our top tips for success are:

Stories and reels – ensure creative aligns to these placements
Think Video and motion – to help your creative stand out
Think sound – having a catchy song or the latest music on your creative will help with performance and make it feel more authentic, especially on reels and TikTok
Break through the noise – you only have a short amount of time to get people’s attention and get your message across; remember, people haven’t asked for this content
Be relevant and relatable – we are all humans, so think about the content and brands you interact with, and why you do so
• And most importantly have fun (within reason) it’s a social platform!

 

Test and Learn:

‘Test and Learn’ is our mantra. You can do this across several different facets, be that targeting, format or creative. You can’t say for sure what will and won’t work, as every business and audience is different. We believe everything should be tried and tested.

You need to make sure you follow a clear testing plan; people tend to want to test everything at once but with too many variables, how are you able to know what truly made the difference?

Here at CreativeRace we have a robust testing program to ensure we understand exactly what is driving the performance. For more on this or if you have any other questions, or need help with your Paid Social, then please get in touch.

About the Author:

Meg heads up the Paid Social team at CreativeRace and has over 10 years experience spanning both agency and in-house roles. Past clients include ASDA, TK Maxx and ScS.