Digital ads can be an important aspect of an overall marketing strategy, supercharging exposure and allowing you to gain high value leads.

As of January 2022, 4.62 billion people use social media, which is more than 58% of the world’s population, with the average daily time spent on social media being nearly two and a half hours. This represents a huge opportunity for your organization to reach your target demographic and begin a relationship with them.  

However, there are plenty of ways to use your ad spend budget inefficiently, pouring time and financial resources into campaigns that yield very little return. 

So where should your organization be spending most of its digital ad dollars in order to make the biggest impact and reach your marketing goals? 

Here is a closer look at the major social media platforms, their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to digital advertising, and how they should fit into your overall marketing strategy.

1. Facebook

Of all social media platforms, Facebook has the largest user base, with 2.9 billion active users as of January 2022. As the largest social media platform, Facebook is also the most popular platform for advertising, with a robust set of features that allow advertisers to define targeting criteria and cross advertise or create unique calls-to-action on other Meta-owned social platforms, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, through the Meta Business Suite. 

Facebook also offers a variety of formats in which you can deliver your digital ad content, from videos, single images, and carousel images or videos, along with varied ad placements, whether in the feed or in the side margins.

2. Instagram 

With 1.22 billion active monthly users, Instagram is a social media giant in its own right. Instagram’s audience also trends younger, so if your target audience is under 40, Instagram provides a vital opportunity to reach them through video or image content in the feed, in Stories, or in Reels. 

3. YouTube

As the second largest search engine only to Google, digital ads on YouTube can help you reach customers around the specific questions and challenges your organization’s products and services help answer. 

YouTube offers a number of different options for ad placement, including discovery videos placed at the tops of search results, skippable and unskippable video ads in user videos, as well as overlay banner ads that appear on top of videos as they play. 

For anything other than overlay ads, your advertising content will need to be video based, and if you are purchasing a skippable ad, your creative team must think about how to capture a user’s attention in the six to 20 seconds before they have the ability to click away from it. 

4. X (Twitter)

Ads on X (formerly Twitter) are an excellent tool for any organization trying to build brand awareness on a platform where they can regularly interact with customers and clients through text-based messages. 

While X ads are more expensive than Facebook ads, they also tend to come with higher click-through and conversion rates. So if your marketing team can create a compelling enough message, promoted posts or trending topics may very well be worth it for your organization.

5. Linkedin

Much like Twitter ads, advertising on Linkedin takes a larger upfront financial investment. Furthermore, ads on Linkedin are far better suited for business-to-business marketing rather than business-to-consumer, as the platform is marked by its emphasis on being a place where business leaders can interact and connect with one another. 

Marketers can connect with users in feed content, with similar customization options to Facebook ads. Linkedin also provides marketers with the ability to send sponsored content in direct message to business leaders that fit your audience specification. These ads can feel much more personal, and can immediately open conversations that easily turn into leads. 

6. Pinterest

While many people think of Pinterest as a place where brides-to-be create burlap-clad mood boards for their big day, the platform has 433 million monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2022, a sizable opportunity for marketers to reach potential customers. 

Pinterest users are largely women, so if your target audience fits that persona, Pinterest may be a place for you to try your hand at digital ads. 

You Might Not Be Able To Advertise Everywhere, but You Should Advertise Somewhere

Unless you have an unlimited budget and endless hours, you simply won’t be able to develop effective advertising strategies on all of these platforms. So depending on your organization’s particular audience and marketing goals, you will want to be strategic with where you allocate your spending dollars and creative energy. 

For those who are beginning to build a digital ads plan, Facebook is a perfect place to start, develop strategies, and hone in your execution. 

Nevertheless, you may want to experiment with platforms you previously hadn’t used for digital advertising, launching smaller budget campaigns to see if the platform is viable for your organization, helping you connect with your customers and potential customers in a more effective manner.