Paid ads: How to make them effective – on a budget

Paid ads: How to make them effective – on a budget

Posted: Fri 18th Nov 2022

If you're going to grow your business, attracting your target audience's attention is absolutely vital. If people don't know about you, how are they going to buy from you?

Paid ads on social media are a reliable, effective and cost-efficient way of getting visibility and engaging with your target audience, while inspiring them to take action.

Unlike some advertising channels that require large upfront investments and have long lead times, social media is incredibly flexible. There are lower minimum budgets and you have the ability to turn campaigns on and off at a moment's notice.

The value of paid ads

You can use paid ads to achieve a number of different business goals. Here are some examples:

  • Increasing your business's visibility (reach and awareness)

  • Sparking engagement (engagement on posts, video views)

  • Driving traffic and enquiries (website visits, store visits, lead forms)

  • Converting visitors into customers (online purchases)

Each platform comes with a range of placement, targeting and delivery options to help you reach the right people and drive them to take the action you want them to take.

How to make sure your ads are effective

Advertise where your audience is active

Take the time to research and understand your target audience on social media. Understanding your audience and where they are active will help you make sure you're choosing the right platform and objectives for your paid ads.

The objectives will depend on how much your audience already knows about you, and their journey from seeing your ad to becoming a customer. Configuring your paid ads around your target audience will make your campaigns much more effective, while bringing costs down.

Start small and scale up

When starting a new campaign, you'll run more effective ads if you start small and scale up your campaigns once they start showing positive results.

While the exact size of your minimum budget will depend on your advertising objectives and the platform you're using, there is another element to consider – the algorithm.

It takes time for social media advertising platforms to analyse your campaigns and deliver them efficiently to the right audience. Starting small and building from there gives the algorithm time to do this without burning through your budget.

Test and refine your creative

By starting with a small budget and scaling up, you'll be able to test the different elements of your adverts, such as its objective, the targeting and the creative (videos, stories, Reels and so on). The aim of your creative is to capture your target audience's attention and inspire them to take action.

Once you identify the elements that drive results, you can turn off the ads that aren't performing and increase the budget on those that are. You should always be tweaking campaigns based on your results.


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Kristian Downer provides the strategic vision for DowSocial and delivers the social media strategy sessions, social media training and workshops for DowSocial. Coming from a corporate project management background he first used social media to build a blog to over one million visitors and has not looked back. An Enterprise Nation and Facebook accredited social media trainer, published author and former freelance contributor to Metro Sports Kristian is an established expert in his field with a track record of success. His corporate experience, creativity and knowledge of the digital marketing landscape to grow DowSocial and build a reputation as a respected voice within the industry. He regularly speaks to local business leaders and fellow digital professionals on social media strategy.

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