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Social media is an important channel for marketing that you should leverage to build your business. It is ideal for businesses of all sizes and the biggest question people ask is how they can take advantage of social media to promote their businesses. To gain from social media marketing, you need first to understand your audience. This is important as it will help you to create ads that are relevant and ideal to trigger them to take action.

Here are five steps to creating an effective social media ad.

1. Research your audienceWhile targeting ads to your audience, you should be specific by addressing them directly. There are many metrics you can use to target your audience including learning about their preferences and expectations. Some of the targeting factors you could use include demographics, age bracket, preferences and areas of interest. Know more about your audience by researching to understand where they are mostly located to exploit local lead generation, their age bracket, and most importantly their areas of interest. An ad with the correct targeting will save you money because you will not waste your budget trying to experiment with different audiences.2. Establish the most important metricsYou should also focus on vanity metrics like followers and likes while running your social media ads. More important is to look at other metrics that tell you more about your targeting and the performance of your campaign. Engagement, clicks, reach, and hashtag performance will tell you about the performance of your campaign and could help you understand what you need to change.3. Research competitionAlthough you may have the best strategy for your business, you may fail to make an impact due to competition. You need to understand how your competitors are faring and the steps they are taking to get more customers to their business. There are many things you can borrow from the strategy used by your competitors, so make sure also to keep an eye on their movement.

4. Engaging contentYour social media ads will not make an impact if the content used is not engaging or interesting. You need to come up with unique content that users will feel compelled to follow. Create a balance between targeting and being promotional as sounding too promotional may rob your ad of the power to influence people to take action.

5. Engage your audienceSocial media is about connecting people and boosting the social life. If you would like to be successful with your campaigns, you should be active in engaging users. Some users will ask questions in the comments and you should be ready to answer them accurately. Always be available to respond to any queries that are posted by users.

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