6 Tips to Use Social Media Advertising to Drive High-Intent Traffic

By Gaurav Belani

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Like it or not, success from organic social media efforts has become harder to achieve. As of today, more than 3.6 billion people are on social media, and the number is only expected to increase to 4.41 billion in three years.


So as a business, you are fighting not just your immediate competitors on social media but everyone else for space, to make your voice heard. Despite this challenge, you can engage communities and drive business online, and you can do so with social media advertising.


It is an ideal option if you are looking to reach and engage a targeted audience — fast. Having a proper strategy in your purview helps you control your expectations, and ad spend. But if you are not getting the results you expected, the problem might lie in your targeting.


Buyer intent matters 


Because there are so many social media users, you can target anyone and drive clicks. Sure, getting clicks is easy but getting clicks from the audience who is genuinely interested to buy from you, i.e., has high purchase intent, is where the real challenge lies.


Plus, with the average CPM cost of social media ads being $4.33, you must ensure your posts reach the correct set of prospects. Otherwise, it would not be long before you overshoot your marketing budget.


Do not fret — this article will walk you through the best techniques to generate maximum leads and drive high-intent website traffic with smart social ads.


1. Build an effective ad keyword list to market those highly inclined to buy


Regardless of your social media platform, create a keyword list to help describe your business or an advertising campaign using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Shortlisting a practical, relevant, and exhaustive keyword list will take time but is worth the effort.


Think about the words people would use to find your business and include those in your list of keywords. For instance, on Facebook Ads Manager, you can type a keyword in the “Interests” section to find out other related keywords, including information on their demographics.




After adding the keyword, check out the other types of Pages people like who are interested in that keyword by selecting "Page Likes." That way, you will have access to some more keywords you would not have thought of otherwise.


Also, use “Buyer Intent” keywords in your campaign. These are search queries that show someone is actively looking to buy a similar product or service. For instance, keywords with high purchase intent are like:


  • How to [solve a problem]

  • Best tools for [pain-point/solution]

  • [Company/product] pricing


Once you identify such high-intent keywords using Google Keyword Planner, you can target your potential customers with product promos and even relevant content. This practice is especially helpful to engage prospects who are at the bottom of the funnel.




As your audience grows, you must continue monitoring your campaign. It is necessary to make periodic changes to maintain the relevance of your advertisements and ensure it reaches the right set of people, thus boosting your high-intent website traffic.


You can add new keywords to improve appearance in search results as well as manage your PPC expenses. Keep making periodic changes to your keywords to maintain relevance and always to reach the right audience.


2. Segment your target audience with a high purchase intent


You can tailor your marketing messages by choosing different social media platforms depending on the target audience. Pinterest has a vast array of demographic options for advertising, which you can use to narrow down your audience.


Advertising on LinkedIn groups is also a great way to engage people of the same interests and goals and ensure only interested people land on your website.


Regardless of the social media channel, you can create localized pages for each of your locations and sub-pages for each topic that interest specific audiences.


For instance, you can define your audience on Audience by selecting various criteria:




To ensure you only target audiences with high purchase intent, you can select specific criteria such as Member Groups, Member Skills, Job Function, and so on LinkedIn. Similarly, to know what interests your audience, you can use Twitter Lists to segment them.


Similarly, Facebook offers an assortment of filters, including country-specific marketing, gender-specific marketing, or age-targeted campaigns. Plus, you can create an Engagement Custom Audience based on people who saw your video on the channel.


You can list users who have watched a certain length of your video (e.g. at least 10 seconds) and target them through your ads. The same strategy can be applied on Instagram.


3. Capture buyer intent with strong visuals


Once you are done segmenting your audience, you need stellar visual creatives to go with your ads. Humans are 65% more likely to retain information if it includes an image, and 68% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn about new products or services.


So, supplement your images with powerful videos by picking and modifying stock footage to fit your brand.


And don’t forget to ensure your landing page and overall website visual design aligns with your ad creativity. Take the help of an expert website design team to hit the nail on the head.


4. Run retargeting campaigns to engage those who have previously interacted with your site


Simply put, retargeting deploys a cookie-based technology that tracks your website visitors to subsequently retarget them with ads even after they move on to browsing through other websites. These ads can be shown on other websites or social media.


They work because they enable you to show those visitors ads who have already expressed an interest in what you sell or have interacted with your website.




For example, if you spend time browsing through ModCloth but leave the site without purchasing anything, then the online lifestyle store would remarket the same products to you on other channels.



Such campaigns are a great way to increase your sales and customer loyalty. When optimized the right way, they have the power to nudge past website visitors to give your brand another chance if they left the website without making a purchase.


Besides, retargeting reminds customers to come back to their abandoned carts and complete the checkout process. The campaign also helps existing customers to revisit your website and avail of new offers.


Survey results show retargeted advertising campaigns and personalized discount offers generate higher revenue as 54% of buyers prefer purchasing products after seeing them.


Facebook enables you to display retargeting ads that match your earlier search interests. Go to the Audiences section in the Ads Manager and select “Custom Audiences” for retargeting.

From the list of “Custom Audiences,” select the “Website Traffic” option.


This allows you to reach out to those visitors with ads who have already been on your website. After that, use the pixel tracking code provided by Facebook and place it on your website. 




An added advantage of using Facebook Pixel for retargeting is the same can be used to display ads to your website visitors on Instagram.


Retargeting is all about reconnecting with those who are familiar with your brand. Once you have successfully set up a retargeting campaign that brings in high-intent customers, you can leverage it further by creating “lookalike audiences.”


Facebook will search for new users who are most like your high-intent customers. This is a great way to reach new highly targeted audiences.


5. Leverage different types of ad formats to hook the buyer


Sure, social ads are a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal. But to make the strategy work, you must select the right type of ads — be it local awareness ads, Messenger/InMail ads, Carousel ads, or Boosted posts.


For example, brick-and-mortar businesses can use Local Awareness Ads to serve ads to users who are currently near their store(s).


Maximum distance is specified when creating the ads. Running local ads helps boost awareness about the business among those who are at the bottom of the funnel and could be looking for a similar product or service.




Similarly, you can benefit from the advanced features of Carousel Ads for those who have already liked your page. The format is apt for showcasing different features of your products or addressing common consumer pain points and how your service can resolve them.




Focusing more on Messenger/InMail Ads will help you capture attention and get likes from potential customers. When crafted properly, these ads can spark immediate action or response. 


Boosted Posts are another essential feature as they allow advertisers to increase reach by promoting content.


Another method is taking advantage of sponsored posts on Facebook or LinkedIn. Repetitive posts enable your brand to stay on top of the mind of your customers and nudge them to visit your website to check out what you offer.




Leverage lead ads to push the user forward in the funnel, right to customer acquisition. Create high-intent lead forms, like how you see on LinkedIn, to acquire leads that have a higher level of purchase intent and interest in your offering.




The robust targeting options provided by Facebook and LinkedIn come in handy when you want to be very specific about who you want to show your ads to.


6. Increase clicks with a definite Call-To-Action (CTA) in your ad copy


A CTA is one of the most essential components in a digital advertisement. Add a CTA with a clear purpose. It should nudge potential customers into doing what you want them to do, such as visiting your website, filling a contact form, or making a purchase.


The most common example for useful CTAs would be "Buy Now," which succinctly communicates the message. Another popular tactic you may employ includes evoking the popular FOMO (fear of missing out) technique.


It tells your audience the offer is essential, and they must take action right away. Including words such as "Last Chance" or "Don't Miss" creates a sense of urgency to opt for the offer.




Using statistics and numbers in your digital ads could make them more persuasive to potential customers. A discount percentage tells the customers exactly how much they are saving. Similarly, sharing the number of existing users convinces others to try your services.


That way, you increase your chances of fetching footfall from those people who are genuinely interested in your offering.


How to optimize your ads for a successful campaign


1. Improve your ad's relevance by optimizing its quality score


Ensure the quality of your advertisement is top-notch through a platform-based quality/relevance score. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer scoring as an in-built feature. Let us study it in greater detail:


a. The relevance score on Facebook is based on how much attention your ad gets


A higher score will help you get more impressions at a lower cost, meaning customer acquisition for less. So, it is not only about the quality of the design or copy. There is potential to reach a wider audience through proper targeting.


If you target your ads to a custom audience, your relevance score increases, and your conversions improve within the same budget.


To calculate your relevance score, you must log into the Facebook Ads Manager. Choose the campaign you want to test, analyze and select the ad set. The "Relevance Score" tab will show your score accurately.




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