The Best Practices to Follow to Optimize Your Paid Social Performance

Dash Hudson
4 min readFeb 11, 2020

[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

Make every visual that you put in front of your audience count — whether it be across paid or organic marketing channels.

Effective visuals power marketing campaigns, boost engagement, and according to Nielsen, are responsible for 56% of a brand’s sales from digital marketing. With the rise of visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, it comes as no surprise that paid social advertising has become an essential channel to any brand’s advertising strategy. Paid social channels equip brands with the tools you need to increase brand exposure and generate real ROI from social media.

Using visuals to market your brand isn’t a new concept. Think: commercials, billboards, and old school print ads. The main point of differentiation between social media advertising and traditional tactics is that selecting imagery for paid social isn’t a one-and-done type deal. Marketers have long believed in the “Rule of 7” which says that consumers need to hear or see an advertisement seven times before they will take action. Social media advertising makes it easier to put this concept into action, enabling brands to have multiple touchpoints with the same audience. While visual platforms make it easier for brands to engage your target audience, today’s digital consumers have high expectations of the brands they interact with.

Rising Above the Noise

With social media becoming increasingly saturated, users don’t want to see the same imagery seven times — they expect personalization. This means that brands need a constant flow of visuals to test, optimize, and keep your target audience engaged. The imagery that marketers select for paid social ads is crucial to your campaigns’ results. Advertisers often launch campaigns blindly, testing every photo from their last photoshoot to see what sticks. Not only are advertising teams wasting time and money with this approach, but they are also sacrificing the results of their campaigns when it comes time to report on ROI.

To drive paid ad performance, it’s crucial that brands leverage organic photo and video performance as your north star to fuel your visual selection for paid channels. Equipping your advertising team with data empowers you to deliver visuals that truly resonate with your audience and maximize ROI across paid channels.

Bridging the Gap Between Organic and Paid Teams

Real talk — our brains only need 1/10 of a second to understand an image, and visuals are responsible for nearly half of your advertising sales. To maximize ROI across your paid channels, it’s critical to get your visuals right every time. Leading brands are constantly innovating and testing paid content, which requires an abundance of photos and videos waiting in the wings.

Now more than ever, brands need to bridge the gap between organic and paid content strategies to establish one source of truth. Organic social teams are often the gatekeepers to the visuals and the data that advertisers need to inform visual selection for paid ads. Your top performing organic photos and videos will translate into high performing paid social ads. These visuals are the ones that resonate the most with your unique audience, which likely looks like your target audience for paid social. This means that there needs to be an ongoing feedback loop between departments to ensure that paid teams have the data-driven insights you need to maximize the dollars they’re spending.

With Dash Hudson, you can align your organic and paid strategies by housing all of your visuals in one place. Our visual intelligence technology, Vision is integrated into our Library, making it a hub for data-driven insights on every owned and earned photo. Vision learns with your brand in real-time so you always have a pulse on what types of photos are driving engagement, your audience’s visual sentiment of your brand, and how your competitors are investing in their content strategy. Leveraging Vision’s insights empowers you to increase return on ad spend (ROAS) by optimizing photo performance and predicting what visuals will inspire audience action before distributing.

Content that Converts

Carefully curated visuals will stop your audience mid-scroll and compel them to click-through. To rise above the noise and drive growth and performance across your organic and paid channels, content analysis is a must. Segmenting your owned, earned, and paid photos and videos, understanding their impact, and tracking the performance of each of your content pillars in real-time is the most effective way to build your paid social strategy. The more you curate your content with your unique audience’s tastes in mind, the more successful your paid social efforts will be — and the ROI of your campaigns.

Header image: @the__marbles

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Dash Hudson

A modern social marketing software empowering global brands to move at the speed of social.