Paid Social Media Advertising: Beginner’s Guide To Running A Successful Social Media Campaign 

In this guest post by Tim Waldenback of Zutobi Drivers Ed, discover how you can amplify your social media presence.

It’s no secret: marketing your business is difficult, especially when maneuvering through the technicalities of the digital age. It can sometimes be confusing and stress-inducing when trying to understand exactly how to market one’s brand across a screen.

Fortunately, with paid social media advertising, you can start driving the online traffic you’ve been striving toward sooner than later—and build a sustainable relationship with your customers in the process. 

Understand Who Your Target Audience Is

Before you can start increasing your social media presence, you must first understand exactly who you’re trying to attract to your sites. By fully understanding your brand, you can then understand what type of people may be drawn to your brand—that’s your target audience.

So, how exactly can you build your target audience? Well, when creating your posts, be mindful of who your audience is. People want to be able to resonate with what they’re seeing, and if they don’t, they won’t react or take any sort of action. They’ll simply keep scrolling.

To avoid this, ask yourself these important questions when creating your posts:

  • How old is my target audience?
  • What is the average education level of my target audience?
  • What does the average lifestyle of my target audience look like?
  • What are the buying habits of my target audience?
  • What are the pain points of my target audience? What’s bothering them and how can you fix it?
  • What values are typically shared among my target audience?

Once You Have The “What,” Figure Out Your “Why”

Creating a brand or product is easy enough—that’s your “what.” The tough part is usually figuring out the “why.”

Why should people want your product or service? Why should they feel prompted to take action after seeing your posts? Essentially, why should they care? That’s what you’re trying to answer.

It’s important to make your “why” blatantly clear when launching a social media campaign. This ties hand-in-hand with your “who” (your target audience), so make sure you’re describing your purpose in ways that will resonate with them.

Decide How Much You’re Willing To Invest

Everyone has a limit, and that’s okay! Understanding your limit will help you understand how much time, money, and energy you’re willing to invest into your social media campaign.

Sure, you have to spend money to make money, but it doesn’t have to be an exorbitant amount. The money you spend to launch this campaign can be used for one specific channel in which you’re trying to gain traction (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), or across multiple channels. It all depends on your current budget and what areas you’re trying to gain more web presence. 

Pick Your Social Media Platforms

At this point, you should understand your “who,” your “why,” and you should have a set limit for your launch campaign. Now you can figure out what channels would be in your best interest to place your focus. This will largely factor into your target audience and the types of channels they’re typically most active on. 

For example, at Zutobi, our target audience is mostly teens and young adults studying for permit/driving tests, and also to some extent older drivers studying for a commercial driver’s license. Since our audience is generally younger, we focus most of our social media campaigns on channels that typically attract a younger audience.

Here are some tips for launching campaigns across three of the most common social media channels:


This is the oldest of the channels in which social media campaigns are typically launched. However, while Facebook may be getting up there in age (at least as far as social media channels go), it’s definitely still kicking!

Facebook is still an extremely popular site that is used widely across the globe across all demographics. Because of this, Facebook is typically a good site to focus your social media campaign on from the beginning. Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm takes care of a lot of the technicalities for you when trying to reach your target audience, so it makes your job easier.


Instagram is another channel that is incredibly popular and a wise one in which to focus your marketing effort. It is owned by Facebook, so a lot of the same technicalities regarding the algorithm factor into this channel, as well.

This social media channel is focused solely on user engagement and advertising, so it is important to make sure your posts are ones that stand out—otherwise, they’ll get lost in the crowd.

Instagram is all about posting the right hashtags, pictures, and videos. So, make sure you are creating one-of-a-kind posts that will pique the interest of your target audience


If your campaign is selling to businesses, business professionals, or those on the job hunt, then LinkedIn is the best channel to market on. LinkedIn is a site used for networking across the business world, so if your target audience falls within this realm, it might be worth setting the sights of your social media campaign on LinkedIn. 

It is important to note that LinkedIn’s advertising is done through a different algorithm than Facebook and Instagram, so you may not have as much luck if you’re focusing on this channel arbitrarily. But if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn is a great choice for your social media campaign, as you’ll gain a lot of traction from professionals within your target audience.

Determine How To Filter Your Ad Settings

Whatever social media channel(s) in which you decide to launch your campaign, the next step is figuring out your ad settings. Your ad settings should be based on the aforementioned “who” and “why.” 

There will be different settings and metrics based on which channel(s) you decided to focus on, but you should still be filtering your posts based on specific demographics of your target audience, including, but not limited to:

  • Age
  • Income level
  • Education
  • Location

If your target audience is limited to a specific state, this is something that will be worthwhile to include within your ad settings. This is something that has proved invaluable for our company at Zutobi, since driving tests may differ from state to state

Write The Way You Speak

Now that you have the logistics, you can start writing the words (also known as copy) that will be used as advertising for your campaign.

So, now that you know what you want to say, how exactly are you going to say it? This all comes back around to your voice—the way in which you market your brand.

The most important piece of good copy is authenticity. People want to see the real you online. Therefore, you shouldn’t try and force your copy to sound overly technical or cultivated. Simply write the way you speak, and your copy will sound much more welcoming and relatable. 

How that manifests for Zutobi is in the way we talk about making better drivers. No one wants to go to driving school or hear boring DMV instructors in a monotone voice lecture you. So we make sure when creating all of our material, from practice tests to instructional guides, that the language is something that is easy to read and casual, without losing the value.  

Launch And Repeat

Now that you have all the information, materials, and details set up, it’s time to launch your social media campaign. We are confident that with this template, you’ll be able to gain the traction you’ve been looking for, but it doesn’t just stop there!

Part of launching any good social media campaign is looking at the results to see what did (and, inevitably, didn’t) work. This will help you fine-tune your campaign so that you can iron out the kinks and re-launch once again, with even more success the second time around.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be amplifying your social media presence and adding on more loyal customers through your ads in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Author: Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.

Featured image by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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