In our digital world, people are constantly bombarded with content, meaning that marketers must find new ways to make their brand stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of audiences. Though organic content and traditional paid advertising has its place, it is important to to include paid social media campaigns in your marketing strategy. Social media ads have a much higher click-through rate than traditional web ads, making them a key component of any campaign.

Step 1. Develop a SMART Goal

In order for your paid social media campaign to be successful, you need to develop SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Like any campaign, your social media advertising campaign should be well planned. For example, say your goal is to get more people to an upcoming event. Your SMART goal would be: In order to have a well-attended event, I will increase the number of RSVPs received to a total of 300 in the next two weeks by messaging people who have yet to respond.

Step 2. Define Your Targets

Once you have defined your goal, it’s time to identify your target audience. Beyond the audience that already follows you, how do you determine who else you should target? First, examine your demographic data from your social media and your website, and consider the following:

Use this demographic data to craft a creative that will appeal to that audience. Which brings us to step three…

Step 3. Create Your Creative

Keep the text minimal on social ads, as the ads themselves are often fairly small, plus social platforms limit text to 20 percent. Also, make sure you choose a compelling image, as images can help drastically help increase your conversion rate.

It’s also important that you rotate your ads regularly to avoid what’s called ad fatigue. According to Hootsuite, this simply means that when users see your ad too frequently, they get bored and stop clicking it. This, in turn, causes your cost per click (CPC) to go up and engagement to go down. Make sure you create different versions of your ad to rotate during your campaign.

Step 4. Monitor Your Campaign

For the most part, ads can be set up then left alone for the duration of the campaign, but it is still important to check on them occasionally. Just keep a lookout to make sure your ads don’t go over budget, turn off for some reason or inappropriate comments have been left.

Step 5. Track and Report

This ties back into the first point, because if a goal isn’t specific, you probably can’t measure it. Part of creating a specific goal is identifying your KPIs–or key performance indicators. For example, if the goal of your campaign is to drive more traffic to your website from social media, then your KPI is seeing increased referrals and acquisitions from social media on your website. In order to determine if you’ve met your goals, you need to ensure you are using tracking URLs that point to a campaign-specific landing page. Otherwise, you may not be reporting accurate results. Make sure you are reporting on all ads regularly so you can identify which ads work best for your brand.