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Paid Social

Increasing the effectiveness of paid social creative for an optimised experience

Paid Social has become one of the leading digital strategies, with the channel taking up an expected 20% of the total advertising spend by all North American businesses this year. With social advertising now such a prominent part of digital marketing, ensuring that your messaging is as effective as possible is critical.

If your strategy, like most, is running promotional campaigns to get conversions, we’ve got some handy tips, tricks, and ideas for increasing the conversion rate for those campaigns!

First of all, let’s talk about the basics.

All the platforms that provide paid advertising will outline their best practices clearly and succinctly, and all are absolutely worth a quick scroll through.


So, what makes a good promo

Quick, make it urgent!

This is the number one priority when it comes to an effective promotion. We want the user to feel like if they don’t decide to buy there and then, they’ll miss out, and nobody wants to experience the dreaded FOMO. Including urgent messaging will increase click-through-rate (CTR) and can be achieved by using the following tactics:

Make it time-sensitive. “Flash Sale” “24 Hours Only” “This Weekend Only” “Sale On Now” “Don’t Miss Out” “When It’s Gone, It’s Gone” “Last Chance”
Use a countdown/timer/clock. When testing the inclusion of countdown timers revenue increased by 9% when showing the amount of time left for next-day delivery, according to Neuroscience Marketing. This can also be used in your advertising!

Use the Best of the Best

This may seem like a no-brainer, but why show your lesser-performing products if you know what sells best? Use the best products, the best models, the best shots, and display them in the best way possible. Whilst that sounds a little vague, it should feel second nature when you have a good understanding of your audience. This is how you can do it!


If you do need to use product imagery then use the best-selling products in the collection as these will resonate with your target audience the most. But what about warm audiences? Well, engaged customers who haven’t yet purchased may be more likely to convert if they’re seeing the best of what you have to offer.


This is a given, but the more attractive and relatable your models are, the more effective your photography will be. However, this can be quite subjective so let’s look at it this way…  The more your models represent your audiences, the better!


When it comes to those snaps it’s all about quality over quantity when creating imagery for most campaigns (especially promotions!). Ensuring you create a shot that is engaging, relatable, and shows off your product in the best way will be a real gamechanger. So now that you’ve got the best of the best ready and raring, what’s the next step to take your Paid Ads to the next level?


We want to ensure that your promo is as eye-catching as possible! But there’s more to it than click-bait headlines and bright colours. First, let’s take a look at where your promo is going. Is it going to worldwide audiences? Or is it going to just one specific town? Or both? Making sure that your messaging is tailored to your audiences, or is versatile enough to be understood by everyone you are targeting, is critical to making sure your message is understood immediately. Next, who will it be viewed by? Understanding the intentions of your audience, as well as how they may best react to your message, will help you word your message appropriately. When will it be viewed? Is your ad for a weekend sale? Is this an always-on campaign that can be viewed at any time? The timing of your messaging can be paramount to the success of your campaign. Takeaway brands such as Deliveroo and Just Eat will time their ads late afternoon, on the run-up to dinner time, for instance, and will therefore change their messaging according to the timing of their ads. Once you have nailed down your marketing message, you’ll now need to integrate it into all aspects of your ad. This includes:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • Primary Text
  • Imagery
  • Copy included on the asset
  • The promotional offer itself

If you’re struggling with writing persuasive messaging, here’s an awesome run-down of some Persuasive wording you can use straight away, thanks to Neil Patel!

Remember the best way to grab the attention of Social Media users (with short attention spans) is to make sure you stand out. That doesn’t necessarily mean shouting the loudest.

Call To Action

Capturing attention is great for brand awareness, but if you’re looking to drive conversions you’ll need to include a strong Call To Action (CTA). With promotions, they are usually doubled up:

One for the promotion such as “use code XXXX at checkout”
One for the immediate action such as “buy now”

Important: always ensure that your codes are easy to remember and easy to read!

Need inspo?

Here are some examples of how these tips can be drawn together… Graphics-based artwork will cut straight through the noise with a message-first approach. Great for using a promo message that has a lot of urgency to it.

If this isn’t quite your style (or may not align with your objectives) try some brand-based artwork. This should be instantly recognisable by users as your brand (this can create enough intrigue in itself). These sorts of adverts will give off more of an aesthetic and vibe compared to graphics-based adverts. They also give an opportunity to be creative but can mean that the imagery will need to be created specifically for the campaign.

Integrating your imagery into your promotional graphics can really add a level of professionalism and help your assets stand out. These designs will give off more of an aesthetic and vibe compared to graphics-based adverts. They also give an opportunity to be creative, but this can mean that imagery itself will usually need to be created specifically for the campaign otherwise you could be sending mixed messages.

That’s all folks…

Once you’ve implemented an ounce of urgency, a tablespoon of your best photography, a pinch of attention-grabbing copy, a teaspoon of action-inspiring CTAs, and a dash of creativity, you’ll be on your way to bake the most effective promotional adverts, with a little help from Team Cake…

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Chris Atherton

Lead Designer

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Cake stood out in the marketplace and we have been delighted at how well they have worked to our brief. Their work has combines creative excellence with technical expertise and the resulting website has enabled our business to reach a huge audience. Everyone at Cake has been a pleasure to work with.

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Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.