Social Advertising Best Practices for Your City

January 8, 2020

4 min read

Defining Goals And KPIs

You wouldn’t start driving your car before knowing your final destination, would you? The same mindset can be said for launching an ad campaign without first establishing your overarching goals and KPIs. Ensuring that you have proper goals and expectations put in place prior to your campaign will help guide the direction of your creative approach, audience targeting strategy, and measurement of success.


The purpose of awareness-based campaigns is to serve as a widespread introduction to your city and help produce a new fan base consisting of individuals who may have otherwise never been exposed to you.

KPIs to track:

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Cost Per Impression
  • Video Views
  • Engagement Rate
  • New Followers

Goal Examples:

  • Gain 200 new Instagram followers by the end of the month
  • Generate over 1M impressions by the end of the campaign
  • Wrap campaign with an average 20% video view rate



At the Consideration level, you are looking to increase online engagement with your audience in a more in-depth manner. This audience should be warmer and a bit more familiar with you, but may be doing research to compare your destination against your nearby or similar competitors.

KPIs To Track:

  • Link Clicks
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Website Traffic
  • Time On Site
  • Engagement Rate

Goal Examples:

  • Average 2 minute time on site from social media
  • Drive 50 newsletter sign ups by the end of the month
  • Generate 100 page views on your latest blog post from social media traffic



These campaigns are typically most effective when used on warm audiences that you have already built a relationship with following your Awareness and Consideration campaigns. A proper Conversion campaign’s goal is to drive final and actionable results that are connected to sales, conversation, experience and attendance. However they are much harder to effectively track. Talk to us if you’re interested in learning more.

KPIs To Track:

  • Conversion Rate
  • Sales Tax
  • Hotel Occupancy Tax

Goal Examples:

  • Increase the next public city hall meeting attendance by 20%
  • Increase revenue from hotel occupancy tax by 10% by the end of the campaign

Defining Your Audience

Before moving forward with a campaign, it is important to establish your ideal target personas and build your ad creative around them. For example, let’s say you are trying to run a campaign urging tourists to come visit your city, which is well known for its shopping, hiking, and nearby family-friendly theme park. In this case, there is an opportunity to create three unique personas to target in your social media campaign.

  • Shopper Sally: An individual with a fairly flexible disposable income who enjoys staying up-to-date with the latest fashions and luxury goods.
  • Active Aaron: An individual who loves working out regularly, adventure tourism, and being in touch with nature.
  • Dad Darren: An individual who enjoys roller coasters, family-friendly activities, and spending quality time with his wife and children.

It is clear that using the same message and ad creative for all three of these audiences may not resonate as well as breaking your campaign down to uniquely pinpoint these individuals based on their interests. By taking the extra steps to specifically determine and properly target your audience, you will help improve the performance of your campaign and the relationships that are established from it.

Determining A Budget

When it comes to determining a paid social campaign budget, there is no such thing as a black and white answer. The budget you choose to move forward with will ultimately depend on multiple factors, including your goals, marketing budget as a whole, and number of audience personas, placements, and ad creatives you plan on running.

Here are three considerations to make when determining your budget:

Historic Performance
If you have run paid social campaigns in the past, your historic performance can act as one of the most accurate ways to estimate a budget. You can review performance, spend and analytics to estimate how your campaign may perform and how metrics may shift with a lower or higher budget.

Industry Benchmarking
While industry benchmarks should always be taken with a grain of salt (there can often be several key differences between your city and the sources used to establish these benchmarks), taking advantage of industry benchmark resources can help you gain a high level understanding of the average amount being allocated for paid social campaigns.

Competitive Research
There isn’t an easy or quick way to look into the amount of money competing cities are allocating into their paid social campaigns. However, spending some time researching their social content and live ads may help you get a general idea of their strategy and a ballpark estimate of how much they are spending.


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