3 Tips for Running Paid Ads When There are Content Restrictions

Now, more than ever, people are finding themselves on one form of social media throughout the day.  According to Statista, in 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. Companies, too, have realized the power of social media over the last few years.  Social media is no longer just for individuals to interact and connect, but it has become the perfect landscape for companies and brands to reach their target audience and generate leads that eventually sell or buy into their mission.   Because of this, more and more companies and brands are turning away from traditional advertising methods to paid ads on social media.  With so many turning to this form of advertising, it has made it possible for even small companies to have success in paid ads on social media because you do not need a huge budget to reach your intended audience.

However, due to the growing concerns over harmful, illegal, or discriminatory content, social platforms have made policies on the type of content specific companies and brands can advertise.  If you are set to launch an ad without knowing the restrictions, you could waste valuable time and money.

But what happens if your business falls under a content category that could be restricted? Does this mean your social media marketing plan is a done deal? Not a chance!

Here are 3 ways you can advertise on social media platforms

1. Know your Audience (and the rules)

To ensure your ads are not targeting anyone underage or discriminating against anyone, make sure your ad targets people 18 years and older, all genders are chosen and there are no limits on income levels for the target audience. For example, if your ad is for a credit card, auto loan, long-term financing, or other financial-related topics, you must declare your ad under the category of “credit”.  Under this special ad category, you are unable to have an audience based on a specific age or age range, gender and income level. 

2. Choose the Right Platform

Not all social platforms are the same in terms of what kind of content is restricted.  For instance, you can advertise certain healthcare-related products and services on Pinterest, but not on Facebook (without taking extra steps for compliance).  An example of this is the advertisement of over-the-counter (OTC) non-prescription medicine.  On Pinterest, this is allowed whereas on Facebook, to advertise OTC medicine, you must comply with all applicable local laws.  

3. Tap into Brand Partnerships

Using the various social media platforms to now advertise means sometimes you must think outside the box of traditional advertising.  Running “ads” doesn’t always have to come from the company page but instead could come from a brand partnership in the form of an influencer or brand ambassador. One industry that is taking advantage of the popularity of brand partnerships is the alcohol industry. Every social media platform has strict rules and regulations for the advertisement of alcohol. Due to these heavy restrictions on how alcohol companies can advertise, many companies have turned to influencers as an effective way to get their messages and products out to the right audiences, in a legal and tasteful way.

With the current restrictions and possibly more coming regarding how companies and brands can advertise on social media, it is key to develop a high-level strategy.  These advertising plans must reflect each platform’s policies so that a paid ad strategy results in the most important goal of any company, sales and brand recognition.

If you would like help with marketing and advertising, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.

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