So you’ve laid the foundations with your organic and earned marketing, and you’re seeing results.
(If you’re not, go back and figure out why. You’ll only waste money by applying budget.)
Great! It’s time to start creating and buying ads. As a general guideline, best results can be achieved when you have a minimum budget to spend of $5,000.
First, identify your end goal. There are around 15 different campaign objectives on Facebook alone and there’s no point trying each of them to see what works – your budget will shrink fast.
Once you know your goal, (for example, brand awareness) you can reverse-engineer your customer journey to see what it will take to get you there and pick the right type of advertising for what you need.
Search engine advertising
This gets your product or service in front of an in-market audience. This makes it one of the most expensive strategies in terms of paid marketing, but also the one that delivers the hottest prospects – if you’ve got the right rankings & language to communicate that you’ve got what they want.
What does that mean? They’ve searched for ‘design your own coffee mug’ on Google – and guess what, your business just so happens to offer that, and you have an ad running that mentions it. They see the ad, they click on it, bada bing, bada boom.
Read more: A few hard-earned lessons for startups
This is good for broad brand awareness, typically. You can implement video ads on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, in apps, and so on. They come on as pre-roll before the video the audience intends to watch, and they’re usually designed to get customers to click through. Alternatively, you can use video as the main tactic in a paid ad on a social media platform.
Make sure your ad is being shown to relevant viewers; there’s no guarantee that an audience watching guitar lesson videos is going to pay attention to an ad about a restaurant. Pro-tip – it’s easier to get people watching a Facebook video to click through than it is YouTube.
Social media advertising
The average person has five social media accounts and spends 1h 40mins browsing these networks a day. And unlike with traditional marketing channels, social media can be targeted, monitored, adjusted and optimised – in real time. So why is social media not at the top of this list? Because it requires a full strategy to deliver the best results. With ever-shorter attention spans and more noise in market, consumers aren’t going to buy in just one click. You have to design ads that move customers closer and closer to the goal, working gradually through a customer journey from awareness to understanding & wanting to converting. Read more about the marketing funnel here.
That’s why our tip for social media ads is do not use the Boost button. Facebook, as an example, will happily take your money and show your ad to an audience who will view & like it… but they won’t be your target audience and they won’t convert nearly as well as if you ran a targeted campaign with Business Manager. It’s easy to waste money on social media. This channel needs a lot of attention.
Display & retargeting advertising
Retargeting ads are some of the most effective kinds of ads. Assuming a customer has visited your website and you have a retargeting pixel set up, your ads will show up in other places around the internet, essentially reminding a customer that they wanted your product or service at some point… and they might want it again soon.
If there’s a low barrier to purchase for your brand (like if you’re selling photobooks), generic brand awareness banner ads are a great tactic. These don’t require any retargeting – it’s simply a display ad, like a big digital billboard.
If there’s a high price point and a lot of consideration (like if you’re selling solar panels or a horse), then you’ll want retargeting, because you want customers who are already in the market for your product specifically. But retargeting can be effective anywhere. Have you recently read a New York Times article or been browsing airfares? Then you might get served ads like these…
(PS. If it’s just white space above, your Adblocker is recognising the screenshot as an ad!)
All of these types of paid advertising can help supercharge your business growth. But if you’re paying to get (hopefully, lots of) eyeballs on your marketing, you need to make sure your customer journey is seamless. Where are people going when they click on those ads? What do you want them to do? And if they buy your service or product, are they going to be happy with it?
Marketing itself is one big, fun puzzle with a constantly-changing picture. Paid marketing is a powerful puzzle piece – but never forget that it is just one piece of a much larger picture.
Do you run paid marketing? Are you looking for a tool to track all your cross-platform spends on one screen? Digivizer can help with that.