When it comes to online marketing for your business, the reality is that most businesses will find they need to run paid ads at some point. Whether it’s all year-round, for peak seasons such as Christmas, or something that you engage in for specific campaigns, paid ads are something all businesses regardless of size will think about at some point.
When it comes to ads you might feel you’re spoilt for choice with digital ads available on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Bing, and more. It’s important to remember though that when it comes to running paid ads you need to do some work first, don’t just get the credit card out and hit boost hoping for an uptick in sales.
We’ve listed some tips, by no means everything you need to consider but a few pointers to ensure you’ve got some of the essentials covered before you start spending.
Define your goals
Before you launch any paid advertising campaign, it’s important that you take the time to define your goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your campaign? Are you looking to generate more leads, increase brand awareness, or drive sales? Once you know what your goals are, you’ll be able to create ads that are more likely to help you achieve them and your network of choice will guide you through the process of creating the right ads for this campaign. Where you have multiple goals e.g. drive traffic and generate leads, you should run separate ads with each specific goal in mind.
Research your audience
Once you know what your goals are, you need to start thinking about who your target audience is. Who are the people that you want to reach with your ads? What are their demographics? What are their interests? What stage are they at in the buyer journey i.e. are they completely oblivious of the fabulous new product or service you offer or are they actively researching their options ready to make a purchase? The more that you know about your audience, the better able you will be to create ads that will resonate with them. If you’ve never done an exercise on defining your ideal customer or, it’s been a while, now would be a good idea to review your client avatars or buyer personas, read more in this post from our blog on this.
Choose the right platform
There are a number of different paid advertising platforms out there, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. You need to take the time to research the different options and choose the one that is best suited for your business and your goals and also the specific campaign(s) you have in mind right now. Be mindful that your choice of platform will likely evolve over time, after all an ad campaign may have worked in the past but would it really be the right option for you at this point in time when the platform is in turmoil? Similarly, you may have had great results from Facebook/Instagram ads in the past but your audience is moving gradually to TikTok, so you need to be thinking about following them.
Create compelling ad content
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to start creating your ad content, and yes, maybe this is easier said than done (our next point touches on this). Your ad copy is the text that will appear in your ad, so it’s important that it is compelling and persuasive. You need to make sure that it’s clear and concise, and that it includes a call-to-action that will encourage people to click through to your website or landing page. And, in a world where visuals can make all the difference in whether marketing efforts are successful or not you need to ensure that the graphics, photos, or video you choose for your ads are right for your target audience. For example, if I was selling make-up designed for a more mature lady, would it be effective if the model in the ad was half that age? We have a shorter attention span than ever before, take advantage of the myriad options available on the various platforms and experiment with text and visuals for the right impact.
Test, measure, and optimize
Finally, once you’ve launched your campaign, it’s important that you take the time to test, measure, and optimize it. See how people are responding to your ads and make changes accordingly. Try different versions of your ad copy and see which ones perform the best. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your budget and make sure that you’re not spending more than you can afford on paid advertising. Often you’ll find that a particular style of ad delivers a larger proportion of traffic to your website and you may choose to repeat this format, updating text and images but keeping a similar style. On other occasions you might see a warning from a platform that your ads are suffering from ‘creative fatigue’ i.e. they’re not responding as the ads need an overhaul because people aren’t paying so much attention now.
Paid advertising can make a dramatic difference in any business but the trick is in ensuring that you’re not spending large sums of money on the platform you thought might work for you or that you were advised is the place to be right now. Testing and evaluating the result is crucial when it comes to any paid campaigns, as it not being wary of making significant changes when something no longer works as it used to.
At The Marketing Shop, we can work with you on putting together the right strategy for your marketing, including paid advertising campaigns, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a discovery call.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.