Organic marketing practices like search engine optimization, content marketing and social media are all excellent ways to engage with your audience, but you’re missing out if you don’t also include ads in your strategy. Digital ads allow you to target specific users, improve visibility, and enhance your brand image beyond what organic marketing alone could ever achieve.
It may sound simple, but running an ad campaign is just as complex as any other marketing activity. It requires proper planning before you jump in.
Finding the Best Places to Advertise
The first thing to do is decide where you want to advertise. As there are several options, you may like to spread your campaigns across a few platforms to find out which work best for your business.
Google Ads is a top choice if you already have an organic presence. You may even be able to dominate the search results for your top-ranking keywords. Another benefit of Google Ads is that you can create both display and text ads. Furthermore, the longer you use Google Ads, the better your quality score, which leads to a higher ROI.
Although you’ll likely receive less traffic from Bing than with Google, it is worthwhile trying Bing Ads, as they can sometimes produce better returns. Plus, the platform works much the same as Google, so you can often use the same ads for both search engines.
As the most widely-used social media platform, Facebook is an obvious choice for social ads. In addition, it has the advantage of the most targeted advertising available. You can specify your audience based on demographics, interests and behavior—all of which Facebook knows because of user interactions on the platform.
If you’re a B2B company, you should also consider LinkedIn for your ads. You’ll reach professionals when they’re in a work frame of mind. LinkedIn has great targeting options, especially if you want to direct ads to users according to job title, industry, company size, or other similar categories.
Another possibility to consider is StumbleUpon. The platform offers a paid discovery option that will put your content on its homepage. You can choose from a variety of exposure options, all of which use a PPC model.
Other Social Media Platforms
If your business is active on other social media platforms, you should research their advertising potential, too. For instance, if you have a presence on Instagram, you can use the same Facebook ad platform.
Ad Copy Best Practices
Ads are only successful when they have great copy. Whatever you’re advertising, there are a few best practices that will always apply.
Consider Users’ Wants and Needs
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes as you write ad copy. What is it that users want or need and how can your offerings help? Talk about how you fulfill customers’ needs, rather than about how great your company is.
Address Your Audience
Make it clear that your business is talking to the user by using “you” and “we.” Steer clear of passive voice.
Use Emotive Words
No one will click your ad unless you grab their attention. Spark some kind of emotion in users—excitement, anxiety, fear of missing out, relief, anger or amusement. Choose whatever works best for your offering.
Present a convincing argument by adding numbers and statistics. This is especially effective in headlines.
Think about what objections users may have to your ad, such as inconvenience or expense, and dispel these concerns with your copy.
Tell Users What to Do Next
End your ad with a call-to-action (CTA) that tells users exactly what you want them to do and use a strong verb to encourage clicks. This means that when users arrive at the landing page, there will be no surprises—they’ll be ready to take action and convert.
How to Find the Right Keywords
Finding the right keywords requires the same process as identifying search terms for search engine optimization. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use your SEO keyword list—bear in mind that users who respond to your ads may be different from those clicking on organic listings.
To build your list of keywords, start by writing as many phrases as you can think of that describe your offerings. Consider if you want to reach a select audience or a wide range of users to determine how specific to be with your keywords.
Finally, use a tool like Keyword Planner to see how competitive a keyword is. Keyword Planner will also provide you with estimates for traffic, clicks and impressions if you use the term for Google ads.
Targeting Your Audience
You should already have a clear idea of who makes up your target audience, but knowing specific demographics is extra important for targeting. To ensure that you are targeting the right users, monitor who responds to your ads and then change targeting appropriately. For instance, if you notice a higher number of users than expected fall into a certain age group, you should start targeting this group with all your ads.
How to Set a Budget
The last thing you need to do is decide how much of your budget to dedicate to online advertising. For ads to have an effect, you need to run campaigns continuously over the long term. It is essential to set a budget that you can keep to, even if it means spending only a small amount at any given time.
Most small businesses spend around 1% of their revenue on advertising—digital and traditional combined. However, the exact amount you choose to designate to ads will depend on how many other activities go into your marketing strategy.
Once you have completed all the above, you’re ready to launch your first ad campaign. Experiment with advertising on various places and using different copy, targeting options and long-tail keywords. Running two versions of every ad can help with this. As you measure the results, make constant changes to ensure that each campaign is optimized.
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