As a business owner or marketer, it is up to you to find the best weapons to drive traffic to your website and increase sales. There are plenty of tools to help you do just that, and a lot of them don’t cost anything. Organic marketing methods, such as blogging, using social media, leveraging email marketing, and optimizing your website for conversion, are all free (or extremely free) strategies. cheap).
So why are so many marketers turning to paid advertising?
Because when well executed and correctly paired with your content marketing strategy, paid advertising can generate a substantial return on investment and help you achieve your marketing goals.
Where to start ? Between search, social media, posting and discovering content, you have a multitude of options to choose from. For example, which platforms should you use? How do you get paid advertising to get the most bang for your buck?
Before you start …
There are a few important factors you will need to consider before decide on the best paid advertising strategy. Start by taking the time to answer these 3 questions:
1. What are my high level goals?
This is a critical question. Countless marketers go into creating campaigns without thinking about what they’re trying to accomplish. This often creates confusing results on which success cannot be measured.
To avoid this fate, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish with your paid campaigns: Are you trying to increase your blog subscribers? Generate more leads? Convert existing leads into customers? Whatever your goals (yes, you can have more than one), knowing them inside and out will serve as a solid basis for planning your campaigns.
2. What metrics will I use to measure results?
The next thing you need to do is determine which metrics will determine whether you are progressing towards your goals. Also, let’s not forget that cost is always a factor here, since you are ultimately trying to get the most dollar value. outside of your campaigns than what you put in them. Metrics are your best bet in determining that all-important ROI.
Here are some useful metrics to track in your advertising campaigns (choose the ones that will be the best indicators of progress):
- Click-through rate (CTR): A percentage indicating the number of clicks on your ads out of the total ad impressions.
- Conversion rate: What percentage of people converted your offer (or took the intended action) of those who clicked.
- Number of new subscribers: If your goal is to grow your subscriber database, be sure to keep track of the number of new subscribers generated by your ad campaigns.
- Cost per subscriber: Divide your total campaign spend by the number of new subscribers you’ve generated.
- Number of new prospects: If your goal is to generate leads, you’ll need to keep track of how many new leads can be attributed directly to your ad campaigns.
- Cost per prospect: Divide your total campaign spend by the number of leads you generated.
- Conversion rate of prospects into customers: If your goal is to turn more of your prospects into customers, you need to focus on increasing that number.
- Cost per customer: Divide your total campaign spend by the number of customers you generated.
- Total income: Whatever your specific goals, you must always track the amount of revenue generated by your campaigns, as this will determine your return on investment.
- Global ROI: As with any marketing channel, you should be able to determine the overall ROI of your paid advertising. If you haven’t already, set up an SLA system where you assign different values ââto different types of leads. Each value should be based on their likelihood of generating income.
3. How much budget am I prepared to devote to these campaigns?
Finally, you will need to decide how much budget you are willing to spend on your paid advertising campaigns. The more budget you have, the more flexible you can be to try different approaches and test different channels. That being said, you can still glean valuable information from relatively small budgets. In fact, if you are able to score well in low budget testing, you may be able to justify the extra expense.
Explore the advertising ecosystem
While you may get some idea of ââwhich advertising channels are best suited to your goals and audience, you won’t really know for sure until you have the data to prove it. That’s why I recommend experimenting with a few different channels to see which ones perform the best.
Let’s take a look at some of the options you can choose from when it comes to paid advertising. (I love this CMI chart as a starting point)
Google Adwords (along with other search networks like Bing and Yahoo!) allows you to run PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns by bidding on certain keywords you want your ads to appear for. These ads are in text form and will appear either at the top or on the right side of the search results page.
Advantages: It’s a great way to target very specific search terms. If you have a solid keyword strategy and a flexible budget, you may be able to generate good traffic.
The inconvenients: PPC ads can get very expensive very quickly. They also come with a fundamental trade-off: you can pay a lot to bid on very competitive keywords (and have a chance of higher volume results), or you can bid a small amount on less competitive keywords. which will result in a very small audience.
Good choice if …: You have a decent budget, you’ve researched the best keyword opportunities for your business, and you have the resources to invest in frequent campaign optimization.
Social media advertising
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have fantastic advertising options. On all these networks, you will have the possibility to publish promoted posts, “boost” organic posts or launch campaigns that will attract more likes and followers.
Additionally, although these platforms have grown in popularity over the past few years, they still provide an advantage for industries that have been slow to adopt them.
Advantages: Social media ads are designed to appear natively in the overall user experience. This means that fun and relevant ads will help you attract a very engaged audience. You’ll also have plenty of options for audience targeting and ad content testing.
The inconvenients: Depending on your business and industry, your audience may not have a strong social media presence or lean heavily on specific social media. In other words, you might need to invest some money in testing where you should, well, spend Following cash.
Good choice if …: Your target audience is heavily engaged in the social media space. Pick campaigns that closely match your overall goals, and (if budget allows) test a few campaigns on each social network to see which generates the lowest cost.
A more âtraditionalâ advertising option, display ads are a way to present your product or message on various websites. Here’s how it works: Affiliate sites allow you to download banner ads of different sizes. After that, these ads will be available to other website owners who can display the ads on their sites for reduced profits.
You will pay either by printing Where per click of your ads. If you have the option, pay per click as that means viewers actually saw your ad and took action.
Advantages: Display ads can be a good choice for product or visual messaging. They can also be effective for B2C and e-commerce businesses.
The inconvenients: Banner ads often get a low CTR. This means that they can become very expensive if they do not generate the desired results. Banner ads also tend to be viewed as a very intrusive form of advertising.
Good choice if …: You have the budget to test a number of options and the resources to create well-designed banner ads.
If you are looking to drive traffic to your blog or website, content discovery platforms are a great option. Platforms like Brain and Taboola help expand your reach by placing links to your blog posts in the “Recommended Articles” or “Suggested Content” sections at the bottom of other blog posts from sites.
Advantages: Sharing your content through these content discovery services can give your brand high visibility on top sites, such as CNN, Slate.com, and Inc.com. They can also make a real dent in your traffic and lead generation goals.
The inconvenients: You may need to experiment with a number of different content to find which gets the most clicks. This option is also very traffic-oriented, so go for another paid advertising method if your focus is on converting.
Good choice if …: You’re looking to grow your subscribers and get more traffic with a pretty robust content arsenal at your disposal.
While these are the big buckets of paid advertising channels, there are several other options in each one. âTestingâ is the name of the game, and I encourage you to keep testing new channels, different ads, and audience targeting. Most importantly, follow these metrics closely throughout. In the end, you’ll be on your way to collecting very informative data (and results) about your audience.