It’s a question that’s been plaguing marketing managers and directors alike for years. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. It depends on so many different things, such as your goals, budget, and what industry you’re operating in. You will need to do your own research, but this blog is a good start!
As marketing professionals, we’re here to demonstrate the importance of online paid advertising. Its significance in the modern world is massive, and it’s crucial that you recognise this when you’re strategising for your company.
What is online paid advertising?
It takes many different forms, such as a Google Ad, a boosted Facebook post or a rich media YouTube banner. At its heart, though, it’s a way of showing your product or service to your desired customer at a time and place of your choice.
Google and Facebook are the biggest online paid advertising networks, with a 32% and 19% market share respectively¹. They’ve both dominated for several years now and offer a wide variety of paid advertising services for you to consider.
There are plenty of other, smaller networks too, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Amazon that you should take into consideration.
Will it work for me?
The short answer is: probably. Online paid advertising can work for virtually any business and industry. Making it work effectively, though, will take research, effort, money, and time.
To start, you need to identify a few things that will help you create and target your ads. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my customer? (Demographic, motivations, lifestyle, etc.)
- Am I targeting a business or a consumer? (They require very different advertising strategies.)
- How do my customers find my product or service at the moment?
- What are some keywords or phrases that are most associated with my product or service? (You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner to help with this.)
- How do my customers like to be talked to?
A lot of these questions will be difficult to answer at the beginning. That’s okay, you don’t need to have all of the answers right away. Start by answering what you know, or what you think you know, and trialling some ads on different networks.
It’s all about substance
Once you’ve decided that you want to give it a go, there’s a step-by-step process that you can take to creating your first online ad.
In general, this is similar between ad networks, but there will be some differences. You will need to use different sized images, varying copy lengths, and different strategies on different networks.
That being said, this basic process works for many of the major ad networks:
1. Plan your ad. Start by considering who your audience is and the best way to present your product or service to them. What are their motivations and desires? Why should they buy what you’re offering? How does your product or service solve a problem they have? Try and get to the heart of who your customer is before you begin constructing your ad.
2. Write your ad. Using the information from step 1, start writing. It sounds simple, but come up with as many variations as you can for your ad. The more variations and ideas you create, the easier it will be to establish a great message that fits with your audience.
If you’re having trouble, try to step into your audience’s shoes. Think about what they want to hear that will solve the problem they’re having.
3. If appropriate, research and select an image. You won’t always need one, but an image can improve an ad immeasurably! Don’t rush this part. An image is often the first thing someone will see from your ad. Do your research, find as many alternatives as you can, and weigh up the differences
If possible, try to avoid sterile, boring stock photography. Use an image that conveys your message and will mean something to your audience at a glance.
4. Refine and innovate! Once your ad campaign has finished, review the statistics and evaluate its success. We’ll delve into this more in the section below.
Don’t forget the analytics!
Once your first ad campaign has finished running, it’s time to measure its success! Keeping track of how your ads perform is critical to getting the most for your money.
Make sure that you link your Google AdWords and Analytics accounts to ensure that you have all of the data you need. Doing this means that you can track not only how your ad has performed, but also how it has impacted on your website traffic and performance.
Consider setting up a simple spreadsheet to track your ad performance. Some key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure would be total clicks, click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and conversion rate.
Total clicks are the number of times someone clicked on your ad. CTR shows what percentage of people who saw your ad clicked on it. CPC measures how much money you paid for each click during that campaign. The conversion rate is a percentage representation of how many people converted after they clicked. A conversion could be anything from buying a product to signing up to your newsletter, you will decide this when creating your ad.
This probably all sounds a bit complicated. Don’t worry! Take it slowly, design your ads carefully, review their success, do frequent research, and keep learning. Remember to involve your co-workers and get opinions on your ads, especially if you aren’t sure why they’re underperforming.
The world of online paid advertising can be daunting, especially when you’re just starting out. redPepper Marketing are here if you need a helping hand. Our expert team of digital experts would be happy to talk you through how online paid advertising can be used to improve your marketing results! Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more, or even book a meeting if you prefer a face-to-face approach.