6 Things to Consider Before Investing in Paid Ads
I'm having weekly conversations with clients about digital advertising. It was always a hot topic, but it seems like now more than ever, with so many people finally jumping on the content marketing bandwagon, we're all trying to figure out how to define our own space in whatever industry we happen to be in.
Not so fast.
Remember the days of "boosting" posts? I remember when it first started - that's how long I've been in the game. Before that, you HAD to grow your audience organically by using some good old fashioned digital networking ("Hey - can you post my blog on your page?"). Then the "boost" button showed up on Facebook and we thought, "This looks like for just $10 I can grow my audience by THOUSANDS."
Since then, internet and social media advertising has gotten so complex that it has its own niche in the marketing space. In my case, I've brought in a consultant who does nothing BUT that (thank God because I might be creative, but working with analytics makes me want to punch a wall). I know that my strength is in creating the marketing/messaging and it would be irresponsible for me to say that I'm an expert in analytics.
What I DO know is that successful advertising is a mix of both a creative message AND smart paid outreach. So, when a client asks me about digital advertising, it's a much bigger question than they realize.
What's your goal?
Most people will automatically say they want to grow their business (however some companies are just looking for brand awareness). Okay, well if you want to grow your business then it's not just a matter of throwing up a Google Ad - that's not going to capture the leads you want.
You have to figure out the following:
Once the ad is clicked on...where does the user go? Do I need to create a landing page on my website? Or is this going to a blog?
How do I target specific groups of people who will be interested in this information?
When they're there, what's the call to action? Am I offering a free guide? A sign up to my newsletter?
What am I offering that's so valuable that someone will give me their information?
Is the form they're filling out going to weed out the leads I don't want?
Once they've signed up for my offer...then what? How do I follow up with them? Do I need a drip email campaign?
I hate to say this, but if your head is swimming a little bit thinking about all of that...it should be. It's a process that needs to be intentional and on purpose. Not only that, but once you have the process worked out, it's now time to figure out who you're targeting. Because just throwing this out into the world trying to attract everyone WILL NOT WORK.
That's where a professional comes in.
Again, I've been at this for a long time and I still don't have the patience to babysit a digital marketing campaign. The Social Seed Marketing consultant, Lora Gallagher, does everything from set up your audience to manage your campaign on an ongoing basis. This means she's...
Finding target audiences.
Estimating keyword costs/clicks.
Comparing what audiences are responding and making changes accordingly.
Watching who is clicking on what ad.
Watching who is filling out your opt-in forms so she can give you a clear idea of where your money is going.
Providing you with reports so you can make educated decisions on what's working and what isn't.
Here's the thing. It doesn't matter if you take out a Facebook ad that's going to reach a million people if those million people AREN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING. You're better off thoughtfully reaching a few thousand that have a higher percentage of people who contact you or provide you with their information than just throwing something at the wall to see if it sticks.
And I'm sorry to say this, but if this blog has overwhelmed you a little about digital advertising...it should. DON'T throw your money away on something that has a very small chance of doing what you want it to do. Find a trusted expert who is conscious of your budget and who will take the time to really manage what you have going on.