Everywhere you look in the world today there is some form of advertising. Whether it’s on billboards, bus stops, cellphones, tablets, computers, video games, tv/streaming services, or even alternate/virtual reality, brands and businesses are taking advantage of any available space to push their product or service to consumers. Most of the largest companies in the world are utilizing multiple, if not all, of these platforms because they understand that users’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. They need to be constantly reminded of your product/service so that you can keep them in your funnel and hopefully convert.
For small businesses, paying for advertising comes with a completely different set of questions and challenges. Some include:
- Where do I start?
- What platforms should I be utilizing & when?
- How big does my budget need to be?
- Who should I target with my ads?
- What should my ads say? What should they look like?
- How will I know that my ads have truly been successful?
All of these questions are valid and it’s essential to have a clear understanding of this information. The overarching theme of this series of questions is really to decide if you and your business are fully prepared to start paid ads. There are a lot of businesses that have been burned by having unclear expectations or goals. Hopefully, the information here helps you make a more informed decision when it comes to starting ads for your business, or even when looking for an agency partner to help in your marketing efforts.
Where do I start?
- The best place to start is to first have a full understanding of exactly what you are trying to accomplish with ads. Are you trying to simply make people more aware of your brand? Are you wanting to lead more people to your website/app? Would you like to generate a list of high-quality leads? This information will impact all of the other questions here. Without understanding what direction you’re going in, your advertising efforts are a ship with no captain, simply going wherever the sea may take them.
How big does my budget need to be?
- The size of your budget depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your ads, but that’s not the biggest deciding factor. The biggest deciding factor will of course be how much are you comfortable investing into these efforts. More funds do give more opportunities to test and optimize, but you shouldn’t let this deter you from getting started with advertising and slowly graduating to bigger campaigns. If you have anywhere from $250-1000 to invest in paid ads each month you can get started; however, marketing is a business where your expected results should be tailored to how much you’ve invested. There is no $100 ad that is going to take your up-and-coming business to the S&P 500.
What platforms should I be utilizing & when?
- As stated above, there are countless platforms and placements where businesses can choose to show their ads. You have the major players like Google & Meta, but there are also smaller platforms, like TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit, & LinkedIn, that may actually perform better depending on what you are trying to accomplish. There are added benefits of using more than one platform; however, for businesses with smaller advertising budgets, it’s better to make one as strong as possible rather than diluting your efforts across multiple platforms. The main thing here will be decided by who you are targeting and where you are most likely to get them engaged with what you’re offering.
Who should I be targeting with my ads?
- Your business may already have a clear understanding of this or you may be just starting out. For most businesses, you have both a target audience and a converting audience. In some cases, these audiences are the same, but for some businesses that are just getting started or transitioning these are different. If the two audiences are different, ask yourself why. Why is your ideal customer not converting? Why is the other demographic converting? These two questions will help you figure out if the way your product/service is positioned needs to be reevaluated or if you should focus the marketing for your product on the audience that is actually converting.
What should my ads say? What should they look like?
- Your brand/business’ tone of voice and appearance should be cohesive everywhere that the public interacts with it; this includes advertising. Your ads should also convey why people should want to buy your products or pay for your services/expertise. Best practices here are to develop multiple ad visuals (3-5; per unique goal) and combinations of verbiage and test them against each other to see which is best received by your audience.
How will I know that my ads have truly been successful?
- Determining the success of your ads comes down to one thing: analytics. Depending on how many platforms you decide to use there may be multiple places that you need to check in order to go to review performance, but taking the time to fully understand this information is key. You don’t want to throw money out into the world and hope it just translates into something. You want to know how people are interacting with your ads, how they are interacting with your app/website, what audience is converting best, how many conversions have you had in total, how much return have you made on your investment, and so much more. The goal is to make money as effectively and efficiently as possible, and this is the tool that helps you accomplish that.
Do I have time to monitor, manage, & optimize my ads?
- This question is one that only you can answer. Monitoring performance and optimizing ads is not something that can be placed on the back burner if you expect quality results from your ad campaigns. It also doesn’t make sense to trade off time to monitor and optimize advertising if it takes away from the overall efficacy of the business. All of this doesn’t even take into account having the actual knowledge and expertise to know what you’re actually looking at in terms of analytics. This is when it becomes beneficial to explore the option of hiring an agency as your marketing partner.
Here at The Kool Source, we understand that there’s a lot that goes into the decision to start paid ads. We also understand that when you are busy building and maintaining a business, you don’t really have time to also manage advertising efforts. We’d like to help free you from that burden by becoming your business’ surrogate marketing agency. Our team has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to meet not only your paid advertising needs but also to meet you wherever you may be in the marketing journey. Check out all the services that we currently offer here: https://thekoolsource.net/our-capabilities/. If you’re interested, please reach out to us and schedule a free 15-min discovery call to see how we might be able to help!