As more and more people reach for Google instead of the phone book, online ads are becoming the best way to get your business in front of the right people. Solutions such as Facebook Ads and Google AdWords put your ads where people are hanging out. If done correctly, these platforms can open up an entirely new market of new and existing customers. To get started, here are the do’s and don’ts of running online ads for your business.
Do’s and Don’ts of Running Online Ads for Your Business
1. If you’re selling an offer, don’t send users straight to your home page.
This is the number one reason why online ads fail. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer: you see an ad for a discounted massage. Great! I’ve got my credit card out and I’m ready to buy. But when I click the ad, I’m simply sent to the business’ home page. Wait, where is the offer that I just clicked on? Where can I buy the very thing I wanted?
If your offer isn’t easily claimable, if you require excessive work from your customers to find the offer, chances are you’re going to lose them.
2. Do send customers to a dedicated landing page that allows them to buy right away.
Now imagine you’re a customer who has just clicked on the ad for a discounted massage. Instead of having to navigate a business’ website, you can simply enter your credit card information and be on your way.
3. Do use ads to find your target customer.
One of the best things about online ads is how highly customizable they are. Only looking to reach women, age 35-55 within 25 miles of your business who have visited your website before? Or do you want men, age 21-35 who have never visited your website before? Online ads are always targeted so you’re never wasting your budget showing ads to people who would never make a purchase.
4. Don’t think online advertising has to be crazy expensive.
A lot of businesses rule out online advertising like Facebook Ads or Google Ads from the get-go because they believe that it is simply out of their budget. While it’s true that you have to set some funds aside for online ads, it doesn’t have to be wildly expensive. We typically see clients who spend as little as a few hundred dollars a month. If you’re coming across consultants or agencies that ask upwards of a few thousand dollars, you may be headed down the wrong track.
5. But do set aside an advertising budget.
Online advertising shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg but it will cost you. This is okay. You should think of online ads as an investment (brand recognition of seeing your business name over and over will bode well for the future). If that’s what you’re looking for, perhaps online advertising isn’t the best fit for you right now. Instead, consider less expensive alternatives like email marketing, Facebook posting and boosting or blogging.
6. Do measure success in terms of ROI – return on investment.
Sure you can quantify the success of an ad by how many claims, purchases, or new customers it brought it. But what’s even more effective is measuring your income as compared to your expenses. How much are you spending on ads per week, per month, per quarter, per year and how much is it bringing back to you? If you find that you’re constantly spending more than you’re earning, perhaps it’s time to rethink your strategy.
7. Don’t try to manage it all on your own.
While platforms like Facebook for Business and Google AdWords Express make it a lot easier to manage your ads, they’re still incredibly complex and time-consuming. For example, Facebook ads allow you to A/B test different graphics for one ad, but how do you know which graphics to choose? How do you know how much money to put behind each ad, who to show it to, and when? And how can you keep track of it all as time goes on?
The hardest part about online advertising is often making sure you’re not wasting your money. Finding a good partner to help define and reach your online advertising goals will make all the difference.
Interested in running Facebook Ads or Google Ads for your business? Need help optimizing your ads and your budget? Get in touch with us here.