You might be wondering if its time to start running a paid advertising campaign for your brand. If increasing your traffic is something you're keen on mastering we recommend you read our latest articles 'Organic VS Paid Traffic - Who's The Winner?' and 'How To Dominate Organic Traffic Campaigns In 3 Easy Steps' so you have a really solid understanding of how traffic flows and campaigns work for your brand, and most importantly how to optimise them.
So is paid traffic worth your time and money? Paid advertising is an awesome way to push more traffic to your site quickly and increase new business, but it can become very expensive very quickly if you aren’t careful. This is where newbies to the paid advertising world get a little scared, and for good reason.
At Evie Studios, we've had new clients come to us showing their previous Google AdWords campaigns, asking why their leads are so crappy. For example, one business came to us with a Google campaign that was costing them an eye watering $3,200k a month. They were receiving around 15 new leads a week but majority of the leads were asking for services they didn't even supply! We knew right away this was because their keywords were too broad and their landing page didn't call people to a specific action. So they were wasting thousands of dollars with only around 6 new bookings a month they could count on.
This is what can make paid traffic campaigns so scary because the dollar signs can count up quickly with nothing to show for it if you don't know what you're doing.
So, how do we make sure that our paid advertising is performing as it should be? There are several things you need to check off before starting a paid traffic campaign. To start a paid campaign you should fall into one of the two categories below:
When You Need Work RIGHT NOW
Many businesses have been hit with a slump during what might be peak times for their business growth due to the pandemic, so this is a need a lot of us are familiar with.
A great reason to start a paid traffic campaign is when you need new clients, jobs or sales right now, no time to waste! This is because many paid ad campaigns work extremely quickly (essentially overnight) and can start bringing in those leads and sales very fast.
Of course the counter struggle of this position is that usually when you need work, you don't have it and therefore might be tight on spending money. This is where you'll need to budget carefully and truly understand what you're getting into so you can make your money stretch.
When You Want To Start Scaling The Business
This is a much nicer position to be in. Here you should already have a pretty well run brand and business with some nice consistent sales or roster of clients providing you with that much needed stability.
Here you'll be wanting to move beyond this comfort zone and start reaching further audiences to build you business even more and gain some rapid growth.
You should be able to use your reliable funds to invest into a well planned paid advertising campaign but be sure to understand the requirements as your well earned money can still disappear very quickly if you don't know what you're doing.
So what do I need to know to get started?
Understand & Choose The Best Platform For Your Campaign
There are many different platforms you can begin your paid traffic campaign with. For example, the below networks allow paid advertising:
Remember, not all platforms are created equal (in our opinion) and some will perform far better than the other ones listed alongside them. Our favourite platforms to work with are Facebook & Instagram, and Google & YouTube for simply the huge reach each platform has and the in-depth analysis they provide to the campaigner.
As a brand, you'll need to decide which platform will provide the best results for your niche or industry, and how much it will cost you. For example, we've listed the platforms below with their best suited niches:
Facebook - All Rounder: Great for a variety of brands, products and professional services
Instagram - All Rounder: However better suited for products than professional services
LinkedIn - Professional Services: Great platform for B2B services and networking
Google - Professional Services: - Perfect for those searching for a specific service right now. Can work well for some products.
YouTube - All Rounder: Great for a variety of brands, products and professional services
Bing - Professional Services: Perfect for those searching for a specific service right now. Can work well for some products.
Gumtree - All Rounder: Can work for a variety of brands, products and professional services however results are extremely varied.
Twitter - Saas Lover: Great platform for conversations, new tech and software products rather than physical products.
TikTok - Products Only: Perfect for 'viral' products and youth tailored brands with well thought out brand identity.
However if your new to the world of paid campaigns I'd just stick to choosing between Facebook & Google for now. So let's dive into how you can decide between the two.
Both Facebook & Google offer ways to essentially 'forecast' your potential results using their platforms. First let's check out Facebook.
Once you're in Business Manager, make sure you're in the right Business Account (if you have multiple) and head to Ads Manager. You'll come across a page like below but without the list of already made campaigns as you'll be starting fresh.
To check out our potential forecast for this campaign you'll need to have researched your demographics pretty well. We'll show you how you can achieve this in the next step. However, for example, let's say you're a Dentist in Melbourne looking for more Teeth Whitening patients right now. So let's click on 'Create' and choose 'Lead Generation' for the Campaign Objective (if you want to capture leads through Facebook, otherwise just choose 'Conversions').
Name your campaign something relevant and click on the 'New Ad Set' to the left of the screen. Here you can play around with the budget. So let's say I have $600 to spend on my paid campaigns per month but I want 10 new patients a week - this will help me make decisions. So I'll leave my budget at $20 a day for now (this will need to be reduced if I plan on making more Ad Sets as the money is always set at an Ad Set level in this example anyway).
Then we'll need to set our location to Melbourne Australia. I'd leave the genders and age as is so we don't narrow the audience too much.
I'll then choose one of my highly researched demographics to go into my Detailed Targeting section. We know that the interests 'Pro White Teeth', 'Smile' and 'White Teeth' are highly valued in this area so we'll be choosing these to start off with. Now we don't usually recommend putting multiple interests into one Ad Set as you won't know which interest is performing best, however when you have little money and don't necessarily want to scale, this strategy can help.
Now let's look to the right side and see what our forecast is. So we're looking at a daily reach of 825 - 2.4K people. This isn't the amount of leads, it's the amount of people who may see your ad or interact with it. We're also looking at less than 10 leads a day.
Now this is a tough one because we can see the potential but some days may bring in low amounts of leads or low quality leads and we're wanting at least 10 new locked in patients a week.
So with that in mind let us head over to Google AdWords.
First you'll need to head to your Google AdWords account. If you don't have one you can make one here. Your account dashboard should look like the below but of course without the running campaigns if you've never run one before.
Head to 'Tools & Settings' and then 'Keyword Planner'. Here you'll need to click 'Get search volume and forecasts' and begin typing in your targeted keywords you've researched. Then hit 'Get Started'
Here you'll need to click 'Get search volume and forecasts' and begin typing in your targeted keywords you've researched (shown in next step). Then hit 'Get Started'.
This will bring you to the below page where you can adjust your budget, location and languages. Most importantly, it shows you what you can expect from a Google AdWords campaign if your were to proceed. Here we can see that this campaign can expect to get 1K clicks with roughly 50 leads and costing in total $660 that month.
Now this looks great a first glance right? Lots of traffic plus hitting your lead KPIs in this forecast seems like a no brainer to go with Google Adwords. Keep in mind Google AdWords can be particularly hard for a newbie to master and actually see effective results because it's not just about the keywords its also about your funnel, USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and search volume.
So then you should go with Facebook right? Yes, Facebook is easier for a newbie to get a handle on but the costs rack up very quickly and you can get a lot of low quality leads. Now that you have the numbers to compare the two platforms your main priority is deciding on which platform is better for your actual USP and which one you're more familiar with.
Understand How To Target The Right Demographics & The Right Keywords
Now you know how to forecast your campaign you probably already have some ideas for a paid traffic launch. Before you get started you'll need to know how to target, and thats what we'll get into now.
So like before, let's start with Facebook. When finding the perfect demographic for your Facebook campaign you'll need to use a tool called Audience Insights. Once you're in there you'll need to select 'Everyone On Facebook' to get a broad understanding of your market.
In Facebook Audience Insights you can break down and filter audiences by:
Country, region or city
Age – the minimum age that can be selected is 18, unlike ads that can be targeted to 13+
Fans of your Facebook page, alternatively these can be excluded
Various advanced options: language, education, relationship status, work, multicultural affinity, parents, politics (in the US only) and life events such as those in a new job or new relationship.
It's a pretty incredible tool and it provides campaigners with solid data access to the users interacting with pages and ads on Facebook. So how do we use this platform? Well when you get into the Facebook Audience Insights dash you should see the below page.
If you're new to Facebook or have a small following count you unfortunately won't be able to break down the data from those who engage in your Facebook Business Page. This is because there simply isn't enough data for Facebook to analyse. So you'll need to create a buyer persona and outline some interests, so hit 'Everyone on Facebook' for your audience.
So let's bring it back to the Melbourne Dentist wanting to sell his Teeth Whitening service. We can begin researching interests in relation to that service. By typing in 'White Teeth' into interests we can already see a pretty interesting breakdown.
Here it looks like more women than men are interested in teeth whitening. It's more likely single people in university are interested in their teeth looking squeaky clean as well. This is just surface level demographics however. Let's dive in deep by looking at the 'Page Likes' tab.
This is where it can get really interesting. By looking at what other pages you target interest looks at and engages with not only gives us some great further interests to target but can also provide a point of reference to the language, style, colours and voice your brand should have in your ads so that its similar to what your audience likes to interact with. Pretty awesome right?!
So looking at the above pages we can see the top interests are the ADSA and Clinic in Crows Nest. It is possible these audiences would buy your teeth whitening service or product, but more likely these are dental students and workers who happen to coincide with your interest because they'd likely be involved in that topic a lot. So this isn't really where we want to focus our attention on. Further down we can see Laser Clinics Australia, Sephora, Priceline, and Mecca are listed. This actually isn't too surprising. We already know our interest skews towards females. Those who take care of their teeth are also likely want to look their best in other areas of their body and appearance. So this would be a fantastic interest to also target.
Now it doesn't just stop there. You can also check the Affinity Score which Facebook defines this as “how likely your audience is to like a given Page compared to everyone on Facebook”.
Here we can see a trend of fashion and cosmetics being the major interests that coincide with teeth whitening. It's good to keep in mind that not all interests listed can be targeted in your campaign so it's good practice to make a list of 10-20 so you can use at least 5-10 of them when targeting in your campaign.
Theres also a lot of logical reasoning and estimation when choosing the right interest to target that only comes with experience. However try and think critically about each interest before adding them to your list. For instance, I would steer away from the fashion brands like Glue Store, PrettyLittleThing, BooHoo, etc because in my mind fashion does not have enough connection to teeth whitening services as Facebook suggests. If I had a teeth whitening product like HiSmile then maybe I'd consider. However cosmetics has a much closer affiliation with teeth whitening treatments because those audiences already put time, money and effort into taking care of their skin and hair every single day. Also considering the makeup and cosmetics industry has high perceived value these audiences are more likely to spend upwards of $250 for a teeth whitening treatment than those who buy a $50 t-shirt from Glue once in a while. So be sure to keep this logic in mind whenever choosing an interest to target.
Okay so that's Facebook's demographics and interests briefly explained. Let's head on over to Google AdWords to understand the right keywords we should be targeting.
The most important thing to understand before doing Google Ads is understanding how Keywords actually work. We like to use Google AdWords Keyword planner because it makes discovering new keywords really easy.
Remember, when looking for the right keywords to target you aren't necessarily looking for the highest-traffic keywords but rather highly qualified and targeted keywords that your potential customers would use. So firstly, you'll need to be aware of 'long-tail keywords. If you read our last article 'How To Dominate Organic Traffic Campaigns In 3 Easy Steps' you'll already be aware of these and we suggest reading that article before moving further.
Essentially they're three to four word phrases that are helpful in indicating that a user is close to purchasing or deciding to take an action. This can be understood with phrases such as 'best Mexican restaurant near me' or 'teeth whitening in Hawthorne'.
So, to get started head to Google AdWords and click 'Keyword Planner', click 'Discover New Keywords' and type your main keyword in.
You'll then be brought to a page similar to the below ranking each keyword with different data breakdowns.
In the example above, the term 'teeth whitening' is considered a "head" keyword meaning that it is searched very frequently with over 33,000 monthly searches. The much less popular term 'teeth whitening near me' receives much lower searches (800 a month) however better represents a long tail keyword. You can go even further by checking out some of the lowest search terms such as 'uv light teeth whitening' or 'teeth whitening for kids' which have even lower monthly searches at 70 per month.
Once you find a long-tail keyword that piques your interest, you can analyse it's CPC (Cost Per Click) and Competition. For example 'teeth whitening' is considered high competition with average CPC of $1.67 and a top bid range of $4.79 (meaning the highest bidder for the click pays that amount of dollars to get that click). Compared to 'teeth whitening near me' which has lower traffic but is actually more expensive to bid with a CPC of $1.80 and a top bid range of $5.16! This demonstrates that not one single piece of data can make a decision for you, rather you need to analyse each keyword in a holistic manner so you can get the best keywords for the lowest price possible.
This is why Google Ads becomes quite tricky for the new players to the paid traffic game. It's a very analytical and numbers based platform, you really need to have a deep understanding on how it works to be successful. The biggest mistake we see many first-time marketers make with PPC advertising is choosing the wrong keywords. When you purchase the 'head' keywords like 'teeth whitening' you will end up spending significantly more money and have very low ROI (Return Of Investment). The key is to target a large number of lower traffic terms in order to stretch your dollar further. Of course this makes your campaign run slower but ultimately gathers more qualified leads at a far lower cost.
Understand How To Track Your Traffic, Leads & Sales
This is huge and we see far too many clients forgo this step. Tracking is an intrinsic element to online marketing, it's why we love digital ads over traditional ads because know just how many people see and interact with our campaigns! If you're not able to see how your ad is performing then you can't make simple campaign decisions and therefore should never ever touch paid advertising. So make sure you setup your tracking before launching!!
Okay now we're done with the lecture heres how to set it up. With both Google Ads and Facebook Ads it's a free and relatively simple process. For Google you'll need to setup Google Analytics, here is a guide to installing this. For Facebook, you'll need to setup your Facebook Pixel, here is a guide for that as well.
Understand How To Setup A Great Landing Page
This is another huge step many businesses don't bother with and it essentially flushes their hard earned money right down the drain. It's absolutely vital to send your incoming visitors to a unique page (landing page) on your website rather than just your homepage or services page. This may seem strange at first but there are VERY good reasons for this.
Landing pages allow you to customise your message for incoming visitors. This means that you can continue the message that you chose to convey in your ad, which creates a cohesive experience and builds trust.
A custom landing page allows you to push visitors toward specific actions, such as downloading a free ebook or booking a strategy call. It also keeps them away from all your other site navigations so they don't get distracted.
Landing pages make tracking your visits very easy. This is especially important as we emphasised above.
Now when it comes to Facebook marketing you can actually forgo this if you're just after lead generation. Facebook now has in-built forms on the platform that your ad can directly link to so potential clients can simply leave their info and you've got a lead without them ever leaving Facebook. However if you're trying to sell a product or going with Google Ads you'll 100% need a landing page.
So how do you make the best landing page? Well I'm afraid that is a little out of the scope of this article but we'll very likely publish an in-depth article on landing pages in the coming weeks. Let us know if you want that here!
Essentially you need to push your visitor through the buying experience and influence them to take a specific action because they understand the value of what you're selling. There are some great funnel and landing page resources and builders out there (all costing money) but we recommend checking out ClickFunnels and UnBounce to get an idea of what we're talking about.
So Are You Actually Ready To Start A Paid Campaign?
That comes back to the first two categories we mentioned at the start of this article: 'When you need work right now' and 'When you want to start scaling the business' - do you fall into either of these categories? If you do and you have a budget to spare, then yes, I would suggest looking into paid campaigns.
Are you ready to actually launch the campaign? If this is the first and only article you've ready about paid campaigns then I would say no. There is so much to making a successful paid campaign and it is high risk when you consider the monetary investment you have to make. So you really need to do you research, and I mean REALLY research.
If you don't have time to research or simply don't have an interest in spending that amount of time trying to figure paid campaigns out you can always contact a marketing agency to take care of your campaigns for you. This is what they're designed to do and experienced at (*cough cough* hit us up here) and they can help you break through that entry barrier with real results.
At the end of the day choosing to start a paid marketing campaign is just like any other business decision. Research, weigh up your options and decide. You'll know if you're ready.
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