Most small business owners start with organic marketing strategies. Such as social media content, blogs, a search engine optimized website, and email marketing. While these are all necessary foundations for your business, there will come a time when you’re ready to invest in a paid marketing tactic like paid advertising. The question is, though: When do I know I’m ready to start using paid ads?
Keep reading to find out the benefits of paid advertising. And five things to consider before allocating funds to an advertising budget.
Paid digital advertising, such as social media or search engine ads, helps increase your visibility and allows you to reach people your organic marketing may not.
Through social media ads, you can target audiences based on demographics, interests, and much more. This helps you to get your content right in front of your ideal customer as they scroll. With millions of people spending hours a day on social media, it truly is one of the most effective ways to increase brand or product awareness.
Through search engine ads, you can target audiences based on specific search terms as well as demographics. While SEO can help businesses show up organically on the first page of Google. It’s hard for most small businesses to compete against the page rankings of large competitors for some of those more competitive keywords. Investing in Google ads can increase your website traffic, storefront visits, calls to your business, sales, and much more.
Whether on social media or search engines, investing in paid ads is a big step for any business owner. This is why it’s so important to know when the right time is for you to make this investment.
Before investing in paid advertising, you must already have a validated offer or product. Digital ads aren’t the place to “see what sticks.” You should have conducted thorough market research and have a great deal of feedback from customers or clients before this stage in your marketing strategy.
Putting out paid ads for a product or service that isn’t validated is like throwing money at something and hoping it works. Sometimes you could get lucky and have a positive return on ad spend (ROAS), but it isn’t worth taking the risk. Make sure you have done the research and have the data to show your target audience needs and wants what you’re selling.
In addition to validating your offer or product through research and organic marketing. You also need to perfect your messaging before investing in paid advertising. The copy you write for your ad could arguably be the most important part of the ad. This is why it’s crucial to have copy that you already know connects with your target audience. Through your previously successful organic marketing, market research, client feedback, focus groups, and general experience from selling your product or service are all ways to know what copy to use to convert your ideal client into paying customers. If you don’t know what copy converts yet, it probably isn’t the right time to put money toward ads.
Ensuring your website is optimized for organic traffic is critical before sending paid traffic to your website. Does your website load quickly? Can it handle an increase or spike in visitors? Do you have dead links or page errors? Are your URLs, page titles, and page descriptions keyword optimized? If your website isn’t yet getting the organic traffic you want, make sure you go through an SEO checklist before attempting to send paid traffic to your site. (Yes, your SEO and website experience affects your ad ranking!)
In addition to the foundations of SEO, you should have Google Analytics installed on your website and have an understanding of the data. If you don’t already have Google Analytics on your site, you can learn how to install it here. It will be beneficial to have website data to use to compare organic traffic versus paid traffic. As well as identify key areas your website could be improved.
Before jumping into paid advertising, we recommend starting with organic marketing tactics. If you already have a social media strategy, blog content, and email marketing strategy, you will know the type of content that connects with your target audience. This experience and data will help you make educated decisions in your paid advertising. If your organic marketing strategies have proven successful, you’ll already know what resonates with your ideal client or customer.
Every ad has a unique call to action, and therefore a unique goal. It could be freebie downloads, email subscriptions, product purchases, webinar sign-ups, group program sales, and so much more. When you’re developing your paid marketing plan, you need to be crystal clear on your goals.
Your expectations are just as important to clarify before starting. How much you are comfortable investing and what you hope to achieve from that investment are benchmarks you should establish from the start. An experiencing marketing strategist can help guide you through what reasonable expectations are for your desired investment and goals.
If you have checked all these boxes, you could be ready to develop a paid advertising strategy! If you went through the list above and realized you might not be ready to start paid advertising, that’s okay too! Paid ads aren’t for every business owner and certainly not for every stage of entrepreneurship.
Whether you’re ready for paid advertising or not, Upwell Strategies is here to support you in developing and implementing an effective marketing strategy from start to finish. If your goal is to optimize your marketing efforts, our strategic marketing services are here to help you develop an effective strategy for your business and goals.