Digital Advertising is a powerful, data-rich way to reach your target audience. But how do you know if your ad manager is doing a great job for you and your company? Knowing how to build an effective Ads program is the first step to maximizing ROI on Ad spending.
When it comes to running ads, there are a handful of principles that you can employ to ensure that you are being strategic and effective.
1. Start with the End in Mind
Take time to lay out your goals for running ads. You can work backward, understanding how much revenue you are looking to produce with the ad and how many leads you'll need to reach that target. This will help you organize your expectations and give you somewhere to aim as you begin setting up your ad program.
2. Target your Audience
Targeting is everything! We are so lucky to live in a world where we have access to such specific information that connects us to the right people. Be very conscious when crafting your target audience. Look at demographic and psychographic information. Think about building look-a-like audiences for similar brands and influencers. I also like to pay attention to the total addressable market (TAM). Is your audience size big enough to yield your expected results?
3. Design eye-catching copy and graphics
Listen, even the best ad team isn't going to be as connected to your business and to your buyer as you are. Pay really close attention to the creativity they produce. Make sure it is addressing your buyer and hitting the pain points that are important to them.
4. Don't sound sales-y
The way you can build a relationship with your audience via Ads is to create Top, Middle, and Bottom funnel ads that meet prospects where they are. For example, a top-of-funnel ad means that a brand-new person is being exposed to your business. They have no context of who you are and what you do. These ads should be focused on building brand awareness. Middle of the funnel is when prospects should begin to correlate what you do to the problems they have. Middle of the funnel is wonderful for adding value and sharing free content. Bottom of the funnel is when prospects have seen your TOF and MOF ads and are aware of what you do and how you can solve their problem. Now we are ready for ads that encourage them to take action like booking a sales call/demo or making a purchase.
5. Leverage A/B Testing
You are going to need to be in a mindset of constant testing and improving on your ads. In fact, you should be refreshing your display ads (any ad that uses an image or photo) every few weeks. Your ad manager should lend some insights into when they feel creative needs to be "refreshed." This is a dynamic process that is always turning.
6. Install Conversion Pixels
A conversion pixel is a piece of code that is provided to advertisers to place on a website landing page. It allows brands to track and report on the actions of users who visit their page after viewing or clicking on an ad. This is really important for understanding if your ads are working to get leads and sales.
7. Start Retargeting
Remember, prospects need to see your brand several times before they will actually register what you do and how you can help them. Make sure you are allocating money to retargeting folks who have interacted with your ads previously, have visited your website, or are even following you on social media.
8. Develop Landing Pages
Creating specific landing pages for your ads is a great way to craft a specific journey for your prospective clients. Most times, we think to send ads to a homepage. But that might be overwhelming to people. It's better to craft a strategy that sends them to a specific landing page like a sales page or a free resource.
9. Allocate a healthy budget
For most platforms, there is a threshold for budget that you should be spending in order to activate the platform's algorithms. If you are spending pennies on your ads, the platform isn't going to help you gather great information to start building meaningful audiences and analytics. For most, a starting budget of 1-3k is a great place to start. That said, I also recommend not starting with more than 1-3k because the platform needs time to build and gather information on your business and your prospects before it can perform optimally.
There you have it, my best tips for running ads. If you have an agency or individual supporting you to run ads, I would suggest talking through these 9 points to make sure you are aligned and capitalizing on your advertising efforts.
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Victoria is a Marketing Mentor to early-stage founders. She has built compelling brands around the globe and has worked as a marketing director across several verticals. She is passionate about helping women think BIGGER about their businesses and giving them the tools to grow. She'd love to connect on LinkedIn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.