Should I use paid advertising to grow my new online business?
The quick answer is yes! However, I would recommend that you decide on a few things before you jump in and spend your budget.
- Why are you driving traffic to your site? Is it to get people to opt-in to your email list or purchase a product or service?
- Who is your target audience and what do you know about them?
- Do you have landing pages prepared to accept the traffic?
- Do you have sales funnels and email autoresponders set up to manage your subscribers or potential customers?
- Do you know what your offer is?
These questions are important because they will help you to decide which platform to use for advertising and also avoid you wasting a ton of money targeting the wrong people or not doing anything with them when they do arrive on your site.
Online Advertising Platforms
I should point out that, when I say advertising, I am referring to online advertising and specifically the following platforms:
- Google Adwords
- Facebook and Facebook Messenger
- Linked In
You can also advertise on media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, but I don’t have a lot of experience with these, so I am not including here.
I don’t recommend you advertise in other, more traditional media like radio, TV or magazines. First, they are expensive and also provide quite a poor return.
What is the Best Online Advertising Platform
This depends on a few things, but here are my high-level thoughts:
Google Adwords is by far the highest volume online advertising medium. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. I have done a lot of Google advertising for IT services and products. This is a very competitive space. Google Adwords works like an online auction, where advertisers bid for specific keywords. In competitive spaces, bidders are happy to pay more so the cost per click can be $50 or more for heavily searched keywords.
Google Adwords is also quite technical. The content on your landing page needs to follow certain rules and also the content needs to be relevant to the keywords you select, or Google will reject the ad. It is also possible to blow a lot of money very quickly if you use the wrong settings.
Don’t be discouraged. Google Adwords is great if you are trying to find buyers for a high-value product that has a clear description or brand name. However, I would recommend that you do your research or employ an Adwords specialist and make sure you set your budget.
You should also check out an excellent article by Neil Patel which goes much deeper into the dos and don’ts of Google Adwords.Google Adwords Made Simple – a Step-by-Step Guide
Facebook ads are a great place to start for anyone who is looking to build up their email list or is primarily selling to consumers. Most of the World’s population appears to have a Facebook account and are regularly checking their newsfeeds and notifications.
With Facebook, you can target your ads to a specific audience demographic which is very powerful. Currently, costs are low, often less than $1 per click, so you can afford to experiment more.
Like with Google Adwords, there is a learning curve, but there are a lot of great guides and training courses to help you out.
It is also worth pointing out that Facebook Live is getting a lot of attention from marketers. Facebook is currently prioritizing Live video in its updates, so it is worth taking a closer look at. Over the next few weeks, I will be keeping a close eye on the leading online marketers, to see who is using Facebook Live the best to grow or communicate with their audience.
Linked in is the leading business-to-business social media platform. It used to be seen mainly as a platform for recruiters but is now much more than that. It is possible to target people very specifically based on their job title and location.
Ads can be slightly more expensive than Facebook at around $3-5 per click on average, so you have to target carefully and make sure your ad converts well.
If you are looking to target business users, LinkedIn is worth exploring. I would recommend you work with a LinkedIn Ad specialist, certainly in the early stages, if budget allows it. My good friend, AJ Wilcox provides this service through his agency B2Linked
Twitter is widely used by public figures, including the odd President, to get messages out to a wide audience. It is certainly the most immediate social platform. If you have ever followed your favorite sports team with only a mobile phone, chances are that Twitter updates are the quickest way to find out the score.
However, Twitter has yet to be proven as a marketing platform, mainly because it is relatively new to the game. This may change as Twitter works out how best to deliver marketing messages, but at the moment it is not a platform I would recommend unless you already have a big Twitter following. Even then, it may be more productive to just upload your latest blog posts to Twitter, than try to run ads.
This gives you an overview of the main types of paid advertising you can use to drive traffic to your site. As I said early, you need to make sure you have everything set up to accept your traffic once it arrives on your site. There is no point having great ad copy if your landing page is poor. You are just wasting your money.
Russell Brunson, or Clickfunnels fame, has recently released his book “108 Proven Split Test Winners”. As its name suggests, it is a resource that shows how small changes to your ad copy or landing page can make a big difference to your traffic and conversion figures. I managed to get hold of one of the first copies and I am very impressed with the way it visually lays things out. Here is a link to get yourself a free copy. You just have to pay the postage.
On a final note. Over the next few weeks, I will be compiling more information specifically on Facebook and Linked in ads. I am also running a few test campaigns. I will let you know what I find.