Internet Marketing with Paid Ads: The Most Important Tactics
The age of interruption is over for Internet Marketing.
If you happen to be selling anything online, the question that all internet marketing experts fail to answer for you is not: How do you get someone’s attention if you’re marketing an online business?
…because that’s the easy part.
The easy part is clear messaging, compelling creative, and the art of persuasion.
In other words, all those old-school affiliate marketing tactics that some “expert” taught you…where bloggers promote taking surveys for income, or write a 300 word post about someone else's course, or promote some out of date product with a crappy sales page and a clickbait headline…those tactics don't work anymore.
The market finally caught up.
Even though I just dissed affiliate marketing, some of the links included in this article are, in fact, affiliate partner links. However, the difference is that the article is not solely about linking to another product. The article is intended to help you take away some actionable steps to grow your business.
But what if you have all the right components in place…maybe you’re promoting your own products, or at least a trusted, high-ticket affiliate offer that you can personally stand behind, and you’re still not getting results? Keep reading sister, this blog post is all about common mistakes that small businesses make with their ads, and what the digital agencies don’t want you to know!
So the question is not “how do you get people to click on your ad” the question is actually:
How do you best optimize for conversion to get a profitable ROI (return on investment) if you’re running an online ad?
People are immune to online ads. You scroll right by them don’t you?
You know the ads I’m talking about right…those people who post a snazzy photo of themselves on Facebook with a really long monologue about how they’re going to help you lead the laptop lifestyle? First of all, what differentiates one of those ads over another? Some fake likes that you can buy cheaply from other countries? And who actually has time to read that dissertation or sit through a mediocre webinar with a bad sale pitch at the end?
Not this bossbabe.
Don’t get me wrong…webinars are a great middle of the funnel tool.
Wait, selling online…”Middle of the Funnel”…what does that mean?
Middle of the funnel means that you’re hyper-targeting your digital marketing campaign specifically to a group of people who already know, like, and trust you. Selling online is actually not that much different from selling in person when it comes to the methodology. It's just the tactics that are different.
If you’re marketing to a cold audience (which is what most small business owners do the first time they run an online ad) then that webinar isn’t going to produce the results you’re anticipating.
If you’ve never heard of the term “cold audience” it just means that you’re choosing your ad targeting based on people’s interests, location, gender, or age. In other words, you’re targeting “new” people who don’t know you.
So how do you get results (i.e.; a good ROI) if you’re targeting a cold audience? Well first lets address what platform you’re using. You probably already know that you can run paid ads on all the platforms. Before you run any paid ads though, it’s best to rewind and look at the platforms from a different angle.
From the agency angle.
How do I know the agency angle?
I worked in corporate and agency marketing for 14 years before I started my business. (Don’t judge, it was hard to give up a full time income for something risky). But my kiddos needed me. And I needed a way to be more present as a mother.
Back to the point of this article.
What does the internet marketing data suggest?
Start by looking at some stats. I think its important to do this because we now live in the age of information, and online data is black and white. It’s not grey like it used to be in traditional marketing. Here’s that the data says:
In the 2019 state of social media report, Buffer’s research concluded that 93% of businesses now use Facebook for advertising, by the way, in case you’re wondering about the other top networks, 84% use Twitter, 80% Instagram, 70% LinkedIn and 60% YouTube. BUT the kicker is, only 28% use Pinterest.
So this gives you a picture of where the competition is.
But lets take that one step more granular, because most people choose Facebook because they believe “everybody” is on Facebook, or because they’ve been sucked into the aforementioned crappy Facebook ads.
First decide if your exact target audience is likely to click on one of those ads on Facebook.
Depending upon who your exact target customer actually is, Pinterest is the best kept secret in online marketing.
I know what you’re thinking…how is this possible since most people are on Facebook, and if it is possible…well then can Pinterest work for my business too?
Lets talk about who your target audience is first to see if Pinterest can work for you.
But first, we need to dig into that data a little further to see why this makes sense.
If your business is targeting people outside of the US, well you’re in luck because 80% of the people who use Instagram are from outside the US. Oh yeah, and Facebook owns Instagram.
But here’s something…if your business targets upper middle class, educated women from the United States, guess where 80% of your audience hangs out?
Yeah, it’s Pinterest.
More specifically, lets think about what those female head of households are looking at and shopping for online…if your business has anything to do with:
- Homes; Home Decor; Home Improvement
- Books and Education
- DIY, Crafts, Sewing
- Health and Wellness (especially alternative medicine)
- Travel and Adventure
- Gardening and Landscaping
If you business has anything to do with the above and you’re not leveraging the power of Pinterest, you might want to start thinking about it.
Not sure you believe that women head of households make most of the buying decisions? Have you read Why She Buys? It’s a good one for understanding the psychology behind how to market and sell to a modern woman.
As a small business, we know it’s hard to master the nuances of every social platform, you just can’t be everywhere.
I wish I learned this sooner, because I really tried to master every platform early on.
I've been running Facebook ads for my clients since 2014. I did creative design, copywriting, and website maintenance as well…dating all the way back to 2010. For a long time I took on freelance work simply because it paid the bills.
But now things are very different in the world of digital marketing now from it's humble beginnings in 2010. It began before that, but the world started noticing around 2010.
It’s been an exciting time in this age of digital transformation, because we’ve all learned that each social platform works well for very different purposes, it’s really just a matter of applying the right strategy and then leveraging the one(s) that works for your target customer.
My best advice? Start with one network.
Especially if you’re a small business or even a Freelancer.
When you’re a small business, whether selling products or your own services, you need to fill all the roles. You’re the “doer” you’re your own “salesperson” you’re the designer, the developer, the marketer. You’re always marketing your own brand whether you think so or not.
Background on Attraction Marketing
As a small business, as your own brand marketer, your goal is always to attract a loyal tribe of people that subscribe to the same beliefs, attitudes, and values as you do. Attraction marketing can be polarizing, and that’s okay. The goal is to attract the people who want and need what you have to offer and repel the people who don’t.
We’re in the midst of a paid ad market correction at the moment.
What is a paid ad market correction?
It’s actually the same macro-economics that you probably learned about in high school…when too many businesses are “selling” the exact same thing, it drives the price down and the competition up. More specifically, this is applicable to running paid ads on Facebook. Lets look at an example.
If you run Facebook ads the wrong way, you’ll get caught up in paying out the wazoo for your CPC (cost per click). Back in 2014, CPC was about $0.40 cents per click. Now it’s well over $3.00 per click. That’s an absolute waste of money unless you have the proper system in place.
How do you know if you have the proper system in place?
The top 3 questions to ask yourself before you run a paid ad:
1. Who is your target audience?
This may seem obvio, especially since we just discussed it above, but you really have to zero in and be crystal clear. Here are the cold, hard facts: your audience targeting numbers need to be between 100,000 and 500,000 in order to be effective.
Anybody can figure out how to press the button on the ads manager, but if you’re looking at the sidebar and seeing that your audience size is 20 to 50 million, you’re way off base. Prefer to hire us for a strategy consultation? View our Services Here.
That means that you need to zero in on your targeting. Do you need some help to zero in on your targeting? Download my FREE Find Your Nice worksheet and Guide. This will help you really hone in on who you’re targeting. Because if you think you’re targeting women, ages 18-45, who live in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, then you’re not going to get good results with your paid ads. Ahem, let me say that again because it's important: You're going to LOSE YOUR SHIT on Facebook ads if you can't zero in on your audience.
You need to be much more specific.
2. Do you have a product or a service that you’re selling?
This is rather simple, if you don’t have a product or a service, don’t run paid ads. The quickest way to lose money with paid ads is to try to market a product that isn’t yours. In other words, trying to market only affiliate products using paid ads is not a sustainable business model. Unless you have a huge enormous audience already with 100,000 followers or 50,000 email list subscribers, you’re better off waiting until you actually have something that will give you some type of return on investment. Now this strategy is different for small businesses who have a loyal audience and have developed rapport with their audience. Remember, we’re talking about paid ads here in this paragraph, it’s a different strategy.
3. Do you have the right system in place for followup?
By the right system, I mean you need a landing page that is formatted properly, an automated followup sequence, and even a tripwire. These 3 components are the absolute basics when it comes to having a system in place. No system, no dice.
So then what if you have all these things in place but you’re still not getting results?
Here are two options: We offer different packages for all of your needs, whether you’re just starting with your strategy and you want some help getting a plan together right from the beginning, or you’ve been playing around with social media and not having much success so you’re ready to pass off the day to day management.
If you don’t have a big budget, but you want to learn as much as you can to leverage the power of the Pinterest platform for your own business (or, if you're interested in learning Pinterest Marketing Strategy so that you can apply the techniques yourself or offer it as a specialized service to your own social media marketing clients), I encourage you to check out my mini-course: The Pinterest Business Plan
What are you waiting for? Hire me to help you with your Pinterest Marketing today and turn that dream into a reality!
Considering the Pinterest mini-course but you want a little test drive first? Get started for FREE with this checklist!
Kate, thank you for this very informative piece! I couldn’t agree more about Facebook vs Pinterest. I did a simple 4 day run with Pinterest on 2 ads for just $5 a day and the results were phenomenal. Hands down Pinterest is the way to go.
Hi Beth! Thanks for the kind sentiments! It’s amazing what you can accomplish on Pinterest, even on a budget of $5 per day!