In today’s dominantly digital world, it’s absolutely essential that businesses are visible and engaging online. But, as a small business owner or solo entrepreneur, does that mean that you should have a TikTok account, be uploading daily on Snapchat, and also be running Facebook Ads? Not necessarily. But having a good paid ad strategy in place can help quite a bit.
You likely know that both Facebook and Google are massive platforms with incredible reach. However, lots of other large platforms offer you the opportunity to engage with potential customers through paid ads as well. This includes Bing Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, and Amazon ads. But are they the right ones for your business? Should any of these or all be used?
The answer mainly depends on your:
- Business goals
- Target audience
To quickly answer your questions, though, it’s a resounding “yes” from us; it is time to start using paid advertising strategies. When it comes to this topic, Google ads and Facebook ads are the two most popular. A combined approach to creating your paid ad strategy is usually the most beneficial and cost-effective, but let’s dive deeper into what that means for your business.
Why Should You Invest in Paid Ads?
You’re a business owner. Expanding your presence online and reaching new, potential clients is the goal, right? Yep. And you also want to be able to develop brand authority while creating a community of loyal fans.
If you’re just starting out then it’s important to understand that building a brand online can take a while. You can wait months before you see an increase in organic reach, conversions, and revenue. But don’t let that discourage you! There’s good news.
You can harness the power and reach of varios paid advertising channels to quickly reach your potential customers.
What’s so great about paid online ads these days is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to make these paid digital marketing strategies work. Let’s break down a few of the most popular to figure out which one’s right for you.
1. Search Engine Marketing
When you think of paid online advertising, search engine marketing (SEM) is most likely the first strategy that comes to mind. Within this option, there is PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, which is an excellent way to attract specific visitors to your website.
Today, popular search engines like Google and Bing are constantly striving to update and improve their advertising platforms. Such is the case with Google Ads. Now, you can take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning while selecting keywords in an effort to get your ads in front of the right eyes.
Is search engine marketing right for you? PPC ads on platforms such as Google are great for local businesses. Why?
Think about how you Google certain products or services in your area. You likely look for a “car repair shop near me.” Or perhaps you search for “dresses for a bridal shower.” If you own a business that offers that service or product, you’re able to run paid ads on Google that target only people nearby. This increases the chances of them visiting your website, calling your phone, or heading straight on into your store to make a purchase.
In short, PPC ads are best for when you want to target people who are already looking for something. They’re also especially great for local businesses.
2. Paid Social Media Ads
No matter what type of business you have, it’s almost certain that your customers already use one or more social media platforms. This is great! It means you don’t have to do much work to meet them where they’re at online. Having a solid social advertising strategy allows you to quickly reach this active population and convert them into future regular or paid users.
While Facebook ads continue to dominate the market in 2021, other social media outlets such as Twitter and LinkedIn continue to gain ground by offering useful advertising platforms.
For most digital marketers, one of the top priorities in 2021 is to experiment with different content formats, including IGTV, stories, and videos to understand their impact on consumers.
Similarly, new platforms such as TikTok and Twitch have become attractive media for paid advertising, which is something to consider only if you think your target audience uses those platforms. That’s the key with social ad campaigns particularly, but with any paid ad strategy; you want to always think about where your target audience is and run ads on that platform.
In short, we’d suggest social ads if you’re looking to run campaigns that are more geared towards branding or conversions that occur later on in the funnel. Facebook allows you to run extremely targeted ads, which makes it easier to reach the right people, but because there is no search aspect involved, you’re not reaching leads who are necessarily already in search of what you’re offering.
3. Paid Ads on YouTube
For digital marketing, video content is critical. So, it’s not surprising that 51% of specialists in this field make constant use of YouTube ads. And they’ve got the intention of increasing their advertising spend in the future. By 2020, this platform accounted for 27% of spending on digital video ads. The rest focused on social ads and SEM.
However, by 2021, a recommended and great way to access YouTube services would be through influencer marketing. In this way, you can target your ideal audience through the profile of someone else who is already engaging with them.
For a small business owner like you, this is a double win for you. You gain visibility on the social network and you’re (hopefully) generating sales or conversions through the influencer’s followers. So, it gives you an option to grow your social following while also piggybacking off of the interest and engagement of the influencer’s existing user base.
More importantly, online videos will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. So, if you haven’t integrated paid YouTube advertising into your digital marketing strategy, it’s time for you to at least consider doing it.
In short, YouTube or video ads are best for reaching users who spend lots of time on the platform. Likewise, they’re great for targeting those who respond better to video content. They’re also great for businesses that aren’t as local and who don’t need to rely on highly-targeted campaigns to succeed (i.e. your audience is pretty general).
4. Amazon Ads
Lots of new digital entrepreneurs are focusing on eCommerce in 2021 and beyond. So, it’d be wrong to leave out the mega marketplace that is Amazon from this list.
we all know that Amazon has dominated the retail eCommerce market for many years. But, since 2020, there has been a renewed increase in its traffic and popularity, largely brought on by the pandemic.
This means that if you sell products online and plan on incorporating Amazon as part of your selling strategy, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Amazon ads. The average cost per click on Amazon is about $0.35 in 2021, making it more cost-effective than Google ads for similar retail businesses.
In short, Amazon ads are great if you’re an Amazon seller! Or, if you sell products online that are similar to popular products sold on Amazon. Amazon ads aren’t for businesses that sell services.
Combining Different Paid Ad Strategies
Regardless of the type of business you have, we recommend combining paid ad strategies if and when it makes sense for your target audience.
Consider how the exposure of your brand could be increased through search engines while targeting specific audiences through paid social networks. Depending on your overall marketing goals, increasing brand awareness on social media platforms might be the first step as you push the users down the funnel and run Google ads to encourage those looking for you locally to visit your store.
Finally, choosing the best paid advertising strategy can be a complicated process without expert advice or help, since not all marketing models will work for different types of business. But that’s what we’re here for!
If you’re unsure which paid ad strategy would work best for your business, feel free to get in touch with us for a free digital marketing consultation. We’ll get to know you and your business and then offer up some basic strategies to get you started.