Four Things You Need Before You Begin Paid Advertising Campaigns Online

Is your company considering launching a paid advertising campaign online for yourself or a client? Marketing industry mavens well-versed in the traditional marketing mix may have heard of this medium’s potential, through colleagues’ success stories or news articles.

But if you really want to market smarter, not harder, search engine marketing and paid social media ads can be the mediums that deliver directly traceable results.

Why Use SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or Paid Social Media Advertisements?

Here are three quick, compelling reasons:

  • Dynamic cost control and daily budgeting subject to adjustment as frequently as you see fit.
  • Insanely customized targeting options means you don’t waste a penny on uninterested eyes (or ears).
  • Detailed reporting and campaign performance statistics mean you can trace how many times your ads are seen, the number of unique people they reach, and ultimately, your return on investment.

Convinced? Keep reading.

Time for Some Homework: Four Things You Need Next

Before beginning a paid advertising campaign online, it is very important to have a few things ready to go:

  1. A buyer persona outline. You must know your target audience’s pains, hopes, habits and day-to-day lives. On which social networks do they spend their downtime? Do they use Google to find your services? Is your widget something he or she knows they need? Focus groups or even an informal survey can be pretty effective for this, if you have one-to-one contact regularly with your target audience. You can talk to your sales team for ideas, too. You need to know which advertising platform and medium will be the most effective for this specific campaign.
  1. For search engine text ads, you should compile an extensive list of terms, and differentiating factors, people use to find and choose your business online. What language are your customers speaking? It may be different than your company jargon. Question and answer sites like Quora can give great insight on this.
  1. Google Analytics access. This is important in tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns. Google Analytics will allow you to see how many people visit your site from these campaigns, where they go when they are there and how long they stay. If you have forms on your site, it can also be configured to track how many times your forms are filled out by visitors. This count can be attributed to how the visitors came to your site, geographic location and even ISP.
  1. A “landing page” for each ad topic. Visitors should first come to your site on a page specifically addressing the promise your ads made. For example, an ad promising help with adult literacy should direct visitors to a page all about how your company can deliver on that promise. It should also have a single, very prominent call-to-action or next step visitors should take.

This is a basic outline of things we consider to be part of a solid foundation for online paid advertising campaigns. We hope it helps as you begin to plan your efforts.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know by getting in touch today!

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