The SMART Way to Online Advertising
Updated: Jul 6, 2022
So it starts, with a website, two or three products up, a dozen euros invested in ads, and wait for the magic to happen.
This is a very common behavior among business owners that decide to take care of advertising themselves, without any help from marketing experts. We've seen this happening so many times here at Digithy, that we developed an entire communication strategy to explain this to clients. Good advertising does, in fact, not only depend on the channel or budget: it’s also based on time, tests, resources, expertise, and a lot of other factors everyone should consider before starting an online campaign. This article aims at helping you consider the online advertising idea twice before starting a campaign out of the blue, guiding you through some important steps.
Especially for non-marketers, there's a common belief that all you need to do for your sales and lead generation is start some online advertising. We see those all the time running on Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other channels, and we think that’s all we need to do in order to reach our audience.
Different channels made PPC campaigns look so simple to implement, that putting your budget in and starting an ad seems to be the first thing to do in order to reach a wide audience. Although online advertising looks simple to set up and launch, it’s not that easy to get the right formula. This is in fact a combination of the right platform, audience, budget, targeting, and a little bit of testing in the beginning.
Now, if anyone reading this is thinking “I made it at the first shot” just know that it was probably also luck - and maybe you could reach even better results with more testing and expertise! Sometimes online advertising happens to be great from the first test, other times you might need to wait for the learning phase of the ads and the tests to be completed in order to move to the next stage and optimize the results.
After launching an ad on almost any platform there’s a “learning phase” during which the platform is trying to optimize the ad based on the budget selected, for the chosen goal. In this phase it’s important to have the right tracking set up, which can come with one tool or a combination of tools, recording the actual leads or sales you’re getting with an ad.
After the “learning phase” usually going from 5 to 7 days, the ad is performing at its best. This is where we can take a look and see if it’s meeting our expectations, or if it needs some tweaks.
The budget you choose to set for each campaign also plays an important role in the results of the ad, and it’s also related to your brand reputation and awareness.
How do we tell customers that it's not enough to invest €10/day on a channel ad to see the sales spiking? That's tough. But as I said before, we have a communication strategy based on empathy: how can you know exactly who your audience is, what their concerns are, and what actually works? You need to go through some research and analysis first, followed by tests.
Let’s try to go through some pre-campaign steps together.
1. Start from the goals, following the SMART acronym
Specific: how many leads/sales?
Measurable: how do you measure success? E.g. for leads: contacts or contracts?
Achievable: ambitious goals are good but they have to be realistic
Relevant: this goal has to be part of a bigger goal
Time-based: always set a period of time for each campaign or test
Before doing anything, it’s important to understand where you're going and what you're aiming at. If you start online advertising without a specific goal, the risk is that you’ll waste budget, time, or simply lose track of what you’re doing. Setting a campaign with a specific goal in mind also allows you to analyze the results and see if the current campaign, channels, or budget makes sense.
That's why it's important to set your goals right at the beginning and make sure that you have specific tasks and time dedicated to reaching those goals only. Prioritizing is not easy, and if you can't understand where you should start from, we offer a free consultation exactly for that purpose.
Where should you run your online advertising? This part is very important because it’s always better to start where your audience is. This is why we always suggest getting to know who your audience is in-depth, analyzing online communities, common concerns, and behaviors. We suggest you also take a look at our 5-step guide to know your customers, this will help you get a better understanding of your audience with practical steps and tools.
3. Website optimization
Is your website ready for online advertising? Make sure your communication on the website is efficient, and that you don’t leave visitors with questions. We’ve explained how to improve your website communication using empathy in a previous article.
Besides the communication, you also need to make sure your website is fast enough, and that the website visitors don’t have to wait too long before they can read the information. The attention span of our online audience is between 7 and 13 seconds. If we speak about the page loading time, probably 1-3 seconds. This is why it’s important to check the page loading time and make sure your website is meeting the standards before investing in online advertising.
While thinking of how to optimize your landing page for better conversions, there are some great tools that we use as support in this phase. A really good one is Google’s PageSpeed Insights, analyzing the page loading speed and suggesting changes to implement.
Online advertising does no magic
Advertising itself does no magic to any business. It works when there's a combination of different digital marketing pieces in place, PPC online advertising being one of them. We strongly suggest preparing a funnel and clearly setting what needs to be done before and after your campaigns. And, if you need help, don’t hesitate to get in touch as we provide a free consultation.