Paid marketing is one of the quickest ways to help potential customers discover your brand and offerings. With paid marketing, you purchase advertising that allows you to specifically target audiences, instead of waiting for them to find you organically.
Typically, paid marketing is displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) and social media channels. When creating paid marketing ads, you select a specific channel, such as Google Ads or Facebook, and then define the target customer based on criteria ranging from location, search terms, interests, demographics, previous purchases, and other pages visited. Both of these types of paid marketing are pay-per-click, meaning you only pay when someone clicks. You typically set a maximum budget, such as $500, and then the ad runs until your budget is used up.
For many businesses, paid marketing brings one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) for their marketing dollars. A Google Economic Impact Report found that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Local businesses, especially, see a high ROI with location-intent queries, bringing websites ranked in the top position the highest increase in click-through rate. Because 76% of marketers do not use behavior data for online targeting, businesses that take this step can increase their exposure to new customers.
Consider the following when using paid marketing:
- Be sure to use a wide range of targeting, including both granular characteristics (interests, location, and demographic) and behavior-based targeting (search history, purchase history, frequently visited websites).
- When using paid marketing for the first time, start with smaller campaigns to test which types of messages and ads resonate most with potential customers.
- Use retargeting when a customer interacts organically with your company. When a customer leaves your website without purchasing, you can use paid marketing to display personalized messaging based on the products and services they visited.
- Use analytics to monitor results for future paid marketing campaigns. Popular analytics tools include Google Analytics, Branch, Crazy Egg, and SEMrush.
- Select your social media channel based on your target audience. For example, if you are selling products for businesses, LinkedIn is a great channel to use. However, to grow your Gen Z customer base, create a sponsored TikTok ad.
- Consider the goal for your paid marketing campaign when allocating your budget and choosing your channel, messaging, and call to action.
How to reach your goals with paid marketing
The goal for your paid marketing drives many of the decisions you make throughout the campaign. By having a specific goal, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaign. Here are four common goals and how to use paid marketing to achieve each one.
Sell products directly from the ad
While the goal of all companies is to increase sales, some campaigns’ goal is to sell products directly from the ad. Combine this with other goals so that you can fully leverage the power of paid marketing.
- Create shoppable social media posts. By using Instagram shoppable posts, you can make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase from your post.
- Use high-quality images to show off the product as favorably as possible. Make the product the centerpiece, and when possible, showcase the most popular features. If you are selling garden tools, you may use an image with the garden tools next to a beautiful garden. Consider hiring a professional photographer for images or investing in a high-quality camera.
- Find top influencers in your industry, and offer payment for them to share your content. This increases your reach and credibility because influencers share your product with their network. Paid influencer programs work well when moving into a new target audience or adding new products. Look for influencers whose values align with your brand and whose followers would be interested in your product. While you want an influencer with a sizable following, a smaller, more engaged following that is more targeted to your customer type may result in higher ROI.
Increase consideration by a specific demographic
To keep your business growing, you’ll want to grow your customer base and help more people understand the value of your products or services. You want to focus on a customer type that has not been purchasing at a high volume and tailor your messaging to their needs. Or look to a customer type you have not previously marketed to, which expands the number of potential customers.
Once you determine the customer type, you can then use paid marketing to deliver your messaging directly to your target customers.
- Consider Facebook for targeting specific interests and behaviors. The social media platform offers easy-to-use and in-depth targeting options. Facebook also offers interest-based targeting, which allows you to target specific ad messaging as well as specific demographics. For example, if you are selling running shoes, you can target an ad about running with your dog to Facebook users with both running and dogs as interests.
- Focus on messaging that works for your specific audience. Write the ad and select the images based on the potential customer. If you are selling rocking chairs, you may write an ad targeting young mothers and using a nostalgic message about these once-in-a-lifetime moments. However, an ad for retirees may focus on the comfort and support of the chair.
Find new customers
Many businesses find focusing on search engine marketing has the highest ROI for acquiring customers.
With search engine marketing, you select specific keywords and create an ad to display on the SERP when someone searches for the keyword. In a study, 99firms found that 63% of users will likely click on a paid search ad on Google, creating a high ROI.
To find new customers through paid marketing, take the following actions:
- Determine keywords related to pain points. Many business owners only purchase keyword ads based on the type of product they are selling. For example, a company selling specialty beauty products may buy keywords for anti-frizz hair serum. While this is a good start, the company should also focus on keywords that show intent, which means what the person is actually trying to accomplish. In this case, the company should also purchase keywords related to customers searching for “how to fix frizzy hair” and other related needs. Ahrefs increased its organic traffic to a landing page by 677% in six months by focusing on intent.
- Focus ads on how your products/services help solve challenges. Instead of creating a general ad for your business, display an ad specifically related to the keywords. For example, the beauty supply company could show an ad for the anti-frizz serum showcasing before-and-after pictures.
Become a trusted expert
By helping your customers solve their problems, you build trust in your brand. Customers are likely to turn to you when they are ready to purchase. While many companies use this strategy on their owned resources, such as their blog, purchasing branded content can increase your reach with new customers by paying for space on blogs and publications to create informational content.
You can learn what your customers read by asking them, doing online surveys, and also looking for publications that target the same audience. If you are a local gardening business, you may purchase sponsored content in your area’s local gardening magazine.
To become a trusted expert through paid marketing, take the following actions:
- Create content that focuses on solving problems, not on your products. Instead of writing about your amazing gardening tools, write an article about how to design a flower bed that blooms all year or how to weed a bed more quickly.
- Plan to write multiple sponsored-content posts. Content marketing is a long game, and you see results over time, not instantly.
By using paid marketing, small businesses gain new customers and increase sales. However, successful paid marketing requires a strategy and a plan. When you take the time to select the right channel, messaging, and targeting, you can effectively use this tool to grow your business.
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