It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of Facebook Ads and Google AdWords when the internet is abuzz about paid marketing success stories. A good paid ad campaign can drive targeted quality traffic to your website and convert into leads or paying clients. The caveat is you have to do it right.

With all the advertising and marketing tools in the world at your fingertips, creating a paid ad has never been easier. Gone are the days where you had to consult the advertising department of a newspaper or magazine to get your listing in their publications, now it’s as easy as a few clicks and entering your credit card number.

Because it is so easy to run an ad on social media or search engines, a lot of small business owners take the steps to boost their content without taking the big picture into consideration or having the fundamental knowledge of how to achieve high-quality results on these advertising platforms.

Here are three key steps to building a successful advertising campaign you need to know before you start:

Set a specific goal

When you create a Facebook Ad, the first step is to choose an objective. This is where you bring your goal to life (and is applicable to every other advertising platform as well). What are you trying to accomplish with your ad? You need to be specific about this. Being specific about the goal of each specific ad will help you chose your objectives and create content that is directly relevant to achieving your desired result.

 If your goal is brand awareness, you need your brand front and center in the ad content. If your goal is lead generation, you need a tasty offer and a way to capture contact information that’s easy to navigate for the person who clicks your content. Ambiguous ads do not perform well because people are not motivated to engage with content that has no direction, you need to direct them to a specific objective and make it easy to follow through.

Have systems in place

Running an ad with a pretty picture is nice, but a huge waste of money unless you direct people somewhere they learn more about what you’re offering and enter their information. This means directing people to a specific landing page or lead capture that is directly related to your advertisement. From there, you need to send an instant response or risk losing their interest entirely, website attention spans are short. 

When someone signs up for online content, they expect to have what they signed up for within seven minutes. To do this properly, you need a system in place to automate the process and track your results. Running a general non-specific ad to the front page of your website will not garnish the results you’re looking for. After you’ve captured information you need a follow up sequence ready to nurture those leads until they’re ready to pop.

Test everything

Every audience behaves differently. While you can predict behaviour based on demographics, sometimes their actions and interests are surprising. The best way to guarantee you’re getting the best results for your ad spend is by testing different types of content. Every piece of the puzzle should be tested and optimized so that you can spend the most money on the highest performing content and get the best results. 

Test everything including your landing page, follow up sequence, ad image or video, and the text descriptions. Even if your ad is performing well, make sure it couldn’t be performing better by testing your options. The more you test, the easier it is to build future campaigns that resonate with your specific audience the first time around saving you time and money.

Paid advertising is a great tool, but it is incredibly misunderstood as being so easy anyone can do it and be successful. The truth is it takes a lot of planning, testing, and hard work to get the best results and achieve the results you’re hoping for.

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