As a small business owner, you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into your company to get it to a place where you can finally see financial benefits (go you!). But due to all of your hard work, that sometimes makes the decision to spend your hard earned money particularly difficult.
When you do spend it, you want to spend it well – like on something that gets your message in front of an audience who has a problem your product or service can fix. But sometimes, reaching the right people is the biggest challenge of all.
That’s where a wonderful tactic known as paid advertising comes in handy. With paid ads, you can bring valuable visitors to your website, get them to join your email list and convert them into customers with a lead nurturing automated email series. And best of all? It can be done at a price you can afford.
In this post, you’ll get an introduction to affordable paid advertising, and learn about four advertising channels that are wildly effective.
First up? Facebook.
1. Facebook ads
If you’re already involved in promoting your business for free using Facebook, then you likely have felt the impact of Facebook’s algorithm changes over the past three years. Every post you make on Facebook will only reach about 6 percent of the audienceyou’ve worked so hard to grow.
While that may be the case for your organic reach, however, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great channel for advertising – because the truth of the matter is, it is!
Facebook allows you to connect with your ideal audience by giving you the power to target your ads based on age, gender, interests, occupation and more. And best part of all? You can spend as little as five dollars per day and still reap great rewards. You can also choose what goal you would like pay for, such as impressions, website visits, clicks, actions and more.
To start advertising on Facebook, begin by exploring targeting options and picking a few that are a good fit for your business. Yes, you’ll want to think about age, gender and geographic location, but the biggest areas of impact will be demographic, interest, and behavior based targeting. Typically, a great place to start is to find Facebook pages related to your audience that have large followings. From here, you can launch a few tests, and learn from each one.
Learn more: For an in depth guide on how to get started, be sure to check out 7 Steps to Facebook Ads Success.
2. Paid search for brand terms
(Fair warning: Paid search can be a complex topic. But if you want to grow your brand awareness and you’re willing to take the time to learn how it works, paid search can have a huge, positive impact on your company’s growth!)
When you search Google using a keyword or phrase, Google displays results relevant to your search. Most of those results appear organically (meaning that no one is paying for Google to show you those pages). But at the top right side of the page, Google (and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing) displays ads which companies pay for you to see.
Typically, paid search advertising is divided into two groups: brand and non-brand keywords. While you may think that appearing in the search results of Google is going to destroy your budget, paid search ads for brand keywords can actually be very affordable.
Brand keywords are words that people will search related to your brand name (like AWeber email marketing, for example). At AWeber, we run ads on our own keyword, as you can see below:
Now you may wonder, “If I appear in the organic listing for my brand name, why would I pay for ads on my own brand name?”
Well, I’d have to say that when you do, you’re more likely to get people to click on your ads. Studies have shown that the more placements you have in the search engine results page (also known as SERP), the more likely you are to get a click to your website.
This makes paid ads on your brand name a powerful tool for increasing website visits. Also, if you don’t bid on your brand name, others (like your competitors) might! So if you don’t want your competitor taking traffic from you by appearing in the top search results for your brand name, make sure to set up brand name search engine ads.
Beyond increasing clicks to your website, paid ads on brand names are also budget friendly. Although paid search is typically more expensive than other social advertising channels, brand terms are usually cheaper than non-brand terms.
This is due to the fact that Google gives priority and charges less to companies whose content is relevant to the keyword they’re bidding on. Since your website content probably contains your company name, you’re very likely to get a higher quality score, which means lower cost and higher placement in Google.
When choosing which search engines to advertise on, keep in mind that while Google is the most popular advertising engine, Bing and Yahoo tend to have lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs), which could be a great opportunity for small budget ads.
Learn more: Love the idea of paid advertising but need a little guidance? Check out this Paid Search Beginner’s Guide from Wordstream.
3. Native advertising
If you produce content regularly (whether it’s blog articles, ebooks pieces or landing pages), native advertising is a great option for driving significant traffic volume without killing your budget.
Native advertising companies (like Outbrain, Taboola and StackAdapt) offer contextually relevant ad spots for your content on the websites of third party companies that sell ad space on their site, like in the CNN example below:
As with any ad channel, however, there are some pros and cons to consider with native advertising. While it’s almost half the cost of Facebook advertising, ad targeting for native advertisements is limited. Often, you can choose the website where you content appears, but that’s about it. This is very different from Facebook where you can target your ads to the exact type of person you want to reach.
4. Retargeting ads
Retargeting is a great channel for businesses with small budgets, simply because the cost per clicks are lower than paid search ads. Additionally, these ads target people who have already visited your website and are more likely to convert. As a result, retargeting requires little effort and money, but can have a big, positive impact.
Retargeting is typically purchased through display advertising networks like Google AdWords, although many social advertising networks now offer it as an option as well.
For retargeting through Google AdWords, all you have to do is place a piece of code across your website. AdWords will allow you to build your segmented audiences, upload your creative and control how many times a previous visitor sees your ad.
Learn more: To hep you get started, here’s how you can create your first retargeting campaign. Or read more tips on how to increase acquisition with retargeting.
Rolling out big ad campaigns with a small budget
Ready to give paid advertising a try? If you’ve read this whole article, I’d say you’re already off to a great start! A good next step is to pick one of the options above, and start advertising. And remember, all you have to do is spend a little at a time, learn from each test and update your strategy as you go. If you do this, you’ll be attracting valuable site traffic and turning that traffic into email subscribers and then customers in no time!
Want to share how you’re going to get started with paid ads? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!