Traction, especially for a startup, can be gotten two ways either through organic or paid channels. While organic channels for acquisition are good for a startup with little funding, it takes time to give the result for initial growth. Paid channel, on the other hand, can bring instant results. The best acquisition channels is always a combination of both organic and paid channels.
When I consult for startups, I always advise the startup to utilize both channels for initial and sustainable growth. While the organic channels like social media management, SEO and content marketing will bring sustainable growth, paid channels like Facebook and Google ads can bring in the early traction and revenue needed for sustainability.
One paid channel that can be utilized for growth but is rarely used: Google ads.
With over 5.6 billion searches per day on Google, Google Ads is one of the best ways to reach your target market.
Disclaimer: Although Google ads work well for most business models, it does not work well for all business models. If you need more explanation let me know in the comment section.
Some Meaningful metrics that can be tracked in Google ads
Major Metric: ROI, PROFIT, Profit Margin, CPC, Conversion volume, return on ad spend
Minor Metric: CTR; Quality score
Now, these metrics are not to confuse you or anything, but to let you know that with Google Ads everything can be measured.
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In other to measure effectively, you first of all need to “think about what is important to you and your business or the campaign you are running”.
Facebook Ad, on the other hand, has been one of the most profitable growth channels for most businesses, especially in the startup space. With roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2021, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. But I am sure you know about Facebook ads and probably started using it.
Let’s Look at the best ways to use Paid Media to Achieve Growth.
STRATEGY BEFORE EXECUTION
A good Ad Campaigns is 70% strategy/knowhow + 30% tool.
Running a killer ad campaign starts outside the ads platform. It starts in the strategy stage.
Important questions should be answered; Have you run an ad campaign before or running your first ad campaign? what was the goal and performance of the campaign? Can you take learnings from the previous campaign? How much is the budget – Weekly or Monthly? What are your audience interested in or who do they follow on? What website do they read? What messaging resonates well with them? Etc
Audience and targeting planning, campaign optimization, content, test variables planning etc are done outside the ads platform. A successful ad has a lot of variables to it, so it should be planned well if not you might end up wasting money. Have your campaign plan written down and hypothesis drafted out before running the campaign so you can have.
GENERAL TO SPECIFIC
Most new startups, starts with a blank ad platform and little budget. So my advice to them is start broad. Now, this might sound counter-intuitive but experience has thought me that ads platfroms can surprise you and you cannot predict the outcome.
Reasons why you should start broad
- Train your Pixel
Facebook Pixel is a machine (piece of code) that needs to be trained, Over the years, Facebook AI has improved in identifying and targeting lookalikes of your current customer
Facebook’s goal is to get you conversions and your goal is to help Facebook…get you conversions. When you train your Facebook pixel, you run a campaign that isn’t necessarily optimized to make you money. It’s optimized to train your pixel. This is called the Learning Phase because like a post-graduation gap year you’re setting your pixel out into the world to go and learn new things. It’s going to come back with a ton of new knowledge and it’s going to use its new knowledge to get you more conversions.
During this Learning Phase, your ad set is going to be seen by different people who are within the target audience you chose. Facebook’s going to keep tabs on who performs actions and who doesn’t and then help you create a custom audience based on this initial target audience. – Digitalmarketer blog
Another Disclaimer: Don’t target the whole country – Have your initial idea of who your target market is, target them but don’t be too specific on interest breakdowns.
2. Have a Benchmark
Asides from training your Pixel, running a fairly broad ad will give you a general idea of the type of content that resonate with your target market, the average CTR, CPC, and audience size. Going detailed or specific in ad targeting can drastically increase your ad CPC, because of audience size. So when you start with a specific targeting or niche audience, you won’t get a general idea of how much you should have spent in relation to how you are spending.
The PPC Temperature Law introduced by Johnathan Dane shows that different types of PPC traffic have different types of intent to convert.
On the other hand, channels like Social and Display can sometimes get you in front of audiences that are a bit colder. Their buyer intent isn’t high because they are not actively looking for your product or service, they just happened to run into your ad.
It’s important to understand the difference between what is likely to convert and what is not likely to convert.
That said, as you think about building your campaigns, you have to think of different combinations of call-to-actions that work for that specific type of traffic. You don’t want to be too upfront with someone who simply isn’t ready to buy.
A few tips:
- “Hot” sources of traffic = Firm call-to-action. These are the ones that ask the user for a stronger commitment such as making a purchase or taking the time to watch a demo or schedule a meeting.
- “Cold” sources of traffic = Soft call-to-action. These still ask for the user’s contact information, but no additional effort is required for them so it makes it easier to convert. These include newsletter subscriptions, lead magnet downloads, signing up for a coupon, etc.
- Next steps with cold audiences. Create thank you pages with the firm call-to-action to get them to commit further or nurture them via email newsletters and retargeting campaigns.
- Create a minimum MVP of a call to action. You can make the front-end of the offer look impressive to buy yourself time to gauge interest before you finish it on the back-end to avoid wasting time and resources.
You need to match up the intent and the temperature of the traffic with the temperature of the actual call to action.
In all your doings, Test everything.
A change in objective from Landing page to conversions with all other factors being the same can drastically change the ad performance. Test ABO or CBO; Test optimizing for clicks or landing page; Test ad types; Test audience targeting. With ads, you need to keep testing and optimizing for 2 goals; To reduce Cost per conversion/click (CPC) and increase number of conversion/Click.
The idea is to spend less to get more
I did a test to see which ad objective will perform well, 2 similar campaigns with different objectives, although the ad with Landing page (Lp) Objective had lower CTR, the ad with Conversion Objective performed better. The CTR was a bit high but when I calculated down the marketing funnel the CAC (Customer Acquisition cost) was cheaper. People coming in from the Lp ad were not converting but the CO ads were optimized by Facebook to bring in visits that are more likely to convert.
PAID ADS TRAP
Remember not to get struck in the paid ad trap. So like I said in the introduction, Paid channels are good for getting the early traction but going forward should not be your only source of getting traction. Your focus should be on Organic and Earned channels for growth.
The best acquisition channels is always a combination of both organic and paid channels.
I hope you got value. Let me know what you think in the comment section.