Paid advertising has a bad rep to some point and I honestly do not know why. If you’re just starting out and have a small but existing budget for marketing. I encourage you to try pay-per-click advertising.
I want to take the time to look at three different platforms I myself have used or am still using at the time of writing this.
I have gained some experience in using Google, Facebook, and Snapchat. I will however say that they change very quickly and when you read this my information might up to some point already be outdated.
Still, if you haven’t used any kind of PPC advertising I would like to give you a quick introduction and showing you the pros and cons of each platform.
When our online store went online, we first tried Google Ads (former AdWords). I have had experience from previous businesses with Google’s PPC advertising, and I even attended some of Google’s own seminars.
Changes within Google Ads happen extremely quickly, and you will likely notice very late that something has changed. If you happen to spend a couple of thousand dollars a month on Google Ads, you will probably get offered free support from Google itself.
I certainly get called every couple of months by someone on Google’s staff to give me an update on what has changed and show me how to improve the performance in my account.
I am not sure how much you have to spend on a regular basis to get the privilege of that kind of support, but I do know you have to spend regularly for it to happen.
If you use Google, you will tap into the customer right, when they are looking for something, meaning they have already shown interest in what you are offering.
That makes the sale a bit easier, as you don’t have to convince the customer of the idea yet, that has already happened.
In turn it has gotten very competitive. Depending on the sector your business is in, you will likely have to dig deep into your pockets to pay for every click.
If you make sure your ads stand out, by using every feature available to you in your account, you will definitely generate sales from it.
My experience with Google Ads has been quite good. If you have enough conversions you can even use the ROAS method to set the bidding, which uses an algorithm to decide how much to bid and if even to bid at all.
The downside: It’s harder to use the budget as you can see that you make a profit with every conversion so, just let it run. (Which might not always make sense, as I have stated in my blog post 3 Reasons Why Being Profitable On Paid Advertising Might Not Be Enough).
I did not have any useful past experience with Facebook Ads when we started selling products online, so everything was kind of new to me.
You have to carefully watch the guidelines when using Facebook as pictures and text need to meet certain criteria. Of course, it’s the same with Google Ads, but I have had a lot more trouble with Facebook, due to the fact that we use images and not text only ads.
What’s great about Facebook Ads is the targeting. You can target a very specific kind of audience or exclude a certain audience as well. That makes it very easy to reach the right people right from the start.
Facebook is rarely going over the budget, so unlike Google what you set is what you’ll get. Keep that in mind if you want to plan out your marketing budget.
The customers you get from your FB Ads will not be in the same stage of the sales funnel as the users that have clicked on your Google Ads. They might not be interested in the product, but rather have been curious about what your ad represented.
So, maybe you want to redirect these users to a landing page instead of the product. It really depends on what you are offering. For our online store it doesn’t really matter, either the customer wants the product or she doesn’t.
But if you have a product that might be a new idea on how to do something, you might need to move that customer further down in the sales funnel after clicking on the Facebook ad.
A plus for Facebook Ads is that you can set up ads for Instagram as well and have a very wide reach using both platforms.
Honestly, we have tried Snapchat Ads once and it did not work at all. The set-up works about the same way as with Facebook, but with fewer features.
I had a lot of trouble getting the ads approved without getting any kind of indication as to what the problem might be. After changing it multiple times and still getting rejected I have contacted the customer support and suddenly it was approved, without any response at all.
We got clicks, but virtually no sales at all. I don’t want to dismiss the platform too quickly, but at the moment I’m inclined to leave it be.
Who knows, maybe we will give it another shot at some point down the road.
Give it a try and see what works best for your business
In conclusion, we have been using Facebook and Google to get paid traffic for over 6 years now and have been pretty happy with the results.
Keep your budget, your audience and the season in mind, when giving it a try and have fun with it.
I encourage you to use the automatic bidding features for both as I feel they know better how to spend the money to get me results than I do. I certainly have gotten quite good results using them.
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