When you’re doing everything you can to generate conversions and revenue from your website, the last thing you think about is spending money to make money.
If you just wait around and hope that your target demographic will stumble upon your website and magically convert, you’ll end up costing your business more money in the long run. Sure, there are many free strategies to attract website visitors, but none can guarantee the same results as paid advertising.
Why should you use paid advertising?
Here are the top three benefits:
- Immediate traffic: If you have a relatively young website or create a new landing page, it’ll take a long time to start generating organic traffic. With paid advertising, you can expedite the process and start getting website visits immediately. Granted, it may take some testing and tweaking to optimize your ads, but you will typically see a spike in traffic the day you activate your ads.
- Consistent traffic: We all have good and bad days, and website traffic is no different. You may see an increase in traffic one day, and then a dip for the next week. But, by paying for ads, you can control your traffic and ensure a steady stream of visitors.
- Targeted visits: Not all website traffic is created equal. We all want a high number of website visits, but you want a certain type of visitor that is more likely to convert. The beauty of paid advertising is that you can specify exactly who you want to see your ads. You can go as deep or as broad as you want, choosing criteria like location, education, age, income, hobbies, career, and more.
Once you enter the world of paid advertising, you’ll be faced with dozens of options. From Google to Bing to Facebook to Twitter, any website will gladly take your money in exchange for displaying your ads.
Here is a brief overview of the most popular types of paid advertising:
Google Search Ads
Google search ads are online ads that are displayed above or alongside Google search results when someone searches for a keyword on Google. These ads are PPC, or pay-per-click ads, where you pay for each click the ad generates. Although Google offers the greatest reach to advertisers, choosing the right keywords and optimizing the ads usually require at least a working knowledge of SEO. If you’re new to paid advertising, Google search ads, or any search ads, are not the best place to start.
If you want to reach anyone on Facebook, you have to pay. Facebook ads are easier to learn than Google search ads, and still offer robust targeting options.
- Marketplace Ads appear in the side column on Facebook with a headline, copy, and an image.
- Promoted Posts allow you to promote an already-published Facebook post on your page to reach more fans and friends of fans.
- Sponsored Stories create ads from other users’ interaction with your page. For example, if Jane Doe liked one of your posts, you could create a Sponsored Story featuring that action and displaying it to all of Jane Doe’s friends.
- The Facebook Exchange uses remarketing tactics to look at a user’s web browsing history and lets you create an ad for a website he or she has already visited. So, if you know that John Smith visited your website, you could target your website’s ads to John Smith’s newsfeed.
Twitter’s ad platform is not as strong as Facebook’s, but it is still a good place to promote a specific campaign (an event, a new product, specific messaging). Here are your options:
- Promoted Tweets allow you to promote a certain message (tweet). This is a great way to get a specific message at the top of your target audience’s Twitter feed.
- Promoted Accounts help you grow your followers. This type of ad suggests your Twitter handle to people who don’t currently follow you and who would be interested in the type of content you’re sharing.
- The Lead Generation Card is the most powerful type of advertising you can do on Twitter. It allows you to collect leads directly within a tweet. Users don’t even have to fill out a form, their information (like name, email, handle) is automatically populated in the card. They just have to hit “submit” on the Card’s call to action.
LinkedIn is your best bet if you are in the B2B space or if you want to target people based on job title or function. Here are your options:
- A Sponsored Ad promotes a post from your company page. You can target the ad by company, category, job title, education, or LinkedIn group.
- A Text Ad allows you to add a small image, headline, and description. You can create up to 15 ad variations to see which combination of text and image works the best, and you can choose a specific LinkedIn page to display your ad.
The whole goal of native advertising is to make your ads look less like ads. instead of disrupting a user’s experience with an ad, native advertising blends into their experience (so someone reading an article about dogs may be prompted to read another story about dogs, which has been sponsored by Petco). Here are the two most popular native advertising companies:
- Outbrain: Outbrain lets you advertise your content on top publications (like New York Post, CNN, ESPN, Fortune, and more) through recommendation widgets. You can promote articles, videos, infographics, or slideshows. You only pay when someone clicks on your promoted story.
Taboola: A direct competitor of Outbrain, Taboola provides “content you may like” widgets to online publishers (like BBC, USA Today, TMZ) to promote articles, videos, or slideshows.
How to Apply This To Your Business
How do you know which kind of paid advertising is right for you? How do you actually create and implement a paid advertising strategy? Sign up for our 21-day marketing course to learn our expert tips and tricks on creating content to attract new visitors and how to use paid advertising to maximize your ROI.