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Though traditional media still has merit, advertisers everywhere are adapting to the times and looking for digital mediums to spread their message. In fact, global digital ad spend is expected to reach $389 billion in 2021 according to eMarketer. So, why have companies everywhere been looking to up their digital ad game? We've teamed up with our digital advertising partner AdShark Marketing to tell you why!

AdShark Marketing, based out of Fargo, North Dakota, houses a team of SEO, ECommerce Marketing, and digital advertising experts. They eat, sleep, and breathe internet marketing, while actively staying in tune with all its evolving changes. Having helped over 170 businesses up their online ad game, their passion for growing YOUR business is truly THEIR business.

Why Digital Ads?

  1. ACCESS TO METRICS: Gone are the days of wondering ‘what was the return on my investment?’ With digital ads, you have access to data including impressions, engagement, leads generated, and (for e-commerce companies) revenue gained from each cent you spend.
  2. IMPROVED TARGETING: Through platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you’re able to get much more granular with your targeting (reaching individuals based on age, gender, interests, etc.) than you would be through most traditional forms.
  3. AFFORDABILITY: In general, digital advertising is much more affordable than traditional mediums. In fact, a recent study on CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for various mediums found social media impressions to be half the expense of the nearest traditional medium (Augustine Fou).
  4. ABILITY TO ADAPT: One of the least talked about, but most important, benefits of digital advertising is how quickly you can make changes based on the results you’re seeing. You can readily pause, edit, and adapt campaigns (including creative assets, copywriting, targeting, etc.) to improve campaign effectiveness and get more results.

Digital Advertising

Important steps to getting started

#1 - Establish a Digital Advertising Budget

If you’re new to the world of digital advertising, the very first question from either you or your boss will be “how much is this going to cost?” It’s understandable. Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect answer due to a multitude of variables: your industry, the channels you choose, and the results you wish to gain. 

To get you closer to an answer, however, you can look at the average costs on popular mediums:

  • Facebook: Average $0.97 (cost-per-click), according to an AdEspresso study
  • Google Search: Average $2.69 (cost-per-click), according to Wordstream
  • Google Display: Average $0.63 (cost-per-click), according to Wordstream
  • LinkedIn: Average $5.26 (cost-per-click), according to WebFX
  • Bing: Average $1.54 (cost-per-click), according to Wordstream

We also know that on average, landing page conversion rates are about 2.5%. That means that out of every 1,000 visitors you get to your website, 25 would take the next step and convert (either order your product or become a lead). 

When you marry this data, if a company puts $1,000 into Facebook Ads and gets $0.97 cost-per-click, they would get 1,030 visitors to their website. If 2.5% convert, that would be 26 leads or sales generated from the $1,000 in spend. To take that further, if 30% of all leads become customers (8 new customers, in this example) and each customer has an average value of $250, you’ve just generated $2,000 in revenue from your $1,000 in ad spend.

Ultimately, you’ll need to make the call on what your digital ad budget is, but we typically tell clients to consider starting around $2,500/month to begin and scaling up based on success.

#2 - Develop a Landing Page and Set Goals

Creating a landing page that inspires visitors to turn into contacts (and then customers) is one of the most important ways to ensure digital ad success. Landing pages also plays a critical role in determining your Ad Rank and Quality Score on Google Ads. Plus it’s important for tracking conversions (getting phone calls, lead forms, or sales). Here’s what you need to do to get started:

  • Build out a Landing Page: we typically recommend creating a new landing page for each campaign that is informational and directs people to submit an action (fill out a contact form, click to call, etc.). You can contact us to learn more about how to develop your unique landing page on your website.
  • Ensure Global Site Tag and Facebook Pixel are Installed: tracking code is necessary for judging the success of any of your ad campaigns (particularly those through Google Ads or Facebook Ads). To learn more about installing global site tag (Google) click here, and to learn more about installing Facebook’s pixel click here. These codes will help you determine ad success & set-up retargeting campaigns in the future.
  • Install Google Tag Manager and Establish Conversions: in Analytics and your Ads account (once linked with Analytics), you’ll be able to track your conversions once you’ve installed Tag Manager and set up events & goals to be tracked. The most important things to track are phone calls, conversions, and e-commerce sales (if applicable).

Evolve Creative can help develop any needed landing pages! We will also make sure it's search engine optimized (with ample content, meta descriptions, title tags, etc.) and clearly directs visitors to take a next action with you. Landing page design begins at just $1000. Learn more here.

#3 - Build out Your Creative Assets & Messaging

Though the medium may be new, the general principles of advertising still apply in the digital age. You must have compelling “creative” (messages & graphics) to prompt an audience to pay attention. In order to up the clicks to your website and success of your campaign, you need to consider the following:

  • Copywriting: the words you choose in your ads to elicit a response (including a “call to action,” or sales pitch).
  • Graphics: this refers to any visual content including images, animations, graphic design work, and videos.
  • Links: the number of links you can include in a campaign will vary based on the medium, but think carefully about where you drive your audience who chooses to click an ad of yours.

For copywriting, the best practices will vary based on which platform you’re advertising on. On Facebook, you’ll need to write your top copy (or post text), your headline, your description, and (potentially) include a few words to put on your graphic. On Google, if you’re doing a Search Ad you’ll have to consider headline 1, headline 2, your display URL, descriptions, and callouts.

For graphics, video content is certainly preferred on Facebook (has the highest engagement rates). However, animations (gifs) and compelling photos or graphic designs can also have great success. On Google, if you’re doing Display Ads you’ll need to pay close attention to the sizing best practices and consider graphics that will be responsive (automatically change) based on whichever format they’re shown in.

Finally, with links you’ll have the ability to not only select the links you use to advertise, but also the way they’re represented. On Facebook, you can determine which buttons to use (i.e. Learn More or Shop Now) and on Google, you can create sitelinks or different extensions within your ad to draw people to various places. If you need any assistance with copywriting, creative assets, or best practices, Evolve Creative and AdShark Marketing can set you up for success!

#4 - Launch Your Campaigns

You’ve established your budget, your landing pages, tracking is in place, and you have the content ready to roll. Now, all you need to do is launch the campaign! In doing so, make sure that you have a good handle on each of the platforms that you use. For the sake of brevity, we’ll talk about launching a campaign on Google Ads and Facebook Ads (the two most popular digital advertising platforms).

Launching a Google Ads Campaign

  • Choose between a Search Ads campaign or a Display campaign (the two best campaign types for beginners)
  • For Search Ads, identify the keywords you wish to bid on (use Google Keyword Planner to get an idea of monthly search volume for specific words)
  • Identify your bids for campaigns (most likely, how much you’re willing to spend per click)
  • Build out your ads - including entering your headlines, descriptions, extensions, and more.
  • Reference your ‘Quality Score’ and ‘Ad Rank’ to determine where you can make improvements to your ad.
  • Make sure conversions are being tracked
  • Press go!

You can also learn more about how to achieve initial Google Ad success by checking out the tips provided by Google, themselves OR you can speak to a human by contacting our friends at AdShark directly.

Launching a Facebook Ads Campaign

  • Identify your campaign objective (i.e. brand awareness, web traffic, conversions, etc.)
  • Create your audience (you can go broad or granular in creating custom audiences, or you can even upload your own contact list and find look-alikes)
  • Determine where you’d like your ad to run (you can do automatic placements through Facebook, Instagram, and Audience networks, or you can manually select your own)
  • Identify your daily budget (note: Facebook is really good about sticking to this budget, and not exceeding it)
  • Create your ad by picking a format, uploading content, and writing in your top copy, headline, description, and call-to-action.
  • Press go!

Facebook is also happy to supply you with their recommendations, and once again, the AdShark team would love to chat with you about maximizing your Facebook Ads budget.

#5 - Review Results, and Optimize

The greatest thing separating good advertisers from great ones is how regularly they’re optimizing their ad campaigns. AdShark stands firmly against the ‘set it and forget it’ model of thinking, and believes that making consistent changes to campaigns is the best way to ensure success. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Review results through Google Analytics, or by creating a custom Google Data Studio Dashboard
  • On Facebook:
    • The most important metrics to monitor are CTR (click-through-rate) and Frequency (how often an ad is seen by the same audience).
    • If CTR is below 1%, it’s usually a signal that either your target audience or your creative needs some adjusting. 
    • If Frequency is above 3, your ad will lose its effectiveness soon and your audience or creative should be adjusted.
    • The best changes to make are updating creative and audience. If you make those changes and it’s still not leading to much success, you may have a larger problem. Perhaps the product/service you are promoting OR the call-to-action is not enticing. 
  • On Google:
    • The most important metrics to monitor are CPC (cost-per-click) and cost per conversion.
    • On Search Ads, identify which terms are bringing you the most relevant traffic (the most conversions) and optimize for those by adjusting your bid on those keywords.
    • You should also be careful and look at which keywords are costing you the most, and if there are any irrelevant keywords you’re showing up for. Make sure to add them as “negative keywords” if you don’t want to show up for those keywords again.
    • Making campaign changes like switching to responsive ads (where Google uses its machine-learning to pair the best descriptions and headlines) and adjusting bidding strategies are great ways to go.

At the end of the day, your goal is to gain more conversions and make sure that there is a sizable return on your investment in the digital advertising space. By tracking and reporting your results, and making consistent optimizations to your campaigns, you’ll be many steps ahead of your competitors and will ensure that digital ad campaigns remain a viable route for your business. 

Ready to get started? 

Chat with our team! We’d love to connect you with our digital advertising partner, AdShark, so you can learn more about what makes the most sense for your business.

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