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A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Digital Marketing: Paid Media

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Digital Marketing: Paid Media
December 13, 2022

You’ve heard about how to execute a proper SEO strategy, so what’s next in your digital marketing plan? In this edition of The Driver’s Manual, we will concentrate on paid media, and our Director of Digital Marketing, Alessandro Baldocchi, will take a deep dive into the key elements of paid media that every small business owner should consider.

Well enough chit-chat, let’s get into the bread and butter. Here’s what Baldocchi’s advise on paid media strategy is for Canadian small business owners:

Paid media marketing is a must-have for small business owners looking to maximize their reach and profits. Whether you’re just starting out or have been around for a while, paid media marketing can help your business get more attention, bring more customers through the door, and make more money.

For those of you new to paid media marketing, it’s important to understand what it really is. Simply put, paid media marketing is a form of advertising that involves buying ads or boosting existing ones on popular social platforms like Facebook and Instagram or search engine sites such as Google Ads. The goal is to increase brand awareness and drive sales through targeted campaigns.

When setting up paid marketing campaigns, there are several key elements every small business should consider: budgeting, targeting, ad placement, creative strategy, and performance optimization.

The first step in running successful paid campaigns is to set an appropriate budget for your desired outcomes. 

There are four key questions you need to ask yourself when determining your initial Paid Media budget:

  1. Which marketing channels fit into my current marketing strategy? This is an important question to ask yourself as it will help you determine which platforms, networks, and strategies will be best for reaching your target audience. Consider what channels are currently working for you and which new ones have potential. Look at factors such as the demographics of each platform, the time of day that people are active on them, and any other data points that may impact how successful your campaigns can be.

  1. What (and where) are my competitors spending? Knowing where your competitors are investing their paid media budget can provide invaluable insights into the effectiveness of different tactics and platforms in your industry. Do some research to find out what they’re doing and how much they’re spending. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t so that you can make more informed decisions about your own campaigns.

  1. How much are the CPCs (costs per click) for the keywords I'm bidding on? Cost-per-click (CPC) is an important metric to consider when determining a paid media budget as it helps you set realistic expectations of how successful your campaigns will be in terms of return on investment (ROI). Knowing the approximate CPCs associated with each keyword or phrase is essential, as this will determine how much money you need to invest into each campaign.

  1. Which KPI (key performance indicator) matters most to me? Key performance indicators (KPIs) are data points that you can use to measure the success of your campaigns, such as impressions and conversions. Determine which KPIs are most important to you and focus on optimizing them. This will help you get the most out of your paid media budget and ensure that your campaigns are running as efficiently as possible.

Be sure to do some research beforehand so that you don’t waste time and money on campaigns that won’t give you the desired results. Once you have an idea of how much money you have available to spend on paid media marketing efforts, create a budget plan with timelines for each campaign.

Once you have your budget in place, it’s time to determine who your target audience is—in other words, who do you want to reach with your ads? You can either use the demographic information about your current customer base or create a buyer persona based on data from consumer behavior surveys or market research reports. Knowing your target audience will help inform all aspects of your paid media strategy from ad copywriting and design all the way through reporting and optimization.

Ad placement also plays an important role in paid media success because where ads appear reflects their potential reach and effectiveness among those they are targeting. Research different websites and social platforms where your target audience spends time online so that you can strategically place ads where they are most likely to be seen by the right people at the right time for maximum impact.

Now comes the fun part – creating content! This includes coming up with compelling ad copy and visuals that will capture people's attention quickly enough so that they take action (i.e., click through). Once again refer back to what resonates with your target audience when crafting messages—you want them to feel compelled enough by the content to take action! Additionally, be sure to not only adhere but embrace best practices related user experience elements such as calls-to-action (CTAs), headlines/copywriting style conventions (e.g., active vs passive voice), etc; this will ultimately result in better engagement and CTRs (click-through rates).

Finally, once everything has been set up properly, performance optimization becomes crucial for success; this means monitoring each campaign closely and adjusting accordingly depending upon results– whether its CPC levels aren't meeting expectations or if ROI goals aren't being met - making changes accordingly based upon data gathered throughout the life cycle of each individual campaign. It's also important to remember that paid campaigns should never remain static; instead they should always be tweaked according to results & test different variables until optimized performance is achieved – keep going until reaching milestones like cost per conversion goals become a reality.

Ultimately paid media marketing can be incredibly powerful but only when implemented correctly and properly monitored along the way; small business owners need to understand how set budgets/target audiences/ad placements/creative strategies work together in order see positive returns investments made into these types campaigns – following the steps outlined herein will definitely go long way towards achieving success!

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