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By now you have probably been managing your business for a while and created an audience for your social media accounts. Yet, you feel as if you could get through to more potential customers if you started advertising your product/service online to achieve more engagement, bookings or downloads.
While advertising online usually allows you to do just that, it’s important to know when is a good time to do so and if your brand is ready. Before deciding where you’ll be advertising or what your ad copy will be and working out all the details of what you’ll be advertising, you should first try to understand if it makes sense to spend time and money getting your ads online.
Many company CEOs and leaders feel that if their competitors are doing something they should be doing it too, and while this may sometimes be true, it also often creates unnecessary work that doesn’t fit that specific brand or the stage the company is at. That being said, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before committing to spending your money online:
One of the most common errors that companies make when advertising online is not even knowing why they’re doing it in the first place. To avoid this, you should first write down your goals and try to be very specific about them.
For example, if you want more likes on your Facebook page, define how many you are aiming for and whether the goal is achievable. Or, if you are seeking more reservations at your restaurant, then define the number of reservations you want to achieve. By writing down your expectations you will be able to analyse whether you are meeting them or if you were too ambitious — or set the bar too low. That is the best way to know if your ads are actually working or not.
Depending on the stage your company is at, you should consider this part very carefully.
Although you can spend whatever amount you want to advertising online, the results vary drastically considering how much you invest. This means that the more you spend, the better results you should expect.
This is only to say that you should be realistic about your results based on the investment you make and understand what metrics it is reasonable to expect. Also, there are ways of getting good results on social media organically, so if you think that the money could be better spent elsewhere, then it’s best to rethink your strategy.
This one can seem a little too obvious, but it’s always worth reminding yourself that to advertise on whatever social network is out there, you first need a business page. Only after you have those set up can you start advertising online.
Having a business account on the platforms where you will be advertising is also good because you will already have an audience and it is easier to reach more people when you already have a few followers and likes.
Once you complete these steps, it’s time to continue to the next phase: getting everything ready. Now is the time to think about message, visual assets, budget and duration of the campaign.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes it’s just a matter of the business field you’re in or the type of business you have. Here you should think about what you’ll be advertising and who your customer is — which will also influence which social networks you’ll be advertising on.
For example, if your company is B2B you should think very carefully about where it makes sense to place your ads. Maybe Google, Bing and LinkedIn are a good idea, but Instagram and Facebook might not be ideal.
At the end of the day, it’s always about knowing who your audience is and what their habits are so that you can make better decisions for your business. There’s an article on our blog on understanding your audience, so take a look at that first if you need help making your decision on whether or not you should start advertising online.
Do you need help getting started? Let us know.