Are you a small business owner struggling to make the most out of your digital ad budget? Are you constantly feeling like you're pouring money into ads that just aren't working?
You're not alone. Many small businesses face this challenge when trying to compete with larger companies in the digital space.
But we've got you covered. In this blog post, we take a look at everything you need to know about maximizing your digital ad budget even if you're just starting from scratch.
We'll take a look at why digital advertising is so important for any SMB's marketing efforts, even in a post-COVID world. Then, we show you different types of advertising platforms, their strengths, weaknesses, and which one you should use.
Finally, we'll show you some tips to maximize your ad budget so you aren't blowing your hard-earned profits. Ready to get started?
Why is digital advertising important?
Social platforms have definitely transformed the way people interact with one another. From the way we stay connected with friends and family, meet new friends, and discover new brands, we can thank social media for new ways to engage online.
Almost as important, social media has given rise to social media marketing. This has revolutionized the way we businesses communicate with our customers.
In today's digital age, it’s always a good idea for brands to experiment with social media channels as a key player in our marketing strategies, so we can reach more people and ultimately make more sales.
But now enter: digital ads.
Where before the internet businesses paid hefty sums to do ad placements on television or radio spots, now we're able to do the same thing online—for much less money, and much better targeting.
Digital ads are an excellent way for small businesses to reach potential new audiences and build a relationship with them using ad campaigns.
With all the ways tech has advanced in recent years, launching your own paid campaign gives you an opportunity to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, location and more.
This can be a useful tool for businesses as it allows you to tailor your ads more precisely to capture the attention of your ideal customer profile.
Digital ads also provide a cost-effective platform to target the right audience at the right time, allowing you to maximize your digital advertising cost.
It's become so affordable—not to mention profitable—to invest in paid advertising that between the last few years, over 60% of businesses claim to have increased their digital marketing budgets.
Why should you start running paid ads online?
Nevertheless, as with any form of advertising option, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your digital ad budget. Here's why you should start looking into digital ads today.
Reach your target audience
Regardless of your campaign objective, digital ads allows you to reach your target audience in a more efficient and measurable manner compared to traditional advertising methods.
These digital advertising platforms provide businesses with tools to set precise targeting towards users based on demographics, location, interests, and behaviors.
This means you can tailor your ads to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Increase brand awareness
Digital ads can certainly help boost brand awareness as ads can be easily shared and engaged with by social media users.
By creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience, your ads can go viral and increase your brand's reach.
Plus, some of these social media platforms can offer the option for businesses to run branded campaigns or sponsored posts, which can help your brand gain more visibility for your paid and organic content.
Drive traffic to your website
Digital ads can be a key driver of traffic to your website or any other digital platforms. By including a call-to-action link within your ads, such as “Learn More” or “Shop Now,” users are encouraged to click through to your website or platform.
This can help increase your website traffic, lead generation, and ultimately, your sales.
The great thing with digital ads as well is that you could run different forms of ad format like video ads, carousel ads or even just static single images for your campaigns.
Track your results
One of the most significant benefits with digital ads is that these platforms give you the ability to track your campaign results in real-time.
By using built-in or 3rd party analytics tools social , you can monitor the performance of your ads, such as the number of clicks, impressions, engagement rates and video views.
This would help your business to make informed decisions about your entire marketing strategy and adjust your campaigns as needed.
To ensure that you are making the right changes to improve the success of your marketing campaigns, it's crucial to run and track the results of A/B tests.
Tracking your A/B tests can provide insight into how the potential customers is engaging with each variant of your ad and this allows you to see if there are any patterns that can be identified and, in turn, be able to make the necessary changes to improve your campaign further.
For many small businesses, the search for those coveted first customers will always be the number one priority.
They may advertise traditionally with print ads, coupons, or outdoor ads. Or some might think that offering a good product or service is enough to attract customers.
However, digital marketing is one of the more cost-effective forms of advertising for a small business.
The ads cost with digital marketing can stretch your budget further on top of that—it even allows you to refine your target audience.
With digital ads, businesses can target specific demographics and interests, allowing them to reach their ideal audience more effectively.
This allows small and medium-sized businesses to compete with larger corporations and reach a larger audience without breaking the bank.
Optimize Your ads
For optimal results from your digital advertising budget, it is essential to consistently optimize your ads. This involves experimenting with various images, copy, video ads and calls-to-action to determine what appeals to your intended audience.
On top of that, monitoring the effectiveness of your ads and making modifications as necessary can ensure that you are maximizing your return on ad spend.
No matter the size of your business, making sure that you get the most out of your digital ad budget is vitally important.
To maximize your return on ad spend, it’s essential to monitor the performance of your digital ads and make adjustments as needed.If you’re not continuously monitoring your campaigns, then you’re likely missing out on opportunities to improve their performances over the duration of your campaign.
The 9 main types of digital advertising platforms for small businesses
With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
Because of that popularity, it's also one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their target audience and their more awareness to their Facebook page.
Facebook Advertising, in particular, is a great way to promote products and services to your facebook page, drive traffic to websites, increase brand awareness and drive conversion for your business.
You can set up Facebook ads to run to a custom audience through the Facebook Ads Manager. This is also where you can run ads on Instagram, since they're owned by the same company.
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With over one billion active users, Instagram is one of the most widely used platforms to share photos and videos.
With that said, Instagram Ads can help businesses reach a wider audience and increase their brand awareness.
With the targeting options available, businesses can reach users who are most likely to be interested in their product or service.
Instagram Ads also allow for more engaging ad formats than traditional display ads, which can help businesses stand out and capture the attention of users with formats like Instagram Stories ads, Reels, video and Carousel ads.
Twitter is a platform where everyone can stay up-to-date with what's happening in the world, follow their favorite personalities and express their thoughts about various topics.
Users can follow other users they find interesting, and they share their own tweets with their followers. With over 330 million monthly active users, Twitter is increasingly becoming an essential advertising tool for businesses to run their advertising campaigns.
Promoted Tweets are a popular ad format on Twitter. Advertisers would pay to display their content to people who are not already following them on Twitter.
The best part is that Twitter ads have a low average cost per click, making advertising cost more affordable to drive action, increase brand awareness, and engage your audience.
With all the different ad types and targeting options available, Twitter ads can be a valuable addition to your advertising campaigns.
So if you're looking to build your social networks and drive new followers, Twitter ads might just be the way to go.
Google Search Ads
Google Search Ads, also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, are a popular form of online advertising that allows businesses to auction and appear at the top of the search results page when users are searching for relevant keywords.
These ad campaigns can be created and managed through Google AdWords which is Google's advertising platform.
Search Ads are an effective way for businesses to reach potential customers who are actively searching for products or services related to their business.
You can run ads across Google's vast network of search results and affiliated website. By targeting specific keywords, businesses can ensure that their ads are shown to users who are likely to be interested in their offerings.
Google Display Ads
Google Display Ads is another form digital ad from google that allows businesses to promote their products or services on websites across the internet.
Unlike search ads, which appear on the Google search engine results page, Display Ads are shown on a variety of websites that have partnered with Google and allow placements of ads on their website.
These ads typically feature images or videos, which can catch the viewer's attention more effectively than purely text-based ads.
They also provide businesses with the opportunity to reach a wider audience, as the Google Display Network reaches over 90% of internet users worldwide or over 2 million partnered website.
Snapchat is a social messaging app used to send photos and videos.
Users can send photos or short videos of themselves with filters that stretch, morph, or animate their faces, making it an engaging platform that generally attracts the younger audiences.
Snapchat today has evolved into much more than just a social media app, it has also become a powerful marketing tool for businesses with its Snapchat Ads feature.
Snapchat Ads are not only engaging and creative, but they are also highly targeted. By carefully designing and targeting your ads with the right audience, Snapchat Ads can be an effective way to promote your products and services.
LinkedIn is a social networking platform created to facilitate the growth of professional networks for individuals in various industries.
With over 900 million users, the platform provides users with the capability to develop a professional profile that showcases their education, experience, and skills.
After creating an account, users have the ability to connect with other professionals, participate in industry-specific groups, and search for potential job openings. On top of that, LinkedIn provides various tools and features that can assist businesses in enhancing their visibility.
The LinkedIn Ads platform provides businesses with the ability to target professionals in a specific manner on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Ads are particularly effective for businesses targeting B2B (business-to-business) customers.
Because LinkedIn is a professional network, businesses can use LinkedIn Ads to reach decision-makers and individuals who have an interest in their industry or business.
Pinterest is a visual search engine and social media platform where users can discover, save, and share visual content, also known as pins. Each pin is an image that links to an external website and provides additional information.
Pins make up what's called a Pinterest board, and users can create and curate boards based on different themes, such as travel, food, fashion, and DIY. Pinterest users can also follow each other, save pins to their boards, and share them with their friends.
Pinterest has become one of the most popular social media platforms since its launch in 2010. With over 400 million monthly active users, this visual search engine has gained a massive following, this also presents a powerful advertising tool for businesses.
Pinterest Ads uses an auction-based pricing model, where businesses can bid on ad placements within the platform.
You can also set your targeting criteria, such as interests, behaviors, and demographics, to ensure your ads are seen by the right people.
With its targeting options and cost-effective pricing model, businesses of all sizes can benefit from using Pinterest Ads in their marketing strategy.
With more than 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok has become extremely popular among Gen Z and millennials, who uses it to share short, entertaining videos of themselves lip-syncing, dancing, or reacting to popular memes.
TikTok's algorithm is designed to promote content that is engaging and entertaining, which means that businesses with creative and engaging ads can potentially reach a large audience without spending a lot of money on advertising.
With a range of advertising options and a highly engaged user base, TikTok could be the perfect platform to showcase your brand's creativity and get noticed by a new generation of consumers.
How can your business do well with ads
Know what business objective you're trying to achieve
If your goal is to try maximizing your digital ad budget, it's important to first establish what business objective you're trying to achieve.
Do you plan to increase brand awareness or would you like your business to drive more sales? Is your goal to increase website traffic or increasing your lead generation?
There are a few different types of ad campaign goals you might have, such as:
- new sales
- app installs
- lead generation sign-ups
Identifying what goal you are trying to aim for will help guide the development of an effective digital advertising strategy for your business.
Once you have determined what is your key objective, you can start researching and planning a few different things, like:
- the different digital ad platforms available and decide which one is best suited for your needs
- your daily budget for ads
- the format your ads will take: Instagram Carousel ads, Stories ads, shoppable posts, paid user generated content, single video, feed ads, and more
- creating any lookalike audiences or custom audiences from previous or current campaigns
Know your target audience
The next key step in developing a successful digital advertising strategy is to identifying your target audience.
It's important to understand who you are trying to reach with your ads so that you can tailor your messaging and targeting accordingly.
Consider the demographics of your target market, such as age, location, gender, interests, and behaviors. You should also think about what message will resonate with them and how best to deliver it across the various digital advertising platforms.
From there, you'll be able to narrow down the best way to get their attention and get them to convert.
Don't underestimate the power of knowing your audience and enabling precise targeting on your ads' conversion rates. After all, if customers feel like they're being spoken to with your ads, they're more likely to convert from your ads campaign.
Design your ads with mobile in mind
As more people are turning to their mobile devices to access the internet, it’s important to make sure that your digital ads are optimized for mobile viewing.
This means designing ads that appear correctly on both desktop and mobile devices, as well as optimizing them for different screen sizes and resolutions.
For example, you might do 1:1 square aspect ratio for a carousel post or single video. But you should also consider a 16:9 aspect ratio for things like Instagram Stories, Reels, TikTok video ads, and other full-sized mobile devices.
Additionally, you should ensure that any links and action buttons in the ad lead to a mobile-friendly landing page so that users can easily access the content they are looking for.
Over time, you're then able to measure and adjust your strategy, together with your audience and ad assets.
It's important to keep measuring the success of your digital ad campaigns and make adjustments as needed. Use analytics tools to track your progress and determine what changes need to be made in order to maximize your budget.
This could include switching up the targeting criteria or changing the creative elements of the ad.
Test your ads to optimize performance
Testing different versions of your ads is the best way to optimize performance and ensure that you are getting the most out of your digital ad budget.
Experiment with different visuals, copy, call-to-actions, and targeting criteria to see what works best.
A/B testing is a great way to compare two versions of an ad campaign to determine which one is performing better.
Here are a few examples you might try:
- Test different hero copy together with your product catalog
- See if paid Instagram Live selling with an influencer works better than an Instagram Stories ad
- Test different layouts and angles of a single product for your shoppable posts
- Measure if Carousel ads outperform regular posts on the feed
- Experiment by running ads that contain a promotion like a coupon code or free shipping
By testing different elements and tracking the results, you can identify which ads are most effective and adjust your budget accordingly.
Measure results and report on them
Finally, you'll want to measure the success of your digital ad campaigns and report on them. This will help you understand how effective your strategy is and identify areas for improvement.
Use analytics tools to track key metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and ROI. You should also compare performance across different platforms to determine which ones are delivering the best results.
By monitoring this data, you can adjust your budget accordingly and maximize the impact of your digital ad spend.
Creating a successful digital advertising strategy is essential for small businesses who want to get the most out of their online marketing budget.
By understanding your target audience, designing your ads with mobile in mind, testing different versions, and measuring the results, you can ensure that you are getting the best return on investment for every dollar spent.
Start your paid social campaigns today
Starting your paid social campaigns today is the best way to make sure that you maximize your digital ad budget and get the most out of it.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer powerful targeting capabilities that allow you to reach your exact target audience.
And these platforms offer detailed analytics tools that allow you to track key metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions , and ROI.
With a well-planned strategy and the right tools, you can get the most out of your digital ad budget and drive real results for your business.
Get started easily with Coco+
If you're unsure about how to expand your business, consider exploring additional options like Coco+. With the support of world class performance marketeers, Coco+ will help you create and deploy your ads across multiple platforms.
We know how much running ads can feel like an uphill battle. So let Coco+ be your secret weapon. Now, you don’t have to imagine what it’d be like to launch ad campaigns in just a few clicks—with Coco+, it’s possible.