When Should I Start Running Digital Ads? | Captain Coder

When Should I Start Running Digital Ads?

Marisa VanSkiver / April 4, 2022

woman running digital ads

Do you think you’re ready to start running a digital ads campaign?

For many of us, we start with the “free” or organic digital marketing strategies to keep our upfront costs low. Testing out ideas and trying to build up your organic audience can feel less risky because it doesn’t require a monetary investment, just time.

The problem is, especially in the world of certain social media apps, it’s become a lot more pay to play.

That doesn’t mean that you need to be running digital ads right away. Putting money behind your content requires some forethought and planning.

In today’s blog, I’m going to walk you through the decisions you need to make before starting an online advertising campaign, the steps you should take, and how to know if the time is right for your business.

Are You Ready for Ads?

This is honestly a key question that a lot of business owners don’t even ask. Just because you have “everything” set up doesn’t mean you’re ready to start running digital ads right away.

Ads are great because they can help you to reach a wider customer base that you might not otherwise reach. But they can be a negative when you’re wasting money on people who won’t actually be purchasing your services.

Before you ever hit publish on a digital advertising campaign, you need to consider these important factors.

You’re Already Making Money

This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen a lot of business owners pour their own money into ads without having a sale.

While yes, that can help you grow faster, it can also be a giant waste. Starting with the organic, “unpaid” strategies allow you to prove your concept. If someone bites and purchases from you because of a social media post they’ve seen or they made it into your email list and bought from an email, then you know that you’re doing something right.

It’s also just smart to not spend money you don’t have.

You Have a Clear Picture of Your Ideal Customer

Knowing who you want to target and talk to is pretty huge in the world of digital advertising. With a variety of available targeting parameters, you can drill down pretty significantly to get just the right people you want to reach.

If you don’t have a clear picture of who your ideal customer is and who will actually be interested in buying from you, you’re just going to waste a bunch of money on getting leads who will never convert.

You Understand Your Unique Value

We get bombarded with ads every single day, on every single platform in which we spend time. If you’re going to get your ideal customer’s attention, you have to be very clear on what only you can do to help them.

Knowing your own unique value against competitors will help you to communicate that directly to your target customers and will go a long way in getting them to actually click on that ad versus scrolling on by.

What to Do Before Launching Ads

If you feel pretty good after going through the questions above that the time is right for you to run ads, then it’s time to ensure your business is ready.

Creating a Google ad or launching a Facebook ad campaign isn’t just about adding some creative and clicking a few buttons. You have a bit of work to do upfront to be completely ready to start driving new people to your website and your business.

Solidify Your Brand & Your Offer

Is everything you’re putting out now pretty consistent? If your brand isn’t well thought out, it can cause confusion when someone sees your ad, then goes to follow you on other platforms.

Make sure they know that they’ve found you and your business by keeping your brand consistent throughout everything they’ve done. Nothing is worse than getting someone to sign up for your email list from a great ad, but having them unsubscribe because they don’t remember signing up . . . because your email marketing doesn’t match how they met you.

You’ll also want to really drill down and nail your offer. In my decade of running digital ads, I’ve quickly found that nothing works as well as something super specific. Just running a Google ad for your generic service is OK; but running an ad for a hyper-specific product, service, or offer is even better.

Make sure everything is consistent and your offer is more than just “Buy my coaching services.”

Prepare Your Website

Oh come on, you were waiting for me to mention this weren’t you? Here’s the thing. You can run ads all day long, but if your website isn’t set up to reinforce those ads, you’ll lose all of those leads.

Take just a quick look through your site and make sure everything is still accurate. Have a friend test and see if they find any odd bugs or things that don’t work the way they should.

If you want to get the most out of your digital ads, I highly recommend creating a landing page specifically for your ad campaigns. A specific page ensures that all of the possible questions a browser might have get answered, the content of the page matches the ad they clicked on, and it should give them a way to buy or get more information right away.

Put an Email Marketing Plan in Place

Remember how I just said you should give people a way to get more info?

This is it!

Not everyone who clicks on an ad and comes to your landing page will be interested in buying or booking a discovery call right away.

They may, however, be interested in a freebie or gathering more information about you.

Before you run any ads, make sure you’ve thought through a possible email marketing component for that campaign. Give browsers the ability to join your list so they can learn more about you and your services.

Decide on Your Budget

Kind of a big piece, I know. But before you run ads, you have to decide what your budget is going to be. How much can you afford to spend per click, per lead, and per sale? What are you willing to invest for a month while you tweak and perfect your campaign?

Ads aren’t going to be successful right away, especially if you’ve never run them. You’ll need to allow for a learning curve and time to tweak and get them right.

But mostly, you want to have a clear vision of what every customer and sale is worth to you. Then you can break down what you can spend per click and still be profitable.

Want a bit of help with that? We just recently talked all about how to set your marketing budget.

Accelerate Your Growth with Ads

If you’re ready to accelerate your business’s growth and reach an entirely new audience, it’s time to start your first ads campaigns.

Just ensure that you and your business are fully ready. We want you to get the most out of your investment!

Make sure you come back each week this month to dive further into the different options you have for running your own digital ads.

If you’re unsure if you are ready or you simply want a bit of help with a digital ads campaign, let’s talk! I can help you not only prepare, but run a campaign that gets you results.

Skip that boost on Facebook and let’s do this the right way!

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