Everyone wants to find the cheapest way to advertise their business. It can get pricey to get your products or services in front of the right people, particularly if you don’t understand your audience.
But when you’re a small business and working with a tight budget, it can be especially challenging to determine how best to use your advertising dollars.
However, there’s a trick to digital advertising… are you ready?
It’s not necessarily about understanding your audience, it’s about understanding what you’re trying to get your audience to do.
If you understand your objectives, you will be able to spend your limited budget in the right way.
Understanding your Objectives
A lot of marketers make out advertising to be a matter of “figuring it out.” But when you’re advertising digitally, there isn’t anything to “figure out,” because the information is all there.
What’s key in making decisions for investing your ad dollars is knowing your objectives, and then split testing the right things. There’s no “right way” to advertise on a budget, there are ebbs and flows.
This is why we split test.
You may be reading this and think you really do know your objectives… but do you really?
Once on a sales call with a client I asked, “What is your objective for this campaign? What would you consider to be a successful campaign?”
They responded: “Honestly, the goal is to drive a ton of traffic to the page and hope it converts, right?”
It’s a typical response we hear, and there’s a chance you think that’s your objective too. But it’s very seldom the true objective in advertising.
“Driving traffic” is very general, and perhaps an overarching goal in advertising. But it’s not nearly specific enough. You have to go deeper with your objectives.
So perhaps you’re rethinking your advertising objectives now. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- Who do you really want to connect with?
- What actions do you truly want a prospect to take?
- Are you going to rely on the law of averages to convert 1-3% of your prospects into sales?
- If not, what type of nurturing touch points are you going to have with the prospects to guide them towards conversion?
- How will you retarget nurtured prospects to get them to buy?
Keep in mind that while the maximum amount of traffic and lowest cost per lead may seem like reasonable objectives when you’re working within a tight budget, it’s not a strategy that will yield a profitable amount of conversions.
For example, for a client of ours it cost us $15 per ticket to sell out their conference. The cost of tickets were $125, so obviously the profit is $110. If our cost per lead was only $1, but we sold 20 tickets instead of 300, that wouldn’t have been nearly as effective a campaign.
In other words, casting the largest net won’t get you the best fish. When it comes to sales, you need to put quality of leads over quantity of leads.
Define your KPIs (key performance indicators) based on quality, not quantity. It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics and think your advertising dollars are being well spent.
But if you understand the buyer journey and have objectives for each step of the sales funnel, you can more readily measure the success of your ad campaigns— not based on the number of leads you end up with, but the actual profit on conversions against what you’ve spent.
Focusing in on the Funnel
Too many people quit their ad campaigns too soon because they focus on entry level data rather than their actual objectives.
I’ve had clients that say, “oh, that campaign didn’t really work out,” when they don’t get the results they wanted and I ask them to explain what “didn’t work out” means.
Then when we start talking about the actual objectives, then they realize that the campaign is working, it’s just one part of the sales funnel that needs fixing.
Remember that in your advertising campaigns, if you’re not getting the results you want, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not working. No, it means that only a part of your sales funnel isn’t working up to par.
Don’t dump your entire campaign just because it’s not working the way you wanted it too. You need to step back and see the bigger picture. Look at the campaign within the context of the stages of the buyer journey:
Are you connecting with the right people? Are the people you’re connecting with taking the action you’ve set out for them? Is your lead magnet offering enough value?
Lead magnets are a great way to attract the right people into your ecosystem. By offering some sort of value in exchange for the user’s contact information, you can quickly pull that person in and turn them into a lead.
But if your lead magnet isn’t interesting or doesn’t offer enough value, people will have less incentive to give you their information.
This is where split testing comes in handy. Try different lead magnets and see what works.
Try targeting half your audience with an ebook lead magnet and targeting the other half with a video tutorial. There’s lots of ways to attract leads in.
So experiment. Try new things. Remember, there’s no “right way” to do this.
Are you relying on the laws of averages to get those conversions? Maybe it’s time to more actively connect with your leads.
You will get some leads to convert without much effort, but not many at all. If you want to maximize conversions, you have to stay at the top of the leads’ minds.
This means not passively sitting back and waiting for leads to decide to buy. It means touching in with them, feeding them a little more value, reminding them you’re there.
What kind of nurturing touch points can you have with your leads to guide them to buy?
If you have a substantial list of email subscribers, your best bet is to schedule out a nurturing email campaign. After several nurturing emails, you can send them emails with calls to action. This is what will drive more leads to buy.
If you lack an email list, Facebook retargeting ads are a great way to prompt your leads to buy, and can be easily tracked.
Whatever route you decide to take, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck if you more actively nurture your leads and retarget rather than passively leave the buying decision up to them.
Creating Loyal Customers
Are you continuing to engage customers after they’ve bought from you? If not, you’re missing a crucial opportunity for growth.
How can you continue to build relationships with customers so that they return and advocate for you?
I say it all the time: you cannot grow your business from the first sale. You need a second, third, fourth, fifth sale in order to grow. This doesn’t mean that you need a lot of customers, it means you need loyal customers.
This stage of the buyer’s journey is ultimately what will pay off your limited advertising budget multiple times over. If you seek to build relationships with these customers rather than use them for the transaction and forget about them, you have the capacity to pay off your advertising 3x.
After the sale, you can continue to engage these customers with email marketing and retargeting ads. They may not buy from you again right away, but you will be kept in mind and they may even refer people they know to your business.
It’s not rocket science. You’re trying to maintain a relationship with another human being. These are important touch points.
So if your ad campaign is struggling to get the results you want, it doesn’t mean the marketing advertising isn’t doing its job. It means a part of the funnel isn’t working.
So focus in on the funnel and identify what needs to be fixed in terms of the objectives you’ve set out for the campaign.
Like I’ve said multiple times throughout this post, there’s no right way to do this. With any ad campaign, there will be ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Think of your ad campaigns as ongoing experiments.
If you’re going to focus on experimenting with ad campaigns on any platform, make sure it’s on Facebook.
Facebook is a great advertising platform because it marries native advertising and interactive media. Whether it be canvas ads, bleed ads, video ads, there are literally brands being built off of this platform. So I really advise you lean in and experiment there.
Understand there’s multiple levels to advertising. So if you’re working within a budget, it’s crucial to define your objectives. Make your KPIs about quality, not quantity. It may seem like it’s worth your money to cast a large net, but it’s not.
You need good leads, not the most leads.
I get it, ad campaigns can be nerve racking when you put money into them and you’re not seeing the results you want. But don’t react by breaking off the campaign. Focus in on your sales funnel. Focus on the objectives of each stage of the funnel. Fix the parts that aren’t working up to par.
This will allow you to optimize the funnel you have and crush every campaign on a limited budget.
Let’s get it.