Paid Promotions: A Getting Started Guide for Small Businesses


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Ready to get your feet wet in paid promotions like search engine marketing and display advertising? Not sure where to start? Check out Pagemodo's Getting Started Guide, complete with a glossary of terms, Paid Promotion Checklist, and advice for measuring your results.

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Paid Promotions: A Getting Started Guide for Small Businesses

  1. 1. Paid Promotions: A Getting Started Guide for Small Businesses
  2. 2. Paid promotions and online advertising are a great way for small businesses to increase their brand exposure and drive more traffic to their websites.
  3. 3. ? So why aren’t more small business owners taking advantage of this tactic?
  4. 4. ? So why aren’t more small business owners taking advantage of this tactic? 1. Budget Limitations 2. Intimidation
  5. 5. Small businesses have small budgets. As a result, they tend to lean towards low-cost solutions like Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing, instead.
  6. 6. Some business owners hold off on paid promotions because they don’t feel confident jumping in. The good news is, we can help with this one! Click on to learn everything you need to know to get started with paid promotion today.
  7. 7. Glossary of Terms PPC: Pay Per Click • SEM: Search Engine Marketing • CPC: Cost Per Click CTR: Click Through Rate • CPM: Cost Per (1000) Impression(s) CPL/CPA: Cost Per Lead/Cost Per Acquisition • Display Advertising Destination URL/Landing Page • Conversion • Impressions Campaign Reach • Facebook Ads • Custom Audience
  8. 8. Glossary of Terms PPC: Pay Per Click This term describes a cost structure used by many common advertising networks in which the advertiser only pays when their ad is actually acted on. This helps advertisers manage their budgets successfully
  9. 9. Glossary of Terms SEM: Search Engine Marketing Although this term technically does refer to both paid search engine advertising as well as organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), most in the industry use SEM interchangeably with “paid search”. These are the ads the show up above and beside organic search results on sites like Google.
  10. 10. Glossary of Terms CPC: Cost Per Click This is the rate at which you are charged for the clicks on your ads. This will vary by search engine, network, or platform, and is usually based on the top price or bid you enter that you’re willing to pay for each click, and is affected by the other top competitors.
  11. 11. Glossary of Terms CTR: Click Through Rate This can be found be dividing the number of impressions by the number of clicks. Or, the rate at which the people who saw your ad actually clicked on it. If you have a high click through rate, you know you’ve got an effective ad. If the rate is low, you might want to reassess the copy, imagery, and subject of your ad, as well as the audience to which you are serving it.
  12. 12. Glossary of Terms CPM: Cost Per (1000) Impression(s) As opposed to Cost Per Click, this pay structure measure refers to the cost you pay per every 1000 impressions (views) your ad gets.
  13. 13. Glossary of Terms CPL/CPA: Cost Per Lead/Cost Per Acquisition Depending on the goal of your campaign, you may measure either of these things. If your goal is to obtain leads (customer contact information that you can use in the future) that would count as an ‘acquisition’ for you. However if your goal is to get people to purchase something, you’d only be counting the actual acquisition.
  14. 14. Glossary of Terms Display Advertising: In the online sense of the term, this refers to advertisements that appear throughout the web (social media sites, other websites) and usually include copy, a graphic, and link to a website.
  15. 15. Glossary of Terms Destination URL/Landing Page: This is the link that your ad directs people to when they click on it. This can be a website’s homepage, a particular page or article on a site, a social media profile, or a landing page that was created specifically for the ad in question to direct to. This is a good way to control the analytics of a certain ad – if the only traffic to that page is coming from an ad, it’s easy to get insights about those visitors and the success of the campaign.
  16. 16. Glossary of Terms Conversion: Depending on the goals of your campaign, a conversion can mean many different things. If your goal was to get someone to visit a landing page and fill out a form, your ‘conversion’ is counted when that email address is captured. If your goal is to have someone purchase a product from your web store, the conversion won’t be counted until they check out.
  17. 17. Glossary of Terms Impressions: The number of times that your advertisement is seen by the selected audience. This does not require that they click to be counted, only that it’s served up to them.
  18. 18. Glossary of Terms Campaign Reach: The number of unique viewers who saw your advertisement (usually used by Facebook).
  19. 19. Glossary of Terms Facebook Ads: These can take a number of forms, showing up in the user’s news feed, or down the right hand side of their browser, or in their mobile news feed. They often link to the advertiser’s Facebook page, but can certainly have a destination URL that is a website or landing page as well.
  20. 20. Glossary of Terms Custom Audience: A relatively new option on Facebook, this ad strategy allows you to upload a list of email addresses you have collected in your database to Facebook and serve ads to the people on that list who have Facebook profiles. This is a great way to target your most engaged potential customers.
  21. 21. Now that you know the lingo, you’re almost ready to start your first campaign. As with every marketing strategy, the first step is a great plan. Run through this paid promotion checklist and set yourself up for success.
  22. 22. Paid Promotion Checklist
  23. 23. Step 1: Identify Your Goals Step 6: Pick A Landing Page Step 2: Identify Your Audience Step 7: Choose A Provider Step 3: Choose Your Media Step 8: Monitor Your Progress Step 4: Set Your Budget Step 9: Analyze The Results Step 5: Prepare Your Assets Step 10: Take Notes, Make Plans
  24. 24. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 1: Identify Your Goals It will be hard to gauge the success of your paid promotion if you don’t first determine your goals for the campaign. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Get more likes on Facebook? Increase awareness of your brand? Make a note before you get started.
  25. 25. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 2: Identify Your Audience This is an off-shoot of something you probably have already done for your business – identifying the ideal customer for you and thinking about how you speak to them. The audience you choose for your paid promotions may be the same general audience, or perhaps a subset of that audience. For example, instead of women with college degrees in the Washington, DC area, your campaign might target women with college degrees in the Washington, DC area who are between the ages of 25 and 35.
  26. 26. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 3: Choose Your Media This is the part where you decide how you’ll best read the audience you identified above. Should you try Facebook advertising? Maybe display ads on specific websites they might visit? Or perhaps search engine marketing (SEM) is the best vehicle for your message. The answer depends on the answers to ‘what’ and ‘whom’ that you determined above.
  27. 27. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 4: Set Your Budget The cost and pricing structures vary across digital promotion types, and you’ll often have options for how you’d like to pay within one medium. For example, you can choose today pay per click, or pay per impression (or 1,000 impressions, technically). So depending on the money you have set aside for this, and the goal of your promotion, you’ll need to choose the one that fits you best.
  28. 28. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 5: Prepare Your Assets Whether you choose display advertising on websites, Facebook advertising, or search engine marketing, there are certain creative assets you’ll need. Prepare the images you might use, logos, coupon or offer codes, and the copy (text) in this step so you have easily access it as you’re creating your promotions.
  29. 29. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 6: Pick A Landing Page One of the things that your ads will include is a link to…something. It’s up to you to decide what it is. Again, this will be determined by the goal of your campaign, but choices include your website’s home page, a certain product in your web store, your Facebook page, or a dedicated landing page you create on your website just for this purpose.
  30. 30. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 7: Choose A Provider Depending on the type of ad you want to run, you have some options for providers. These include Google for SEM, Facebook for, well, Facebook, and for display advertising on websites. There are lots of options out there though, so a little research and pick the one that’s best for your purposes, goals, and budget.
  31. 31. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 8: Monitor Your Progress Once you start your campaign, most providers will offer some kind of insights tool to help you track the success of your campaign. Many will also allow you to make tweaks to the message, creative, or audience as you go along so you can optimize your results if you see something that’s not working.
  32. 32. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 9: Analyze The Results Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics or Stats (if you have a Webs website), you can easily see the effect your paid promotion had on your website. If you ran a promotion solely for social media, you can check your metrics with Facebook Insights, but hopefully you’ll also see some more referrals from Facebook back to your website if traffic on social media increased significantly. Did you get more traffic to your homepage? To specific page on your site? Did anyone redeem offer codes? Did you sell more of a certain product?
  33. 33. Paid Promotion Checklist Step 10: Take Notes, Make Plans Once you’ve collected your insights and analytics, it’s time to assess the overall success of your campaign and decide if it’s a tactic you should include in your small business’s marketing plan going forward. Measuring the success of paid promotions depends on several factors, including your goals, your budget, the lifetime value of new customers, and the cost to acquire each one. You can learn more about the formulas involved in these calculations in the article link above.
  34. 34. Measuring Results
  35. 35. The often-overlooked final step of any successful marketing campaign is to measure the results. Do yourself a favor and figure out how you’re going to measure success before you even get started. When you’re done evaluate your results and determine if paid promotion is the right tactic for you!
  36. 36. Measuring Results 1. Determine the Value of Your Average Customer The first step in judging paid promotion success is understanding the value of your average customer. For someone who buys your product or service, what is the average order value? What percent of customers order again in the future? Let’s say your average customer order is $100 and 50% of customers reorder at the same average order size of $100. Your average customer would be worth $150 = $100 + (50% X $100).
  37. 37. Measuring Results 2. Track the Traffic That Your Social Campaign is Generating for Your Business There are several ways that you can determine how much social traffic you are driving with a paid promotion. One of the easiest is to extend a special offer through your social channels that can be redeemed with a specific code or phrase. For example, if you’re a florist and want to track traffic generated by a social media promotion on mother’s day, offer a 10% discount for customers who use the promo code “MOM2014” on your website or at your physical store. After the promotion ends, you’ll be able to total up all of the purchases that were generated.
  38. 38. Measuring Results 3. Compare Earnings and Expenses The final step of determining success is comparing how much you earned with the promotion to how much you spent in social media advertising. Earnings: Average Customer Value X Number of Customers Expenses: Social Media Advertising Expense + Any Discounts or Free Giveaways A good rule of thumb for any campaign is to have your Earnings greater than twice your Expenses. This builds in a margin of error for the above calculations and provides more confidence that social media truly is working for your business!
  39. 39. Now that you have all the tools you need to run a successful paid promotion campaign, it’s time to dive in. Good luck!
  40. 40. Want more tools for creating a great presence for your business all over the Web? Visit
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