Whether you’re starting your own business or trying to grow an existing business, you probably know that paid advertising is one of the best ways to get your name out there. But running ads on Google and Facebook is intimidating for first-timers and it can be daunting to consider losing budget just because you aren’t an expert.
We’ve compiled a list of great tips for beginners from experts across industries. Use their knowledge and get started creating your first campaign!
You don’t need to start your very first campaign and get all the bells and whistles going right away. Sometimes, simple is better.
“More often than not, simple works. The basics in keyword targeting and ad copywriting are often most effective. You've only got a split second to catch the user's eye with a search ad, and these classic value propositions and calls to action are considered tried and true for a reason. Always run your own tests, but simple, straightforward, and to-the-point is the ideal starting point. -- Marissa Ryan, CMO at VisualFizz
Marissa makes a good point here; tried and true tactics work for a reason! You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, here. While tactics certainly vary by industry, start simple and build from there.
Mix It Up
Remember, research suggests that our attention spans are getting shorter, and our tolerance for seeing the same thing over and over again is low.
“I set up my campaigns with a single variation, so my impressions rocketed then my clicks decreased with time until they stopped. Facebook ads grow stale over time. Once I realized this, I learned to alter and change my content and messages to remain fresh with whatever I was delivering. My users never get bored because I drop new adverts before the other one expires.” -- Caroline Lee, Co-Founder at CocoSign
When you’re creating ads, using just one version won’t cut it. Create 3 to 5 ads with the same purpose but change up your wording, images, and calls to action. You’ll be able to prevent ad fatigue in your users while also getting some insights into which tactics work better for your brand.
“As a beginner, I did everything you would expect - built broad match keyword lists, exact match, phrase match and all that jazz. In the end, I was left with comprehensive lists of keywords that slowed me down and drained my budgets quickly. I should have been working on building negative keyword lists.” -- Nadiia Shevelieva, CMO at Trust
Take a page out of Nadiia’s book and be sure to create your negative keyword list alongside the keywords you want to bid on. Check on your campaigns often and sift through the keywords that people use to trigger your ads. When you see one that doesn’t make sense for your brand, add it to your negative keyword list. You’ll preserve your budget for keywords that really matter.
Use Broad Match With Caution
When it comes to match types, you might be tempted to go as broad as possible just to get the maximum number of eyeballs on your ads. This might not be the best strategy!
“Broad match allows you to target the largest potential audience with a single keyword. It's great for brand awareness campaigns and gathering large amounts of data, but if you don't have a lot of money to spend, stay away from it as much as possible.” -- Tanner Arnold, President and CEO of Revelation Machinery
Keep your budget in check (and keep your data manageable) by staying away from broad match unless you’re specifically running a broad campaign to gather lots of data.
Take It Slow
Advertising platforms, whether it’s Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn, want your ads to perform well. They want to give their users a good experience, and having effective ads is part of that experience. Everyone wants the best results right away, but we have to let the platforms do a little learning about our ads!
“A very common mistake in managing PPC is tweaking bids, keywords, and budget too early and too frequently. My suggestion is to let a campaign run untouched a minimum of two weeks-- four is better-- before making any changes. This lets the machine learning work and get better as it compiles a deeper and more thorough analysis of search data.” -- Jeremy Lippenholz, Director of Commercial Operations at Armacost Lighting
Get Comfortable Saying “I Don’t Know”
When you’re just starting to run your own advertising campaigns, there’s a lot you don’t know, and that’s okay!
“Remember that the best specialists and agencies know that they can’t give definitive answers without a period of testing, measuring, and optimizing campaigns.” -- Jessica Mason, Digital Marketing Strategist at Three29
It’s okay to tell your coworkers, clients, manager, or CEO that you don’t know an answer to a question they lob at you, but that you’ll find out. You don’t know how a campaign will perform before you run it, and being comfortable with the unknowns is essential for new ad campaigns.
Getting started with running your first digital ad campaign can be daunting, intimidating, and full of questions and surprises. Start slow, learn for your peers, and remember that it’s a learning process! You’ll start to learn what works for your brand in no time.
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Quotes have been edited for clarity and length. Thank you to our interviewees!