Where to Advertise Your Small Business

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Where to Advertise Your E-Commerce Business

Facebook, Instagram or Google Shopping Ads Where and How to Start

Retailers and e-commerce businesses are struggling with the transition from product-based marketing to approaches that are more consumer-centric. And here is why: figuring out where to advertise your products or services is downright confusing even for the savviest entrepreneur.

Ads are but one channel of your marketing strategy but could make or break your business. Especially those of us who run retail or e-commerce businesses. Online advertising plays a huge role in not only how your brand is perceived but how well your online initiatives push traffic to your site.

But what about SEO?

A solid search engine optimization strategy paired with a killer ad campaign would produce both immediate and long term success. For the sake of your precious time, I won't harp on the importance of omnichannel marketing strategies. Instead, let's focus on building bomb ass ad campaigns.

My recommendation for those of us who are just starting out is to diversify your ad spend. If you're working with a much smaller budget, unfortunately, you're left with the trial and error option. This blog will get you headed in the right direction.

Where should I advertise my business online?

In short: it depends. While Facebook, Instagram or Google Shopping Ads are all great options that undoubtedly produce results when done right, it depends on what your business goals are.

Facebook

Facebook ad platform gives you a wealth of invaluable information about your potential customers. Including a dozen ways to reach them (targeting options and ad types). The only downfall to using this platform is that users have a hard time keeping up with the ever-changing interface.

70% of U.S. Facebook users access the site daily while 43% of users log on multiple times per day. With 82% of the millennial demographic being the most frequent and loyal users. Furthermore, Facebook ads generate 22 billion clicks per year that reach a whopping 1.6 billion users monthly.

If that not enough to convince you, Facebook advertising is one of the most cost-effective platforms. If you're currently using Facebook, you can upload details on your existing customer base to attract customers just like your loyal customer base.

Despite Facebook's most recent security blunders its audience continues to grow.

How to advertise on Facebook:

  1. Have a clear objective or goal for your ads. i.e., lead generation, event signs ups or product awareness.

  2. How do you want to present your brand? Make sure your presentation is authentic to help with relevancy.

  3. Consider what influences users to engage with you through social media. Is your Twitter the first line of customer support or is your focus on relationship building?

  4. Don't let your content go stale. Refresh your images and ad copy regularly but keep but keep it simple, sweet and short. It wouldn't hurt to reward loyal consumers with social media only promos.

  5. Do use analytics and reporting to track audience behavior to learn as much as you can about how users interact with your brand including what they like and dislike about your brand.

Let's talk money, Honey!

According to Adweek, the average cost per click (CPC) on Facebook is $0 .64, while the average Cost Per Thousand (CPM) is 5.99. Meaning businesses must pay 5.99 for every 1,000 impressions of your ad. Impressive right!

Instagram

IG has over 800 million monthly users with just over 60% of those users under the age of 30. Impressive right? If that's not enough its estimated IG raked in 6.84 billion in global revenue in 2018.

Just like FB, there are tons of types of Instagram ads. Photos, Video, carousels, canvas story ads, and story ads.

There are a few things that set IG ads apart from Facebook. Particularly with IG, you can incorporate these ads into stories giving consumers the warm and fuzzy about seeing your ads. Second, these ads/ stories can be integrated with Facebook's ad platform granting access to Facebook's famed wealth of user data.

Just like Facebook, you must be clear on your goal, or you'll waste your precious ad spend.

Best practices for IG Ads would include:

  1. Targeting. Knowing your audience is the hardest part of the battle. Once you got this its easier to set filters for your specific demographic, and interest scope.

  2. Pictures are worth a thousand words just don't sleep on the power of captions. With a little over 2,000 characters, it'd be wise to add context or a snazzy call to action.

  3. Did you know people follow hashtags? You have the unique opportunity to include up to 30 hashtags on each post. Talk about improved visibility.

  4. Finally, make it a point to create unique advertising experiences. Each element of your ad should represent who you are as a company. The graphics, the message, and the tone should covey your business values while adding the benefits of your product or service.

So how much does it cost to advertise on Instagram? Expect to pay .20 to 2.00 per click with IG.

Google Shopping Ads

While Google ads are a bit more complicated than that of Fb or IG ads, the pay off is worth it. This approach to advertising enables smaller retailers to compete with some of the biggest brands in their industry. Nearly 50% of all e-commerce dollar spent in 2018, was spent through Google Ads.

Aside from the burgeoning complexity of google ads another thing that deters users is the competition.

If you're braving it alone here are a few things to consider when developing your ad campaign.

  1. Set You Daily Ad Budget Don't set it and forget it. Google gives you the option to set your daily ad spend manually. You can change this to automatic if you have a more robust marketing budget, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  2. Don't Ignore Ad Extensions Ad extension tells searchers precisely what to do next. Of course, this sounds exactly just like a regular old call-to-action, but it's not. Extensions help increase your visibility and gives searchers options to reach your company directly from the SERP.

  3. Location Location. Location. Figure out where you want to show up. Geo-targeting put you right in front of your audience near or far. Imagine being a Detroit based retailer figuring out there is a market for your product in Raminstine, Germany. Thanks to geo-targeting you can advertise in Detroit, MI, and Marrakech, Morocco at the same time.

Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping Ads are all excellent options. Whether you focus your efforts on Facebook, Instagram or Google think about this.

Out of all of the sweet ads, we see every day only 21%of those ads are actually effective. Another thing to consider is less than 30% of business owners actually know what to do with their marketing data. Subsequently, 18% of us are operating without even tracking the data.

In short- it doesn't matter where you advertise your business if you don't plan on learning from your successes or mistakes.

JoAnne Watkins