Paid Advertising

The Guide To Paid Advertising

18 Tips, Hacks, and Ideas for Making The Most Of Your Paid Advertising

No one likes spending a lot of money on something that isn’t producing great results. That’s why you’ll want to review this paid advertising guide and put these ideas to work to start improving your conversions and sales. We’ll cover strategies you can use for pay-per-click marketing, banner advertising, and even offline advertising in the following guide.

Take a look…


1. Do Your Keyword Research

If you’re doing any pay-per-click advertising, then your very first step is to spend some time doing keyword research. This is important because picking the right keywords is about getting your ads in front of the most targeted audience.


Generally speaking, choose narrowly focused longtail keywords, especially those with commercial intent, which tell you potential buyers are searching.

For example, if you’re selling dog training materials, don’t bid on keywords like “dog” or even “dog training.” Instead, focus on your niche and words with commercial intent, such as “buy poodle training book.”


2. Find Your Own Niche Ad Opportunities

There are plenty of third-party advertising platforms where you submit your ad, and the platform has its network of site users place the ad on their websites. It’s certainly worth testing these third-party platforms, of course. However, if you want more control over your ads, then find your own niche ad opportunities. That way, your ads aren’t appearing on sites that don’t match your values.

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3. Ensure The Source Is High-Quality

As you uncover ad opportunities in your niche, you need to be sure you’re only investing in high-quality venues. This requires some research on your part (examine the site) and ask the site owner about their traffic.

Use this mini-checklist as you’re doing your due diligence:

 Does the website and site owner have a good reputation in the niche?
 Does the website reflect professionalism?
 Is the content on the site high-quality?
 Does good content outnumber ads by a wide margin?
 Are the visitors engaged? (E.G., do they contribute thoughtfully on the blog?)
 How much traffic does this site get?
 Where does this traffic come from?
 What are the demographics/interests of this traffic?
 How much traffic is repeat traffic?

 How long does an average visitor stay on the site?
 What sort of results have other advertisers received?
 Does the site owner have any ad specials going on, such as a discount for new advertisers?



4. Focus on a Narrow Audience

When you’re using an advertising platform such as Facebook ads, you get the opportunity to select the audience who sees the ad. The more carefully you focus on a narrow segment of the market, the higher the conversion rate you’ll enjoy.

One benefit of using Facebook is that you can select your audience based on their interests. For example, if you’re selling a book about training deaf dogs, then you can select an audience that has already shown interest in this topic, such as people who’ve joined a deaf dog training group on Facebook.


5. Use Eye-Catching Ad Graphics

If your ad platform allows for graphical ads, then select your graphics carefully. Follow these tips:

 Choose simple, clean graphics. For example, if it’s a pic of a puppy, then use a white background or another elementary, uncluttered background.

 Be sure the graphics are easy to understand. If it takes more than a split second for a viewer to figure out what the graphic is, that’s not a good graphic.

 Choose a graphic with bold colors. Don’t choose a graphic with a bunch of colors if it looks cluttered. A simple graphic with one (or maybe two) colors that “pop” is all that’s needed.

 Orient graphics towards the sales copy. People tend to look where the photo's subject is looking, so be sure your photo is looking at your sales copy. For example, if you have a photo of a woman looking to the right, then it should appear that the woman is “looking” at your sales copy.



6. Craft Attention-Getting Ad Headlines

Your ad’s headline is the most important part of the ad because it’s the part that gets attention and persuades people to read the entire ad. That’s why you’re going to want to invest some serious time into crafting your best benefit-driven headline.

Check out these templates:

 Who Else Wants [to Get a Really Great Outcome]?
 Here’s What [Some Person or Group] Doesn’t Want You to Know About [Topic].
 Now You Too Can [Get a Really Great Outcome]
 [Getting a Great Outcome] Just Got Easier
 Get [Some Great Benefit] Without [Having to Do Something Unpleasant]
 How to [Get a Benefit] Fast
 Just [Short Amount of Time] to [Some Really Great Result]


7. Understand an Ad’s Job

As you’re crafting the body of your ad, remember this: your ad’s job is NOT to sell a product or free offer to the prospect. There isn’t enough room to do that in a short ad. Instead, your ad’s job is to get the click. (After that, it’s the landing page’s job to do the heavy lifting by persuading the prospect to join a list, make a purchase or take some other action.)


8. Don’t Forget the Call to Action (But Be Careful)

Your ad should end with a call to action, where you tell people what to do next. However, be careful: some ad platforms are really picky about what sorts of calls to action they accept. For example, they might allow “join today,” and they might prohibit more overt CTAs such as “click here.”

The point is, read the terms of service and guidelines carefully before publishing your ad. (And then read the Call to Action guide in this series to get templates you can use to create your call to action.

Save time and read the Guide To CTAs (Calls To Action)


9. Improve Your Quality Scores

Platforms like Google use “quality scores” (or “relevancy scores”) that track your ad performance. If your ad is getting engagement (clicks), then you’ll get more exposure at less cost. If your ad is struggling to engage the audience, you’re going to end up paying more money for less exposure. That’s why your goal is to create a high-response ad so you can get the most bang for your buck.

The thing you need to keep an eye on is relevance. Your keywords need to be relevant to your ad, and your ad needs to be relevant to your landing page.

In some utopian advertising world, you’d create a campaign that matches one keyword to one super-relevant ad which links to one super-relevant landing page. But that’s not the real world. Instead, focus on creating themes and launching ad campaigns around these themes.

For example, if you’re selling something related to dog training, then one of your themes might be based on housetraining. E.G., “housetraining a poodle” and “potty training for poodle puppies” and  “puppy pad training for poodles” … and similar. This group would be matched to a highly relevant ad, which links to a highly relevant landing page (such as a lead page offering… you guessed it! … a guide to housetraining poodles).

affiliate marketing10. Consider the Buyer’s Journey

Buyers go through three distinct phases, including:

 Awareness, where they’re identifying their problem and gathering information about it.
 Consideration, where they start weighing different ways to solve their problem.
 The decision is where they look closely at their “shortlist” of solutions to pick the one that best meets their needs.

The key to effective ad campaigns is to understand where someone is in this journey to point them to content that’s relevant to that stage. For example, if someone is still in the awareness stage, you want to point them to content that helps them identify their problem and solve it.

11. Create Videos That Work Without Sound

If your ad campaign includes a video, be sure this video tells the story without sound and includes captions. That’s because some researchers have found that a majority of people view videos without sound. This includes people with hearing issues and people who don’t turn up the sound (such as if they’re someplace where they need to be quiet and don’t have earphones).


12. Don’t Put the Product in a Bad Light

Sometimes affiliate marketers try to arouse curiosity and get the clicks by implying that a product is no good.

For example, they might have a headline like this: “Is Product XYZ a Scam?”

Many vendors expressly prohibit this sort of advertising, and even if they don’t, you shouldn’t use this method. That’s because many people will see the ad without clicking through and discovering the truth (that the product is NOT a scam). However, they’ll get left with the impression that something is wrong with the product. This hurts your own sales, but it especially hurts the vendor’s reputation and branding.


13. Understand the Vendor’s Rules

If you’re directly advertising a product (versus sending visitors to your own lead page), then be sure you read the vendor’s advertising rules before you roll out a campaign.

For example, some vendors prohibit using any of their branding (including product names) in your ads. Others have rules about where you can advertise. Just be sure you understand these rules not inadvertently to get kicked out of an affiliate program.


14. Consider a Remarketing Campaign

A remarketing campaign (AKA retargeting campaign) is where you ONLY show an advertisement to someone who’s already been to your site or engaged with your business in some way (such as used an app).

For example, if someone has visited your lead page and didn’t opt-in, you can show them an ad foraffiliate marketing an even better offer (such as a lead magnet AND a discount coupon). This sort of repeat exposure boosts conversions, and of course, sweetening the pot certainly helps too. 


15. Don’t Throw Good Money After Bad

The only way to know for sure whether your ad campaigns are working is to test them. Depending on what sort of ad platform you’re using, you may have access to built-in tools (such as Facebook’s ad tools or Google’s ad tools). If you’re running a campaign where tools aren’t available, then you’ll want to check out Google Analytics, the alternative, or a similar testing tool to help you determine what’s working.


16. Test The Variables That Matter Most

A good key to testing is to focus on the variables that will have the most impact on your conversion rate. These include:

 The audience you’ve selected and/or the keywords.
 Your ad headline.
 Your ad graphics.
 Your ad call to action.
 Your landing page (headline, benefits, CTA).

Remember, focus on a narrow audience, and then make sure that all components of your campaign are relevant to each other.


17. Look for Deals

Sometimes ad platforms like Facebook will give you a coupon, such as a free $X in advertising. This is a great way to test a platform and start optimizing your campaign without spending very much money.

Likewise, you can always check with site owners to see if they’re offering any deals. They might have introductory deals, or they might offer volume deals for large ad buys.

Finally, keep in mind that this applies to offline ads as well. If you’re going to place ads in a print publication, ask them about remnant ad space – this is where you get a discount for last-minute advertising (because the newspaper would rather sell it at a discount than not have an ad spot at all).


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And there you have it – you just discovered 18 tips, tricks, and ideas for making the most of your paid advertising. Be sure to put these ideas to work for you the next time you start up a paid advertising campaign!


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