I’m sure you’re ready to generate leads and grow your business this year. And one way to measure that is through your revenue.
As a matter of fact, you need to reach more prospects and gain more customers to increase your chances of growing your revenue.
With the huge number of people online, advertising on the internet is a no-brainer for every business today.
According to eMarketer, digital advertising spending is expected to surpass traditional ad spending in 2019. By 2020, digital media will account for 65% of total media ad spending.
But does that mean you should just throw money at online ads and hope it’ll work? No. Like most parts of your business operations, online advertisement needs an effective strategy to make it work.
In this guide, I’ll show you 7 steps to online advertising to grow your revenue.
Let’s dive in.
- 1. Define your advertising goals and budget
- 2. Select your advertising channels
- 3. Create high-quality content
- 4. Create and optimize your landing pages
- 5. Provide personalized messages to prospects
- 6. Improve your website user experience
- 7. Track your results
- Online Advertising Challenges
1. Define your advertising goals and budget
The first detail to put in place is your advertising goals. What do you aim to achieve through advertising this year?
When you have a goal, this gives your team a focus as it’s easy to measure the success or failure of your campaigns. Your campaign goals should obey the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.
This means it should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Your advertising goals should be available to your advertising team to serve as a reference for your actions.
Another detail to specify for your online advertising efforts is your budget. The amount you have to spend will also depend on your strategy.
Although money doesn’t always equate to advertising success, it has a huge impact on what you can do. Your budget will affect the number of advertising channels you can use and other elements of your strategy.
2. Select your advertising channels
There are so many advertising channels online that it would be almost impossible to use them all.
Depending on your business and potential customers, you’ll have to focus on some channels to reach your potential customers. What are some channels available for your online advertising campaigns?
a.) Paid search
Search engines are a major part of the internet experience. And for a website, it can be an opportunity to gain targeted traffic. While you should pursue your SEO strategies, it can take time to see results.
However, your website can start showing up for important terms within a short time when you use paid search. You can attract targeted traffic into your sales funnel and convert them later in the future.
Paid search can be especially effective if you’re targeting commercial-intent keywords.
A study showed that paid search ads receive 64.6% of clicks for searches with commercial intent keywords compared to 35.4% of clicks to organic search results.
If you have a product to sell, you can start using paid search to attract potential customers who are searching for that product.
b.) Display Ads
These are banner ads on websites. This could be done through big publishers by Google or independently to a website. This helps businesses reach their potential customers on various websites.
Here’s an example of a display ad on the Food Network.
In some cases, these ads could be on websites that are in the same industry as your business. Meanwhile, in some cases, these ads are displayed to a user based on their behavior online.
c.) Video Ads
These are ads done in the video format. Video has become a popular content format over the years.
For instance, YouTube is the second largest search engine. This provides an opportunity for businesses to reach their customers by telling their story or community their ‘value’ via video.
Video marketing is powerful because it connects better with human beings — since the brain processes visual information much faster than written text.
One big platform for doing this is YouTube. This type of ad can allow you to easily show how your product or service can improve your customer’s life.
d.) Email marketing
This is one of the most popular channels of advertising your business. One of the reasons marketers love email is due to its return on investment.
A study found email marketing to have an average return on investment (ROI) of $44 for every $1 invested — which is higher than most channels you can use.
Perhaps one of the advantages email have over other channels is its personalization features which allows you to send messages to a user based on their interests.
e.) Affiliate Marketing
If you sell a product, one way to improve your revenue is to have other people market it for you. That’s the essence of affiliate marketing model works, according to eBay Partner Network.
Affiliates help you to market your products and receive commissions when people buy your product through their website, social post, email, etc., as long as the buyer use the affiliate link.
You can create an affiliate program for your products using Clickbank and JVZoo if you’re marketing a digital product. If you’re into physical products, Amazon is your best shot.
Website owners or marketers can join this program to market your product for a commission.
f.) Influencer marketing
These are people with huge followings who can shape people’s decisions. You can leverage their influence to promote your brand or product. Influencers are usually in 2 categories.
i). Celebrities: These are people who are popular with hundreds of thousands if not millions of followings on social media networks and their blogs). They usually set trends and many of their followers will use or buy products they recommend.
A good example of a celebrity influencer is Kim Kardashian.
ii). Industry experts: These are people who have built a strong reputation in a particular industry and can boost product’s sales if they recommend it to their faithful followers.
In this case, you can send your product to these industry experts to use it and review it. Of course, you’ve got to pay them in cash or in kind.
An example of an industry expert who commands a strong influence in the marketing industry is Pat Flynn with more than 100,000 fans on Facebook alone.
3. Create high-quality content
Whatever channel of advertisement you use for your business, you’re attracting potential customers to your website.
When they get to your website, you want to keep them reading and get them onto your sales funnel.
You want to increase their interest in your product till they get to the purchase stage.
You can’t achieve all these without content. This is why your business needs effective content in your ads and on your website.
Some tips to create high-quality content are:
a.) Keyword research
What terms are your potential customers using to search for a product? Sometimes, your instinct might tell you a keyword.
But you need to validate your instinct through keyword research or find other more suitable keywords.
With keyword research, you can have the knowledge of whether users are searching for the keywords you want to target in your advertisements. With keyword research, you can also find long-tail variations of head keywords.
If you run a small business, finding these long-tail terms can be beneficial as you have a weaker competition to rank for these terms. To carry out keyword research, you need tools.
Fortunately, there are many tools you can use to carry out keyword research. Some of them are the Adwords keyword planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, keywordtool.io, CognitiveSEO, Ubersuggest, etc.
b.) Preach Benefits
When customers decide to spend money on your product, it’s not because they like you. It’s because they can get a benefit from your business. Your content should be able to showcase the benefits that users get from reading it.
If you’re marketing a Smartphone, for example, telling your prospect that your product has a processor speed of 2GHz may do nothing for them.
However, if you tell them your Smartphone is fast to carry out their instructions without any lag, they’ll pay attention.
c.) Long-form content
Within your sales funnel, there are many pieces of content that will attract your prospects and make them more likely to become customers.
That’s why you need to create comprehensive content in your industry. If it’s video content, then make it really long (up to 15 minutes), add more valuable tips. If it’s written content, then 2,000 – 5,000 words of helpful information is ideal.
Having detailed content on your website also shows you an opportunity to show your expertise to a prospect.
4. Create and optimize your landing pages
In most cases, your ads should lead to a dedicated landing page. If you direct your ad to your home page, you’re probably wasting your ad spend. You should have as many landing pages as possible on your website for different products or services.
Several studies have shown that companies that increased the number of their landing pages from 10 to 15 had a 55% increase in leads acquisition.
But your conversion work doesn’t end after creating your landing page. You also have to optimize it to achieve your aim. Some actions you should take to optimize your landing pages are:
a.) Ensure a Message Match
When designing a landing page, then you should ensure that offers and designs on your page are similar to that of the ad. This is to ensure consistency when a prospect clicks through to your website.
Look at this ad below.
When you click through, you see this landing page:
You can see that there’s no message match between the ad and the landing page. The landing page has done a poor job of translating the message on its ad to the landing page.
Look at another ad below:
This is the landing page you’ll see when you click through.
In this example, you can see that the landing page is a continuation of the ad. This is a type of landing page that’s more effective as visitors see what they wanted to see.
b.) Remove distractions
When people visit your landing page, the main reason for the visit is to carry out the action that means conversion to your page.
Whether your aim is to capture leads or make a sale, you should remove distractions from this goal on your landing page.
Major sources of distractions on your landing page are your navigation bars and links on your landing page.
In a landing page with a navigation bar and links, you have provided many opportunities for your visitors to leave your page without converting.
Despite this common knowledge, only 16% of landing pages are without navigation bars. On your landing page, there should be only one opportunity for a visitor to leave your page. And that’s when they click on the “X” button on their browser tab.
Below is an example of a landing page without distractions on the page.
Yuppiechef had a 100% increase in signups when it removed navigation bar from its landing page.
c.) A/B test page elements
There’s no perfect landing page. This is why you must continue to test your landing page to improve its conversion. By testing different elements of your page, you can track improvements and implement the necessary changes.
Some elements of your landing page you can test are:
- Landing page copy
- Call to action button
- Content type
- Lead form fields
One important consideration to keep in mind while performing A/B tests on your landing page is to only test a single element at a time. This will help you to know the changes responsible for your results.
By testing the headline on its supplement sales page, Movexa got an 89.97% increase in sales.
5. Provide personalized messages to prospects
When you think of it, all your prospects are not interested in a single product. If you sell more than a product or service, your prospects will be interested in different solutions.
As a result of this, prospects want to receive messages based on their interests. These are the messages that are likely to encourage them to take the actions you want.
Personalization is an important part of business today. It’s especially applicable in email marketing and for product recommendations in eCommerce stores.
With email marketing, you can segment your subscribers into different lists based on their interests and how they interact with your messages. There are so many messages today that people will usually ignore messages that are not personalized to them.
For instance, a study found that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than non-personalized subject lines.
In a survey, 62% of marketing professionals say their most important campaign management priority was improving audience segmentation.
It makes sense that marketing professionals are going for this. In fact, consumers want personalization so much that 57% of them in a Salesforce survey are willing to release more of their personal information to get personalized offers or discounts.
6. Improve your website user experience
No matter how good your ads may be, you usually won’t convert your prospects with your ad. Your ad only helps to bring those prospects to your website for conversion later in the future.
If you have a poor user experience on your website, then you could be wasting your advertising budget. To attract users to stay on your website, you need to make your website usable.
Two main ways you can do this is through mobile optimization and increasing your website speed.
a.) Mobile optimization
A high percentage of your visitors are now using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. In fact, about 60% of searches on Google are carried out on mobile.
The only thing this tells you is that a poor mobile site will annoy a majority of your visitors. But first of all, you need to check if your website is mobile-friendly. You can use the Google mobile-friendly test to check this.
Enter your website address and the tool will show you whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. You can also click on “View Details” to see more changes you can make.
The common way to ensure a mobile-friendly website is to use a mobile-responsive theme on your website that’ll adapt to all screen sizes.
By utilizing a mobile responsive design, Offspring was able to achieve a 15.19% increase in mobile/tablet conversion rate and a 102.58% increase in mobile/tablet revenue year on year.
b.) Improve website speed
When people click through to your website, they want it to load almost immediately. If your website takes too long to load, many of your visitors will abandon your page for your competitor’s page.
It’s advisable to keep your website load time below 3 seconds. Google research shows that 32% of your visitors are likely to bounce by the time your page loads for 3 seconds.
To check your website speed, you can use a tool like Pingdom. Enter your website address and select a server. Click on “Start Test.”
Pingdom will show you your performance details and suggestions you can use to improve your website speed.
By making your website mobile-friendly and fast, visitors can access pages easily and take actions that mean conversions to you.
7. Track your results
One way to know whether your online advertising initiatives are yielding results or not is to track your results. With effective tracking, you can easily compare your results to your goals.
Even though some metrics are seen as vanity metrics, you should track them as they affect your important metrics. Some results to track in your advertising are:
- Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who clicked your ads compared to those who saw it. If this value is lower than the average for your industry, it might mean your ads are not attractive enough.
- Conversion rates: This is the percentage of people who take your preferred action compared to the number of those who visited your page. This could either be lead or sales.
- The number of leads: you should be able to account for the number of leads you gain through your advertising campaigns.
- Amount of sales/revenue: This is one of the most important metrics to measure. If you’re advertising, you want it to have a positive impact on your revenue. You should be able to track this figure at the end of your campaign.
Online Advertising Challenges
Anything worthwhile has its challenges. Yes, online advertising works but a lot of people are going to fail at it. Understand the challenges can help you to make informed decisions.
Let’s consider 2 common challenges you’ll likely experience:
a). Ad Blockers
Ad blockers are costing advertisers a lot of money.
With an ad blocker software, many ads will be limited and they will not even show up on the screen. When that happens, businesses and advertisers will never have the chance to get leads or sales. Worse, it’d be hard to make decisions.
There’s little or nothing that you can do when your target audience can’t even get a viewing for your ads?
Smart brands are now leveraging native advertising, which doesn’t have an issue with ad blockers.
The good thing is that native ads look exactly like editorial content on any website.
It doesn’t obstruct readers in any way. As a result, these ads don’t trigger ad blocking software. More importantly, native ads are designed to engage users who have a reflex to steer away from ads.
b). Increasing Costs
Most businesses planned to increase their digital ad spend within the next 12 months. But the cost of ads continues to increase. Google Ads is quite expensive and businesses can lose money instead of gaining it.
Pay Per Click ads (which are the hallmarks of digital advertising) are also getting costlier by the day. (source)
Webmasters are not helping matters. But it’s understandable because they want premium pay for ads they allow on their websites.
They have spent several months and years building their website traffic. It’s normal to get rewarded for hard work. Don’t you think so?
So if you’re looking to get results from your online ads, be ready to spend more money than what’s obtainable a decade ago.
Online advertising evolving due to technology. Sometimes, it can be tricky if you’re new to the terrain.
To get the best from your advertising efforts, you need to understand the basics.
The steps outlined in this guide will help you to take the right actions to get the best results from online advertising.
Growing your revenue this year is a worthwhile goal and online advertising is one of the best ways to do it.