Online ad campaigns are supposed to be easy, or at least that's what people think. You create ads, deploy them, and wait for the hits and the cash to roll in. Unfortunately, that's not the way things happen. Creating ads and waiting for people to find them is not enough. Here's what you should know about your ads, what's keeping them from performing well, and what you can do about it.
Your Place in the Pecking Order
Do you know where your business and product line happens to be in terms of name recognition and brand awareness? If you are a relatively new company or an established one that is attempting to launch a new product, consumers simply don't know much about you. If you are on the radar at all, it's so low that many consumers will not pay your paid ads a bit of attention without some type of motivation.
That leads to identifying the primary issue with your current paid ad campaign. It was set up much like the campaigns designed for companies with lots of brand awareness and solid reputations. At present, your business effort lacks both.
Imitation may be flattering, but it doesn't attract attention from consumers. Even if they do notice your ads, why follow through when they can go with something tried and true? Your ads, by following the pattern used by your more well-known counterparts, does nothing to distinguish your products from theirs.
The High Cost of Low Engagement
A reality of online paid advertising is that you need traffic to get a better deal per click. Many new company owners start out paying a higher rate per click on the ads launched as part of a new campaign for a lesser known product. You can make the rounds and buy ad space on highly popular sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The idea is that your rate per click will reduce as you build traffic and more people click those ads all the way through to your pages.
That's great it if happens. Too often, it doesn't.
Why aren't those carefully placed ads getting attention and growing in engagement? It all tracks back to the fact no one has heard of your company before and the ads you created don't really tell them how your products are different from the ones they know and trust. Since they don't pay attention to your ads, they don't read them. They don't click through to learn more. They don't see any reason to share them on their social media or email and text links to their friends. They don't like, they don't do anything that leads to purchases or at least spreads the word. Basically, they don't care about your ads or your products.
What You Can Do About It
You may not have thought of it this way before, but launching a paid ad campaign and expecting people to come virtually running is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. There must be something to prepare consumers for the arrival of your ads. You must spend time, money, and effort generating some interest and name recognition before those ads start showing up on prominent websites and social media.
How do you accomplish that? Focusing time and effort on proven organic channels that build an audience is the answer.
Before you launch the ad campaign, create copy that appears as guest posts on popular blogs, and make use of SEO to optimize those posts so they start appearing high in search engine results. Establish your own social media accounts and begin posting a rotating set of messages that are designed to amuse, inform, and include links back to your blog posts and pages on your website. Invite people to like and follow you so they see those messages and share them with other people.
Build name recognition by sponsoring events online or in whatever geographical location you plan on targeting for customers. Stage an event, hold a contest, do whatever you think will get your name in front of the right consumer demographic. Don't overlook the possibility of running radio and television ads on local channels. Both are still viable ways of reaching consumers and making company names familiar.
Print media ads are also worth considering, depending on the demographic you want to reach. All those offline advertising efforts have the potential to pave the way for a broader reach online because they build name recognition.
Maybe you already have social media accounts established. Good for you. Spend some effort targeting your followers in particular. Give them something they can share with their friends and followers. That will help increase your engagement rate and provide the basis for more competitive click-through rates. Once you have that foundation, roll out your paid ad campaign to a wider audience.
Work with a pro to create a foundation first, then launch your ad campaign. You'll see the numbers rise faster and realize actual returns instead of watching the campaign fall flat.