Are you DIY-ing your company’s paid ads and getting frustrated by your lack of results? You probably started a campaign on Facebook or Google expecting to drive tons of visitors to your website—or, better yet, to generate a slew of new customers. However, for some reason, you’re just not getting the results you were hoping for. Worst of all, the cost of your ads keeps going up! You feel like you’re dumping your business’s hard-earned cash down the drain. Why is this happening? To answer that, let’s first take a step back and examine why you’re using paid ads in the first place…
Paid Ads: Not as Easy as They Look
Honestly, starting your online marketing from scratch can feel like such a grind. If you take the organic SEO approach, it takes several months to get off the ground, and there are countless moving parts involved. As a result, a huge number of business owners throw up their hands and take the path of least resistance: paid ads. Why paid ads? Because they promise a high ROI and instant, measurable results that make your upfront investment seem worthwhile. Moreover, you don’t have to know much about SEO to create an attractive, attention-grabbing ad. All you have to do is upload a high-quality image, come up with a snappy caption, and publish it to the audience of your choosing. Doesn’t that sound MUCH easier than studying SEO best practices, executing a multipronged promotional strategy from the ground up, and waiting 3+ months for results? In other words, it’s easy to see how the idea of using ads on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other platforms to drive people to your website is immensely more appealing to most business owners.
But… People Don’t Know Who You Are Yet
Unfortunately, the allure of fast results and ease of use leads a lot of business owners to jump headfirst into paid ads before they’re ready. As a result, they pour a lot of money into ads that just aren’t generating the website traffic or leads they were hoping for. This brings us to one major reason your ads aren’t performing:
The people who see your ads don’t know who you are!
Your ad’s audience has no prior experience or knowledge of your business. Therefore, they aren’t motivated to click, like, or share your posts and ads. Most often, we see this happen when you approach online marketing by starting with paid ads first. As we explained above, this is an understandable move: Jumping into paid ads from the get-go is far more appealing than plugging away at organic SEO for months and months. However, if you attempt a paid ad campaign without any prior exposure or visibility to your target audience, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Because people aren’t aware of your company, your products, or your services, they’re likely to ignore your ad and keep scrolling. Now that we’ve shed some light on what causes your ads to get a low number of interactions, let’s look at why this leads to higher costs…
Less Engagement = Higher Costs
The relationship between a campaign’s engagement levels and costs can turn into a vicious cycle. If this is your first time running a campaign on whatever platform you’re using, then you’ll already start out with a high cost-per-click (CPC). This is because the platform (Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc.) has no prior data on your company. Without confidence that your company will receive lots of engagement, they’re going to give you a higher CPC at first. Eventually, as your campaign goes on and your engagement rate improves, the platform will decrease your costs. However, if you don’t get good engagement (primarily measured by click-through rates and conversion rates), then your costs will remain high. In some cases, if your engagement is low enough, your costs may even increase. As you can guess, this is how you can get yourself into trouble.
Make Yourself Known First
What does all of this tell you? It tells you that you need to establish familiarity with your audience before you attempt a paid advertising campaign. We know this isn’t what you want to hear—after all, you skipped ahead to paid ads for a reason! However, if you want to actually get a good ROI from your ads, then you need to get your business name out there first. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Invest in SEO so your business is more visible online in general.
- This way, when someone who’s unfamiliar with your company sees your ad, they can do a quick search for your company name and immediately find you on multiple, high-quality listings. This builds your credibility and gives you an air of legitimacy (as opposed to if they googled your company name and found nothing).
- Build your company’s brand. Read this blog post on branding to see how!
- Participate in real-life promotions like local fairs, trade shows, partnerships, and sponsorships.
- Put your business name and logo on your vehicles to increase visibility while you’re driving around town.
- Ask your existing customers to spread the word.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the other factors that can affect your ad campaign’s engagement, as well. For example, things like ad formatting, call-to-action strength, and image quality are certainly important to consider when creating an ad campaign. However, these considerations are secondary. Unless you’re placing your ad in front of people who recognize your brand in the first place, these extra factors won’t make a difference. So, bottom line? Make sure your company has some brand recognition before you waste your money on paid ads! As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists if you have any questions. Good luck!