Question: I am new to online advertising but would like to begin. Where do I start?
"The first thing you should do is add a retargeting pixel on your site even if you are not ready to start your advertising for a few months. This will allow you to target the right folks from the beginning, as these people expressed interest in your product/service. This will also lower your cost-per-click for acquisition."
Study Someone Successful in Your Field
"Our head of paid advertising, Scott Trench, is going through this learning process right now. He suggests studying someone successful in your field. Search for a similar product in Google. Click on their ad. Go through the entire process and see how they sell. Then decide where you can outdo them, what parts of their funnels are weakest and what you should adopt as part of your own strategy."
Start With High-Quality Content
"Before you start looking at PPC, Social Media, or any sort of distribution, think first about what your potential customers are going to be interacting with on your site. Focus on creating awesome on-site content first, then focus on great gated content to capture leads. And lastly, begin publishing to online publications to draw in qualified leads that will engage with your on-site content."
Build a Simple Landing Page
"When starting out, building a simple, one-page landing page to direct all your traffic to ensures that the important information about your offering is shown, without risking the customer getting lost in your main website and potentially bouncing. Add a call to action at the bottom, and see interested leads come through instantly. "
Create an Amazing User Experience
"First and foremost, make sure your customers are going to a user-friendly site. Once you have that in place, you can start sending customers to your site. You'd be surprised at the difference a good user experience can contribute to your overall profitability."
Build a Mailing List
"A mailing list, which can also be called an opt-in list or newsletter, is a way to build up a list of subscribers whom you can reach out to whenever you want. While other advertising methods can be profitable, it's good to work on growing your mailing list along with other tactics you are using. With a list, you can send out promotions for free (or at very little cost) at any time."
Implement Drip Emails
"If your company has a user on-boarding process on your website, then implementing drip emails would be a great way to start. By defining member behaviors, time of registration and data-driven patterns you can set automatic emails that are personalized and designed to influence your members to convert. This is a strong form of internal online advertising which is cheap and will provide results."
Do a Competitive Analysis
"Before you start paying for online ads, take some time to do a competitive analysis using resources like Alexa.com or Quantcast. Look to businesses in your field with similar resources and audiences, and determine both their successful advertising strategies and their misses. This will help paint a picture of the paid ads of your competitors, and will ramp up your expertise of web advertising."
Test and Measure
"There are many ad platforms, so it’s important to test and measure. Start by picking a few platforms where you think your target market is most active. Familiarize yourself with all the options for targeting your audience. The more targeted your ad, the more conversions you will see. The key is to set a budget, test different platforms with different ads and see which ones perform best. "
Connect Your Online Media Platforms
"Connect every part of your online presence (Twitter, Website, Facebook, Blog, Analytics, Adwords, etc.). Make it easy for users to jump from one platform to another. This will spread your traffic out across platforms. Set it up before creating a PPC campaign to get the most bang for your buck."
Get Comfortable With Testing Models
"Many people jump into online advertising by evaluating tools. I recommend a very different approach. You need to first become comfortable with models and assumptions. Build a model (i.e. X visitors times Y conversions times Z dollars equals something). Once you have your model in place, you can then test multiple tools to see which yield the best results based on your assumptions."