Where to start with paid ads?
That's the #1 question in AdSkills support desk. So here's a lesson John Belcher and I have been working on inside AdSkills.
Unlike a sales funnel that starts at the top, the paid ads funnel starts at the bottom. This is because we want the MOST TARGETED traffic first, not the broadest.
If you're thinking this looks familiar, it should be. All we've done is taken Eugene Schwartz's famous 5 stages of awareness and applied the correct ad strategy to each awareness level.
Before I finish explaining, if you find my posts valuable you should visit my profile and set my posts to "see first" that way you'll never miss value bombs like this.
Don't worry, I never post about politics or my lunch (unless it has a really cool and useful marketing lesson tied to it).
Ok, back to the traffic funnel...
When you first launch a website or new product, the only traffic you'll have is your word of mouth or clicks from your internal email list.
You'd be vain to think all of these people are doing nothing else in their lives at the moment and all they care about is buying from you.
So that's why we start first with retargeting!
We want to maximize the value of every free click you're driving and then later your paid clicks too.
Use Google Ads to retarget any visitors to your page across the entire Internet and then Facebook ads to retarget them on Facebook.
With Facebook you have two options, I recommend doing both, custom audiences and website custom audiences. The difference is one is your email list uploaded to FB and the other is people who went to your website and got pixeled.
Now, don't just stop here at retargeting.
Word of mouth and social media drives lots of people to start Googling your brand name and product names. So make sure you also setup a small Google search ads campaign targeting your name, your brand name, and your product names.
These 3 campaigns should be everyone's starting points and I can't think of any reason why any company would not have these 3 running at all times.
Let's move up to the Niche Aware level...
At this level, your prospects are well aware of their problem, the potential solutions, and the different players in the market.
Kind of like YOU.
The best way to start targeting these people is extending your Facebook custom audiences by creating what's called a lookalike audience.
These are people who match 6 or more points of interest with your email subscribers. It's very targeted traffic.
Next, I recommend Youtube ads targeting all the popular channels in your market. This means as people go to watch videos by other influencers in your market, your Youtube ads will play first.
Finally, my own secret weapon is Twitter ads. You can target the profiles of market influencers and show ads to all their followers. Not only that, let's say there is a popular seminar or conference in your space - you can target their hashtag!!!
That's like being able to have a booth at the event WITHOUT having to pay the cost to have a booth at the event.
The solution aware level are people who've done enough research on their problem to be deciding on a few potential solutions.
They might not yet know that you or all the other big players exist yet though.
If you sell a physical item like a book, blanket, kitchen knives, car parts, etc. Then Amazon or Pinterest ads will be my first reco, because that's where customers go to look first for these kinds of products.
Like Wayne Gretzgy said... Skate to where the puck will be!
For everyone else, and also for you ecom heads, I recommend another Google search ads campaign. This time you are adding on "buyer intent keywords." These are keywords phrases that have modifiers attached like buy, best, top, online, near me, review, etc.
For example, if you sell hot tubs you want to drop an ad in front of someone searching "buy hot tub online" or "hot tub seller near me."
Same goes for service sellers. If the prospect is searching "best facebook ads agency" you want to drop an ad in front of them.
You can do this in Youtube as well and I suggest you do when you are at this stage. The only difference is instead of a clickable text ad, you're showing them a 30 - 90 second video ad.
Ok, now we're getting into the open oceans of paid ads. This is where the big guys play. I do not suggest coming out here unless you are a professional, have a well dialed in sales funnel, and minimum $10,000/mo to spend.
At the problem aware stage, you're reaching people who have just recently determined they have an issue they need to solve.
Could be a ringing in their ears, or a light came on in their car dashboard, or something itchy in their pants. :D
First thing these people are going to do is hit the search engines. They don't yet know any solutions so they are going to type in really broad phrases like "Internet marketing" or "stop my itch."
I'd recommend starting in Bing ads because it tends to be more forgiving due to their audience being slightly more likely to buy. I don't have time to get into why, but I will another day in another post.
Then when you're ready to open the floodgates add on the same things in Google search.
Finally, the wild wild west level...
In the totally unaware level you need a toally different strategy than you've been using up until now.
Until now your ads should have been very relevant to your product and the benefits it gives to your customer. However, in the totally unaware level they don't give a shit.
You need to appeal to what they do give a shit too. Which is trending news topics, and primal desires.
And then you have to strategically tie in that mass apeal angle to why they have a problem that your product is a solution too.
It's a very delicate balance and takes a mastery level of copywriting to pull off.
This level happens to be my specialty, so I'm happy to answer any questions in the comments below. I'm going to cut it a little short here though, because most people are no where near ready for this level.
The levels below can take you all the way up to spending $50,000+ per month. If you factor a 30% to 100% ROI that's about a million per year earned.
In the totally unaware level though you could be spending $50k per day EASY. If I get enough requests, I'll write a part two of this focusing purely on what it takes to survive and even thrive in the totally unaware awareness level.