When we begin with paid advertising, we have several choices of channels: Facebook (Instagram), Google, Bing, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more. In addition, we are on a limited budget and that’s why our choice of channel(s) should be made strategically.
In my opinion, there is no need to be on all the existing channels, even more when we are starting. It’s better to choose one or a few channels, likely to generate the best results for our business and put all our efforts into it. Without going into details, just the fact that you are a B2B or B2C company will radically change your digital strategy. For example, a B2C company will often opt for channels like Facebook and Instagram, while a B2B company will often prioritize Linked In and Google Ads to share their content. This is obviously not an absolute rule. The opposite may happen, since each business has specific needs.
Finally, to help you to choose the best option among the growing choice of advertising channels, in this article, I will share with you 5 questions that I use frequently to determine which advertising platforms to recommend to each of my clients.
1. Who are your clients?
The first question to ask yourself is: who are my clients? You also have to wonder: where are they and what are they doing? Each advertising platform has a different demography and it’s for this reason that this question will guide you to the right platform(s) for your business. For example, Facebook is a social network aimed at a very large clientele, and is much more personal than professional. Instagram is also a personal social network, but it is known to have a younger clientele (18-35 years old). If your products or services are mainly aimed at female customers, Pinterest can be a strategic choice, bringing together a large majority of women. Then, if your customers are companies or business people, LinkedIn is undoubtedly a platform to consider, allowing to target users very precisely according to their title, their company, their industry, etc. Google, for its part, can target users doing keyword searches or visiting specific types of websites. There are of course many other advertising platforms, but my recommendation is to do your research on your customers and find platforms that best match their behavior.
2. What are your goals?
After determining who your customers are, the second question to ask yourself is: what are my business goals? For example, do you want to increase your brand awareness, generate traffic on your website, generate sales, etc. There are a variety of possible goals. I totally understand if you are really excited to start your advertising, but taking the time to determine your goals before you start will be beneficial to save your time and money. You may decide to accomplish all of your goals from a single advertising platform, as you may use more than one platform to achieve your different goals. The most important thing here is that you have a specific plan of what you want to achieve and how, before you start investing your money.
3.What type of content works best for your business?
At this stage, it is important to reflect on your products and services and determine what is the best way to show them. For example, if your videos are generating a lot of sales, maybe YouTube advertising would be a good alternative for you. If you have excellent photos to put forward and your clientele is rather young, you could perhaps opt for Instagram. If you have great promotional images made by your graphic designer, you could put them forward with Facebook advertising. If you do not have a graphic designer to help you, but you have the strong conviction that promotional images would be relevant for your business, I recommend you to try Canva to make them by yourself. It includes many free features and is quite easy to use. Then, Google could be a good solution to promote your products and services using text ads. Finally, the purpose of this question is mainly to determine what type of content works best for your business and which platform(s) you could use to highlight this type of content.
4.What is your daily budget?
The fourth question to ask yourself is what is your daily advertising budget. How much money are you willing to invest each day in the platform of your choice? At this stage, I strongly recommend you to forecast your results using your industry’s “benchmark”. These “benchmarks” are often available on the internet by searching on Google. I often come across the Wordstream website, where there is a lot of information on metrics from different industries. For example, if I have $ 10 to invest in the Facebook advertising platform and the average cost per click (CPC) of my industry on this platform is $ 0.50, I can estimate my number of daily clicks ($ 10 / $ 0.50=20). This simple calculation will tell you if your budget is realistic depending on the platform you want to use. In general, Facebook and Instagram advertising requires a lower budget than Google advertising, which in turn requires usally less investment than LinkedIn advertising.
5.What are your competitors doing?
It is always good to ask yourself this question, but of course, it should be taken lightly. It is not because your main competitor uses a certain advertising channel that you must use this same channel. Your competitors may test a platform and realize that it is not a good solution for them. The main purpose of this question is to get you analyze the paid advertising channels that your competitors are using and why. At the same time, you will see the best and worst practices of your competitors, the type of content they use, and be able to seize different opportunities.
In conclusion, as you can see, there is not a fixed answer to this question. Think about your customers and your business, then test the advertising channels that you think are most relevant to your business. I believe that data will be your best friends for making informed decisions. Comment which channel you believe is most relevant to your business and why. It will be my pleasure to share my opinion with you and bring you to new reflections.