A complete guide to paid ad options online

Not sure how to get started with paid ads online? Check out this guide to the most popular paid ad options available to digital marketers.

These days, you have so many digital marketing options to choose from. There really is something for everyone out there. You just have to find your audience and market directly to them. 

As a young business, you might not have the budget to hire a big marketing firm to do your online promotion. Luckily, paid ad options online are a great solution to this problem, and they’re available to anyone with time. By just spending a little bit of money, you can reach millions of people and boost your sales. 

Paid ads allow you to advertise like never before. For the best ROI or return on investment, you need to ensure that your ads are actually working. Targeted ads do a much better job of ensuring this than traditional advertisements. 

This guide outlines the most important paid ad options currently out there. Of course, the option or options you choose will depend on the kind of business you’re running and your target audience. 

For instance, if you’re a clothing brand, retargeting might be a good option for you because a lot of people put items they like in their shopping cart, and then leave. Ad retargeting could bring them back. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about each option. If you implement these correctly, pretty soon you’ll be selling your products and services like hot cakes. So let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Pay-per-click advertising has been around for quite a while, and it works. Essentially, it involves advertising paying publishers whenever their ad is clicked on. At this moment, paid search marketing makes up about 65% of clicks online. This is more than organic clicks, which means that PPC drives traffic to websites in unprecedented ways. 

As people are driven from one page to another, leads are converted into organic traffic. This means that your website will see more clicks overall. The more clicks you get, the more you sell.

Uses of PPC advertising

  • Cost effective: PPC ads can fit any budget because you’re only paying when a user actually clicks on your ad and reaches your website. And if you can turn interested parties into customers, you’ll be making a lot more than you spend. 
  • Targeted advertisements: With PPC advertising, you can run a targeted marketing campaign based on location, language, and device. So you’ll only be promoting your product to people who might actually be interested in it. 
  • Measurable data: It’s very easy to calculate your ROI with PPC advertising. All you would have to do is monitor the change in traffic on your site, and the number of sales you’re making. 
  • Customizable ads: PPC ads can be updated and customized at any point without any extra payment to the publisher. Make tweaks to headings, images, etc. based on what you think is bringing the most traffic to your site. 
  • Fast results: You can run PPC ads very quickly and see them online minutes after publishing. And as soon as they’re visible to consumers, you can track the traffic it generates to your site and see the results. On the other hand, strategies like SEO may take months to yield the same results and bring the same amount of traffic. 

How to run PPC ads

Do keyword research: Make sure your keywords are relevant to what people search for and what you’re selling. Also make sure your keyword list is exhaustive. Don’t leave anything out. 

Monitor your campaign: This is what your monitoring process should look like:

  • Add more keywords wherever required. 
  • Split your audience into ad groups depending on their tastes and preferences, and then make your ads even more targeted.
  • Review under-performing keywords and remove them if necessary. 
  • Don’t send all your traffic to one page. Modify your CTAs and send them to different landing pages on your site.
  • Get started with PPC by setting up a Google Ads account. 

Take the example of TalkSPORT, a sports radio station that ran a successful PPC marketing campaign. After only a four month PPC campaign which focused on embeddable widgets on their site, their website visits went from 800,000 to over 4 million. That should tell you something about the efficacy of PPC.

Businesses that should consider PPC advertising

  • Retail
  • Education
  • Publishing
  • Travel 

2. Social media ads

Social media provides more options for paid ads than any other platform on the internet. And they work because they have billions of active users, all of whom are potential consumers. 

You can also run highly targeted ad campaigns on these sites. For instance, Facebook allows you to see audience insights. This feature lets you advertise to people based on their age demographic and their preferences. 

57% of millennials say they see the most relevant ads on social media. That means these ads are effective, and therefore an integral part of any marketing campaign.

Uses of social media ads

  • Increased brand awareness: These ads allow you to sell not only a product, but a whole brand to interested consumers. 
  • More targeted advertising: You can save time and money by narrowing down people who would be interested in your product or services, so that they’re the only ones who see your ads.
  • Higher quality traffic to your page: Because your ads are targeted, you can ensure that the only people who come to your page are people who actually want to buy your products.
  • Improved content visibility: Social media ads will not just bring more views to your products, but also to your pages, where your other content will also end up getting more views. 

How to run social media ads

  • Know who your target audience is.
  • Your organic posts should inform your ads so that they look less spammy.
  • Design all your ads by keeping both mobile and desktop view in mind.
  • Assign UTM parameters to all the links you add to your ads. 

For Facebook

  • Run photo ads: These are ads in clickable picture form, with the option to add captions and links. You can make photo ads through the Facebook Business Manager.
  • Run carousel ads: These are ads that show different products in one carousel-type post. Each product has its own pricing listed and its own link. 
  • Make engaging and dynamic posts to turn into ads with PosterMyWall’s range of Facebook post templates. It’s easy and cost-effective. 

For Instagram

  • Run stories ads: Ads as Instagram stories are around 120 seconds long and show up in between organic stories. Make sure to make your ads interactive so that people spend more time on them.
  • Make your own Instagram graphics to use as ads with PosterMyWall’s Instagram post templates. These you can run as posts that show up ads between organic posts. 

For Twitter

  • Run Carousel ads: You can show up to six images or videos, with links, to show multiple products. When this is promoted, it will show up on your target audience’s timelines.
  • Make moments: Twitter Moments is a great way to tell a story with your ads. With this feature, you can create an entire promotional campaign, and share it as a narrative across multiple tweets.

For Snapchat

  • Make video ads: These appear between snaps and take up the entire screen so that you can create maximum brand awareness. You’re allowed to go up to 3 minutes, however, keep it short and sweet to keep your audience’s attention.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next social media ad, take a look at the campaign run by Whitfield School. They saw a whopping 95% increase in page interactions on Facebook after running ads. And their Instagram story ads were reaching roughly 1.8 million people within only 10 days. 

Businesses that should run social media ads

  • Entertainment
  • Retail
  • Auto
  • Telecom
  • Financial services
  • Food
  • Beverage 

3. Ad retargeting

Ad retargeting involves adding cookies to a user’s server to track their activities across the internet. This way you only show them relevant ads. 

Keep in mind that this strategy is best suited for businesses that see more than 5000 visits per month, since it involves re-engaging people rather than reaching out to them first. 

According to one study, 97% of consumers leave websites without buying anything. Through retargeting, you can target these consumers and bring them back to your site. Currently, about 70% of marketers make use of ad retargeting to increase brand awareness. 

Uses of ad retargeting

  • An increase in sales as a result of bringing back already interested customers
  • An increase in brand awareness due to an increase in visibility of ads
  • Ability to reach out to interested prospects, similar to returning someone’s call after they called you first
  • Ability to get insights: you can keep a track of why customers leave and what gets them to keep coming back.

How to run an ad retargeting campaign

Collect data for your campaign: Attach a retargeting pixel to your site. This will drop a cookie into the user’s server after they allow it. Then, you can show relevant ads on other sites such as Facebook.

Set up a retargeting campaign: Use Google AdWords to set up your campaign and get started. You should also set up a campaign on Facebook. Both sites offer you step-by-step instructions on how to go about it. 

Retarget by behavior: Watch people’s behavior and retarget your ad campaign accordingly. Only show ads to people who clicked on relevant pages on your site to increase ROI. Also make sure to customize ads based on people’s behavior.

Retarget by time: Facebook will show retargeted ads for 30 days after a person visits a site. Frequency should depend on the level of interest the person shows. For instance, make a note of how much time they spend on your site and how much browsing they do. Also remember to regulate the frequency of one ad; don’t show the same thing to the user repeatedly.

Marketo is the perfect example of a company that has run successful retargeting ad campaigns on social media and other places on the internet. As you can see, the ad itself is engaging, has a clear CTA, and is incredibly straightforward. 

Businesses that should do ad retargeting

  • Shoes 
  • Retail
  • Real estate
  • Streaming
  • Hotels 

Final thoughts

This guide has attempted to familiarize you with the most popular paid ad options currently available to you. It has also given you instructions on how to get started. So now all you have to do is begin running a successful and dynamic paid ad campaign online.

Remember that while each option has its own merits, they all aim to do the same thing – bring more traffic to your website and improve your sales. The more rigorous your strategy is, the more sales you’ll make. 

If you’re new to PosterMyWall and would like to create your own ads, check out our easy to learn, easy to use design editor. Here you’ll find everything you need to unleash your creativity and create truly unique designs.