5 best practices for online advertising

Rita Amaral
September 29, 2021

The online advertising landscape can help small businesses get in touch with their customers and reach new markets. These are the best practices we suggest for better optimisation of your digital marketing efforts

Every company wants to be online, they say. And we know why.

The digital world was already bubbling with online stores, education and events. But we have seen a growth that makes it impossible to deny how important it is to have an online presence these days.

In the last year and a half, with physical stores shut down and empty streets due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many consumer habits have transitioned from offline to online. People now buy even more online, book vacations online, recommend and give feedback online — so if you are not online, you are out of touch with potential customers and markets.

One of the quickest ways for companies to gain attention is through online advertising.

The concept is simple: invest a few dollars daily to run an ad, and eventually, you will have clicks that will convert into potential sales.

The main advantages are you can track your efforts, know how many people clicked on your ad, where they are from, which device they were using and how much each customer costs to acquire. It’s more effective than just spending a couple of dollars in handing out paper flyers to the neighbours in the hope someone will come in (and you have no clue how many actually “convert”).

However, long gone are the days when online advertising was this simple.

There is more competition, prices are up, and customers are pickier because they have more options to choose from. Before they even commit to purchasing, they need to analyse your offer, compare it to others and trust you will deliver what you promise.

When creating campaigns and ads, many companies fail to understand their customer journey, have poor copywriting skills, use aggressive writing that pushes customers away and waste time and money on campaigns that accomplish less reach and fewer conversions than desired.

The lack of a proper strategy and clear goals are challenges that companies also need to overcome. It is, of course, a work in progress that you can improve over time and with more experience.

If you are starting your online advertising or you want to optimise your efforts, here are 5 best practices to master:

1 — Create various image formats

When scrolling on your Facebook or Instagram feed, you will encounter many ads, but only a few will catch your eye. It may have to do with the copy, but we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words.

To optimise your campaigns, follow the recommended image sizes for each network:

Facebook: At least 600 x 600 pixels

Instagram: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels

Don’t be afraid to try different pictures. Run a test campaign with 3 sample pictures for a few days and see which one performs best. Then, pick that one for a more extended campaign to increase results and pay for only what works.

Also, use different formats to test which one performs better. Your audience may prefer a certain type of post, and that’s what you want to find out.

2 — Have a clear offer

Part of the success of a group of ads is in copywriting. A compelling headline and a suitable description will make you stand out from the competition. But don’t forget about what the user is looking for.

Our suggestion is to have a clear offer. Users will know what they are getting if they click on your link. It delivers what you promise, increasing the trust between you and the user.

The classic offers are based on discounts like “30% off” or “free samples” because people love a bargain. However, you can also explore other benefits your service can offer customers, like saving time, less hassle, a 24/7 support team or a refund policy, for example.

Whatever you are offering, consider the benefits for the user and make them clear in your ads.

3 — In search ads, use negative keywords

In Google Ads, you are targeting people who are searching for keywords related to your business. Sometimes people use the exact words, click on your ad, but, in reality, they were looking for something entirely different. They clicked, you paid, but they don’t convert. You wasted money on searches that didn’t match your audience or goal in the first place.

That’s when negative keywords come into play to help you.

Selecting negative keywords for specific campaigns lets you exclude search terms, focusing only on the keywords that matter to your audience. As a result, you will achieve improved targeting, assuring that the ad only shows to interested users — better targeting means better conversions, and better conversions mean a better return on investment for you.

Look for search terms similar to your keywords, but that may mean customers are looking for another product and use them for negative keywords.

In the advertio app, you can choose both keywords and negative keywords, optimising your ads from the start.

4 — Build a better landing page

A campaign may be well crafted, the copywriting perfect, the budget healthy and, somehow, the ads still don’t convert as expected.

The problem may be in the landing page the ad leads to — it needs optimisation.

Every time a user clicks on your ads, there’s an expectation of finding what you promised. Your page should guide the user to develop an interest in your services, desire them and click to book a meeting or buy something.

If your landing page is not clear on the offer, the user may leave the page immediately, resulting in less ROI for you. For better ads, think about the customer journey and look at the group ads and the landing page as a whole journey the user may take. Register what can be improved.

The same principle applies to Facebook and Instagram ads. For example, when you create an ad for a specific product (like jeans), the user must click and land on a page with jeans, not the homepage.

5 — Retarget campaigns

When starting your online advertising strategy, it is common to only think about first-time interactions.

A user is looking for chocolate cupcakes, sees your ad, clicks on your website, sees a bunch of delicious treats, but decides not to buy right away. As we consume thousands of pictures and products online every day, the user will not remember that they have visited your page.

Therefore, your ads strategy has to have retargeted campaigns — specific ad groups for users who “met you once” and can be reminded of your offers and services.

Retargeting means target audiences who already visited your site and are somehow aware of your brand. This strategy aims to engage with returning visitors because they are more likely to purchase, seeing as they already know you.

So, obtaining new customers is as important as nurturing those who already know you and can buy from you again at any moment.

Retargeting campaigns should be part of your online advertising efforts. According to Google, combining retargeting with other existing advertising can help you sell 50% more.

For this type of campaign, go to the advertio app and use it for your Facebook and Google Ads.

These are 5 best practices for your online advertising strategy. Take advantage of retargeting campaigns and negative keywords, and regularly check your landing page and image formats to optimise your efforts. Shall we begin?

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