You’ve built your website, have a variety of products or services to offer, and worked to improve your organic reach with SEO, but would like to get even more traffic to your offers (and fast!)… so, now what? It’s time to consider paid advertising! I know it can be intimidating to think about spending even more on your business, especially when you’re in the start-up phase and don’t have a lot of consistent revenue yet. However, investing a little bit of time and money into advertising can put thousands of extra eyes on your offers as a wise return on investment.

Paid advertising is effective because it allows you to reach a large audience quickly and easily, but choosing the best way to use it can be overwhelming. That’s why I put together this Paid Advertising 101 guide to help you learn the lingo of paid advertising, along with my recommendations and tips for making the most of Google and Meta advertisements.

Paid advertising is effective because it allows you to reach a large audience quickly and easily. This guide will help you learn the lingo.

What Are Google Ads and Meta Ads… And Why Do I Need Them?

As a teacherpreneur, there are a variety of ways to promote your products and services. You can promote them organically through:

  • Your website and blog
  • Social media
  • Email marketing

Many businesses stop there and only utilize free promotion channels, but this can sometimes lead to challenges with the amount of traffic they bring in or the time it takes to grow your reach. This is where Google Ads and Meta Ads (formerly known as Facebook) come in. If you want to quickly expand your reach, think of paid ads as using a megaphone to address a crowd instead of just using your voice.Paid advertising also helps you market to specific demographics so you’re sure you’re speaking to your preferred audience. Need to target classroom teachers, school staff, families, other teacherpreneurs (business to business marketing), or local areas? No problem!

Benefits of Using Ads For Your Business

Leveraging ads for your business has many benefits that make the cost worth it. Ads can:

  • Dramatically increase visibility and traffic
  • Increase conversions by targeting ideal customers
  • Build your authority within your industry as your business grows

One common misconception is that you need to invest a lot of money into ads to make them successful, but the beauty of ads is that you don’t need a large budget to get started. You can begin with a lower budget while you’re learning the ropes and increase your budget once you find what works best for your business (and start generating income from your ads to reinvest!).

Best Practices for Paid Advertising

While the specific strategy will depend on which platform you use, the general framework for your ads will be the same across all platforms.

  • Set clear objectives: What is your goal? Are you looking to increase visibility and awareness? Or do you specifically need to work on converting views into product sales?
  • Conduct thorough research: What audience do you want to target, and what platform do they use the most? What demographics are they? Any special interests or things they watch/look for? Age?
  • Test and optimizing campaigns: As with everything, there will be a learning curve, and it will take some time for the platforms to understand your campaigns in order to expose them to the correct audience. Once you’ve gained traction, the real fun begins as you improve and refine your campaigns’ images, copy, and call to action.
  • Budget management and ROI tracking: You’ll need to closely track ad expenses and profits in order to invest wisely. As long as your ads are generating more profit than they cost, it’s a win to gradually increase your ad spend.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and updates: Ads aren’t a “set and forget” aspect of your business. Make sure to keep a close eye on them!

Ad Copywriting Tips

When it comes to paid advertising, writing compelling copy is a critical component for success. Here are some of my best copywriting tips:

  • Tailor your message specifically to resonate with your audience’s needs and pain points.
  • State clear value points that clearly show what makes your offer unique.
  • Include strong Call-to-Actions (CTAs) like “Buy Now.”
  • Use numbers such as “50% off!” that appeal to discount-seekers.
  • Convey urgency with phrases such as “Limited Offer.”
  • Test and refine by running A/B tests with different versions to see what works best.
  • Use power words like transform, unlock, or proven.
  • Keep it simple and avoid jargon, even for fellow teachers.
  • Focus on benefits over features by highlighting what rewards consumers will receive out of your offer rather than listing a bunch of fine print.

Next, let’s dig into specific ad tips for both Google Ads and Meta Ads (Facebook and Instagram).

Understanding Google Ads

If you’ve spent time learning about SEO, then you know that ranking for keywords organically is possible (and the goal!). However, organically ranking also requires extensive research and time. Even with your best efforts, you shuffle positions with other teacherpreneurs for rank due to high competitiveness and volume. This is where paid advertising really shines.

Google is a powerful tool and one of the most popular search engines on the internet. It gets around 8.5 billion searches daily. By leveraging this traffic with paid spots, you can leapfrog your competitions and put your business in front of ideal customers first.

What Are Google Ads?

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of purchasing ads, there are five different types of Google ads you can use.

  • Search Ads: These are the most common ads you see when you search for a keyword. They’re displayed at the top or bottom of the search results page.
  • Display Ads: Unlike search ads, these ads will appear on other websites that are part of Google Display Network.
  • Shopping Ads: If you’ve ever searched for a product, you’ve likely come across a carousel with product images and prices at the top. These ads are perfect for your onsite stores.
  • Video Ads: These are usually shown before, during, or after a video on YouTube where you can target users specifically on their interests, the type of content they usually watch, or any other specific demographic information.
  • App Ads: If you created an app (like a study app), you can promote it on Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and other apps/websites within the Display Network.

With so many options, you have flexibility with the ad styles and customization possibilities to market your products and services to thousands of people just waiting to find you.

Benefits of Using Google Ads

Besides the advanced segmentation and target area options, Google Ads also have these benefits:

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Only pay when someone clicks on your ad (this means thousands of people can see it without you having to pay for it!)
  • Target capabilities: Target your audience based on keywords, location, demographics, device types, browsing habits, and more.
  • Measurability: Measure your campaign’s performance by looking at impressions, clicks, and conversion rates to see how you can improve them.

Besides visibility, you also gain relevance. This will ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and allow you to use your ads more effectively. Being seen is half the battle, and ads give you a step up on the competition in terms of visibility.

Keyword Research

Proper keyword research ensures that your ads appear for the most relevant search queries, driving quality traffic to your website and increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to conduct keyword research for Google Ads:

  • Define the primary categories of your business. Think on behalf of your customers–  what would they Google for?
  • Use your Google Keyword Planner. You can find this within your Google Ads interface. Head to discover new keywords, enter words/phrases/or a URL related to your business, and check for the estimated volume, competition levels, and potential cost-per-click (CPC).
  • Analyze keyword data. When searching keywords, compare search volume, competition, and CPC. High volume usually comes with more competition and increased CPC so look for a happy medium.
  • Check out competitors. You can use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest to see which keywords your competition targets. This SEO tools post has more information and tips on SEO research. You can also produce blog articles that are more valuable to outrank competitors with these tools, too!
  • Use a variety of keywords. Consider using a long tail keyword, which is a more specific phrase that usually has a lower search volume. For more power, Google Ads allows you to specify the match types: broad matches that are related, phrase matches that include the exact keywords, or exact matches.

Tip: Use negative keywords that you don’t want your ad to show for to save you money on irrelevant searches (for example, if you’re selling lesson plan guides, exclude the words DIY and free).

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions, such as images, location details, or site links, can help customers have more reasons to choose your business. You can improve your click-through rate (without additional costs!) by providing a more comprehensive message with extension tools.

Tracking Ad Performance

Monitoring and assessing ad performance is an important part of any successful advertising campaign. By closely examining key metrics and analytics, you can understand what resonates with your target audience the most… and then do more of that!

Analyzing Metrics

Here are the analytic metrics that you should track:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of users who clicked on the ad compared to those who saw it
  • Conversion Rate: A percentage of users who perform the desired action (purchase or sign up) after clicking on the ad
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): An average cost paid for each click on the ad
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Revenue generated for every dollar spent
  • Data from Google Ads conversion pixel

By analyzing these data points, you can refine your campaign, optimize your budget, and decide where to invest your resources.

Ways You Can Use Google Ads

To recap ways you can use Google Ads specifically, consider these options:

  • Advertise educational materials through targeted keywords. Help your activity resource bundles, classroom templates, lesson plans, or courses climb to the top of search results with paid ads.
  • Promote local tutoring services or workshops directly to families in your area to fill your roster.
  • Showcase expertise and brand authority by highlighting blog posts, webinars, or videos that solve problems and lead customers to purchase your solutions.

Still feel like you need more help understanding Google Ads? Here’s an amazing guide for Google Ads by Hubspot.

Understanding Meta Ads (Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads)

Meta is one of the most used social media platforms and includes Facebook and Instagram in its family of brands. This makes Meta a global network where businesses and brands can thrive.

With this popularity though, it means users also face thousands of posts, images, and videos daily. So how can you stand out among the crowd? With ads! Since Mata consists of both Facebook and Instagram, you have double the chance of your ads being seen.

What Are Meta Ads?

Meta ads (both Facebook ads and Instagram ads) are a powerful tool for businesses looking to expand their reach, build brand awareness, and generate leads. Facebook advertising is considered one of the most effective tools available to grow your business and create loyal customers because they offer a comprehensive and customizable advertising solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and industries.

Here’s a breakdown of Meta Ads details:

  • Ads placement: You can place ads in the news feed, stories, messenger, Marketplace, and the Explore section.
  • Ad formats: Meta offers various ways to display your ads, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads (either images or videos), slideshow ads (light video ads), and collection ads (shopping experience).
  • Targeting options: One of the most powerful aspects of Meta is the ability to use custom audiences that you can create depending on contacts and their demographics, geography, interests, behaviors, and more. Another great thing about Lookalike Audiences is that you can target audiences similar to your current clients.
  • Interactive features: Meta ads are more than just billboards. For example, you can offer polls in stories or clickable product catalogs.
  • Performance tracking: The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you upload to your website to track your users’ behavior after clicking on the Meta ad, such as conversions, purchases, and other actions.

Benefits of Using Meta Ads

There are countless benefits of using Meta ads. Here are a few:

  • Meta has around 3 billion active users worldwide. That includes a wide range of demographics, interests, and behaviors you can tap into.
  • With audience segmentation, you can tap into a range of micro populations. For example, you can easily find and target students looking for study techniques for their SATs in order to put your guides in front of them.
  • Extensive engagement provides the opportunity to like, comment, and share ads with others, which can also dramatically increase the reach and impact.
  • Real-time analytics are just a few clicks away, so you can easily track clicks, conversions, and the return on your investment.
  • Meta offers opportunities for creating captivating stories to convert viewers into followers and customers through carousels, movies, and stories.
  • Ad budgeting and features allow you to set your daily or lifetime budgets (the lifetime of your campaign or promotion), so it runs continuously or during specific dates only.

It’s amazing how much you achieve with these ads!

Defining Your Target Audience

Just like with Google ads, it’s important to define who your target audience is on Meta to ensure your campaign’s success. Consider these tips to profile your ideal customer:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Other defining characteristics, such as socioeconomic status

You can use “Lookalike Audiences” to target new users based on your current followers, people who have engaged with your brand, or a specific set of customer contacts. These lookalike audiences are one of my favorite ways to target fresh customers.

Creative Ad Strategies

You should use a high-quality image or video with clear focal points and minimal distractions. Also make sure your ad visuals and messaging are consistent with your brand’s voice, colors, and overall aesthetic. The goal is for existing users to recognize your brand on exposure and new users to feel welcomed to your website or store when they clickthrough from the ad. For more tips on creating consistent branding, check out this post.

Learn how to define your brand identity with colors, fonts, and images that resonate with your audience. It's time to elevate your website!

Most users skim content quickly before deciding what to read/engage with, so you need to have a clear message where the value of your offer is immediately apparent. Be concise and avoid cluttering your ad– yes, even when you’re telling a story! Narrative stories are an amazing way to establish an emotional connection and evoke humor, nostalgia, or even inspiration (especially through video ads), but ultimately an ad should be attention-grabbing, clear, and relevant to the intended audience.

Tracking Campaign Metrics

Tracking campaign metrics means monitoring how your campaigns perform and how your audience responds to them. If a specific ad or tactic performs well, you know your audience was looking for exactly that specific item and your messaging hit home. You can typically increase your spend on those types of ads.

If an ad isn’t performing, something about the ad or offer isn’t speaking to your customers. In that case, you need to experiment with strategies to improve performance. As with other copy, make sure you’re speaking TO your audience rather than AT your audience.

Here are some key metrics that are similar to Google ads:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of users who clicked on the ad compared to those who saw it
  • Conversion Rate: A percentage of users who perform the desired action (purchase or sign up) after clicking on the ad
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): An average cost paid for each click on the ad
  • Cost Per Conversion/Acquisition (CPA): Average amount spent to acquire a conversion
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Revenue generated for every dollar spent
  • Ad Impressions: Number of times the ad was displayed
  • Quality Score:  Assesses the relevance and quality of your keywords, ads, and landing pages
  • Engagement Metrics: Includes video views, interaction rates, comments, shares, and likes
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who click on the ad, but then click away again
  • Lifetime Value (LTV):  Net profit to the entire future relationship with customer

These metrics will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses to determine where to refine your creative parts. For the most success with Meta ads, use segmentation and frequency caps for your ads. You should also take advantage of testing and retargeting.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is a powerful tool where you run multiple versions of an ad that differ in copy, graphic, or video to see what resonates the most with your audience. Differences could be the CTAs, the visual itself, the approach, or even the messaging surrounding your offer.

Retargeting and Remarketing

Not all visitors will convert on their first click or visit, so it’s important to have retargeting and remarketing strategies to re-engage with potential customers. Some marketing studies have shown that it takes an average of 7 impressions before making a purchase, so how do we make sure to get all of those exposures? Here are some tips:

  • You can use pixel-based retargeting, where cookies are added after users leave a website. These can be used to serve additional ads targeting conversions.
  • List-based retargeting uses specific email addresses to target users more often.
  • Search targeting is based on searches users have completed on search engines, and then specific ads are shown to them more often.

Meta Ad Recommendations

If you want to take a deep dive into Meta ads, here are additional resources:

Ways You Can Use Meta Ads

Here are some examples of how to use Meta ads for your business:

  • Targeted ads for specific standards, such as text structure activities for third graders
  • Retarget customers who visited your website but haven’t made a purchase yet by using cookies
  • Tutoring promotions like drop-in workshops for a targeted audience with specific interests related to the workshop in your local area

Why You Should Run Ads For Your Business

Stepping into the world of paid advertising might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a new small business owner. But remember, every successful business started where you are right now. By understanding your audience’s needs and pain points, crafting compelling and informative ads, and leveraging the power of platforms like Google and Facebook, you can make a significant impact. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Countless resources and support systems are available to help you navigate the exciting world of paid advertising. Here’s to your success!

I Can Help Your Business Grow

Not ready for paid ads yet, but still want to grow? SEO can help you optimize and improve your organic reach. I recommend starting with these free SEO guides.

Working on other areas of your website? Browse free guides here for content marketing, branding, etc.

I also offer one-on-one assistance When you work with me, I become your digital marketing business bestie; one point person who helps you get it all done and saves you time with a website that will be beautiful outside and powerful inside. I create logos, build WordPress websites for creative entrepreneurs, set up email marketing, and offer virtual assistance too. Let’s tackle your to-do list. Contact me or browse my services here.

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