Google v. Facebook - Choosing the Right Ad Program For Your Business
Sometimes, it’s all about leads. Whether you’re working for a small business or a non-profit, the challenges of lead generation with a limited budget (and often limited views on advertising) can be intimidating. As a professional digital marketer with more than 20 years of ad buying experience, let me give you my take on where and how to make your online ad buy decisions.
While my field is often viewed as a "creative" one, it's just as much a balance of calculations as it is creations. Before we pick up a marker or open a Photoshop file, we start with some basic math to ensure that the goals we are setting are reasonable for our clients. We look at the hard numbers for your business, your website traffic and the potential reach to your audience via the platforms you are considering.
Let’s set up an example case so you can see how we run our numbers. Our sample small business targets seniors and runs no advertising programs. They spend less than $1,000/month on SEO programs. They do all their marketing in-house with a competent but busy staff. They currently receive about 7 leads per week from their site that they work to convert.
The company’s website is professionally designed and meets all the basic criteria for a good program: responsive design, updated regularly and complete with a professional presentation of information about their business, and they do run an SEO program to build traffic.
The site’s visitors for the last quarter were just under 2,000. Average visits per week: 155
The company’s goal: Increase leads from 7/week to 20/week (roughly 3x their current number)
In order to meet this goal we need to triple their website visitors to 465/week. But in reality, we probably need a bit more than that, as some of their current numbers come from referrals, and advertising will not affect that number. For the sake of simplicity let's say they need 500 visitors/week to meet their lead goals. That’s an additional 345 visitors per week.
Adwords is built on a bid-to-click program where you compete by bid for the keywords you want to show up for. Their ad will show as many times as needed to the geographically targeted group who search for their keyword phrase. They will pay for every click to their site until their budget is used up. Our example company is in competition with both their direct competitors for these keywords, as well as peripheral companies who seek other types of products targeted at the same market. We take an initial look at Google’s keyword bidding tool to determine a budget in this screenshot:
- Creative development: Advertising in this medium is visually competitive and you will need dynamic ads to get clicks and results.
- Testing: Most ad programs require several rounds of testing before you find what really “works” with your target audience. Plan to spend some budget on testing to figure that out.
- Facebook page maintenance: Advertising on the network will invariably bring traffic to your page. Your page should be set up and running smoothly and professionally, as well as have regular updates so that visitors know you are still an active business