Today's online services have one major advantage. They track users and collect information about them and segment it accurately. This is a huge advantage for advertisers because they can specify their target audience precisely, so that an ad is shown only to a relevant people.
Surely, you come across such ads daily. On Facebook, Google Search… lots of you have probably tried to publish similar types of ads on these platforms.
Facebook and Google are obviously dominants of the PPC ads market. But did you know that there are a number of other platforms where you can advertise in a similar way?
You may think that this is unnecessary, when most internet users are using Facebook or Google and their services. Yes, it is true, but it doesn't mean your ad will be effective on these platforms.
Each user behaves differently on different platforms, which means that he can be immune to your Facebook advertising, for example, because he only goes there in the evenings to watch some funny videos, so advertising for selling real estate is not relevant to him. Maybe, in the morning, when he opens Linkedin, he is in a completely different state of mind and is ready to see the ad and take action.
The goal of this article is to list relevant platforms where you can advertise your services. To find out which platform is most effective for you, read this article.
Facebook is a key player in the PPC advertising market. There are a number of platforms that are part of Facebook that you might not even know are there. Overall, 2.2 billion people use various Facebook services. Daily. 2.2 billion a day. That's a lot!
During the third quarter of 2019, Facebook reported almost 1.62 billion active users daily.
It makes Facebook the largest social network and advertising platform. I'm sure you have all come in contact with Facebook advertising at some point, and some of you have even tried to publish some ads here. If you target your consumer correctly, Facebook could be a great platform to start with.
With your ads, you can reach up to 1 billion active Instagram users. When Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012, it started to grow quickly. Today, it's one of the largest social networks where you can post ads. Thanks to the connection with Facebook, these ads are set up through Facebook Ads Manager.
You've probably heard of, or even use Messenger daily. Most importantly, it is a standalone application and you don't need a Facebook account to use it, even though it's an integral part of Facebook. Each month, Messenger reaches 1.3 billion users.
Sometime in 2020, we will probably be able to publish ads on the worldwide-used and known communication application — WhatsApp. More than half a billion users use it every day.
Google has almost become a synonym for the internet. Almost everyone using the internet is in some way Google's customer. With Google Ads, you can publish ads in many places.
With each search on Google, you'll see up to 3 ad links in the top positions. With over 2 trillion searches every day, it makes Google a key player in the market of PPC ads.
There are over 2 billion active users on YouTube. This makes it one of the most visited platforms in the world. From an advertising perspective YouTube very interesting, because you can publish ads in many different formats.
After a few key acquisitions from previous years, you should not ignore Microsoft, because with Linkedin and Bing, you have millions of active users to target with your ads.
The largest professional social network. Although it does not reach as many active users as Facebook, there is a very active segment of working people that you can target through Linkedin Ads.
Bing is the former MSN Search, Windows Live Search and Live Search. With over 12 billion monthly searches in 2019, Bing is still a relevant platform to consider when publishing ads.
During July 2019, Amazon.com had almost 2.65 billion combined desktop and mobile visits. The platform is by far the most visited e-commerce property in the United States.
Twitch is the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers. On Average, Twitch Sees 15 million Daily Active Users. With its ads platform, you are able to reach a number of specific consumers.
TikTok is an interesting platform. 100 million users view 1 billion videos every day. The interesting thing is, that TikTok was launched internationally in September 2017. I guess that's what you call rapid progress.
203 million daily active users. That’s a huge potential reach with Snapchat's ads platform.
eBay is not strictly an advertising platform, but with its Promoted Listings, it can be a very interesting source of new customers for you. In the third quarter of 2019, eBay reached 183 million active buyers worldwide,
Around 6,000 tweets per second. That means more than 500 million tweets each day. It makes Twitter a very relevant source of new customers. With Twitter Ads you are able to reach over 126 million users daily.
There are approximately 2.1 million visitors per day on Quora.com, searching for an answer to all kinds of questions. You are able to reach them with Quora's ads platform.
When it comes to Pinterest, over 2.5 million people use this platform every day. It makes Pinterest another great place to advertise your product.
Everybody speaks about TikTok, right? So, why is this platform so famous and who really uses it? Launched in 2016 by a Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok displayed an amazing three-year growth. Today, more than 800 million users engage in this entertaining platform worldwide. Entertainment is what it's all about. TikTok is a platform that allows its users to create short stories and add a musical background. Not by any chance did TikTok (ByteDance) acquire Musical.ly. Music plays a key role in the content of all TikTokers. Let's have a look at the key TikTok demographics and stats!
One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.
Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually. A miracle, I know.
There is always a buzz around new technologies. We recommend reading our article about the difference between Hype & Trend. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. Jump on the train as soon as you can. No matter how big your business is. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.
There are more arguments to start using a marketing automation tool:
Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate. It's not as hard as it looks. You will find out soon, just bear with us…
Let us guide you through the very first steps to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to get started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you get there.
Do you want to save time? Great! Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should come out of your status quo - no one will help you here, just you, so start by defining your goals.
Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.
Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.
Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like:
Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better said, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red:
There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”, note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…
Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:
ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalised content on your website. It's a great tool.
You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.
As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.
It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9,99 USD plus they offer a freemium to play with the tool and use basic features.
We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...
As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do it by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get more post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too to show your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out!
Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimise every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that have been listed above allow you to do so easily.
These are the 5 easy steps to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve.
Well, that’s a tricky question – there are so many variables at play. Depending on your situation, the cost of your Facebook ads could be as much as $10 per click, or as little as 40 cents.
The most important factor is efficiency and performance. Your ads might be super cheap, but if they do not bring any results, it's a waste of money. Define the purpose (the goal) of the ad and what is your cost limit to label the ad as efficient. Many businesses measure success by the number of sold products, leads generated, or potential customers engaged.
There is no rule or benchmark for this, each business is different with different needs and circumstances. Someone might be satisfied with a new lead for $45 and another might not go over $10. One person might consider a $3 cost per click as successful and another would not want to pay more than $2. Calculate the revenue you can get from the lead and think about how much you want to spend per action, this way you can always check whether your ads perform well or not.
Before you spend a lot of money, try to set up your daily budget for $5 a day. (We will talk about how to set your budget later). Monitor your results. If the ad performance meets your ideas and you have money to raise the daily budget, do it. And do it again, if the ad is bringing you results.
Remember: If your ad is comical, visually appealing, engaging, or all of these combined, people will like, comment or share it more often than they would with some boring copy with a blurry image. If you really want the most from your paid ads, they have to be great to make the people share them and so the ads will be also spread organically. Deciding how much to spend is a good place to start, but always make sure each dollar goes as far as it possibly can. The key is the visual, the text, as well as targeting. Regarding your content creation, read my article about buyer personas, because you should tailor-make it for your ideal customers and you can also find more helpful info in this article about tools for creating visual content.
So, how can you get an idea of how much Facebook advertising costs before diving in?
A strong community becomes a place where customers interact not only with the brand, but also with each other. This is a great source of positive and authentic reviews and it is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. The best brands have killer community management strategies and this article explains the top 5 tips to help you better manage your community across all channels.
People plan their meetings, their gym sessions, their tasks in general, why not just plan the content, then? Planning weeks or even months in advance gives you the ability to readjust your posts if needed. Set up your content calendar and approval flows. If you are doing the content alone, make sure there are no errors. Stay consistent and relevant. Planning your content ahead will help you to see the overall impression. Try it! It’s satisfying.
2. Represent your brand identity
Are you a real estate agent, owner of a flower shop or a barber? Representing your brand or business does not mean you should be boring. Be entertaining, so your audience feels good as part of your e-company. Give them valuable information, call them to action so they engage with you. Be consistent and you will become memorable. If it is not in your brand identity to behave cheeky, as for example, Netflix does, find another way to communicate in a friendly and engaging way. :)
3. Track important metrics
As mentioned above, the realtor, the barber and the flower shop owner have something in common — they should not be boring. But they can have different social media goals. The realtor might be looking for new leads, because they don’t want to be dependent on one channel like e. g. Zillow. The barber needs more customers and the florist needs to be in the minds of all the guys who live near the shop, so once their special lady has a birthday, they know where to buy the best flowers! It can be difficult to determine how your efforts have contributed to sales and leads directly. Instead, it’s better to determine how you define your own success, depending on your goals.
Think about these points below:
Traffic: Is your community on your website? Do you see growth over time? Where is the traffic coming from?
Engagement: How many people are coming to your page versus those actually engaging? Which topics are they engaging in most often? This may determine your future questions, content and discussion starters.
Members or customers: How many new members do you get every week and how many do you lose? Is this consistent? If there was a drop or growth, find what caused it!
4. Use the data you collected
Analyse your posts, interactions and the feedback you get from your audience. Then OPTIMISE! You are the one who knows the data and your customers best. The value of data cannot be understated — you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers, as well as more easily converted leads. Use the advantage!
People trust other users experience more than the companies themselves. Did you know that reviewed a product’s chances to be sold are 80% higher than one without any review? Positively reviewed, obviously. Social media is all about interaction, sometimes the best content will come from your audience.
This is User-Generated Content, or UGC. It is amazing because it is authentic, and reflects what your customers think about your brand and… it’s free. It will show your customers’ experiences, and it drives the conversation forward in ways that you won’t be able to do by yourself. It is the gate to engage with people and get closer to them, making your brand feel more personal and approachable. UGC can be anything e.g. posts or tweets mentioning your brand or reviews.
Two examples of UGC campaigns:
Remember: Everybody wants the response. And everybody wants the answers quickly or even instantly. Do care about your response rate and response time. It might seem that people take it for granted, but it really makes the user experience unique and enjoyable.
Having a local business essentially means that there is a hyper-focus in your marketing activities. You can use greater precision to find your customers. When it comes to marketing, the key is to get the most out of any channel that gathers your customers. Today, we'll speak about Google search ads. And not only that. We'll introduce easy tactics to dominate a search engine for just as little as 6 bucks.
Yes, that's correct. Even a small marketing budget can be used for business growth. Online is not only for the big fish. Especially when it comes to search listings.
Say you have a local business, such as a yoga studio, barber shop, restaurant or a coffee shop. The odds are that people probably already search for businesses like yours. Let's look at what shows up when people search terms related to “yoga in New Orleans.”
If you have a yoga studio in New Orleans, guess what... You want your website or social media to pop up when people search for a term like this. Google search ads help display your website or social media page at the top of the search – with the “Ad” label.
Before we jump into concrete details of what you can achieve for such a small budget, let's summarise what has to be done first:
Say you run a bakery shop in London. After you check the data in the Google Keyword Planner, you'll find out that the term “bakery near me” is searched more than 12,000 times per month. That's pretty huge, right? Moreover, the competition is low, which positively influences the unit cost – cost per click – of your ad. Look at the results we got when we ran such a campaign.
In other words, we showed the ad to people who searched for “bakery near me” and were in London at that exact time.
What you see above is the Google Ads interface. The campaign spent less than $6 and ran throughout the whole month.
Here are some of the main metrics we got:
Interested in seeing another example of such an ad? Here you go.
In January 2020, we ran a campaign to promote a yoga studio that lies in the heart of Prague. The campaign ran for a whole month and got our client some astonishing results. Again, the investment was 910 CZK which is equal to around $36.
To sum it up, here is what our client got:
Your case might be slightly different according to your budget options, but one thing remains clear. You can easily promote your local business on Google without having to spend thousands of dollars on marketing.
💡 Such campaigns that promote your brand should run continuously, not only for a limited period of time. You can, of course, adjust them based on your timely limited offers.
The key is, of course, to inspire website or social media visitors to take a desired action: your store visit. That's closely related to what your website or social media profile looks like and is, therefore, a completely different story. But the fact that you showed your business name and outlined your unique selling propositions – things that make you better than others – to more than 1,000 people counts too and will, eventually, transfer into dollars in your pocket.
We introduced one of our Google campaigns that worked well for a local business. We found out that people already search for what our client offers and easily leveraged that fact through a Google ad. You can do the same. With as little as a few dollars a day and, thanks to our tool. And you can do this all with very little marketing knowledge. So what stops you from getting started now?
You are probably on a path to choose the best marketing automation software for your business. In our latest post, we've covered all you need to know about marketing automation when you are a small business owner. Automation is a trend. And every small business can embrace this – it's not just a game for the big players. In order to choose the right tool, there are some things to keep in mind. There is not just one category of automation tools. Some help enterprises with their robust database and multi-channel campaign orchestration, others help small businesses get rid of the daily marketing routine. Let's dig into the 5 features you'd expect to find in your perfect marketing automation software solution.