3 Important Questions to Ask Before Paying For Digital Advertising

Before buying digital ads, ask these questions.

1. Can I Measure Effectiveness?

The most basic form of digital advertising would be to write up an ad, choose a pay structure (PPC, Flat rate, etc), and then hope you get more business because of it.

And perhaps, this is how you think digital advertising works.

And you would be right to some extent, except advertising in this way is totally ineffective.

What's effective is measuring what happens to that ad once it's placed. You can measure all sorts of things that will tell you a lot about the ad. Some of these things, for example are:

  • How many people saw the ad vs. clicked the ad
  • whether people stayed on the page they were directed to or bounce right off when they clicked the ad
  • Demographics of people who clicked the ad
  • Location of people who clicked the ad
  • What device people were using who clicked the ad

And better yet, to measure effectiveness of ads, it's best to test them against each other. This is called A/B testing. It works great when you want to test an ad at a lower budget before going all in on an ad. 

You might test to see which headline is best. For example, one ad my say: "Buy This Now for Free" and the other says "Free Item - Buy Now." The data you get from each of these ads will tell you which one is more effective. 

2. Where Is Your Target Market?

You want to place ads where your target market will actually see them online. Is your target market likely to use LinkedIn, play games on their phone, or use apps related to business, search on Google, use Instagram or Snapchat, or Yelp...etc.. This list goes on and on. In all of these places, you can place ads. 

If you haven't clearly identified your target market, you shouldn't be paying for advertising. You must know how your market uses the internet. Start there. This post might help.

3. What is Your Goal?

Your ultimate goal when advertising is probably to get more customers. That's obvious.

But you have to understand the likelihood of someone becoming a customer right after seeing your ad. It depends on your business and offering, but likely you don't get customers from ads directly.

You can have many different goals when advertising, like:

  • awareness
  • engagement (shares/retweets/likes, etc)
  • lead generation
  • traffic
  • downloads

What is the goal of your advertising campaign?

Your ads should fit into a broader campaign that ultimately bring about 1 business goal.