There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they need to use Digital Advertising to promote/boost/advertise their product or service on paid social media channels. But when is the right time to do it? And how much should they spend? If at all? Would it be even cost effective? These kinds of questions pop out that need answering. Spending too much money without generating enough return can be a drain on meager startup resources. So when to boost or not to boost?
To get to the right mix of audience, we must have the right channels and communication tools in place, well before we decide to use digital advertising. There are three main digital advertising methods where we can connect with our audience.
- Owned Media
- Earned Media
- Paid Media
This is the most important communication tool that every enterprise can have. This includes their customer focused website, online blog, their social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, and so on and so forth). Even mobile apps that can create a communication channel between you and your customer.
This is where mavens, movers and shakers, and industry leaders talk, share, tweet about you and your product. This is also where organic articles in top newspapers, blogs and review sites (yelp anyone?) mention your product in praising voice. This can really boost your sales dramatically and give you credibility beyond your expectations.
This is where you use Google Adwords, Facebook Boost and other methods to get your digital advertisements out there to connect with potential audience.
But before you can get to paid media, you must first utilize the power of owned and earned media. If the mavens are not getting wooed, if alpha geeks are not using your tools/products, then paid media may not necessarily give you the return that you might be expecting.
What is the aim or goal of any startup when they advertise? To get customers to use or buy a product that you are selling. To actually convert browsers (window shoppers) into buyers (customers). And customers will only buy if they see value for their time and money.
To achieve these simple yet ambitious goal, your owned media (app, website and social media channels etc) should communicate the right message. It must provide value to the customers in a way that they find your brand credible. And they find a reason to come back again and again to use it.
Once your owned media strategy is in good hands, then you must focus on review sites where customers talk about your product or service. If they give you high ratings and good reviews, it would add to your “street cred”, and help you sell even more. Your brand loyalty will increase and in turn your customers will grow. You must also get the industry leaders and early adopters to try out what you have to sell. If these influencers are happy, they will attract a ton of other folks to your brand. This is critical for the next wave of growth of your product.
Once the owned and earned media strategies are well in place, then you should focus on paid advertising. If you do it before the above, you may stumble and may lose out on potential customers. So build a proper strategy before executing on paid media.
When you are ready for paid digital advertising, start with a very small but savvy target market. Maybe, your product is focused around college students. Then try advertising to one area/city/type of college and see the results. Do small experiments. A lot of them. Try different markets, and different demographics. These small experiments will give you a clear clue as to where is your audience and what are they doing with your product. For example, your experiment may reveal that your enterprise software will probably sell better on professional networks like LinkedIn and YouTube than on Facebook or Instagram. So these experiments will help you not only find your audience, but also which channel they congregate on.
Once the small experiments are successfully conducted and results compiled, then you should build a strategy for a bigger budget digital advertising campaign. Only then boosting your post will get you the right bang for your buck!
Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.