7 Ways To Build A Better Paid Advertising Strategy

In this article we’ll be walking you through 7 simple tips for creating a Facebook and Google advertising strategy that will bring home the bacon.

An effective online paid advertising strategy is about three things...

1.  Creating relevant content.
2.  Defining hyper-targeted audiences.
3.  Distributing that content to those audiences in the most cost effective way.

In this article we’ll be walking you through 7 simple tips for creating a Facebook and Google advertising strategy that will bring home the bacon.

1. Set crystal clear goals

This seems obvious, but we’re all guilty of jumping straight into the execution.

That’s the fun part, so it’s an easy mistake. You are forgiven.

But before you stat creating an ad, you need to think about its purpose.

Specifically, you need to think “What am I trying to generate?”

That might be:

  1. Awareness
  2. Leads
  3. Sales

Your answer will determine your budget and results.

Plus, it will help you manage expectations.

For instance, if the leadership team asks why ad spend isn’t resulting in conversions, you can explain that the ad goal isn’t sales but education – and present your reach and impression stats instead.

2. Distribute your ad spend by goal

If you’re thinking about how much budget to assign to your advertising, Social Media Examiner recommends dedicating between 5 - 12% of revenue:

  • 5% for steady growth
  • 12% for aggressive growth

They also suggest a 20/60/20 distribution of budget, and therefore ad creation, between your three goals:

Generating awareness: 20%

This is all about education, engagement, and audience building. An awareness strategy will help you reach new, wider audiences.

Metrics: Reach, impressions, event signups etc.
Example awareness ad content: Event promotion

Generating leads & sales: 60% 

This is about promoting your product / offer, generating warm leads, and turning those into sales.

Lead metrics: Traffic, lead gen form fills, free trials etc.
Example lead ad content: Video testimonials

Retargeting: 20% 

Retargeting gives you good bang for your buck.

It’s a process of attrition, all about serving ads to prospects who have already visited your site or social profiles before.

But if your whole paid advertising strategy is built on this, your audience will remain small because you’re not filling up that funnel.

Retargeting metrics: View through conversions, site visits etc.
Example sales ad content: Abandoned basket messaging

3. Analyze and benchmark against past success

If you’ve seen success before with your ads, use this insight.

Work backwards from your campaign history, to inform your updated advertising strategy.


Take a look at a sales campaign that generated the lowest Cost Per core Event (CPE):

  • What was the content of the ad about?
  • Was there anything unique about the creative?
  • What kind of headline did you use to capture attention?
  • How much reach did it generate?
  • How long did it run for?
  • What about impressions?
  • Did you target a lookalike audience?
  • What were your top performing ad placements (for display ads)?

Use this as a blueprint for your next sales based ad campaign.

Turn your old metrics into benchmarks, and your pasts pend into future budgets.

And don’t stop at paid insights...

4. Repurpose your most engaging organic content

Know you want to create an awareness driving ad, but can’t decide on the content?

Find the top performing articles in your back catalogue, and give them an extra boost.

This is quick and easy to do in Buzz Sumo.

Head to the Content Analyzer and enter your domain.

Then hit “Evergreen score”.

This will show you the content that’s already been attracting links and shares (ie. awareness)consistently over time.


5. Get super specific with audience targeting

Advertising platforms like Google Display Network and Facebook Ad Manager all come with predefined audiences that help you refine the targeting of your ad.

You can explore different data points like:

  • Demographics
  • Geo graphics
  • Gender
  • Time user is active
  • Device

To make your audience more relevant to the goal of your ad.

But quite often you’ll find these audiences are still fairly broad.

And a broad audience= a higher CPA (Cost Per Action).

So if you want to make your ad really relevant and really efficient, you can go one step further with custom / custom affinity audiences.

Custom / custom affinity audiences make your ads hyper-targeted, while simultaneously revealing a bunch of customer insights to help you tailor your paid media strategy (ie.content, creative, format etc.).

If your advertising strategy is centered around Facebook, you can build on these hyper-targeted audiences by creating lookalike audiences.

6. Learn from organic social media posts

You’ve taken learnings from organic content – but what about organic social media activity?

  • Do you know which competitors are bossing it on Facebook?
  • Do you know which posts are gaining engagement over time?
  • Do you know which post types are capturing your audience's attention?

All of this is to say, do you know what kind of ad your audience really wants to see on Facebook?

Well, luckily for you there’s never been an easier way to find out.

7. Align your advertising strategy with your buying cycle

Knowing when your audience is going to be most receptive to your message is a smart way to enhance the ROI of your campaign.

Trend data can give you a solid idea of demand patterns and even potential buying cycles, depending on the nature and intent of your ad topic.

According to Trends, peak demand is between May and June every year.

While it might seem obvious that baseball caps peak in the summer months, having this kind of data to back up assumptions is never a bad thing.

Now that you know when your topic peaks, you can start to build your ad strategy around it.

In this instance, a wise move would be to make the most of cheaper CPCs and ad costs in the build up to May and June.

With this topic, you can pretty safely infer that the intent of the search is transactional.

So, with that in mind, you know you need to be implementing awareness campaigns around March, when interest begins to build.

That means you can retarget at the point of peak demand for a much cheaper CPA / CPE, because you’ve already done the heavy lifting in previous months.

And if you're creating social ads, it can’t hurt to check for patterns in social engagement.

Take these engagement patterns for the topic of “content strategy” over the last five years.

Let's Engage