A lot of people believe that they need to spend hundreds of dollars a day to run digital ads for their brands. This is simply not the case. Here are 3 key things to keep in mind while crafting an ad on a low budget.

  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Monitoring Performance Daily
  2. Play to Win, Not to Avoid Losing: Swinging for the Fences
  3. Squeeze Every Bit of the Penny: Targeting Smart

1.Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Monitoring Performance Daily A smaller budget unfortunately comes with smaller room for error. The name of the game is to not throw good money after bad, and the best way to do that is to quickly recognize when something is bad and to act fast. With this in mind, monitoring your ads diligently and frequently becomes a must. For instance, if you only have $500 to spend a month and you spend $100 before finding out that your ad is performing terribly, you just exhausted 1/5th of your budget. What you should have done is catch the underperforming ads when ad spend was around $40, quickly act on it, and readjust spend to prioritize high-performing ads.

You might be wondering how to determine an ad’s general performance. Although this depends on your business objectives, some high-level things to keep an eye on are:

Click Through: This is the percentage of people who actually clicked your ad and went to your website or landing page out of all the people who saw your ad. It indicates whether or not your ad is able to grab the viewer’s attention and to compel them to learn more. If you cannot package your product in a way that gets people through the initial threshold, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle throughout the entirety of your ad campaign.

Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of people who carried out your desired action (i.e. sign up for newsletter, fill out form, book a call) out of all the people that saw your ad. It’s a leading indicator of whether your ad is able to bring people over the finish line.

2.Play to Win, Not to Avoid Losing: Swinging for the Fences When working with a smaller budget, good is not good enough. I have seen lazy marketers time and time again simply increase the spend on an underperforming ad and then boom: now it looks like they are getting more conversions. With a smaller and stricter ad budget, we do not have the luxury of being lazy. The best way to obtain high conversions is to start off with a high performing ad. Constantly test your ad creative, copy, and messaging, iterate at the speed of light, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to make big swings. Try using more punchy copy, adding a bit more spice to your tone, or experimenting with bolder, stronger messaging. Keep in mind that you are battling for people’s time. Play to win.

3.Squeeze Every Bit of the Penny: Targeting Smart With smaller paid ad budgets, you must keep in mind you do not have a spend large enough to reach millions of people a day (at the same time, you will constantly be surprised by how many thousands of people you are able to reach). Set yourself up for success by aiming to turn every eyeball that sees your ad into an interested potential customer. This is where Facebook’s and Instagram’s ad targeting abilities come in.

To nail down this important feature of ads, you will need to be honest with your brand and be hyper self-aware of who your customer is and what type of people would feel the deepest connection with your brand and product. Whose lives would my product add the most value to? Think long and hard about these issues and write down everything you can about your target audience. Then dig deep into Facebook’s targeting features to ensure only people who fit your target demographic see your ad. There is no point to show ads for life insurance to a 17-year-old. Hawaii will not be a great place to spend your precious budget on to sell snow coats.

I believe so firmly in the importance of targeting that I’ve put together a comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself about your brand and product. Pro tip: a great way to answer these questions is to solicit feedback and reviews from customers who already bought and used your product.

  • Where does my target customer live?
  • What age range is my target customer?
  • What education level does my target customer have?
  • What interests does my target customer have?
  • What job does my target customer have?
  • What relationship status does my customer have?
  • Am I looking for someone based off of major life events? If so, which ones (i.e. recently moved, upcoming birthday, new job, etc)?

Thoughts? Questions? Agree or disagree? Feel free to let us know in the comments and a branding or digital marketing professional from Pow Wow will be happy to continue the conversation.