February 18, 2019
Paid acquisition channels
As marketers, we sometimes spend too much time trying to increase our organic traffic. After all, organic traffic is responsible for those all-important high search engine rankings, developing trust and credibility, and driving highly qualified prospects. Why wouldn’t we want to invest time and resources into building organic traffic?
In reality, a typical customer journey has so many variables — and it’s not necessarily a smart idea to rely on one source of traffic to generate leads. Additionally, the role that customer psychology plays in influencing purchase decisions means that paid traffic sources can sometimes be more effective than organic search results. Essentially, the best thing you can do is to consider a mix of organic channels and paid traffic sources to bring your leads down the funnel.
There are many paid traffic sources available at your fingertips and you should test a handful of them to see what works best for you. To get you started, here are the top 3 paid traffic sources:
1. Google Ads
This old school paid traffic source may be notorious for its high CPC rate, nevertheless, it still offers significant potential rewards. The American Economic Association reports the average ROI of Google Ads was $2 in revenue for every $1 spent — not a bad investment.
This is how Google Ads works: you select keywords based on what you think your potential customers will search for. You then place bids to put your ad as one of the sponsored search results on the top of the search engine page. Google Ads also allows you to segment your target audience in various ways, including:
- Devices used
- User demographic groups
- User actions (for example, those who have engaged with your website before)
We recommend using Dynamic Search Ads, a feature that allows you to customize ads based on two things:
- The content on your website
- What people are searching for
Dynamic Search Ads is very handy — and using it means that you don’t have to continually modify your list of keywords.
2. Facebook ads
According to eMarketer, 95.8% of social media managers said that Facebook ads gave them the best ROI of any social media platform. Facebook’s ease of use makes this platform an easy marketing tool for small businesses — in fact, 42% of small to medium business owners consider Facebook ads to be the most effective marketing tool out there.
If you’re new to Facebook ads, however, you might find it hard to get started. With so many segmenting and targeting options, the platform can be initially confusing. These are just some of the factors marketers must consider when setting up a Facebook ad campaign:
- Do you want your ad to appear only on Facebook feeds? Or do you want it to appear on Instagram and Messenger too?
- Do you want to target your audience according to their location, age, interests, or a combination of the above?
- What combination of text, images, or videos would you like to place on the ad? And what format?
- How big (or little) would you like your campaign spend to be?
It may be annoying to customize every little parameter to get your Facebook ad up and running. However, the key advantage of doing this is that you can reach exactly who you want to reach. Once you’ve successfully set up your Facebook ad, you can capture engaged users and convert them into leads by nurturing them. This Facebook Lead Ads template shows you how it can be done:
3. LinkedIn ads
LinkedIn is the most important social network for professionals and business buyers. If you’re a B2B marketer, you should consider looking into LinkedIn’s native ads as a great paid traffic source. Using LinkedIn ads allows you to segment your target audience based on their profile information, including their title and industries. You can also target people in the following ways:
- By user activity (for example, people who have visited your website)
- By contact or account
- By geography or InMail ads
The best thing about using LinkedIn as a marketing platform is that users are in “professional” mode when they browse; this means they are more likely to read content properly and view ads with a different mindset from someone who is just casually trawling through Instagram while half-watching Netflix on the couch. Marketers, take note!
The downside of using LinkedIn ads, however, is that it can be more expensive than Google Ads or Facebook ads. The CPC will typically start from $4.50; this isn’t cost-effective for small business owners but may be worth it for B2B marketers if you target the right audience (for example, recruiters or C-level employees of B2B businesses).
Paid traffic sources: the bottom line
As you can see, paid traffic sources can drive a significant amount of traffic to your website. However, it’s important to understand the significance of building trust and providing value to customers first — this is done by publishing engaging content frequently and letting the SEO gods do their magic. If your organic search results are going through the roof, it will be much easier for you to achieve good results from paid traffic sources.