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Self-promotion is one of the most effective ways of increasing your presence online after you’ve gotten the rest of your funnel set up. To start this off, let’s talk about targeted ads and paid amplification.
Targeted Advertisements: The Real Goal of Advertising
Modern marketing is all about targeting the audience you’re trying to reach. In fact, many forms of modern technology have been built to support this. Let’s take a look at targeted ads on Facebook - you can target an audience based on things like their interests, the words they put in their posts, their demographic information, or nearly anything else you can imagine.
Here’s a question, though: Why wouldn’t you do this? If you’re selling a brand new pillow, then yeah, it’s probably worth targeting some ads to people who wrote the words “trouble sleeping” on a recent post. If you just formed a sponsorship with a major sports league, then you could be directing literally all of your paid advertisements to people who are fans of each team.
Targeted ads tend to have a much higher click-through rate than traditional forms of advertising - and if you want to promote yourself properly, this is the place to be.
Paid Amplification: The Easy Way to Target Leads
Targeting your advertisements is what should be happening - and paid amplification is how you do it. Most social advertising networks offer ways to increase your exposure and amplify each part of your funnel.
Remember - despite the name, people don’t enter solely at the top of a sales funnel, nor will they proceed through every section in a straightforward manner. Some people will enter the funnel deeper than others, and at least some of your leads will move up and down the funnel several times before finally converting into true customers. The greatest success won’t come from amplifying just the basics of your company - you need to amplify everything if you truly want to succeed in your self-promotion.
What Types of Targeted Ads Are There?
Google, Facebook, and other companies have been working on advertisements that will guide viewers towards doing certain things. The Favorite Ad will try to get people to Like, +1, or otherwise show support for a given piece of content - without even leaving the page they’re currently on. Posted Ads are all about increasing visibility, and tend to appear in more than one place at once. Higher exposure means higher click-through rates.
Content Ads are similar, but they’re all about a piece of content contained in the advertisement. It might be text, a graphic, or a full-on HD video that you’d like people to watch. Finally, App Ads are about encouraging people to download and use a specific app.
The possibilities here are almost limitless, but for maximum effect, you’ll probably find yourself using most or all of these targeted ads as you try to amplify your entire business. Remember: Different types of ads appeal to different kinds of people, and they’re far more useful at different stages of your sales funnel. Graphics and videos tend to be better for building brand awareness, while simple text can provide an attractive link to your content.
But Wait, What’s the Catch?
Social media is continuing a transition to content-based marketing, following the idea that people are more likely to click on material that interests them. This is one of the major reasons you’re not going to start off with targeted ads - in fact, Google Plus won’t even allow you to create their +Post ads unless you have a minimum number of followers to advertise to.
Targeted Ads are not a way to effortlessly earn more business or create more sales. They’ll only be effective if they’re created as part of a targeted campaign that’s specifically designed to appeal to a certain group of people. On the bright side, it’s actually easier to create content that appeals to a specific demographic than it is to try and create content that will engage anyone who stumbles across it.
Finally, most targeted ads aren’t very large. You may find yourself needing to convey a message in 90 characters or less - larger advertisements are possible, but may get cut off if the ad is being placed in more than one area. You’re competing for the attention of your customers and you’re not going to get very far unless you do it right.
Study your leads, find out what they care about, and tailor your content to the people you’re reaching. Don’t be afraid to listen to the companies behind these ads, either - Google has some excellent advice on creating targeted advertisements through its +Post system, and further research on what’s worked for companies similar to yours can help you avoid the pitfalls and start seeing a return on your investment as early as possible.