The creative and messaging is where things really get fun! Your messaging can usually be taken directly from your website headlines and copy, but ideally should be rigorously tested and honed over time. The text is a key component of your ads, but is often secondary to the visuals on most major platforms except Google Search, which is text-only. All other platforms mentioned in the last section include visuals as a key component of the ad unit. Whether it is a static image, video, carousel, or other combination, identifying or creating a strong visual asset that is likely to stop your audience in their feeds is an extremely important factor in running a successful ads campaign.
Again, to start, look at the assets on your website (both images and text copy). Really try to put yourself in the shoes of your customer or stakeholder when crafting creative, and ideally, make different creative variations for each target segment. Often direct customer quotes make the best ad copy, and even better if you can leverage their user generated content (UGC)! Just make sure you have their permission first.
Your budget can be tricky to decide, but the nice thing is that there is almost never a minimum spend amount on digital ad platforms! This means that you could spend $50-100 and realistically get directionally valuable results and data back.
There are two primary approaches to deciding what your campaign budget should be: working backwards, or looking forward. Working backwards is simpler (more straightforward ;) and essentially just entails asking yourself: how much available money do I have for this initiative? When looking forward, you usually do some back-of-napkin calculations to project what a certain budget amount would get you in terms of results. To do this, you first need an assumption metric, and CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) are great places to start. For example, let’s say you are bidding for clicks. If you find data online that says the average CPC for your vertical (industry) is $2.00, and your budget is $200, you can expect to get 100 clicks from the campaign (200/2 = 100).
Budgeting can be tricky, so don’t stress or over-think it too much. Chances are you already have an available budget in mind, and it’s totally fine to go with that to start. Many people also combine the backward and forward-looking approaches. If you remember, our example budget of $200 got us 100 clicks at a $2 CPC. But, you can also take it further.
Let’s say you’re driving to an email sign-up on your landing page, and your average signup conversion rate is 3% (usually defined as conversions / visits, and you can get this from Google Analytics or other web analytics platforms). Now, you can expect to get roughly 3 email signups from your 100 clicks. This type of basic projection exercise should help you set a budget more in-line with your goals for the initiative.
Pivot: testing. Setting up tests in ad campaigns is important because we can get customized and reliable insights for pretty much anything that we want to learn about our brand or organization. Since we are paying for media, we have a unique opportunity to get data and insights back in a faster and more tailored way than we would if we published content organically.