A website is about so much more than a pretty online business card. Websites are made for work. Its goal is to build your organization’s reputation, collect leads, and generate conversions. In order to accomplish those things, your website needs traffic. But should small businesses and non-profits run ads in order to get that traffic?

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing, a term made popular by Brian Halligan, is the process of creating content to attract people to your website. It’s inwardly focused on blogging, videos, social media, etc. to deliver relevant and useful content to users. By creating relevant and useful content, your users will see you as an expert and so will Google. And when Google sees you as an expert, your company or non-profit show up higher in SERPs (search engine result pages).

Inbound Marketing is focused on attracting users through organic search results and social media. Outbound Marketing, on the other hand, is focused on more traditional methods of attracting users like running ads. Inbound is drawing people to your company, and outbound is taking your company to the people.

What Kind of Ads Could I Run?

Search Engine Ads – Think Google, Bing, and Yahoo. All the search engines allow you to buy ads for a specific keyword or keyword phrase.

Social Media Ads – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. Where you run ads is highly dependent on where your audience is.

Podcast Sponsorship – This is a growing area of outbound marketing. If your target audience listens to podcasts, it could be a very good thing to try.

Traditional Ads – Newspapers, magazines, signage, radio, tv, event sponsorship, etc. The success of these traditional ads is very dependent on location and audience type.

Should Every Business Run Ads?

I think every business should experiment with online marketing. Search Ads and Social Media Ads are really easy to try out. You can start with small amounts of money to test keywords and market segments before committing to anything big. Try spending $5 on Facebook to run an ad and see how many people you reach and how many clicks you get.

If you’re struggling to attract users via inbound marketing or if you need to increase visitors in order to test a feature or promote a campaign, a well-run ad campaign can make a difference.

What Does It Take to Run an Online Ad Campaign?

It’s important to note that a lot of money can be wasted on online ads if they aren’t produced correctly. Running a successful ad campaign on Facebook or Google isn’t as easy as writing some copy and pointing people to your homepage. More thought and planning needs to go into it.

Every Successful Ad Campaign Needs:

  • A specific audience. You’re not selling to the whole world. Target your buyer’s personas.

  • A keyword focus.

  • A specific landing page. Don’t just send people to your homepage. You want a landing page designed for conversions.

  • A copywriter. Hire someone who has experience with ads and landing pages.

  • A designer. Design It Please can design your landing page starting at $1500. Here’s an example.

  • The same language. Match the language on your landing page to the language in your ads. Give the user a consistent experience.

  • Experimentation. Experimenting with ad copy and targeting is a huge part of a successful ad campaign. You can turn off ads that are underperforming, and create new ads with slight differentiations to see what resonates best.

  • Analysis. It should be someone’s job to track how the ads are doing on a regular basis. That may be daily or weekly, depending on the budget, but don’t set it and forget it.

  • A budget. Did you know non-profits can get grants for Google AdWords?

  • An expert. Design It Please partners with SEM companies in Austin, TX and Berlin, Germany. Please contact us if you need a recommendation.

Go Forth and Advertise

You won’t know what Google Ads or Facebook Ads can do for your company or non-profit until you try. It’s okay to start small to get your feet wet. So should your business or non-profit run ads? Yes. Maybe not continuously, but yes. Contact us if you want advice specific to your organization.