If you're new to running ads, here's a quick overview of how to make each of the popular ad channels work.
(From our experience running ads for 400+ startups.)
Important note before we dive in: We're growth marketers. We believe that you should test most channels (in time). This is an 80/20 to help you prioritize which you might want to test FIRST based on your business.
There are 2 types of ad targeting:
Behavior targeting: Serves ads to people searching for your product. Better for conversion, but audience size is limited to people searching for you. Think Google ads.
Profile targeting: Uses social profiles/engagement to serve ads. Conversion is lower, but audience size is less restricted. Think Instagram ads.
Here are the top channels ordered by average cost per click for U.S. audiences (LinkedIn being most expensive):
This is from our experience running ads for clients. Your cost per click will vary based on your product, industry, and audience.
Let's dive into each (and a few more).
LinkedIn offers uniquely granular company and employee targeting (firmographic targeting).
Clicks are expensive. Most companies won't be able to afford LinkedIn ads.
Good fit: B2B companies earning thousands per customer.
Poor fit: Anyone earning < $10,000 USD in LTV
Try experimenting with LinkedIn's ad units:
Twitter ads let you target users who follow a particular topic or person. That's unique.
Best for 2 scenarios:
Downsides compared to Facebook and Instagram ads:
Better use case: If your profit margins allow, run Twitter ads to get sales leads that you close via email or phone.
Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG) are the best profile targeting channels.
Good fit for: Mobile apps/SaaS, eCommerce.
Poor fit: Most enterprise products.
IG ads generally convert better than FB. Use IG to target the 18-24 year old audience that DOESN'T use FB.
FB & IG ads 80/20:
The best behavior targeting channel: Reach people who are actively searching for your product.
Good fit: Products that solve known, high-volume problems.
Bad fit: Products people don't search for because they don't know they exist. e.g. cutting edge technology.
Google ads 80/20:
Balance specific vs broad: Use exact match keywords on the "money" keywords, and add a broad match modifier (e.g. + women, + summer, + hats) to capture long-tail keywords.
Then add negative keywords to filter out things that aren't suitable.
Pinterest ads combine profile (interest) targeting with behavior (search) targeting.
Key for Pinterest: You don't want users to click your ad by accident.
Blend in, but don't mislead.
Reddit ads work best in two scenarios:
If your product fits within a large subreddit category, try subreddit targeting: Running ads within niche subforums.
You can get them to run profitably, and large subreddits take longer to saturate than small ones.
We've seen Snapchat ads work for 2 company types:
If you do run display ads, do it through Google Display Network—It provides the most granular targeting
And that's a wrap! You'll notice we haven't covered TikTok or Youtube above. We'll cover them shortly in our newsletter (or on Twitter https://twitter.com/GrowthTactics)
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