A common misconception among startup entrepreneurs is that traction is more important than revenue in the early days of business. And it is possible that this strategy could be a good basis for the following advertising tips.
But this tactic will only be helpful to you if your business is flush with VC funding and if you want to increase your valuation by scaling up really fast. Focusing on traction over revenue will likely kill most of the bootstrapped startups out there.
One of the quickest ways to get your cash registers ticking is through ads. Organic growth from sources such as SEO and word of mouth referrals can take a long time to materialize.
But advertising can also be tricky. One wrong move could mean going thousands of dollars in the red before you have sales coming in. In this article, we will take a look at some advertising tips that are applicable to bootstrapped startups.
Setting the Right Ad Budget
Depending on the size of your business, your ad budget could be between $100 to $500 a day. It is very unlikely for a startup to be spending anything more than $500 a day on ads.
Also, we do not recommend you spend less than $50 per day because that kind of budget really does not provide you with enough wiggle room.
Once you have established your daily spending limit, the next task is to think about the number of variations your ad will have.
Marketing blogs constantly advise on the need to try different ad variations. You might also need an A/B testing tool to know definitively what works and what doesn’t.
But it is also important to realize that creating so many variations wastes money and only helps when you have thousands of dollars to spend on your ads.
With your startup marketing budget, too many versions of your ads only create clutter and do not help to answer your questions.
The ideal way to approach this challenge is to create between three to five variations and stick to them for a week or more. Then eliminate the poor performers and experiment with new ones.
There are a lot of moving parts that impact your landing page conversions. [clickToTweet tweet=”It is not wise to tamper with too many features of a landing page.” quote=”It is not wise to tamper with too many features of a landing page.”]
Instead, employ tried and tested landing page copy in your early days. To quickly build a landing page, make use of services such as Unbounce, Instapage or SquareSpace.
Not only do these services save on designing costs but they also will ensure your design is in line with industry best practices.
There is a fine line between micromanaging your ads and ignoring them completely. Every dollar spent on your ads counts, so it is important to constantly monitor the performance of your ads.
This does not mean that you must keep tweaking your ad copy or landing page at all times. Doing so will only make studying the performance report more difficult.
As an advertiser, you should constantly be checking that your websites are up. You also need to be aware of whether or not your ads are showing to people you want to target at the times you want to reach out to them. A small oversight could lead to a loss of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
Know Your Customer Behavior
Monitoring CTR or conversions can only take your business so far. Understanding the visitors’ behavior and identifying their unique characteristics are vital in building a product or service that your customer wants.
Integrating your Google Adwords with Analytics is the first step to knowing your customer better. If you have a CRM like Salesforce for your customers, then you could also make use of tools such as Segment to integrate your Adwords with Salesforce. That way, you can uniquely view and understand the behavior and needs of each of your customers.
When all is said and done, success with advertising does not come easily. It is not uncommon for businesses not to see any sales, even after spending a few hundred dollars on ads.
Advertising comes with a learning curve, and it takes time and money to hone your skills. The only way to become better at advertising and start making money with your business is by being persistent.
For all the work it takes, it is easier to get cash flowing with digital advertising than with traditional marketing techniques.
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