More and more businesses are using Facebook ads to promote their products and services - seemingly with varying degrees of success - and many more have Adwords at the heart of their traffic generation efforts. I know some businesses that have become reliant on paid search for their survival! But if you need to pay for traffic in this way, irrespective of return on investment, does that indicate a lack of influence in the digital space?
Paid search and social ads are nothing new, but with Facebook having thrown more emphasis on their advertising platform in recent times, and a plethora of courses and software programs launching weekly, to help you leverage the opportunity, are we losing focus on lower-cost, more sustainable ways to attract new business?
A couple of factors spring to mind, that seem to legitimise the pais search option. Firstly, all forms of digital and social marketing cost money - FACT. If you're not spending on clicks and impressions, then you can be darned sure you're paying for someone's time. Making any kind of impact in the digital space - especially when it comes to generating traffic - takes a great deal of effort. Writing blogs, sharing links, engaging in reciporocal conversations, communities and forums .. you get the picture. If it's the business owner performing all these tasks, as it often is in the micro business sector, the costs can far exceed anything you's spend on the equivalent paid option. Secondly, you'll never reach your entire market anyway, and there will always be willing and appropriate buyers who would never stumble upon your website, blog and/or social profiles, no matter how prolific your organic sharing efforts.
In short, I believe that paid search and social ads are indeed a legitimate way to extend reach, but are you thinking about the long-term? I find that many businesses continue to pay for traffic from the same prospects, over and over, due to one simple factor - they're not getting prospects into their database. By creating mechanisms to capture lead information, on your website and social media properties, you'll ensure a far-lower cost of communication further down the line. By all means pay for traffic, but couple this with a growing email list and follow-up sequence, so you're making the most of the opportunities that come your way.
What have been your experiences of PPC and social ads? Drop us a line in the comments!