Online Ads… Do They Work or Not?

Are you not seeing the return on investment you are looking for out of your marketing efforts? Are you feeling frustrated that you are putting in so much work but not seeing results? I know what you are feeling, I’ve been there! However, one of our most recent reports in one of our businesses showed a 7000% return on our investment – that includes time AND money! Online ads work, online marketing works, let me show you how!

What is marketing

I have TWO words for you that are imperative for any marketing strategy. One, analysis. Two, execution!

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s set the table with the must-haves when it comes to any marketing strategy. 

  • My number one tip to ensure that your marketing will provide your desired outcome, is authenticity. You need to be clear on your mission, vision, and culture statements. You want people to know who you are, why you do what you do, and why they should spend their money on your product or service! Being who you are (as a company) and sharing how you’ll improve their lives, in a hugely authentic way, is your key to connecting and doing business with your ideal clients. 
  • Second, research on your ideal client(s) and target audience(s) is extremely valuable and important. You need to know the demographic and psychographics of your target market. As a very important side note, if your target audience happens to be the very small percentage of people who are not online, online marketing is not going to work, at least not targeting that market as your audience. 
  • Third, no matter how insignificant a detail seems, it is important when it comes to marketing. Effective wording, setting your target audience correctly for ads, and actually completing a competitive analysis will all help you see that return on investment! You have to put in the effort when it comes to online ads to get the return.

Make Online Ads work with a Plan

If you don’t know where to start with the above list of must–haves, all of those items are found in an annual marketing plan. Completing an annual marketing plan might seem time consuming but it pays off in the long run. This is the time to execute! Don’t just learn what to do, tips on how to do it, or ideas about strategy – implement what you learn!!  Having an annual marketing plan allows you to plan ahead and schedule your most valuable activities based on who you authentically are – your mission, vision, and culture statements. 

Our Annual Marketing Plan

If you want to check out our template, it has everything included on the above list plus a number of additional sections to work through to ensure that your marketing is working for you! Our annual marketing plan template includes a guide to branding your business and sharing who you are, a worksheet template for determining who the right person is that your marketing is needing to reach, instructions on calculating market share, a template for planning your entire marketing strategy, and so much more. It is truly a complete guide to developing a marketing strategy that works and gets you results! Our template even includes a section at the end to ensure that you EXECUTE on what you’ve just planned! Remember, without execution you have nothing! 

marketing plan

Analyze How Your Ads are Working for you

If you want to know if your marketing is working, you need to analyze the data! To analyze the data, you first need to collect it! Tracking data is imperative, whether you are brick and mortar, completely online, or a hybrid business model. In every way possible you MUST find out how people heard about you and why they decided to buy (whether it is their first purchase or a repeat purchase). Data-driven decision making is the key to insanely profitable marketing

*You cannot make data-driven decisions with missing, dirty, or incorrect data. Find the most effective, streamlined way to collect accurate data from your customers and keep it organized and stored in a way it can be used! Online ads are great because they can be easily tracked! A monthly marketing report will help you bring together and analyze all of the necessary data used to make more and more profitable marketing decisions. 

Now, you have the data, what do you do with it? Now comes the analysis. You need to look at the data and determine what’s working, what needs improvement, what didn’t work, and what actions you will take in light of these things? Our goal is to improve return on investment, how will we get there? If you put $2500 into Facebook ads over the last 6 weeks yet only saw 3 customers from Facebook but saw an increase in customers organically searching for your product, perhaps it would be best to put some more money into Google ads surrounding that search term. You need to use the data to make changes to improve! This is the key to more profitable marketing, month after month. Our most recent reports in one of our businesses showed a 7000% return on our investment – that includes time AND money! You can do this! Keep going!

Our Monthly Marketing Report

If you are thinking to yourself, how do I track data and organize it in a useful way? Well, we’ve got you covered. We have a monthly marketing report template that will provide you with a guide to using your data to improve each month! A monthly marketing report and meeting with your marketing team is the easiest way to ensure that you know what’s working and what’s not working! You will pour more gas on what is working, systemize it, prioritize it and you will stop what is not working! 

Our monthly marketing report template will provide you with usable worksheets to track where your customers are coming from, how many leads you need to find to hit your sales goals, and your social media results. Our template provides our most useful top 5 reports from Google Analytics that will help you understand more about your customers and how they are spending time on your website or getting to your website! Additionally, after the analysis there is a guide to put all of this into action. Remember, without execution of these principles your online ads will not provide you with your desired return on investment! 

sell the monthly marketing report to use with online ads

*QUICK TIP: we love Google Ads and utilize them regularly. They tend to work well vs other ads because instead of placing yourself in their line of sight while they are online (typical ads) or showing up on other places they go online (retargeting,) the people who see your Google ads (if done correctly) are searching for you. Help them find you with ads on Google if this fits for you. If you are interested in learning more about using Google for your marketing efforts, check out this great and recent article from Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner. Google trends and Google analytics are also very helpful in tracking data from online ads.

My Top 3 Tips for Making Online Ads Work for You

1- Whether you know exactly what to do OR you are doing a marketing experiment, remember to do the fundamental and foundational work of marketing strategy as shared above AND make sure you collect usable data!

2- Use UTM LINKS everywhere! UTM links allow you to monitor where people that end up on your website come from. If you only put one piece of published content out onto the web, then no problem, you will know exactly where your traffic is coming from. However, if you have a marketing strategy that is working for you, you are posting on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and numerous other places. We want to know how many people came from which place, and from which specific campaign or post! This is how we improve so drastically each month! Did the majority of people visit your website from a LinkedIn post? Or a LinkedIn article? Which topic or key words worked the best? UTM links will help you determine that. Click here for step-by-step instructions and more information from Social Media Examiner! 

3- Don’t start with a budget, start with a revenue goal and work backwards! If you want to have one million dollars in revenue this year, how many customers do you need to make that happen? How many leads do you need in order to have that amount of customers? Not every person that comes into your store becomes a customer, but figure out what percentage of people do, so that you know how many total people you need to get into your store (leads)! You are going to need to use historical data here for these calculations, so it will take one month to get your data if you’ve never tracked it before! 

Online ads work. Marketing works… IF you put in the time and effort, and use the best tools!

  1. Annual Marketing Plan
  2. Monthly Marketing Report 

Happy Marketing, friends! 

An additional note: do your own research, and keep Web 3.0 in mind. With all that it is bringing to the internet and online communities, your current strategy may be outdated very soon… ie. selling everything through an Instagram following. Major social media companies could be gone in the next few years, and your company may exist entirely as part of DAOs and pay nothing for online ads to reach their communities… but these fundamentals will STILL WORK. 

If you want to make more profitable marketing decisions this month, get our Annual Marketing Plan or our Monthly Marketing Report. Visit our online store here.

Business can be better™ and it should be!

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Kelli-Rae Tamaki

Kelli-Rae is truly passionate about successful business, and believes it can always be better, which is why she has spent 22 years studying, running, coaching and consulting with businesses, just like yours.