Paid traffic lead generation is one of those things that fill some with excitement and others with dread.
For some business owners, it seems as if running successful paid traffic campaigns is simply one of those things other people do. It works for them, “but my business is different”.
The chances that your business is actually one of the very few for whom a paid traffic campaign might not be the right strategy, is very very slim.
I hear this a lot. “Facebook advertising doesn’t work”, “Google Adwords is just a waste of money”.
Unless paid traffic campaigns are on a par with Schrodinger’s cat, this isn’t possible.
There are far too many examples of real businesses growing every day, generating new leads and direct sales, from Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
If you feel it doesn’t work for your business, maybe it is just the way you are doing it that isn’t working. It is more often than not, the execution, not the tool, that isn’t working.
The aim of every paid traffic campaign is to Profitable, Repeatable and Scalable.
This is simply a case of getting more back than you put in. If you put in £1 and get back £1.10, then you have a profitable campaign.
That sounds simple, but how do you actually do it?
Testing and following the data, not your gut or preference.
We often see business owners who run paid traffic campaigns, because “they should work”. This means they are losing money because they are clinging to their initial idea, no matter what the data is telling them.
Data is king here. No matter how much you like a campaign or strategy, no matter how badly you want a certain campaign to work, every decision you make needs to be based on the data you generate from testing.
Once you have data to make decisions on, and you’ve proven the campaign to be delivering a positive Return On Investment (ROI), then you are in a position to repeat your campaign for a different geographic area, different product or to a different audience.
The key here is patience though.
Launching a campaign on Monday and aiming to be profitable by Friday is a strategy that will only lead to frustration.
You need time to gather enough data to make informed decisions.
Once you have a campaign running for around 30 days, you should have enough data to start seeing trends and results.
This can seem like a very long 30 days, but you need to get used to playing a longer-term game if you are going to be successful with paid traffic campaigns.
The alternative is simply hoping for new business and relying on word of mouth, which is never a good strategy for staying in business, let alone growing your business.
Yes, running successful paid traffic campaigns can seem really complex and frustrating at times, but stick with it.
If you focus on starting small, and getting some runs on the board, then you’ll be in a position to repeat your success.
Start with a single product or service. Don’t think of your paid traffic campaigns as a shop-front for everything you do. You are simply looking for ways to identify those who may be interested in what you offer.
Once you find one ad that works, even if just for one keyword, then you are on the road to success.
Now you can look for a second ad or second keyword that brings you a positive ROI.
This way you will build up your paid traffic campaign strategy brick by brick, but knowing that you are generating leads and sales for your business, in a repeatable manner.
This is where everyone wants to get to, but very few people actually get there.
At some point you need to take a breath, steady yourself and put more chips on the table.
You need to be in the game.
If you put £1 in and you get £1.10 out, it is time to show what you are made of. Like the high rollers in casinos, you only get to sit at the big-boys’ table if you are able and willing to show that you are in the game.
Scaling your traffic campaigns comes with it’s own risks, which is why you will be relying even more on the data.
Once your campaign is established, raise the budget, but don’t change ANYTHING else.
Successful campaigns are often killed when they’re being scaled, because the business owner wants to make other changes too. Resist the temptation.
Raising the budget on a campaign is as much a test as anything else you might have tested up until now.
You need to let Google’s and Facebook’s algorithm settle and work out where you sit in the auction with your new budget. Remember, just as in the casino, with more money on the table, you are in the game with different players.
Be patient with scaling your campaigns. You need to keep an eye on the data, and adjust accordingly.
Every campaign will have a point where raising the budget stops bringing in higher returns. This is why you need to have several campaigns running. Spread your budget, spread your risk.
Building up successful paid traffic campaigns can be complex and frustrating, but only as complex as a box of Lego. If you build one brick at a time, you can create almost anything you can imagine.
However, if you simply tip the whole box out on the floor, and then wonder why you can’t find the pieces, or keep stepping on pieces with bare feet, you won’t blame the Lego. Don’t blame the tool.
Should you really spend all your time trying to work out how to do this successfully?
Yes and no.
If you and your business is in a position where you can spend several hours per week really studying this ever-changing landscape and honing your skills, then yes. This is an invaluable skill to have.
But don’t do this at the cost of what your role in the business really is.
Get help, rather than abandoning the massive benefits successful paid traffic campaigns can give your business.
What do you stand to gain?
Steady lead flow.
Real positive ROI.
Remember, this is an investment in your business.
Author: Pieter K de Villiers
Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.