How to use Paid Ad Campaigns in Your Blogging Strategy

by Trevor Gilbert

At some point, you’re going to want to drive a large amount of traffic to some of your blog posts. Whether it’s part of a larger promotional campaign or a post that you really think will convince people to work with you, there’s a time and place for paid advertising campaigns.

The question isn’t whether or not paid ad campaigns have a place in content strategies, but instead what role they should play. On the one hand, you can rely on paid acquisition to drive people to your blog in droves, but you may end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on leads that will never convert to paying customers. On the other hand, if you are too conservative in your spending and don’t take any risks, you won’t see any impact from your paid campaigns.

To make sure that you avoid some of these common mistakes, we’re going to take a look at how you should approach paid ad campaigns from a content perspective and what your first steps should be.

Tactical Decisions To Make

Once you’ve decided to invest in paid advertising campaigns as part of your blogging strategy, you have a number of decisions to make. These aren’t the granular decisions about what goes into a specific advertisement, but higher-level decisions about what kinds of campaigns you’re going to be running, where you’re going to run them, and what the parameters of the campaign will be.

Picking the Right Networks – There are thousands of sites you can advertise online. Everything from niche industry blogs to the largest portals online – they’ll all willingly accept your money. However, you should focus on social networks to begin with. This means Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The big decision you have to make is which network is right for you. Your customers may be on LinkedIn or they may all be on Twitter. Regardless of which network people have accounts for, you need to figure out which network is the place where they conduct their business. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll know where to host the advertisements.

Limiting the Length of Your Campaign – One of the biggest mistakes people make when using paid ad campaigns is letting the campaign run wild. Yes, setting an astronomical limit for your advertisement can mean that you’ll reach 50,000 people. Sadly, this also means that you’ll be facing a pretty steep bill at the end of the month. Instead, you should create miniature campaigns that run for a short period of time, then measure the results and run the campaign again if you think there’s room for improvement. By slowly iterating you’ll avoid steep bills and increase the effectiveness of your paid acquisitions.

Picking Posts That Demonstrate Traction – Let’s say that you just finished your 15,000-word magnum opus and you believe that everyone will be dying to read it – all you need to do is get it in front of them. Naturally, you turn to paid advertisements. Unfortunately, this overlooks one of the biggest lessons you should learn from the world’s top publications: don’t pay to promote posts with no traction, pay to boost posts that people are already responding to. If you follow this rule, paid advertisements won’t be the engine that drives attention to your site, but will instead be fuel thrown on a fire that’s already burning.

Not sure how you should approach creating your first content advertisement? There are a few basic ideas to consider.

Driving Traffic to Your Posts

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Driving the Right People – Getting people to visit your blog is a big step, but it’s not going to matter if you aren’t able to drive the right kinds of people. When setting up your advertising campaigns, you need to make sure that you’re targeting the kind of person who is your ideal customer. By ruthlessly targeting the advertisements to your ideal customer, you’ll be able to communicate with potential customers much more openly. You’ll have a deeper understanding of their needs and, as a result, you’ll be able to build up an authentic relationship with them.

Making Sure the Infrastructure Is In Place – When people land on your blog, you need to be ready to accommodate them. Not only does this mean having the blog post published (you’d be surprised how often people forget this!), but it also means having additional resources ready for them. Whether it’s an archive of older posts or downloadable resources that are relevant to the article, you should have something in place to draw them in deeper. Without this infrastructure in place, the best you can hope for is a quick visit, immediately followed by a closed tab.

Getting Paid Acquisition Turned Off Quickly – Paid acquisitions are a great way to surface new leads, but you don’t want to build a business that is entirely reliant on channels that charge you upfront. Instead, you should design a system that buys new leads and transforms them into free contacts. For example, imagine you’re running an advertising campaign for one specific post. When people visit the post, you need to capture their email address and contact information by any means necessary. By doing this, you’ll be able to reach out to them again without going through an advertising network. This will mean less money spent trying to convert them to a paying customer account and more time organically building a relationship with them.

Get the bonus content: The Four Key Considerations for Every Successful Content Advertisement

Final Thoughts

Using paid advertising can be scary. If implemented incorrectly, it can mean accidentally spending thousands of dollars on a campaign that drives a minimal amount of business. But you shouldn’t be scared away! Instead, you should spend time to figure out how to use paid advertising effectively, starting with how to use it in for content and blogging. If you follow the advice above, you’ll be well on your way to driving the right types of customers to your site.