You’ve decided to create an online store and you’re ready to spread the word and get people to visit your website. By now, you’ve probably realized that online advertising is the best way to get traffic to your store, but how should you start if you’re new to it? Here are 9 tips for beginners.

Set your goals

Before you do anything, you need to know what you want to achieve with this campaign. Do you want to increase your brand awareness or do you want to get more conversions? This will affect the pricing of your ads, as some pricing structures are based on impressions (how many people will see your ad) and other structures are based on activities (how viewers interact with your ads).

Depending on the medium you use, these “activities” may be defined differently. For example, they can be defined by clicks, acquisition of followers, video views, app installations, lead generation, or conversions.

Choose a platform

Once you have decided what you want to achieve, it will be easier to choose a medium to launch your campaign – Google or Facebook? or Instagram? Digital marketers often say, “Use Google ads to help your customers find you. Use Facebook ads to find your customers.

It makes sense, as the visual elements of Facebook ads fit with a knowledge campaign, but more usefully, Facebook can help you focus on your target audience based on demographics and interests.

Recently, eMarketer surveyed digital marketers to see which social network offers the best return. The result? Facebook wins by a landslide. But that doesn’t mean other platforms can’t be useful. Twitter, for example, has the advantage of setting trends.

On Twitter you can take advantage of any current topic to access your audience. With this you can show the human side of your company, and allow your company to have fun with its buyers. Instagram can be an excellent marketing tool for fashion and style brands because it focuses on images.

See what works before (and after) you pay

You may already have a presence on social networks before you start booking paid ads. If not, the first thing you should do is create a company page or profile, create free publications and start harvesting followers. When you see which posts generate the most reaction (click, like or share), you can evaluate what type of ad you should create.

Once you’ve created paid ads, it’s best to try different variations of the same ad to see which works best. This is often called the “A/B test”. For example, let’s say you have a blog post that you want to promote on Facebook to generate traffic to your site. It’s useful to test this ad with two (very) different images to see which one works – you might be as surprised as I am!

Focus, focus, focus

This is very important. People spend almost as much time on social networks as they do watching TV (source: socialmediatoday), and this trend is likely to increase. But social media advertising has an advantage, as you can target your audience much more accurately than a TV commercial.

This is something that small businesses in particular should take full advantage of. Facebook and its cronies want to make money from the ads and they want to be paid as much as possible. The more general your focus, the more people you’ll reach. However, this also means that you will pay for generic words that are very competitive, very expensive and not relevant enough.

If you advertise on social networks, you have to know all the details of your audience. Know their interests by clicking on your followers’ profiles (or the profiles of your competitors’ followers). Find out their demographics and then create a profile of your target audience based on that information. After all, it’s better to reach 1000 highly targeted people than 100,000 people who don’t really fit your client’s profile.

The rotation of your ads

You’ve already checked which ads work best and found out what your client’s profile is. You’ve come a long way. However, the important thing is to know where to go next.

We’re all bombarded with digital ads every day. That’s why even the best ads become obsolete. Many experts recommend changing the ads every two weeks.

Check out what works best for you by analyzing your metrics, and see when your ads lose their effectiveness. When your purchase or sales costs start to rise, it may be time to change things up a bit.

Design for mobiles

If you’ve travelled by train, bus, etc. over the last few years, you’ll have noticed the amount of time people spend looking at their mobile phones. Social networks are part of this trend.

Statistics show that 80% of the time spent on social networks is spent on mobile devices. That means that your website must be adapted for mobiles and, in addition, your ads must have a good presentation on mobiles.

Analyze, analyze and test

The wonderful thing about online advertising is the wealth of data you have at your disposal to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Most advertisers don’t get it on the first try, so you should start with low budgets and see what works.

You may need to tweak things like text, images and targeting options. Take advantage of the analysis options that Google, Facebook, etc. offer to their customers.

You must know when to advertise

We’ve already talked a little bit about how to know when to rotate the ads. But this advice is more general. Knowing what the peak seasons are for your business is essential to budgeting your advertising expenses correctly.

Therefore, you should not spend the same amount every month, but find out when important sales periods occur and adjust your advertising budget accordingly.

Be patient.

This last piece of advice is more complex than it seems. Posting ads on social networks can be very stimulating. I hope that after reading this blog you will feel like optimizing your ads to offer the best performance.

But try not to overdo it and collect some data before making drastic changes in your campaigns. Many of these platforms display your ads and need time for their algorithms to learn where these ads perform best.

Analyzing the success of a campaign two days later will never give reliable results, so wait a week before making major changes.