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Digital Marketing 101


As a business owner in today’s fast-paced online landscape, you can’t afford to ignore the power of digital marketing. Google and Meta (Facebook, Messenger and Instagram) are the two giants in the digital advertising world, offering a range of advertising options to help you reach your target audience quickly and effectively. Before diving headfirst into these platforms however, it’s essential to understand the basic strategies that can help you make the most of your digital advertising budget. You can waste a lot of money on digital advertising so it’s important to understand the key strategies that every small business owner should know before investing your hard-earned money and time.


Define Your Goals and Budget

Before you start any digital advertising campaign, or any marketing for that matter, define your goals and establish a budget aligned with your business’s financial resources. Setting clear objectives ensures you allocate your funds strategically across different advertising platforms and campaigns. Are you looking to increase website traffic, boost sales, generate leads, or raise brand awareness? Knowing your objectives will help you tailor your campaigns accordingly.


Understand Your Audience

Arguably the most important step, knowing your target audience well is fundamental for successful digital advertising. Both Google and Meta offer tools to create highly targeted ad campaigns. Define your ideal customer’s demographics, interests, behaviours, and needs to craft effective campaign messaging and allocate your budget efficiently. By understanding your audience, you can craft compelling ad content and choose the right ad placements to maximize your campaign’s effectiveness.


Choose the Right Platform

Google Ads and Meta Ads have distinct strengths and target audiences. Google Ads focus on search intent, while Meta Ads excel in social engagement. Consider your business type and objectives when choosing the platform that suits your needs.

  • Google Ads: Ideal for businesses looking to capture users actively searching for products or services. It includes search ads (text-based ads displayed on search engine results pages), display ads (visual ads on websites and apps), and YouTube ads (video ads on the popular video-sharing platform).
  • Meta Ads: Great for businesses seeking to build brand awareness, engage with users on social media, and target specific demographics. Meta’s advertising costs are usually cheaper than Google, so often a good place to start and gain experience.


Craft Compelling Ad Content

Creating persuasive ad content is crucial. Ads should resonate with your target audience, convey a clear message, and provide a compelling reason for users to take action. A well-crafted ad should have a strong headline, concise body text, and a compelling call to action (CTA). Use visuals like images or videos to engage users, and test different ad formats and content variations. For Google Ads, conduct keyword research to identify relevant search terms and strategically use them in ad copy and landing pages. On Meta, use precise targeting options based on demographics, interests, behaviours, and past interactions with your website.


Monitor and Optimise

It is unlikely that your first attempt at digital advertising will hit a home run, unfortunately. This is where you may need to use an outside service to monitor campaign performance using analytics tools provided by Google and Meta. I have found this area a bit too technical and full of jargon like CTR, conversion rates, and ROI. Having a trusted partner that can do this for me has made it easier and worth the monthly investment. Focus on making data-driven optimisations, adjusting ad copy, targeting, using A/B ad copy testing and budget allocation to improve overall effectiveness. Continuous improvement is key to maximising the value from your digital advertising efforts.


Landing Page Optimisation

Digital advertising by itself is like having a bat and no ball. A good website experience is important to make the best use of the money spent to attract people through your ads. Ensure landing pages are in line with ad content and offer a seamless user experience. If someone reacts to one of your ads, goes to your website and doesn’t find what was promised on the ad, they will quickly leave and you have wasted your money.

Optimise for speed, mobile-responsiveness, and clear CTAs. Streamline the next step in the sales process journey to maximise ultimate conversions into that job proposal. This is a whole topic on its own, so if you want a guide on writing a powerful website landing page email me HERE and I will send you a template.


Seek Professional Help if Needed

Implementing a digital advertising campaign is technical and ever evolving. Certainly gain an understanding of the core strategies involved but if you find managing campaigns challenging or want to scale your efforts, consider employing a digital marketing professional or an agency. Their expertise can help navigate the complexities of online advertising and achieve better results.

If you want a recommendation in this space email me and I can put you in touch with experts that I know.


In summary, digital advertising on Google and Meta is a powerful tool for small business owners to reach their target audience quickly and achieve marketing goals. While you don’t need to understand all the techo jargon and be able to optimise a campaign, I think it is vital to have clear goals and a solid strategy so you aren’t  ripped off by shady digital agencies and waste a lot of money. Successful digital advertising requires ongoing effort and adaptation, so you may need to stick with it for a while and refine each moving part.


Andy Burrows  –  The Trades Coach