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In 2017, $209 billion was spent worldwide on digital advertising. (Source: MAGNA) Considering this tremendous amount of money spent, how much of it was spent wisely? There is a growing amount of advertisers looking to the Google Search Network and social media advertising channels to seek out new business. Although these can seem like a promising resource for quick growth, it might not be the first place you should start.

One of the issues in starting with paid advertising, especially if you’re a new company, is your brand awareness. Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers are familiar with your brand and what makes it different than other brands. By establishing your brand first, you will see more success when you advertise. People will recognize your brand and have more trust in your product. Forbes states, “Building a strong, recognizable brand will help you connect with your existing customers, sell to new ones, and encourage loyalty and recognition.”

Here’s the unfortunate cycle that has occurred time and time again with paid ad campaigns. A company has a great, new product they are looking to promote and showcase. Since they are marketers, they know it is smart to drive visitors back to a landing page and hopefully get some conversions on a nice looking form. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always as simple as it sounds. You might experience a high cost-per-click, low engagement, and a low click-through rate. Why is this?

Paid Ad Campaign Cycle

(Source: MOZ)

When you experience low engagement on an advertising platform, (no one is engaging with your ads), the cost to show your ad to more people goes up. As a result, these campaigns are hard to make profitable, and your advertising campaigns fall short.

So, with this unfortunate insight, there must be a solution, right? Yes! You need to get your audience to know you before you start to advertise to them. Try working on your content and SEO, get some press, anything to get your brand name out into the world.

The ways you can begin to build brand recognition are endless. Using backlinks from authoritative sources will build your own credibility. Social media marketing is also a huge influence, especially depending on your target audience. Is your product aesthetically pleasing? Actively use Instagram and Pinterest to increase your social visibility. Remarketing can also be a high performing avenue. Showing your ads to users who visited your site gives the impression that your brand is larger than it really is. You can increase your conversion rate, and in turn, lower the cost of advertising.

Long story short, prioritize your marketing before your advertising. Invest your time in these other channels and you will be happy you did so. This will help you get the most when you begin your advertising.