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Paid Digital Advertising


We have discussed some of the methods you can use for FREE social media advertising and organic reach, in this article we will discuss Paid Digital Advertising. This is by no means an in-depth course of how to use it but some good principles can be taken to ensure you are making the most of paid advertising.

How Does Paid Advertising Work?

Depending on how many leads you need to generate each month, you may need to start thinking about paid advertising on these channels. Paid advertising on social media can put you in front of thousands of your ideal clients, even if they don’t follow you.

You can generate ‘lookalikes’ based on your client avatar and target only those people living in a certain locality. It’s a powerful, targeted form of marketing and not much else can rival it. Imagine putting a £5 note into a vending machine and it spews out £20. It would be the best vending machine in the world. If you master paid advertising, that is exactly what it can be like.

You put money into advertising, and it should give you an increased return. What you don’t want is to put £5 in and get nothing out, or less than £5. That’s when paid advertising isn’t working and you need to make changes fast.

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google Ads let you choose exactly who you want to target. You can target by sex, age, where they live, what they do for work, keywords they search for, how much they earn, if they are married, have kids, etc. The list goes on and on and means you can target specific people if that’s what is required. For some companies, paid advertising is their biggest source of lead generation.

Case Study

One of my clients, an electrical contractor, wanted to increase his earnings.

His main service was emergency call-outs, charging an hourly rate. Often, these call-outs would only be three or four hours and, although highly profitable, he needed lots of leads each day to keep his workers busy.

We first analysed his profit and loss in detail to see what cuts could be made. We realised he was running a tight ship, but his workers were not at full capacity, they had plenty of unfilled hours in the day. We then looked at how much work he generated from paid advertising – it was over 80%.

As we’d been tracking how much he’d been spending on paid adverts, we knew exactly what the return on investment was.

He was spending £15 for every lead he generated (in this example, a phone call or email received). On average, he was converting 25% of his leads, meaning it cost him £60 to win a single job.

The average job value was £270. He was making a gross profit of £135 on average per job, which meant that after the £60 spent on advertising, he had £75 left over to pay overheads.

It was clear how powerful paid advertising was for him. All he needed to do to increase his income was to increase his advertising spend on Google Ads.

This would max out his workers and increase his earnings without having any effect on his fixed overheads. A no-brainer. But he was only able to make this decision because he understood his numbers.

The Importance of Analysis and Reporting

If you are going to use paid advertising, you have to analyse the numbers. Learn how much you are spending to get a lead, how many leads on average you convert, and how much profit this generates. That way, you can turn the tap of paid advertising on and off as required and know exactly what returns you’ll get on average. This sort of analysis and confidence in figures doesn’t come overnight. Paid advertising can be frustrating, as some campaigns work and some don’t. Often, much trial and error is needed to fine tune it.

Be persistent and hire a great digital marketing expert who specialises in paid advertising and you could see great returns from this strategy. Just be sure to set a budget and keep monitoring it. It’s not uncommon for newbies to let a budget slide and spend hundreds of pounds on ads within a short space of time, with no results. Certain types of paid ads may not be the answer.

Sometimes, certain media channels just will not work at all for your product and you need to turn off the paid adverts. For our company, we knew Facebook ads worked, but Google Ads were becoming too expensive for our lead generation, so we killed it off.

Once you find something that works, stick with it and don’t be afraid to increase the spending budget in line with increased growth. Paid advertising is also a great way of moving people into your funnel and onto your landing pages, where you can start tracking them with cookies for re-marketing.

Cookies are great. Once a cookie is placed on the browser of someone who has visited your website or clicked on a Facebook post, it will follow them all around the internet; you can re-market back to that client again and again. For example, they may be reading an online news website and then, all of a sudden, your advert pops up in the corner of the page. The beauty is it will happen again and again for a very low cost. You can also re-market advertise on Facebook itself, so you keep popping up on their feed.

You’ve probably experienced it yourself. You go on a website to buy a tent, then all of a sudden you see that company selling tents all over the internet. That’s the power of cookies and re-marketing.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Another strategy to keep in mind is SEO (search engine optimisation). This helps you to be organically found on Google.

The aim is that you appear near the top of the list when someone types in a keyword related to the service you offer.

For example, if someone needs an emergency plumber they may type ‘plumber, London, same day’ into Google, or one of many other variations of those terms. If you have optimised your site to show up strongly on Google for those keywords and any other variation, you will appear higher up the list of search results.

An organic Google search is an extremely important way for cold leads to find you and it’s important that you rank on the first page of Google. If you’re not, then you may as well be on the last page – your clients are not going to find you: ‘The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google.’

You’ll need to find and pay for an SEO specialist who can help you climb the Google rankings.

The beauty of SEO is that once you are ranked highly, it’s relatively easy and cheap to stay there. Once you get there, all the clicks you get from then on have already been paid for by the previous SEO work. Google loves newness and ranks websites higher if they produce new and original content, so ensure you are uploading videos and blogs that relate to your keywords. This is a great way to rank higher for free.


To really stand out from your competitors paid advertising is the way go on social media. Get it right and you will see a great return on investment. Get it wrong though and you could see your money flushed down the drain.

Download our FREE construction social media cheat sheet which will give you great ideas for content creation.

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