Part 3 Of A 3 part Blog Series

3 Things A Small Business Owner can do to start marketing

1. SEO Basics (Click Here)
2. Content Marketing (Click Here)
3. Paid Advertising (You Are Here)

Paid Digital Advertising Basics - What It Is and How To Get Started through Google, Facebook, or Programmatic in 2021

Marketing is shrouded with buzz words and terms like search engine optimization, growth hacking, big data analytics, hyperlocal, and KPIs that no one would ever (and should never) fully understand, unless you were in the industry. Our team lives and breathes marketing each and every single day, and also recognizes that most entrepreneurs have a lot of other things on their plate, like running their business for example. To do our part, we are actively publishing articles explaining these terms and any new ones that come up so that you don't have to try and decipher what they mean on your own.

Simple Nguyen, LLC

This article is part 3 of a 3 part series on how any small business owner can begin acquiring new customers through paid advertising. Utilizing paid advertising is one of the most effective tools to grow your business by generating new leads and sales. This guide will highlight the three biggest avenues of paid advertising: Facebook, Google, and Programmatic.

Paid Digital Advertising Overview

So... What Even is Paid Advertising?

Customer acquisition costs money. Whether you’re writing a check to your salesperson, paying for a billboard, radio, newspaper spot, or investing in online marketing – the end goal is to acquire new customers that you would never reach organically. So how do you decide where to spend those limited marketing dollars?


This is where paid advertising comes in as one of the most accountable and measureable forms of marketing. When you utilize paid advertising, you are paying the owner of an ad space (Google, Facebook,,, etc) to allow you to use their space for your own ads instead of theirs.

This is much different from organic traffic, which is typically unpaid. Most organic traffic avenues take more time and varies based on your existing brand recognition and/or online reputation. While it is getting harder and harder to generate new business through organic means, paid advertising makes it quick and painless to see those needed results. 

Additionally, paid advertising allows you to track conversions, which is when a user completes an action you wanted, typically a sale. Platforms have taken tracking data a step further through micro-conversions, allowing even deeper analysis. It breaks down a conversion even further by showing how many users added that item to their carts, how long they left it in the cart, if they ended up checking out, what pages they visited while it was in their cart, and so much more!

There are two major avenues to get into paid advertising, pay-per-click through Facebook and Google and programmatic. In the following sections, we will break down both. 

Pay-Per-Click Advertising Overview

With pay-per-click advertising – you set a maximum dollar amount you would be willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. The best part – you aren’t charged, regardless of the number of times it is shown. By specifying a maximum daily/monthly budget, you can stay within a reasonable budget and stop if you aren’t seeing the leads and sales you were hoping for. 

In the section below, we will show you how you can use Google or Facebook as an avenue for paid advertising.

Google Advertising - Paid Search

Google is the world’s largest and most popular advertising platform, and in the marketing world, is used interchangeably with the term “paid search.” Paid search focuses on targeting relevant keywords and phrases like “restaurants near me” or “best fence companies in my area.” You can be ranked higher than your biggest competitors when you utilize Google’s paid search. A successful paid search campaign is determined by proper initial setup. This is done in multiple ways:



Proper analysis of the conversion and micro-conversions that come in through the platform allows you to pin-point exactly which part of your campaigns work, as well as the parts that didn’t. 


Identifying which ideal keywords your company should bid on, and what the maximum bid should be to get the best value. Additionally, researching a competitor’s paid search campaigns and evaluating what keywords they are bidding on and at what price. Lastly, adjusting the keyword bids throughout the campaign based on competitor adaptations. 



Analyzing what terms users are searching once the campaign is launched and increasing bids on better performing search terms. Additionally – adding keywords your company doesn’t want to serve on through negative keywords. 

Tips And Tricks For Paid Search

Get the most bang for your buckdo your keyword research to use your limited budget in the most effective manner. Compete for keywords and phrases that make sense for your company. DO NOT compete for a highly competitive keyword that averages $20-30 a click, unless your industry has no alternative.  


Use long-tailed keywordscontinuing from the first point in doing proper keyword research, instead of competing for “restaurants near me,” a three-word keyword, consider something more niche like “best Mexican restaurants near me,” a five-word keyword. These keywords are typically much cheaper to bid on and are still effective. These keywords typically see a better return on investment because customers who search for these longer-tailed keywords are much further along in the buying process than someone just beginning to shop around. 

Facebook Advertising - Paid Social

Facebook boasts over 1.5 billion active users, which is a little more than a fifth of the world’s entire population, thus making Facebook the second-largest advertising platform. It boasts the largest monthly active users out of any social network in the world. Similar to Google, we use the term “paid social” when referring to any paid media purchased through Facebook.” Unlike paid search where you find new customers through carefully curated keywords, paid social utilizes user behavior and patterns, the things they’re interested in, and how they are behaving on Facebook’s platform. 


How does Facebook do it? Users share almost every detail of their lives on Facebook, from their kid’s high school graduation to cat memes. They also consume content that aligns with a huge range of interests, beliefs, ideas, and values. By utilizing Facebook’s platform, you give permission to Facebook to utilize that data however they see fit. They are able to take in that data and through their algorithms, have a pretty good idea of who that user is, what they like, and what they’re most likely to interact with and start placing them into segments, which you can target. 



In addition to these data-driven Facebook segments, you can leverage your own data and combine it with Facebook’s data through its lookalike audience feature. These lookalike audiences allow you to upload your customer’s information, which can range from a previous customer and Facebook will apply filters based on its own data to match users that were uploaded. From there, Facebook looks at that generated users’ online browsing behavior and cross matches the different demo and psychographics to add to the targeting pool. This allows companies to target new customers who have similar interests and consumer behaviors as their existing customers.

Tips And Tricks For Paid Social

Look-alike segmentsFacebook allows you to utilize their data by uploading your own and combining it with theirs. Facebook layers on their own data and matches those users to what it has in its database, or those similar in its network. This allows marketers to hit new customers who have similar interests and behaviors to their existing client base.  



Test & optimize campaignsif you never test the different things, your results will quickly plateau because your audience becomes saturated by being served the same ad repeatedly. It is vital for campaign success to constantly switch things up and test different conversions, call to action, offers, etc.


Which Platform Should I Use?

Both Google and Facebook Ads are amazing advertising platforms that will work for all businesses and should both be used in conjunction with each other. However, Facebook is much easier to start on and get going and offers a lot more extensive resources for learning its platform. Facebook’s Blueprint certified digital marketing course takes roughly 5 hours and quickly helps build a foundational understanding of it. Additionally, once you pass the corresponding exam, it has fantastic courses for continued education. 


On the flip side, Google’s Ad Search Certification course takes roughly 4 hours, and although it provides somewhat of a foundation, we feel like it didn’t cover all the points for a new marketer to be able to confidently launch a successful campaign. We felt like additional supplemental reading was necessary, which you can find listed below: 


Wordstream’s 5-part guide to PPC marketing PPCHero’s ultimate guide to PPC marketing

Programmatic Advertising Overview

Programmatic advertising is a sector of paid advertising that has been growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. According to, in 2020 – programmatic advertising accounted for roughly $126 billion dollars, accounting for roughly 30% of all advertising spend. 

Programmatic advertising is the process of automated purchase of display and/or video advertisement slots through the utilization of data, new technology, and mediums. Programmatic advertising has quickly grown into a wide range of channels, including display, mobile, video, social, audio, and connected TV. However, for simplifying things and to make things not too confusing, we’ll limit programmatic advertising to display ads. 


So what is a display advertisement? Anything that attracts a user to a website, typically done through visuals like an image or video. Yes – Google and Facebook are forms of display advertising, in fact, they are the most popular forms of display advertising. However – since they don’t have any competitors other than each other, they are able to charge a premium for their own inventory. 



In short, we can think of programmatic advertising as placing ads on the rest of the internet. Any website you can think of, ranging from,,,, and anything that falls in between. 

Differences between programmatic and pay-per-click advertising

Cost savings – the average cost per click on Facebook and/or Google is between $3-15, meaning your advertisement has only been shown to a handful of users. The cost per click of programmatic advertising is usually $0.05, meaning that your advertisement is shown close to 1000 times for the cost of one click on the other two platforms.


Data driven – since the backbone of programmatic advertising is built on technology, you are able to leverage “the rest of the internet’s data to create segments. Most websites that don’t fall under Google or Facebook send all of their data to DMPs (data management platform) to analyze and aggregate the data. From there, the DMPs create user-friendly segments, similar to Facebook to be used on the DSPs (demand-side platforms).

By utilizing DSPs (demand-side platforms), you can create, manage, and optimize a programmatic campaign. Yes, Google AdWords and Facebook can be considered DSPs, but because of how specialized and unique they are, the industry does not view them as such. 

Programmatic products and offerings

Segment targetingtarget users in certain behavioral categories created by DMPs like Oracle, BlueKai, Adobe. 


Contextual targeting – target users based on a category of websites potential new customers would typically browse.


Placement targeting – target users based on a list of websites potential new customers would frequent. 


Geo-targeting – target users based on identity and behavior, layered on with a specific geographic area, down to zip code, or GPS location, depending on the DSP. 


Well, there you have it! This was our basic guide to help you get a better understanding of paid advertising through Facebook, Google, and Programmatic, and why it’s important for your business! 

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