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Initial Ad Question: Search vs Social?

Hi there, My name is Clark. I'm a Sales guy looking to take on marketing here at AdStage. Specifically I'm going to work on paid user acquisition. With this blog, I'll be sharing my experiences building and optimizing our first AdStage ad campaigns. I hope that sharing my experiences will help all new online advertisers. You'll see my process, mistakes, and anything I learn along the way, which should help you build and succeed with your own campaigns.

I've broken the first series of posts into three parts:

  1. My initial questions, predictions, and some difference between Search & Social ads
  2. Setting up first Google AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns
  3. Tracking my ad campaign success using Google Analytics and AdStage

(tl;dr - main points in bold)

Throughout this process, I'm going to use our AdStage dashboard. Here's a quick look at a dashboard complete with data:

Key advertising metrics

The dashboard provides me one place to see all of my current ad campaign activities - an overview of key ad performance metrics and budget recommendations, a graph comparison of metrics, network performance with target demographics, social audience targeting, and trending keywords, and lastly insights such as click stream data, geo-targeting, high-performing ads, and similar companies.

I'll also be using the native network interfaces and Google Analytics. Using my AdStage dashboard along with these tools will give me complete control over monitoring and editing my campaigns.

Let's get started

How should I go about documenting this ad experiment and assessing my progress? There are many ways to do it, but I decided to use a simple method of asking questions, making predictions, and testing. I'll follow this process and answer different questions each week until we know it all! This week I have several questions to get started with.

How do I setup and launch my first Campaigns?

This question is really a container for many questions. Any advertiser needs to consider - Where should I spend my budget? How much do I spend? And why? We decided to launch campaigns on AdWords, BingAds, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This will let me cover the full spread of people who may be interested in AdStage. Setting up campaigns is pretty straightforward. The hard part of paid user acquisition is building quality campaigns.

So how much should I spend and why? In my first week, I don't know the best way to budget my campaigns. I'm learning just like any new advertiser. I want to spend a small amount and I want to start gathering real data. I decided on a budget of $5/day per network (though LinkedIn requires $10/day). I will learn the best way to budget as I go, but initially I just need enough to gather initial data to work with.


In this first week, the predictions will also include the few things I already know about advertising and the differences in the ad networks. A big difference is in targeting. Search networks capitalize on what you search for: keywords. Social networks capitalize on who you are: groups you're part of, your interests, etc.

This means that search engines are direct intent networks and social networks are indirect intent networks. If I search on Google for "Nike shoes", I'm very likely looking to purchase Nike shoes. Contrast this with Facebook. Facebook advertising makes assumptions about what ads relate to me, but my intent in browsing Facebook is rarely specific purchasing. Similarly, I don't go on LinkedIn for direct purchases. I go there to check out work stuff - who's working where, connect with someone I met recently, maybe I'll see job opportunities, or maybe I'll see a tool that will help with my job. LinkedIn advertising makes assumptions based on this and shows related me ads.

Take a look:

[gallery ids="85,86,88,90"]

Effective campaigns should take note of these differences. The ultimate goal of ad campaigns is conversions. Conversions can be defined as anything, but some examples of conversions would be user sign ups, purchases, or newsletter sign ups.

In this post I asked some questions, made some predictions, and identified some of the differences in Search and Social ad networks. Now it's time to test. This is the fun part - next I'll be launching actual ad campaigns. Read about it in Part 2 - Setting up first Google AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns.

Thanks for reading and check out AdStage if you would like a great, simple way to compare your campaigns and get insights to improve your campaigns in one, well designed dashboard.

If you have any questions or need any help with your campaigns, please let me know. You can reach me at with anything on your mind - questions, comments, critiques, suggestions for future posts, or just to say hi.

Part 2 - Setting up first Google AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns.

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AdStage Team