How To Advertise Your Online Store

In our last blog, we showed you how you can set up your own online store in a few steps. The next step in running a successful online store is to advertise your products to a large online audience! In this blog, we’ll be telling you exactly how to do this - check it out!

Angelina Natividad

Online Marketer at The Next Ad

Jun 24, 2020

So, you’ve just set up your own online store (maybe with the help of our previous blog). You’ve done all the necessary checks to ensure that your website is running smoothly, and you are now waiting for customers to come by.

Unfortunately, however, aside from letting people in your existing networks know about your website, it can generally be quite hard to attract new customers to your store. 

Luckily, there are many things you can do to get your online store out there! You can promote your business through posting content on social media, starting a blog, engaging in email marketing, or using paid advertising to reach an audience.

There really is no one-fits-all method when it comes to successfully promoting your business online. 

One of the fastest ways to effectively make people aware of your business, however, is through paid advertising. And you might feel like paid advertising is only possible or useful for large companies or organizations, but it’s really for everyone!

So even if you’re selling flowers, handmade items, furniture, food or clothing through your online store, running simple ads online can help you go a long way!

Do not worry if you have no prior experience with online advertising at all! – I’m going to take you through the basics of successfully advertising your online store. By the end of this blog, you’ll know how to set up some basic online ads, in order to boost your website traffic and sales! 

Get your notebook ready and let’s dive in!

Things you must do/know before jumping
into paid advertising

In order to get started with online advertising, there are a few things that we have to do and consider in advance. If you would just jump straight into it, you might overlook some important steps that could cost you some valuable time and money in the future. Let’s make sure you’re getting the most out of your advertising efforts from the start! 

Create accounts for your business on Google, Facebook and Instagram

Before we start doing anything, it’s important to create accounts for your company on the platforms that are most commonly used by businesses in general (Google, Facebook, Instagram). Even if you’re not necessarily planning on actively using all of the platforms from the start, it’ll be good to at least ‘reserve your spot’ on these channels with your business name. 

Installing analytic/tracking tools

If you want to be serious with your online store and advertising, it’s an absolute must to install analytic and tracking tools onto your website from the beginning. These tools allow you to track the activity of your visitors and the performance of your website – thus enabling you to monitor and optimise the performance of your online store and advertising campaigns! 

Google Analytics

You’ll have to install and use Google Analytics to analyse your online success. It is a must-have tool to gain insights into how users are interacting with your website and how effective your advertising campaigns are at attracting visitors. 

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website, allowing you to monitor and optimise the performance of your Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns. The Facebook Pixel works by dropping a cookie that will track visitors on your website so you can reach out to them later, also known as retargeting. Check out this blog if you’d like to learn more about the Facebook Pixel!

Determine your target audience

Essentially, good advertising is all about reaching the right audience, at the right time and place. Identifying your target audience is the key to deciding what method, message and advertising platform will be most effective for your promoting your online store. The more you understand and know who your target audience is, the easier it will be to create relevant ads and have better campaign performances as a result! 

Now that we’ve quickly gone over some things that you should do before starting with paid advertising, it’s time to get into the good stuff! 

Creating online ads for your online store

Online advertising is a great way to deliver your company’s message to (new) potential customers. Not only does it allow you to target a specific group of people that would be more likely to be interested in your products, but it also enables you to learn more about your customer profiles! Once you’re a bit more advanced in advertising, you’ll get to learn more about your customers’ online behaviours, interests and demands. 

As you might already know, there are many different ways of advertising your business online. Since you are just starting out, we’ll only go over some of the most commonly used platforms and formats for small businesses and online stores. For now, let’s focus on creating some simple ads on Google, Facebook and Instagram!

Advertising on Google

A Google Search Ad is a type of advertisement that appears on Google’s search engine results pages after someone ‘Googles’ for a specific search term. By running Google Search Ads, you’ll be able to help your business stand out from the search results and get noticed by people who might be searching for your product or service.

How To Advertise Your Online Store | Google Search Text Ad | The Next Ad

Because we understand that working with the Google Ad Manager can be quite overwhelming, due to all the extensive options it offers and in order to make creating Google Search ads as simple as possible, we’ve created the Google Search Autopilot!

The Next Ad’s Google Search Autopilot is a tool we’ve specifically created for small business owners, that enables you to easily create and run Google Search Ads online. We’ve focused on eliminating all of the confusing and difficult functions Google Ads Manager has, to provide a clean and user-friendly interface for our users! 

If you want to learn how to create a simple Google Search ad within minutes, check out our blog ‘How to create a Google Search ad for beginners’! In that blog, we go over all the steps you need to take to set up your first search ad!

Advertising on social media

As a small business owner, it might be scary to spend your hard-earned money on social media advertising – especially if it’s something you haven’t done before. And sure, based on your target audience, budget or marketing goals, not every social media platform might be right for your business. With that in mind, it’s better to just stick with the two most well-known platforms: Facebook & Instagram! 

Even if your business doesn’t have a large following on Facebook or Instagram, they’re still great channels for driving brand awareness, traffic and generating new customers. 

Creating photo ads on Facebook and Instagram

One of the most common types of ads on Facebook and Instagram are photo ads. These ads feature a single image, some ad copy (text) and a clear call-to-action (CTA) to promote your products or brand.

Since you would just need one single image to create this ad, photo ads are generally the simplest ad formats in terms of visual asset needs. 

Here are two examples of Photo Ads on Facebook (left) and Instagram (right), which take people to the specific product page featured in the image (ad creative). 

How To Advertise Your Online Store | Photo Ad Facebook & Instagram | The Next Ad

When creating a photo ad on Facebook or Instagram, your ad should include:

• Image: It’s important to have a nice and eye-catching image if you want your ad to stand out from the rest of the posts. If you have any nice pictures of your own which you could use to promote your online store already, that’s great! Definitely use those. If you don’t have any pictures, consider making a few or check out unsplash.com for some beautiful and freely-usable images that relate to your business!

• Primary text: The primary text of your photo ad shows up above the image of your Facebook ad or below the image of your Instagram ad. Since for Facebook ads, this is the first text thing people see and for Instagram, it’s the only text people see, the primary ad text is considered to be the most important text of your ad. Check out this blog to find out how to write good copy for your ads!

Headline (Facebook only): Ad headlines appear underneath your ad’s visual and are usually quite short. Even though primary text come before the headline, it still offers you another opportunity to strengthen your overall message! You might want to highlight a sale, a specific USP, or just specify which product you’re promoting.

• CTA button: The call-to-action button encourages people to take the next step. Facebook & Instagram offer many different button options, but when creating an ad for your online store, it’s often great to stick with the ‘Shop Now’ button

• URL: This one speaks for itself – you need to provide an URL to which the ad links. If you’re promoting/showing a specific product in the photo ad, make sure to link directly to that product’s landing page as well. You don’t want to confuse or disappoint people by leading them to a page that’s irrelevant to your ad!


How To Advertise Your Online Store | Photo Ad Facebook & Instagram | The Next Ad

• Instagram Photo Ad Specs: 

File type: .jpg or .png
Maximum file size: 30MB
Landscape image: 1200 x 628 px
Square image: 1080 x 1080 px
Vertical Image: 600 x 750 px
Primary text limit: 2200 characters (125 is recommended)

Facebook Photo Ad Specs:

File type: .jpg or .png
Square image: 1080 x 1080 px
Landscape image: 1200 x 628 px
Primary text limit: 125 characters
Headline text limit: 25 characters


Creating carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram

Carousels are great ad formats when promoting products from your online store, as they enable you to showcase anywhere from 2 to 10 images within a single ad, that people can view by swiping (or clicking) through. 

Being such an interactive ad format, carousel ads offer a very engaging way to promote your business! You could use carousel ads to showcase different products at once, to highlight multiple promotions, or to display different features or benefits or a product. 

Here are two examples of Carousel Ads on Facebook (left) and Instagram (right), linking to different products Your Online Store is offering.

Similar to the Photo Ads, when creating a carousel ad on Facebook or Instagram, your ad should include:

• Images: Per carousel card, you’ll have to add one image. 

• Primary text: Like the Photo Ads, when creating a Carousel Ad on Facebook, it will appear above the images. Be sure to write a copy that is relevant or applies to all of the displayed cards below. For Instagram, this text will actually appear underneath the text of the headlines.

• Headlines: When creating Carousel Ads, you can provide different headlines per card. This is an absolute must if you’re promoting different products or deals.

• CTA button: Pick 1 type of call-to-action button to be applied to all of the cards within the carousel ad.

• URL: Again, if you’re promoting multiple products or promotions, be sure to provide the correct URL for each carousel card.

• Description (Facebook only): With Facebook Carousel Ads, you’re able to add one more line of text within the carousel card.


• Facebook Carousel Ad Specs:

File type: .jpg or .png
Min. number of cards: 1
Max. number of cards: 10
Image: 1080 x 1080 px
Primary text:  125 characters
Headline: 25 characters
Description: 20 characters

• Instagram Carousel Ad Specs:

File type: .jpg or .png
Min. number of cards: 1
Max. number of cards: 10
Image: 1080 x 1080 px
Primary text limit: Two rows of text will be displayed
Headline text limit: One row of text will be displayed

Creating Facebook &  Instagram ads

There are now 2 ways to create ads for your business on Facebook and Instagram. One way is to create ads in the Facebook Ads Manager. This is Facebook’s ‘original’ ad creation tool, in which you can use all options, functions and settings the platform offers users to create their ad campaigns. 

The Facebook Ads Manager is an extensive ad creation tool, often overwhelming or confusing users who are just starting out with advertising. If you want to have more control over all of your ad settings or if you are more advanced with Facebook advertising, the Ads Manager will offer you the most advertising possibilities.

If you really just want to keep advertising as simple as possible, you’ll probably want to opt for using Facebook’s Ad Centre. This is a (very) simplified version of Facebook’s Ads Manager, making it easier for users to set up some ads on Facebook and Instagram. 

For the sake of keeping it as simple as possible in this blog, we’ll be checking out how to create your ads in the Facebook Ad Centre.

*First, make sure your business’ Instagram account is linked to your Facebook page!* 

Alright, let’s create your first ad!

How to create Facebook & Instagram ads in the Ad Centre

Please note: The ‘Ad Centre’ is a simplified version of the Ads Manager, meaning you won’t have the same elaborate functions. When working in the Ad Centre instead of the Ads Manager, you won’t be able to provide separate URLs and descriptions for the different carousel cards. 

    1. On your business’ Facebook page, click on the ‘More’ tab and then on ‘Ad centre’ tab in the top of the page menu.
    2. Click on ‘Create Ad’. This should trigger a window to pop up, asking you how you would like to grow your business. In this case, we’re going to select the ‘Get more website visitors’ option.
    3. Now, a new window should appear. This is where we’ll be creating your ad from start to finish – easy as that!
    4. Provide one URL you would like your ad to link to.
    5. Select which type of image format you would like to use for your ad. (In this case, we’re using either Single Image (photo Ad) or Carousel.
    6. If you’re creating a Photo Ad and have selected Single Image, your next step is to upload the image you want to use from your library or to use free stock images provided by Facebook. If you’re creating a Carousel Ad, your next step is to upload images for each carousel card you want to use.
    7. After selecting your image(s), add your headline(s) & primary text and pick a call-to-action button.
    8. Great, we’re almost done creating your ad! The only thing left to do now is to pick an audience, set your ad budget and duration, and to select in which currency you’d like to pay.
    9. Click the blue ‘Promote’ button on the bottom right and your ad is up and running – congrats!

Over to you!

That’s it! You now know how to set up some simple ads on Google, Facebook and Instagram. If you want to know why it’s better to run ads on all three platforms simultaneously, be sure to check out this blog in order to take your online advertising to a higher level!

If you don’t understand everything right away, that’s completely normal! Like many other things, online advertising takes some practice and some trial and error. But don’t worry, we’ll be here to help you every step of the way!

Be sure to keep an eye open for any of our next blogs, as we continuously upload more content to help out starting advertisers!

Also, don’t forget to check out our free Google Advertising tool! It’s easy to use and our support team is always happy to help you with any questions you may have! 😉   

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