How Not To Waste Money with Paid Advertising

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Waste Money on Paid Advertising

If you’re into e-commerce, you’ve probably been searching for ways to improve your paid advertising strategy. It’s very easy to start flushing money down-the-drain if you don’t do the necessary vetting prior to sending out your ad campaigns. With any advertisement, there is the risk that it will flop and you won’t make the money you think you will, however, there are strategies to mitigate the risks.

This article will show you how to flatten the learning curve and get you on the right track as soon as possible. There will still be the risk of wasting your money, but if you employ these tactics you will know with a higher degree of certainty whether or not your ads will be successful.

Before you start spending your money on an adset, try and run your product or service through this ringer and see if you’re strategy passes the test.

If you’re selling a product, using other sites that track how many products are sold and the reviews about those products is a great place to figure out if you’re on the right track. Even if your exact product isn’t being sold yet, you can use other e-commerce sites to gauge the viability of the product. is a great place to start. It will tell you what’s hot and what’s not.

Just make a free account and start looking for products in your industry then use the data to compare price, customer reviews, and buying habits to understand how you should customize your advertising approach. is a good place to spy on your competition. If you’re about to create an adset on Facebook or Google Adwords, check out what your competition’s ad looks like already.

Why reinvent the wheel if you can know what works for your competition. Then adjust the copy, videos, and images to your product.

If you find that ad online, you should go through their sales funnel to see what they are doing. You might realize that what they are doing is completely wrong and create a huge advantage for yourself by side-stepping their approach and cornering the market.

Google Trends

Google Trends is one of the first places that I go to understand the market I am in. Before I construct any ad, I will enter in all the main keywords I’m intending to use the search bar. This will tell me if people already have these terms in mind. If the trend looks favorable then I use it, if not I change the wording and find similar words that mean the same thing.

Here’s a quick example of the tactic I just described…

Let’s say, I’m a digital marketer that specializes in writing blogs for companies. I could say that I’m a blogger, but given the trend is shown below it doesn’t look like a favorable chart over the last five years.

Paid Advertising Blogger

Another way to describe professional self is as a content marketer, which in this case has a growing interest over the last five years.

Paid Advertising Content Marketer

Considering that blogging is part of content marketing and the chart showing that searches for content marketing are on the rise and blogging is not, I should market myself as a content marketer with a blogging specialty instead of just a blogger.

Try this will your own business, and plug-in synonyms for your industry and products. Maybe there is a better way to describe yourself or your product.

SEM Rush is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools on the internet, but for the purposes of knowing what will work for your ads, use SEMrush to further understand more about your competition’s keyword selection. By simply entering in your website and their website at the top of the search bar, you can see exactly what terms their using in comparison to what you’re using.

If you’re using Google Adwords, you can see which keywords are the most expensive by comparing the competitive rate of each word or phrase. What you should do is look for terms that have a growing search trend, low competitive rate, and a low cost. If you create ads and content surrounding this term, you’ll find a deal and solidify your position for that term or phrase.


Paid Advertising Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is another great place to find out what is being shared on social media. If you’re using Facebook or LinkedIn ads, you should use this website for insight into what kinds of headlines and articles are being shared the most. If you start to see viral trends in certain kinds of information that relates to your industry you’ll have a good idea of where you need to start.

There are a large number of similarities, between headlines and ads online. Simply put, if you can write headlines, you can write ads, so study headlines that work. If you need help with creating a solid headline, either hire a copy editor or check out this article by Hubspot to learn the ins and outs of headline generation.

They also have a pretty cool headline generator tool. Check it out, but keep in mind that it’s an algorithm that generates the results.

Facebook Audience Insights

If you’ve been following this blog for a little while, you know that I think Facebook Audience Insights is one of the most underused free platforms on the internet for marketing data. All you have to know is how to interpret the information and apply it to your adsets.

With all the variety of information on Facebook Audience Insights, you can assemble the highest converting ads today. Facebook ads are still at a fair price, so if you’re considering to use the platform, you have my blessing if you use Audience Insights first.

Check these this advanced guide to learn everything you need to know about Audience Insights.


If e-commerce is your game and you have your own website, you should check eBay to make sure that your products or similar products are doing well already. What you’re hoping for is there are a lot of completed listings and favorable reviews.

Buyers on eBay tend to be a little savvier than Facebook or Amazon. Facebook seems to be an impulse buyer’s heaven and eBay is often times the best place for the price.

Paid Advertising Watchcount

If you want to take your eBay research to the next level, then go to to see what’s hot on eBay and what’s not.

What this website shows you are the sold items and the price for the product you sell. Here you can see what prices people are paying for what you sell. If you see your product is hot and the demand is high, then jack up your prices and run a Facebook ad directly to your product page.

With a solid video and some persuasive copy, you’ll be able to drive serious traffic and get your customer’s credit cards out.


If you’re selling custom products, Etsy is one of the best places to sell them and find out if items like yours are selling. Use this website for a price comparison and to understand which search terms your customers are using to find products like yours.

Remember, each of these sites has similar, but slightly different, search algorithms. Don’t just do one search and make your conclusion. This tip and all the others should be something you do at least once a month to keep tabs on where things are going in your industry.

Ali Express

Ali Express is another great place to see if your products are selling overseas. Many e-commerce giants are using Ali Express to cheaply source their products. If you’re dropshipping, you should use Ali Express if not another provider.

However, Ali Express does have a lot of lower quality items. They might have a great picture and description, but the seller might be unprofessional and lying about the quality of the product. It’s always best to try the product out for yourself. If there are any “hiccups” with the shipping, charges, and integrity of the product, I would scrap that product in search of another.

Some of the search criteria I always select to improve my chances of finding good products and providers are the “4-stars and up box” and look for Top Brands with over 3 years of experience. These criteria still yield some “lemons,” but they will significantly improve your chances of success.

Pulling It All Together

All of these websites and strategies will give you insight that will help you mitigate your paid advertising trials and tribulations. It’s not an easy business, and that’s why using all of these tactics together to get 30,000-foot-view of your industry and adset will improve your ability to spend wisely.

What kills most businesses that use paid advertising is their lack of information and bad budgeting. With every ad platform, making sure there is a successful path to follow will help you in the beginning. However, learning how to spend your money and how much to spend per adset will keep you in the black.

For more information on running successful ads on Facebook, follow this link to the next article.

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Anthony Catullo