It's not just the big brands with their million dollar PPC budgets that recognize the need for pay per click advertising. It's simply the most effective online customer acquisition campaign channel. But a great number of AdWords and Facebook advertisers have monthly budgets under $1,000. How do they spend their limited dollars most effectively?
Commit to starting with a solid testing plan: Let's say this is your first time trying PPC advertising. You suspect that Google AdWords and Facebook Ads my help your business aquire new customers or qualified traffic to your web site. You are on the right track. Pay per click advertising works in retail, travel, technology, B2B and simply driving the right people to your site. But your resources to prove it are limited to $1,000/month. The greatest danger at this point is spending $1,000 and proving nothing one way or the other. So a solid testing plan with built in flexibility is essential for success. For example, you will be tempted to manage the test campaign to make your $1,000 last for 30 days, spending an equal amount each day. In my experience, that rarely makes sense. In order to gather enough response data to learn what's working (and what's not), I tend to spend it over 1 - 2 weeks instead. I have a hard time learning anything from a drip, drip, drip of impressions and clicks that $30/day buys me. On the other hand, $100 day spent wisely can give me some indication of where to focus. Even better, save $3,000 for the test phase and speed up your learning over the first month.
I'll focus later some key aspects of a solid test plan, but if you are not willing to trust the process, you'll pull the plug after the first $100 spent because you don't see acceptable sales numbers. I don't know of a successful advertising program that didn't start with a test campaign involving trial and error up front. Advertisers that were willing to trust the process with a solid test plan reaped the rewards down the road.
The key here is to resist testing half-heartedly. Be committed with a good test plan and you will break through a barrier that many advertisers are afraid to approach.