Google, Facebook and Instagram have become a fundamental part of our lives and for anyone running a business – it’s inevitable to ignore them. Are you up to date on how to most effectively use them to grow your business?

Are you ready to get the scoop on how to get paid online advertising to work? This is part one of our series on online advertising and how to get it working for you and your business. In this article you’ll get a snapshot introduction on how to conquer advertising on Google, Instagram and Facebook. In separate articles, we’ll go into more detail.

But first things first: let’s look at what online advertising actually is.

Advertising vs Organic

Online, there are two main ways to reach new customers. The first is organic, which is best done through using hashtags, UGC (user generated content) and SEO (search engine optimisation) when you post on your channels. This is the kind of thing you should be doing all the time as it’s free and effective.

The second is paid or ‘boosted’ posts, which is online speak for advertising. This is similar to the traditional ads we see on television, billboards or newspapers. Except that online you have the chance to attract a much larger, global audience. Got it? Let’s move on.

Before you start

As with everything in business, before you start planning what channel you want to go on or the budget you can spend, you should ask yourself what you are trying to achieve.

A good place to start is by thinking about where your customers are. Do they use social media or are they more likely to Google? This is easy to find out if you think in terms of their age, their gender and their location.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve – before you start planning which channel to use.

Google Adwords

Let’s start with something that almost everyone uses: Google. In basic terms, this is how it works: Google allows businesses to buy words to help their customers find them faster. For example, say you sell fairtrade coffee, you could buy the words ‘fairtrade coffee’ so that when people search this term, your page will come up as a result. It’s a little more complex than this but we’ll get into that in another article.

In short, adwords are a great way to help new potential customers find you. And with 3.5 billion Google searches every day there is a lot of people you could be attracting.

To find out more about this, read Advertising online: Google Adwords.


Again, this is a basic breakdown of how to use this channel. So here are some things you need to know. There are two ways to advertise on Instagram: the first is in Instagram’s feed, the second is in Stories. This is a relatively new feature and is a little trickier to use right now but with 300 million on the platform using Stories, it’s an option worth exploring.

Instagram started advertising back in 2015 and a lot has changed since then. With 800 million monthly users and 500 million daily users, there is a lot of opportunity. If you’ve got mostly female customers, it could be the right channel for you as 68% of Instagram users are female.  

More to come on this in our upcoming article.


Now, let’s look at Facebook. As the biggest social media network in the world with over 2 billion users, it’s hard to ignore its power when it comes to social media advertising. From photo, to carousel to canvas ads, there are many options to choose from. This giant might seem intimidating but with its  user-friendly interface – it is famously easy to use.

In fact, 95.8% of social media marketers worldwide have said Facebook provides the best ROI (return of investment) of all social platforms.

Our upcoming article will go through all of the options so you feel equipped to make the right decision.


Online advertising is a great way to reach new customers and get them to engage with your brand and service in your online shop. Again, similar to traditional advertising, it’s important to establish your goals before you decide to start budgeting your money. One effective way to do this is by using the SMART goal technique:

Equipment recap

  • Specific: For example: Do you want more traffic to your website or more people buying directly?
  • Measurable: Do you have the means to track whether this is working or not?
  • Achievable: Can you honestly reach your KPI from where you are?
  • Relevant: Does this make sense to your business?
  • Time restricted: When is the deadline?

Key takeaways

  • Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve
  • Ask yourself who your customer is
  • Ask yourself where your customer spends time
  • Set yourself KPIs
  • Set yourself SMART goals
  • Remember: with the right mindset you either win or you learn. It’s all part of helping you build the business you love.

Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes in this series. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to our newsletter through the link below!