I Have Run Paid Ads on an Incredible Array of Networks, Including Some Many Little-Known Ones.

The secret to running paid ads is knowing what you want to accomplish and how much accomplishing it is worth to your business.

Google Ads

My most successful Google search ads campaign to date was for Arbonne International. I am paying between 2 and 4 cents per click and getting a consistent 15x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). I usually make 4 to 5x in profit over ad spend.

In total, I would guess that I have set up and managed well over 100 campaigns on the search network and a dozen more display campaigns.

Some of the search campaigns include lead generation for local deck builders, window installers, chiropractors, dentists and roofers. I've also run national ads for my writing, SEO and lead generation services.

I've also run display ads for chiropractors and dentists but with a lesser degree of success.

Currently, I am testing Google search ads for Welcome Widgets. It is a challenging campaign because apart from "better website conversions", there aren't a lot of keywords that people would be typing into Google. My gut feeling is that either Quora or Youtube ads will end up being more effective.

Youtube Ads

While Google does own Youtube, I'm separating these out because they're quite different. I have run almost every type of ad possible on Youtube, some with excellent results.

I am currently running video ads to drive traffic and leads to WelcomeWidgets.com. Too early to tell if these will be successful but the metrics are looking very good.

I have also run display ads over specific videos to promote everything from drone pilot jobs to my writing services. With proper tracking, these types of ads can perform surprisingly well with very little budget.

Facebook Ads

In the past, I had great success running ads to lead generation pages as well as ecommerce products. More recently, I find FB to be more beneficial for lead generation - especially in local markets.

During the pandemic, I made this case study video in which I was able to get 2 cent clicks off of Facebook for a deck builder. 

I'm currently running lead gen campaigns for a chiropractor in Calgary and generating a consistent 5-7 leads per day at approximately $4 per lead. 

Instagram Ads

When I was running More Deck Sales, I generated a ton of leads through paid ads on Instagram. Those were for my own business working with deck builders as well as running B2C campaigns to generate leads for the deck builders that became my clients.

I also ran numerous campaigns just to grow followers and engagement for deck builders. This has since become prohibitively costly and I wouldn't recommend it. There are smarter ways to grow a legitimate following on Instagram.

Quora Ads

After much investigating, I was told that Quora may be a good traffic source for B2B service providers. I'm currently running video and text ads to drive traffic to Welcome Widgets. So far the cost per click has been very reasonable but I have yet to push much past break even. However, I do know that my landing page and offer can be improved.

Taboola Ads

It is tough to overlook a network with such massive amounts of traffic at such a low cost per click. I was running a number of profitable campaigns to Clickbank offers when the Taboola servers got hacked and someone spent all of my budget on a VPN offer I'd never seen before.

Dozens of accounts were affected and as far as I know, none of us got our money back. I know that native ads can be effective but I'll never work with Taboola again.

Private Placements

I have a unique method of being able to place ads on private websites that either don't offer advertising or don't offer advertising to the extent that I would like. The process isn't foolproof but I have been able to get entire advertorials on some high traffic and very relevant sites for my own promotions as well as for clients.

The most success I had with this was being able to place client ads on the thank you pages of very large publishers. This service blossomed into DFY Email Marketing which ran for almost a year and served over 40 customers. We averaged a cost of 34 cents per email optin across all B2C verticals before the service was disbanded in early 2023.

Email Placements

I am not as chuffed about email marketing as I have been in the past but it can still be very effective to pay for ads within an email newsletter or pay for a solo ad in lists that are relevant to your product or service.