AddThis Feed Button
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Free Newsletter Signup

Not-So-News Flash: Paid Traffic costs money… sometimes lots of it. So, the last thing you want to do is drain your marketing budget to paying for low-quality, unengaged traffic.

To help you make the most of your marketing dollars, here are some key questions to think about before you begin your next paid traffic campaign.

1. Who’s your target audience?

This is a simple question, but fundamental. If you’re selling designer fitness wear, then you may want to define your target more narrowly than ‘Men and Women between ages 18 and 24.” Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for whole swathes of people who don’t know the difference between Lululemon and citrus fruit.

Put your thinking cap on and figure out who you expect to buy your product. Who’s your ideal customer? Break out a white board and write down everything you come up with. Take that information and boil it down into a customer avatar.

As an example, here’s a customer avatar we created for Drop Ship Lifestyle.

Basic Info

Name: Jacob

Age: 34

Relationship Status: Married

Household: 2 KidsEducation: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Employment: Information Technology Specialist

Household Income: $130,000/yr

Interests: Technology, Golf, and Travel

Religion: Non-practicing Catholic

Favorite Brands: Apple, Under Armour, Nike, Chipotle

Favorite Websites: Facebook, Reddit

Personal Goals: Improve his handicap (golf) and find meaning at work

Business Goals: Build a second source of income alongside his day job

Family Goals: Secure finances, spend more time with the kids, and take more vacations

What problems is Jacob currently experiencing?

Jacob’s hit a ceiling at work. Dissatisfied with his position and income, he wants to go into business for himself. With a wife and two kids, however, he can’t give up his day job. He’s investigated different side businesses, but everything seems too expensive or time intensive.

What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t help Jacob?

Since Jacob is unhappy at work, his performance may suffer. He could potentially lose his job. He’ll have to drain his savings account to support his family. Eager to take the first job that comes along, he may find himself in an even more worse job situation than before. With such a hit to his finances and ego, he may never find the confidence to start a business.

What keeps Jacob up at night?

Jacob is plagued by the thought that he could spend his entire life toiling away at a job he doesn’t love and still not be able to put his kids through school or buy his wife a new car.

What does Jacob want more than anything else?

To supplement his income so that he could bring in a few thousand dollars a month without having to leave his day job.

What would he be willing to drain his bank account for?

Jacob would gladly pay someone to show him how they were able to build their own side business without investing a ton of their own money or leaving their day job.

How does my product match up with Jacob’s situation?

Right now, Jacob doesn’t know what he needs. He wants to become an entrepreneur, but reading hundreds of articles on has only left him confused. With DSL’s coaching program, we can introduce him to eCommerce and show him how to build a lucrative, scalable business with a minimum of time and money invested.

2. Where does my target audience spend their time?

Of course, you’re not going to look for Jacob specifically—we made him up out of thin air, remember? Still, you’re going to want to find people just like Jacob. To do that, you need to know where those types of people hang out.

Are they on social media? Can you find them on Facebook or Reddit? Twitter or Youtube? If so, then those would be great options for your paid traffic campaign.

On the other hand, maybe they’re members of that rare breed who choose not to use social media. Perhaps they’re more into browsing “serious” outlets like CNN or NPR. In that case, either you can advertise directly on those sites or use Google Adsense to retarget those users.

The basic principle is what matters here: think hard about where your target audience spends their time on the web and tailor your ad campaigns to hit them where they already are.

3. How do I get my target audience to notice and respond?

Whether you’re optimizing an ad itself or its corresponding landing page, you absolutely must speak in a way that resonates with your target audience and convinces them you’re worth engaging with.

If for example, your paid traffic is pointed at a lead magnet of some sort, you need to convince people that it’ll tangibly improve their lives. Make sure your copy clearly answers this question: why should they fork over their private contact information to download your content?

Here are a few ways we like to do that:

  • Make sure your audience knows exactly what they’re getting.
  • Capture their emotions by painting a picture of how your content will benefit them.
  • Clearly explain to your audience how they can use your content to succeed in life.
  • Provide examples of real people who’ve succeeded with this specific piece of content.

Remember to treat your audience as you would a friend. Put yourself in their place and ask, “what would I need to hear to be convinced that this product is what I need?”


Take the time to answer these three questions honestly and comprehensively. Think hard about who your ideal customers are. Then, find out where they hang out and how your ads can meet them there and to compel them to act.

If you can line up your answers to these three questions, you’ll never again let your paid traffic dollars go to waste.

About the Author

Caitlin is an Austin-based digital marketer with a passion for content and social media marketing. She is the newest member of the Performance Marketer team and brings years of writing and marketing experience.



Comments are closed.

Have an expert opinion on issues entrepreneurs and small business owners face everyday? Join the Experts Network and share your expertise with the community!

The new GE Experts Network is inviting seasoned entrepreneurs and small business owners to come on board and contribute small business advice to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. If you have an effective way of generating sales or you know how to use social networking to connect with your customers, join us in providing wider entrepreneurial content that would benefit small business owners worldwide.

Click Here to Learn More >>

Free BIZNESS Newsletter
Enter your name and email address below to receive updates whenever a new article is posted on Experts Network, a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs.

  Meet Our GE Network Experts!

Meet Our GE Network Experts!

Recommended Resources


  • Enter your name and email address below to receive updates whenever a new article is posted on Experts Network, a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs.

Recent Comments

About is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.


Enter your name and email address below to receive updates whenever a new article is posted on Experts Network: