Aligning Your Paid Ad Strategy to Your Buyer’s Journey

aligning your paid ad strategy to the buyer's journey

How to Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time


A Quick Refresh

“Buyer’s journey, what’s that?” If you haven’t read our blog post on Creating a Buyer’s Journey and Content Marketing Map, we outlined what a buyer’s journey is and specifically how to build a content strategy that helps you communicate the right messages to the right people at the right time. Now in this blog post, we want to show you how your buyer’s journey can also guide your paid ad strategy for more successful marketing campaigns.

Beth Becomes a Home Sweet Home Customer Through a Targeted Paid Ad Strategy

Allow us to paint the picture – Your business is Home Sweet Home builders. Here we have Beth who is looking for a quality home builder. You have already outlined your buyer’s journey and have come up with content and promotional ideas to capture Beth’s attention. Your desired action is to get Beth to fill out a “request more information” form and eventually sign a contract to choose you as her home builder. Here is what Beth’s buyer’s journey and content / promotional strategy outline looks like:

Now that we have caught you up to speed, we will walk you through how to take it a step further by aligning your paid ad strategy to the buyer’s journey. The paid ad channels you choose – such as social media ads (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram), Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords), and third-party ads such as sponsored emails and blog posts – will depend greatly on your buyer persona. “What’s a buyer persona?” – check out our blog post on buyer personas to learn more about why knowing your audience is the first place to start.

Why It’s Important to Align Your Paid Ad Strategy to the Buyer’s Journey

Having your ads aligned to the buyer’s journey is incredibly important because it creates campaigns that are highly targeted and that resonate with the person(s) viewing it, wherever they may be in their purchasing process. The intended result of a strong paid ad strategy aligned to the buyer’s journey is an increase in your conversion rate and ultimate impact on sales.

“Okay, so how can I set up a paid ad strategy aligned to the buyer’s journey?”

We’re glad you asked! This process can vary based on your specific industry and products/services, but we usually recommend having three different types of campaigns to align to the three main phases of the typical buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

Awareness Campaigns

There are usually two different approaches to awareness paid ad campaigns: create a prospecting campaign for those who might not know of your business and/or create a campaign to remain top of mind among those who may have already heard about your business. For awareness campaigns, you want to reach a wide and broad audience. Best ad options for the awareness stage typically include:

  • Google Search Ads: If you are a shoe store and you want your ad to appear when someone searches for “Nearby Shoe Store”
  • Social Media Ads: Create targets based on your buyer personas’ demographics to serve your ads to the correct audiences.
  • Third-Party Ads: If you have it in your budget, look into advertising with publications or other websites related to your industry where you know your buyers are spending time and gathering trusted information. Tactics can include sponsored blog posts, sponsored emails such as ad space in newsletters or dedicated email sends, and much more.
Consideration Campaigns

For your consideration campaigns, we recommend setting up remarketing through paid ads. It’s as simple as installing a string of code to your website. From there, you can set up a targeted audience of website visitors. Ads can be served to that targeted audience to help remind them of your business and encourage them to take the next step along the buyer’s journey. Best ad options for the consideration stage typically include:

  • Google Display Ads: Create graphic display ads for the Google Search Network that will serve your ad on websites your buyer personas may visit
  • Social Media Remarketing: Remarketing can be done across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To launch a Facebook/Instagram remarketing campaign, you’ll need to set up a pixel on your website to create an audience out of website visitors. Then, you can create ads to serve that audience of website visitors when they scroll through their social media feed. Since these are ads targeted to people who have previously visited your website, it’s important to add any key differentiators and communicate value that will encourage them to come back to your website and continue their journey. 
Decision Campaigns

Your buyer persona is almost ready to commit to a “conversion” (filling out a form or purchasing), but may need that extra push. If you have a separate pixel installed to capture data when they visit a purchase page or contact form page (but did not take an action), you can remarket to them again. In these ads you should communicate an incentive to get them to complete the conversion action intended. Best ad options for the decision stage typically include:

  • Remarketing: Continue remarketing through Google Ads and/or social media platforms, but include some type of offer or incentive i.e. free consultation, 10% off offer, free trial, etc.
  • You can also create a compelling ad by displaying customer testimonials to help create added trust for the buyer persona.

Let’s See This in Action

Below we have revised the same buyer’s journey that Beth goes through when searching for a home builder. We created an ad plan that aligns with the steps Beth takes when looking for a home builder.

Best Practices

Below are some best practices to keep in mind as you put this into action for your business.

Create Landing Pages

When you set up ads, especially in the consideration and decision phase, it’s usually best practice to drive traffic to a landing page with a form to optimize for conversions. By sending them to a landing page you are able to provide them with more information and give a clear message as to what you want them to do (i.e. sign up for a demo or consultation, etc.). Your goal with these ads is to optimize for conversions, so you want to make your messaging is clear and encourages them to convert into customers.

Remarketing Tracking

For any remarketing campaigns, make sure you have the proper tracking in place. It’s completely necessary to correctly install the proper tracking codes and create ad audiences with the those codes so that they are enabled correctly for remarketing.

This Isn’t The Only Solution for Conversions

While it is great to allocate some marketing budget to paid advertising, you need to make sure your additional marketing efforts such as social media, blog or written content, email and SEO don’t fall to the wayside. We suggest that any paid efforts work in tandem with organic efforts, using every avenue possible to reach your buyer personas where they prefer to receive information.

Now Get to Work

Our hope is that you are able to create highly targeted paid ad campaigns that will result in more conversions. Planning a paid ad strategy that aligns with your buyer’s journey will continue to help you send the right messages to the right people at the right time, resulting in higher conversions and more revenue. The main goal of this type of paid ad strategy is to remain top of mind and nurture your buyers through their journey all the way to when they become a customer!  


If you are looking for help in setting up your next paid ad campaign, please contact us for more information. We’d love to learn more about your business and goals and strategize with you on your next marketing campaign.

About the author

Adrianna is a marketing consultant for Kadence Collective and Kadence Digital. She is a content creator fanatic and loves creating campaigns both paid and organic to help companies meet their goals. In her free time, she likes to explore the city of Austin, trying new restaurants, going to concerts and networking with others.