So I heard through this site that when you are a start up and have a really tight budget for marketing but need leads try a small campaign with google adwords. Is this correct? If so can someone educate me on how to effectively and tightly manage my campaign so my cost doesn't get out of control...
There's no reason not to try an AdWords campaign if you can find an almost-free coupon. (Google expects you to buy about $10 worth of advertising to open an account to use the coupon).
I assume you know the basics of AdWords. (If not the Dummies guide isn't bad).
Here are some things I've learned:
Advertising copy and choice of keywords is the hard part. Put yourself in the position of someone who might be looking for what you supply. What keywords would you type to find a company like yours? Ask other people what they would use if they were looking for your products and services. What would make you actually click on an ad?
And keep an eye on that distinction between a click and a sale/lead.
(Apologies in advance for over-emphasizing this but I've seen people ignore this distinction and waste ridiculous amounts of money as a result.)
Suppose a sale/lead is worth $25.
If 1% of people who click through actually buy, then break-even for a click is $25/100 = $0.25. If you pay more than that for a click, you are creating a loss.
Or to look at things another way, if clicks cost $0.05 and 1% of visitors buy, then the cost per sale is $0.05 * 100 = $5.00.
I am no expert with Adwords, but I would venture that there are several better ways to advertise for bootstrap startups than Adwords.
The best way to test is to search for a free coupon from Adwords. They are usually around $100 and you should be able to find the code via a Twitter search.
You will probably go through the $$ rather quickly, but hopefully you will learn how to be more efficient with it!
What type of business and/or product are you trying to advertise? There is lots of material already out on the web about utilizing Google Adwords. Be sure to watch your per click limit or daily/weekly/monthly budget. One of the big keys is identifying the right keywords via one of the many keyword tools available on the web (including Google's).
Adwords can drain the budget if not monitored carefully. To be on the safe side, start with a low budget but high cost per click. You will get low number of visitors. In the meanwhile keep building content on your website. The more relevant you get more cheaper the bidding price becomes.