The beauty of digital advertising is that you can track and make adjustments to your advertising campaigns for the better as often as you need because everything is real-time tracking. You can monitor and make improvements instantly, with the power to adjust or pause any of your creatives. Unlike traditional advertising, having to re-shoot that commercial all over again or re-create and publish your print campaign when it's not bringing in the return, can be time consuming and costly.
Keeping an eye on your campaign and optimising your advertising is the key in turning your strategy into success. We know that time and time again it's something that most marketers struggle to stay on top of. We've seen it happen when we create strategies based on pure speculation and assumptions. The key is to understand why a campaign is performing the way it is and keep track of any changes.
Digital advertising seems to be the right way to go for your brand, but how can you make sure you're maximising performance and boosting return on investment (ROI)? There are a few best practices to keep in mind to garner the best results possible. Below you will find some simple steps and tactics that can be integrated quickly and efficiently into your digital campaigns.
The importance of real-time analytics
Establishing your campaign reporting based on real-time data means the more informed you will be. Based on the campaign numbers, you will have the ability to make more powerful decisions and optimise your marketing campaign much more effectively. Whether the numbers aren't the ones you were hoping for, don't run away from them. Collect and closely analyse the right metrics so that you can steer your strategy in a better direction.
Defining your campaign goals and KPIs should be the very first step towards launching any campaign. Here you should decide what exactly you want to achieve through your digital campaign. Once your campaign goes live, you'll want to track your KPIs several times a day - once a day at a minimum, especially when digital campaign performance data is real-time. If your campaign isn't meeting your benchmark KPIs, then there are several ways you can make changes to improve performance with the following tweaks.
5 steps in driving better campaign results:
1. Know your target audience
The complexity of consumer behaviour has changed, and with it so has the way we advertise to them. Defining your target audience is closely tied with your campaign goals and fully grasping who your audience is, and how to best market to them is a critical component of your marketing strategy. You need to know who you want your buyers to be before you try to market to them. Online advertising lets you reach a large and diverse set of people, which is why clearly defining your target audience is imperative because no matter how amazing your brand is, your ads may not resonate with everyone equally. Not everyone is looking to purchase your product or service, and displaying your ads to these people will chew into your budget.
So how do you target the right people? If you're like most marketers, you probably have already created customer profiles or buyer personas. These profiles should describe your typical buyers based on demographic, psychographic and behavioural attributes. With these customer descriptions, you can determine who you'll target through the digital campaign.
If you don't have your target audience well-defined, start with creating customer profiles based on primary research and past customers, and define who your typical buyers are. With this information about your target audience behaviour, creating ads that will appeal to them and place them where they're most likely to be seen. You also have the option to retarget to users that have visited their website but not yet taken a desired action, such as filling our a form or making a purchase.
2. Your ads must have a clear CTA
Your campaign should encourage your audience to take action. Buy Now, Book a Flight, Get a Free Quote - whatever the next steps are, it should be displayed on the actual creative itself. A successful campaign contains a clear and compelling CTA. This button should tell the user what the next step is and show how they get from the advertisement back to your site, moving them further down the funnel and closer to the point of conversion.
Ensure that the CTA that you use, fits with the voice and tone of your brand, service or products, and completely obvious to the user. Anything ambiguous can confuse the user, and even if they click on your CTA, arriving on the landing page that doesn't meet their expectation, you could still lose out on the conversion. Now that being said, the next very important aspect of your campaign is your landing page.
3. Align your landing page with the ad copy
Ensure that your ad copy corresponds to the correct landing pages. Sending users to your homepage rather than a designated landing page that is correlated to the particular campaign can be a costly mistake. The goal of your landing page is to make it as convenient and easy as possible for visitors to convert, providing very little distance and as few barriers as possible between points A and B. For instance, if your audience clicks on your ad displaying a pair of boots and is then directed to a landing page with an entire shoe collection, you could end up losing out on converting that customer.
Most consumers are too busy to search through your entire site, and they want to find exactly what they need with ease via navigation offered on your site. Having optimised landing pages is a crucial step in generating the best performing campaigns. So much can be won or lost on your customers first click experience. If you're getting a decent click-through-rate but you're just not getting the conversions, it could be because of your landing page.
4. Remove poor performing creatives
Suppress the ads that aren't delivering so that you don't end up wasting money on ads that aren't bringing in good return. For each of your digital campaigns, it's essential that you think about where you're serving these ads. The likelihood is that the ad will appear while the user is absorbing other content somewhere else online, so the way your ad appears visually is imperative.
Failure to use imagery that is captivating or visually appealing doesn't help capture the user's attention. For brands that are more B2B, or businesses that don't have the best looking imagery, focus on telling the story of your brand to convey and give the user an expectation of what you have to offer. And keep it bold, clean and compelling!
If you're discovering a creative that is successful, or finding an alternate creative to be less effective, don't be afraid to change it. A/B test with digital ads, where you test ads with varying content, can be incredibly valuable when determining which messaging or content resonates best with your audience.
5. Increase reach on best-performing ads
Given recent advertising industry shifts, self-serve ad-buying platforms are playing an important role in the future of the industry. With a line of networks that have moved to self-serve advertising include Snapchat, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords and Spotify to name a few. These platforms along with JARVIS, provide businesses the opportunity to 'increase reach' and 'boost' campaigns with the publisher.
Once you have identified campaigns performing exceptionally well and generating interest by your audience, it's a good idea to increase your reach as its garnering engagement. Where there is opportunity for you to purchase extra inventory, your ad will be exposed to even more people and generate a higher chance of conversion. Certain campaigns may also reveal certain sub-sets of your target audience more responsive to your campaign than others. For example, you may find that audiences located in the South East are more likely to click on your ads and as a result, you may want to geo-target, or limit your campaign to that particular location.
It is important that when your campaign has finished serving, that you look at the results and deliver post-campaign insights such as information on which creatives performed well and why - does it have a price point, a special offer, or is the creative visually appealing?
Digital advertising holds a ton of potential. Most brands find it the most effective method to get their brand directly in front of a qualified and targeted user. However, if you don't have the right tools and guidelines to make your digital advertising as impactful as possible, the likelihood is that you won't see the results you'd most like to see. Keep in mind the above steps when crafting your next campaign and optimising for better results.
If you're looking to apply real-time campaign dashboards to your brand take a look at JARVIS for Digital.
- Act On - 5 Steps to set up, launch and manage an online display campaign
- Forbes - Digital marketing tips to increase your brands growth online and improve ad results
- Predict HQ - Top 10 Tips for Optimising your Digital Advertising Campaign
- Sparcmedia - 5 Steps on how to optimise your digital advertising campaigns