Knowing where and how to focus your marketing budget on paid channels is arguably more crucial than ever in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the world economy. Whether or not the current economic climate has had a direct influence on your company, marketing teams all around the world are currently giving sensible advertising investments the upper hand over those that lack a definite rate of return. Now is the moment to allocate your resources to outlets that you are confident will generate sales, as some traditional marketing options, including events and trade exhibitions, are no longer an option.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all paid advertising plan. How can you locate the channels best suited to your industry? In this article, we’ll look at a few methods for choosing where to direct your marketing spend at the moment.
Recognize the specific growth opportunities you have.
You must first identify the distinctive growth prospects for your company in order to decide where to prioritize. If only we had unlimited resources, we could invest in every advertising medium that existed. Although you may still yearn for more money to play with, it is a good practice to concentrate your budget on channels that are successful because, in reality, not every channel will produce outstanding results for your company. For comparison, most companies typically spend 7% or less of their gross revenue on marketing, with 50% of that spending increasingly going toward digital advertising. To give you an idea of scale, if 7% of a company’s budget is allotted to marketing, they would have a total of $140,000 to deal with if they had a $2 million yearly revenue. They would need to allocate at least half of it to digital media, leaving them approximately $70,000, or slightly under $6,000 each month, for paid advertising.
Depending on your sector and what you’re used to paying, $6,000 may sound like a lot to you or like nothing, but more often than not, $6,000 is a tight budget to compete for top keywords on search engines. The average cost per click (CPC) for Google Ads on the search network, according to Wordstream, is between $1 and $2 – and can go significantly higher from there. The priciest keywords in Bing Ads and Google Ads might cost $50 or more per click or more. These are typically extremely competitive keywords in sectors like law and insurance that have significant client lifetime values. Additionally, the average small business utilizing Google Ads spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on their Google paid search ads, compared to large stores who may spend up to $50 million annually.
Say the $2 million in revenue sample company invested $6,000 in Google Ads and generated 100 leads in a month, but none of them turned out to be eligible. Unless they had the chance to optimize with better audience lists, updated copy, more targeted landing pages, etc., they would have wasted all of their money on a channel that wasn’t really performing for them. When it comes to analyzing the kind of leads your advertising are generating and the caliber of discussions, technologies like call tracking may be very beneficial, especially over time or by campaign as you fine-tune your approach.
On the other hand, you can discover that a different campaign that you weren’t planning on running had a far better conversion rate. To maximize your return on investment, you must be able to swiftly change the target audience you are reaching and the conversion rates of your campaigns. You can discover that approaches or tactics you hadn’t thought of can yield the highest return on investment and offer a special chance for your company to establish a niche and expand. Thankfully, there are methods and tools that can assist you in figuring out how to prioritize your investment.
Review your present plan of action
How do you know where to be when you know you can’t be everywhere and have unlimited resources? Take an inventory of your present advertising activities as a smart first step. Here are some queries to consider:
- Where are you putting your budget to good use?
- What doesn’t produce results?
- The number of channels in your marketing mix is what?
- Would diversifying or consolidating be more advantageous?
Take a thorough inventory of the projects your team has engaged in over the last year (or longer) and assign whatever results — leads, conversions — you can to each in order to understand how each channel has affected your efforts.
Choose your metrics for success
Next, define success for your company so that you can determine which channels are efficient. Given the epidemic and current market conditions, this might turn out to be more unusual than you had previously thought. In order to avoid setting yourself up for failure with improbable goals and to have a benchmark to gauge the effects of any future changes, set realistic expectations that are in line with your prior performance. Several pointers for setting goals:
- To create your own KPIs, conduct market research on industry benchmarks for conversion rates and other data (key performance indicators).
- Implement metrics for qualified lead counts, cost per acquisition, time to conversion, overall site conversion rates, etc. so that you have a clear plan in place to determine which of your efforts are functioning effectively and which are not.
- Also, feel free to use your imagination here. For instance, if a call from a Google Ad lasted longer than two minutes and didn’t result in a sale, that could still be a sign of a quality lead and be useful information for retargeting in the future.
The appropriate tracking tools
Make sure you also have resources in place, such Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, to precisely measure and report on those outcomes. When you combine GA’s capabilities with Tag Manager, which makes it simple to add tags, you can track and set goals for actions like downloading files, clicking specific links, and adding or removing items from shopping carts. Tag Manager is a tool that helps you gather information about how people use and navigate your website.
Set up event tracking and goals in Google Analytics to track how frequently users take particular actions. Watching a movie or clicking on an external link are only two examples of actions that can be monitored with event tracking since they don’t necessarily result in a new page loading. This information can be quite helpful for enhancing your website and figuring out what motivates customers to make purchases.
In order to improve your website and comprehend what motivates users to make purchases, tracking data can be really helpful.
The last component? Getting offline conversions, such as those made over the phone or in person at your business’s location, is important. You can gain a more thorough understanding of which keywords and targeting parameters are giving your campaigns the highest return on investment by importing offline conversion events from Program into a platform like Google Ads.
Channel selection for advertising
You should consider using a full funnel approach when deciding where to focus your ads. Building brand recognition and casting a wide net to gather as many leads as you can occur at the top of the funnel. Your efforts get more targeted and concentrated on qualified leads who are about to convert as you move down the funnel toward the bottom.
The goal is to communicate effectively with the right audience at the right time. There are also many of options for advertising channels, such as:
- The most well-known PPC (pay per click) platform is Google Ads.
- With a 33.5% market share, Bing is the second most used search engine, according to Microsoft Advertising.
- The most well-known social media platform, Facebook, offers advanced ad targeting capabilities.
- Instagram: For a wider audience, you can easily extend your Facebook ads to Instagram.
- Twitter: Promote specific tweets or complete campaigns with predetermined goals.
- Only pay on YouTube if a user chooses to watch for at least 30 seconds or clicks on your advertisement.
- Target professionals and B2B customers on LinkedIn.
- The potential to reach more people with less competition is provided by Pinterest, which has only 1.5 million brands connecting with users each month compared to other platforms.
- Forums (Reddit, Quora) – have an impact on engaged audiences and focused content communities.
- Utilize display networks to advertise your business on more than 2 million websites, 650,000 mobile apps, linked TV, and streaming audio. You may also use banner advertising, native ad formats, audio commercials, and video ads.
This is not a comprehensive list, as every channel has advantages and disadvantages depending on its cost, audience, and level of competition. There are certain disadvantages even though offering customers a variety of ways to contact with your business gives you a huge edge. In other words, there are more moving pieces to handle, which takes more time and money. Isolating the ones that are effective and concentrating your efforts on them are crucial for this reason. However, you’ll need to try things out first, so don’t be afraid to look into new possibilities and put other prospects on hold until you get there.
Knowing that an advertising awareness campaign will concentrate on teaching people or raising awareness about what you offer can help you determine where various channels fall inside the funnel. Online display advertising, informational videos, or content downloads that provide more information about your product or the issues your company can address without immediately making a hard sell are examples of this.
Paid search and social advertising become more crucial when customers go into the consideration phase in order to ensure brand presence and discovery while they research competitors and compare goods and services. In the consideration stage of the sales funnel, when customers are weighing their options, targeted ads based on rival keywords make perfect sense.
In the final stage, the conversion stage, you want to confirm and motivate your potential customers to take action. To do this, strategies like retargeting come into play, where you can target them with highly targeted, tailored message to persuade them to make a purchase.
Consider display, video, and social advertising as a “push” strategy in which you strive to reach individuals with your brand and message at the proper time and place, regardless of where else they are online. The “pull” strategy would be paid search; since the user is already looking for what your company has to offer, you want to be there when they do.
Now it’s up to you to choose where you want to expand your company in the second half of the year and where investing makes sense in light of your particular situation. As was previously stated, it is advisable to use a whole funnel strategy to ensure that customers are exposed to your brand at various points in the purchasing process. As such, be careful not to lose ground at any given step. Review your prior successes and determine the benchmark for future growth before setting objectives and monitoring progress. Be flexible and willing to change course as we all negotiate the particular situations and difficulties brought on by COVID-19. You’ll be able to navigate this change with confidence and create a robust pipeline for the future if you take the appropriate strategy.