Digital ad best practices: Learn how to optimize your advertising campaigns when money is tight.
As businesses are impacted by the pandemic, many have had to drop advertising budgets and re-examine their digital strategy. With tightened purse-strings and higher stakes, efficient advertising has never been more important.
Here are five effective low budget ad tactics, businesses should consider to make the most of their ad dollars:
Focus Budget on Low Funnel Tactics
Tap into your existing member database through remarketing campaigns. Existing member email lists can be loaded into Google and all social platforms, enabling you to reach web visitors over a set period with digital ads that relay promotional offers, product information and important updates.
Using Google Analytics, URL based audiences can be created to reach people who have visited key pages on your website, spent a set amount of time on your website, triggered an event (i.e. clicked a call-to-action button) or visited a set number of pages before leaving. These high intent audiences are already invested in your services or product, and they need to be reminded why they should buy from you now.
Across different platforms, remarketing audiences can also be created for these low funnel audiences:
- People who have liked your page or engaged with your content recently (Facebook/ Instagram)
- People who have swiped up on ads or shared/saved a lens/filter (Snapchat)
- People who have seen or engaged with your campaign tweets (Twitter)
- People who have viewed or added items to cart, but didn’t check out (Google Shopping)
Make sure to max out your budget on remarketing campaigns across all platforms before investing in higher funnel tactics.
Use Lookalike Audiences Before Going Broad
Targeting lookalike audiences allows you to reach people who have similar characteristics to your current audiences. Lookalike audiences work best when the audience source is compiled of at least 1000 high value past purchasers or customers.
Across Google, Similar Audiences are automatically created under Tools & Settings > Audience Lists once lists are synced from Google Analytics. These audiences can be layered into your Search campaigns and targeted in Display, Gmail, and YouTube campaigns.
When creating a Facebook lookalike audience, a 1% or 2% audience is recommended (this will find 1% or 2% of the population who most closely matches your selected audience source). Across Snapchat, lookalike audiences can be created to optimize towards reach (large and broad), balance (mid-size) or similarity (smaller and closest resemblance). Lookalike creation is available across other social platforms as well, including LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Across all advertising campaigns, make sure you load a seed (original) audience of your best customers to get the best results.
Make it Easy for Customers to Pick You
Optimize your advertising campaigns to make it easy for customers to buy from you. Can you run lead generation ads across Facebook and LinkedIn, so customers don’t have to leave social media to get a quote? Can you run call extensions or Call Only Search ads for service-based products? Can you showcase your offering virtually in a YouTube video?
Call out any Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) in your ad copy, headlines, images, and ad extensions – anything from “Free Shipping” to “Save 10%” to “Over 1000 Five Star Ratings” to “One Click Check-Out”. Be sure to review all ad copy in market, to ensure content is relevant and fresh.
When in Doubt, Switch to Manual Bidding
Manual bidding offers more control over budget during uncertain times. With fluctuating Cost Per Clicks (CPCs), week over week Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) data can see-saw aggressively. Across SEP accounts, CPCs are changing weekly across industries, as competitors adjust their advertising budgets and the auctions change. Manual bidding ensures you don’t bid too high when budgets are constrained.
Across Display, experiment with setting CPC bids as low as $0.30 – monitoring placements and bounce rate to ensure you are getting high-quality traffic. Across Search, decrease bids for keywords that have a low “Search Lost Due to Impression Share (Rank)”. Across social media, set bid caps to ensure your CPAs are kept in line. On YouTube, CPA bidding can be changed to Cost Per View (CPV) bidding, with a CPV cap of 5-10 cents.
Experiment with New Targeting, Keywords, Betas and Tactics
The best way to optimize advertising campaigns is to set aside budget to continuously test new targeting and tactics, even when budgets are constrained. Across Google, targeting is constantly evolving, with new topics, in-market segments, detailed demographics, and live events launching each quarter.
Experiment with new Custom Intent audiences – audiences that target people actively searching for specific keywords. Create new Custom Affinity audiences, using URLs for newly published blogs your audience is visiting that pertain to your business.
Across Search, look for new competitors to target. Trending keywords can be added to your advertising campaigns, as in some cases these new relevant keywords will outperform historical keywords.
Across many platforms, experiments or A/B tests can be set up to determine winning creative, placements, audiences, and bidding strategies. Challenge yourself to answer the following questions:
- Does an image with a CTA outperform an image without?
- Which CTA works best for my digital ads?
- Do headlines with my brand name outperform headlines without?
- Do Dynamic Search Ads work for my business?
- Does implementing super low bids on general keywords drive conversions for me?
As the times shift and so do advertising budgets, what can you do to maximize your media spend and make every dollar count?
Get in touch with our team to discover how you get the most out of your marketing dollars.