As a small business owner with big goals, you’re willing to spend money to make money. But you still make it a priority to spend smartly, so investing in something like advertising takes consideration. Once you make the decision to advertise, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best results for your money from your advertising spend.
When your marketing and sales pipelines are running smoothly and you know your customers, online ads are a great way to accelerate customer acquisition and revenue. Research from Wordstream indicates that Google search ads drive average conversion rates of around 3.75%, so the opportunity is indeed real.
But if you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t willing to learn, these campaigns can be a quick drain on your marketing department’s resources, from ad spend to work hours wasted tweaking campaigns with no hope.
Success in online advertising involves multiple factors. You need to optimize how much your advertising brings in, how much it costs and what other resources it consumes. And you need to juggle this all consistently, all at the same time.
How do you balance and improve all these factors in tandem? The following advertising spend tactics will help you in multiple areas. Consider prioritizing them in your ad strategy.
Retarget Warm Leads
One of the best ways to make the most of your advertising spend is to retarget people who’ve already interacted with your brand. This could be audience members who have interacted with but not converted from other ads, website visitors referred by your social posts, or anyone else who’s visited your pages or clicked on your links, depending on the ad platform.
This gives you a second opportunity to win over leads who are warm but haven’t converted. It often takes more than one try to bring someone into your sales funnel, and retargeting provides your second chance, third chance and so on.
Depending on how you accomplish your retargeting, you can use ads for a variety of different goals. For example, it’s an effective way to get a paid campaign back in front of someone who didn’t convert the first time and maximize its ROI. But it can also be used with platforms such as Facebook ads and custom audiences to show your existing website or social media audience a paid campaign.
Retargeting is an especially great use of your ad spend because it helps you focus on your best prospects, those who’ve already shown some interest in you. Think of it like Pareto’s Principle for advertising.
By focusing more of your advertising spend on higher potential prospects, you can get a higher return. This is how Lumension was able to increase lead volume by 81%, even while cutting their PPC budget by 30%.
Track Your Entire Funnel
If you’re testing multiple points in your marketing funnel and retargeting people to bring them back into it at multiple touchpoints, you’ll need to be able to accurately track that impact on your business.
Yes, you have your ad campaign data, but that’s not enough to understand how the conversions play out long-term. For example, if a lead generation campaign involves a follow-up sequence once an email lead is generated, you’ll need to tie the results from those email marketing efforts to the PPC campaign that originally acquired the lead.
Once a customer is in that state between having clicked on an ad and fully becoming a customer, you need to look to other tools to get a better view of your audience in the whole process of becoming a customer.
With Google Analytics, you can easily set up goal tracking and a conversion funnel to watch the bigger picture performance from your ads. Because they’re both Google products, it’s easy to aggregate your AdWords performance data to Analytics. But what about Facebook, Bing and other platforms?
By using a data consolidation tool (like SuperMetrics), you can save time managing the metrics of it all by automatically updating all PPC data in your Google Analytics reports. Supermetrics offers several data consolidation solutions, including integrations with Tableau, Excel and Google Data Visualizer, but if you’re already used to comparing your referrer data in Analytics, this is the way to go.
Look at how all your marketing channels work together here to get the best understanding of how different channels like advertising contribute to the whole. Double down on what’s working well, and kill what isn’t.
Test Your Campaigns
One of the easiest ways to start improving your ad campaigns and capitalize on your advertising spend consistently is by testing new changes, methods and strategies often.
Always having a test going means always seeking ways to improve your campaign, getting better results. That might mean a lower ad spend, it might mean higher click-through rates or conversions, and it often means both. That’s why testing is so important to prioritize.
Running A/B and multivariate tests in your marketing allows you to try out new tactics in a controlled manner. Basic A/B testing focuses on testing two versions against each other, while multivariate testing looks deeper at different combinations and variations of campaign elements.
They’re an opportunity to continuously fix underperforming campaigns and turn them around, or even find new opportunities for improvement inside already successful funnels.
You can test virtually any element of your campaign, from audience targeting and ad copy through to your landing page or an offer’s post-conversion page. The closer a test is to the conversion, the quicker you may be able to see results. For example, ComScore was able to increase conversions by almost 70% by testing product pages directly.
With so many ways to test, you can start with the areas of your campaign most in need of improvement to make the biggest impact. Once improved, move on to plug another leak.
Get the Most From Your Advertising Spend
When you get serious with your advertising spend, you won’t want to set campaigns live and just let them be. Instead, to get maximum results, you’ll want to improve your chances of converting any way you can, from testing for improvements to retargeting warm leads.
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