Take Outs For Your Paid Media Strategy for 2020
A Take on Your Paid Media Strategy
Every business is different, and your paid media strategy is going to be unique to your business but the fundamental principles remain the same! What we’re seeing more and more of is that some of the best practices and formulas differ from agency to agency. Its because of upskilling and testing and then learning from each other within the industry.
Let us share a few insights into our world.
Define Your Goals
It’s important to understand what your margins are and to create an advertising model which is going to help your business scale – for example it doesn’t help paying for clicks which come in at R10 when the product is only sold at R8.
You would have established what your marketing budgets are and know how much you’re prepared to spend for an enquiry (a lead) and a sale (a conversion) in order to keep within your margins. Once you know what your objective is it’s important to communicate these KPI’s to your paid media team, whether it’s a specific cost per sale and return on ad spend (ROAS), or cost per lead, it’s important to keep within your margins. This will allow you to scale accordingly.
When your business advertising goals are set and communicated, it’s then important to understand whether they’re achievable. Look at your historical data, understand what your website conversion rate is, use an average over 6 months then work on some scenarios based on different paid traffic volumes at your current conversion rate, and a realistically improved conversion rate. Benchmark click costs using Google Ads keyword planner to understand competitive CPC’s in your market, different cost per sale amounts will start to emerge for each scenario. From there you’ll also be able to get some rough estimates on you and return in ad spends (whether they are realistic). Base each purchase on average order value. Of course there will be paid media experts who will say they can get much better results than historically, but ask to see case studies, and study their clients – what are the clients average order values, if they’re high then a high return on ad spend can be achieved. If you need help to understand what’s reasonable, then come and chat to us before you begin. It’s far safer flagging something in the beginning rather than having any wasted spend. The most important thing you can do is get your conversion rate as high as possible, optimise your site and get your clicks as cheaply as possible. Google and Facebook have different mechanisms, intention based pull marketing mechanics is Google, your higher cost per click but higher conversion rate, and Facebook yields much cheaper traffic but because the Click through rate is lower, and you’re paying on Cost per 1000 impressions it can be tricky to make sure everything is set up 100% correctly so there is no waste.
Upskill: Take Time to Learn
While we all have the ability to run highly effective campaigns, what you put in is guaranteed to what you’ll get out. The more time one spends on the campaigns, understanding what works and what doesn’t, upskilling and time reading, following implementation guidelines and steps for your business strategy, the quicker you’ll get there if you’re man alone. There is always a huge amount of monitoring in the beginning, some trial and error as optimisations are being done, the more expert you become the less trial and error you need and making effective decisions becomes easier. Each optimisation will teach you something. Don’t give up!
Test: Try New Things
Continue to test. Once there is stability within your accounts you can set aside some budget to test. Trying new things can create some breakthroughs. Setting up experiments in Google to test different bidding strategies is great as this splits traffic within one campaign giving fair testing. It’s daunting in the beginning but as a rule of thumb, don’t fix what ain’t broke, so rather add new campaigns, new interest sets and don’t adjust interest sets within a campaign which is getting really good results. Keep on the pulse of performance, daily. Ask questions, check click costs and budgets.
Google and Facebook are constantly being upgraded, new features being added, new interfaces. There’s normally great feedback from some of the Google Ads and Facebook Ads community groups on Facebook about their experiences, I usually always check in to see what people have said. Normally new features are great for certain industries, they aren’t all going to apply to your business. With new bidding strategies, always use caution.
Time for Machine Learning
When switching to any automation bidding strategy we need to allow enough time for the machine learning phase to take place. The platforms will highlight whether they’re still in a learning phase and too, whether there is enough data to exit out of the phase. Constant adjustments to time of day, day of week, location and device are being made in the background. The platforms are gathering enough data on a daily basis to ensure that those automated bids are being adjusted appropriately. Once the decision is taken to allow for auto bidding on Google or Campaign Bidding optimisation on Facebook we need to settle in for a couple of days. Unless something goes crazy trust the system, but make sure the set ups are correct. When you’re using an auto bid strategy make sure you’re using a portfolio bid, in the shared library – there’s a tiny little box called advanced, make sure there are max CPC caps sitting within the auto strategies to manage those CPC’s.
Automated Bidding Strategies
I can’t say this enough, when you’re using an auto bid strategy make sure you’re using a portfolio bid, in the shared library – there’s a tiny little box called advanced, make sure there are max CPC caps sitting within the auto strategies to manage those CPC’s.
Resources You Need
Definitely sign up / follow the following, and you will keep learning:
- Search engine land Blog – where you’ll get the latest info on all marketing platforms.
- Depesh Depesh Mandalia – wrote a book called CBO cook book – really great for the perfect Facebook set ups and strategies
- Google Advanced Ads Group on Facebook and Facebook Ads groups within Facebook
Where to for 2020
The focus is on machine learning and automation. For Paid Media specialists managing huge budgets and analysing huge data we like some assistance from rules based alerts and optimisations. Even though the tech is heading to machine learning all the way and it’s becoming more and more advanced, there is still nothing that can compare to the human brain – no software exists which mimic the decision making process of a human.. So it’s a combination of using powerful algorithms to become as effective as possible, while it’s all heading to more advanced machine learning there still doesn’t exist any software that can mimic a human mind as to the decision making processes within optimisations.
Google Marketing Platform is fantastic at closing the loop between CRM data – actual sales data and campaign optimisation based on the end result. The big spenders are invested in this, it’s quite an investment though – with many different stakeholders involved, set up tracking – etc.
There is a shift towards Marketing Automation where online marketing processes are analysed, the correct systems put in place to allow for a flow of various automated actions to drive a sale, analyse the data across those touch points. There are some great CRM systems out there like Sales Force, one to watch on the stock market at the moment.
Making your Investment Count
Paid Media is a channel to always get the highest amount of accountability, because it’s got the highest amount of investment! It’s the first channel to go to for more, more sales, more leads, more spend. Without a holistic marketing strategy; email marketing, social content, brand building, and the entire conversion process which exists after the traffic sent to your site; having as much attention, there is going to be waste and poorer performance. The entire funnel and conversion process need to be addressed with the same level of accountability to ensure that paid media is delivering the best performance possible, lowest cost per sale, highest conversion rates and to have all the digital marketing elements working together will yield the best results.
Know Your Numbers
It sounds obvious but make sure your data is really very accessible and easy to interpret, whether you’re using off the shelf dash boards or specially built ones, it’s important all your KPI metrics are available at a glance. Quick decision making is crucial if you know where to fine tune each stage of the funnel and each touch point of your marketing efforts. This will lead to faster scalability and to work on the areas of the business which will pack the biggest punch.
Here are some great tools we’d recommend, not all of them will apply to every business.