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.
Retarget Warm Leads- Re-engage with prospects who’ve shown interest but haven’t converted. – Utilize audience data from various touchpoints, including website visits and social interactions. – Provides multiple opportunities to win over warm leads. – Focus on higher potential prospects to increase ROI.
Track Your Entire Funnel- Implement comprehensive tracking of the customer journey. – Connect ad campaign data with long-term conversion outcomes. – Use tools like Google Analytics to set up goal tracking and conversion funnels. – Consolidate data from different platforms using tools like SuperMetrics. – Gain insights into how different marketing channels contribute to overall performance. – Optimize campaigns based on a holistic understanding of the funnel.
Test Your Campaigns- Continuously test and experiment with campaign elements. – Conduct A/B and multivariate tests to identify improvements. – Test various aspects, including audience targeting, ad copy, and landing pages. – Focus on areas with the greatest potential for improvement. – Turn underperforming campaigns around through iterative testing. – Optimize campaigns for lower ad spend and higher conversions.
Leveraging Social Proof in Your Advertising
In today’s digital age, consumers rely heavily on social proof to inform their purchasing decisions. Social proof includes reviews, testimonials, endorsements, and user-generated content that vouch for your product or service. Incorporating social proof into your advertising can significantly enhance its effectiveness. Here’s how:
Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Showcase positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers in your ads. Authentic endorsements from real people can build trust and credibility.
Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your product or service. Influencers can reach a broader audience and lend their credibility to your brand.
User-Generated Content: Encourage your customers to create content related to your product or service and share it on social media. Repurpose this content in your ads to demonstrate real-life usage.
Trust Badges and Certifications: Display trust badges, industry awards, or certifications prominently in your advertising. These symbols of recognition can boost confidence in your brand.
Limited-Time Offers: Create a sense of urgency by highlighting limited-time offers or promotions. It taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO) and can drive immediate action.
Case Studies: Share success stories and case studies that illustrate how your product or service solved real problems for your customers. Provide quantifiable results when possible.
Social Proof TechniqueDescription
Customer Reviews and Testimonials- Showcase positive feedback from satisfied customers. – Real endorsements from real people build trust and credibility.
Influencer Partnerships- Collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your offerings. – Leverage influencers’ reach and credibility to endorse your brand.
User-Generated Content- Encourage customers to create and share content related to your product or service on social media. – Repurpose user-generated content in your ads to demonstrate real-life usage and authenticity.
Trust Badges and Certifications- Display trust badges, industry awards, or certifications prominently in your advertising. – These symbols of recognition boost confidence in your brand’s reliability and quality.
Limited-Time Offers- Create a sense of urgency by highlighting limited-time offers or promotions. – Taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO) and encourages immediate action.
Case Studies- Share success stories and case studies that illustrate how your offerings solved real problems for customers. – Provide quantifiable results to demonstrate the tangible benefits of your product or service.
The Importance of Visual Appeal in Your Ads
In the world of digital advertising, capturing your audience’s attention is half the battle. Visual appeal plays a crucial role in ensuring your ads stand out and resonate with viewers. Here’s why visual appeal matters and how to make it work for your advertising campaigns:
Why Visual Appeal Matters:
First Impressions: In the fast-paced digital landscape, you have only a split second to make a strong first impression. Engaging visuals can quickly grab a viewer’s attention and pique their interest.
Memorability: People tend to remember visual content better than text. Compelling visuals can leave a lasting impression, making your brand more memorable.
Emotional Connection: Visuals have the power to evoke emotions and connect with viewers on a deeper level. Whether it’s humor, inspiration, or empathy, the right visuals can convey your message effectively.
Competitive Edge: Well-designed ads set you apart from the competition. In a crowded marketplace, visually appealing ads can make your brand the preferred choice.
Tips for Enhancing Visual Appeal:
High-Quality Imagery: Invest in high-resolution images and graphics that are crisp and clear. Blurry or pixelated visuals can deter potential customers.
Consistent Branding: Maintain consistency in your branding elements, such as colors, fonts, and logos. A cohesive look reinforces brand identity.
Engaging Design: Use compelling design elements like bold headlines, contrasting colors, and creative layouts to draw attention. A visually pleasing composition can guide the viewer’s eye.
Mobile Optimization: Given the prevalence of mobile devices, ensure your ads are optimized for mobile viewing. Mobile-friendly designs cater to a broader audience.
A/B Testing: Experiment with different visual elements, such as imagery, ad formats, and color schemes, through A/B testing. This helps identify what resonates best with your audience.
Storytelling: Use visuals to tell a story or convey a narrative. Storytelling adds depth and meaning to your ads, making them more relatable.
Conclusion: Navigating the Path to Effective Advertising
In the dynamic world of advertising, success hinges on a combination of strategic planning, data-driven insights, and creative execution. Small business owners seeking to maximize their advertising spend and achieve meaningful results should take a holistic approach to their campaigns.
This journey begins with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the advertising landscape. From limited budgets to fierce competition and evolving digital trends, small businesses must tackle these hurdles head-on. Implementing the right tactics can pave the way for success.
Retargeting warm leads emerges as a powerful strategy, providing a second chance to engage with potential customers who’ve already shown interest. By focusing efforts on this receptive audience, businesses can optimize their ad spend and achieve a higher return on investment.
Tracking the entire funnel through tools like Google Analytics ensures that campaigns are not just generating clicks but also driving conversions. Understanding how different marketing channels work together offers invaluable insights for refinement and improvement.
Testing campaigns continually allows for iterative improvements, ensuring that ads are always optimized for better results. A/B and multivariate testing provide a structured approach to refining targeting, ad copy, and landing pages.
Moreover, recognizing the pivotal role of visual appeal in digital advertising is essential. Engaging visuals capture attention, create memorable impressions, and foster emotional connections with the audience. Crafting visually appealing ads that align with your brand and message is a recipe for success.
In the quest for effective advertising, small businesses should embrace these strategies while staying adaptable to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors. By doing so, they can navigate the path to successful advertising campaigns, maximize their advertising spend, and achieve their business goals.
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