Whether you refer to it as paid advertising, paid media buying, PPC, or programmatic advertising, one thing is certain – it’s quickly becoming the method of choice for reaching new customers. In fact, research firm Statistica reports that digital advertising commands about 60% of the U.S. advertising market already, with expected revenue approaching $700 billion by 2025. To put that into perspective, billboard, or out-of-home (OOH) advertising, is projected to reach revenue just north of $5 billion by 2023.
So, how do you carve your niche in such a congested field with an increasingly tech-savvy customer base? By following these five simple steps.
Know Your Brand
Before launching advertising of any kind, do yourself a favor and perform research about your brand. The last thing you want is a failed marketing campaign living forever on the world wide web. Not convinced? Perform a quick Google search of the greatest brand advertising fails, and you’ll have hours of cringe-worthy reading at your fingertips.
To fully understand your brand, evaluate your service offerings, your competitive edge in the marketplace, your company’s mission statement, your competitors, and who your ideal customer is (more on that below). Doing this will help you remain focused and strike the right tone for your brand, which segues neatly into the next step.
Know Your Target
Paid advertising largely consists of three main outlets; search-based (Google), social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and display (ads shown on third-party websites). With each of these outlets, you’re given a dizzying array of targeting options. Use the research you completed about your brand to help you target your paid ads effectively.
For example, if you’re a professional interested in launching Facebook ads for your assisted living community, you’ll include criteria such as:
- Location - Where your community is and how far customers are willing to travel to get there
- Interests - People who follow AARP, are interested in retirement options, etc.
- Relevant Copy - Write ads that interest the age demographic you’re targeting
- Relevant Imagery - Use ads that showcase your community and its offerings
In the case of this Facebook ad example, it will fall into what Facebook calls the “Special Ad Category.” Facebook will restrict some targeting criteria to protect against housing discrimination. Other platforms, such as LinkedIn, Google Ads, and Twitter offer more detailed targeting options.
Know Your Channel
Conventional wisdom goes something like this; “I need to reach the largest audience possible; therefore, I need to be on everything.” We appreciate your voracity, but that temptation will only lead to burnout and muddied messaging.
Instead of committing to every social media channel, pick only the ones most relevant to your customers and are sustainable for sharing content. Let’s use the senior living community manager example again.
TikTok is a hot app right now, but according to a recent Pew Research survey, only about 14% of users aged 50-64 are on it. Interested in Twitter? Only about 18% of its user base falls within that age range. If you commit to maintaining a presence on these platforms, you will reach an audience that’s not likely to ever convert. With 73% of its user base aged 50-64, Facebook would be a much better option.
Know What’s “Good”
If you’re investing in paid advertising, you need to know if you’re receiving a good return on the investment. For that, it’s important to research industry benchmarks to compare them to your paid advertising results.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re launching a new Google Search campaign. If you’re allocating a $1,000 budget and receive two leads from the campaign, that puts you at a $500 cost-per-acquisition (CPA). With that high of a CPA, you’ll likely have a low click-through rate (CTR) and high cost-per-click (CPC).
Knowing what’s “good” will be a mixture of tracking your performance over time and researching industry averages. We recommend this guide from Search Engine Journal to get you started.
Mix the Mediums
To maximize your budget, consider a combination of traditional and digital paid advertising. By mixing billboard and print with Google Search and Facebook ads, you’re maximizing your awareness across mediums and potentially reaching new customers.
Let’s consider the classic marketing funnel. At the very top, you’ve got awareness and interest phases. At the bottom and closest to conversion, you’ve got consideration and conversion phases. You’re hitting every stage of the buyer’s journey by spreading your marketing budget across mediums.
So there you have it. By following the five things to know about paid advertising, you’ll be able to better focus your marketing efforts and improve your return on investment. At Markentum, we love helping companies make the most of their digital marketing.
If you’d like to learn more about our approach, feel free to reach out!