The economic impact of the global pandemic has caused many marketers to step back and re-evaluate their priorities. The fear of slipping business revenue has stunned many.
With marketing and advertising budgets often being the first on the chopping block, it’s more important than ever to know where and how to focus your budget regarding paid channels.
Even if the current climate hasn’t impacted your business, there’s a need for marketing teams to prioritize strategic advertising investments over those that don’t have a clear return. What may have been successful in the past, such as in-person trade shows and conferences, which have mostly now gone virtual, it is time to direct those budgets toward paid advertising channels you know will convert.
However, a universal paid advertising strategy isn’t fit for every business. So, how can you determine which channels are the most effective for your business? Let’s explore some strategies that will work best.
Understand Where Opportunities Lie
To start, marketers need to understand their business’s opportunity for growth. No organization has unlimited resources and funds to invest in every advertising channel. For instance, not every channel will deliver amazing results, so it is important to be creative and focus your budget on the advertising channel or channels that will produce the best results.
Pivoting your targeting and adjusting campaigns is crucial to getting the most bang for your buck. This will help you recognize which channels haven’t been considered and which may deliver better results and present to your company a new opportunity.
Assess Business’s Current Strategy
It is essential for marketing leaders and teams to evaluate its current advertising efforts. By first taking inventory of channels proving to be most effective, you can weed out those that have been the most ineffective. Questions to consider asking include:
- How many channels do you currently have?
- Which channels are struggling against KPIs?
- Where are you finding the most effective use of your budget?
From here, see where your team has invested over time and determine if adding or removing channels would be beneficial. This will also help reveal which channels positively impacted efforts and which fell short.
By taking stock of the channels your team has invested in previously, you can see which is producing results and better understand the extent that each channel contributed to your efforts.
Determine How to Best Measure Channel Performance
It’s imperative to have a clear, precise definition of what success means for your business before evaluating the performance of any marketing initiative, including paid advertising. Once this is established, you can determine which channels will be most successful based on that definition. It also helps you choose benchmarks to understand better what changes moving forward will directly impact your metrics. Here are tips for setting those goals:
- Perform market research around industry benchmarks for conversion rates and other metrics to put together your business’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Implement numbers around overall conversion rates that you want to hit to put a specific strategy in place to ensure your campaigns are successful and help you determine which ones are underperforming so you can adjust.
Use the Right Tracking Tools
It is essential that your team has tools in place to ensure accurate reporting of campaign results. Tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager will help measure those results. Combining Google Analytics’ forces with Tag Manager allows you to easily add tags — or snippets of code used to collect information about how people use and navigate your business’s site.
In Google Analytics, marketers and advertisers can set up event tracking and goals to measure how users complete specific actions and how often they do so. It allows you to monitor any activity that doesn’t trigger a new page to load, such as clicking on an outboard link or watching a video. This improves your site and allows a deeper understanding of your target audience’s purchasing behaviors.
Lastly, it is crucial to capture offline conversions such as those happening over the phone or in-person at your office. Google Ads’ platform allows you to import offline conversion events for optimization and provides a more comprehensive look at which keywords provide the best ROI on your campaigns.
Selecting the Right Routes
When choosing advertising channels, it is necessary to implement a full-funnel approach. For example, the top of the funnel can read “build brand awareness” and you can cast as wide a net as possible to capture leads.
As you work your way down the funnel, efforts become more targeted as you focus on more qualified leads closer to conversion.
It’s all about reaching the right people with the right message at the right time. There is no shortage of advertising channels to choose from, including Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn), Display networks and more.
Each channel has its pros and cons, whether it is due to reach, cost or competition. Providing customers with multiple channels to interact with your brand can offer you advantages and, on the other hand, some drawbacks.
For this reason, it is essential to isolate the ones that are working and focus strictly on those channels. Experimenting with multiple channels helps determine whether it is time to explore new options and manage your budget from there.
As a marketer, you have to decide which channels will make the most sense for business. By taking a full-funnel approach, your buyers are exposed to your brand throughout the entire customer journey. Revisit what worked for you in the past and set a benchmark for growth moving forward. This allows you to set goals and track performance along the way.
Regardless of the strategy you choose, be ready for change and pivot as the landscape evolves. With the right approach, you can transform your paid advertising channels and build a strong pipeline for the future.
About the Author
Lisa Salvatore is senior manager of paid media at CallTrackingMetrics where she promotes call tracking and contact center solutions to businesses interested in personalized customer experiences and actionable, attributable insights. Salvatore has more than 15 years of paid media and digital advertising experience on the team. On LinkedIn.