So you've gone and started a business, found success, received funding, and now you want to start scaling with advertising. Not just any advertising, but high-performing, trackable, measurable ROI, advertising. But as advertising continues to change, how does a business start tackling major areas of a paid media program? Here are six key considerations for getting started and finding success:
Take Notes on Your Competitors
If you think you don’t have competitors, you probably aren’t looking hard enough. Research yourself, your competitor, and their competitors. What do you see? Is anyone bidding on the space? how are they talking about the product? What are their landing pages? See where they are putting their money, as companies tend to buy keywords when there is a return on that ad spend. A tool like SEMrush can provide detailed information on the keywords a domain is buying.
Knowing what makes money is paramount to the success of a paid media program. Without tracking, it's nearly impossible to define success. You can spend valuable budget toward driving thousands of site visitors, but if you can't tell which segments are making purchases, you can't scale.
Additionally, most ad platforms use machine learning and AI for targeting and bidding, as there’s explosive growth opportunity. with properly trained AI. To get started, map the consumer journey. You may need to use an earlier conversion point to get enough volume to train the AI. Once trained, you can move away from the lower value conversion and tell the system to max high value conversions.
It’s easy to do too much at once, especially on a tight budget. You don’t need to have every ad platform active to start. Pick a channel, define a target and see how it responds to your ads and site. You can learn more from 10K visits of a narrow target than 100 visits of a broader scope.
Where to start? Selecting channels depends on your product and goals. If you have a complicated product with a niche target, Google Search may be your best bet, as you can capture specific traffic. If your product is B2C and fairly general, social networks may be the best option to generate consumer awareness and sales.
Landing pages can make or break a paid media program. These pages should relate to the target audience and focus on conversions. You don't want the visitor getting distracted -- you want them to land and complete your desired action. Start with a general landing page, then as you learn about your consumer, begin to make pages that are specific to their needs. A/B test the page as well. Try new copy, change button colors -- you'll be surprised at what improves conversion rates.
Most likely, your starting key performance indicator will be return on ad spend (ROAS). That said, there will be a point at which investing in ads will not be profitable. Look at overall paid media performance and individual campaign performance, and keep in mind that not all campaigns are equal. A brand search campaign may have a larger ROAS than a non-brand campaign. However, the non-brand campaign is still successful and can scale. It just may not have the same quality of traffic.
Paid media can be an enigma. Hopefully these comments have helped to guide your growth journey.