Making the Most of Your Digital Spend
In a world now restricting travel and face-to-face interactions, a digital marketing strategy has become more urgent and necessary than ever to connect with your many audiences. But, what does a digital strategy even entail? For some, the thought of digital advertising may elicit feelings of dread or trepidation. “How do I know what works?” “Which is the best social media platform to advertise on?” “Can’t I just set up the ads and let Google work its magic?” “Digital ads are inexpensive, and we’ll see immediate results, right?” “Let’s just try everything and see what sticks!”
Well, the answers to the above can be complex. That’s because there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to a successful digital advertising strategy that finds the right audience, connects them to the right message and, ultimately, inspires action and drives results. Here, we will discuss the most important elements to consider when developing a strong digital advertising strategy, understanding how to create your best tactical mix and the importance of accurate measurement.
Define your goals
Start by clearly identifying the goals of your advertising. Are you focused on brand awareness? Do you primarily want to drive traffic to your website or a specific resource? Are you hosting an event that you want to encourage registrations? Are you trying to capture leads to fill your marketing or sales pipeline? Depending on your goals, your strategy, messaging, ad content and tactics will vary greatly.
For example, if you are focused on pure brand awareness, your strategy will focus on high reach and high frequency of ad delivery to your target audience with a wide variety of creative tactics that could include TV, outdoor, print and digital. Your brand can be seen by large masses of people across multiple mediums to encourage brand awareness and recall.
On the other hand, if you are hosting a virtual event and want to encourage registrations, you would instead focus your campaign primarily on conversions with the majority of ad impressions being delivered in a digital space, such as social media or display ads, to easily drive traffic to a registration page.
Define your target audience with greater precision
With the robust and sophisticated targeting capabilities digital advertising allows, it’s not enough to define your target audience by demographic information alone. Fully leverage these platforms by further narrowing who you want to reach. Where do they live? What do they do for a living? What is their family like? What kinds of websites and apps do they frequently use? What are their interests? What do they watch? What do they read?
Building in-depth profiles or personas helps you uncover some of these details. Once your digital advertising campaign successfully finds these individuals and delivers them ads across the world wide web, you can use your campaign metrics to continue to refine and add details to those personas for an even more specific and accurate audience profile.
It’s also important to differentiate your many audiences from each other. Consumer audiences can include patients, family caregivers or the community at large. Business-centric audiences can include professional referrals or payers. Each of these have distinct and specific needs from your organization – and they each need to connect and communicate with you in unique ways.
As a consumer yourself, you might be creeped out by the seemingly intrusive amount of information Google and Facebook gather about its users. But as an advertiser, you should be delighted! It allows accurate targeting and ad delivery, high-value website traffic and most efficient use of marketing dollars with very little waste. Other advanced platforms and services, such as account-based marketing, utilize third-party data to connect with your hard-to-reach professional audiences with one-to-one personalization and laser focus.
With such precision, it’s imperative to have a clear and thorough understanding of who you want to reach. If your perception of your target audience is off, you’ll be wasting dollars and impressions on individuals who are not a good fit for nor in need of your organization’s services.
Putting it all together to create your mix
Your goals and audience should drive your tactical mix. Just because Snapchat continues to boom, adding over 9 million daily active users since Q1, doesn’t mean it’s the right platform to promote your message, nor where your audience is likely spending time. Here are a few examples that may help guide your digital tactical mix.
Goal: Website traffic, specifically to a caregiver resource guide
Target audience: Family caregiver, specifically women age 45-55, online viewing behavior indicates interests in caring for a loved one with dementia, frequently visits the Alzheimer’s Association website, household income of $150K or above, at least high school diploma education level, has searched for home healthcare support on Google in the past 10 days
Proposed digital tactics: Google search with keywords specific to caregiving and dementia, Facebook video advertising that illustrates easy, how-to caregiver instructions, display banner ads on Google display network that promote the valuable information of the resource guide, all tactics driving traffic to the caregiver resource guide
Goal: Increased referrals from professional sources
Target audience: Key decision makers and stakeholders of surrounding hospitals or long-term care facilities, such as office managers, discharge planners, nurse practitioners or physicians
Proposed digital tactics: Account-based marketing approach that focuses on one-to-one ad delivery to the identified job titles at priority facilities using LinkedIn sponsored content and display banner ads with personalized content focused on the specific pain points of each facility
Making the most of a digital strategy requires clearly measuring its impact. But sometimes, metrics and KPIs can seem like ambiguous numbers if you don’t understand what they’re telling you. Number of impressions and clicks should always be monitored. The relationship between the two, called click-through-rate (CTR), is even more important. Finding the balance between delivering a high number of valuable impressions that result in qualified clicks to your website is the key. Monitoring cost-per-click (CPC) is also important. Determining an efficient CPC is dependent upon knowing how valuable new customer or conversion is to your organization. What are you willing to spend per engagement knowing the potential financial impact of a single conversion? CPC will vary depending on tactic and competition. For example, a click on Google search where there is high competition for the top three ad positions will be more expensive than a click on a banner ad. Balancing tactics and budgets with expected outcome will help provide benchmarks for successful KPIs.
What’s most important, though, is to give your digital ad campaign time. Be patient. Although digital ads can immediately reach your target audience on the channels they frequently use, results are not as immediate. Digital platforms need time to hone in on the right audience and optimize for the most accurate ad delivery. Audiences need to see messages several times before retaining information, let alone taking an action, such as visiting your website or calling. Digital advertising provides an immediate connection to your brand, but consumer action needs nurturing and persistence.
Digital advertising doesn’t have to be daunting. Transcend helps organizations build strong, successful digital strategies that maximize budgets and drive results. To learn more about how we can deliver your message to the right audience on the right platform at the right time, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.