In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, paid media campaigns are a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience and achieve remarkable results. When executed strategically, these campaigns can unlock a world of opportunities, from heightened brand visibility to increased conversions.
In the hundreds of paid media audits we’ve conducted over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a few fundamental errors that keep paid media campaigns from reaching their true revenue potential. We’ve developed a three-phase process for ensuring our client’s paid media campaigns are as successful as possible:
Pre-launch: Building Your Set
Just like a great theater production starts with a creative vision realized through careful casting and set-building, a successful paid media campaign begins with a well-crafted strategy created through meticulous planning and preparation. One hour of effective planning can save you countless future hours (or even days) fixing broken settings. On average, we spend two weeks building out a new paid media campaign. What are we doing in that time? Researching, organizing, and planning.
- Keyword research: If you are planning on launching a search campaign to show your ads to people actively searching online for your products or services, thorough keyword research is required. Each industry has thousands of potential keywords, and there’s no such thing as a “generic” set of terms that will work for any business. So we seek out the terms that are right for yours, specifically the terms your customers use when describing your products. Using our many data tools and our analysts’ expertise, we determine the best keywords for your company.
- Keyword grouping: Before you can begin targeting the keywords you selected, you need to place them into distinct ad groups. This step is oftentimes neglected and handled without a thought-through strategic approach. But what we’ve found is that organizing keywords into tightly themed and right-sized ad groups is a surprisingly effective tool in paid media campaigns. This allows the best possible matching between searcher intent and your ads, resulting in lower costs, reduced user friction, and more revenue.
- Plan for ad copy and creatives: (un)Common Logic creates ad copy for text-based ads, and partners with internal teams or design and graphics companies to provide display ad creative. Part of our strategy for ad copy and creative includes an iterative testing plan focused on serving the right message to the right customer at the right time. We do that by supplying every ad group with at least 3 ads where each ad emphasizes different value propositions. We are then able to test the ads against each other to identify the ones that resonate with your audience the best.
Campaign Launch: Stepping onto the Digital Stage
Once the keywords, campaign structure, and creatives are in place, we advise a cautious launch, incorporating these three elements:
- Strategic placement and timing: We believe in launching campaigns in the most optimal search channel(s) first. While this often means launching first in Google, that’s not always the case; your unique audience might gravitate more toward Bing, Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn, or another search channel and so our first step is to identify your customers’ preferred search channel(s) and plan our launch strategy around that. We also have a clear roadmap for each channel that includes day and time of launch, defined media spend, and anticipated optimization activity as each platform requires a tailored approach.
- Relevant metrics: While many paid media agencies focus on traffic or lead volume, our defining metrics for measuring the success of a paid media campaign are based on your business goals and reflect the bottom line; these might include cost-per-acquisition, average order value, and/or return on advertising spend (ROAS). Before launching, we establish which metrics are most important for your company, how we are going to track those metrics, and what our objectives are for success.
- Cautious first days: A paid media campaign’s initial performance may not seem to achieve your desired goals, but that’s to be expected in an ecosystem like paid media that requires building a base of quality and trust for search engines. During this time, we keep total spend low by investing in the ads that perform well from the start and taking low-performing ads out of rotation to optimize and reintroduce later.
Campaign Optimization: Ensuring a Sustained Run
We believe that optimization never truly ends and that settling for “good enough” performance is the beginning of a plateau or even a decline. We keep paid media campaigns optimized through several main tactics:
- Eliminating waste: It’s a given that some keywords, ad groups, and ads won’t perform as well as others and will require further fine-tuning. We use our expert analysts’ insight to identify areas of wasted spend, then tighten up the campaign as needed to plug the revenue drain.
- Expanding on success: We identify the keywords, ad groups, and campaigns that perform well and increase their budget to maximize return. Because we do this quickly and efficiently, we can respond to changes in the larger market for your company’s products and the bidding market within the paid media platform.
- Expanding to other channels: Once paid media campaigns are turning a solid profit, it’s time to grow that success even more. We usually start with adding new search channels; then, if it fits with our clients’ goals, we add social advertising, programmatic/native advertising, product listing ads, international paid media, remarketing, and more.
In conclusion, mastering the art of planning, launching, and optimizing successful paid media campaigns in digital marketing involves a strategic journey comprising the pre-launch, launch, and optimization phases. By understanding and excelling in each of these stages, you can elevate your digital marketing endeavors, effectively engage your audience, and achieve your business objectives in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Keep in mind that success in paid media is an ongoing pursuit, fueled by continuous refinement and adaptability.
Contact us to learn more about how our paid media approach can help achieve your business goals!
Want to learn more? See our search channel strategies and tactics for B2Bs, ad copy best practices, how taking the time to build a new account led to this company’s highest revenue quarter, and how channel optimizations led to a 157% increase in revenue for another client.