In the hundreds of paid media audits we’ve conducted over the past 10 years, we’ve seen a few fundamental errors that keep paid media campaigns from reaching their true revenue potential. We’ve developed a process for ensuring successful paid media campaigns in three steps:
Every successful campaign begins with a good strategy. 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: 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: We’ve found that one easily overlooked, yet surprisingly effective tool in paid media optimization is organizing keywords into tightly themed ad groups. This allows the best possible matching between searcher intent and your ads, resulting in lower costs and more revenue.
- Plan for ad creatives: (un)Common Logic provides ad copy for text-based ads, and partners with design and graphics companies that provide display ad creative. Part of our strategy for ad creative includes an iterative testing plan focused on serving the right message to the right customer at the right time.
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 engines first. While this often means launching first in Google, that’s not always the case; your unique audience might gravitate more toward Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, or other search engines. We launch campaigns first in your customers’ preferred search engine(s). We also have a clear roadmap for each engine that includes day and time of launch, defined media spend, and anticipated optimization activity.
- Relevant metrics: While many paid media agencies focus on traffic or lead volume, our defining metrics for success of a paid media campaign are based on the bottom line: cost-per-acquisition, average order value, 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 can be a bit of a disappointment, but it’s inevitable 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.
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 ad creatives just won’t perform well. 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 engines; then, if it fits with our clients’ goals, we add social advertising, programmatic/native advertising, product listing ads, international paid media, remarketing, and more.