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Best Practices for Ad Campaign Management in 2015

by Sherice Jacob

If there’s one word that will exemplify the strategies of ad campaigns this year, it’s synergy.

As much as we’d like to cringe at the use of buzzwords like that, there’s a kernel of truth to this one. Today’s ad campaigns demand a unified publishing voice and a recognizable brand personality. Those, along with these best practices, can help improve your conversion rates and help you become more in tune with your target audience.

But what should you know and how do you get started?  Let’s take a closer look.

ad management - placeit
Source: Placeit.net

Revise Your Sales Funnel Focus

Many companies cripple their ad campaigns right from the moment they launch, because they’re looking from the inside out.

They’re asking, “How can we segment our products and services to offer what the customer wants?” Instead, they should be asking, “How is the customer finding us, and how can we give them what they want to move them through our sales funnel?”

The only way to engage prospects and drive conversions is to be highly customer-centric. “What’s in it for me?” has got to be communicated at every stage of your strategy — not just in messaging, but in the specific ads that appear to different types of visitors. We’ll talk more about that in a moment, but first…

If It Works, Keep It

If you find a particularly good ad strategy that’s working for you – that’s great! Stay with what works.

Testing to optimize your campaign’s conversion rate isn’t about throwing out a campaign just because it’s old. It’s about adjusting the messaging and seeing what, precisely, spurs the customer to act.

One of those very things is personalization. A Hubspot study found that targeted calls to action outperformed untargeted ones by converting 42% more visitors into leads.

calls to actionHere, a smart CTA is defined as one that is targeted based on where the visitor is in the buying cycle (see below for an example)

Keep in mind, personalization is about more than just using a prospect’s name in an email. It’s about being smart with your campaigns and continually asking yourself “what does the customer really want?” rather than trying to corral your visitors into a one-size-fits-all action and wondering why they don’t move forward.

Here’s another example from the same Hubspot study that shows different calls to action based on whether or not the user is a visitor, a converted lead, or a loyal customer.

cta examplesCalls to action (CTAs) are segmented based on visitors, leads and customers

Talk about personalization! By creating ads specifically for different segments of your audience, you can get far more specific, far more targeted.

No Campaign is an Island

One of the most common pitfalls when it comes to ad campaign management is the need to carefully segment and silo campaigns, so each is its own stand-alone piece of the overall puzzle. In other words, you can easily get caught up in the data and details related to each campaign individually.

But all campaigns should work together to meet the overall marketing and profit goals of your organization.

As tempting as it can be to want to drill down and splash around in all that analytical data, you’ll get far better results if ad campaign management is a company-wide affair, rather than a single department or team focus.

That keeps the focus where it belongs — on whether the campaign truly provides synergy with the rest of your brand’s marketing.

I’ve Got My Campaigns Created, Now What?

Even after you’ve created your ad campaigns, you’re still not done. Remember the synergy we’ve been talking about? Here’s where it comes into play.

You know that your visitors on Twitter are used to short, 140-character snippets of news followed by a link with more information, while your LinkedIn followers are more geared toward professional advice and business growth.

So why pepper them both with the same kinds of campaigns?

Even if you have a customer’s personal data, including things like their gender, education level and income, you still have to weave that information into an opportune time and place where it will be the most relevant to them. Think native promotions.

Here’s a great example from Localytics which shows this process in action. Consider two different apps – one from Zillow which gives you an up-to-the-minute notification of when new listings in your area that match your budget, are available.

zillow

This is something that, for busy people on-the-go, is highly desirable, especially if they have their eye on a place in an in-demand neighborhood. It gets your attention in a welcomed, non-intrusive way.

Compare that to, let’s say, a People Magazine’s app did the same thing, showing you something like this:

people

Wait… I’m not in a rut? My income is just fine for my family and me. Even if I could, I don’t have the same income needs as a highly paid celebrity. What are you getting at, People Magazine?!

See the difference? No matter how targeted it might be, it still comes off as a bit condescending.

So What Am I Supposed to Do With All this Information?

It takes a robust system to not only help you create an intrinsically valuable campaign, but also shift the message across different networks without losing its core meaning or missing the mark on its intended audience.

One such provider, AdStage is helping businesses to do just that. Not only do they provide a helpful overview of campaign performance across all major ad-based search and social networks (Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), but allow you the flexibility to set rules for how different data-sets and user referrals are treated.

adstage exampleExamples of the many dashboard views available from AdStage

One of AdStage’s best features is the building of automated rules that follow the popular IF-THIS-THEN-THAT rule.

You can also pause underperforming campaigns automatically once their performance dips down to a certain level, which you define. Ads can even be updated and their performance viewed in real-time, letting you make the kind of mission critical decisions you need to grow your business with confidence.

rulesAn example of AdStage’s If-This-Then-That rule builder

As a bonus for Crazy Egg readers, AdStage is offering an extended 21-day free trial. No credit card or contract required. Get yours here.

Managing Ad Campaigns with Ease

Now that you not only know how to better manage your campaigns, but also have the tools at your disposal to do so, there’s no stopping you from finally getting a handle on all that data, and making sense of your analytics and your ad performance across all major networks.

Let this year be the year that there are no disconnects between your ads and your audience. Let this be the year that you make online advertising and marketing decisions with confidence fully backed by data. And perhaps most importantly, let this be the year that all your campaigns, calls to action and conversion optimization tactics work together in perfect…synergy.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.

And be sure to get your free trial of AdStage.

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Sherice Jacob

Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve conversion rates with custom design, copywriting and website reviews.  Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up by visiting iElectrify.com.

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