Being an e-commerce business, it is highly likely that digital advertising takes up a major chunk of your advertising budget. A forecast predicts that more than 500 billion dollars will be spent on digital advertising alone this year on channels such as mobile ads, search ads, social media ads, native ads, email, display ads, and video. The multitude of advertising channels and the ever-evolving landscape, coupled with the difficult process of tracking channel-specific ROI, has made the digital advertising landscape highly complex and challenging for digital marketers.
Add to this the adoption of ad blockers by users, privacy concerns, ad fatigue in users, and the prevalent digital marketing fraud. It will be quite complex to design advertising strategies for your business. Luckily for you, there are certain strategies that you can use to maximise your ROI on digital advertising campaigns while also safeguarding your brand reputation.
Let us now discuss how to optimise your advertising strategies to get the most out of them.
Define your Audience Demographics
The most common mistake that digital advertisers make is thinking that one size fits all. Advertising is a highly specific channel for promoting your products or services and has to be done considering who your target audience is. Targeting the wrong audience will not only make you waste your marketing budget, but also increase the possibility of devaluing your brand. You have to clearly and concisely define your target audience on the basis of gender, income levels, geographical location, age, work profile, interests, and other such metrics. This will also help you as you will be able to identify how to pitch your products or services to them.
Moreover, if you are buying digital traffic, you have to ensure that you do so from a reputable source, as digital advertising fraud has become rampant these days. If your source is indulging in nefarious practices, it can directly harm your brand reputation and even cause legal troubles for your business. Make sure that your traffic source has first-party data and follows all regulatory compliances.
Ad Placement and Timing
The placement and timing of digital ads will set the ground for how they are perceived by your target audience (1). Earlier, businesses used to bombard consumers with advertisements that were not a part of their buying persona or their mood. Today, the ad ecosystem has become complex and data-driven where your ad needs to reach the consumer only if it adds a genuine value to their purchase journey or strengthens your brand by sharing the mindset the consumer is in.
Disruptive ads have the tendency to be considered negative by the viewers, which also negatively affects the brand image. Marketers should focus on finding ways to promote value-driven content through ads, rather than just monetising consumer attention. While placing ads is just the first step, it is an important factor in how the ads will be received by potential customers and their potential impact.
It is quite likely for any business to have its digital advertising budget spread across multiple channels such as social media, email marketing, SEO, search ads, display ads, and more. Digital marketers have to focus not just on running the advertisement campaigns, but also on creating an infrastructure that will facilitate the tracking of channel-specific results.
This begins with first understanding your objective of running the ads. Many brands focus on tracking sales ROI (2) but neglect other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as brand discovery by new audiences, brand sentiment, or increased brand awareness. If marketers can understand what is important to their business, they can identify the success metrics to be measured in those areas. This can also be set as a platform where you can include your team and sensitise them on your business’ definition of success so that they are on the same page as your brand goals.
Today’s advertising strategies rely heavily on data-driven optimisation as it provides highly actionable inputs that can be used to calculate ROI on advertising campaigns. If you have data specific to an advertising channel, you must take action on it. A common mistake made by advertisers is that they go to great lengths to track results but back off at the last but critical step where they have to take actions based on the data derived from those results.
Additionally, you might also want to optimise your advertising strategies based on your learnings from your target audience and their experience with your ad campaigns. Is a particular ad copy driving more sales, while another specific ad copy is driving more engagement? Is your ad content in sync with the target audience’s emotions? Is your message resonating better with a specific demographic? Is your advertisement campaign getting more success in certain geographical locations? A lot can be learned from your data, and hence, continuous tracking and optimisation become necessary.
Within the highly competitive digital marketing and advertising ecosystem, it is very important to be intentional about your advertising strategy. You have to align yourself with reputed sources for internet traffic and have to implement a data-driven approach for optimisation of your advertisement strategies. These are some of the best practices that must be followed by every digital marketer and advertiser. Another important aspect is to put yourself into the consumer’s shoes and think about what would you as a consumer want from the ad campaign. To make your mark in a crowded landscape, you will have to look beyond the set KPIs and focus on practising the golden rule of advertising.
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