How can you help your brand knock out the competition and win customers’ attention?
Sometimes great content and a solid content marketing strategy aren’t enough to achieve the results you hoped and planned for. Despite all your training and drilling on tactics, you enter the ring and end up hitting the mat face-first.
It’s nice to think that people would be magnetically drawn to your content. That every search for a relevant term would return your brand at the top of the SERP. That word-of-mouth or a couple of posts on social media would create a stampede of partygoers to your site. But a strictly organic approach can lead to lukewarm and limited engagement.
Marketers today are competing for attention against infinite options. A few weak jabs won’t win the championship belt—you need to add some power to your punches. To make sure you’re the one left standing in the final round, you need a digital advertising strategy.
Let’s take a quick look at how to succeed with some of the key elements of digital advertising.
#1 – Paid Social
For a while, it seemed like social media was the great free marketing platform of our dreams. In retrospect, we should have known better. Social sites exist to make money, and they don’t make it directly from their user base. So, while it’s a good idea to use the free options available on social platforms, it’s most helpful to think of them as pay-to-play sites.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for your paid social campaigns:
- Go where your audience is. Resist the siren song of new platforms and stick with the ones you know your audience uses.
- Use targeting wisely. Most social platforms give you dozens of options for choosing your audience. Pick too many options and you can end up shutting out good leads. Stick with the 2-3 most important parameters that will give you a relevant, but still sizable, audience.
- Quality matters. Each of the big 3 platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) has a quality metric that affects who wins bids. Even if a competitor outbids you, if your content has proven more valuable in the past, you win the display auction. Max out your quality metric by increasing budget to well-converting ads and shutting off underperformers.
#2 – Remarketing
If you’ve been online in the past five years, you have encountered remarketing. It’s the ads that show up regardless of what site you’re on, reminding you to buy that item you saved for later in your Amazon cart. Or from the resort casino after you researched your Vegas vacation. It may seem a little bit creepy or intrusive (when done poorly), but remarketing is a powerful way to capture opportunities that otherwise would be lost.
Use these tips to keep your remarketing non-creepy and effective:
- Set frequency caps to 5-7 impressions. You don’t want to wear out your potential buyer. This is a guideline more than a rule, though: You may want to increase spend and decrease capping on your highest-converting landing pages.
- Segment audiences based on funnel stages. Where your audience is in the buyer’s journey will determine the tone of your ad and the CTA. Don’t rely on a one-size-fits-all solution.
- Cover all the size and format options. Remarketing platforms like Google AdWords allow you to submit ads in multiple formats for a variety of placements. Don’t leave potential impressions on the table–use all the options available.
#3 – Paid Search
Some marketers are still wary of paid search, worrying that it will compete with the brand’s organic traffic efforts. The truth is, you should never see a dip in organic traffic because of paid search. Paid search and SEO should work together; for example, you can use paid to make up for a gap in organic ranking for a certain keyword.
Use these tips to optimize your paid search efforts:
- See what your competitors are doing. Use tools to see what keywords they’re bidding on, how much they’re bidding, and see where their strategy is vulnerable. You may identify gaps you can fill, or even keywords they’re winning that you can bid competitively on.
- Improve relevance with ad customizers. Google Ads let you add dynamic customizers that change your content depending on the time, the search term used, and other factors. Using customizers is the difference between a customer seeing “Bob’s Shoe Store has Men’s Shoes” and “Bob’s Shoe Store has blue Nike men’s sneakers starting at $50.”
- Focus on an immediate pain point/benefit in your copy. You don’t have much space for a paid search ad, so make the characters count. Tell the audience what’s in it for them if they click. It’s the difference between “We offer secure websites” and “We help keep your business safe from hackers.”
How GREAT Marketers Win at Digital Advertising
Advertising still has a place in the content marketing world. It can help an audience find your content, keep your brand top-of-mind during the journey, and help your brand visibility on search engines. To help you create a heavyweight digital advertising strategy, we created this fun storybook with a few key tips. Read and share it to make sure your digital advertising packs the proper punch.