As you look to the online space to create additional revenue for your business, there are a number of things you need to consider. Even if you are a seasoned pro, these tasks and questions can be overwhelming:
- How much budget do you allocate?
- What is your campaign strategy?
- Which channels should you use?
- Which vendors and tactics?
- How do you measure the success?
- How do you know if it’s generating a positive ROI?
To tackle some of these issues and give you direction on building a successful digital program, here are some high-level tips that we use regularly when scoping and strategizing at TechWyse.
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1. Have an Objective That Lines Up with your Business Plan
Your campaign goals should ladder up to your strategic business plan. Whether it’s building awareness for your brand, or a new product, or increasing the number of widgets you sell, you need to provide a clear objective.
Here are a few objectives you may want to set:
- Acquire 1000 new customers at a cost per acquisition of $200
- Sell 10,000 widgets
- Launch 2 new stores and make the local market aware
- Increase brand recognition 2% Year Over Year
All of the above can translate into a strategic approach for a digital marketing campaign that an agency can execute on your behalf.
2. Understand the Numbers Behind Digital Marketing
When running a campaign at an agency, we use specific performance indicators to understand whether campaigns are on track. Your business’objectives will break down into these indicators. Having knowledge of what these mean and how these are interrelated will be of benefit for understanding your performance.
Assessing whether impressions of your ads results in clicks (Click Through Rate = CTR) is a measure of ad effectiveness and how well they are targeted to your market.
Measuring whether visits to your site results in a telephone call, email contact, or sale (is the Conversion Rate). Combining your conversion rate with the rate that you turn these leads into actual customers AND your customer lifetime value will allow you to calculate Return On Investment.
There is a basic relationship between the cost and volume of a sale that drives the approach to digital marketing. Here is a great article to learn more. In short, as you push for more volume, the cost of the lead increases. Therefore, having an understanding of a target, yet profitable, acquisition cost is a MUST!
If you wish to really go deep then plot yield curves for the channels to understand how to allocate between the different marketing channels. Read more about it here.
3. Measure EVERYTHING!
Obviously, reporting on the above KPIs would not be possible without measuring your efforts. Here are the basics:
- Use the advertising platform to measure impressions and clicks
- Place small pieces of code (conversion pixels) on your website to understand the quantity of leads and sales you receive for your campaign
- Monitor internal conversion rates and measure customer transactions to understand lifetime value
When you use multiple channels, it becomes more difficult to give credit to single sources of traffic. Start considering more sophisticated tracking mechanisms (across search, social, and display campaigns) once you start to enter high 6 figure or 7 figure budgets. This is where the cost of these tracking systems begin to pay for themselves in driving media efficiency.
Most agencies prefer a marketing automation tool to track campaign success and we completely agree. Our sister company AdLuge is a cost-effective solution for tracking sophisticated campaign results and representing them in a simple format so that you can make decisions about your campaigns.
4. Fail Fast
No agency gets your campaign perfect right from the kickoff. If this is their message, then they aren’t pushing and probing hard enough to bring you more efficiency!
There should be continual efforts to improve your campaigns. From optimizing and adjusting existing campaigns to testing out new opportunities.
Always set aside a testing budget for new or alternative channels. I would recommend 25% of your budget as “unallocated”. As the fairy tales describe, you have to kiss a lot of frogs…so, get kissing; throw the toads back in and move on.
Don’t consider this as waste, it’s an investment in diversification that will lead to an overall reduction in cost and an improvement in ROI.
By keeping a tight rein on allocating budgets to the top performing campaigns, you can test the waters on different online initiatives. Combining tactics and marketing messages is THE most interesting and creative aspect of digital marketing. You should be able to feel inspiration from your team on this!
5. Communicate Appropriately
You absolutely need to have your finger on the pulse with your campaigns, but don’t strangle your marketing team.
There needs to be statistical significance, enough kicks at the can, to understand if something is successful.
For instance, display campaigns typically halve their Cost Per Lead in the back half of the campaign. If you cut it after a week with a knee-jerk reaction, you might impact the volume your campaign might be capable of.
Ensure that you have regular updates, but don’t pressure your team. Launching and running digital marketing campaigns is complex and it does take time.
Use Quarterly Business Reviews to assess overall progress and use trending scorecards to visualize progress.
These 5 tips will help you plan and manage your marketing campaigns. Feel free to reach out for more specific information in the comments below and I’d be happy to guide you further.
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