We live in a pay to play marketing world. Yet, only 3 percent of small businesses use an outside agency for marketing, so chances are high that you’re experimenting with Google or social media ads.
This is a learning process, even for paid marketing veterans—there’s always another metric to consider or new platform changes that dictate how to manage your ads. These details can make or break your campaign, so as you flex your new skills, keep the following tips and ideas in mind.
Without Goals, You’re in the Dark
To track conversions, you first need specific goals.
If you’re not tracking your paid marketing efforts, how do you know what’s working and what’s not? Without goals, you’re in the dark, potentially overspending or wasting money on ads that aren’t performing. These goals are especially important for beginners, who are just learning what speaks to their audience and what falls flat.
The first step to understanding conversions and tracking success is setting a clear goal for every campaign, whether you’re running it on Facebook, Google, or another platform. Remember to make them specific, for example:
- Drive 10 sales of X package in one month
- Drive 20 sign ups for our free demo this quarter
- Drive 10 downloads of X e-book in two weeks
With specific goals like these, tracking success is easy—did you complete it or not? The answer will likely be “yes” or “no.”
The more challenging part is analyzing why the ads did or didn’t work, which is just as important. One easy way to analyze your paid efforts is to look at similar campaigns, either on another platform or with another product/e-book/demo. What was the ROI on the other campaign compared to this one? What did you do differently? How can you mimic the successful campaign? Together, setting goals and analyzing results will help you be most effective.
Relevance Score is a Learning Metric
Keep your focus in the right place.
Every platform has their own set of metrics that help you track the success and effectiveness of your ads. It can be confusing to know what’s important and what’s not. One of Facebook’s ad metrics is a relevance score:
“On Facebook, we try to show people the ads that are most pertinent to them. That’s why we’ve always used relevance as a factor in determining how we deliver ads. Taking relevance into account helps ensure that people see ads that matter to them, leading to a better experience for people and businesses alike,” explains Facebook Business.
To determine relevance, Facebook considers the positive and negative feedback expected from the ad. The more positive reactions are expected, the higher relevance score, with potential indicators including video views or conversions. As you can imagine, a low relevance score means your ad is seeing by less people and you’re likely wasting money that could be spent on a better ad.
Facebook recommends, however, not to get hung up on this stat. Relevance is best used as a learning metric, Facebook suggests:
“Use relevance scores as a way to reach your audiences at lower cost, and to test and learn about your ad creative and ad targeting. But understand that having a good relevance score is not an end unto itself.”
As your relevance score updates during the campaign, check back to see how the score is fluctuating. For example, ask yourself: Outside of conversions, how are people reacting to our ad? This will help you as you determine what works and what doesn’t. Note that Google AdWords has a similar metric, called the Quality Score; use it in the same way you would Facebook’s Relevance Score.
Consistency Between Ads and Landing Pages is Crucial
Consumers are easily confused; don’t let that drive them away from your website.
Even the best ad copy isn’t enough to bridge the gap between an ad and an unrelated landing page. While It’s tempting to re-use the same landing page—it takes less time and allows you to run more ads, faster—don’t let yourself fall prey to this convenience:
“It’s not just about creating effective PPC copy for your ad—it’s equally important to maintain consistency between the ad and the landing page your audience visits. This increases the chances for more conversions, as users can feel that the message resonates throughout all the pages,” suggests Tereza Litsa, contributor for Search Engine Watch.
A few simple questions to assess how related they are, include:
- What is the messaging?
- What keywords is your landing page targeting? Is it the same as the ad?
- Are the CTAs related?
Modify your ad copy and landing pages as necessary and track the results to see if conversions increase. Continue testing and tracking until you get it right.
Retargeting Is a Valuable Paid Marketing Method
Don’t market to your customers just once.
When we think of paid media, we often think of Facebook Ads or Google Ads, but you don’t want to overlook another valuable paid opportunity: retargeting.
This technique allows you to reach people who have interacted with your website in some way, but left before taking an action.
“You can even tailor your ads to where they were in the buying process. For example, you can create an ad that shows to people who abandoned their shopping cart on your site, and then make a different ad to show people who were simply browsing for a specific product,” according to 3 Tips to Consider When You Include AdWords in Your Digital Marketing Plans.
The best part is, you can set up your campaign within your AdWords account, making it as easy to manage and track as all your other ads. Use Google’s tutorial for setting up for your first retargeting campaign to make sure you get it right.
It’s All in the Details
This is a short list of details to consider as you build campaigns and learn how to make paid advertising work for your business. Keep them in mind as you learn what gets your audience excited and what doesn’t. Slowly you’ll figure out what works for your business, increasing conversions and revenue as you do.