Digital advertising sounds easy, doesn't it? You run an online advertising campaign, drive traffic to your website and sit back while the orders come rushing in. Easy-peasy. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit actually.
Digital advertising works when you understand your audience, measure results and are willing to adjust your strategy when results don't meet expectations. It's a big job but it's all about generating more leads and it's worth it. However, you must understand that it's a continuous feedback loop and a never-ending process. Here are some things to consider.
Make a Commitment
Optimizing results is a constant pursuit. You run a campaign, analyze results in real-time and calculate your click-through-rates (CTR) and landing page's conversion rates. You do this daily, weekly and monthly. Each time you're analyzing results you're asking yourself what needs to improve and what the impacts were of any changes you implemented.
This is not a "set it and forget it" solution. It takes an analytical process and a forward-looking mindset. Where are you going and how will you get there? Are you on track or do you need to change? Keep these questions in mind at all times.
Investigate Your Target Audience
Yes, keyword research is important. Titles are important. High-value descriptions are important. Calculating CTR and conversion rates are also important. However, none of them mean anything if you haven't thoroughly defined your target audience.
Digital advertising isn't just AdWords. It's understanding where your audience is right now, knowing how to reach them and advertising on a platform they use and rely upon. Your initial attempt may fail, but treat it as a learning experience. Focus on answering the following...
- Who are your customers and where do they gather online?
- What social media channels do they use and does it make sense to advertise on those channels?
- What keywords do your customers use when searching online and can you afford those or is there a lower cost alternative you can use?
- Is there an online forum or industry trade association and publication your buyer personas rely upon and can they work for you?
- Can you reach your buyer personas by advertising on a professional social media forum that caters to your market, industry or one that addresses a unique market segment?
Expand Your Understanding
There are all kinds of online advertising approaches but it doesn't mean they all apply to all customers. SMS marketing is text marketing, but even though it has a 90% open rate, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work for your business audience. After all, the open rate is high because people always check their smartphones, but does that generate leads for you, or is it an expense you can do without?
Twitter is a great platform, but may not apply to a company that focuses on a small market niche, one that's secluded and one where text ads and visual ads perform best. Mobile-friendly advertisements may also be a solution but not if you haven't done your research to determine whether mobile-friendly ads have a history of success with your buyer personas.
Ultimately, your lead generation system will work when you've properly identified the means to reach your audience and have committed your resources to making it work. New fads and emerging trends are interesting, but they may be a waste of your time if they aren't used or adopted by your audience.
Keep it simple. Start a campaign and define your initial results. Measure the impact of any individual change and then loop back to the beginning by asking if your results are where you need them to be and whether you're using the right digital advertising approach. Accept that failure may occur but don't use it as an excuse to give up. Fine-tune your approach and try again. Keep at it and your results will improve.
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