Bidding & Optimization Strategies for the Modern Search Marketer
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Marketing and business in general are becoming more and more complex, but the basics remain the same: you have to become a top of mind product for your customers in order to build lasting relationships.
Just driving clicks via SEO or SEM is not enough to achieve that goal. This article will focus on the different ways you can use online advertising to build your brand and become a top of mind choice for your customers.
1. Drive Traffic to Your Site Via Organic and Paid Means
This first step is to actually get people to recognize your brand and what makes it unique. This part of the process is about leaving an impression while doing the most you can to generate a sale (yes, a sale should still be your ultimate goal, just remember people usually don’t convert on the first interaction).
Many advertising platforms can be used to stimulate a first interaction with your brand. The most important include (but aren’t limited to):
- Google AdWords on Google.com and partner sites Make sure to target the most relevant traffic possible. The more relevant traffic you are able to bring in, the more effective your overall remarketing strategy will be. You can also improve the quantity of relevant traffic by adding a Bing paid campaign. Bing only gets approximately 15% of internet traffic, but it can certainly help deliver qualified users to your site.
- Facebook Paid Campaigns If your website’s target group includes people who can be targeted by interests, jobs, or any other relevant category, Facebook can be a great tool to generate relevant traffic and also get some branding going. This is due to the fact that Facebook is not a keyword based marketing tool. Facebook helps generating traffic from people who might like your brand based upon relevant interests.
- Twitter Ads Tweets can be a powerful tool, but just like Facebook, it really depends on the kind of product you are selling and if it fits the type of targeting offered by Twitter. I particularly like the opportunity to target geographical areas combined with followers of specific accounts.
- LinkedIn Sponsored Posts. Sponsored posts are much more prominent than the classic ads that appear on LinkedIn. You can actually build a whole content marketing strategy and get a much more engaged of users on your site. LinkedIn is usually quite costly but you will soon realize that the leads your will be getting are definitively worth the money. The major downside is LinkedIn does not apply to the majority of B2C businesses
- Google AdWords on relevant placements of the display network The Google display network can be a huge waste of money if you approach it without a clear strategy. However, if you carefully select placements relevant to your business, you can easily generate extremely relevant traffic with a good cost-per-click. This advertising tool easily applies to the majority of the business and it definitively gets along well with the overall cross-channel remarketing strategy
2. Analyze the Traffic Quality and Make Sure You Are Getting The Right People
Once the traffic is coming in, you need to make sure people are interested in what they read on your site. In order to evaluate the traffic quality, you must have an analytics system in place.
You need to be able to track traffic coming from different sources and find out what traffic is good and what traffic is not generating enough responses. To be precise, you need to filter out:
- People who do not spend enough time on your site
- People who bounce off the site without showing interest in the page they are reading (high bounce rate and low average time on site)
- Geographic areas that generate an overall low-interest in your product (low sales, low time on site, or high bounce rate)
- Other elements that are relevant for your business to qualify traffic as not good enough
You need to perform this analysis for each of your traffic segments!
On the other hand side, you will also be generating a lot of good traffic. This means you also need to figure out what sources are generating it. Specifically, you need to identify:
- Segments that generate visitors browsing through more than two pages
- People who have spent a considerable amount of time on the site
- People that dropped right before completing a conversion action
- Any other data combination that could imply good users browsing the site
Analyzing and interpreting data is as much important as collecting it. It can really make a difference in improving performance
3. Find Out What Remarketing Alternatives Are Out There. Which Ones Do You Want to Use?
Once you have all the data you need, it is time to start planning what you are going to do with it. Keep in mind, the different platforms have extremely different set ups. For instance, if you remarket to incoming traffic on AdWords, you will be able to use an extremely segmented strategy thanks to Analytics, while on Facebook you cannot segment based on that precious Analytics data.
The same goes for all of the remarketing platforms that cannot leverage on Analytics to build their lists.
However, there is a way to use some of your analytics data in other remarketing platforms. First of all, you can find out the quality of the traffic sources per geographical area, sex, and gender. This will help you figure out where you need to focus your efforts in a more targeted way than a general audience.
Once you have done that, also try to understand if there are areas you need to exclude. This will give you a head start.
Now that you have collected a lot of traffic and are building your remarketing lists, you can start remarketing via cross-channel strategies. Cross channeling implies using two or more platforms to distribute your advertising messages.
Some of the most effective platforms to remarket your site are:
- Twitter: This is becoming a very effective way to take conversations with your customer to a whole new level. Twitter can help you leave an impression with people who have visited your site and then logged in Twitter. The impact on the customer decision-making process will be very strong. You can simply install a remarketing code from twitter on your site and start running a campaign!
- Google AdWords: You could also start serving your ad to people who visit your site while they surf other sites such as blogs and forums. Even though the impact is not as big as with Twitter, this channel can be quite powerful.
- Facebook: This is a no brainer. Every remarketing campaign should have a Facebook campaign implemented. If people see you on Facebook after they have been on your site, they will immediately remember your brand and what it offers. This means that it is likely that next time they need a service you offer, they will be happy to consider you.
Now that we’ve discussed the three main ways to take care of cross-channel remarketing, remember the secret of successful campaigns is having fresh content on your site and your ad messages. Do not make the mistake of creating static remarketing campaigns.
4. Become and Maintain Top of Mind Status in Your Customers
Remarketing will help you build a brand. People will begin to associate your brand with a product and the more they see your ad, the clearer the link of the brand to the product will be.
Being a top of mind brand is an ambitious goal, and can be extremely powerful. This means once you have set up the whole cross-channel remarketing strategy, you must maintain it. Here is how:
- Test several ads and find out which ones create better user engagement. The bigger the engagement, the more likely you are to actually get the attention of most users.
- Create consistent branding throughout your entire marketing channel. You should have a unique feature that distinguishes your company immediately. It could be a logo, a slogan, color combination, an image or any other element that sets you apart.
- Don’t be afraid to test new channels and keep looking for more. Did you know that you can advertise to people watching a given show on TV while they tweet about it? This could be a cool retargeting option for an interest-based campaign!
- Create custom experiences for your remarketing audience. Do not just show them your standard page. They have already seen it – that is why you are retargeting them. Offer something different and entice them to engage with your brand.
There are many more strategies you could apply depending on the kind of business you are in. Do not be afraid to experiment with new strategies. You could discover an unexpected win!