Digital Ads - Research & Budgeting for a Successful Digital Campaign
In most respects, planning and executing a successful digital advertising campaign is the same as planning and executing a traditional advertising campaign. In either case, you need to develop functional marketing goals, identify a target buyer persona, research the market, select the most effective channels for the job, consider your target buyer's journey, track your results, and refine tactics as necessary to achieve the optimal outcome. There are, however, some specific things to keep in mind when utilizing digital ads. Let’s explore what goal setting, buyer persona creation, and budget planning look like for a successful digital advertising campaign.
Goal Setting for Digital Advertising Campaigns
In good times and bad, advertising is essential for business success. Effective ad campaigns help firms attract new customers and maintain existing ones by increasing online or in-person traffic, generating brand loyalty, sharing a positive company image, promoting repeat sales, and more. However, we suggest utilizing digital ads only if you have crystal-clear marketing goals and a properly designed marketing strategy.
Well-defined marketing goals are crucial for effective advertising. Clear-cut objectives enable you to make the most efficient use of your time, energy, and budget. You can begin the process of uncovering your marketing goals by asking yourself questions about your company and how you would like your ideal customer to perceive your business.
Once that’s accomplished you need to create crystal-clear objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (also known as S.M.A.R.T. goals). An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal for a digital ad campaign might be, “we would like to achieve 200 clicks per month” or “within six months, we want 100 online information request forms completed.”
To determine the best way to reach your goals, you need to dig a little deeper:
- Look at your existing marketing strategy, digital or otherwise, and examine what’s working, what’s not, and how you measure up to your competitors.
- Make sure your digital campaign goals truly align with your desired outcome. For example, if you’re looking for engagements (likes, shares, applications, etc.), simply measuring how many people have viewed your digital ads won’t be a good indication of your progress.
Creating Buyer Personas for Digital Ad Campaigns
Did you know that the best way to successfully engage with any audience is to understand who they are and what they want? In fact, getting this right is absolutely crucial for any modern marketing campaign. When you take the time to identify specific buyer personas for your intended audience, you’ll have a more complete picture of who they are and how to reach them efficiently and effectively.
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. The deep understanding of your customer base that you gain in the development process drives everything from content creation and the advertising channels you use to sales follow up and company priorities. Because of this, developing comprehensive buyer personas not only will help you attract larger amounts of better qualified leads, it can also assist in retaining your existing customer base.
The best and most effective buyer personas are based on both market research and insights gleaned from current customers and qualified leads. From personal background to shopping preferences, there are a number of factors to take into account as you identify your target buyer persona. We’ve developed a worksheet that will help guide you through this process.
Here is a real life example of how we utilized buyer persona creation to inform a digital ad campaign for the Air National Guard, with the goal of generating new leads for recruitment:
Target Audience Personal Background:
- Age 18 – 34
- Male or female
- Physically fit
- Of a certain height
- Able to pass physical and medical examinations
- Located in the areas surrounding the air bases in each state
- High school graduates, attended some college, or college graduates
Target Audience Professional Background:
- Prior service members looking for part-time work
- College students looking for tuition assistance
- Students looking for civilian careers who are not aware of similar military career options
Target Audience Goals & Challenges:
- Serving their country while still taking care of a family at home
- Paying for their education
- Serving close to home
- Learning new skills to build a career
How The Target Audience Learns/Sources Information:
- Spends a large percentage of time on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)
- Responds to catchy imagery and strong calls to action (CTA’s)
With the above information in mind, we created a Facebook lead generation campaign (fine-tuning interests, locations, and special ad categories) to reach the Air National Guard’s target audience on social media.
Budget Planning for a Successful Digital Ad Campaign
When determining your budget for digital ads, it’s important to consider how much your desired outcome is worth. (For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you might note that each sale is equal to an average of $500 of revenue for your company.) This will help you determine how much you should invest to attain your goals.
There are a number of things that make digital pay per click (or PPC) advertising particularly valuable in the modern marketplace.
- Digital PPC ads are fast and efficient. It takes mere minutes to set up an account and then you can immediately start running ads to your target audience.
- Digital PPC advertising is perfect for rapid response advertising and testing. You can react immediately to competitor campaigns, current events that impact your business, and/or adjust keywords and copy.
- Setting up effective PPC audience filters helps you reach the right audience right away.
- You can choose exactly where and when your digital ads will appear, making adjustments based on location, keywords, and time of day.
- Digital advertising allows for geographic pin-pointing. When customers in your area seek your business, your targeted ad is there.
- Digital PPC allows you to measure valuable metrics, including your costs, views, and clicks. You can adjust ads immediately to boost ROI.
Evidence for the incredible value of digital advertising when marketing to millennials and Generation Z is strong.
- As of 2019, 93% of millennials owned a smartphone, and 86% of millennials used social media of one kind or another.
- On average, millennials spend an average of 3.7 hours a day on their phones.
- Gen Z spends almost 4.5 hours a day on social media.
- Facebook ads reach 1.95 billion users monthly. That’s 32% of the world’s population over the age of 13.
- 928.5 million people can be reached by Instagram ads. Of those users, almost 600 million are 18-34 years old.
- Social ad impressions are up 20% year-over-year.
- 27% of internet users (and 31% of 16-24 year olds) say they find new products and brands through paid social ads.
- Worldwide, the average Facebook user has clicked 12 ads in the last 30 days.
- 92% of Instagram users say they’ve followed a brand, clicked on their website, or made a purchase after seeing a product/service on the platform
- Snapchat ads are 7x more efficient than TV ads at reaching Gen Z. In addition, 72% of Snapchat ad viewers aren’t even reachable by TV ads.
- Although Generation Z and millennial audiences spend a lot of time on social media, when they’re ready to take action, they go to Google. So don't forget to include a Google Strategy in your digital marketing plans!
Optimizing Your Digital Ad Campaign for Maximum Success
With effective goals and a detailed buyer persona in place, you’re well on your way to establishing a successful digital campaign. To maximize your return on digital spending, it’s important that you understand a few additional points:
- What metrics do you need to achieve to have the best chance of reaching your objectives? For example, if you are seeking 50 qualified applicants, how many clicks do you need, on average, to make that a likely accomplishment? And how many views might you need to get that amount of clicks?
- What are the best digital advertising platforms for your specific needs? Search and display ads? Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat ads? Paid influencer advertising? Mobile geo-fenced ads? Something else?
- What is a good price to pay for the digital ads you’re considering? (For example, did you know that video is the most expensive Instagram influencer format for brands, who pay an average anywhere between $114 and $3136 per post? But that premium price can be worth paying, because Posts, Stories & Videos are 3 of the top 4 most effective formats for influencer marketing.)
This is where working with an experienced digital marketing agency can really pay off. We help you cut through the digital media clutter, amplify your branding efforts, extend your marketing reach efficiently and effectively, and build deeper relationships with your target audience. Our mission is to propel your marketing message further to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
Here at MSS Media, Inc., we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSS Media, Inc. a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!
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