How to improve your paid media skills
Guest post by Alex Bury, CEO Proventus Group
Celebrating the launch of Digital Talent Inc, we will be doing a 10 part series with weekly articles on how to improve your paid media digital marketing skills with Alex Bury, CEO of the Proventus Group, former Google Agency Award winner, Ad Tech and Pay per click specialist.
First off, what is defined within “Paid Media”?
In layman’s terms, Paid media refers to external marketing efforts that involve a paid placement. Paid media includes PPC advertising, branded content, and display ads. Paid Media consists of all channels and networks that you can run paid for ads on, so Google Ads, Bing, Doubleclick Bid Manager, Social media ads etc. Paid media is an essential component of revenue growth and brand awareness for online businesses.
How can Paid Media help me?
Paid Media should be the backbone of your digital marketing strategies. With organic results consistently bringing less and less to the table as Networks try and bring organic reach down, increasing your knowledge and skills in paid media has never been more critical.
Average reach through Facebook organically is now around 2-5% with them over the last year testing a 0% reach on your organic social media posts, and it’s only going to get worse.
Search engine optimisation and organic social posting are still essential parts of your 360 cohesive digital marketing strategy, but you need to diversify with a heavy focus on paid media.
Which paid channels should I be using?
My recommended key channels and networks are as follows, with reasons why you should be using them:
Search Engine Marketing (Paid Search)
- Google AdWords
- Bing Ads (includes yahoo)
- Duck Duck go (If you’re trying to reach everyone!)
Summary – Paid search is the backbone for pull marketing strategies in digital marketing. With your audience on average already 65% through their buying cycle, getting brand awareness and touchpoints is vital with paid search. Average conversion rate is also higher using paid search, hence “pull” marketing strategy, users are already interested in your product/service, and so they only need to be nurtured around your unique selling points and brand.
Once you have users within your buying funnel, you can nurture them via other channels and tactics, which we will be discussing below.
Average conversion rate through search engine marketing campaigns hovers around the 1.5-2% mark depending on the industry, so not taking advantage of this high yield channel is a big mistake when planning your digital marketing strategy.
Display Retargeting (AKA Remarketing)
- Google Display Network
- Facebook Atlas Ads Manager
- Ad Roll (Includes Microsoft Network)
- AppNexus (if you use DSP serving – more advanced marketers)
Summary – For most, the highest return on investment channel. With most users, you need to deliver at least 10-12 touchpoints before they think about purchasing your product/service, so distributing additional touchpoints through Display Retargeting is one of the essential parts of your digital marketing strategy.
Display Retargeting is best used with funnel marketing campaign strategies, so you can correctly nurture each touchpoint for users depending on where they are in the buying cycle. This allows you more control over how users perceive your brand and help you speed the buying cycle to increase conversion rate and return on ad spend. (We will be further discussing funnel marketing strategies in the series, so stay tuned!)
Ensuring you have engaging ads and active call to actions will make your ads stand out in a crowded place. This, in turn, with a good 360 cohesive marketing strategy will increase your conversions in no time. As a recommendation, starting with GDN and Facebook will give you a good idea on performance across different networks, therefore allowing you to expand to other similar networks with knowledge about what does and doesn’t work correctly for your brand.
Paid Social Media
- Facebook Atlas Ads Manager
- Twitter Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Instagram (included within the Facebook Atlas network)
Summary – As discussed, with the decrease in organic social media post reach, you need to ensure a strong paid marketing strategy within social media nowadays. Good news, there are loads of different types of ads to run within most social media networks, with Facebook having static image ads, carousel ads, lead ads, video ads and more.
Integrating Display Retargeting into this as well will help increase conversions straight off the bat for your paid social media campaigns.
Recommended starting points for paid social strategies as follows:
Start with Facebook ads to test engagement and conversion performance, in my opinion, I have seen best yield from Facebook as a platform, however, keep in mind that this can differ quite considerably depending on industry, but in general Facebook has lower cost per click values than other social media platforms and has the most extensive array of audience types to allow you to be more targeted with your ads.
Once you’re happy with the performance of one platform, you can then start to expand your strategy to more social media platforms!
Word of warning – LinkedIn can be a great social media tool and is excellent for organic posting if you can engage your target market. However, for ads, it’s a costly network with an average cost per click on the platform at £3.50. This can only increase depending on your industry, so my recommendation would be to try other networks first to get a foothold on where your campaign performance needs to be before spending the quite significant amount on LinkedIn to learn if it works for your business or not.
So, what should I do next?
Don’t worry there are plenty of options!
If you’re brand new to paid media, there are many tools out there to start learning the basics, such as:
- Google Digital Garage – https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage
- Facebook Blueprints – https://www.facebook.com/business/learn
- Bing Ads Training Courses – https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-gb/resources/training/courses
There is also the option of using a digital marketing agency or specialist.
However, If you already have a lot of this set up and started, then the need to improve performance is your primary headache. On the next instalment of my 10-article series with Digital Talent Inc, I will be discussing how to get the best results out of your Paid Search campaign. Discussing, tips, tricks and best practices to increase Ad Rank, quality score and most importantly, grow revenue and return on investment.