Each market has its own characteristics, but no matter what industry you’re creating an online ad campaign for, there are some basic tenants that you should follow.
Following these guidelines can greatly increase your ability to succeed, but failing to follow them practically guarantees failure.
Whether you’re trying to create a campaign from scratch or are simply looking to boost conversion rates, these three rules can make or break you.
1. Understand the market
Before you can create a successful ad campaign, you need to be familiar with the industry as well as its customers. Whether you’re creating landing pages, developing ad campaigns or selecting keywords to target, you have to know about your market.
You’ll need to be aware of the types of terms people search for, and many times these aren’t the keywords that you may associate with a product or service. This may be true no matter the industry you are in.
If you’re advertising for your own business, you likely already know about the industry you’re marketing. Should you be creating a marketing campaign for an industry you’re not well-informed about, it’s essential that you do your research.
Failing to do so will make it difficult for you to create ad copy or content that is effective.
2. Aware of opportunity costs
One of the first things that a lot of business owners learn the hard way about online advertising is that free isn’t free since you always pay for advertising with your time.
People usually discover this when they start to optimise a website for SEO. Simply becoming familiar with the rules used by search engines is a time-consuming task, and the true cost of SEO can be very high.
Further, SEO is a moving target, with rules constantly changing. What’s an effective practice one month can become something you’re penalised for the next. The same can be true of other types of advertising, such as social media and PPC advertising.
The time expenditure is an issue with all types of online advertising. Any time spent managing ad campaigns is time that someone could be running their business.
This is why so many business owners are better off using an ad agency instead of running their own campaigns. The amount of time spent on managing advertising in-house is almost always going to work out to be greater than having professionals handle an ad campaign.
There’s also the issue of the opportunity costs of ad dollars.
The more ad money you’re spending on one platform, the less you have on another. This is obvious, but many people decide that there are certain platforms they must advertise on, and they don’t actually consider whether they should.
For instance, many people think they simply have to advertise on Facebook because everyone does. The reality is that Facebook is simply not an effective ad platform for many businesses. Further, even if it is an effective platform, ad dollars may provide a greater ROI on another platform.
3. Don’t ignore the importance of testing
There’s a saying that the only thing that stays the same is change. Campaigns absolutely must be monitored, and testing is something that must be done on a continuous basis.
Monitoring your ad campaigns will ensure that they’re providing an ROI. The way that search engines rank ads and websites is constantly changing.
You also have to consider that your competition will always be trying to gain an edge on you. Almost all advertising platforms base cost and ad placement on how relevant an ad is, so if your ad’s relevance is constant but your competitors’ improve, your ad campaigns will become less effective over time.
The reason that search engines and ad platforms are constantly changing the rules is that the way people search evolves over time. This means that, again, a successful campaign may slowly lose its efficacy over time.
Aside from ensuring that your ads don’t slowly stop providing an ROI, you can almost always improve your ad campaigns. Since most ad platforms base cost on relevancy, AB testing can help you lower your ad costs as well as ensuring that you’re paying for ads that are leading to conversions and sales.
These simple steps can help ensure that you enjoy the same type of success.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.