Online Advertising: Step 1 In An Integrated Marketing Campaign

Developing An Integrated Marketing Campaign?

Start With Online Advertising

Welcome to our four-part series to help you get the most of your integrated marketing. 

With so many tools available to market your company, from online advertising to public relations to SEO, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. No single marketing method will perform as well as a complete marketing strategy that effectively uses captured data and integrates a comprehensive marketing mix to deliver the best results. This article is the first of a four-part series that explains how to capture and use data to create digital advertising campaigns, integrate public relations into your marketing mix, retarget media coverage to leverage and optimize your website and use other promotional tools for ultimate marketing success. In other words, the breakdown of integrative marketing.

Advertise for Speedy Recognition

Every company wants to get customers engaged and gain brand recognition quickly. Paid advertisements such as radio, TV, digital ads, or via social media are the fastest and most effective way to do this. The cons of using advertising alone is the large expense for marketing tools that don’t have sticking power.

Advertisements are Designed to Produce Sales

Over the years, advertising has evolved immensely. Keeping a competitive edge is vital in staying relevant so you attract the right audience. Traditional strategies like “seeing an ad seven times before buying” which once was effective has been replaced by strategically-crafted online sales funnel advertising that convinces a customer to buy without them knowing their information is being used to define their needs and wants. The sales funnel transparently penetrates a potential customer’s buying decisions. While online advertising is comparatively fast to initiate sales, it is not designed to build brands for longevity.

The Rise of Digital Advertising

Billions are spent yearly on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media advertising. These advertisements can be highly-effective, however, the drawback is not the platform, it’s that many campaigns are not being developed and implemented by fully-trained teams. As a result, you may waste your time and money. This is why it is important to hire an experienced and proven advertising team that has the knowledge and experience to effectively manage your advertising campaign while staying within budget.

The Essentials of a Perfect Advertising Campaign

Advertising is primarily used to drive sales and revenue. A strategy that doesn’t employ the use of available data to optimize the advertising campaign is not performing to its fullest potential. There is data that should be collected at every step of the sales funnel, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Used analytically and strategically, this data will lead to specific pre-determined actions or, in tech terms, lead to conversions, whether it be clicking onto a landing page, reading an article, downloading information or initiating a purchase.

If an advertising manager cannot tell you the exact pathway of actions a potential buyer is expected to take to convert from visitor to buyer, consider it an immediate red flag.

How to Make Digital Advertising Work for You

Advertising follows the fundamentals of marketing and needs to be developed with a specific purpose in mind. The basic components of digital advertising consist of identifying the ideal customer; crafting a message with a call to action; designing an advertisement that attracts; and maintaining a website that is fast, easy to navigate and serves as a lead generator.

1. Identify your ideal customer

Before starting an advertising campaign, a company should first identify what makes an ideal customer to purchase a specific product or service. Demographics are pertinent to discovering your perfect customer and may include knowing his or her gender, age, income, interests, neighborhood, mobile devices, purchasing habits and more.

If you don’t already know your exact customer demographics and what kind of message works best for your brand, you will need to gather data if your advertisements are to be targeted. By initially advertising to a broad audience, you’re able to quickly refine the demographics that are responding the best to the advertisements and which groups of people are completing the most desirable actions on your website.

2. Crafting Your Message

Once your ideal customer is identified, a message needs to be crafted to convince this particular demographic to interact with your business offering. The message needs to factor in the language used: visual, auditory or sensory; whether a rational or emotional argument would be most effective; and if the tone should be passive or active. The goal is to create a message that the potential customer can relate to and generate a desired response.

3. Designing Your Advertisement

The design of the advertisement is as important as the message. The advertisement needs to be designed with the proper visual elements that increase the impact of the message. These visual elements can include a specific color palette, an array of geometric shapes, images, the amount of copy, its placement on the page, the style, and your logo.

4. Your Website: The Hub of All Your Digital Marketing

Your website is a crucial part of the advertising strategy as it is the landing place that serves the specific purpose of relaying the information visitors need to become customers. Just like the design of the advertisement, the look, feel and message presented on the website is crucial.

Campaign Testing and Optimization

Advertising drives customer engagement. A good digital advertising manager will consume and analyze the data gathered from these interactions to learn what works, what doesn’t and where the strategy should be modified to increase performance.

Advertising Campaign Optimization

The goal of the campaign manager is to get the lowest cost possible that results in conversions. With this in mind, advertising campaigns are not profitable until enough data is gathered to make adjustments. So how do you do this?

1. Split testing

These adjustments are made through meticulous testing of multiple aspects of campaigns against each other; in tech terms, split testing.

From the advertisement’s graphics, language and tone of the advertisement to the whom to target the campaign, it is absolutely vital that everything be tested to ensure your advertising budget is being spent on what generates the highest return.   

 Image of an advertisement on Porter PR & Marketing promoting multi-channel marketingImage of an online advertisement on Porter PR & Marketing website that says Ready to Grow?

In these examples, which are both clearly different and meant for different audiences, the first would be geared more towards capturing an audience that is familiar with marketing. The advertisement on the right is broad and simple. It would be used to engage a more general audience. By inferring that the visitor reading the ad is not currently growing, it drives those that want to grow their business to click. Some of the country’s most prominent sales and motivational speakers agree on one main concept: more sales are a result of avoiding pain than seeking pleasure.

2. Testing the website

Image of a sample advertisement on Porter PR & Marketing that has a button that says "Ready to Get Started?" Image of an advertisement on the Porter PR & Advertising website that says "Let's Get Started."

In the above examples, small differences like the text of a button to the few words that drive a visitor to scroll down, can make a big difference when it comes to campaign performance. A short text statement like “What We Do” statement or “Marketing That Works” will engage different visitors. 

3. Targeting

In addition to testing the advertisements and web experience, it is important to leverage the ultra-precise targeting capabilities of platforms like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn to test all variables. It may mean targeting specific demographics, such as age or gender, cities, or even the specific software installed on mobile devices.

Targeted Online Advertising Examples

Optimizing your advertising campaign is a continuous process. You can expect your campaign’s effectiveness to steadily increase until it is fully optimized or reaches a point where everything has been split tested and the winning combination is found. As more data is collected, the demographics that make up your best website visitor becomes clear. Highly-defined targeting  allows you to maximize your advertising dollars and increase conversions.

Optimization example: Widget X

Suppose your business is selling “Widget X” at a price of $19.99. Its total cost including overhead is $10. The gross profit is $9.99.

You begin advertising at $100 a day. At first, it costs you more than $9.99. You are initially losing money. You start analyzing the data and notice that 20% of the people who visited the “About” page of your site make a purchase. Being that the “About” page contains information that is prompting visitors to buy, your campaign manager makes this information more accessible and changes the website so the product page includes a short “about” statement that highlights the company’s core values.

Your campaign manager also notices that the majority of your sales come from the age group 25 to 35 and that iPhone users are purchasing more than Android users, so your advertisements target this specific demographic. After the first round of optimization, it now costs you $7 to make a sale and you profit $2.99.

As you optimize further, the costs per conversion, or sale in this case, decreases. Once the campaign is fully optimized, you can begin to spend more money on this highly-optimized, targeted campaign. After a couple months, you are able to get your cost per sale down to $4 and you decide that it is time to scale up. Instead of spending $100 a day, you now spend $1,000 a day and due to the higher scale, it brings the cost back up to $7. However, now you are making more than 200 sales daily with an average profit of $600 per day on the one product.

Depending on the competition, it may be harder or may take more time to get a digital advertising campaign profitable and scalable. But remember this, capturing data is invaluable to all forms of marketing beyond online advertising. The more you learn about your ideal customer and how they interact with your business, the more you can fine-tune all your branding and marketing.

Capturing Data and Optimized Marketing

Optimization lies at the core of marketing and is a crucial aspect of defining a business’ brand and instrumental in creating effective sales funnels. Wherever your potential customers are coming from and how they are interacting with your business, is necessary to ensure that the marketing budget is being spent consciously and deliberately.

Data-driven optimization is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy and is absolutely required for generating the highest return on your marketing budget. Conversion optimization gives your business the ability to track exact costs and how its best customers reach and interact with your business.

By actively tracking all the data that is available to your business, it is possible to increase the overall effectiveness of marketing budgets and scale strategies that work to their maximum potential. With the additional power from public relations and search engine optimization, it creates for the ultimate digital marketing strategy.

Once your business has fully optimized its existing marketing tools and is ready to handle more customers, start leveraging public relations, initiating search engine optimization and using automation to take it to the next level.

Online Advertising Should Be Only Part of Your Marketing Mix

As we discussed in the beginning of this article, online advertising only serves a very limited purpose and is used to generate specific actions and collect data about your ideal customers. Advertising is designed to convince someone to do something. While it may initiate a sale, it does not build your brand, because advertising lacks credibility.

So, what should come next in your marketing mix? Why public relations, of course! 

Porter PR & Marketing believes that public relations should be the core of any integrative marketing campaign and should be used in conjunction with other tools. It’s the fastest way to gain recognition, build a brand and improve your organic Google and Bing search ranking. Learn more about how you can integrate an incredible public relations campaign with online advertising, SEO and other tools to make the most of your integrated marketing. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our integrated marketing tips and tricks to making your campaign successful. Until then, check out our article on How to Get Your Company in the News. It will come in handy when learning how to integrate PR into your integrated campaign!