It’s May, and it’s snowing in good ol’ Denver. I figured this was a great opportunity to grab a cup of joe and chat about one of the most crucial aspects of any marketing strategy – what marketing channel is best for me? Now, since we’re a Digital Agency, I’ll have to leave all traditional mediums off the table… even though I’m a firm believer that traditional and digital strategies coexisting are an excellent tandem. I’ll save that one for another time.
Prior to reading this, you should ask yourself what your marketing goals are. Are you trying to increase leads? Improve brand awareness? Or are you looking to fill your stadium each and every night? In all my experience, it usually boils down to two things: Awareness or Sales. Below is a little bit of a breakdown on each in hopes of helping you select the right mix.
If you’re looking for general awareness, there are a lot of marketing channels that are right for you. In my experience, I’ve seen each of these be able to contribute to leads, but they’re generally used best for awareness. Below are a few of the most common channels that can deliver at a relatively low cost.
Display (regular or programmatic)
Display traffic can be great if done properly. These banners are ran through the Goole Display Network, DoubleClick, Propriety Networks, or anything between. You can target banners via keywords, topics of interest, or placements. The banners are typically the highest in the funnel due to user behavior and performance. Overall, you can expect very low cost-per-clicks and very high impression values. However, these banners notoriously have low click-through-rates and conversion rates. If you want leads, this is an absolute no-no for you.
Think of this situation: you’re perusing the internet and see a banner on the right hand side of the page you’re on. What do you do? If you even noticed it, you likely read the content & checked the image but percentage speaking, likely didn’t interact. Or if you are one of the lucky souls to click on it, it may have been an accident or you get to their website and realize the price is just too incredibly high to convert. Whatever the case, you weren’t actively shopping for anything so you’re probably less likely to convert. But if done properly, you’ve seen the banner over and over again to where you realize the ads everywhere. That awareness is great, and can drive search volume based simply on that.
Retargeting banners are great at bringing more relevant traffic to your website, but still have low conversion rates, low click-through-rates, low cost-per-clicks, and high impression volumes. These banners are different than display banners due to who they’re targeting. Instead of using keyword or topic targeting, you’re going after users who have already been to your website and didn’t complete a desired action.
These banners are still high funnel, but are more mid funnel based as they can drive very relevant users because of intent. These people already know your website and what you offer – they just didn’t complete the sales funnel. They’re more likely to see your ad (subconsciously and consciously) and are usually weirded out in how these work. These convert better than display ads… but still very low compared to search.
Social Media, specifically Facebook, is one of those mediums that everyone thinks they should be doing but aren’t quite sure how to do it properly. These channels are excellent at driving brand awareness & overall interest but lack the sales power. Users on social media are trying to catch up with their friends’ lives. They’re not exactly looking for products at the given time. If you’re retail or a quick sale, this medium is great. But if you’re selling expensive equipment with a long sales cycle, this medium could be a difficult fit.
To do it properly, Facebook makes it difficult to get any impact without putting money behind a post. An organic post can reach a very small audience, where a promoted ad can reach 10x the volume.
Lead Generation or Sales
If you’re looking to generate leads or increase sales, the mediums above can absolutely help. At the same time, there are other mediums that perform significantly better from an ROI perspective. Below are a few items that are the main lead generation tools when it comes to SEM.
Paid Search should be the foundation on most lead generation campaigns. Users are actively looking to find an answer to a question, and if you’re setup properly, you can capture that traffic and allow your website to convert them into a sale. Anymore, Google is moving towards pushing the organic listings down in the search results page and disguising the paid search ads. This medium has the highest click-through-rates, conversion rates, and ROI impact. The only downside, is that it’s significantly more expensive than any channel listed above. Google makes it very easy for anyone to advertise online, but only a true expert knows how to manage the account effectively.
SEO & Content Generation
Search Engine Optimization is fantastic in helping your website succeed with leads. By utilizing an inbound approach at marketing, content drives website volume. If you’re website is setup with a strong SEO foundation, Google will begin showing your website higher in the search results page over time. In order to grab as much traffic as possible, it’s always a must to generate as much relevant content as possible on your site.
These content tools can be setup in a way where you allow a user to download an ebook only after they submit their contact information. By doing this, you’re starting to build your customer base.
Any successful campaign has a strong mix of marketing channels working together to achieve a goal. If you’re looking for leads, start with a strong foundation in paid search and SEO. From there, start rotating in some display or retargeting traffic in hopes of filling the top funnel. As time goes on, those top funnel users will naturally fall lower in the funnel and closer to the sale. Each industry and each partner is different. By taking these general pointers, you can effectively reach your goal quicker.
These mistakes are so common while auditing accounts that they’re easy to fix. Don’t go another day with the wrong marketing mix, as you may be wasting money in the wrong channel.