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Defining Ads & How They Can Work For Your Business

Defining Ads & How They Can Work For Your Business

When you’re launching an ecommerce business, you may know that you have a winning product — but you won’t have a successful business if no one knows about it.

Whether you’re starting a business from scratch or growing from a pop-up or retail shop to expand your business online, it’s important to understand how to invest your marketing budget wisely so that you’ll be able to achieve sustainable growth.

Focusing on SEO, content marketing, and social media can help you bring in customers without a substantial investment, but in order to drive targeted audiences to your shop, it’s also important to plan out a budget for paid advertisements.

In this article, we’ll look at some tactics for building ad campaigns, and how to optimise your campaigns to maximize conversions and lower your customer acquisition costs.

Types of advertisements

An advertisement is any type of content that serves to promote your brand through an external channel, and there are many mediums you can use, depending on your goals and budget.

Some common forms of advertisements include:

  • Print ads
    Print ads appear in newspapers, magazines, and other forms of printed media. These types of ads were more common in the era before digital media, but can still be effective for local businesses or businesses with niche audiences that the publication appeals to.
  • Direct mail 

These are flyers and mailers that are delivered to a shopper’s door. Often, the brand will include a promotional coupon for a generous promotion, encouraging the shopper to make a purchase.

  • Radio, podcast, and TV advertising
    If you’re targeting a specific audience, you can reach them based on their interests by advertising during a specific program that fits their demographics. Radio stations, podcasts, and TV programs typically offer media kits that help you learn more about their audiences, so you can determine whether an ad is a good investment.
  • SMS marketing
    If shoppers have opted in for text messages from your brand, you can send them promotions, reminders, and other messages that keep them engaged. Keep in mind that you cannot text customers without their consent, and they are free to opt out of your program at any time.
  • Digital advertising
    For ecommerce brands, digital advertising is often the most common and effective advertising method. You can try out multiple types of digital ads, including PPC ads, display ads, video ads, and social media ads. Google Adwords and Meta Advertising are two of the largest networks for digital advertising, but there are thousands of different ad platforms you can use, so do your research to find the right one(s) to help you reach your target audience at a sustainable budget.

Getting started with advertising

When you’re considering which channels and methods to use for advertising, it’s important to plan out your strategy based on several key criteria:

  • Budget
    As a newer brand, certain forms of advertising, such as creating a well-produced video spot to run on YouTube, may simply not be in your budget yet, and that’s okay. Focus on opportunities that offer the maximum opportunity at ROI for a realistic budget.
  • Audience
    Who is your audience, and where will you find them? If you’re targeting a segment of senior citizens that don’t spend much time online, then investing in print and radio ads may be a viable alternative. If your audience can be easily found online, you might focus more heavily on digital marketing to engage with your target audience.
  • Goals
    What are the goals of your advertising campaigns? Ultimately, you want customers to make a purchase—but it’s also worth setting up smaller goals to get more customers in your marketing funnel. For instance, you can encourage customers to sign up for an email or SMS mailing list to receive access to special offers, as well as focusing on direct sales conversions. You will need to build different ad creative to associate with each campaign goal, and ensure that it’s reaching your target audience at the right time.

Tracking and optimising your advertising campaigns

Once you’ve launched your first ad campaign—whether it encompasses several marketing channels or just one—it’s important to track your campaign’s performance. Pay attention to metrics including:

  • Engagement
    How many people are viewing or clicking on your ads? Even if the engagement doesn’t result in an immediate purchase, the more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to gain familiarity with your brand and buy in the future.
  • Visits to your site
    For digital advertising, your website visits can be tracked via click-throughs from specific ads, which should include UTM codes so you can track them independently. If the visit is coming from another source, you can attribute its origin by using a custom QR code or referral code that’s associated with the advertising campaign.
  • Email and SMS signups
    As you build your list, you can track your email and SMS conversions based on their ad source—once again, using a UTM code, QR code, or referral code.
  • Purchases
    Congratulations—a customer made their first purchase! Now, you can track their entire engagement history with your brand to determine how many steps it took them to get to that point. Often, it won’t be the result of viewing a single ad: It can often take several touchpoints with your brand before a customer is ready to make a purchase, so chances are, they’ve viewed multiple ads or even multiple campaigns before making a decision to buy.

As you track your campaigns, you’ll be able to calculate how much you’ve invested in each channel to get your results. Which ones have the highest engagement rates or conversion rates? Pay attention to how much you’re paying across each medium, and optimise your spend to prioritise the channels that give you the best return for the most affordable budget. 

You can also optimise your spend down to a campaign level: Look for opportunities to conduct A/B testing on your ads, experimenting with new copy, design, and messaging to find the most successful variants. You can then gradually increase your budget to promote the most effective ads. Optimising your audiences is also a great way to manage your spend: Rather than focusing on a broad target audience, look for smaller, highly segmented audiences that are most likely to take action when they see your ads. You might experiment with several similar audience segments, and then focus your budget on those who convert most frequently.

Investing in advertising is an important way to help your brand scale quickly, but it’s also crucial to do it sustainably. As you experiment with different ad campaigns and channels, focus on finding ways to reduce your customer cost through optimisation and customer retention. By doing so, you’ll be able to set up your brand for long-term success.

Want to learn how to retain customers during the post-purchase process?

The post Defining ads & how they can work for your business appeared first on Loop Returns.

This article originally appeared on Loopreturns and is available here for further discovery.
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