The Art of Formulating Paid Media Strategies
We all know that investing in paid media such as advertising on Google or other social platforms right through to large ad campaigns in industry-specific magazines can have huge potential to raise brand awareness and improve leads. However, with so many different options out there, it’s sometimes difficult to narrow down which options would be best suited for your campaigns, and which would bring you the most value in terms of ROI. Here’s how to get the most out of your paid media campaigns and negotiate the best price.
Set clear objectives
What are the overarching aims of the campaign? Are you trying to increase coverage for a new service offering? Are you trying to promote more website visits? Or are you trying to improve your sales funnel through lead generation? Figure out what it is you want to accomplish and be very specific. Once you understand your goals, it will help drive the campaign forward as you will have a clearer insight into the overall look and feel of the campaign and this will allow you to better identify and measure your KPIs.
Identify your target demographic
Take the time to consider who will benefit from your offering, a widespread approach such as targeting everyone in a particular sector isn’t going to work. The key here is to create your buyer personas and targeted job titles list. You need to hone your demographic down to the type of people that your content will resonate. It’s about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. Considering who those individuals are will allow for successful campaigns in comparison to those who are targeting the larger crowds. Once you know exactly who this is, you can use the media packs to find out more about readership demographics.
Ask the right questions
It’s always worth investing the time to speak with a sales advisor. This is your opportunity to ask those nitty-gritty questions and utilise their expert advice. The questions you need to consider asking the paid media provider are:
- Which mediums generate the highest ROI?
- What is the average open rate?
- What is the average click-through rate?
- What stats do you have on circulation and readership?
- Do you have any ROI examples for similar campaigns?
From there, you can build out a predictive ROI based on the data provided by the publication against industry-standard data to understand if a campaign has been a success. This will allow you to prepare your sales team for the inbound inquiries and ensure you have a strategy in place to deal with the leads.
Negotiation is key
Don’t go by the media rate card. Buying advertising is like buying a car, there are different terms, options, timescales, and sale methods of which you need to be prepared to negotiate, not just “buy” your medium. This means working with media companies, leveraging best practices on how to get the most return for ad placement, and developing specific contracts.
Research is not just part of media preparation, as a media purchaser, you will need to understand what campaign success looks like, such as:
- What is the average lead cost in your industry?
- What is the cost of standard ad placements on various sites?
- What types of ads, display sizes, etc. perform the best on specific sites?
Start each negotiation with a detailed plan for budgeting and where this is scope to maneuver. Before beginning negotiations, be sure you have answers to the following questions:
- What is your total budget?
- How can you get the most out of that budget?
- Are there certain publications that you are willing to spend more on (based on past results or target audiences)?
Reporting is your crown jewel! Tracking success can sometimes be difficult depending on the goals you set up. A few metrics you should be tracking are:
- The number of mentions in relation to a specific piece of content
- The number of backlinks gained
- The number of unique visits to your website
- Any form fill conversions
Measuring your efforts will allow you to gauge the success of your campaign and allow you to fine-tune your strategy.
To help measure success, tagging your URLs with UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module), helps to understand how your visitors interact with your website. UTM parameters provide extremely valuable insights into your traffic. You can uncover key behavioral data to help boost your sales and refine your overall marketing strategy.
If not done right, paid media is often very pricey, and without careful consideration, you can end up spending a lot of money for a minimal return on investment. To make the most of your paid media campaigns, be very targeted with your ad spend, choose your audiences and publications carefully, put tracking tools in place so you understand your cost per new lead, and most significantly, ensure a solid strategy is in place to follow up with any leads.
If you need help with your paid media strategy, get in touch with our paid media experts to further understand what you need in order to see the best results possible from your overall campaigns.