It boils down to asking yourself the following questions.
Did I set up my campaign right?
Setting up a campaign seems easy enough, but to get the best ROI you need to do some research. Understanding the types of ads and ad formats is a good start. Adwords – google search and display networks, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn are the most popular. There is information on their websites to help get started. There are search ads, display ads, video ads, carousel ads, etc. For example, let’s say you are going to use Adwords search network. You need to do keyword research so you know which keywords to use and what to bid on them. Then, set up the ad groups and create ads making sure you comply with their guidelines. Pick the correct language, locations to target, start and end dates, schedule, and bid strategy to optimize performance. Make sure to take advantage of the ad extensions and don’t forget to set up conversion tracking which will require you to add a snippet of code to your website.
Can I keep up with all of the updates and industry changes?
There are frequent updates and features rolling out from Adwords, Facebook, etc. including layout and algorithm changes, bidding features, and tools. Some are easy to learn but others may require additional training or technical skill to implement. There are also regulations, guidelines and advertising trends that change as well. It is essential to know what is going on in the industry and where to get the best information to make sure that your campaign is taking advantage of all of the features and tools available. If you haven’t already subscribed to advertising publications, blogs, podcasts, or follow industry leaders on Facebook, Twitter etc., do it. Better yet, sign up and follow a few. Then read them. So much valuable information from latest tools to how to answer the burning questions for your business.
Do I understand the results?
Data Monitoring and Analysis are the key to running a successful ad campaign. Through monitoring and analyzing the results of your ad campaign, you can identify issues along the conversion path from ad creatives to checkout and understand your target audience. Google Analytics Custom reports regarding audience, acquisition, keywords, landing pages, and bounce rates answer the questions you have which will help you tailor your ad campaign, landing pages, and website to get better results. Get familiar with which reports to create to answer your business’ questions.
Do I have the time?
Updates, emails, blogs, publications, podcasts, Social media, monitoring, analysis… How much time does all of this take and how can I fit it in to my schedule?
Daily – Set aside time each day to read your emails from Google, Facebook, etc. to make sure that you are not missing any important updates and are following their guidelines and make any changes to your campaign if needed.
Weekly – Put a reminder on your calendar to check your campaign and your website analytics at least a couple times a week. This allows you to identify and correct any issues with your campaign as soon as possible and check on your keywords to make sure you are bidding correctly. For example, if you just launched a new campaign, take a look to make sure everything is working and your tags are active. When looking at your keywords, maybe you notice that your best performing keyword is suddenly being outbid or not being shown on the first page results and you can increase it.
Monthly– Do an in-depth analysis to understand your long term and seasonal trends, study your target audience, identify where your traffic is coming from, and what paths people are taking before they convert. For example, maybe find your business decreases every March and increases in October. You can adjust your bids and advertising to accommodate saving your money and increasing your conversions.
The answer is?
Set it up and forget it? No. Whatever your business goals are, managing your ad campaign and staying on top of the updates and industry changes allows you to identify issues and opportunities and tailor your campaigns to your target audience in order to optimize your advertising campaigns.
Do it yourself or have it managed? That’s up to you.
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