Whether you’re a small business, nonprofit or marketing manager, you’ve probably spent some time wondering how to stretch your online advertising budget. Today’s online advertising landscape offers an opportunity to move from throwing money at the wall hoping it’ll stick to sound budget management and return. Today, it’s alot easier to stretch online advertising budgets. As long as you put in the time.
For more than a decade I’ve worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 to startup helping them get the most bang for their advertising buck. At the beginning of our engagement, I usually start with an audit of existing efforts. Almost always, the challenges with online advertising and budget optimization come from an ineffective amount of time given to advertising management.
Stretching ad dollars is the result of three key functions: targeting, testing, and focus. All three require time, particularly in the beginning of a campaign launch.
For organizations looking to maximize their ad dollars look at these three areas to stretch your budget.
Stretch Online Advertising By Targeting
The most successful ad spends are the result of careful targeting driven by data. For example, I worked with a software client helping them drive user acquisition while decreasing overall cost per acquisition (-50%).
How? Through careful and intent full targeting. We started with a blend of qualitative research, what do we observe about our audience and quantitative research, to define initial parameters. From there we continued to tweak assumptions based on performance, optimizing ideas we didn’t have data to support turning opinions to results.
Speaking of testing …
Get Answers From Testing
Never spend money based on opinions without data. Always be testing. Test your ads, test your landing page. The smallest adjustment from ad copy to the color of a button can make the biggest difference.
When we dropped the word “trial” from a campaign and used “90 days free” we saw a user acquisitions triple for a SAAS product geared to SMBs.
Zero In On The Best Performance Attributes
Finally, focus on your most successful efforts. Be ruthless. Every 45 – 60 days cut the 80% that doesn’t drive ROI positive results. Leveraging this strategy with a national travel and tourism client has resulted in 20% YOY conversion lifts and ultimately hundreds of thousand in revenue growth each quarter all without increasing ad budget.
For example, If you own a chain of retail stores, focus your ads with geo-targeting. This puts an electric fence at a radius you define around your store, 10, 15, 25 miles. Why would you waste ad dollars to drive traffic for someone to secure a coupon or offer at your store when they live in another state. (Now before the nay-sayers say yeah but what if a loyal customer travels outside my ego fence? That’s when you enlist your regathering and audience marketing for known users, but that’s another post.)
Stretch New Campaigns Or Existing
Whether you’re just getting your advertising efforts going or have full-fledged campaigns flying, make sure you devote the time necessary to ensure your budget is getting stretched, ultimately delivering the results you deserve. Once it’s stretched and producing, you can soundly fund additional efforts, campaigns, and ideas.