Every marketing plan starts with an objective; a clear goal that propels the campaigns forward. But for many, these goals get muddied over time. As your campaigns grow, tracking issues arise, and new reporting metrics become available, it can shift your focus away from the elements that truly matter to your goals. So whether you are starting a new campaign or refreshing your current ones, here are some strategies to help you keep them goal oriented.
1. Set Your Goals
Paid media goals generally fall into three categories: awareness, engagement, and lead generation/sales. While your business may have more than one goal, or even all three, each campaign should have one specific purpose. This will determine the platforms you use, the content and messaging you create, and the metrics you use to measure their success. Using one campaign to drive both awareness and sales will not lead to success as messaging and optimizations will counteract each other.
2. Learn About Your Business
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to goal setting. The more you know about your business’ internal production, roadblocks, and customers, the more precise you can make your goals. Knowing the lifetime value of your customers may change your target CPA goal. Understanding that your current customers have little brand loyalty may influence you to focus your campaigns on remarketing and cross-selling. Learn as much as you can about your business to create specific goals that will set your business up for success.
3. Focus on the Metrics that Matter
If your goal is awareness, you will want to choose low-cost, high-volume platforms to drive the first impression. The goal here would be to get as many views as possible for your budget. Your main metrics to focus on will be views, impressions, and clicks. To optimize for cost-efficiency you should focus on cost-per-click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions (CPM). And while these campaigns are not focused on engagement, you should also focus on click-through rate (CTR) to judge interest in your ads and make sure you are reaching the right audiences with the right messaging.
For engagement campaigns, you’ll want to target mid-funnel customers considering products like yours. The goal here will be to get as many people interacting with and consuming your content. You should optimize for engagement actions taken on the platform as well as actions taken on your own site. For social platforms that will be follows, likes, comments, and shares. For clicks leading back to your site, you’ll want to focus on metrics for time on site, page views per session, page views to key content, and downloads of content. For cost-efficiency, focus on cost per engagement (CPE) or cost per follower (CPF).
If your goal is to drive purchases or actions on your site, you’ll want to target people at the bottom of the funnel. For search that means only targeting keywords with high intent and which convert at an acceptable cost per acquisition (CPA) for your business. Social and shopping campaigns should also be considered. These campaigns work best when highly granular for the highest amount of relevancy between the user and your product or content. Another key component of these campaigns is remarketing using website audiences or customer-email lists. Read more about remarketing strategies here. These campaigns should focus on conversions for leads or transactions. To optimize for cost-efficiency, focus on cost per acquisition (CPA), return on investment (ROI) or return on ad spend (ROAS). To measure engagement, you should focus on conversion rate. While CTR will show you whether your initial ad was enticing, conversion rate will show you whether the products shown met the customers’ expectations and needs.
4. Tracking Tracking Tracking
Knowing what metrics to focus on can only get you so far when your campaigns lack tracking or are tracking events unrelated to your goal. It may seem common sense not to use page views of key content as your main conversion for campaigns aiming to drive sales, but it is an issue we have seen for many clients who didn’t have the tracking capabilities to track the goals that matter. Investing the time and money into getting your tracking properly sorted out will easily pay for itself.
My last tip for those of you who find yourselves losing the narrative and focus on long and robust reports is to slim them down. Instead of reporting on every metric available, cut back to the key metrics for your campaign’s goals as mentioned above. If you are currently reporting on each platform or product category, consider rearranging your reports to focus on each goal. For instance, grouping together all campaigns aimed at increasing awareness, regardless of the platform they are running on. This will keep the metrics cohesive and keep your focus on goals.
If you are interested in an audit of your current campaigns, Anvil can provide strategic plans and recommendations to help your campaigns meet their goals.