With spring in full effect and households across the world making plans to finally tackle that tidying project, what better time to also turn a metaphorical duster toward your business’s paid media plan? While you may not need the Lysol to de-funkify your media buy (fingers crossed), keeping up with the latest and greatest trends to fine-tune your paid plans is always a good idea—whether it’s a spring fling or falling back before the end-of-year budget.
Here are three tips to get you started from our own media specialists:
Focus on the Platforms that Work Best
Paid social in general remains one of the most cost-effective and extensive ways to reach your audience. But, as social ad spends continue to increase, it’s important to use those resources in the best way possible. This means a laser focus on only using the channels and tactics that make sense for each play, as well as constant testing and analysis to seek higher optimization.
This also means being honest about what’s working and what isn’t.
The past two years have taught us all that there are things we all do just because we’ve always done them, without examining why or how. When something isn’t working, it’s important to figure out why, and then either change it or get rid of it. Don’t wait around to see if things will improve on their own, because there’s always a better way to spend that time and money.
Double Down on Leading with Research
We ground everything we do at Walk West in a research-first approach, especially when it comes to paid media. This emphasis on data has only become more necessary as online privacy laws have begun to drastically cut down on the available sources of information.
Everyone will tell you that first-party data is paramount. However, don’t just gather and examine the data: apply it differently. Make sure that the research paints an accurate picture of what has and hasn’t worked in the past, then use that data to come up with new and fresh ways to reach the people who are just waiting to see that new product or service they’ve been waiting for.
Also? Don’t get lost in the weeds of customer data. Developing personas and targeting characteristics is a best practice for a reason, but we can’t forget that these are real people with more dimensions than any research could ever fully depict. Maintain a clear picture of how you reach people and meet them where they are in terms of channels, tactics, and creative. No one should see an ad just because of some corporate decision; they should see it because it’s something you’re confident they’ll want to know about.
Step Up Your Search Game
Google and its competitors have seen record numbers of people looking online for answers to every question imaginable. The search engines have responded by making more and more information available immediately; for example, the increasing visibility of Google knowledge panels means that many searches don’t even result in a click anymore. People get an answer, or at least enough of one, and then close the window and move on. With this change in behavior, how do we ensure that brands get the all-important first click and start moving down the funnel? The answer lies in optimization.
To best optimize your results, don’t ever settle for an average or “good enough” rating when it comes to paid search ads. You want people who see those ads to feel like they’re missing out if they don’t click to learn more. This means concentrating on timely, effective messages that are presented in an easy to comprehend way, leaning on every tool the platforms offer to help better optimize.
Like the millions of people who signed up for gym memberships at the beginning of the year and, as of this month, probably still haven’t stepped in, we’ve all had to settle for “good enough” sometimes—but that won’t stop us shooting for that elusive 100%.
Let’s Strengthen Your Paid Media Game
Those are just three tips to help review and beef up your paid media game this spring. We’d love to hear what you think and what you’re already doing to clean up your brand’s paid media presence.
Drop us a line and let’s start a conversation!