4 Ways Startups Can Expand Their Brand With Paid Advertising

August 21, 2017

5:00 pm

No one is particularly fond of ads, but there’s no point in denying it – paid advertising works. Especially for companies that are just starting out and do not have a loyal fan to organically amplify their reach and spread the good word.

Here’s some data to prove the point:

Yet the “take my money and make it happen” approach doesn’t work for creating high-impact advertising campaigns. Merely paying for exposure does not guarantee a sale or any positive ROI. You will need to be more strategic with your digital ad budgets. The following quick tips should steer you in the right direction.

Boosting Sales

Large companies tend to place “brand awareness” in the middle of their ad focus, rather than expecting immediate ROI on it. Most startups don’t have the luxury to do that. They need to show accurate numbers and justifiable user acquisition costs to raise another investment round.

Initially, experiment with Push Marketing. It’s aggressive, it’s pushy (pun intended), but it works when you need to attract as much attention as possible and create an instant customer interest in your offering. Specifically, that could be a cross-channel ad campaign that promotes your incredible discount or incentive, offers price reductions and so on.

The draw of push marketing is that it can only generate a temporary effect. Once you’ve built up an initial customer base, you will have to switch to more personalized offers and “softer” marketing tactics to re-engage and retain your clients.

Expand Your Advertising Channels

The modern consumer’s attention is highly dispersed. According to McKinsey research, only 13 percent of US customers are brand loyalist and don’t shop around for a better deal and around 58 percent regularly switch to another brand.

And while you may be getting a steady influx of new customers from one channel – Instagram for instance – there’s no guarantee that your funnel won’t dry up due to the new algorithm update or your target demographics sudden decision to embrace the hottest platform. That’s why putting all your ad spendings in one basket is never a good decision.

Ideally, you should continuously experiment with different channels and give up those that do not bring consistent results in favor of a new testing ground.

For example: You have been optimizing your website to make it rank in search results and invested in content marketing. Both need time to gain traction. In the meantime, you are driving some traffic and sales using paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. Later, you invest less in those platforms and focus more on Pinterest, while new customers start pouring in from organic search. You re-engage your current customer base with email marketing and start hosting regular webinars with up-sell deals.

Experiment With Programmatic Ad Buying

Buying media ad spots can be overwhelming. You need to verify the quality of the publisher, check their analytics and audience, negotiate the deal and finally sign it off.  Programmatic ad buying assumes that all of those things are done with software across different channels (social media, video, in-app advertising etc.) According to the latest data, two-thirds of US digital ad spending is already programmatic and have totaled $22.10 billion in 2016.

The particular appeal here is that you can program highly personalized campaigns. Most programmatic algorithms will allow you to deliver relevant and targeted offers to selected audiences as they interact with your brand across different touch points.

Deep learning algorithms are expected to revolutionize the space even further. Originally applied to speech and image recognition, deep learning methods will now be used towards predicting user behavior, analyzing the probability of a purchase and measuring value with higher accuracy. For advertisers that stands for a whole new level of precision and significant financial savings.

Measure The Results Your Ad Campaigns

Those who complain that advertising doesn’t pay off, most likely fail to measure and attribute the results in a coherent matter. Knowing “the good, the bad and the ugly” would help you to improve your product or service and eliminate flaws for the future.

You should focus on the next two aspects for deterring your marketing effectiveness:

  • Pre-Defined Marketing Metrics
  • Predictive Analytics.

The key marketing metrics worth tracking include:

  • Lead/Sales Conversion
  • New visitors vs returning ones ratio
  • Click Through Rate for ads and throughout your website
  • Bounce rate
  • Email opening rates, clicks and conversions
  • On-site user behavior and events tracking (set up in Google Analytics)

The data you are tracking should be further converted to calculate customer acquisition costs (CAC) and measure sales per region (optional). Of course, these are just the general metrics to mind. Each company has different business models and ultimate goals, so you will need to tweak those up to obtain the exact data you need for accurate measurements.

Predictive analytics is your next step forward toward making more data-driven decisions, rather than second-guessing your next more. It assumes using existing customer data and statistics to identify and explore common patterns in your data. For instance, you can create an algorithm with would determine site-wide purchasing trends, pitch more relevant up-sell/cross-sell offers to the customers based on their past purchase history and even predict their future purchases and shopping habits.

Learn more about SEO strategies to boost sales at TechCo

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Solopreneur, digital nomad and freelance writer. Elena runs a popular blog where she shares her adventures and cultural escapades. When not on the road, she lives in a charming French town, lost in Jura mountains.

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