I got to thinking how interesting it is to hear what people do before they start their next or first online campaign. The most interesting part of it is hearing that most people just push their budget into Google PPC.
So what should you really do before going blind into the online world? Do some planning! It is really frustrating to hear that people just jump in face first into this world. Beleive me the planning is more than worth it.
Heres is a quick list of what to check when creating your plan:
- Are your customers online? – If your customers aren’t online then they might be eventually but make sure that they are first. Otherwise, you might as well look at print or direct mail.
- Where are your customers online? What sites do the visit? Search for your product and see what sites show up on the list.
- What are your customers doing online? Are they shopping? Perhaps they are looking for your product or some complimentary item but at least you get a sense of the way that you have to approach them. For instance if they are looming for your product you can directly advertise your product. If they are looking for something that is complimentary to your product then it might be time to talk about your products benefits and how it applies to their needs.
- Are your customers looking for your product? If your customers are searching for your product and you have competitors then you might want to make sure that your campaign is able to stack up against the competition’s spending on max bid. Keep in mind that if you bid up the max bid then it will eat through your budget quicker.
- Is your site ready with the appropriate response mechanisms in place for people to take the next step? What happens when your customer reaches your site? Is there a clear next step? Are they able to find what they would expect to find based on what your ads say?
- What is the competition doing? Take a look at your competitiors to see how they are handling this. If for nothing else than to see their approach. If they have been at this for a longer period of time then they might have this a little more figured out but if they are noobs to this too then it might be fun to watch them waste their money experimenting first.
- Do you have a budget in place to make this a successful campaign? One of the first items to think about when producing your product is the marketing budget. You can produce the best product in history but if you don’t have enough money to tell people about it then they will never know. But of course that is the theoretical approach and it is quite rare to have that level of planning and budget available. I like to see 75% of what would be the theoretical perfect budget to give it a go. Besides that if you have that full budget then you have less to work for to make the campaign work.
Get some elbow grease, blood, sweat and tears and go to town.
When its a numbers game its important to keep your eye on the online prize and of course make sure that your conversion formulas are correct.
Banner Impact – When you need a large amount of website visitors due to your well established conversion rates that predict a percentage of conversions I have found that banners tend to have a positive impact on the conversion rates of PPC. In general you can expect that those that are searching, on search engines, for your product are likely to end up at the locations that you have selected to place banners and experience your brand via your banners. Even if they don’t click through on the banners they are likely to experience your brand again when they are searching for your product on a search engine via pay per click and feel more comfortable clicking through on your ad.
Price – The price level of the product may impact this process. In my case I am dealing with a very expensive product that people tend to spend months doing research and finalizing their decision. In the case of a lower priced product I could see the impact of the banners lessened and being even with pay per click. But the banners would still impact the decision making process since the potential customers have experienced your brand.
Branding – Its breaks down to online branding. If you don’t believe in branding trying this out for yourself with a well funded campaign will provide you with results that justify my position.
Other Factors – There are of course other factors that impact these results.
- Design of the banner that matches the category expectations
- Message of the banner
- Placement on the right site for your potential buyer.
- Placement on the page – Location of the banner on the page on your selected site.
- Ad network variations
Want more visitors? So, you have a website and perhaps you have some visitors but you want more. I know that I always want more visitor to show up on the sites that I manage online marketing for.
Basics of Traffic and Lead Gen – Use traffic to gain awareness. Use lead gen to obtain leads. You do have to use traffic to get your visitors to convert to leads but your traffic driving is different.
Online Traffic Driving – If you are out to get more traffic then make sure that your goals are in place first. Why are you going after more traffic? For example if you want people to become more aware of a product or service that is available online that is very different than driving traffic for something that is only available offline. Take fo instance shopping for a new home. You can’t go out and buy a new home online except on a few sites that take the fun and real experience out of the home buying process. But over all just make sure to establish you online traffic driving goals. Here are a few items to consider when setting your traffic driving goals.
- Are you driving traffic to make people aware of a product or service?
- Is the product or service available online or offline?
- How do people reach your site currently?
- Has any online traffic driving activity been used with success in the past?
- How are your competitors driving traffic to their site?
Lead Generation – As mentioned above you do need to use traffic to have leads convert so you do use traffic driving activities but you approach to the potential leads needs to have the end result in mind the entire time. Just as in the above questions we were establishing the way in which you were going to approach your potential traffic we have to duplicate that process for these visitors. We want to make sure that our approach is all about giving them enough information that they want more and give us their information so that they become a lead.