It’s that time of the year again. The time to make plans, revise what worked and what hasn’t, make plans and commit to doing better. To some extent, it’s every marketer’s day to day mindset.
See below a list of what you definitely need to try in 2015 to be up to date with your display advertising campaigns.
1. Try search retargeting
If you’re advertising online, chances are you’re already doing Google Adwords search ads. Also, chances are that is where the most of your advertising budget goes and that where you spend most of your time – reviewing and optimizing your ad campaigns.
If you want to spend less time managing campaigns while keeping up conversion rates, try search retargeting. Search retargeting is an innovative targeting method that leverages the same power of intent you get in search engines and combines it with the wide, affordable display ad inventory available.
How does it work? Users do their regular keyword search in Google, Bing or other big search engines. An anonymous cookie in dropped in their browser to identify the user and shows him your display banner ads.
Why should you try it? Not only does search retargeting provide a considerable lower acquisition cost and lower overall campaign cost, but there is also less competition. Moreover, you get to use the benefits of display ads twofold: target and build brand awareness with the right audience, users who have shown an interest in what you have to offer.
2. Start retargeting
If you’re not doing retargeting, shame on you. If you don’t know what it does then you have an even bigger problem.
Retargeting is a form of online advertising that drives visitors that didn’t convert back to your website. Because you’re targeting as well interested users, retargeting is very efficient. A recent AdRoll study shows that markets think retargeting is second best type of online advertising after email marketing. Like with search retargeting, classic site retargeting combines the power of data and display ads to increase conversion rates, build brand awareness and increase direct purchases.
Retargeting ads can be shown both on the web and on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook holds about 30% of the available online impressions and Facebook retargeting provides a great way to engage with your audience.
There has been some backlash about retargeting, some call it creepy, others call it intrusive. Other marketers have doubted its effectiveness due to the poor measuring capabilities regarding cross-device online behavior.
Still, retargeting is highly efficient and the stats are there to prove it. For every $1 invested, there is an average return on investment of $10. Moreover, a 2013 Chango study shows that more than 50% of the surveyed company were planning to start retargeting in 2014. The AdRoll study mentioned earlier also reported that 71% of advertisers want to increase their retargeting budgets by 10-50% in 2015.
How does it work? Getting started is easy. All you need to do is install a snippet of code to create the lists for your campaigns. To make sure you’re doing retargeting as efficiently as possible, create lists according to how far along down the funnel your users are. Segmenting will allows you to increase effectiveness and deliver the right messages to the right audience.
3. Create new banner ads on a regular basis
Banner blindness and ad fatigue are common phenomenons in display advertising. It is also every marketer and advertiser’s problem.
Banner blindness refers to users’ tendency to not notice ads because they’re too accustomed to the format and because they have learned to ignore it. Ad fatigue points to a different problem: the decline in CTR and conversion rates after your banner ads have run for some time. The novelty wears off, users lose interest and your click through rates go down without any apparent reason.
The solution is quite simple. Make it a constant habit to edit and add new banner ads to your online advertising campaigns. This applies to both targeting and retargeting campaigns as both are subject to banner blindness and ad fatigue.
Moreover, you can take it up further by constantly running A/B tests on your banner ads. A/B testing can help you further improve the results you have in your campaigns and fight banner blindness and ad fatigue mentioned earlier. President Obama raised an additional $60 million using A/B testing and 1 in 8 tests brings in significant improvements for your conversion rates (source).
If you don’t know what to test or how to tweak your banners, we have a few A/B testing ideas for you here. What’s more, if you use Bannersnack to create banner ads, you can create countless ad variations within minutes.
4. Use conversion tracking
Online advertising is mostly about performance: how well are you reaching your goals.
But, if you’re not using conversion tracking and if you rely only on CTR to measure campaign performance, you’re a bit shooting in the dark. Not everyones who clicks your ads converts. Also, sometimes the ads with the highest CTR are the ads with lowest conversion rate. Again, you won’t know that unless you have conversion tracking installed.
Conversion tracking allows you to see what users do on your website after they have clicked your ad. It is a small code snippet you need to install on the page that an user sees right after they complete an action that is important to your business (after they make a purchase or after they fill in a lead generation form).
Also, make sure to consider both click-through (users click on your ad and convert) and view-through conversions (users see your ad, don’t click but still convert). While view-through efficiency has been questioned, recent studies show an increase in conversions on direct traffic to your website.
Last, to be effective, it is recommended that you assign an average value to your conversions so you calculate the return on investment and campaign spent. If you look only at clicks, you cannot measure campaign effectiveness correctly.
5. Stop using CTR as a performance metric
CTR – the percentage of people who click on your banner ad, email call to action or landing page call to action – was somehow chosen as the standard metric to measure performance for everything online.
Today the practice might be outdated. While CTR is good for measuring the number of people who react to your ad by clicking on it, it completely leaves you in the dark when it comes to knowing what type of users are you bringing in and how they further interact with your website.
There are various reasons why the clicks you get are not valuable. You could be advertising to the wrong audience or your landing page might be too different from your banners. The bigger the user experience between the landing page and your banner, even if you have a good CTR, you won’t get a lot of conversions.
What might be a better indicator of how well your ads are performing is engagement – how people interact with your website and the number of people that interact with your website. Switch the focus from CTR and clicks ads to how people interact with your website and you’ll get better insights and better results.
This is what we would recommend every marketer to try in 2015. Now back to you. Did you make any resolutions for display advertising in 2015? Leave a comment below and tell us what else you want to change.