Saad Raja

Where Should First-Time Marketers Be Spending Their Money?

Starting your marketing campaign can be difficult. It’s often confusing to know where to begin and how to budget your money. When you’re starting out any business’s marketing campaign, you’ll want to make sure your results are cost-effective and give you big results.

While this is easy in theory, putting it into practice presents more of a challenge. With so many techniques out there, you can find your marketing budget quickly spent, without seeing much for your money. This week, I’m walking you through techniques that I think all starting marketing campaigns must focus on to jump-start their marketing efforts. Best of all, they’re all cost-effective, so let’s get started…

  1. Make effective use of a paid search

When it comes to essential media buys, paid search is an obvious choice. Essentially this means that when people are searching for your services or products on search engines, they can find you easily as you’re paying for a top spot. Organic searches done by search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts are harder to control – but you should still do your best to optimise your site to give it the best chances for success there. This means that when you’re starting out, paid searches are the way to go. These are completely in your control with good results. Often, you can expect to see an immediate drive in traffic after placing a paid search.

Steps to take: While there is a wide range of search engine sites that your customers could use, Google is still dominant. According to comScore, it controls 65% of the search market on desktop and an even bigger share of the mobile market. Its Android platform powers over 80% of mobile phones out there. All this means that Google is the place to focus on. Chances are, your consumers are more likely to find you on Google, so a paid search here can give the best results.

  1. Use social media well

Social media is a vital component of any business. If you’re marketing, you should be on at least one platform – however, more is always better. According to figures released by Facebook, there are over 2.13 billion monthly active users on Facebook and more than 80% of Americans have an account. This research shows that every 60 seconds on Facebook, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated and 136,000 photos are uploaded. With this high level of activity, it can be assumed your audience is active on this platform. To get in on this conversation, you must be using Facebook to your advantage. Facebook is the single largest media property with which to market to target customers. And, better yet, Facebook brings levels of customer targeting that have never been more easy or cost-effective.

But, Facebook isn’t always enough. There are many other platforms that you can launch great campaigns on. Instagram is another social media site to consider for your marketing. Statistics released by Instagram show 800 million active users and 59% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 are on the platform. If you’re looking to reach a younger market, Instagram may be the site for you.

Steps to take: Social media sites are a great place to search, research and reach your market. Here, you can understand your specific demographic, psychographic and other customer interests. This allows you to seek out information about what targeting is possible on Facebook. If you have the time to focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or other social networks, you can add those in after Facebook and Instagram. The only exception would be if you are a B2B business, where LinkedIn may be a better place to start.

  1. Look into retargeting techniques

While it’s useful to know how to target new customers, you’ll also need to manage and maintain existing clients. For this, there is nothing more effective than going after known past customers or prospects using retargeting techniques.

Essentially, this works in a simple but useful way. When a user visits your website, a retargeting technology drops a cookie onto their computer, which follows them across the internet. Then, as ads are run on any third-party sites, retargeting companies can push your ads to those exact same users. Whether your customers are looking at news, checking their email or online shopping, your product will still be marketed to them. When used effectively, this can boost your brand recognition and keep your business in the minds of your customers.

This works particularly well using dynamically generated creatives that publish the exact same products the users were looking at on your website. For example, they are especially effective for customers that went all the way through the purchase process on your website but abandoned their cart or checkout process. You’ll be able to target these customers effectively, marketing a product you are sure they are interested in.

Steps to take: If you’re thinking about this method, its best to know some of the best services. Criteo is the biggest player in this space, with the company claiming that they can get your ads up on approximately 2,000,000 websites. This is including many of the big platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Their reach is around 6 times larger the next big player, AdRoll. Google and Facebook also offer retargeting options of their own ad platforms.

The advantage of Criteo is as a one-stop shop for retargeting across the web. Google can only get you on their network sites, about 25% of the reach of Criteo. That said, the rates on Google and Facebook can be cheaper, without Criteo’s middleman fees included. When you’re looking at which company is the right choice for you, it is important that you understand your budget and who you are trying to reach. For smaller budgets, you may look to sites such as Facebook and Google, but your reach could be diminished. It all comes down to what is best for your company, so research and plan what you are hoping to achieve from retargeting. It is an effective tool – but only if used well.

  1. Find similar audiences

As retargeting can provide you with a database of known customers or people who like your product or service, you can build off this technique. Through social media sites, you’ll be able to find common interests, demographics, locations and so much more.

Steps to take: Facebook has some useful marketing tools to help with this – and it’s very simple. If you copy and paste your customer email list into Facebook’s advertising tools, they will recommend new prospective customers to market to who share similar attributes as those on the list.

If, for example, your company is selling cars, Facebook may find that your customers’ emails match a certain group. This could include an age range, such as 18-to-65-year old men, or a common interest, such as an interest in Motoring or Formula One. From there, Facebook can match you with new people whose profiles have the same characteristics. You’ll essentially find look-alike profiles, meaning you can find an audience similar to your current one easily. This helps you to expand and reach a target audience efficiently.

There are a wide range of techniques that are worth spending your marketing budget on. Campaigns and tactics are reliant on some monetary push, but you must make sure that you are spending your money effectively. If you are looking for quick and useful tips on how to start driving new customers to your business – using cost-effective, pay-for-performance techniques – these 4 options are a great place to start.

Saad Raja