Google PPC, SEO, Display, Video, Social Media. What should you prioritize? How much of the budget should you use per channel? The following are the digital media must do tactics. Some general rules of thumb to maximize your ad dollars, set the correct allocations and get the best ROI.
When building a campaign we always look at push vs pull digital marketing tactics. Push tactics are those wherein you are pushing a message to someone that may not already be interested in your product or service. Pull tactics, then, aim to take as much share as possible from people already looking at your product or service category.
Therefore, we start with the top digital media must do tactic. The best pull tactic, Google PPC (aka paid search or SEM), should be the base of the campaign. Here’s how to best intermingle with SEO, as we want to maximize the free traffic and supplement with paid. Things to look for first are how well is my current SEO doing? Do some terms need help in order to rank better? How competitive are these terms which may drive CPC? Finally, are competitors trying to steal traffic on searches for my brand? An example of this is if I’m a hotel, is Booking.com or Expedia bidding on people searching for my property specifically? If I’m a brand that sells a product direct but other retailers like Amazon or Walmart also sell it, I want to look at protecting margins as well.
Once you answer these questions and do keyword volume research, you’ll determine the budget which will most likely range from 10% to 50% of your overall budget. You’ll also need to determine if you’ll pay for SEO help or roll the dice and do it yourself. SEO should cost you between $1,000 and $5,000 per month depending on your site. The more pages you have the higher the cost and if you sell a lot of products that need optimization that could raise the price tag as well.
Once the Paid Search/SEM budget is properly set, a forecasted Retargeting budget based on website traffic needs to be set. Retargeting is another pull tactic wherein people have already shown interest in your product. How do you forecast? We take the unique visitors (now called “New Users”) by month to the site from Google Analytics and multiply by anticipated frequency then add a 10%-25% buffer (if you expect higher website traffic growth make this multiplier higher). We would rather over budget a little than not have enough.
Paid Search budget, check. Retargeting budget, check. Now what? Here’s where you add some push tactics to try and drive demand. Your goals will really affect your strategy as you choose your adventure. This can go in a lot of directions but two scenarios seem to be the most typical: 1. Branding/Awareness with no clear conversion or 2. Selling a product with a clear conversion.
Options here are programmatic display, Facebook, native and/or preroll video. We won’t dive in too deeply here as each campaign is so unique it would be tough to generalize. In general, you will want to think of where your audience is online and which channel can reach them best both in terms of scale and quality. We prioritize programmatic display which reaches almost all online users, but you’ll want to use a 3rd party validation company like DoubleVerify to make sure your ads are being seen (aka viewable). Preroll is a quality reach tool but doesn’t drive much action to your website. Facebook also has high reach but the clicks tend to be low quality.
Selling a Product with a Clear Conversion
When you have a clear conversion point like selling a product, measuring ROI is easier. In this scenario we like testing as much as possible sticking with paid search and retargeting as the base. When we find a channel that works best, that moves to the base, and if there’s budget left we test a new channel. Channel testing should start with programmatic, then Facebook and on down the line.
To summarize, we believe the base of your campaign should come from the “pull” tactics, paid search/SEO combo and retargeting. Then, depending on your budget and scenario, customizing a brand specific solution with the remainder of your budget.
MediaOne can help build out an effective marketing mix for your brand to get the best results.