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The 8+ Components Every Successful Ad Campaign Must Have

successful-ad-campaign-puzzle

Every successful ad campaign we’ve ever run has eight things in common. Said another way: advertising is not easy!

While there are several things that can make ad campaigns perform differently, there are eight areas that need your focus to ensure success. Do you know what they are?

Read on to test your skills.

You Will NOT Be An Overnight Success

First, let’s touch on the unsaid ninth thing you need to have to create a successful ad campaign: patience. We’ve gotten more than a few people stomping their feet after 30 days and asking where all of the leads are.

It takes more than 30 days to find your advertising sweet spot. In fact, we say it usually takes about six months!

That’s right. But the results are worth it.

Now on to the other eight things you need to be managing …

Bidding Strategies

Bid strategies are one of the most important factors in setting up successful advertising campaigns.

To start, think about the measurable business outcomes you care about. Are you trying to increase total sales or get more customers? Or are you more interested in increasing brand reach?

Next, you need to know a few things about your ad campaign:

  • Goals
  • Budget
  • Volume

Your bidding strategy will hinge on these things. Every ad campaign you create should carefully select a bidding strategy based on your desired outcomes.

Helpful Hint: If you’re new to advertising, start out by choosing “automatic” or “smart” bidding strategies on sties like Facebook or Google. Save manual bidding for when you’re a bit more advanced!

Budgeting For Your Ad Campaign

Everyone has a budget. EVERYONE. And if you don’t, back up and create one right now. This is especially true for those of you who are looking for a return on ad spend (ROAS).

Let’s say you need to make $100 dollars for every $20 dollars spent on your ad campaign. Using the ROAS formula, your target would be 500%.

Here’s the ROAS formula …

ROAS-Formula

Knowing your target ROAS and keeping a close eye on budgeting is hugely important.

Helpful Hint: Your ad budgets should have some flexibility. This is especially true for small budgets, which need to reap the maximum benefit from each dollar spent. You’ll want flexibility to overspend when target ROAS are being delivered so as not to cut yourself short!

Keywords

When talking search campaigns, keyword strategies are essential! There’s way too much to unpack here — broad vs. narrow match keywords, branded/unbranded keywords, etc. — so let’s cover the basic ideas.

  1. Start by focusing on keywords that closely relate to your business/brand (including products or services)
  2. Find long-tail keywords to use, too
  3. Create copy for your ad campaign that incorporates your keywords
  4. Formulate a list of negative keywords (words you don’t want your ad appearing for)

Helpful Hint: Keywords are getting optimized on a near-daily basis for “full impact.” At the very least, they should be looked at weekly to discover negative keywords to exclude, better, more high-value keywords, and other suitable search terms for your ad campaign.

Ad Campaign Creative & Messaging

Whether you’re creating campaigns that are heavily dependent on imagery — like Facebook or Instagram — or solely using search ads (like Google) you’ll still want to put a ton of thought into creative and messaging.

For instance, we often test every creative option available to us, and build a continual feedback loop to see what worked by refining copy, creative, keywords, and adding in new imagery. 

Helpful Hint: If you’ve run ads in the past, choose copy from a successful ad campaign and mirror that tone and voice for new campaigns.

Targeting

I’m sure you’ve heard about targeting a zillion times or more if you’re a marketer. However, good targeting is the difference between reaching your exact audience and yelling at everyone (during a wind storm).

Each advertising platform provides SO MANY targeting options. I advise you to get intimately familiar with each of them (here’s a helpful post about Facebook Targeting).

If you’re a national or regional brand, consider hyper-targeting efforts where you may do things like including state names, etc. in the ad copy for more personalization to those regions.

If you have any sort of marketing or email lists available, look into retargeting.

At a minimum, if you’re using Facebook, install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Same goes for Twitter. Same goes for Goal & Tracking set up in Google Ads & Analytics.

Helpful Hint: One of our biggest “secrets” for B2B audience targeting strategies has job title research on LinkedIn.

Ad Formats

Similar to ad campaign creative and message, this is one area where you want to test, test, test. Each platform has several different ad types.

For example, Google Ads have about eight different types of formats you can use. And if it makes sense, USE THEM.

Let’s say you have a video ad campaign on Facebook that’s killing it. Why not upload that video to your YouTube channel and test it there as well? We LOVE A/B testing various platforms against each other. And we even get as granular as testing imagery or ad copy.

Helpful Hint: Not every ad format — or ad — will be successful. But the advertisers who put a focus on testing often find the best results!

Landing Pages For Your Ad Campaign

We cannot talk about successful ad campaigns without discussing landing pages.

At B Squared, we prefer an ad campaign has a standalone web page (often called a “PPC landing page”) or landing page that was created specifically the campaign. Essentially, this is where our visitor “lands” after they click on a link for one of your ads.

PPC landing pages can help you:

  • Lower cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
  • Increase conversions

Helpful Hint: Try not to send your paid traffic to the homepage of your website as it can drive up cost-per-click (CPC).

Analytics

Finally, you cannot have ANY continued success without analyzing your performance. While there isn’t any one way to do this, we find most often that people are very comfortable using Google Analytics (which is free, by the way!).

Finding a way to easily check on analytics while your ad campaigns are running will be critical. And the tools to do this are endless (we love Swydo for reporting!).

Each metric has its place …

For example, we aren’t much for impressions but when you’re running a brand awareness campaign impressions are very important!

If we’re talking using ads for some type of conversion, the metrics we’ll pay close attention to are:

  • Conversions (obviously!)
  • Cost
  • Clicks

Setting up some sort of place where you can see how campaigns are performing in real time will be super beneficial. Like this one …

ad-campaign-analytics-dashboard

Helpful Hint: The dashboard above was set up using Google Data Studio!

But Wait, There’s More!

Lastly, there are many more things that go into successful campaigns. This is why my eyes roll back into my head when I hear some advertisers say they can guarantee results. Or that it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

It’s not. Think about how daunting just these eight things are, and then factor in the fact that the platforms change things around constantly. Consumer behaviors and trends change constantly. Privacy settings and laws change constantly.

Nothing in advertising (marketing in general) is guaranteed. If someone promises you that, expect to be sold a bill of goods.

And while we won’t give away EVERYTHING we do to make our ads campaigns successful, we don’t mind sharing our method and processes for getting there. {WINK}

Is there anything you’d add as a “must have” component for a successful ad campaign? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Advertising
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