Data from BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey suggests that 93% of consumers in the U.S. used the internet to find a local business. And according to Statista, there are 4.66 billion internet users worldwide — that’s 59.5% of the global population surfing the web and creating endless audiences for online advertisers.
It’s probably safe to assume they’re not just hanging out on one platform or in one channel or browsing one website. And digital marketers shouldn’t have a singular focus either when it comes to placing ads, advises Alexandra Deuel, Lumenad’s resident digital advertising expert. “If you’re only serving display ads, but half of your audience ignores them and is only hanging out on Facebook and Instagram,” she says, “you’re missing out on reaching all those potential customers.”
Diversifying your campaigns – spreading your ads out on more than one or two platforms an audience is likely to visit – may be vital to optimizing your ROAS, or return on ad spend. This article, excerpted from our e-book, “5 Expert Tips for Fearlessly Creating Winning Paid Ad Strategies,” will help you evaluate your paid ad campaign and make sound choices when planning to diversify ad spend.
How do you diversify ad spend with your digital ad campaigns?
There are four main points that can help digital marketers make strategic and smart choices when trying to diversify marketing and advertising campaigns. And for each of these, you can use the questions below to evaluate where your ads should live.
Not surprisingly, the first point is budget. Planning to diversify ad spend means spreading out your budget on more platforms, or perhaps, even across additional channels. First, you need to make sure you have enough resources to diversify successfully.
- Do you have the budget for more than one or two channels?
- What will it cost for creative development, i.e. ad copy and design, for each of those channels?
- How much budget do you need in each channel to drive awareness, engagement, or conversion effectively?
- What does each platform cost?
- With your budget in mind, what type of results do you expect to see within each of those channels or platforms?
Next, consider what you’re promoting. For example, imagine you’re a consumer looking for a plumbing service. Would you browse Facebook or Instagram to find that service? Probably not. Instead, you would likely conduct a straight-forward Google search for something like “plumber near me.” The brand you’re supporting and the product or service being offered makes a difference in where you place your ads and how you choose to diversify ad spend.
- What type of brand or product are you telling a story about?
- Where does your audience typically search for offers like yours?
“By reaching your audience multiple times, you make it more likely that they’ll remember your brand.” -TheHartford.com
No matter what kind of marketing strategy you undertake, understanding your audience is imperative. Taking the time to research how they spend their time affects how you budget and choose your channels and campaign goals to diversify ad spend.
- What are the key characteristics of your target audience? For instance, is your audience mostly females in the 18-24 age range?
- Which ad platforms cater most to your audience?
- Which platforms have the biggest following amongst your target audience?
Another important audience consideration is frequency. According to Deuel, “overwhelming your audience with hundreds of the same ads can create annoyance with your brand and/or product. But you do need to get your ads in front of your audience multiple times to create familiarity.” Adjusting the frequency of your ads and varying the creatives to serve a different graphic or message to match each stage of the funnel, is a key strategy for keeping ads fresh and relevant for your audience.
Using the previous three criteria, you can set appropriate campaign goals. And these goals should ultimately ladder back to business objectives set by your brand or key stakeholders.
- What am I trying to achieve?
If your answer is conversions, you might have a better chance of reaching the right audience on paid search or social than you would on display or connected TV. Or perhaps your goal is to drive awareness of a new company. You may choose to run higher frequencies of those ads across multiple channels like display and social versus just focusing on paid search.
As the digital advertising industry experienced with the October, 2021 Facebook outage, planning to diversify ad spend, rather than only placing ads on one platform, can mean the difference between losing major ad revenue and maintaining a steady stream of online sales. If you have the budget to diversify and can clearly define your offer, audience, and goal, you’re well on your way to creating an even more successful paid ad strategy.