Lets’ face it, quantity is insignificant in advertising, what matters is the impact. Notwithstanding the number of ads you run, you will bleed money if they fail to cut through the noise and inspire purchases. Just ask yourself, how many advertisements caught your attention when going through the latest edition of your favourite business magazine. If able to recall a single advert featured in the magazine an hour later, you fare better than most people whose standard attention span is comparable to that of a goldfish. The low attention issues, together with the sheer volume of calls to action that an everyday consumer receives day in and day out, have made consumers selective about what, when and where they will click on.
With Smartphones becoming the norm for Internet-based purchases, the marketers have a receptive, capable audience to tap in. The caveat here is the trend of blocking ads on Smartphones is gaining traction. Your advert is not visible to a significant part of the target audience in the first place, let alone making an impression. Ironically, discarding branding outright is never a good decision, as the risk of losing your market share and customer loyalty runs high. Thankfully, branding is an evolving world where changes are instant and rampant. Accordingly, the conventional unaccountable and often futile advertising methods are giving way to more responsive, indicative and result-driven Performance Campaigns.
Performance Campaign is a self-explanatory term where you pay only if the ad campaign generates measurable outcomes. It’s all about choosing the appropriate time and appropriate place to send an appropriate message to the appropriate recipient. Contrary to the conventional advertising focused on raising awareness, performance ads drive a desirable action, giving a complete value for advert spends. You are in a position to optimize a single ad or an entire campaign in real time for maximum marketing leverage. You pay for the action that the ad inspires. No action, no payouts – it’s as simple as that. The concept is here to stay, given the spread of the internet where quantifying the impact of an advert is easy and accurate.
A typical performance campaign has four attributes to it, each with a different motive and price tag. They are:
Views: Your ads will be displayed to the user and charges will depend on the number of times it is displayed. This hedges you against paying for blocked ads.
Click: The user sees the ad and clicks on it and you will be charged for every lick. It is an indication that the buyer is interested in your product.
Lead: The user provides contact information, which can be used for securing a future sale. The payments are based on the number of leads generated over a period.
Sales: The ad inspires the purchaser to provide credit/debit card information and walk away with the product.
Performance advertising is a multi-modality approach involving publishers, merchants, networks, OPMs and more. Being the fastest growing form of advertising, everyone – from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups – is vying for the performance advertising pie. This form of advertising is beneficial for businesses across scales and sectors that rely on the internet to attract customers. When it comes to hosts, they can be search engines like Google and Yahoo or social media platforms, notably Facebook or companies providing e-mail services. Several individual blogs can also be relied on for running a profitable performance campaign
Cost varies as per the action and the market. Often views are the least priced commodity while sales attract the heftiest price. Likewise, highly competitive markets, such as fashion, travel, food and more, will ask for more investments vis-à-vis moderately or lowly competitive ones.
The price being determined on a bidding arrangement by the publisher is a common sight. Herein, you quote the amount that you can afford for specific user action and the publisher reverts with prices quoted by your competitors for the same. You then outdo competitors’ quotes to end up with the desired advertising slot on the desired platform.
Although bidding is the standard practice, some publishers take the onus of defining the cost of the advert by presumably factoring in the expected value and volume of the sale and resultant profits. This pricing method is more profound in competitive markets.
Agility : In marketing, delays are often equated with extinction. Suppose there is a campaign malfunction, the sooner you realize the discrepancy, the better the chances are of rectification. While it’s hard to identify the loopholes in the conventional campaign for the lack of indicators, performance campaigns keep you covered. Here, you get an accurate measure of how the campaign fares in real time, giving you ample time to respond to weak performance. Any issues with the content can be identified and plugged or the strategy can be revisited speedily to up the performance.
Full value for money: Performance advertising is the best response to marketing budget wastages. In conventional advertising, the investment is on the readership/viewership of a magazine or TV/radio show, while performance advertising asks to pay for actions. As such, you are hedged against paying for ads with low or no ROI.
Flexibility With performance campaigns, flexibility comes by default, allowing you to opt for the exact time, budget and audience. The campaign can be discontinued in the wake of poor performance and resumed with appropriate changes at any given time. The option of adjusting the campaign volume according to the outcomes is also available.
Broadening horizons : If reaching out to a larger audience is your priority, performance campaigns can exceed your expectations. With millennials increasingly preferring Smartphones to search and buy, you can tap them through mobile-based ad types. These ads take your products and brand to a receptive audience that has remained elusive to you hitherto, ensuring an increased brand awareness and higher ROI. If you need quantification, it’s available, courtesy Hub-Spot. About 51% of users discover a previously unheard of product every time they use Smartphone to access the internet
Customer savvy: Performance advertising bombards you with extensive data on your business, customers and markets. You are always in the know of what your customer needs, how they respond to your ads, where your product lags and other information. When analyzed, the database offers actionable inferences to keep you in the groove.
Although performance campaigns are a shot in the arm, they do not guarantee outcomes unless you approach them with proper planning. To put the ball in motion, consider your business goals, as they will be the cornerstone of a successful performance campaign. For instance, your primary goal is to generate leads. Here, your preferences and expectations should be different vis-à-vis a sales-based campaign. It’s all about “horses for courses.” The next step should be to dig out feasible ad opportunities. From affiliate marketing to social media marketing, the options are varied to spoil you for choice. You are also better off taking a few practical steps like creating informative comprehensible landing pages and click-thru processes
Once the campaign is running, monitoring its progress continuously is imperative. Look for the response, identify the gaps and revisit strategies if outcomes are not at par. Any lethargy here will cost you in money, prospects and credibility. If the bidding process or finer details of the campaign, including keywords and sites selections, are weighing your mind, seek professional help. The external expertise helps in optimizing campaigns and delivering lasting value.