is your online advertising working?

How Do I Make Sure My Online Advertising Is Working?

Not sure if you online advertising is working? Here's how to stop wasting money

One of the oldest challenges in advertising is understanding the real value that your advertising is delivering to your business. If you don't know how many customers are being created by your advertising, and how much it costs to generate a new enquiry then you need to update your approach.

The famous quote, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half," is as true today as it ever was. The sheer range of options vying for your marketing budget has never been wider but this can lead to a confusing choice.

How do you know what will work for you? How do you test what is delivering real results? This post will look at some of the tools available to help you ensure the money you invest in your marketing is working for you.

So in the digital age how do you make sure that you know which advertising is making your phone ring and turning those calls into customers? Which advertising is vanity marketing that isn't delivering tangible value?

This post talks about the tools that are available for a modern marketer to ensure they understand the value that is being delivered from advertising. It is simple and something that all businesses can implement.

Whatever media you use to advertise your business you can apply some basic rules:

  1. Make sure all your marketing has a clear call to action. Think about what you want someone to do when they see your advert. Are you looking for visits to your store, web traffic, phone calls or emails? Make sure you make this clear in your advertising,
  2. Measure the outcome. The great thing about digital marketing is that most things can be measured, but you need to be clear on the outcome you are looking to achieve and then ensure you put the tracking in place to measure that outcome. Sometimes the amount of data can be overwhelming, it is important to set up campaigns in a way that can measure the outcome you want, not just ad views and clicks, which although they are good indicators of a campaign performance won't actually pay the bills.
  3. Understand the Return On Investment or ROI of your advertising. In order to understand whether you are getting value, you need to measure the cost of the advertising needed to generate a sale vs the profit you make from a sale. I would always encourage a business to ask themselves the following:
  • How many enquiries on average does it take to generate a sale?
  • What is the value of a typical sale to your business?
  • Given the above, how much can you sensibly pay per enquiry? 

Advertising isn't about cost, it is about value. Paying £200 for a lead is terrible value if your average order is £25 but if you are selling high value products with high margins you may be happy to pay more.

There are lots of ways to measure response and here is how we do it for our customers:

  1. Create a landing page for every campaignHaving a landing page that is specifically designed for a campaign you are running will boost conversion. Even if you don't build a specific landing page, make sure the page you do link to is a logical next step for someone clicking on your advert. For example if you were promoting an offer of 20% discount on an iPhone, you will want to make sure the page you link to is all about that offer.
  2. Capture leadsEnsure the landing page is optimised for the next step you want the customer to take. In the example of the iPhone offer you would want the customer to be able to buy online. If you were a dentist promoting an offer for new patients you may want them to ring you. If so make the phone number prominent on the page.
  3. Track what is workingIf you are putting an offer out on multiple platforms make sure you can tell which one is driving the results. You may get more traffic from Facebook but does the traffic convert? Is AdWords better at driving response than LinkedIn for your business? The best way to do this is to use the following:
  • Call Tracking - With dynamic call tracking you can change the number a potential customer sees depending on where they came from. People visiting your page from AdWords will see a different number to those from Facebook or an advert in the paper. This way you can really understand which medium is really working, It may surprise you!
  • Forms - If you want a customer to complete a form, again set the form so you can tell which advert led to the form being completed.

This may all seem complicated at first glance but it really isn't. At MNA Digital, we do this for customers everyday and it doesn't have to cost the earth.

If you spend more than £50 per week on advertising and you are not doing this, you could be spending your money on things that don't work.

Remember the phrase, "half my advertising is working, but I don't know which half?" Over the course of a year if you spent £100 per week on advertising this would be £2600 wasted on advertising that wasn't working.

Everything I've talked about above is relatively easy to set-up and could help you save money on advertising that isnt working, and more importantly generate more business from the advertising that is.

If you would like more help with the subjects covered in this blog post get in touch. We would be more than happy to talk to you about setting up campaign tracking to ensure you are getting the best results.

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