Lead generation campaigns often require multiple touch points before a prospect converts or becomes qualified for sales outreach. Extending your ad’s message across multiple networks is a great tactic to expand your reach, increase conversions, and accelerate sales cycles. However, building a comprehensive cross-network advertising strategy from scratch can seem daunting.
Let’s examine six key elements that can help simplify the process.
1. Define Your Objectives
Before your mind starts wandering towards budget allocation, targeting, and ad choices; start with the foundation - your objectives.
What's your definition of a lead?
It seems like a no-brainer question, but you might be surprised by the variation of answers from key stakeholders. Sit everyone down and create a universally understood definition.
A request for a demo might hold different weight than a whitepaper download, for example.
What's the absolute maximum you're willing to pay for a lead?
Consider the following metrics to help define the highest Cost Per Lead (CPL) threshold management is willing to pay:
- Total lifetime value of a customer
- Average closing percentage of qualified leads from sales
- Historic landing page conversion rates
How long will the ad campaigns run?
Define the advertising flight. Will it be a short initiative or an evergreen campaign? Knowing how long your campaigns will be active can determine your aggressiveness in optimization techniques.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
In short, do the upfront research. Really understand who your target user is, where they frequent, and what their pain points are.
- What are their firmographics? Title, industry, company size, and skillsets.
- Are they a decision maker or an influencer?
- How long is their average purchase cycle?
- What organizational pain points do they current have? Are they actively searching for, or aware of, your product or service?
- Are they within the geography you service?
- What are their core demographics? Age, sex and ethnicity.
- What are their psychographics? Personality, interests and lifestyle.
- What buyer type do they fall under? Are they an impulsive or carefully researched buyer?
- Are they within the geography you service?
3. Allocate Your Budget
The mark of a great PPC advertiser is someone who looks to test everything and quickly iterate on the findings. In the case of testing all the ad networks during initial launch, it can actually hurt your results. Spreading your budgets too thin can lead to high cost per leads, and a lack of consistent data to optimize against.
Pro Tips for Allocating PPC Budgets
- Start with 2-3 key networks. Then, invest a percentage of the returns from these campaigns into new network exploration.
- Include the networks with the highest likelihood to convert.
- Choose the networks with the highest intent to purchase.
- Think about which platforms reach your target audience most effectively.
- Consider overall reach.
- Create aggressive budgets and optimization calendars for short promotions.
- Total campaign budgets settings work well here.
- Run smooth, evenly distributed budgets for evergreen campaigns.
- Daily budgets help keep an even pacing.
- Analyze direct versus assist channels.
- Some networks drive last click attribution, leading from direct ad click, to new lead.
- Other networks may not drive new leads with every click, but they can lift overall conversions through assists.
- Learn more about setting your campaign budgets here.Think about the campaign flight length.
4. Have a Consistent Message
Your target customer no longer visits just one network on one device. It’s common for prospects to hop between networks and devices throughout their day. Having a consistent brand or offering message can lead to increased awareness and likelihood to convert.
Tips for Selecting a Cross-Network Message:
- Ensure the message is aligned with your core objectives.
- Mention your promotion, sales, or new content in ad copy across all media.
- Route ads to a common landing page so you can understand which networks are yielding the best returns.
- Map out the buyer’s journey.
- Search can be direct, to-the-point sales messaging. It’s geared to drive leads at the bottom of the funnel to convert.
- Social requires a softer touch and is a great medium for drip lead nurturing through differing ad messaging at different stages of the buying journey.
5. Leverage Network Strengths
Each network offers a unique set of offerings and configurations. Be sure to take advantage of network specific settings.
Google AdWords & Bing Ads
6. Track Your Results
Finally, ensure that each network’s conversion tracking is provisioned and placed correctly. Add custom URL tracking strings to each of your ads to track performance through web analytics.
For help on setting up proper conversion tracking for your campaigns, you can reference our post, “Tracking Conversions With Google Analytics.”
Be sure to have some sort of PPC reporting software in place as well. They can house your all your PPC campaign data allowing for campaign monitoring, quick reports, and budget pacing. This will save you countless hours previously spent pulling and prepping data in Excel tables.
Follow these tips when creating a cross-network advertising strategy to ensure the best return on ad spend from your campaigns. Examine performance as a collective whole. Then dissect it by network, campaign, and ad level. Optimize towards conversions (leads), conversion rate, and cost-per-conversion (cost per lead), leaving no stone unturned.