Outsmart Them. Don’t Outspend Them.

So, you’re thousands of dollars down. You’ve paid top dollar to a reputed ad agency and yet you feel like you’re sitting in a casino playing roulette and seeing everyone else at the table winning. What could have possibly gone wrong?

There are two ways to approach this challenge: blame it on luck, just like an amateur gambler would, or find out the root cause and ensure that your advertising money is working hard for you and getting you the best returns. In a nutshell — you don’t need to outspend your competition, just outsmart ’em.

How do you ensure success when your competition spends marketing dollars like there’s no tomorrow? No matter how deep an organization’s pockets are, the most priceless asset for a brand is the content and messaging that defines it.

Search engine optimization is the name of the game. Every time a potential user searches for you online and finds your competition, you lose a customer, potential revenue, and brand equity. This can be avoided by being true to your brand and the content on your website. SEO isn’t a dark art; it’s simply a way to reinforce your messaging, communicate your product features effectively, and create relevant content that helps customers understand what your brand and product is all about.

A lot of agencies will talk about stuffing your website with keywords. When you hear keyword stuffing, take your bags and run in the opposite direction, because that agency doesn’t believe in your brand, doesn’t believe in research, and definitely doesn’t believe in winning the hearts and minds of customers.

For optimizing your website and increasing traffic without paying top dollar, it’s important to first create content relevant to the brand and the products offered. Maintain clear messaging and make it easier for the users to find the products and features offered. This step is unfortunately skipped by a lot of organizations as they try to make their website “cutting edge.”

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that content is king. By using the principle of clear messaging, a digital marketing agency can fight a grizzly bear with a toothpick and win. Another important principle to be followed is to add nothing but relevant keywords once the web content has been created. The natural question is: how do you decide which keywords to use?

Option 1: Flip a coin

Option 2: Use digital analytics tools to research and find high volume branded and product-relevant keywords that can be integrated in the web content.

The operative word is “integrated” and not “stuffed.” Let’s assume that the digital marketer choses Option 2 (the sane choice). The immediate result is a website that is primed to succeed in time. Compared to truckloads of marketing dollars spent on creating new campaigns and fancy websites, adherence to the fundamentals mentioned above (and a pinch of common sense) can better set you up for success and return on investment.

At Columbia Marketing Group, we believe in the KISS principle — keep it simple, stupid. We specialize in multiple digital technologies including Facebook, Google, dynamic OTT, weather forecasted marketing automation, geofencingweb development & hosting, and email marketing, to name a few. But we always adhere to marketing fundamentals and create marketing strategies that set our clients up for success — not for a month, not for a quarter, but for years.

5 Things You Need to Know About Facebook Advertising

One scroll through Facebook and you’ll see a plethora of posts tagged “Sponsored”. Businesses pay for these posts to get users to complete a call to action, turning users into customers or advocates with just one click.

Whether you want to start advertising on Facebook or improve your results, here are five things you need to know:

  1. Know your audience.

Facebook retains enormous quantities of information about its users, such as age, gender, location, job, hobbies, etc. A good first step in creating a successful Facebook ad would be to narrow down who you specifically want to target. While creating your Facebook ad, you can filter recipients by any of the categories mentioned and more. You can be super specific – even if you are looking for single moms, over 34, from Nebraska, who have an interest in bird watching (seriously!). 

  1.   Use the right images.

People are drawn to striking images with appealing colors, words, or objects. A good photo will get a better response from your ad, so put your eye to the test and find attractive photography with creative angles and interesting features.

  1.   Text IS important.

The image may grasp the users attention, but the text will likely be the differentiating factor in impression versus engagement (following the CTA). Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Little bits of information are going to get a better response than long winded paragraphs.

  1.  Set a realistic budget

Like any marketing strategy, you have to make a realistic budget, Facebook is no different. Knowing that you are not going to be able to reach the entire United States with just $10 per week is paramount. Set realistic parameters that all parties are comfortable with.

ProTip: Make sure you adjust the duration of the ad before publishing, it is very easy to accidentally spend $100 per day when you meant to spend that over the course of a month. Check and double check before you submit your ad, you won’t regret it!

  1.    Use a call to action

A call to action (CTA) is an instruction or directive that encourages the user to act in a particular way, achieving the primary goal of the campaign. “Download”, “Buy Now”, “Connect”, or “Like” are a few examples. For Facebook, limit the number of CTA’s to one and your Facebook ad is going to get a noticeably better response. 

 

Like anything, Facebook advertising is something that takes practice before you get it right; but once you create, analyze, and optimize your campaigns, you’ll learn what works best for your business and start seeing results.

If it still sounds too time consuming or confusing, contact CMG. We would be happy to lend a hand with your social media advertising.