Welcome to the wild world of Paid Media, where we pay to play because, let's face it, organic reach is so last season. In this blog post, we'll navigate the digital advertising jungle, swinging from social media vines to search engine branches, all while dodging the occasional billboard that's still stuck in the prehistoric era.

So, what's Paid Media, you ask? It's the cool kid in the marketing class who doesn't mind splurging a little to make sure everyone knows they're throwing the party of the century. Whether it's a Facebook fiesta, an Instagram soirée, or a Google search shindig, paid media is all about getting your brand the VIP treatment.

We'll break down the basics, from the OG TV commercials to the modern wonders of sponsored content. Forget owned and earned media; we're here for the media that comes with a receipt.

Strap in as we take you on a joyride through strategic campaign planning, where we measure success with more precision than your grandma's secret cookie recipe. So, buckle up, buttercup, because in the world of Paid Media, the only thing we love more than a click is a good laugh (or a sale, but who's keeping track?). Let's make your digital marketing strategy as bold and beautiful as your grandma's cookies… or maybe even bolder!

The Role of Paid Media in Marketing

Paid media plays a crucial role in marketing by allowing businesses to reach a wider audience and target specific demographics. It also provides a way to measure the success of advertising efforts through metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, and return on investment (ROI).

Paid media is often used in conjunction with owned and earned media to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. While owned and earned media focus on building brand awareness and credibility, paid media is more focused on driving immediate results and conversions.

What Sets Paid Media Apart from Owned and Earned Media?

While all three types of media are important for a successful marketing strategy, there are some key differences between them.

One of the main differences between paid media and owned or earned media is the level of control and ownership. With paid media, businesses have complete control over the content and placement of their advertisements. They can choose where and when their ads are displayed, as well as the messaging and visuals used.

On the other hand, owned media refers to content that a company creates and owns, such as their website, blog, and social media profiles. While businesses have control over the content they create, they have less control over how it is shared and distributed.

Earned media, on the other hand, refers to content that is created and shared by others, such as customer reviews, social media mentions, and press coverage. Businesses have little control over earned media, as it is created and shared by external sources.

Another significant difference between paid media and owned or earned media is the cost and reach. Paid media requires a financial investment, as businesses must pay for ad space or sponsored content. However, this also allows for a wider reach, as paid media can target specific demographics and reach a larger audience.

Owned and earned media, on the other hand, do not require a financial investment but may have a smaller reach. Owned media is limited to the audience that actively seeks out a company's content, while earned media relies on the audience of the source sharing the content.

Paid media is often used for short-term goals, such as driving website traffic, generating leads, or promoting a specific product or service. It can provide immediate results and is a useful tool for businesses looking to achieve quick wins.

Owned and earned media, on the other hand, are more focused on long-term impact. Owned media, such as a company's website or blog, can help establish brand authority and credibility over time. Earned media, such as positive customer reviews or press coverage, can also contribute to a company's reputation and credibility in the long run.

Ad Formats; Things You Need To Know

Source: madgicx.com

An ad format in paid media refers to the specific layout or structure in which an advertisement is presented to the audience. It determines how the ad will appear visually and what type of content it will contain. Ad formats can vary depending on the platform or medium where the ad is displayed, such as search engines, social media, websites, or mobile apps.

Ad formats can include text-based ads, image-based ads, video ads, or interactive media. They are designed to capture the attention of the audience and convey the message effectively. Ad formats play a crucial role in attracting potential customers, promoting products or services, and driving desired actions, such as clicks, conversions, or engagement.

Different Ad Formats: Strengths and Advantages. 

A text ad typically appears on the search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for specific keywords or phrases. These ads typically appear at the top or bottom of the SERPs and are labelled as ads. Search ads are highly targeted, as they are displayed based on the user's search query, and can be a cost-effective way to reach potential customers who are actively searching for products or services.

A video ad involves the use of video content to promote a product, service, or brand. These ads can be displayed on various platforms, such as social media, video streaming websites, or within other video content. Video ads can be highly engaging and visually appealing, making them an effective way to capture the attention of the audience. They can be used to tell a story, showcase a product demonstration, or deliver a compelling message to the viewers.

A display ad that appears on websites or mobile apps. These ads can be in the form of images, banners, or interactive media and are designed to attract the attention of the audience. Display ads can be targeted based on various factors, such as demographics, interests, or browsing history, allowing advertisers to reach their desired audience effectively. They can be an effective way to increase brand visibility, drive website traffic, or generate leads.

A banner ad is a specific type of display ad in paid media that is typically a rectangular graphic or image displayed on a website or mobile app. These ads are usually placed at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage and can be static or animated. Banner ads can be used to promote a product, service, or brand and can include a call-to-action to encourage users to click on the ad. They are a common form of online advertising and can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and drive website traffic.

Working with Paid Media Channels

You may create content materials for your paid media campaigns and paid media channels refer to the various platforms or channels that businesses can use to distribute their paid advertisements to reach their target audience. These channels can include search engines (such as Google Ads), social media plataforms (such as Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads), display networks, video platforms (such as YouTube Ads orTikTok Business Centre), mobile apps, and other online advertising networks.

Each paid media channel offers unique features and targeting options to help businesses effectively reach their desired audience. For example, search engine advertising allows businesses to display ads to users who are actively searching for specific keywords or phrases related to their products or services. Social media advertising allows businesses to target ads based on user demographics, interests, and search logs.

Using a combination of paid media channels can help businesses boost their reach and increase the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. It's important to carefully select the paid media channels that align with your target audience and marketing goals.

Types of Paid Media Channels

Paid media channels refer to the various platforms or channels that businesses can use to distribute their paid advertisements to reach their target audience. Here are some examples of paid media channels:

This includes platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, where businesses can run paid advertising campaigns to target specific demographics, interests, or habits of users.

This refers to search engine advertising, such as Google Ads, where businesses can bid on keywords and have their ads displayed at the top or bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for relevant terms.

Programmatic advertising uses automated systems and algorithms to buy and display digital ads across a network of websites or apps. It allows businesses to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, or browsing patterns.

This is a performance-based advertising model where businesses partner with affiliates who promote their products or services and earn a commission for each sale or lead generated through their efforts.

Native advertising involves creating ads that match the form and function of the platform where they are displayed. They blend in with the surrounding content, providing a seamless user experience.

These are just a few examples of paid media channels. Businesses can choose the channels that align with their target audience and marketing goals to enhance their reach and effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

Strategizing your Paid Media Campaigns

To maximise your paid media potential and measure and analyse your results, consider the following steps:

The SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) helps to outline your goals. This framework ensures your goals are well-defined and achievable.

Start by creating a solid plan that answers these questions and adheres to the SMART framework. You'll stay on course and track your progress effectively throughout your advertising journey. 

Define your objectives and what you want to achieve. Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads, having clear goals will help you measure the success of your campaign.

Understand your target audience and their demographics, interests, and behaviours. This will help you select the right paid media channels and create highly targeted campaigns that resonate with your audience.

Select the paid media channels that align with your target audience and marketing goals. Consider platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and display networks, based on where your audience is most likely to be.

Set a clear budget for your online advertising efforts. Determine how much you're willing to invest. This will ensure you stay within the parameters you have set. 

Develop engaging and relevant ad content that grabs attention and encourages action. Use strong visuals, clear messaging, and a compelling call-to-action to drive desired outcomes.

Continuously monitor and optimise your paid media campaigns to improve their performance. Test different ad formats, targeting options, and messaging to identify what works best for your audience.

Use tracking tools, such as Google Analytics, to monitor the performance of your paid media campaigns. Track metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Analyse the data collected from your campaigns to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement to plan future campaigns.

Based on your analysis, make necessary adjustments to your campaigns to improve performance. Continuously iterate and refine your strategies to get the most out of your paid media potential.

Measuring and Analysing Your Paid Media Campaign Effectively

Once you have established your goals and objectives, the next step to ensure the success of your advertising campaign is to create visually appealing and content-rich ads that captivate your audience's attention and effectively engage them.

Your ads will be shared based on the parameters you have defined when setting up your campaign. To evaluate their performance and make necessary adjustments, it is crucial to track the performance of each ad. You can monitor the performance of your ads on each platform individually.

Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) you should consider tracking as mentioned above, depending on your campaign's goals and the desired calls to action:

This refers to the number of times your ad is displayed to users.

This is the percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it.

This is the cost incurred for each click on your ad.

This is the percentage of users who take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, after clicking on your ad.

This is the ratio of revenue generated to the cost of advertising. It measures the effectiveness of your ad spend in terms of generating revenue.

By closely monitoring these essential marketing KPIs, you can make necessary adjustments to your ad campaign and escalate its effectiveness in achieving your predefined goals. This data-driven approach is essential for optimising your paid media strategy and achieving the best possible results for your brand or business.

TL;DR - Recap

To sum it up in a nutshell: Online paid media isn't just the Robin to owned and earned media's Batman; it's the caped crusader that swoops in for those quick wins and immediate results. Think of it as the Usain Bolt of digital marketing—fast, focused, and a guaranteed podium finish.

We've unraveled the mystery behind different ad formats, each with its superhero strengths to capture attention and deliver messages like a boss.

As we navigated the vast landscape of paid media channels, it became clear: strategic selection is the secret sauce. Like assembling the Avengers, picking the right channels that align with your audience and goals is the key to campaign success.

But here's the kicker: crafting effective paid media campaigns isn't just about slapping ads together. It's an art, a symphony of elements working together seamlessly to hit the right notes with your audience and make those business goals sing.

And in this digital age, mastering paid media isn't just a feather in your marketing cap—it's the entire peacock. It's not just about staying relevant; it's about wielding a powerful tool for sustained brand success. May your metrics be ever in your favour!

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) has emerged as a vital strategy in the digital marketing landscape. It is a systematic process aimed at increasing the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, leading to higher conversion rates. This guide will delve into the essence of CRO, its importance, and effective strategies to boost conversions.

Understanding Conversion Rate Optimisation

CRO is a strategic practice of enhancing a website's performance to escalate the conversion of site visitors into customers. Whether your goal is to increase purchases, newsletter sign-ups, or lead generation, CRO is the key to achieving it.

However, it's essential to adopt a user-centric view of CRO. It's not just about conversion percentages or benchmarks; it's about understanding the drivers that bring people to your site, the barriers that prevent them from converting, and the hooks that persuade them to stay.

Why Does CRO Matter?

CRO holds a significant place in the digital marketing sphere. A high conversion rate implies that a sizable proportion of your site visitors are completing the desired action, benefiting your business in several ways.

Primarily, a high conversion rate leads to increased revenue. The more visitors you convert into customers, the more profitable your business becomes. Moreover, CRO is about refining the overall user experience on your website. By constantly tweaking and enhancing different aspects of your site, you create a more user-friendly experience, leading to higher conversions.

Calculating Conversion Rate

To measure the effectiveness of your CRO efforts, it's important to know how to calculate your conversion rate. The formula is simple - divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. For instance, if your site garnered 500 visitors last month and 50 of them made a purchase, your conversion rate would be 10%.

Key Areas for CRO Implementation

When executing a CRO strategy, it's crucial to concentrate your efforts on areas that can significantly impact your conversion rate. Some key areas include:

1. Homepage

2. Pricing Page

3. Blogs

4. Landing Pages

By paying close and consistent attention to these key areas with well-researched tactics, you can optimize your CRO strategy for maximum effectiveness.

CRO Strategies to Boost Conversions

Here are ten effective strategies you can utilise to enhance your CRO efforts:

1. Utilise Text-Based CTAs in Blogs:

2. Implement Lead Capture Forms:

3. Optimise High-Performing Blogs:

4. Use Videos for Product Promotion:

5. Leverage Social Proof:

6. Retarget Visitors:

7. Implement Live Chat:

8. Offer Discounts and Special Offers:

9. Minimise On-Page Distractions:

10. Run A/B Tests on Landing Pages:

In conclusion, conversion rate optimisation is a continuous process that requires constant testing and refining. By implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can skyrocket your conversions and boost your online business's success. Remember, the key to achieving high conversion rates is understanding your users and delivering an experience that meets their needs.

Navigating PPC advertising can seem daunting, with the fear of not getting the desired results. Yet, investing money is crucial for revenue, and digital platforms give us valuable data to guide our investments wisely. In the world of Google Ads, understanding the benchmarks for cost per lead is key. 

Setting standards with advertising benchmarks is essential, providing clear goals to strive for. When it comes to Google Ads, numerous metrics demand attention, with cost per lead standing out as a crucial metric. This article dives into what cost per lead entails and outlines effective strategies to optimise this vital metric, ensuring your financial investment pays off.

CPL it's a vital PPC metric that gauges the investment required to turn an advertisement viewer into a conversion. It will become a critical marketing KPI to monitor your marketing strategy and set your campaigns up for success. Also referred to as cost per action or cost per conversion, this metric assesses the effectiveness of an ad based on the desired actions it prompts.

Calculating the cost per lead involves a straightforward formula: divide the campaign expenditure by the number of conversions. For example, if you spend $500 and garner 50 leads, your CPL would be $10. Lowering CPA involves identifying areas where conversions can rise or costs can be trimmed. However, it's not a simplistic, two-dimensional challenge.

Within your Google Ads accounts, you're dealing with numerous campaigns and keywords, each driving distinct value for the business. The maturity of campaigns, conversion rate optimization, budget, and available resources all come into among many other variables when deciding your CPL. Therefore, reducing your CPL likely requires a multifaceted approach, addressing a range of activities across various campaigns within your account. Let's delve into this complexity.

Determining an acceptable cost per lead will largely depend on the industry you operate in. What's considered a "good" cost per lead can vary significantly in other industries as opposed to yours. Take, for instance, the Business Services sector as shown below which averages around $130 per lead while IT, Computer and technical Services and Health care and Medical sectors cost upwards of $165 per lead. On the flip side, in Education, Retail, Telecom and Non-profits it tends to stay below $55.

Additionally, as you explore your campaign results, you'll notice variations in Cost Per Leads (CPL) across keywords and campaigns. This discrepancy arises because some offers prove more lucrative than others, highlighting the dynamic nature and volatility of lead generation costs.

As stated above, there's no single approach that will work to cut down the cost per lead for all accounts. It requires boosting conversions and/or reducing costs, and there are multiple ways to achieve this. Let’s look at one of those below. 

One technique to decrease your expenditures is to reduce your bids, which is related to campaigns that are "limited by budget". This is a campaign status in Google Ads that means your bids are sufficiently high for you to take part in a certain amount of auctions, however your budget does not permit you to participate in that many auctions.

Google Ads Lead Generation Limited by Budget

For campaigns ‘limited by budget’, you might consider:

For high value campaigns that are unconstrained by a budget, it is possible to reduce bids and expenditures in lower-value campaigns to bring down the entire CPL within the account.

2. Improve your Quality Score

The cost per click can be reduced by submitting a lower bid in the Google Ads auction. Achieving this requires a high Quality Score. The Google Ads system is structured to reward quality ads with reduced CPLs. The Google Ads auction will show a lower cost per click when the quality score is higher therefore, it is important to be aware of the three elements of Quality Score in order to improve it.

Factors determining your google ads quality score
Source: deskera.com

The way you arrange your keywords and ads into ad groups and campaigns is referred to as your account structure. Having an appropriately designed account structure can be beneficial for reducing CPL in multiple ways:

4. Tweak your bids

Examining your campaigns is important to ensure that there is no money wasted on campaign configurations or targeting. If you have Manual or Enhanced CPC bidding, you can alter the bids based on:

  1. Devices Used: Desktops, mobiles, tablets, etc.
  2. Demographics: Age, gender, location, etc.
  3. Target Audience: Detailed demographics, in-market, affinity, custom segments, etc.
  4. Ad Network: Search, Display, or Partner network.
  5. Time: Depending on your ad schedule.

If you find that conversion rates are low for certain time periods, networks, locations, or devices, it is wise to either omit those segments or change the bids for them.

Google ads bids adjustment
Device specific bids adjustments

5. Change your targeting

When utilizing an automated bidding approach, the capacity to modify bids is quite restricted, although it is possible to adjust the objectives. For example, when utilizing the Max Conversions bidding strategy, one can set a target CPA (tCPA).

Smart bidding strategies on google ads

By utilizing TCPA bidding on Google Ads, you can be a great way to minimize costs provided that you are aware of the costs which you could afford to incur in order to be profitable. 

However, you should ensure that your target is reasonable and realistic. If you set a target that is too low, Google may struggle to identify auctions that correspond with that criteria – which could result in fewer impressions, leading to a reduction in clicks and, ultimately, conversions, which would raise your CPL.

6. Optimize results by trimming, pausing, or changing keywords

  1. Lots of clicks but low or no conversions.
  2. At least 3 conversions but a CPA significantly exceeding your target (3-4 times higher).
  3. Decent impression count but a low click-through rate.

7. Refresh the look of your landing pages

Though you may have the necessary landing page best practices for success, such as being relevant, useful, and loading quickly, you may need to do some landing page optimization if you're targeting the right audience but not seeing conversions. To improve, you have several optimisation options. The below landing page mock-up illustrates the key elements you could test out, which include:

  1. Forms: Amount of fields, what the placeholder reads, and the call to action for the submit button.
  1. Buttons: What colors are used, the words on them, and how many buttons.
  1. Copy: What emotions are being induced, how big and what colors the text is, customer reviews, and other dynamic content.
  1. Images: People with their reviews, pictures of the platform, and visuals with positive or negative connotations.
A landing page optimised for higher conversion.

Moreover, adding dynamic content and video elements to your landing page can enhance its appeal. These features not only capture attention but also contribute to a more engaging and compelling user experience, ultimately boosting the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.

8. Streamline your conversion tracking to enhance precision

The final step in driving down your cost per lead in Google Ads is to organize your conversion tracking. Ensure that your tracking is up-to-date by following these steps:

1. Start on the right foot: Use our step-by-step guide to ensure that your basic conversion tracking set up is in order from the get go. 

2. Install Offline Conversion Tracking: Linking your CRM to Google Ads can provide deeper insights into which keywords and targeting choices yield the most cost-effective conversions. It also allows for more precise targeting. Read Google’s instructions for Offline Conversion Tracking to understand your options.

4. Set conversion values consistently: Establish conversion values, even if you're not using a value-based bidding approach. This not only supports data gathering for future decisions but also offers a comprehensive view of your account performance. 

Let's Recap: Strategies to Reduce Cost Per Lead (CPL) on Google Ads

As you've discovered, reducing your cost per lead in Google Ads is not a one-size-fits-all approach but involves a combination of adjustments across your account. These tweaks should be tailored to campaigns with the most value, those with growth potential, or those needing improvement. Take a closer look at your campaigns to determine which strategies align best with your account.

To sum up, here are the we identified above for lowering your cost per lead (or cost per action) in Google Ads

  1. Closely monitor our ‘limited by budget’ campaigns
  2. Improve your Quality Score
  3. Structure your account for greater efficiency
  4. Tweak your bids
  5. Change your targeting
  6. Optimise results by trimming, pausing, or changing keywords
  7. Refresh the look of your landing pages
  8. Streamline your conversion tracking to enhance precision

Ready to maximise your Google Ads performance? Connect with our paid media experts and level up your digital strategy with us!

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