Hey marshmallow!! Nice car! I wouldn’t be able to drive it myself because I never learned how to drive a pink convertible – I only know how to drive black cars with roof racks!
Nonsense, right? Cars may come in different colors and sizes, and they have different bells and whistles. But the principles of driving a car are the same.
Ad platforms like Facebook and Google are the same. It doesn’t matter which one you’re using for your media buys. The principles are the same.
Here are some tips for running a media buy to help you bring in your first few sales and customers. They translate to Facebook, Google or any online ad platform at all.
1. Bid for Conversions, Not Clicks
When you set your campaign objective, always bid for conversions rather than clicks. Even when it results in a higher bid.
Google, Facebook and most online ad platforms operate according to an auction system. The advertisers who bid higher get the better quality audience.
The advertisers who bid for conversions get the affluent consumers with a demonstrated history of buying online. The advertisers who hunt the cheap clicks get people in developing countries who click and don’t buy.
You might find yourself spending more, but you’ll get better buyers.
2. Remember Your ROI
The second tip is related to the first tip, and it’s to focus on your return on investment, or ROI.
Instead of measuring how many leads or conversions you received from your campaign, look at the income you received and the overall ROI of the campaign.
Got 200 leads at $0.50 each? Great. But how much money did those 200 people collectively spend with you? Was it more or less than what you spent on your ad? Was the campaign profitable?
Meanwhile, imagine your competitor got only 10 leads at $10 each. They might have spent the same money and got fewer leads, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you came out on top. If those 10 people collectively spend more money with your competitor than your 200 leads spend with you, then your competitor gets the higher ROI.
The higher your ROI, the more cash you have to work with and the faster you can scale.
3. Keep the Message Relevant
You should care about your click-through rate, or CTR.
Why? Because it measures how relevant your ad is to the people who see it. A high CTR means you are targeting the right audience and delivering the right message. A low CTR means your ad is missing the mark and creating a poor consumer experience.
Think about who you’re targeting with your ads, and what kind of message will resonate with them.
For example, Martha Stewart fans are homemakers. They like to keep busy at home with creative and hands-on activities such as craft. A perfect headline to target these people would be, “How would you like to get your hands on a unique system that increases your productivity at home?”
Implement these three tips with your online ads, and watch your ROI skyrocket.
How to Use Advertorial Copy
An advertorial is a news article or a piece of content that pre-sells the reader on an offer. It’s not really Direct Marketing in itself.
Instead of directing your paid ads towards a lead-capture page or a sales page, you can direct them to an advertorial that warms the prospect up to your offer before they see it.
If you do this right, you may see an increase in conversions and a better ROI on your media buys.
Testing Your Landing Pages
If you’re doing media buys with news or blog websites, such as through banners, you will tend to get the best results if you keep your landing page in the same format as the source website.
In other words, if someone is on a news website, they’re in the mode of reading through articles and looking at pictures. If your landing page is in the same format, i.e. it’s an advertorial, it will likely get better results than a page that is presented in a totally different format to the previous page.
Why do advertorials work? Because people love transparency. If they see a squeeze page, they are suspicious as to why they have to give over their information before they find out what’s on the other side.
You will find that your conversions have gone up when you shared more information upfront about the benefits and features of the product. Once people know what they’re getting when they opt in, they are more inclined to do so.
Typically, an advertorial mimics the look of a news website, but it’s not really a news website. Instead, you can use the custom audience feature if you’re using Facebook and show your real offer to those who have seen your advertorial.
On the real offer, you might have a free trial offer or a low-cost paid offer. Once you have the buyer, you can then upsell them to other products and continue the customer relationship. Remember what we said about warming up your leads?
The Elite Secret to Media Buys
If you’re struggling to get an ROI on your media buys, you feel you have no credibility in your market, or you can’t work out how to influence people to buy, this tip is for you.
Don’t expect just writing an ad and placing a media buy, you’ll make money.
It’s not just about media buying. It’s also being able to convert cold leads into warm leads.
Read this tutorial to find out a secret technique that grants you residual leads, credibility and influence.
The Secret is Private Deals!
Instead of simply buying media at the market rate, travel all over to build trusted relationships. Go to events, meet the top leaders and take them to dinner.
Once you’ve built these relationships, you’ll be able to negotiate private deals to buy media. This is how you’re able to buy media from marketers who don’t even sell media.
Why Private Deals?
Imagine finding a big marketer with a huge following, and paying them $7,500 for a private deal.
Instead of a traditional media buy, the marketer records an interview with you. In the interview, you talk about your story about how you got into your industry and what your business is about.
The marketer emails the interview to his list and puts it online for the public to discover.
This private deal is more than just a media buy. You will get residual leads, because the interview is still online for anyone to find. You will also get credibility, because of your association with a top marketer. Finally, you will get the ability to influence his listeners through telling your story.
Who in your industry can you build a relationship with, and get them to interview you? An interview with a leader in your industry can be the secret to residual leads, credibility and influence.
Instead of (or in addition to) buying media, it’s possible to get media for free.
Getting free media is sometimes described as an intimidating and complicated science, but there are actually only two steps to it.
The first step is creating optimized video or blog post content. The second step is getting social proof and links towards your content, to get a search engine ranking on Google or YouTube.
How Search Engines Work
When ranking content, search engines will do two main checks.
The first is the relevance of the content to the search terms. To have your content pass this check, you should select a set of search terms that get plenty of searches, and create content that is relevant. This is called on-page optimization.
The second check is how many other people are talking about your content. In other words, how important and popular your content is in the grand scheme. They will be looking for comments, engagement, inbound links and social proof.
Arranging for this social proof to come your way is called off-page optimization.
The best way to do off-page optimization is to share your content to your own list. The larger your audience, the more people you can share your content with. This will boost the ranking of your content and the amount of eyeballs it gets.
For example, every time you add a YouTube video, send it out to your list. This will instantly boost the view count. If your audience is big enough, it will also get some likes, comments and shares. Then, YouTube can see that your video has some popularity and its search ranking will rise.
You should share all your content in every possible place. Email it to your list, share it on your Facebook profile and in groups and embed your videos on your blog.
Also, link your media buys to your content. You can do paid promotions of your videos on YouTube, and you can promote your blog posts on Facebook and other ad platforms. Again, this will boost your views and help your ranking. Even if it’s just $10, it will make a small difference.
Remember that popularity is the key to free media. The more popular you can make your content, the more free media you will get.
Paid or Free Media?
When it comes to advertising your offers online and getting eyeballs on your websites, you have two options: paid media and free media.
Would you rather spend money on media buys? Or would you rather pursue a free media strategy and cross your fingers that it works?
If you have a limited budget, you may need to do a combination of both.
Paid media is faster, but it requires that you have the budget. If you don’t have the budget, you’re better off going after free media than doing nothing at all.
However, when your budget starts to allow, you are better off directing 100% of your focus away from free media and onto paid media.
Here are some more tips about the pros and cons of paid and free media.
Paid Media is Better Quality
Seen people bragging about their “cheap media buys?” Be careful what you wish for.
You would of course prefer to pay $12 per click for a real interested customer who converts, than $0.001 for someone from India who has no credit card and can’t buy.
The best media buys cost money. It’s not hard to find free or cheap media buys, but you’ll get what you pay for.
Paid Media is Scalable
Remember the time you crossed your biggest revenue milestone?
Well, here’s the secret to crossing the next one. Reinvest a generous percentage of your revenue into media buys. Don’t be surprised if your revenue multiplies.
If you can take a percentage of your profit and reinvest it, the numbers can go up very quickly. At the end of a 6 month period, your business can reach a multiple of what it was at the start.
The catch is that only paid media has the scalability to do this. There’s no way you can triple the size of your business from month to month if you’re getting organic reach from your YouTube videos.
Paid Media is Faster and Easier
Media buys are relatively easy. You only need to set your budget and you will start generating leads. Being able to sell to the leads is your only challenge.
Free media, on the other hand, can be difficult. SEO is an insider’s game and is a complicated science these days.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, those who do will outrank you. You may find yourself having spent a lot of time and effort and seeing no results in return.
Often, people turn to SEO because they don’t want to spend any money on media buys. They’re forgetting that there is a value to their time.
If you spend 10 hours creating and ranking your content for SEO, and the value of your time is $25 per hour, you are effectively spending $250. With media buys, you could have spent the same amount in minutes.
Why Paid is Better
The businesses that acquire customers solely through organic means are forever destined to remain small. All grown-up companies acquire their customers with paid advertising.
If you can afford paid media, go for it. Choosing to hunt free media when you have the option of paid will only slow you down. You might save yourself money, but you’ll cost yourself a lot of time.
Ask anyone with plenty of experience with free media. Often, it’s cost them 14 hours a day.
Even if you only have a small budget for paid media, it’s still better to invest than to save up your money for later. Take small bets, and while you may not see massive results, you will develop the skills of placing successful media buys.
Then, once you find a campaign that works, scale it up.
Don’t Forget to Buy Media
Once cash is steadily flowing into your business, take a minimum of 20% of your money and put it into media buys on a continuous basis.
The key word is continuous. You should never stop the flow of new leads coming into your business. Otherwise, your marketing will be useless.
Don’t expect to make sales without any media buys. You may have created 100 videos, but if no one sees them, don’t wonder why it’s not working.
Creating your marketing assets is not a money-making activity until you distribute them. Don’t just create them and then keep them in the drawer.
Do whatever it takes to get media, even the free methods. Use social media and even word of mouth. Free media is better than no reach at all.
The Secret to Profitable Media Buys
If you’re not using a basic ad tracking system like Google Analytics, you’re likely leaving money on the table with your media buys.
Why? Because out of all the clicks you pay for, only some of them will turn into sales.
What if you could work out which clicks turn into sales and which don’t, stop paying for the clicks that don’t turn into sales, and only pay for the ones that do?
Don’t you think your media buys would become a lot more profitable?
This is what ad tracking systems can achieve for you. To finish off this tutorial, I walk you through how they work.
Google Analytics will give you basic tracking information, and is the recommendation if you’re just getting started. If you are a more advanced user, use Kissmetrics for your tracking.
What can you track with Kissmetrics? Everything!
You can use a survey on your landing page that asks visitors about their demographic information. Pass the responses into Kissmetrics and then you’re able to compare the conversion rates of each demographic.
Once you know this information, you can optimize the targeting on your ad campaigns.
Would you target divorced people on iPads, if you know they convert better? Of course. This is how you’re able to turn a 15% ROI into 100%.
Find the Outliers
Collect all the information you can about your website visitors. Survey them if you need to, to extract the more tricky information like relationship status. Track everything and see which demographics give you the greatest conversions.
Your total conversion rate may only be 5%, but it doesn’t mean every demographic converts at 5%. There will be outliers. Your female sales may be 9% and male sales only 1%.
Find those outliers that give you the extraordinary results, isolate them in your ad targeting and scale them up. This is how to do media buys that make you big money.
In the next tutorial, we will talk about translating media buys to build your list.