Paid Advertising

How To Maximize Returns on Paid Marketing

Paid advertising remains essential to overcome competition and help customers discover new products and make purchases. Rising costs, saturated markets, and changing privacy regulations, however, have turned that old playbook into dust.

April 17, 2024 6:00 PM

How To Maximize Returns on Paid Marketing

Paid advertising remains essential to overcome competition and help customers discover new products and make purchases. Rising costs, saturated markets, and changing privacy regulations, however, have turned that old playbook into dust.

Consumers today are bombarded with formulaic ads, most of which blend into the background faster than elevator music. But here’s the catch: research shows that 63% of B2C and 76% of B2B buyers still crave relevant, tailored marketing.

So even if one were to argue that generic paid strategies are heading fast for extinction, there is every opportunity for a strategic paid marketing approach to thrive under these new conditions.

In this article, we’ve laid out the best tips and techniques for maximizing your returns with a targeted approach. Read on if you are ready to showcase your products and drive conversions.

Understanding The Major Paid Advertising Types

Before we venture further, here’s a quick overview of the four major paid ad formats, each aligning with different goals.

Paid Search Ads

  • Appear on search engine results pages when users search relevant keywords. One-third of people click a search ad because it directly answers their search query.
  • Run on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and similar platforms.
  • Require tight keyword research and compelling ad copy.

Social Media Ads

  • Paid ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Allow targeting by interests, behaviors, and demographics.
  • Flexible creative formats including video, images, and carousels.
  • Compelling creatives, like Starbucks’ mouth-watering video ads, are crucial for capturing attention on these platforms.

Display Ads

  • Banner ads on web pages and mobile apps.
  • Common formats include static images, dynamic banners, and video.
  • Run through the Google Display Network or direct site buys.

Native Advertising

  • Ad units cleverly blended into surrounding content.
  • Appear more editorial than promotional.
  • Primarily leveraged through the Google Display Network.

According to Mediaocean’s 2023 Mid-Year Advertising Outlook report, rising ad spend patterns in social, search, CTV, and video are holding steady', making it clear that paid advertising continues to be a profitable undertaking.

Define Campaign Goals And Target Key Audiences

Now that you understand your choices, it's time to identify your core objectives. Before you start running your paid campaign, ask yourself if your goal is brand awareness, lead generation, or sales.

Once your goals are clearly defined, you can:

  • Test different target segments to see what resonates.
  • Start with small, agile campaigns to gauge performance.
  • Focus budgets on your most effective audiences.
  • Analyze data to refine targeting and strategy. For example, Target’s search ads for the Hearth & Hand brand masterfully utilized location and sitelink ad extensions to target interested users.
  • Choose platforms strategically based on audience fit.

Always tie your campaigns back to KPIs. This allows proper measurement of return on ad spend (ROAS) and helps you pinpoint audiences with the highest potential for conversion.

Implement Retargeting To Re-Engage Visitors

Have you noticed ads for the same products following you around the web? This happens because brands are retargeting you.

Retargeting is so impactful because it continues to re-engage visitors even after they have left your website. This is how it happens:

When a user clicks on an ad that takes them to a product page on your website, a small piece of code called a retargeting pixel is anonymously added to their browser. That pixel tells Google, Facebook, or any other platform where the ad originated to keep showing the user your ads even after they have left your website.

All major platforms from Google to LinkedIn have tools and unique tracking abilities for retargeting. In some cases, like Facebook, you can retroactively add retargeting pixels even if you started your campaign without them.

Facebook also offers another feature called Lookalike Audiences. It studies people who engage with you, finds others with similar traits, and expands the audience for your ads accordingly.

Aim for an omnichannel approach when you plan to implement retargeting by putting ads on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Pinterest, Amazon, and other platforms. Covering the web with your ads when retargeting keeps your brand at the top of a visitor’s mind until they convert.

Frequency is key in this context, so aim to display your ads 5-10 times over a few weeks. Services like Vix Media Group make it easy to manage retargeting campaigns across all web and mobile touchpoints.

Leverage The Power Of Video Strategically

Video ads deliver higher engagement, thanks to their immersive storytelling ability. That’s the reason short-form video became the top marketing trend in 2023.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while producing video ads:

  • Share your brand origin story or mission.
  • Demonstrate products being used in real life.
  • Highlight specific product features.
  • Feature relatable customer testimonials.
  • Provide a behind-the-scenes look at product manufacturing.
  • Promote causes your brand stands for or invests in.
  • Keep videos short and invest in quality production.

For example, Interior Define does a unique take on their ads to showcase the remarkable difference their products make.

Influencer Content Drives Credibility

User-generated and influencer content provides built-in social proof, as real customers and creators add authenticity to your products’ promotion.

Over 70% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers follow influencers, while Millennials trust influencers more than they do celebrities when it comes to product recommendations. You can rope in influencers to create or feature in dedicated video ads or become dedicated brand partners.

For example, the skincare line Topicals garnered a lot of goodwill by sending BIPOC influencers on a unique sponsored trip. Their partnerships with these influencers proved invaluable.

You can even re-share authentic user posts as ads with proper permission to leverage this organic advocacy.

Promote Products Via Influencer Livestreams

Meeting at the intersection of video ads and influencer power is live video commerce. This rapidly growing trend was set to become a $25 billion market in 2023. Brands can capitalize on this format through relevant collaborations.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Identify influencers in your niche with an engaged follower base.
  2. Promote your products via live streaming on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
  3. The influencer shows off your items in real time and offers special discount codes or limited edition products. This drives sales excitement and FOMO among viewers.

Leverage live streams to debut products and offer exclusives that followers can’t get anywhere else. The interactive nature of this medium makes fans more likely to purchase.

Create Campaigns Spanning The Buyer’s Entire Journey

A foundational marketing strategy involves dividing paid campaigns according to stages of the marketing funnel: top, middle, and bottom.

Top Of Funnel

  • Target the early research stage when buyers aren’t ready to purchase yet.
  • Focus on brand storytelling and awareness.

Middle Of Funnel

  • Engage those comparison shopping with guides touting benefits.

Bottom Of Funnel

  • Use high-intent keywords from people ready to buy.
  • Retarget past customers.

Implement Automated Smart Bidding Strategies

Leverage automated bidding to optimize for conversions or ROI. For example, Google’s Target CPA sets a target cost-per-acquisition that automatically adjusts bids to achieve preset goals.

Other smart bidding tactics include:

  • Target ROAS to maximize revenue.
  • Enhanced CPC to bid up when conversion likelihood is high.

Smart bidding taps into machine learning to dynamically optimize better than possible with manual changes. This hands-off approach improves performance over time.

Retarget Cart Abandoners With Urgency

According to the Baymard Institute, 70.19% of online shopping carts are abandoned before purchase. This statistic points to significant potential in retargeting cart abandoners as an e-commerce strategy.

You can win back abandoners through personalized retargeting tactics.

  • When someone leaves your site, collect their email or mobile number with an exit pop-up.
  • Send an email reminding them about their cart with an incentive to complete the purchase.
  • For time-sensitive motivation, offer a promo code or free shipping expiring in 1-2 hours.

Expand Brand Awareness Through Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising displays your ads on articles related to your products without targeting specific users. You can select relevant topics, keywords, and negative keywords to get your ads to appear on pages aligned with that content.

There are multiple benefits to this strategy:

  • Avoid privacy restrictions from lack of user tracking.
  • Provides awareness among new audiences.
  • Cost-effective way to test new display ads.
  • Targets by context rather than previous behavior.

For example, when a cooking enthusiast reads a recipe article, contextual ads from kitchenware brands can be programmed to appear based on the cooking theme.

This approach expands reach through topic-relevant placements.

Constantly Analyze Performance and Optimize Spend

Continuously analyze campaign metrics to optimize performance. Key data to track includes:

  • Click-through rate and cost per conversion for each audience.
  • Conversions and revenue by channel.
  • Overall return across marketing channels.
  • Lifetime value of acquired customers.

Platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager, and firms like Vix Media Group can provide robust analytics for paid ad campaigns.

For instance, Kleenex’s flu-focused campaign increased sales by 40% by tracking health trends, search behavior, and local purchase data to allocate ad spend.

Constantly optimizing your campaigns based on data clarity will help you zero down on the highest-performing paid strategies.

Target Competitor Audiences

It makes sense to go directly after audiences who buy from your competitors. After all, these are people already willing to spend in your market.

Look for interests, demographics, and search history showing engagement with rival brands. If someone is searching for 'Nike running shoes', for instance, they may be open to your brand’s shoes as an alternative.

Being able to compare products side-by-side makes people more likely to switch brands. Design ads focused on your product or pricing advantages over specific competitors.

If you sell eco-friendly towels, for example, target people following mainstream towel brands and make the case for the sustainable nature of your products to win them over. Piggyback on a competitor's audience investment, then use retargeting to convert them into first-time buyers.

Maximize Your Returns on Paid Marketing, with Vix Media Group

With comprehensive paid marketing expertise, Vix Media Group will develop an integrated paid advertising plan for your business that cost-efficiently achieves your e-commerce goals. We will design multifaceted campaigns tailored to your products and audience, boosting conversions, sales, and enduring growth!

Are you ready to reinvent your paid marketing strategy? Get started today with Vix Media Group’s paid advertising solutions!