Keeping up with changes in the digital media landscape can be a daunting task. Thankfully, the answer to achieving success in your marketing campaigns is not just about chasing every trend. While it is likely you will find plenty of new opportunities to consider pursuing, there are some best practices that you will want to implement to ensure digital media campaigns are successful.

Here are five digital media best practices that will help accomplish your goals.

Start with a sound strategy.

Being clear about your objective is a critical first step. This all-important stage of establishing exactly what you want to achieve may seem to be an obvious one, but too often, it is overlooked until late in the process. Whether your primary objective is donations, registrations, generating leads or branding, do not assume that the goal of a campaign is easily recognized by all involved.

If you want your campaigns to be successful, clearly lay out what you are trying to accomplish at the very beginning and ensure conversion tracking is implemented. Then, each stage of the development process should be completed with that clear campaign objective in mind. If you do not waver in this approach, it will allow you to evaluate each component of your campaign by your specific KPI to ensure a sound, cohesive strategy.

Be selective with your marketing channels.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, LinkedIn, various video platforms like YouTube or any number of display networks, the options for selecting digital campaign channels can feel nearly limitless. To narrow down what will work for you, you’ll want to consider a few key details.

As previously addressed, your objective should inform every decision when building your campaign. Does the objective of your campaign match the available optimizations within the platforms you are considering? In a display campaign, for example, are you planning to leverage the platform to expand your reach or retarget website visitors? If the benefits of the specific platform do not match your specific goals, you may get better performance by not using it at all.

Budget can also be a key influencer in what channels you select. If you are working with a relatively small budget, you will want to consider limiting the number of platforms you use to run your digital media campaign. Often, advertisers want to appear in as many channels as possible, but performance can be greatly diminished when it is spread too thin. Most campaigns will perform significantly better if enough budget is provided to each channel to optimize for consistent results in the specific objective you set. Facebook, for example, needs as many as 100 conversions per month to fully leverage optimization capabilities.

Narrow your campaign to leverage the channels that align with your objective and budget, and you will likely achieve better results by keeping a focused approach. Other factors, such as where you are most likely to find your target audience and whether you have the resources to develop appropriate ad creative for the channels you are considering also play into your decision-making process as you prepare your campaign.

Know your audience.

One simple way you can provide some definition for your audience is by considering how all of your available audience segments fit into the categories of awareness, consideration, conversion or retention. These categories represent the next step you expect someone to take in your digital media campaigns.

The awareness category represents those that are at the initial touchpoint and may be seeing your brand for the first time. Consideration is for those that have moved beyond the initial phase. They may have already engaged with an ad on social media or visited the website. The conversion category is for those who have taken clear actions to show they have a high potential to convert, such as multiple website visits, lengthy video views or beginning the checkout process. Retention is the category reserved for those who have converted in the past and may be primed to do so again.

Though it may vary by the platforms you are using, you can define some basic actions that will fit your audience segments into one of these categories and engage with them appropriately. Your level of sophistication in tracking will determine just how detailed you can get with your channel and website data, but grouping them in this manner will ensure you are not targeting and retargeting all of your audience to bludgeon them with the same digital media approach.

Remember to tell a story.

It is important to always keep in mind how your audience experiences your digital media campaigns. Instead of just delivering the same ad across every channel to them over and over again, it is helpful to think about how you can tell a story that leads them on a journey to interact with your brand. If you define your audience engagement in segments as mentioned in the previous best practice, then that makes the process much simpler because you can tailor the messages in your ads to lead them forward to the next level of desired engagement. Ads can be created that are relevant for the steps they have taken in the journey toward your campaign objective.

When putting together your ad creative, it is important to remember that your story can be augmented by using platform-appropriate images, ad copy with authentic language and ad variations to test. Image sizes should be adjusted to fit the ideal limits in each platform and avoid simply repurposing the same creative across all channels. Similarly, the copy used should reflect the natural language of the platform when possible. Considering these traits for your ad creative will raise the quality and relevancy of your ads, and testing multiple versions of creative each time will help you get better results and learn what will work for future campaigns.

     

Dive into your results.

Following sound principles to develop your digital media campaigns will help you generate positive results. You will want to measure your performance based on your key objective, but in most cases the overall number of results is not enough to tell you how your campaign performed. You will also want to dive into details that allow you to evaluate the components of your campaigns and inform future decisions.

If you are capturing the value of the conversion action you are driving, it is helpful to make a simple calculation to understand your return on ad spend (ROAS). This can be done by dividing your revenue by cost, and any number greater than one shows some degree of profit. Measuring this number is a crucial part of discovering the performance of your digital media budget.

Even if you already understand this number, it is important to review your ROAS, and other key metrics, in reference to the performance of your specific channels, audience segments and ad creative used. Doing a breakout of results across these three areas in particular will allow you to fully evaluate the three major levers you have the power to adjust in your campaigns. Not only will the review process allow you to take note of the specific components that performed best, but you can also gain a better understanding of how all of your digital media worked together to generate the results your campaign achieved.

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