In the digital media space, customizing your campaigns is the key to success.
Customizing the planning phase of a campaign is second nature for digital marketers. The creative, spend and distribution are all tailored to the audience and goals set out in the campaign brief. We implement these strategies without even betting an eye.
However, there are two other critical phases of campaign customization that are often overlooked: campaign execution and reporting.
More meaningful execution
Customizing a campaign’s execution mid-flight encompasses a few different components — all of which can feel like they are constantly evolving. By allowing your approach to be a bit flexible, though, optimizing your execution phase with a tailored approach can unlock incredible performance.
Let’s start with bid strategies.
Ad platforms often pre-populate your campaign bidding strategies with general out-of-the-box recommendations. While these automated suggestions can incorporate best practices, they are generally created to service as many business models and campaigns as possible. Consider them the generic version.
While they can help beginners get their campaigns off the ground, savvy marketers know that this one-size-fits-all approach won’t really yield the best possible results. Rather than go with those pre-loaded bid strategies, it’s a great idea to start tweaking your approach to better match the goals of your campaign. For instance, if you're looking to drive audience engagement, StackAdapt’s cost-per-engagement model could be a great fit.
It’s also beneficial to look beyond bidding strategies. Linking ad platform activity, like clicks and conversions, to core KPIs set up in your website’s backend or your e-commerce platform can achieve next-level results.
For example, let’s say we are running a campaign promoting the latest sneaker drop. As a baseline, most marketers will measure basic KPIs like click-through rates to gauge the general performance of the campaign. However, insights from your website analytics may suggest that the core audience tends to skew toward mobile devices over desktop. As such, the bid should bias toward mobile.
However, many of the major platforms are starting to become more like “black boxes” that discourage or limit customizing bid strategies at granular levels. In these cases, testing becomes especially critical. Constantly iterating and questioning whether the campaign is truly optimized is one of the areas in which digital marketers can really bring value.
By understanding which are the right tests to perform and when to execute them, marketers can discern what is merely a fluctuation in performance and what is actually a trend. To really identify these insights, though, we need to start incorporating the next phase of our customization.
In order to properly identify emerging trends, digital marketers need to employ a robust reporting stack. It’s not enough to simply review performance within each of your ad platforms either. While that approach may give you a certain picture of campaign performance, looking across all ad platforms will deliver truly meaningful insights.
Here is where we can strike gold.
Think of the data in every ad platform. It’s stuck in separate silos. We know, however, that consumer behavior and actions live in a broader ecosystem. By aggregating the data, cleaning it and then visualizing it, marketers can gain an entirely new perspective on the performance of their campaign. In fact, they can begin asking, and answering, a whole new set of questions.
How do clicks on platform “A” correlate with conversions from platform “B?” Is there any causation between the two? How can the campaign take advantage of any correlations that may be presenting themselves?
At this higher level of analysis, you can also discover a holistic view of which channel is impacting conversions. Up here, it’s about contribution, not attribution.
Third-party tools (like Funnel, of course) can help you to reach this level of analysis. These platforms can also help you to create new, custom visualizations and reports that can further prove the performance and value of a campaign.
Unlocking true performance
The key to achieving great campaign performance, of course, is applying a custom approach to every phase of your campaign. Customizing your execution can help maximize conversion and reach. Meanwhile, customizing analysis can help you identify which channels are providing the best and most contribution toward your KPIs.
All of this gives you the opportunity to maximize value for your business and clients, and to prove that value quickly and simply.