By some estimates digital ad spend in 2014 was just around a 150 billion USD and is likely to go even higher. Add to this the extremely complex nature of the online ad space in general it can be quite daunting for someone just starting out to navigate through, here are some pointers.
Display vs Search
Shoppers tend to discover your products via multiple channels and given how long and widely varied a buying cycle can be, it isn’t a question of one or the other as much as it is of what kind of a mix of the three you decide to have. Having a good mix of the three is often better than focusing all your efforts on one.
A recent Survata study suggests that for around 34% of shoppers Search is the first stop on their buying journey. Besides search gives you a good way of targeting shoppers who are currently in the market. While running these ads you can consider adding search engine partners to your targeting as that will help you widen your reach. Most eCommerce stores have multiple categories listed, so it can be quite difficult to customize keywords and the campaign for each. When this is the case you can use the Search Dynamic Ads option to automatically target relevant content from your site.
Display ads make more sense from a visibility standpoint. They can help you get your brand or offerings into the customer’s psyche and could bring in conversions a little later. Choose where to show ads on the display network, filter based on content, site similarity etc…To decide on a good mix between the two, you can take a look at how shoppers are finding you. On MineWhat you can not just find a distribution of traffic across different acquisition sources, you can also figure out what categories and brands work best on each one of those so you can fine tune your targeting strategy. If you are going in for a mix, the Search Network with Display Select (SNDS) can give you the best of both worlds.
Is mobile worth it for you
In addition to deciding what kind of a mix of search, display and retargeting you want to go for, you also have to look into whether you need to have different strategies for specific devices as well. While mobile is in right now, skewing your targeting totally toward mobile devices isn’t the right thing for everyone. Shoppers interact with different types of merchandise differently, for example shoppers are more likely to buy books using mobile devices than they are to do so for apparel. Use different attribution models to see if your mobile shoppers buy when they are navigating to your store or if the purchase then happens on desktop or other devices. This will help you adjust your ad strategy accordingly. With MineWhat, our customers can look at data from device specific interactions for each category and brand separately and make changes based on that.
Targeting your ads
There are multiple ways you could target your ads.
Location based targeting: Try to find out which of your merchandise works best across different locations so you can then create a targeted campaign around just those products.
Placement: While running campaigns on the Display Network, you can choose to target different sites that are similar in content to yours. Another way of going about this is to use your analytics tool to see what are the most common external drivers of traffic to your site and you can target those.
Remarketing: You can set up remarketing on both Search and Display networks. This will let you target specific customers who have visited your site before and can create drastic increases in site traffic. According to a recent study around 30% percent of consumers have a positive or very positive reaction to retargeted ads.
- Demographics: Another key aspect of targeting is to to figure out what demographic your merchandise appeals to and target them alone. If the merchandise you stock is quite varied you can then tailor individual campaigns for each demographic.