It can be tough to know the right time to market your business. A common mistake of businesses and organizations is to put off marketing until the situation is dire. It might seem like it makes sense to save money on marketing and advertising when business is rolling in, but you don’t want to wait until you’re in a slump and desperately need the business.
Michelle Singer, growth and development strategist here at PDG+creative, says marketing while you’re already doing well is smart for a number of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t wait until times are desperate, Singer said, is because you can make better decisions.
“People make bad decisions when they’re in desperate need,” she said.
Panic can cause people to offer steep discounts or big promotions that might actually hurt their business in the long run. On the other hand, you can make decisions with confidence and a clear mind when you market during good times.
As with any good marketing plan, you can identify what people like about your business or organization, what they want from you, then promote yourself based on that. It provides better value for your customers, and provides you with peace of mind.
Another reason not to wait is money. It’s easier to allocate part of your budget toward marketing when business is booming, rather than try to scrape something together when times are hard. It’s kind of like not getting your car fixed until you only have a few dollars left in the bank. The chances of running into bigger, more expensive issues only grow the longer you put off routine maintenance. Taking care of your business should be proactive, not reactive.
Singer said if you plan out your marketing budget and needs for the year, you have more leverage to negotiate deals. For instance, if you sign a contract for a year’s worth of TV, radio, internet or newspaper ads, you’ll probably get much better rates. That stretches how far your dollars go across the year, giving you more bang for your buck.
“The more you can buy and commit to, the better the deal and better leverage you have in negotiating the prices,” Singer said.
There are a lot of details for each type of media, which is where professional help can be a lifesaver. A media agency can help you know which media to choose, and can help you read the fine print to know exactly what you’ll be getting.
If you’ve already waited until crunch time, it’s OK! Singer said the most important thing is to not panic.
“Take a deep breath. You don’t want to make desperate decisions,” she said.
She strongly recommends getting a professional media agency (like PDG+creative) to help get you back on track. It might seem like you can’t afford it, but ask yourself if you can afford not to.
“It is worth the money to get some marketing consulting,” she said. “At least get some direction and an assessment.”
In our last blog, we talked about the importance of a good Quality Score for digital marketing campaigns.
To recap, a Quality Score is a Google Ads metric that provides an overall assessment of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. It’s reported on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best.
Quality Score plays a role in your ad’s position, and how much you pay per click. And in our view, it’s a better metric on which to focus versus cost per click (CPC). A better Quality Score will result in more sales, better organic traffic and better ad rankings at no extra cost. So, how do you improve this magic number? Here are 4 ways to improve your Quality Score.
Write better ads
As the name suggests, the quality of your ad plays a big role in your Quality Score. One of the biggest ways to improve the score is by improving the ad copy. Make sure your keywords are relevant and targeted. Make sure the ad text is relevant. Basically: write better ads.
People are bombarded with information all day every day, and nearly every website is filled with advertising. To make your ad stand out, focus tightly on one or two very specific products or services. Adding visual elements, like symbols and exclamation points, can help draw the eye. You want to clearly explain your product or service, but you don’t want to have too much text. (This is where a marketing professional’s input is invaluable to help you find that balance between eye-catching and over-the-top.)
Be intentional with your keywords and how ads are grouped
Targeted campaigns are more effective than a scattershot approach. Each group of ads should have its own relevant keywords. If not all of your ads fit with some of the keywords, break up the ads into smaller groups so you can really hone in on the group you want to reach. So, for instance, if you’re trying to sell pens, you might want to do several groups for the different kinds of pens you offer. Novelty pens, like a unicorn or a Christmas tree, attract a different audience than office pens, which attract a different audience than someone looking for a high-end engraved pen.
As for keywords, do your research so you know which ones are going to have the best reach. Make sure they are relevant to the product you’re trying to promote. (Ad Relevance is one of the biggest factors Google considers for your Quality Score.) Again, make your keywords match each of the groups you’re trying to target.
Improve the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR).
This ties in with keywords. Basically, Google tries to predict how likely people are to click on your ad when it shows up in a keyword search. If your ad text doesn’t immediately show the person searching why they should click on the ad -- they probably won’t. Let’s use pens again as an example. If someone searches for something like “unicorn pen,” and you have that in the keywords but the ad text that shows up in the search just says “Pens 50 percent off,” the person searching is likely to skip over your ad and go straight to the ad text that has “Unicorn Pens” somewhere in the ad text. It goes back to targeted ad copy, because it all ties together. You can also bid on brand terms, because branded keywords have high click-through rates.
Have a high-quality landing page
Chartbeat, an analytics database, estimates you have about 15 seconds to grab someone’s attention. If your landing page is confusing, glitchy or slow, it will take less than a minute for most people to give up, no matter how interested they were in your product. When people click on your ad, does it take them to a landing page that makes them want to stick around? If you’re selling something specific, does the ad take them directly to that product?
Another thing you can try is ad extensions, like Google ad extensions and Google sitelinks. These features make the ads more prominent at no extra cost to you. Keep in mind your past performance plays a role in your score, as well. (Kind of like your credit history.) So, the more you improve, the more momentum you’ll have to keep improving and expanding your digital marketing reach.
Have questions on how to improve your ad copy? Want to learn more about keywords? Give us a shout, we’d love to help!