Mix it Up

Share of Digital Advertising Budget by Investment Type in the Nonprofit Arena

As is the case with any recipe, the right mix of ingredients is critical to the end result. Same holds true when it comes to finding the right mix of media solutions for marketing campaigns. A little too much or too little of one ingredient can be the difference between success and failure.

graph Mix it Up

Source: NonProfit Benchmarks Study, 2016

“How much to spend on digital ads, where to display those ads, and whether they are meant for donor conversion, list growth, visibility or something else, these are tough questions that will depend on your specific needs and goals. But every nonprofit needs to keep seeking new audiences, new stages, and new songs to sing – and digital ads are increasingly a part of that repertoire.”

When developing your media mix, it’s important to consider several criteria to ensure the investment you make achieves your desired results. At Advance 360 we focus on five areas when crafting a media mix:

Audience and geo targets:

Who are the target audience groups? Where are they? How do they spend their time? Making sure we have a strong understanding of who we are trying to engage will help guide us as we craft our plan.

Marketing and business goals:

At Advance 360 we partner with our clients to deliver successful campaigns at the business level, not just the marketing level. Marketing objectives often focus on reach, frequency, clicks,  and web sessions. While these are important benchmarks, we also monitor and the business impact of our campaigns. This includes measuring brand awareness, lead generation, conversions, and more which require a lot of  a lot of work behind the scenes work.

Website preparedness:

A thorough review of a client’s website is a must. Does the website support a strong user experience across desktop, mobile, and tablet? Is the site prepared to support campaign success? It’s important to think about how the media mix will affect web traffic across each device. Remember, more search traffic is now coming from mobile devices than desktop. And overwhelmingly most social media engagement is occurring on mobile. If the client website is not mobile optimized, campaign success could be compromised (or at least the media mix may need to be adjusted).

Stories/Assets:

Advance 360’s strategic approach centers on spotlighting our client’s stories (USP’s) in meaningful ways with the target audience groups in order to entice, convince and convert. It is important to confirm that these narratives are clearly outlined – on the website, within social media, within a blogging site, via photos and videos, etc… These stories and assets become the cornerstone of the messaging within the media mix and need to deliver a quality user experience that supports campaign success.

KPI’s/Measurements:

This is key. All media strategies need to be measured and (most likely) optimized throughout the campaign. In order to do this effectively, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager need to be in place and configured properly. Goals and events need to be set up. Measurement needs to be tested and validated. Bad performance data – or worse, no performance data – will have a fatal effect on an otherwise great marketing campaign.

Once each of these areas have been reviewed and considered, the media mix can be developed. With a full focus on the decision journey and user experience, a quality media strategy can then be crafted and implemented.

At Advance 360 we do this work everyday. We have helped our clients achieve success with our strategic approach. It’s a lot of work, but it’s necessary. And when success is achieved, it’s very rewarding. For us and for our clients. Give us a call and we will show you how we can help you accomplish your marketing and business goals.

A Publisher’s Survival Guide for the Platform Era

Any way you measure it, it’s all about reach whether it’s paid, earned, owned, or shared media.

As brands and publishers rush to grab up as much land in the digital space as they can, it ultimately lands them in only two yards, Google and Facebook. This duopoly has become something that brands and publishers have to figure out and Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media, shared some of his thoughts on the subject of this duopoly. He warned publishers about rushing towards these platforms as the saviors of their business models and instead opted to differentiate in the space as opposed to embracing the race to feed the algorithm which reads as the modern-day race to the bottom.

His most insightful point is that content still holds value that can be leveraged by publishers. Traditionally we have seen publishers bending to the will of Google and Facebook but Smith argues that content is so vital to the modern digital landscape that these platforms will have to partner with publishers and brands going forward instead of rolling over them.

His final point is one we drive home with all of our clients:  pick a platform that works for your brand, not the one that is most popular because they might not be one in the same. Bloomberg has found success on Twitter where some brands (which brands, news or business brands like Bloomberg?) might not share that view and may find success on Snapchat or LinkedIn. The point is that publishers and brands need to be particular about where they put their content and understand not only why they are posting there but to whom they are posting the content for.

Check out the rest of his presentation here.

How to decide “Should I bid?”

Many marketers struggle with the decision to bid or not to bid on brand keywords through paid search. It can be a daunting decision.

At Advance 360, we first analyze businesses and their competition to determine if we should bid on brand terms. If competitors are bidding on a business’s brand term, we want to bid to the top position to outrank the competition.

If we do not find competition bidding on brand terms, we want to take our research a step further. Our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) team can run tests in specific geographies and analyze the cost versus the cannibalization of organic traffic as outlined in this article. With the results of this research, our clients feel a definitive answer regarding bidding on their business’ brand terms and we deploy a plan.

For more, check out this article which explores determining when it’s worth it to bid and when it’s better to let organic do the work.