Is Paid Media Marketing right for your organisation?Your online business likely to already make use of different ‘organic’ marketing techniques such as listing with search engines, word of mouth or referral, alternatively they could be ‘Paid’ – where you’re paying a third party to advertise on your behalf (normally based on views/impressions, click-throughs/interaction or the completion of a task/conversion to goal). Paid Marketing should certainly be considered as part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
So should you use Paid Digital Marketing?The question as always is deeper than that but it can often be answered from a few top-level questions
- Is your website or digital presence brand new – or recently completely overhauled where SEO might be affected? If your website or digital presence is brand new then it will take a while for your organic traffic to reach a point where it can hold it’s own. Using Paid Search or Paid Social you can jump-start this assuming you have margin and drive traffic towards your website.
- Do you already have a list of target keywords and audience as part of SEO work – If you do when searching these do you find your competitors have paid ads? With Google as an example for Paid Search – Google now layers up to 4 paid search ads at the top of any search result which means if you’re ranking organically at number one but your competitor is the above you on ads then they will be seen first and most likely interacted with first. This can happen on keywords for your service, products and I’ve seen it quite often for brand name bidding as well – Customers searching directly for your brand may still see a paid search ad for the competition first.
- Are you selling products?
- Firstly you could make use of Googles Product Feed/Shopping feature.
- Secondly – are you selling products at a competitive rate? I’ve known some companies to have their products listed higher online just to show that they exist but not to attract a new customer. Unless you’re products and services are competitively priced – or hold additional clear value then you won’t win against competitors and you’ll be throwing money away. If Some of your products are and some aren’t then it’s okay just to advertise that those are and then
- Do your products have a high enough mark-up that some of the profit could be spent against the original marketing? Return on Investment (ROI) is going to be at the centre of your business for any product or service you sell and the same is true with advertising. If there isn’t enough mark-up on the product to cover any marketing then chances are you can’t market it. Product pricing doesn’t always have to be a race to the bottom. The few exceptions here are if you’re selling low-cost items that couldn’t be marketed individually but profit occurs when selling bundles of many.
- What’s your demographic are they internet users between the ages of 18 and 80? These days you’d struggle to find a first world demographic that doesn’t have access to the internet, isn’t using Google, Bing, or one of the many social media services. So as long as you identify your demographic is a confident online buyer, or online browser and the physical in-store buyer then you should seriously consider the use of paid digital marketing.
- Do you have the cash and the time to manage any Paid Search/Social campaign strategy you have (or do you have even more cash to pay someone else to manage it for you)? Managing a Paid Search or Social strategy and campaigns takes time. The time that you’re unlikely (depending on the size of your business) to be able to spare this daily, let alone the time to review entire months worth of data and come up with a strategy.On the other hand as a small company picking up a dedicated staff member full or part-time – or purchasing services from a marketing agency can be expensive – They’re likely to charge either a fixed fee per month (£200-500), a variable fee based on the amount of ad-spend you make (Often around 10% – So if you spend £1000 on ads then the agency would take £100 – This is often the case on much larger companies) or they may agree to a profit-sharing agreement where they provide the service for free but expect 2-3% (if not more) on the turnover/profit of any spend that came from the marketing campaign.As briefly mentioned you’ll also need to have the cash in the first place to be able to pay for the campaign in the first place – Costs for advertising can be quite big for a small business. For a small business, you could easily find yourself paying up-to £1,000 in direct ad spend alone and for the larger side of SMEs easily up to £10,000 a month. You’ll only spend what you set as a reasonable limit and you’ll be able to understand what the turn is – you should always keep an eye on your budget as a carefully budgeted and maintained campaign can continue to drive profit while one set high or too low and walked away from will cost you (in both money and sales). Sometimes you need to also need to commit 3-6 months to a paid marketing strategy that includes paid search or social. Even with the best strategy and research you often won’t get it right on day one, week one or even month one. This is why it’s important to be able to keep on the campaign and make adjustments unless you’re incredibly lucky it’s unlikely that the first month of your paid marketing is going to be your strongest.