If you’re a retail advertiser, you have one, overarching goal each holiday season—drive sales. Every ad campaign launched, tracked, and optimized works holistically toward this goal.
Now that fall’s here, it’s time to gear your social campaigns to the rigors of Q4 and this quarter’s particular idiosyncrasies. The October to December timeframe is your most important business period of the year. You have your work cut out for you leveraging insights and audiences from your pre-holiday preparation to maximize sales. For optimal efficiency, retargeting users who’ve demonstrated interest is a key tactic.
Here are some tips to drive sales during the soon-to-be busiest, most competitive time of the year. To sum it all up in a single directive—focus on people familiar with your brand.
Audience: Build your campaigns around high-intent customer segments such as recent purchasers, loyalty members, and past holiday purchasers—and try to plan for a specific conversion path for each of them.
Targeting: Use Custom and Website Custom Audiences of people who’ve visited your website recently or purchased from you before.
Ad formats: Focus on ad formats that’ll allow you to showcase your products and services, such as Video Link Ads, Carousel Ads, and Canvas Ads.
Creative: Showcase your best-selling products to your audience segments and highlight USPs. Create urgency with limited-time offers, shipping deadlines, or discounts, and timely promotions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday %-off.
Optimization: Optimize for conversions to maximize the delivery of your ads to people likely to purchase. Once again, make sure your conversion volume is enough for Facebook’s algorithm to be effective (especially if you're selling high-value products with costs above $200).
For more tips to stay ahead this holiday season—plus extra guidance designed specifically for Marin Software customers—download our Social Advertiser’s Holiday Guide.
Online gambling is one of the most profitable digital industries, and it's constantly expanding. Yet, it’s also one of the most challenging markets for digital advertisers. As technologies improve and strategies develop, the competition grows fiercer each day.
At the same time, the rise of social media forms a perfect marriage between a gaming industry that’s exploded and an advertising channel perfectly suited to what online gambling providers want to achieve—an even larger market and more players.
Advertising strategy for online gambling depends on many factors, differs according to specific brand requirements and goals, and requires a lot of testing to determine what works best. The key to success is to have a clear strategy and apply a few general best practices.
In this article, we look at an example of a robust gambling strategy, discuss challenges, and offer recommendations for campaign optimization.
A Four-Pronged Strategy for Online Gambling Providers
You should include four essential phases in your strategy:
To make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition, it’s important your strategy covers all phases of the typical online gambler journey, from the branding to retention, and that you use ads and targeting tactics that are the most useful in each phase. Any tweaks to the strategy will depend on your budget and resources, but having a clear structure makes planning easier and your ad campaigns more successful.
Further, there are a few things to note in order to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns:
Facebook provides plenty of options for each step of the user journey. Determine what would be suitable for your core strategy, and consider others as appropriate. Make sure each option has a clear rationale.
Prepare the creative assets in advance for each ad type you’re launching and align it to the right steps in the user journey.
Define your preparation plan in great detail and always have a plan B. Build your targeting audiences and have a few additional ones built in case the core ones aren’t performing. Your preparation plan should include testing, and that plan should easily and efficiently allow you to determine the best performing demographics, ad types, placements, etc.
What are the Benefits of This Strategy?
Here are several great advantages from using this strategy, plus a few more tips for how to get the most out of it.
Facebook video ads: Facebook video ads are approximately 7x cheaper compared to YouTube, and open up an opportunity to reengage users who viewed your video.
Reach and frequency: Reach a significant number of people and control message frequency through reach and frequency campaigns, ideal for brand awareness.
Ad types and segmentation: Test different ad types to make sure you’re covering all available opportunities, and segment your audience to make sure you’re targeting high-value users. Audience segmentation and exclusion can significantly improve delivery and performance.
Instagram ads: Because of the image-driven nature of Instagram and the fact that users are more likely to connect with interactive content, these ads maximize the value of your creative and increase user engagement. This is a great option to leverage your content and increase the number of conversions.
Video reengagement: Use this to reengage with users who are familiar with and have shown interest in your brand. This is a good option for increasing the number of conversions and driving more high-value players.
Custom audiences: Make use of all ad types and optimize accordingly. Target audiences using Website Custom Audiences. Also create custom audiences of people who’ve registered but haven't made a purchase, and target with an alternative offer.
Search intent retargeting: This allows you to improve audience targeting and lower the CPA on your retargeting campaigns. Cross-channel retargeting ensures you’re reaching all of the most relevant, high-value users.
Dynamic Ads (DAs): Use Facebook DAs on different games to automate retargeting, and to show the most relevant game to your engaged users, driving them to convert.
Segmentation: Segment your custom audience and make use of ad types and messaging accordingly. Apply a “softer” method of engagement with these users by leveraging blog content, different offers, upgrades, and photo albums from user events. Also use Facebook’s immersive Canvas ads to get users more involved in the life of your brand.
Once your strategy’s clear and your campaigns are live, you’ll likely run into a few challenges. Here are a few common ones and how to handle them.
Your ad images, text, and targeting affects CTR—the lower the CTR, the higher the CPC: Stop any ads that aren’t meeting targets and have very low CTR.
Targeting or product affect CVR—the lower the CVR, the higher the CPA: Review your targeting strategy, your website, and your user funnel.
Campaigns have poor delivery: Check audience overlap and make sure to use exclusions. Also make sure you’ve allocated sufficient budget.
For a real-life example of how an online gambling site hit the jackpot with their CTR and saved big on CPAs, read our Leo Vegas case study.
One of the most important things to do when building a business is set yourself up for success, but sometimes success is hard to define. Let’s talk about the two most important things you need in order to help you to define your achievements.
1. Determine Your KPIs
Most of the time retargeting is used as a performance media tactic. Two of the most commonly used KPIs to measure performance are Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Return On Investment (ROI). Normally a business that sells goods will use a ROI model and a business that sells services will use a CPA model. This can change under certain circumstances.
However, companies don’t always solely focus on ROI or CPA. Businesses that are more heavily focused on upper-funnel marketing will mainly have goals such as driving awareness, promoting in-store purchases, or increasing site traffic. These businesses may focus on KPIs such as increasing reach by maximizing the number of impressions or clicks, while minimizing their CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) or CPCs (cost per click).
Sometimes it is difficult to choose only one KPI. Some businesses may want to drive a specific CPA, but also want to increase their reach by maximizing their impressions. In order to achieve this, you should create separate campaigns with specified budgets and a single KPI for each.
2. Establish Benchmarks
Now that you have chosen a KPI, we need to set the benchmark or goal. What number do you need to hit to be profitable?
If your KPI is CPA, then you will need to look into your books and find out how much you are willing to pay for a new customer. Start by asking yourself these questions:
What is the lifetime value of a new customer?
Or, start small and ask yourself, what is the value of a customer if they only use your service once?
Then determine what the retention rate is for customers that have engaged once and have become returning customers. These answers will help you determine your customer lifetime value. It is okay if your numbers are a little fuzzy here since you are using this number as a starting point.
If your KPI is ROI, things are simpler. You can usually start at $1.00 ROI, meaning when you spend a dollar, you also make a dollar in revenue. Anything above $1.00 ROI will be viewed as profit. If you have specific margins on the cost of your product then you may want to take that into account as well.
Now that you have defined a KPI for your business and a benchmark you want to hit, there are a few ways you can utilize Perfect Audience to see how we are hitting those KPIs and benchmarks.
It’s an exciting day at Marin and for advertisers around the globe. Today we finalized our acquisition of Perfect Audience; an innovative San Francisco based retargeting company. We’re thrilled to have them join us and enhance our remarketing expertise and bolster our industry-leading search, social and display performance advertising platform.
With the acquisition of Perfect Audience, advertisers not only get powerful programmatic display capabilities across the web, but also direct access to Facebook Exchange (FBX), Google’s Doubleclick Ad Exchange, and Twitter. For marketers looking to move away from inefficient point solutions, Marin is the only platform that offers audience-based ad buying across devices and channels.
You know your first party data is your advantage to effectively measure, manage and optimize across channels to win more revenue. Your search data reveals purchase intent. Your social data shows valuable demographic info. Your retargeting offers a trove of behavioral data. Marin’s advertisers will be able to easily combine and analyze all three data streams in a single place to better inform and execute smarter audience buying across the vast search, display and social landscapes.
For example, Marin’s support of Google RLSA in conjunction with Perfect Audience enables advertisers to use their highly valuable first-party data to not only influence display retargeting but also improve search retargeting. Such a 360-degree approach to audience based retargeting in a single platform is a first for advertisers.
Marketers invest big $ to drive prospects to their websites, but generally less than five percent of this traffic becomes customers. Adding Perfect Audience’s retargeting capabilities enables Marin’s advertisers to target the 95% of their traffic that doesn’t convert, generating more revenue from their online advertising programs.
If you’re not familiar with Perfect Audience, we encourage you to check out their powerfully simple platform. In addition to integrating the Perfect Audience platform with Marin, Perfect Audience will also continue to be available as a standalone tool. So, it’s business as usual for current Perfect Audience customers.
Curious about more acquisition details, then check out the FAQ.
In today’s tech-savvy world, consumers are increasingly shifting their media time away from traditional channels such as television, print, and radio, towards the emerging digital channels of search, social, video, and mobile. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are seeing customers take to the web thanks to the convenience, selection, and price-transparency of ecommerce. Consequently, the battle for revenue is experiencing a seismic shift and marketers are increasingly allocating their investments towards these emerging digital channels.
The research firm eMarketer estimates that global B2C online sales grew 21 percent last year to $1.09 trillion, the first time sales have topped $1 trillion. The US ecommerce industry chipped in $365 billion and eMarketer expects that amount to grow to $409 billion in 2013. With the average sales per US consumer reaching $2,466 this year among those who purchase goods online, advertisers are seeking more efficient and effective ways to reach their audience.
Following suit, a new Strata survey found that nearly one-third of ad agencies expect to spend more on digital advertising than on traditional media within the next three years—indicating that digital media may eclipse traditional advertising in the near future.
“Focusing on revenue acquisition is an absolute necessity to thrive in today’s digital marketing landscape.” – Linda Harjono, Senior Manager of Search, Symantec
To win the battle for revenue, smart marketers are breaking away from their competition and overcoming the challenges of a highly complex and data-driven digital landscape with Revenue Acquisition Management (RAM)—an emerging category of technologies that enable advertisers to improve revenue outcomes and return on investments from digital advertising. RAM solutions allow marketers to manage digital advertising across multiple channels, publisher, geographies, languages, and devices; providing them with complete visibility and control over their programs and enabling them to optimize their digital advertising to meet desired revenue goals.