Growth Planning: Multi-Channel Planning

My last blog touched on identifying your target audience, and provided some examples of how to employ the targeting options of various networks to reach those valuable segments. This post will go into more detail about how to identify the right channels for your unique goals.

 

Choosing The Right Channels

Each pay-per-click advertising channel has it’s strengths and weaknesses, and it’s likely you’ll eventually end up with a multi-channel strategy to drives users down the conversion funnel.

It’s often a good idea to start by shoring up your most valuable segments first and expand from there.

 

Search

  • Buy highly relevant keywords on the Google or Bing search networks. Conversion rates will be higher for these users because the search queries driving them to your site indicate a high degree of interest in your product or service.

 

Display

  • Users may be less engaged, but the reach often justifies the investment.
  • Your advertising strategy will likely need to extend beyond highly qualified search traffic.
  • You can still make Display highly accountable with strategic use of targeting options.
  • Great for branding

 

Facebook / Social Networks

  • Similar to the Google Display Network, pay-per-click on social networks is great way to reach new users.
  • Advanced targeting (Facebook especially) is very helpful in limiting ad serving to qualified users

 

AdWords for Video

  • Fantastic branding opportunity
  • Cheap cost-per-views
  • Ability to tell your story with video (very powerful)

Remarketing (on AdWords for Video, Google Display, Facebook, Google Search)

 

Combining Channels

Your strategy will incorporate a combination of these networks and features, and will be determined by your unique business goals. It’s crucial to understand how each network excels in different ways. Once this is understood, you’ll be in a much better position to understand where to start, and how to implement a multi-channel strategy.

 

Tracking Performance

If investing in multiple paid channels simultaneously, always keep track of your performance and assess value comparatively. This will allow you to test your assumptions about the efficacy of each channel and enable you to reallocate budget appropriately. Take a look at this Web Marketing Planning Model for ideas on how you might craft the right model for your business.

 
Make Sure You’re Ready to Pay For Traffic

It’s worth touching on an obvious, but often overlooked, consideration: make sure you’re actually ready to start advertising before you launch any paid advertising campaigns. In assessing the state of your website, consider these questions:

  • Is my website functional / navigable?
  • Is it easy to complete a conversion on my site?
  • Are my page load times acceptable?
  • Can my homepage content be easily digested in under ten seconds?
  • Is my site content consistent with my ad content? — items out of stock, inconsistent pricing, etc.
  • Do I have the proper tracking in place to understand how users are engaging with my site?

 

Conclusion

  • Once you’ve determined your target audience, consider which network will be most effective in reaching them
  • Create a multi-channel strategy via a tactical combination of features across networks
  • Keep track of performance and make changes to your budget allocation plan accordingly
  • Make sure your website is ready for prime-time before you launch any paid advertising