What is the Buyer’s Journey and Why Does it Matter for Marketers?

 

Consumers today can seem almost allergic to advertising. Adblockers help users ignore sponsored messaging, customers trust reviews and testimonials over sales pitches, and 72% of customers turn first to Google – not sales reps – when researching purchases.

These behaviors reflect key features of the buyer’s journey, or the decision-making process that takes your audience from potential customer to loyal convert.

In this blog, we’ll explain what the buyer’s journey is and how understanding it can help marketers achieve their goals.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

Hubspot defines the buyer’s journey as the process through which buyers become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a good or service. It includes pre-decision, decision, and post-decision stages during which consumers seek valuable information from authoritative sources.

In short, it’s a summary of how your customers think. That’s advertising gold if you ask us.

While the buyer’s journey is based on established psychological concepts, its implications for marketers have evolved with changes in consumer behavior. With so many options at their fingertips, customers want to make sure they’re making the absolute best choice possible. And with access to more information than ever, they actually can.

By understanding the buyer’s journey, you can better identify with your customers, which aids in communication – the essence of good marketing.

More specifically, you can zero in on what they need, and thus how your brand can fulfill that need. This helps you craft high-value messages that will cut through the noise and foster trust between you and your audience.

The Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Conventional wisdom defines a purchase as a process, not an event. The buyer’s journey helps marketers break down a customer’s experience of that process, allowing marketers to craft targeted messaging that meets customers where they are.

Awareness

The buyer’s journey starts with a customer becoming aware of a problem, or need. This could be anything from being hungry and deciding to pick a restaurant to eat for lunch, to realizing that one needs to buy a new car.

Tip: Consumers don’t want to buy something they don’t need. For customers at the awareness stage, messaging that focuses on your brand, goods, or services may fall on deaf ears or, worse, seem too aggressive.

Consideration

Once a customer realizes they have a need, they’ll begin considering solutions. This means researching and evaluating options, refining their criteria, and finally narrowing down a list of solutions. Customers often cycle between these steps until they’re ready to make a final decision.

Tip: Your media mix should accommodate how people gather information these days. Television and radio ads that highlight your value in a unique way can certainly make an impact, but for many brands, digital outreach will be key.

Consumers in the consideration stage often turn to customer reviews, testimonials, and other content that provides trustworthy information. Think about including these in your marketing strategy.

Decision

Having evaluated the necessary criteria and options, the consumer converts, or makes a purchase.

Tip: While the decision stage is a milestone for any brand, it’s not necessarily the end of the buyer’s journey, nor your work as a marketer. Some have even dubbed the post-decision phase the “Evangelize” stage, during which happy customers spread the word about the value of your good or service.

Customers who have already converted have the potential to contribute to your brand presence through the same customer reviews and testimonials that may have driven them to you in the first place. Make sure your marketing strategy doesn’t leave your post-decision buyers behind.

How to Use the Buyer’s Journey in Your Marketing Strategy

Start with questions. How will customers find you? What kinds of information, or content, will help them make an informed decision? And once they’re poised to make a purchase, what will facilitate their conversion?
You’ll need to address these questions when designing your website and planning your advertisements and content.

Use buyer personas. The buyer’s journey is all about empathizing with your customers. One specific way to do that is with buyer personas. These sketches or profiles of fictional customers help you narrow down exactly who you’re talking to, where they are in the buyer’s journey, and most importantly what to say to them.
To learn more, read our blog on the power of buyer personas.

Craft targeted content. Since so much of the buyer’s journey now happens online, your digital marketing strategy should incorporate strong, authoritative content targeted to consumers at various stages of the process.
First, consider your brand and target audience, then decide what kinds of content will best communicate with them. Blogs, articles, white papers, and user-generated content like reviews or social media posts are great examples of this kind of targeted content.

At Bloom Ads, We Know Buyers

The professionals at Bloom Ads specialize in creating the right media mix for your brand and target audience. If you have questions about media buying and planning, digital advertising, or just how to better reach your potential customers, get in touch today.

Quick Advertising Ideas for Your Summer Ads

Summer is a great time for advertisers to capitalize on travel and large public events.
Summer is the season of soaking up rays and being outside. Children are out of school, vacations are underway, and everyone is always on the go.

Summertime can be a challenging time for many businesses, though. The habits that make summer so much fun also change shopping and spending habits. However, if you adapt your summer ads and marketing strategy,  you can capitalize on their summertime spending.

We’ve put together some quick advertising ideas that will help you do just that. Learn more below.

Quick Advertising Ideas for Summer

Weather-Triggered Marketing

The summer weather can play a big part in people’s day-to-day activities. You can take advantage of these micro-moments with summer ads specifically ready for weather situations, like extreme heat or rain. When consumers see that you are in tune with what is happening at any given moment, they will be inclined to connect more with your brand.

This strategy is especially advantageous for companies offering products and services that align with the weather. A perfect example of this might be advertising a light-weight rain jacket on a rainy day. Having an arsenal of ads and emails geared toward specific weather is a quick advertising idea that can show great rewards down the line.

Utilize Outdoor Marketing

On those beautiful sunny days, throw a sidewalk sale. Foot traffic is essential, and having your products on display as consumers walk by is a quick advertising idea that’s likely free.

If you’re a small or digital native brand with the right budget, you may even consider investing in a pop-up. Today’s consumers want memorable experiences, and there’s no better time for those experiences than the summer.

Even if your area has restrictions on sidewalk sales or pop-ups, a simple street sign, billboard, or bus wrap with a catchy value proposition will get your brand noticed in no time. It’s all about having summer ads where people are most likely to see them – and during the warm months, that’s outdoors.

Take Part in Outdoor Events

While you’re at it, another quick advertising idea is to reach out to other organizations in your community and collaborate on events. Align your business locally with sporting events, street fairs, block parties, and festivals throughout the summer. You’ll be able to get your brand, products, and services in front of new customers just by affiliation. Sponsoring these events is a way to ensure even higher visibility, with your logo present on all of the event collateral.

Local event involvement will build credibility and trust for your brand. Customers will start to think of your business as a pillar of the community and will want to support that. That word of mouth support is invaluable.

A bonus to getting involved with local events is your business showing up in search engines, like Google or Bing, for local searches, like “things to do near me.”

Messaging and Imagery

We all know that advertising is about reaching your target market for new and existing customers in the right place at the right time. One of the most unfortunate marketing mishaps, even when you are reaching the right people, is to have messaging and images out of sync with the season.

Try drawing your summer target audience in with summer ads and displays that are new and exciting. Highlight what summer is all about with summer ad verbiage – think “Sizzlin’ Summer Deals” or “Summertime Special Offers.” Capture interest with quality content photos and images that appeal to the active, recreational nature of summer.

Take Advantage of Summer Holidays

There are great opportunities to align PR and summer ads with holidays or summer-themed days. Of course, there are the standard holidays that most businesses capitalize on, like Memorial Day and Independence Day. However, you can also try posting interactive polls and contests for lesser known things, like National Hot Dog Day or National Parks Week.

This light-hearted strategy can be a fun way to get your customers to post their favorite unique hot dog recipes, for example, on Facebook, Twitter, and your other social media platforms. This quick advertising idea can generate viral brand engagement if done right.

Summer Gifts and Giveaways

A great way to grab attention and draw customers in is with a free giveaway. Everyone loves something for nothing. What can your business offer that shoppers would appreciate? It could be something as simple as a branded frisbee or beach bag.

Try to make these marketing ideas relevant to your company. Do you offer a service that would allow someone more free time to enjoy summer activities? Focus on what your customers might value most, don’t just make swag for the sake of making swag.

Market to Last-Minute Customers

As summer starts to draw to a close, business owners or marketers should change their messaging and strategy again. Focus on an end-of-summer blowout sale or some other message that aligns your brand with the season. This seasonal message shift will signal to returning and potential customers that your brand is plugged in and ready to cater to their needs.

The closing of the summer season is the time to play on urgency and push those last-minute deals. Do a countdown, making the deals more and more desirable by offering inexpensive 2-day shipping or discounts on summer-related items. This will grab the attention of those who waited until the last minute and make you the easy and quick choice.

Got Questions?

If you have any questions about any of these quick advertising ideas or the services that we offer, do not hesitate to reach out or call 818-703-0218. You can also visit our website to learn more about our media buying and planning services.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more tips!

Five Things You Need to Know About Mobile Advertising

Digital marketers must adapt to the habits of mobile users.
The recent shift towards mobile advertising has been immense, accounting for 30% of global advertising in 2020, with its total of nearly $190 billion being more than twice as much as desktop advertising. What’s even more fascinating is that this dominant market position hasn’t been a slow-burner, with 80% of mobile ad spending growth happening in the last five years.

Like so many tech and digital “unicorns,” mobile advertising has sprung from nowhere and changed the game so quickly, it’s left traditional players struggling to figure out the new rules – or to even get on the field in the first place.

The reasons mobile advertising has become so popular are unsurprising when you consider what it offers to marketers:

With the unprecedented and highly individualized access to potential customers, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to grab a shovel and join in the mobile advertising gold rush that’s in full swing. But before you get in over your head, here are some important things you need to know about what makes mobile advertising different.

1. Mobile marketing has its own language.

You can’t make the most of mobile advertising without learning the language. Below are some of the most important terms you’ll come across:

Native ads: These are designed so that they look like they’re actually a part of the app or website being visited. For example, an ad for coffee might use characters from the game the user is playing.

Scrollovers: These are ads that take up a full-screen width, meaning that users have to scroll over them to get to the rest of their content, thus not being able to avoid the ad’s message.

Interstitial ads: These cover the whole screen during an appropriate moment during usage of mobile apps, such as a pause in play or changing from one screen to another.

Impressions: This is a digital marketing term that describes the moment an ad is viewed by someone or displayed on a page.

CPI (Cost Per Impression): This is a metric used to describe how much advertising costs per impression. It can also be described as CPM (Cost Per Mille), referring to cost per thousand impressions.

In-app purchases: These are purchases users make inside a company’s app, such as getting extra content to help them on a quest or give them more features, to provide a better experience or to make or renew subscriptions.

CTR: Click-through rate is the percentage of people who view your ad and follow through to visit the site or take a desired action.

Programmatic platforms: Highly automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, which uses a wide variety of metrics to deliver intensely targeted advertising.

2. The mobile platform is a different beast.

Unlike display advertising, where everything is about capturing attention at a single glance, mobile marketing is defined by how consumers use their devices. This affects everything from the shape of the ad (e.g. mobile phone screens are generally in 16:9 ratio) to whether the user has wi-fi or not.

Effective mobile advertising means understanding how consumers use their phones, and how that will affect the display of your ads.

3. The possibilities are endless.

Mobile usage opens up a whole new world of marketing possibilities for businesses. These include location marketing to target specific geographic areas, augmented reality to blend virtual concepts into the real world, and using native ads to piggyback on the trust and brand awareness of an app they are already using.

4. Getting users on your own app is the holy grail.

While utilizing ad networks that are already positioned in the market can be a quick and effective way to get into mobile advertising, the potential to connect goes much further. By developing and pushing your own app, you will gain greater control of your customers’ experience while gaining access to data concerning their preferences and habits.

5. Users expect an experience.

While much traditional advertising is happy with simply increasing brand awareness, this is not nearly enough for mobile. The interactive nature of mobile and the journey you can take people on in a few quick clicks and swipes means that if you are not giving potential leads a full-on experience, you’re not making the most of what mobile has to offer.

Got Digital Marketing Questions? We Have Answers

Taking full advantage of the changing landscape of marketing can be overwhelming. The experienced marketers at Bloom Ads are here to help make the transition smoother. Contact us today with any questions you have about mobile and digital marketing.

How is Media Planning Different from Media Buying?

Media planners and buyers work together like drivers and navigators.

Two of the most important cogs in the grand engine of media advertising are media buyers and media planners. Without them, the creative elements of media strategy would be left without a connection to an actual platform, wallowing in the darkness of obscurity, away from the warm glow of the attention of potential leads.

Although they often get lumped together, media planning vs. media buying is actually a keenly fought battle, with both sides claiming to be of greater importance. In fact, it’s probably better to describe their relationship as symbiotic rather than adversarial, since both perform at their best levels when working in tandem.

So, what is the media planning vs. media buying debate really all about? Let’s look at the main differences.

Media Planning vs. Media Buying

One way to think of the two roles is like a driver and co-driver setting out on a long-distance road trip.

The co-driver, i.e. the media planner, decides on the best route to take, considering the car’s capabilities, previous journeys that have been taken and what they’d like to do along the way.

The driver, or media buyer, on the other hand, has the focus of getting them to all the key waypoints with maximum fuel efficiency and within the set timeline, making adjustments on the road to make sure they stay on track.

What is Media Planning?

Media planners are the ones who figure out what media will be the most effective platform for a new campaign. They conduct research, figure out the best way to achieve what the client wants, outline the campaign goals and objectives, and set how the budget should be spread across the various platforms chosen.

The Roles of the Media Planner

Conducting Internal Market Research: This helps them to uncover exactly what the client’s brand identity is, what their market proposition and unique selling points are, and what the particular customer persona is.

Conducting External Market Research: This is to assess the lay of the land in the client’s particular field. Media planners explore how the brand is currently advertising, what their competitors are like and what they’re doing, what motivates and attracts their target audience, and which media channels are the most effective in reaching them.

Setting Campaign Goals and Objectives: The meeting of minds between what the client wants to achieve and what the media planners believe they can and should achieve is probably the most important interface in a campaign.

Trust and confidence are crucial for any long-term relationship, which is why integrated agencies like Bloom Ads are able to give clients the clearest picture of how they are making every dollar work for them. Media planners can set goals that they know they are going to be able to reach, as long as they work side-by-side with media buyers.

What is Media Buying?

Once media buyers receive the media strategy from the planners, their goal is to make sure the campaign features on the most appropriate media channels and with the greatest cost-effectiveness.

This is a considerably specialized role, as good media buying requires an intimate understanding of the marketplace and the nurturing of relationships with media vendors over years. It’s not something that can just be picked up a couple of times a year. For this reason, it is most often performed by a specialist media buying agency, although buyers and planners can be integrated under one roof.

The Roles of the Media Buyer

Creating and Leveraging Contacts: In most industries, it can be more about who you know than what you know, and that maxim certainly applies in media buying. One of the reasons why media buyers are able to create such great ROIs for clients is because they know the right people in the right places.

Knowing Where the Space Is and How to Get It: As much as knowing the right people matters, a media buyer also needs to have an impressive understanding of exactly which media channels appeal to which cohorts of society. The ultimate goal is to find the perfect space to get the best return for the client, then negotiate like their life depends on it to get even more.

Tweaking and Perfecting Campaigns in Motion: Once the strategy leaves the planner’s hands, it becomes the media buyer’s baby. It is up to them to optimize the channels being used to ensure the campaign’s effectiveness throughout its lifecycle. During this period, the media buyer will have to be flexible, gathering and interpreting data about the campaign’s performance. Certain tools, such as real-time bidding for ad space and programmatic advertising, allow buyers to make instantaneous shifts in direction to keep the project aligned and on the right course.

While for some, media planning vs. media buying might be an actual dispute, with one side trying to outdo the other, in our experience, they work best when both are in harmony. That’s why we have always believed, and proved through our results, that an integrated approach to creating, planning and disseminating your message always delivers the best ROI for advertising spend. Talk to us and find out for yourself.

The Power of Personas: Why Are Marketing Personas Important?

Markeing personas help make your audience real.
Most industry insiders agree that good marketing is all about figuring out not just what to say to your audience, but also when and how to say it. In order to craft that perfect message and communicate it effectively, you have to understand your audience.

So what exactly does that mean, and how do marketers accomplish it? One important way is through marketing personas. Sometimes called buyer personas, marketing personas create clear portraits of potential customers, literally putting a name – if not a face – to the often nebulous concept of your “target audience.”

Below, we’ll define marketing personas, explain why marketing personas are important, and provide tips for developing personas for your own company.

What Are Marketing Personas?

A marketing persona is a fictional “sketch” of a key segment of your target audience. This sketch helps you create a marketing strategy that is more relevant and valuable to the customers who matter most to your business. Once again, good marketing is all about figuring out what to say, and how and when to say it. By bringing faceless consumers to life with concrete identifiers, marketing personas address that very challenge.

A marketing persona should include specific details about the fictional customer, including at a minimum:

  • Demographics, such as age, gender, salary, education, and family
  • Occupation/career details
  • Personal goals and values

One final piece of the puzzle that many marketers may want to consider is the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. HubSpot has famously defined the buyer’s journey as the process through which all customers go when moving from discovery of your product/service to conversion. This process includes three stages: Awareness (the customer becomes aware of a particular need), Consideration (the customer researches solutions – i.e. products and services), and Decision (the customer purchases your product or service – i.e. converts).

Let’s say your company sells high-end hiking boots. A persona for one ideal customer might describe Jessica, a 30-year-old single Los Angeles resident. Jessica works as an executive assistant in the entertainment industry making $60,000 per year. She has recently started hiking for recreation and is interested in purchasing her first pair of hiking boots. She likes her job, which requires her to present herself well and keep up with trends, so she values both quality and style in her purchase.

Your message to Jessica should communicate these values in a way that targets beginners who are still in the consideration phase of their shopping. Save the discussions of complex boot comparisons and updated features, on the other hand, for Tim, a loyal customer, seasoned backpacker, and retiree looking to upgrade his go-to boots as he prepares to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Why Are Marketing Personas Important?

Marketing is about meeting audiences’ needs profitably. As you can see in the examples above, marketing personas help you meet customer needs by more fully defining who those customers are or could be. When you can put a name, age, and range of interests and experience to a customer, you can better illuminate their values and get a clearer picture of what that person needs from your product, service, or marketing strategy.

So personas help you define and understand your audience… but why is that so important? In short, if you don’t understand who your audience is, you can’t understand their needs. If you don’t understand their needs, you can’t meet them – let alone profitably.

By defining your ideal customers’ needs, marketing personas help marketers use time and energy more efficiently and, ultimately, create better products and services. Marketing personas are important in all of the following tasks:

  • Refining ad campaigns
  • Content creation (including email campaigns and blog posts)
  • Social media marketing (such as on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn)
  • General marketing problem-solving
  • Efficient and well-aligned product development

Tips for Harnessing the Power of Personas in Your Marketing Strategy

Be as detailed as possible. The more details you include, the clearer the picture of your ideal customer will be. A clearer sketch helps you both define and solve more problems for this customer, and refine your message to communicate how you can do so.

Consider the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. As we mentioned above, you should tailor your message to the buyer’s stage in engaging with your product or service. Someone who is still researching solutions needs a different message than someone who has already converted, or even someone who is just well-versed in industry terms and concepts.

Use templates. While each buyer persona is a unique sketch, you should standardize your process for developing personas by using or creating persona templates. This helps ensure you always include the same level of detail across campaigns, products, and departments, ensuring a more profitable use of time and resources.

We Can Help You Help Your Audience

At Bloom Ads, we’ve made it our life’s work to help clients craft the right messages for the right audience. Have questions about buyer personas, why marketing personas are important, or just how to get started on a successful marketing campaign? Explore our advertising services today.

SEM vs. SEO: What’s the Difference?

SEM and SEO are different branches of search marketing that can work together.

We know – search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) sound almost identical. It is true that they both describe digital marketing strategies that harness the power of search engine results to increase traffic and conversions.

However, SEM and SEO describe two different (but complementary) branches of what’s now called “search marketing.” Search marketing can be contrasted with other types of digital advertising, such as display ads, video ads, and retargeting or remarketing campaigns, which do not rely on keyword searches to gain traffic.

While some industry insiders still use “SEM” as an umbrella term to describe all search-based digital marketing (including SEO), we define SEM as a separate branch alongside SEO.

SEM vs. SEO

In a nutshell, the difference between SEM and SEO comes down to where the money goes. While all advertising comes at some cost to your business, SEM and SEO use resources in very different ways to achieve the same goal: increased traffic and conversions online.

Below, we’ll go into more detail about SEM vs. SEO – plus how they work together for a well-coordinated digital strategy.

What is SEM?

If SEM doesn’t sound terribly descriptive, its other common name – “paid search” – should give you a clue as to how it works. In an SEM campaign, a business aims to increase traffic by bidding on paid search listings. Those Google results marked “Ad” at the top of search engine results pages? Those are the products of SEM. The most popular SEM platform is Google AdWords, followed by Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads.

The most important thing to know about SEM ads is that they work through keywords. When bidding on ad placements, your business will bid on well-researched keywords relevant to both your target audience and your product or service.

Common Paid Search Methods

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) – In this model, your business pays the advertising platform for every click the ad receives. This model is sometimes referred to as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.
  • Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) – Some ads charge per thousand impressions, or times an ad delivers online.

What is SEO?

Unlike SEM, search engine optimization (SEO) does not involve the purchase of ads. Instead, it aims to increase traffic and conversions with high-quality, relevant web content targeted at keywords your audience is likely to search for. This is sometimes referred to as “organic” search marketing.

Because rankings on search results pages are not bought, but rather earned with content, SEO can be an inexpensive and thus profitable marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

SEO Fundamentals

Like SEM, the practice of SEO revolves around keywords. SEO content such as blogs, on-site copy, and social media posts aim to incorporate relevant keywords their audience is likely to search.

Ideally, SEO marketers should place keywords in ways that simultaneously communicate the page’s relevance to search engines and readers alike. The key to striking this balance is good writing and technical knowledge that keeps up with constantly-changing Google algorithms.

Below are some of the basics:

  • “Content is King” – You can’t talk about SEO without talking about content. This term describes any piece of writing or media – from blog articles to Facebook posts – that can demonstrate your relevance to search engines and your value to customers through keyword placement. Content can incorporate informative or entertaining writing, images, videos, or a mix of those elements, but should first and foremost be high-quality, credible, and authoritative.
  • On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO – While it’s easy to assume that on-page SEO refers to tactics you can actually see on the page, this is only a small part of the puzzle. On-page SEO includes any tactic that helps your page rank higher on search results, whether it’s “seen” by the reader or by Google. Good keyword usage in text, but also good site navigation, quality internal links, image descriptions, and even fast page load times all contribute to on-page SEO. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to SEO tactics that do not relate to webpage design, such as promotional campaigns.
  • Linkbuilding – Linkbuilding is another tenet of SEO that centers on credibility and authority. Google rewards sites that offer genuine, valuable, and relevant information. This is why simply “stuffing” keywords as many times as possible into a page won’t help your rankings. One way to build credibility for your sight is to make sure plenty of other, ideally well-ranking, sites are linking back to your site. This is another example of off-page SEO.

One important note on SEO: It’s a dynamic process that can take a long time to show results. For this reason, some recommend that newer sites prioritize SEM while revamping their site’s SEO.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Let’s recap the similarities between SEM and SEO.

  • Both rely on keywords.
  • Both focus on increasing online traffic.
  • Both help users find what they’re looking for online.

So when it comes to SEM vs. SEO, what’s right for you? Most evidence says, both! SEM campaigns are more likely to succeed if your site already has good SEO, because good SEO contributes to your site’s credibility and authority online.

Got questions about SEM, SEO, or digital marketing in general? The advertising experts at Bloom Ads would be happy to help.

Tips for Measuring Your Advertising Results

Reaping the best ROI on your ads means monitoring their success (or failure).

Measuring advertising results from media campaigns can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a few ways to go about measuring advertising results to determine your return on investment. In this article, we will list a few tips that will help ease the challenges of running an effective marketing campaign. Let’s get started!

Analyzing Campaign Performance  

Some variables are harder to control than others. However, collecting sales data before, during, and after the campaign can go a long way with regard to determining return on investment.

Timing is everything! Target a specific date range to see if there was any lift during the time period in which an ad campaign was running.

For a basic formula, ROI = gain from investment – cost of investment divided by the cost of investment.

Tone of voice is also an important variable to consider. If you know you ran a variety of ads, examine the results of each to determine which ones resonated the most with a target audience. Did messaging and tone change from one ad to the other? Was music played? What did the imagery look like when you ran the ad? In TV or radio broadcasts, for example, tone of voice can vary greatly depending on the time of day and audience segment.

Measuring Digital Advertising  

Measuring digital advertising is more straightforward so long as you have access to reliable data. For example, if your brand has an online presence, you can measure the amount of website traffic during a campaign period to determine the effectiveness of an ad.

Taking it a step further, one can specify unique URL parameters to identify the traffic source of a campaign to tie results back to specific copy, CTAs, imagery, and layout.

The key to success with digital measurement is having access to reliable analytics, so it’s best to sync with other members on your marketing team who may have access to better data.

Business Outcomes and Customer Experience    

A recent study conducted by the CMO Council found that marketers are now shifting their focus away from ad metrics towards measuring business outcomes. Ad personalization, for example, has become a great variable when measuring advertising results using the following metrics:

  • Retention rate
  • Lifetime value
  • Acquisition rate
  • Upsell/Cross-sell engagement
  • Revenue Per Transaction

Examining broader metrics allows marketers to zoom out and better understand the buyer journey, which can be a more effective marketing approach to tailoring messaging to the right time and place.

Defining Objectives, and Measurement

Defining objectives and measurement is of the utmost importance. Is your end goal to drive sales? Brand awareness? Retention? Having a clear set of objectives mapped out will pave the way to more measurable and actionable ad campaigns. The goal of this process is to drill down to the truth. What about a user’s behavior are we examining? Are key performance indicators (KPIs) actually representative of campaign success?

If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. From there, you can begin to audit, analyze and tweak ad campaigns accordingly. The bottom line: Without a north star, it’s hard to determine a path to your specific goals. You can use data all day long, but reaching new or potential customers requires a more holistic approach. Measuring advertising results begins with defining your objectives and KPIs beforehand.

It’s important to remember never to settle. Continually analyze which platforms, publishers, or partners are performing best to identify gaps as well as what needs to be done in order to improve return on investment. As long as you work towards improving the value proposition of the brand, the easier it will be to measure the impact of your work.

Bloom Ads is Here to Help

Is your team looking to outsource its media buying and planning? Bloom Ads has a team of professionals standing by to help your brand create, administer, and measure effective media campaigns that truly deliver! Give us a call today at (818) 703-0218.

How Does Social Media Affect Advertising?

Social media is the perfect tool for making sure your message reaches the right audience.
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay – and it’s definitely made its mark in the world of digital advertising. While traditional avenues like TV, radio, and print ads are still vital tools, companies that fail to adapt to the role of social media in advertising put themselves at a disadvantage.

This doesn’t have to be bad news. It may take some research and a little advice from the pros, but with the right tools and strategies, even technophobes can make concrete changes to their online presence that take advantage of the benefits social media offers.

Below, we’ll outline the state of social media in advertising and provide some pro tips for making good use of social media in your own marketing campaigns.

How Does Social Media Affect Advertising? A Look at the Data

Even the most cursory glance at the world around you offers plenty of evidence that social media is king. We’re constantly checking our devices for notifications from platform after platform, whether for work or personal reasons – often both. Facebook Ads have become ubiquitous, influencer marketing is a vital part of the industry, and user-generated content continues to gain traction.

It’s also obvious to many of us that users continue to find ways to block or ignore ads. We probably even do this ourselves.
But what do the numbers actually tell us? Let’s look at some statistics.

  • As early as 2006 – before Facebook even took off – it was estimated that the average American saw 5,000 ads a day. That figure is believed to have grown significantly since then.
  • As of 2019, Facebook has 1.69 billion users worldwide.
  • After reaching its 10 billionth tweet just four months prior, Twitter doubled that amount to reach its 20 billionth tweet in August 2010.
  • Companies are continuously developing products specifically to help consumers block ads. Such products have evolved from TiVo to ad-blocking browser plug-ins, many of which can be downloaded for free.

What do these statistics mean for advertisers in a digital landscape? Because social media puts so many people together in one “place,” advertisers have caught on to its amazing potential as a platform to broadcast their messages. But many argue that this has created ad fatigue for users, making it ever more challenging for marketers to cut through the noise.

Let’s break down some of the effects of social media on advertising.

Three Impacts of Social Media on Digital Marketing

1. Social Media Helps Communicate Value by Segmenting Markets

Most advertisers would agree that marketing is about communication and value creation. Well, social media is designed for just that. Social networking functions as a way to connect vast numbers of people from all walks of life and all across the globe – and that means connecting brands and consumers. With a built-in audience, social media provides amazing potential for boosting brand awareness.

But social media does more than just hand advertisers a virtual loudspeaker. In fact, advertisers already know that simply blasting a one-size-fits-all message without targeting the right audiences can actually negatively affect returns on investment.

This is where social media’s true strength comes in. Because of its amazing ability to target specific groups of people using powerful data and algorithms, social media is the perfect tool for segmenting markets so advertisers can actually reach the right people.

2. Social Media Turns Consumers into Message Creators

Because social media gives both brands and individuals a voice and a platform to express it, it has changed the way we send and receive messages. Social networking removes many of the barriers to expression that exist in more traditional advertising models. Companies can spend millions on a TV advertising campaign, but it doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook post.

More importantly, social media creates the ideal space for word-of-mouth marketing and “buzz” – two things that are becoming more and more crucial in a marketing landscape where consumers value transparency and trust over what they perceive as deceptive or aggressive “sells”. Though it comes with its own pros and cons, companies are increasingly taking advantage of these values by making use of user-generated content and influencer marketing.

3. Social Media Reduces Marketing Costs and Boosts ROI

While it can present a challenge to marketers more versed in traditional mediums like TV or print, social media tends to be much less expensive if used wisely. Between the low cost of posting on social networks and the huge exposure potential of word-of-mouth marketing, social media can drastically increase the profitability of spreading your message.

Not only does social media boost your returns on investment by cutting costs, but it also provides customer insights you can use to further hone in on your target audience with the right products (and messages).

Tips for Reaching the Right People Through Social Media

When potential customers have so many messages competing for their attention on a daily basis, how can marketers cut through the noise and meet customers’ needs profitably? The key is to use social media to your advantage by zoning in on your audience and creating authentic relationships with consumers, proving your service or product speaks to their values and can meet their needs.

We’ve included some tips for how to do this below:

  • Get on multiple platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are pretty much non-negotiable, with LinkedIn not far behind, especially for products or services geared toward a more professional cohort. Coordinate campaigns across platforms so your consumers perceive a cohesive, seamless experience across your brand presence.
  • BUT – Don’t just blast every platform. Tailor your posts to the platform’s strengths. Think visual/video content and hashtags for Instagram, more verbal content for Twitter, and content targeted at industry professionals for LinkedIn.
  • Utilize customer insights through data analytics, and make use of social media’s segmenting potential to target the right audiences with the right messages.
  • Consider user-generated content and influencer marketing – but carefully consider the costs and fit for your brand. When you pursue these campaigns, you’re putting your brand into the hands of outside parties, which comes with its own risks and rewards.

The Pros at Bloom Ads are Here to Help

Want to make the most of social media’s role in advertising but not sure where to start? Don’t worry – the professionals at Bloom Ads have plenty of experience in digital marketing to go around. Contact us to get started today!

Retargeting vs. Remarketing: What’s the Difference?

Retargeting and remarketing are two strategies for re-engaging users who did not convert.
Let’s say you’ve just revamped your website, adding lots of structured data, fixing broken links, and beefing up your SEO content. Maybe you’ve even gained some back links through all your effort, driving more and more visitors to your site.

You run some analytics, and the initial results look good: Your bounce rates are low and you’re getting tons of traffic. Great! But you’re seeing the same conversion rates as you did before the optimization campaign. What’s the deal?

Basically, there’s a slice of your audience who is engaging with your site, but not deciding to purchase your goods or services. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, the average conversion rate for first-time visitors of a given site is just above 2%. That means a whopping 98% of visitors to your site are engaging without buying. If you’re not hitting that 2% mark – or whatever your company’s goals are – it may be time for intervention.

Whether you’re not communicating the value they need, not communicating it in a way that reaches them, not targeting the right audience, or you need to smooth out some kinks in the way your site translates to the buyer’s journey, there is something lacking in your site’s ability to turn passive viewers into active customers. This is where retargeting and remarketing come in.

Often used interchangeably, even in the digital marketing world, retargeting and remarketing actually describe two different processes for achieving the same goal. That is, they both aim to re-engage potential customers who have previously visited your site but did not complete any call to action.

Why Mount Remarketing and Retargeting Campaigns?

The situation described above is normal in digital marketing. A combination of good technical and on-page SEO – as well as social media marketing and even more traditional marketing avenues like TV and radio – can do wonders for traffic on your site. But increased traffic doesn’t do you much good if those new visitors aren’t becoming customers.

So how do you know if you should pursue a remarketing or retargeting campaign? First, let’s go over some of the basic components of retargeting vs. remarketing.

What is Retargeting?

In a nutshell, retargeting is the process of digitally following and tracking the part of your audience who didn’t convert after engaging with your site. This is achieved using “cookies,” or pieces of data that embed themselves in a user’s browser.

In a retargeting campaign, you would use those cookies to place paid ads for your brand on other sites the user visits. The hope is that the user will follow the ad back to your site and convert by purchasing your product or service.

Retargeting alone won’t boost your conversion rates, just like increasing traffic alone won’t create customers out of visitors. The key is mounting a retargeting campaign in conjunction with all those great inbound and outbound marketing strategies that got visitors to your site in the first place. Don’t invest in a retargeting campaign without pursuing other digital marketing projects in tandem.

What is Remarketing?

As mentioned above, remarketing has the same goal as retargeting, and the term is often used to describe the above process. However, remarketing usually refers to mounting email campaigns aimed at re-engaging customers through their inboxes rather than paid ads.

Examples of remarketing include emailing customers to “remind” them of subscriptions or trials that are about to end or shopping carts they recently started but abandoned, or even just to let them know about an upcoming deal or product they might like based on their previous purchase history.

Remarketing doesn’t just revive your brand presence in a customer’s mind. It can also establish a stronger sense of the personal in an otherwise faceless digital transaction. Well-crafted remarketing emails respond to a customer’s unique preferences and values, making them feel taken care of.

The key to a successful remarketing campaign is making the emails helpful, not annoying – much like a good salesperson. If customers feel they’re being aggressively pitched something they don’t need, they may be less likely to re-engage.

Finally, remarketing tools will only work if you also have tools to glean and analyze customer data from your site.

Retargeting vs. Remarketing: Why Not Both?

Again, the main difference when it comes to retargeting vs. remarketing is in strategy, not goals. In fact, there’s no reason both tools can’t be used together, in conjunction with good SEO and other marketing strategies designed to both garner traffic and glean and analyze customer data for even better retargeting and remarketing strategies.

If you have questions about retargeting or remarketing tools, or which type of campaign is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask the professionals at Bloom Ads. We’d be happy to put our digital marketing expertise to use and help you get your product or service into customers’ hands.

Advertising vs. Sponsorship: Which is Right for You?

Advertising and sponsorship have some important differences.

When it comes to advertising, there are many different avenues to explore. However, it is important to understand the differences of each as well as the pros and cons before deciding which is right for you.

Advertising and sponsorship are typically used interchangeably, yet they are in fact different from one another. Advertising implies that a payment has been made to place an ad with specific messaging in place. A sponsorship, on the other hand, implies a much deeper, often ongoing relationship between two parties.

Still confused? Don’t worry. Allow us to further explain.

What is Sponsorship Advertising?

Sponsorship advertising occurs when one party agrees to support the other in exchange for a predetermined amount of exposure. Let’s suppose Brand A offers to sponsor Brand B’s upcoming event. In exchange for support, Brand B would then allow Brand A to run advertisements about their products or services during the event implying a much stronger relationship.

Common Types of Sponsorship Events

Typical sponsorship arrangements guarantee that a specific amount of ad placements or mentions will occur during an event. Brands will typically sponsor the following types of events:

  • Sporting Events
  • Cultural Events
  • Fine Arts Events

Given the limited number of relevant sponsorships, one may start to wonder which opportunity is best for them – traditional or sponsorship advertising. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of advertising and sponsorships.

Advertising Pros

Traditional advertising offers specific advantages that allow a brand to reach as many people as possible whenever they want or need to. Obviously, this allows for more control over the form of advertising, tone of voice and ad cadence. But, more importantly, advertising educates your audience, so they have the information they need to make a buying decision.

Advertising is also a great way to get ahead of your competitors. If you buy ads in places your competitors are not present, you essentially intercept an opportunity to convert listeners into customers.

Advertising Cons

Of course, advertising is not without its cons. The downsides to traditional advertising are that it’s pay-to-play. Neither performance nor ROI is guaranteed, and things can go south very quickly if brand messaging is ill received. As Business Insider wrote, the worst ads of 2018 were inadvertently offensive, causing an uncomfortable amount of fallout for clients and agencies.

It doesn’t matter the form of advertising – a miss is a miss, and negative impacts can be monetary, brand-tarnishing, or both.

The bottom line: Make sure your brand’s creative is not only strong, authentic, and sincere, but grounded in sensitivity. The last thing you want is to offend an audience with the wrong ad.

Which is Better?

The reality is that it’s easy to avoid the pitfalls of advertising through popular platforms. You just need the proper direction to get there safely. Sponsorship advertising is less risky if the events you choose to work with are carefully aligned with your business objectives or values. For example, a sporting event sponsored by a sport drink like Gatorade makes sense from a brand and messaging perspective, allowing for mutual value to be captured from the relationship. Sponsorships also imply a longer, on-going relationship that will continually help to share your brand’s messaging with a relevant audience.

On the flip side, traditional advertising results can be more immediate, while rate, time, and duration of served ads can more closely be monitored to positively impact performance.

Whether it’s event sponsorship, corporate sponsorship, or anything in between, the opportunities to build brand awareness through sponsorship may be limited. In that case, it might make sense to wait for the right sponsorship opportunity. In the meantime, launching ad campaigns can help improve a brand’s positioning sooner rather than later.

Got a question about advertising or sponsorships? Bloom Ads can help. Give our experts a call today at (818) 703-0218.

Bloom Ads Global Media Group | 818.703.0218 | info@bloomads.com
20720 Ventura Blvd. Suite 140 Woodland Hills, CA 91364