- Ad optimization is essential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ad campaigns, no matter the purpose.
- The overall goal of ad optimization is to increase the ROAS or Return On Ad Spend of ad campaigns by reducing the cost to campaigns.
- There are plenty of ad optimization techniques that encompass various areas of digital advertising to make improvements in order to scale results.
Ad optimization is essentially making changes to ad campaigns to improve their efficiency and effectiveness and achieve the desired results. Through ad campaign optimization, you can improve click-through rates (CTR), reduce the cost per click (CPC), increase conversions, and optimize the overall ROAS of your ad campaign. Here are 15 techniques of ad optimization that can help uplift the ad campaign performance.
Creating multi-channel ad campaigns
Multiple Ad Optimization Channels
Users today interact with businesses through multiple channels such as social media, websites, ads, emails, and many others. Their first touchpoint maybe your website, but they may continue the user journey on your social media page and end it on your YouTube channel. This is where multi-channel marketing comes into play. It is an ad optimization strategy where you can use a single-user acquisition strategy with minor variations in ad campaigns.
Things to know before you build a multi-channel campaign
- Ensure that campaign messaging is consistent across all channels.
- Identify the channels that your users are active on.
- Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your campaign.
- Use Google Analytics to analyze and track campaign performance.
How is multi-channel ad optimization advantageous
- You can repurpose media and creatives across channels.
- You can reach a wider audience.
- Your audience can identify you easily through a uniform campaign as they move across different channels.
Tracking campaigns and making real-time adjustments
As mentioned earlier, identifying the key campaign metrics is important. After you do that, track the metrics in real-time to achieve ad optimization. Now, how does this help?
- Improve keyword performance: You can improve keyword performance by tracking metrics, identifying the relevant keywords, and targeting them to improve campaign results.
- Find the right formats and content: By experimenting with different ad formats and content through A/B testing, you can find the formats and content types that get the highest engagement and conversions.
- Identify non-engaging campaign elements: Some metrics can also help you spot the areas of your ad campaigns that the audience is not engaging or least engaging with.
- Invest in high-resulting channels: By analyzing the traffic sources, you can recognize the channel that the ads get the most traffic on and invest more in optimizing your ads for it in the future.
However, the essential thing to do is to ensure that all the useful metrics are easily available to you, which is possible by choosing the right analytics platform.
Creating ad strategies that align with the buyer journey
Stages in a buyer’s journey
A prospect’s journey before becoming a customer goes through three stages.
- Awareness stage: This is when the prospect is aware of the problem that they’re facing, and you can solve it for them. Your ad campaigns must acknowledge the problem and grab the prospects’ attention when they see your ad.
- Consideration stage: In this stage, the prospect becomes aware of the solutions to their problem. The ads you run must be targeted at the prospects who have viewed your previous ads, or you can even use retargeting ads.
- Decision stage: The prospects evaluate different solution providers in this stage. Your ad campaigns’ content must be centered around problem-solving and help the prospects make well-thought decisions.
Your ad optimization process must be more buyer-centric instead of brand-centric so that you address the pain points of your prospective customers and present solutions for the same. It is critical to align the ad campaigns with different stages of the prospect’s journey. Optimizing campaigns in this way ensures more personalized campaigns and, therefore, higher conversions.
Planning multimedia campaigns
Multimedia campaigns are a productive way of ad optimization. These campaigns are executed across various online (and offline) channels such as ad campaigns, landing pages, social media, blogs, and others with a single objective. It may also combine various types of marketing content such as articles, blog posts, graphics, videos, etc. It is important to maintain the campaigns such that they work effectively in cohesion to drive engagement and conversion.
Some ways you can manage multimedia campaigns effectively:
- Defining your target audience and identifying the channels they are available on.
- Defining a single tangible goal and its budget and analyzing its effectiveness.
- Creating specific pieces of content marketing for each social media channel.
- Maintaining a content calendar.
- Running the campaign for an optimal period.
Maintaining a consolidated product catalog
A product catalog is an excellent ad optimization technique in that it provides a holistic view of up-to-date information about the pricing, discounts, fees, loyalty programs, taxes, etc., of all your products. Having a centralized product catalog helps save time and effort when creating campaigns by providing access to all product information needed in the campaigns in a single place. It is especially helpful in multi-channel campaigns where you may need to match different product information with platform requirements. You can use catalog service providers or tools to create centralized product catalogs.
Customizing ads for multiple events
Even though conversion is the main goal of any ad campaign, there are other traffic events, such as clicks and website visits that impact them. Customizing your campaigns for such events may directly or indirectly help in achieving more conversions. How can you optimize your campaigns for different events, let’s see.
- Identify the traffic events that matter to your business.
- Create ad campaigns around these events.
- Identify and target the right audience to achieve campaign goals.
- Monitor ad performance with critical ad metrics and make adjustments.
Optimizing the target audience to improve ad relevance
Do your target audience’s interests match with your customers? If yes, then you are targeting the right audience, and your ads will likely perform well, driving the desired results. It is important to identify your business’ audience, and one way to do it correctly is to ensure that the target audience pool intersects with your customers. This way, you can create ads that resonate with prospects and improve your ad relevance score. The higher the score, the better the chances of getting maximum conversions.
Testing and identifying the right ad format
There are multiple ad formats like banner, native, rich media, etc., available in the market, but should you use them all? Maybe not. Ads must be tailored to your business objectives because not all ad formats may help achieve the desired results. Thus, testing and identifying the right ad formats is important. A/B testing is a solution to this problem. With ad optimization using A/B testing, two or more versions of an ad are tested with audiences, and the one that performs better is said to be the right fit for your business goals.
Optimizing ads for mobile devices
A Statista report shows that there are 7.33 billion mobile users worldwide in 2023, which is estimated to rise even more in the coming years. Thus, your ads must be as well-designed for mobiles as they are for desktops. Your target audience must be able to view ads on mobile devices without an issue.
Forecast number of mobile users worldwideImage Courtesy: statista.com
Below are a few things you could do to optimize high-performing ads for mobile:
- Use high-quality images, readable text, and font sizes.
- Keep the ad content crisp and concise and not lengthy.
- Ensure that your ads have a fast loading time.
- Use mobile-friendly ad formats and ad sizes.
- Target mobile users by location so that they are easy to reach out to.
- Try out social media ads, as most mobile users are on social media platforms.
- Test out ad creatives and formats to identify those that match your goals.
Using an ad optimization SDK
An ad optimization SDK (Software Development Kit) is a software package that consists of tools for optimizing ad performance in apps and other digital platforms. Such SDKs are typically integrated into the base platform and include features for serving ads, measuring ad performance, and making real-time adjustments to maximize their results. For example, SDK X is an optimization tool that uses techniques such as smart waterfall and header bidding to optimize revenue from ad campaigns. Overall, ad optimization SDKs help perform multiple tasks as shown below.
Multiple Functions of SDK X
Avoiding low-quality content
You can define low-quality as malicious, non-valuable, and non-informative. Ads having such content may not be accepted by Facebook or Google. These platforms also demand excellent visuals and require your ads to be free of:
- Misleading content and claims
- Controversial content
- Click/engagement bait
- Sexual, adult, or similar content
The above traits can prevent your ads from being displayed or performing well and harm your reputation.
Using dynamic creative optimization
Dynamic creative optimization is an ad optimization technique where ads are updated in real-time according to an individual viewer’s preferences, which are determined based on predefined parameters. Dynamic creatives involve multiple creative elements like images, text, videos, and CTA, which can be swapped manually or with the help of programmatic automation to deliver personalized ads.
Dynamic ads outperform static ads and are typically used for retargeting and prospecting. Multiple iterations are created from a base ad creative by considering factors like past performance, audience, etc. Doing this creates relevance for the viewer. Dynamic creative optimization improves efficiency by delivering different versions of an ad for different audiences and locales. It also enables you to show more personalized ad experiences to users.
Optimizing the ad budget
Are your ads not delivering the desired results? Getting to the root of the problem is better than just increasing your ad campaign budget. To understand the ad performance, it is important to calculate the ROAS or Return On Ad Spend.
This will help you know how much more you need to spend on ad campaigns to attain specific outcomes.
Reviewing delivery time and frequency
Sometimes ads fail to perform due to incorrect marketing strategies. You may deliver an ad at the wrong time or target users too frequently or not frequently enough. For instance, you may be showing an ad during the non-operating hours of your business, or when targeting an international audience, you may not be targeting users during their awake hours. In such cases, you can achieve ad optimization by reviewing your ad metrics from time to time to determine the correct delivery time and frequency.
Adding compelling CTAs
Example of Compelling CTAs
A CTA or Call-To-Action is the most important part of an ad as it urges the viewers to interact with your ad. Some typical CTAs are ‘Visit our page’, ‘Buy now’, or ‘Learn more’. However, a compelling CTA informs the viewer that they may miss out on something by not engaging with your ad. For example, ‘Sign up for free ebook’, ‘Subscribe for weekly goodies’, ‘Sign up and save’, ‘Try for a month’, ‘Count me in’, and ‘Get a free consultation’ are a few actionable CTAs. Such CTAs become a great catalyst in a winning ad campaign optimization strategy.
Overall, ad optimization can help you get the best results from your ad campaigns through improved targeting, user experience, and ROI. By refining your campaigns regularly, you can expand your reach to a wider audience and increase ad revenue.