Sales & Marketing

9 practical tips on targeting online advertising

6 min read

13 December 2014

We hear from Col Skinner, owner of digital consultancy Profoundry, on how SMEs can target online advertising.

Profoundry works with a range of SMEs and is proactively looking at skills swaps and completing initial consultancy at a low rate to make sure these services are accessible to all types of businesses.  

Your campaign needs KPIs

You can set up campaigns by objectives. Understand the goals of your campaign. Are you trying to drive someone to purchase? Increase your following? Gain initial interest? Trying to realise what the right things are, a lot of people will try and go for everything. 

It’s a cost per click model and social advertising is very friendly to the idea that you are paying for clicks or engagement. That gives value to small businesses where every penny of their marketing budget is very closely looked after. 

Take advantage of Google offers 

Google often contacts new businesses to offer free advertising vouchers of between £15 and £125 in value. Existing SMEs could apply for £75 when they spend £25 at time of press and it’s worth keeping an eye on any other offers to help reduce costs and increase ROI. 

Target engaged customers and influencers

Consumers have moved toward a much more engaged status and you have influencers within these groups. If you can persuade them to purchase and they shout about it, you can get a lot more reward out of it, rather than just targeting wildly to key words.

Retarget customers that have been to your website

You can use Google AdWords to target someone’s who’s been on your website for 30 seconds, clicked on several pages, taken this action, but not that action, and get really specific about who you’re targeting. You can then deliver them an ad that says ‘have ten per cent off’, hopefully it feels personalised.

If done properly re-marketing can be great. If you’re a software provider and they put it in the basket and don’t purchase you can go back and offer then 10 per cent off that specific software. You can get back someone that didn’t convert. You might tempt back 25 per cent of those people that went onto your website and for some reason didn’t convert. 

Commit to social media

People need to commit to these social platforms or not do it all. Even big brands will try and cut costs by automating and tapping into RSS feeds. It never works. You have to commit time to creating highly relevant, engaging content on your website and the social platforms. If you’re an SME it needs full commitment from a staff member that can really put in the time. 

Facebook’s advertising friendly

From personal experience Facebook’s less applicable for business to business sales, however, it is business to customer friendly. Facebook’s audience is mainly made up of users on their break or relaxing after work. It is a very personal space and not one that people want to see business to business adverts within. Retailers and game developers have seen success with native advertising and “click to install” on the platform. When thinking about platform suitability think of Facebook as somewhere people want to laugh, relax and browse. If what you are promoting doesn’t fit into that then Facebook is probably not the right platform. 

Facebook Lookalike Audiences is a powerful tool

Anyone who hasn’t worked in that environment is shocked at the level of data, from gender to personal likes. Analysing the results data is something people still don’t understand or are fearful to do. Start by comparing and matching up any offline audience/market profile data you may already have. Don’t be afraid to export data and play around with it in Excel. If you haven’t got the time to analyse the data yourself then think about hiring someone through sites like Odesk.com or Freelancer.co.uk.

Use Twitter Cards

Twitter cards allow you to add a link, image and a call to action on top of the 140 character limit. That increases the likelihood of engagement. Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Providing different types of content is very important as is heavy use of photos.

Don’t be afraid to try!

SMEs shouldn’t be afraid of trying these things on their own. They know their brand and their audience better than anyone. What they’re doing and when they’re doing it, what they’re looking at.