Marketing via Paid Media and Your Owned Media
‘Paid Media’ is just an expression of what we all have done for years, which is spending money on reaching consumers. There is no free lunch though, and you need authenticity from positive reviews, company stories, and validation of your products’ features and benefits. So where do you start?
After completing an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Audit it is time to allocate a portion of your advertising spend. With Google ads your brand gets in front of consumers searching keywords related to your products. With a good SEO/SEM (Search Engine Marketing) strategy and advertising spend, your search rankings will improve, putting you higher in Google search results. Google will improve your native rank when you consistently pay for keywords as they want you to spend more money and reach more consumers. Then you will also want to spend money on retargeting ads to consumers who have already visited your site.
Facebook – Instagram Ads
The next essential element to your paid media strategy is spending money with Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook). They can expand your reach to new consumers who have similar interests or likelihood to purchase products from your brand as your current audience. The ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) of an effective campaign can often reach 5 to 10 times depending on the time of year and the quality of the messaging. The crafting of these ads requires skilled design and concise messaging to draw consumers to your site on their pathway to purchase.
Cycling Publications or endemic publications
Next on your media planning list must be credible sources of cycling authenticity to build your brand with the cycling community. We generally prefer digital publications over print publications in the e-commerce realm, but we all recognize that we have to support these publications that have the reach, trust and influence of the global cyclist. Once reviews have been written and posted, use this PR as content to drive traffic to your website, and even consider taking the consumer directly to the associated product page. Consumers are busy, and leading them to a fast loading, user friendly product page where they can click the ‘buy button’ increases the likelihood of purchase.
Owned email list followers
The highest chance of conversion will come from your email list. Consumers who share their email will generally order from you at some point if messaged consistently with the right “flow” of communications. For example, a mountain biker might not want to hear about your new commuter light. Instead, they probably want to learn about a lighting system designed specifically for trail use. It is important to segment your list and adjust the messaging to the interests of your list members. This kind of targeting takes skill, but once mastered, it can make email your most cost effective sales tool and your highest profit lifetime customer retention source.
Owned social followers
Be careful not to get swept up in getting “Likes” or “Followers” to measure brand success. Shares and hashtags are valued, but the followers will often not see your social efforts. Facebook wants you to pay to reach their users, so the only way to measure your social success really is to compare revenue with what you spent on the platform, and gauge the consistency of posts and advertising toward long term success.
The Apple effect
It is important to think about the timing of communications to benefit from what we call the ‘Apple Effect’. It is best to launch products when consumers can buy them in stores and online like Apple has done with iPhones over the years. The ‘good old days’ of announcing new products to the press (think paid media) at Eurobike, but not delivering them until December or later is a bad practice and hurts sales because consumers lose interest over time. It’s far better to be patient and turn on the marketing investment only when you can actually sell the product you are promoting actively!
Next Up: Part 5: Channel Management & Summary
Read Scott Montgomery’s previous blogs:
- A Successful Website to Support all Channels
- Multifaceted or Multi-headed Channels?
- Building a ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ Strategy