A common misconception is that you will only get big rewards if you have a hefty media budget to invest. However, there are plenty of tricks of the trade to help you get the most out of your monthly budget allocation; it’s just a case of knowing where to start. With this in mind, read on for our top five tips on how to make the most of smaller budgets…
1. Be realistic
However tempting it is to launch several different campaign types at once, it is rarely a good idea to spread yourself too thinly in the initial account-launch stages, especially if your KPI involves revenue. A much better approach is to pick the strategies that closely match your goals and stagger the other launches, taking into account any key learnings along the way.
This is vitally important with more upper-funnel campaign types, such as Google Display Network and YouTube, which can easily cannibalise marketing budgets. Any account learnings (ad scheduling, device, demographic etc) that can help to restrict the targeting of these campaigns can massively diminish any wasted ad spend.
2. The world is your oyster
Having a smaller media spend does not mean that you need to limit yourself to only covering one market. International expansion is definitely something that can be done on a smaller scale, by identifying a core group of new markets that will work best for you.
A variety of factors can contribute to helping you choose these new markets, including (but not limited to):
- Analysing your historical Google Analytics data to identify countries with a strong organic performance, both in terms of sessions and conversions, to ascertain potential brand demand
- Researching potential volume and costings for your key terms through Google Keyword Planner
- Using Google Market Finder for recommendations of which markets to expand into, based on your current website. This is also great for market snapshots such as potential cost per click (CPC), average disposable income and even insights into how potential customers in that country use the internet
However many new markets you choose, it is worth bearing in mind that a cookie-cutter approach is not likely to provide the best results, so ensure you take the time to localise your offering to each different market, taking into account any cultural differences.
3. Audience and Automation
With increased competition and CPCs across most verticals, when dealing with smaller budgets it’s more important than ever to target as specific an audience as possible. By utilising a combination of remarketing lists, CRM data, similar audiences and in-market audiences, you can ensure that you are only showing your adverts to searchers who have shown purchase intent for products similar to your own.
Another vital tool for smaller budgets is making the most of automation tools offered by the platforms, which allow you to utilise bid strategies tailored to your KPIs and goals. These strategies are able to optimise with much more granularity, meaning that they have the ability to push and pull bids every time you enter the ad auction based on how likely they think the user is to complete your desired action (be that a click or a conversion).
To demonstrate this, when the smart bidding strategy was implemented across nine of our clients who have average monthly media spends of less than £10K, we saw conversions increase by an average of 27%!
4. Cross-channel communication
Although limited budgets can mean that you may focus the majority of spend on one media channel, there is no reason why you can’t use insights from other channels to help overall performance.
One example of this is to use Google Analytics audiences to segment users from different channels. We can then target these users with separate search campaigns. A recent limited test with this type of targeting between paid social and paid search activity led to the number of steps in the conversion path being shortened by 86%!
Also, with many retailers suffering from a rise in resellers, having a synergised tone of voice across all marketing channels can help increase consumer trust and allow them to easily distinguish you from the crowd.
5. Get creative
Last but not least, with limited budgets every click counts, so you need to be prepared to think outside the box to get noticed. This can be as simple as offering discount codes unique to users who are interacting with your paid search campaigns, or running regular split tests in your accounts (which require no extra budget allocation) to test new ad messaging ideas or landing pages. There is no magic formula that tells you what will work best with your target audience, and with trends changing all the time, the best practice is to test, test, and then test again!
These are just a handful of tips that come from Croud’s experience of working with clients covering all verticals and budget brackets. For more information, or to find out how Croud can help you to get the most out of our your monthly media spend, contact us today!
Are you an SME looking to deliver sustained international growth? Join Croud and others from the SME Export Track 100 for a lively panel discussion, Q&A and drinks on July 11th. Book your free place today.