You know you have a great product, now you need other people to know. The problem is you also know that acquiring new visitors and customers is costly. Especially when you consider most new visitors — 92% according to one recent study — don’t become new customers on their first visit … nor do they even have that intention.
How do you improve conversion rates, increase sales, and drive higher returns on your ad spend?
The answer lies in building multi-channel marketing campaigns for new customer acquisition.
At Demac, we've managed over $3.7 million in ad spend for a host of online retailers. That experience — coupled with our own first-hand experience as ecommerce merchants selling Pela Case — has revealed seven tips to bring in the right kind of traffic, lift conversions, and maximize advertising ROI:
- Capture Top-of-Funnel with AdWords
- Use Google Channel for High-Intent
- Run “Conquest” Campaigns
- Retarget On Facebook
- Expect Dynamic Ad Spending
- Keep an Eye On Changing Algorithms
- Focus On Collective Results
Of course, acquisition is just one step in your ecommerce funnel
If you’d like a detailed look at putting acquisition and retention together …
Check out the full recordings and slide decks from our two-part webinar event, Growing Your Entire Online Funnel.
Six Shopify Plus Partners — including Demac Media — go behind the scenes to share how the average Shopify Plus merchant is growing between 126% and 274% YoY.
1. Capture Top-of-Funnel with AdWords
This first tip focuses on the top of your funnel, where you can catch the widest amount of potential customers. Running generic product campaigns with Google Adwords will draw in visitors who aren’t familiar with your brand yet.
Top of the funnel is where 80 percent of your user base will be. They don't know the brand they are going for, but they know the product that they want.
Bidding on generic terms can be pricey, but it’s effective for showing your brand as high up as possible in the search. This tactic drawns new visitors to your site with middeling purchase intent.
The more generic the term, the more generic their intentions. That’s why it’s critical to combine generic AdWords campaigns with two other types.
2. Create A Google Channel Campaign
Alongside AdWords, you should simultaneously create Google Channel ads (e.g., product listing ads, or PLAs). For the unfamiliar, Google Channel ads are displayed when someone searches for a specific product in Google. These visual ads quickly draw a consumer’s attention to your product, appearing along the top of or often in the upper right hand side of a search results page (see below).
If someone searches for a specific product — particularly if they include variants or product details — you can show your product with an image, product name, customer reviews, and price in their search result.
As you explore Google Channel, make use of negative keywords to ensure relevance and optimize your bidding. Use them to discover which ads have the highest conversion rates as well as the lowest CPA.
3. Run “Conquest” Campaigns
When a consumer knows the product they’re looking for, and they also know one of your competitors carries it, you need to intervene with a conquest campaign.
This type of campaign adds value by targeting branded keywords along with the product itself to persuade consumers to visit your site over your competitors.
This strategy contributed to growing our in-house brand PelaCase.com from $1,000 a month to $6,000 a day.
Visitors who were in middle of their purchase consideration would have gone to their first choice of search to buy the product. Now, they ended up at your site.
Because of the added value presented in the ads, we’ve see roughly 40-50% of visitors from conquest campagins convert right away.
4. Retarget On Facebook
With the power of the Facebook pixel, you can review traffic from other sources and create an audience list to target visitors who came to the site from those specific campaigns, but haven’t converted yet.
Segment your visitors into two sets:
- Generic AdWords visitors
- Conquest AdWords visitors
If the original landing pages are similar, your retargeting ads can start off the same as well. In most cases, retargeting on Facebook — and, to a lesser degree, Instagram — is where upwards of 70% of your overall conversions will come from.
Learn more:How brands can add a personal touch
But don’t stop there …
Also using Facebook, you can then create Lookalike Audiences based on your retargeted conquest audience who will likely be interested in what you’re selling also.
With this tactic, you’ll find visitors who were looking for your product on Google but didn’t buy it yet. You can reach back to them through their Facebook feed (through a cookie from their earlier visit to your site) and take them back to that product page they were interested in.
Taken as a whole, this tip can be described as changing from an active to a passive approach and will make your ad campaigns more cost efficient. With this tactic, in four months for one of our clients we were able to double sales revenue while spent 30% less per conversion!
4. Expect Dynamic Ad Spending
Ad spending changes day to day due to user behaviour. As a business, it’s important to realize this and to trust in the data so you can optimize spending on the days that are going to work best for your business.
Sometimes, we would have such huge days, we would actually be spending $5,000 or $6,000 a day. And sometimes, we are only spending $400 or $300 a day.
Keep in mind, while it’s not always possible to foresee ad spend swings, there are also broader trends that can influence them.
Have a look at how Blenders Eyewear used UGC with their dynamic product ads on Facebook and saw a 62% increase in return on ad spend.
6. Keep An Eye On Changing Algorithms
Paying attention to changing algorithms on social will help to keep your ad campaign the most efficient it can be.
Facebook recently changed its algorithm with the goal to bring users the most relevant information as possible. That change predominantly affects unpaid (i.e., “organic”) posts. For ads, continue to make sure that your ad relevance score stays high, between 8–10.
Algorithm changes are disruptive, but they also provide new opportunities to gain attention. Staying on top of this will only work to your advantage.
7. Focus On Collective Results
With the multiple avenues to advertise through, it’s important to look at what’s bringing you the most conversion for your ad spend.
Snapchat and Instagram are great sources for bulk traffic that later on you can use on other platforms for example, Google and especially Facebook retargeting.
Look at your collective ad spend and then the collective result. The effectiveness of each advertising channel can be amplified by the others. The most effective growth tactics fit them all into an overall grand strategy.
With all the different approaches to growing your online funnel it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenge. By following these eight tips in a world of online commerce, you can ensure that you’re investing in your brand’s presence and the growth of your business.
It will help your brand find the most relevant traffic for your business by drawing in users who are looking for the product you sell but not necessarily are familiar with your brand. In exhibiting this strategy, you will be drawing in shoppers, getting them deeper down your funnel and visiting your site and until they convert.
About the Author
Vinay Sharma is the Head of Digital Marketing at Demac Media. Vinay, a former Google employee, works in close collaboration with our roster of retailers to identify new opportunities online and delivers an average return on ad spend of over 1,000%.