Working on digital ad campaigns on a regular basis, I am familiar with building safety nets and processes to reassure clients that – should a strategy fail – this, that, and the other solution will be quickly applied to turn the trend back toward an uptick.
But, these things almost never happen. Digital advertising is very quantifiable and for most businesses it is very successful when done right. So, while it is important to build those safety nets for the remote possibility of failure, what is so often ignored is the need to build a safety net for when the campaign DOES work.
Dealing with traffic
One of the most difficult things for a business to handle is a successful advertising campaign. Many larger corporations know this well, and have internal processes to strengthen the sales funnel in advance of massive success. We’ve all seen Apple do this with new product launches on our local news stations.
Still, many companies, both retail and otherwise, are not prepared to deal with the traffic influx and what damage that can do to a sales funnel.
Like any funnel, a sales funnel is designed to get the lead from the top to the bottom in a conversion, with as little leakage as possible. Ad campaigns, especially social ones, have a tendency to drive more traffic than the brand is prepared to handle. Spillage happens from the top in this case.
Dealing with this traffic can be tough, but making a small tweak to the way in which we handle this influx, both in social and on location, can make all the difference.
1) When you notice new market interest, go agile.
Agile is a method developed within the software industry to deal with the needs of a uniquely digital framework. Basically, since the digital landscape is constantly changing, this process allows for quick adjustments in response to those changes.
In business, though, this model can be implemented as a workflow and can drastically improve both output and accuracy. When your ad campaign is rolling beautifully, you will notice new markets becoming interested, and often in some portion of your offering that hasn’t been successful in the past. Move quickly.
Within social, you can promote these offerings via posts, and promote those posts with online ad spend directing ads toward people who match the demographical similarities of the new market.
Curate choices within newly moving offerings, making it simpler for your new markets to make good choices without a lot of work. This can be done via social with images that give a sense of connection between products or services, on your website by adjusting the e-commerce site, or in store perhaps by grouping these items together.
The key with the agile method is a quick learning cycle followed by a quick iteration of a solution, a test, and a quick adjustment. Nothing in digital advertising is permanent – it is a game of adjust and rise, adjust and rise. Building this method into the business environment helps make digital campaigns more powerful, and raises ROI tremendously.
A digital campaign is best supported by a digital workflow, even in business.
2) Look at business opportunities in short-term iterations, rather than as long-term brand commitments.
When a campaign goes live, especially one geared to reach beyond your current fan base, you will get an influx of new leads from outside the usual company comfort zone. That is the goal, after all.
However, many businesses fail to capitalize on new fan brand engagement, because they fail to recognize the new market as having unique needs. The brand identity often stands in contrast to company interests.
Feel free to iterate quickly within the brand framework to accommodate and welcome new fans to the brand. Think of the brand as a fluid continuum of who you are and your commitment to brand advocates, rather than as the sum total of your font book.
When you begin to think of your brand as a spectrum, you’ll begin to see it open up new avenues of growth. Look at how Oreo developed its brand to the point that a power outage at the Super Bowl could be quickly turned around into a dynamite outreach campaign.
Quick iteration within the brand spectrum. That is the key.
Brands are launch pads that should invite fluidity in outreach.
3) Change your campaign outlook from plan-driven to value-driven on launch.
There is a great deal of work that goes on between an agency and the brand leading up to a big campaign rollout. The plan is important, and it allows businesses to work together toward a common goal. However, there comes a time for the outlook to turn from the plan to customer value, and that time is the moment of launch.
To make a campaign go as far as humanly possible, we need to think of digital advertising and specifically social advertising as a catalyst for data. As I have mentioned in previous articles here, social advertising has the ability to determine everything from age and ZIP code, to other brands and products that overlap in the interests of users.
With this data, making smart changes in shorter iteration cycles becomes not only possible, but a must. Connecting these ad changes to real-world and social engagement changes simply maximizes ROI.
Building a plan for success is just as important as building plans to deal with difficulties. Your ROI depends upon it. Do some research on the AGILE method of the software industry and see how it might help your company deal with market and product changes, without taking resources away from the important day-to-day needs of running a successful business.