How to run a successful media buy campaign: the basics

By clariondevelop

  • Article summary

Laurent Malka of TrackingDesk looks at the essential foundations you need in place in order to run an effective and repeatable media buy campaign.

Starting to run media campaigns can be exciting and nerveracking at the same time. You get the opportunity to build something that’s yours from scratch and the sky’s the limit as far as ROI goes. Eventually, however, you will have realized that running a campaign successfully takes a lot more than just slapping an ad on any page. The responsibility of creating an ad, choosing the right place, and starting, optimising and analysing a campaign is overwhelming. While there’s no such thing as the “perfect” campaign, here are some guidelines to laying the foundations for a successful one.

Defining your audience Advertising a product without a niche or demographic is like doing archery blindfolded - you’ll never know if an audience will be interested in clicking on your offer link. That’s why you must clearly define who you’re aiming at to eventually get a bullseye and get conversions.

However most media buyers have the tendency to think of only niches or demographics. To get to the core of it, the more you know your audience the more successful your campaigns will be.

  1. Define your demographic
    Understanding your niche is great, but what if you’re targeting the wrong demographic? Do you think you’ll get as many hits as you would if you had been accurately targeting your demographic? For example, let’s say you’re putting ads up in a blog about camping, your demographic can range from young families doing weekend trips to extreme sports people. But specifically your demographic is people who love extreme sports who are in their mid 20s. You can promote offers for low-cost equipment, but you can also consider that camping is expensive in time and money for a young person. So maybe they’d be interested in an offer to trying out camping products and promoting it on the web for money. They’d be doing what they love while making income on the side to support their passion.While it’s not directly related to camping, it hits a pain point that many in their 20s suffer from. A young family probably wouldn’t be interested in this offer because of their financial stability, by defining the demographic well you’re able to know who to direct your ads to.
  2. Choose to buy relevant media
    After clearing defining your niche and demographic you also have to make sure the media you choose matches the demands of your audience. If your demographic is single fathers in Detroit, then it’d probably be best not to buy media that is exclusively for people in California.
  3. Choose the right angle
    Your niche and demographic is already a popular one which makes it even harder to stand out. However, if you take a certain angle to promote something you could easily end up on top. Knowing the pain points of an audience is important knowledge when it comes taking the right angle. You can address their pain points through copy and images which send a message that they need to click on the offer link. 

Choose a well-known platform to promote on  There are many options as for as CPA companies and it can get overwhelming over which one to choose. You can start out by choosing well known networks like MaxBounty, Peerfly, or Clickbooth, but don’t shy away from the smaller ones. The most important thing is to ensure they’re well known before you start moving traffic through them.

Design and place your ad wisely While placing your ads in the correctvplace can be a matter of A/B testing, there are a few standards to follow when running a media buy campaign. With design, your goal is to make your ad so irresistible that your visitor can’t wait to click on it.

So why put a blue ad on a landing page that has the same background colour? Here are a few design and placement tips to successfully making an awesome ad:

  • Use colours that contrast with the site that make it stand out. You also want to take into consideration that with people making up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products, about 62%-90% of the assessment is based on colours alone.
  • Keeping it simple can go a long way. You don’t need to make the most sophisticated banner in the world. A powerful picture with a short but concise headline can be highly effective. Making it too complicated and cluttered can be confusing and drive clicks away from it.
  • As regards ad placement, above the fold is always best.
  • Try to buy ad spaces that are close tocontent.
  • Leave enough space around your ad so that visitors know that it’s a unique element on the page.

Plan a campaign Planning is the most likely the most important part of setting a successful media buy campaign. Without it you don’t have a direction or goal to aspire to. Many media buyers skip this step out of pure excitement or desperation.

Sometimes they can enjoy short-term success, but rarely manage to meet initial expectations. To successfully run a media buy campaign there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What is my budget?
    The reality of running a media buy campaign is that you do need more money than you would with a normal PPC campaign. Youhave to take into consideration that it costs not only to run a campaign but also to test one. Considering all likely outcomes of running and testing a campaign, knowing how to allocate your budget is the only way to prepare for a successful one.
  2. What tracking tool will I use?
    How will you know how to redirect traffic to the correct offer if you don’t know where they’re coming from? Tracking is an absolute necessity to optimise media buying campaigns and analysing results. In addition, when reviewing how your campaigns performed, getting a simple and precise picture of your ROI is crucial. There are many good tracking options now available; without using one of these you won’t know how your campaigns areperforming and could unknowingly be losing money.
  3. What are my goals?
    The goal of a media buy campaign is not always just to get conversions. Sometimes it’s to create awareness, get sign ups, or subscriptions. Whatever your objective is, it’s important to know so you can create a campaign that sends the clearest message to  visitors as possible.
  4. How much will I test and what?
    You have to know how much of your budget you can allocate to test. If you don’t have a high budget, it might be harder to test for a longer period. So make sure you set realistic expectations  directlycorrelated to your budget.
    You also have to know what to test. Maybe it’s the placement of the ad, CTA  button, colours, or copywriting. Depending on the the data that you receive from analytics and tracking platforms you’re able to determine what elements to test.

Collect data and A/B test Collecting data is crucial so you can scale up on campaigns that are doing well and stop ones that are doing poorly. Through tracking software you can see your real  ROI and other helpful data, while in analytics you can measure time on page or other metrics.

A/B testing and/or split testing also should be a common practice to run a successful campaign. With some tracking platforms you’re able to rotate landing pages based on rules you set on campaigns.

Analyze If you don’t go through your data in your analytics or tracking platform, then you won’t know your true ROI and can’t determine to scale up or discontinue a campaign. With analytics you can see many different metrics such as time on page, click-through  rate, page bounces, and more… the list goes on. Without information about your traffic, optimising your landing pages would be akin to a game of Russian roulette when it comes to trying to get more conversions.

While analytics gives you a tonne of leverage, it only lets you collect data from sites you fully control. With a tracking platform, you can have visibility of a visitor’s actions before they land on your page so you can redirect traffic. In addition, you get valuable data such as keywords used to arrive to your page and referral IDs; that way you can really optimise your keywords and see where your traffic is coming from. Inthe end, both tracking and analytics are necessary to run a successful media buy campaign.

Optimise and repeat Depending on the data you receive from analytics and your tracking platform, you can decide to scale up, optimise, or discontinue a campaign. Optimisation can be in the form of changing on-page elements, setting up different campaignrules, and keywords. Once you’ve fullyoptimised different metrics, you’re able to duplicate it to run another campaign.

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