How to improve your ad campaigns’ market to message match

If you are seeing poor conversions and a low return on investment on your ad campaigns, here's how to get better results by matching market to message

Depending on the paid traffic platform you are using, there are different options for targeting…but the great thing is that you can target and if you get the market-message match right you are going to get conversions.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses do not set themselves up for success with their ad campaigns.

To get it right you need 3 core things:

  1. A properly targeted market
  2. An ad that speaks to the target market
  3. Page content that matches the needs of the market and is congruent with your ad

Market to message match

Identifying Your Market

Each paid traffic platform works differently. The social platforms like Facebook allow targeting based on user demographics and behaviour, whereas search based platforms like Google Adwords target based on search terms.

Whatever the platform, they all give you the ability to identify an audience or subsets of your audience and directly target them. The better you identify your audience, the better you can tailor an ad campaign to them.

The key here is to get specific and don’t be afraid to drop parts of your audience that you know will not convert. The objective of all ad campaigns is to deliver the best return on investment, so focus on those products and services that you know convert well and either deliver a great profit margin or are the entry point for customers with a high lifetime value.

Ad Specificity

You might be tempted for the sake of simplicity to take a one-size-fits-all approach to ad creation. This will have a two-fold impact on the success of your ad campaign:

  1. A generic ad will get less click-throughs leading to higher costs as ad relevancy is part of the way ad platforms calculate cost – as less people click the higher your ad costs become
  2. People that click may not be your ideal client or a match for the landing page you are sending them to and will not convert.

So you need to get smart with your ad campaigns. Create ads that speak to specific subsets of your target audience, e.g. a financial planning firm may deal with clients from 25-65 years, but the goals of individuals within this age group are very different and your ads should reflect this.

Specific landing pages for different ad campaigns

The great thing about paid traffic is that you control the whole process. You know who the visitor to your landing page is (or should) and you know exactly what they are looking for, so you are presented with the opportunity of presenting them with a tailored experience.

Take, for example, someone searching Google for an emergency plumber at 9pm. They are after an urgent solution and they have two things that they need to know from a landing page in this situation – is the plumber available for immediate callout and what is the phone number to call.

If you can control the landing page people are directed to from an ad, why wouldn’t you make sure they were getting the answer they are looking for?

Knowing what people are looking for, then you are in the position to be able to guide them to the next step with your call-to-action…don’t leave it up to the visitor to guess what they need to do next.

As long as you have clearly identified the solution to what they are looking for and have established sufficient trust (e.g. existing brand recognition, testimonials and clients you have worked with), then the visitor is ready to take the next step…you just need to ask for the sale, so to speak.

Troubleshooting a poorly performing ad campaign

When there is a disconnect in any of the 3 core components, conversions and return on investment are going to suffer.

Here is what to look for:

Low Click-Throughs

If you are seeing low click-throughs on your ads, then there is either a targeting or ad issue. Take a look at the metrics provided by the ad platform to refine your audience targeting, e.g. are certain search terms not converting in an Adwords group or is a specific age group in Facebook ads not converting?

Just because a subset of the audience is not clicking, does not mean they are not a viable audience. It just may mean that the ads may need to be adjusted to suit them.

If you cannot put it down to targeting, then test different ad variations.

Low Conversions

If you have low conversions, one solution is to throw more money at it. Of course, this is not fixing the problem and is not going to improve your return on investment.

Low conversions of traffic once they visit your landing page normally happens because there is a mismatch between your audience targeting and the landing page content (or your ad is misrepresentative of your offer).

If we assume that you have the right message for the right market then it is a matter of the way the offer is being presented. Some things to look for and test different variations of:

  • Is the offer clear?
  • Is the call-to-action clear?
  • Have you established sufficient trust?
  • If a form is to be completed, are you asking for too much information?
  • Is there a problem with visual hierarchy, i.e. too many conflicting elements distracting the visitor from what you want people to do?

Getting It Right

Paid traffic campaigns should be part of any business’ marketing strategy. At small scale they allow you to test what people are interested in and the message they respond to before investing huge budgets across all of your marketing channels.

Once you have tested and refined an ad campaign to the point that you can demonstrate a positive return on investment, it is time to throw a whole lot of money at it!

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