Planning an advertising budget is a double-edged sword.
It’s both an empowering job and a crushing responsibility. When possible, ensure that your budget allocation is supported by performance-based metrics and historical data. Luckily, you can use ad intelligence to discover what’s working and what’s not.
But sometimes—to truly growth hack your program—you might need to take intelligent risks.
Below are seven tips to reinvent your ad strategy in 2018, and take your ad program to new heights in the New Year.
1. Cut off sites that aren’t delivering on impressions.
Ensure that current impression share aligns with spend share. Otherwise, it’s time to cut the cord on those site that are underperforming.
For example, Chevrolet has spent 11% of its year-to-date display budget on advertising with ESPN; however, only 6% of all impressions are from ESPN. Perhaps Chevrolet's audience could be better served on another site or in another industry.
2. Spend money where your competitor isn’t.
Using digital ad intelligence, spy on your competitor to decode their ad strategy.
You can do a direct advertiser comparison using Pathmatics, and uncover details like competitor spend and impression volume, top sites running competitor creatives, and more. Use this additional layer of intelligence to allocate more budget to sites that your competitor has yet to tap into.
Not sure what we mean? Below, check out a comparison of Macy’s and Nordstrom over the past year.
3. A / B test differing devices.
Every target audience is unique, and therefore, each buyer persona requires a personalized strategy. Do a bit of research to find out what your buyer reads, and how they behave. Is he or she always on the go? Perhaps mobile display would be a good fit for this individual.
Regardless, invest in differing types of advertising to see where your buyer converts best—from mobile video, desktop video, mobile display or video display.
4. Allocate more to video advertising.
Top advertisers in 2017 spent more on desktop video than any other ad format. In fact, the top video advertiser, Apple, spent more than 83% of their digital budget on desktop video alone.
It’s also clear that video via desktop is winning over over mobile video. According to Vidyard,
“86% of business-related video views take place on desktop browsers and only 14% on mobile.”
It’s safe to say that video advertising, regardless of device, is a smart investment for 2018.
5. Make the investment in top industry sites.
Pull a list of the top sites for your specific trade, and identify the types of advertisers on each platform. Below is a quick look at top sites for Advertising & Marketing.
With a shortlist of target sites, investigate the site’s profile to uncover top advertisers. Do you want your brand associated with these other advertisers? Should you be advertising on a particular site to compete with comparable offers?
6. Pre-determine your spend for specialized campaigns.
Are you experimenting with account-based marketing? Or, maybe running a special campaign for a product or service launch?
When planning these specialized campaign activities, map out your maximum ad spend in relation to regular, ongoing advertising budget. Pick your top performing sites, devices and ad formats to maximize use of specialized campaign budgets, and ultimately extend the life of your campaign.
7. Take a risk.
Before compiling your 2018 ad budget, do an audit of budget allocation for 2017. Find gaps in your activity that could potentially advance your performance in the New Year.
For example, if you spend 100% on direct advertising, it could be worth allocating a small amount to test indirect advertising. Or maybe you’ve never dabbled in mobile video advertising. Regardless, the best way to reach new audiences is to test new channels and methods.
- 5 Steps to Allocate Ad Budget Effectively
- How to Budget for Desktop, Mobile and Video Using Your Competition’s Top Allocation Strategies
- Meet the Top 10 Digital Ad Spenders in 2017 So Far