New to Online Marketing? Walk Before You Run

New to marketingThroughout my career, I have reviewed countless PPC, display and social media advertising campaigns and often come away completely shocked. How could that campaign have been launched in its current state? How can you justify spending so much money without conversion or revenue tracking? Did NO ONE review this campaign?!?! After I pick my jaw up from the floor, I am forced to remind myself that not everyone lives and breathes online marketing like I do. For many, the flaws and oversights that I find are merely a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

So, if you are green to the world of PPC, display, and social advertising, my recommendation to you is to “tread lightly.” While I don’t say that with the malice and foreboding that Walter White did on this season’s Breaking Bad premiere, I do mean it. If you can’t afford to hire an experienced marketing manager or partner with a qualified agency, then approaching your campaigns with caution is a must. Here are some tips to help you walk before you run.

CREATE A PLAN

Duh. This should be an obvious statement, but it is worth the reminder. The first step to creating and managing great online marketing campaigns is to create a plan.

  • What channels are you interested in?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are your goals? Revenue? Leads? More web traffic?
  • What KPIs targets do you need to reach? Increased revenue? Margin? ROI? ROAS? Cost-per-Acquisition? Click-through-Rate?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to manage all of these channels? Only one channel?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to generate the necessary creative? Ads, landing pages, etc.?

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Once you have a plan, dig in and do your homework.

RUN A TEST

Before you dedicate a full budget to any channel without prior experience, it is wise to run a limited spend test campaign. Dip your toes in the water, so to speak, and get a feel for the process and time required to manage. Again, the idea is to walk before you run.

ANALYZE OFTEN

Once you are up and running in a test or a full-blown campaign, teach yourself positive habits. In this case, reporting and analyzing your campaign performance. Check your stats daily. Look for trends and areas for improvement. If you create a campaign, launch it and never look at it again – I’m sorry, but you are doomed to fail.

Approaching online marketing campaigns in a logical fashion will give you a solid chance to succeed. Keep learning. Read often. Analyze daily. And if you discover that you just can’t make your campaigns perform at an acceptable level – ask for help! Don’t waste your time and money on campaigns that simply don’t work.

About John Lee

John is an internet marketing jack-of-all-trades with expertise in PPC, SEO, and social media marketing. Working in the search marketing industry since 2006, John has perfected his PPC and analytics skills for his role at Clix Marketing. John is also an avid blogger, and has been featured on the Clix Marketing blog, Search Engine Watch, Wordstream Blog, PPC Hero, SEO Boy and Website Magazine. Before Clix, John was the PPC Manager for Wordstream and a Search Marketing Consultant for Hanapin Marketing.
His favorite part of the Acquisio platform is automated reporting.

Comments

  1. “How can you justify spending so much money without conversion or revenue tracking?” Well, even “good” campaigns seem to be bedeviled by the bot traffic fraud scheme: didn’t I read almost 10 billion (!) per year seem to be spent on clicks by bots? Good ol’ newspapers: I remember reading week-old pages when unwrapping the fish ;-) Little went to waste back then. Today it’s all about channels etc. Scripts need to be added etc. SEO data collected and studied daily. Most companies under a certain size are completely overwhelmed and at sea in this new paradigm.
    P.S.: Thanks for the nifty link collection. There were some I didn’t yet pay attention to.

  2. I cannot agree more John. Internet marketing campaigns can be extremely powerful and successful.The key is to plan your marketing goals,objectives,strategies and tactics thoroughly.Without specifically define goals and objectives your marketing campaign is likely to fail.

  3. Micheal Bian says:

    Exactly! In fact, Internet Marketing is a great advantage.

  4. Lisa says:

    Great analysis on paid marketing marketing. It is very necessary to observe and plan and also run a test. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!!!

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