One of the biggest illusions associated with the digital marketing sphere in Nigeria is that more ads leads to more sales which by all means is not so factual. According to a recent McKinsey research, the more time you spend on a customer, the less your sales would be. Companies with large marketing budget rarely make as much as companies with little marketing budget. What’s the secret? Specificity!

Most internet users in Nigeria have been disillusioned by desperate ecommerce sites shoving their products all in their faces with all sorts of display ads and tactics, putting up content like “price slashes”, “Before & After”, etc. All these done solely to create awareness have only succeeded in becoming a burden to online users without anyone being aware of it. As a brand you shouldn’t be intruding people’s space online with deceptive ads all because you want to increase sales.

We hear stories of some of these ecommerce sites cutting down on cost and laying off staff because they haven’t broken even, which leads me back to the McKinsey survey. Why spend money on ads that won’t yield results?  Marketers considering ads always ask the same thing: “How much should I spend?”. It’s a good question, ­­ an important question ­­ but it’s the wrong question. The right question is: “For every naira (or dollar) I spend on ads, how much will I get back?”

Too many people spend time doing SEO, AdWords campaigns and all the other stuff and in the long run, they end up spending more money than they should. The impact of their intensive marketing efforts never really pay off.

Here are a few steps to help you restructure your digital ads strategy;

Start out by doing the math

Ads aren’t right for everyone. Some industries have extremely high competition with astronomical cost per click rates, you don’t want to jump into that net when the mark-up on your average sales price isn’t more than 10%, riskier especially when you can’t guarantee a high conversion rate. To determine if ads are worth your time, carry out a market research and assessment, find out your target market, ideal consumers behavioral buying pattern and consumer channels. Know the best spot to reach your customers before reaching out to them. This will give you a better idea of what it will take to create an ad campaign that would be effective.

Don’t try to sell immediately, let your website do that

Don’t try to make money off ‘em ads. Ads are supposed to drive traffic to your domicile web page or landing page. That is where all the selling efforts should be geared. Don’t be surprised when a week after your campaign launches your ads aren’t generating tons of profit. Examine the data and make improvements to your ads targeting, creative (images), and landing pages. Incremental improvements in click through rates and conversion rates can have a huge impacts on profit.

Don’t place your ads just anywhere

Ads act like a megaphone to amplify your marketing campaigns and content. Don’t just dump stuff online and hope your target market will see it. Remember what we talked about earlier on? Carry out a market assessment, find out who your target market is and carefully craft a complete and well developed digital campaign strategy. Which ads do you think would perform better? Those promoting your homepage or those promoting a remarkable piece of content (or product) that helps someone? Of course, the latter!

Establish your goals first, build great content, focus your message and optimize your landing pages, then figure out how ads can help amplify your message. Taking this combined approach and only using ads as a strategic component of your marketing campaigns will pay off.

So how much should you spend?

Now, you’ve got your strategy all set, so how much should you actually spend on ads?

The first thing to do is to create a budget, your budget should contain how much you wish to spend and articulate timelines too. Your timeline should include duration, when you expect to see results, and most importantly; a daily breakdown of how much you want to spend on ads. The key is in setting well defined time-bound targets. Be aware that if you don’t set a limit there will be no maximum or end date.

I know your timelines could be dependent on your business’ – either short term or long term. Note however that short-term goals tend to gulp more money in the long run.

If your budget is small, you’re probably wondering if you can generate any form of significant lead with little money, well you can start by doing the following;

  • Create a social post that promotes a piece of content
  • Use your ads to boost the post. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have good solutions for this in form of “sponsored posts”.
  • Make sure you use the social network that gives you the best targeting for your target audience and returns the most valuable leads.
  • Measure your social media channel worth by assessing the quality of the leads generated after the campaign.
  • Emails remains one of the cheapest means of digital marketing, get deep and creative contents and people will actually read your mails.

Hopefully, these should help you start getting some real value off your ads.

Do you currently run paid ads for your business? How do you ensure that you make a profit off your ad spend? Let us know in the comment box below.