Rebounding From A Hard Year, Brands Rethink Paid Marketing Spend

2020 was a hard year for many businesses. No matter what strategies they employed, there was little that operations could do to contend with a serious economic recession amidst a pandemic. As a result, businesses started 2021 with their budgets depleted – and that means that they’ve also had to rethink their ad spend. This has raised questions about what the most effective advertising strategies are, especially in rapidly changing post-pandemic e-commerce sector.

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Finding What Works

In order to maximize the impact of their limited marketing budgets, brands have had to step back from their typically diversified strategies and pay closer attention to what marketing practices have the greatest ROI. This has led many to focus on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, which can be finely controlled through keyword and audience management, among other tools. Like all other marketing tools, however, PPC campaigns are subject to trends and technological changes that can impact brand strategy and campaign effectiveness.

Extending Your Reach – On A Budget

Given the constraints noted above, brands will need to make certain recalibrations to their 2021 ad campaigns in order to maximize profits. This includes standard PPC campaign practices such as researching keywords to identify both the best search terms and those negative keywords that should exclude your ad, as well as an embrace of newer tools like increased PPC automation.

Confronting Obfuscation

One of the most important tools that businesses have at their disposal when developing and maintaining PPC campaigns is the dashboard where campaign data is recorded. Depending on a variety of factors, however, this dashboard can either be highly informative or inscrutable, and unfortunately platforms like Google Ads are increasingly limiting campaign data. This makes it more difficult for businesses to evaluate their advertisements and gain a competitive edge.

Of course, brands can make significant headway toward refining their campaigns even with fairly general data. That’s at least in part because you don’t need to rank in the top spot to attract clicks and make sales. Often, the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is lower without significantly sacrificing conversions when a PPC ranks a few spots lower on a keyword. It’s all about experimenting with different factors, and sometimes you have to do it without the benefit of all the data.

Thinking Locally

While there are many different ways to target your PPC advertisements, given limited budgets and current ecommerce zeitgeists, one of the best options at present may be to geotarget your ads. But why focus on location? With so many small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic-related economic recession, awareness campaigns have focused on ways to support local businesses even when you can’t visit them in person. Geotargeting your ads and promoting your brand as a local operation could offer significant sales motivation as people seek to spend their money close to home.

The reality of business budgets is such that ad spending is always limited, but how limited depends on the individual company, as well as external factors like national economic trends. At present, that means companies are launching their campaigns with unusually stringent financial limitations, and that can be a real challenge. But the good news is that companies can still execute successful PPC campaigns on a budget – and in the process, you may uncover some ways to make your marketing more effective, even when your budget expands. 

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