5 Ways to Maximize Your ROI When Joining an Online Ad Network


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Web marketing has expanded so quickly that few small business owners can stay competitive on their own. That’s why so many of them have joined larger online ad networks that place their spots on some of the big social media outlets on the Internet. Over time, network marketing bills can start to cost almost as much as conventional ones would. More than a few business owners are looking for ways to maximize their return on investment and keep their overall prices low.

Thankfully, there are a few simple tricks you can use to get the most out of what you spend on placing ads through a network. Before you do anything, though, you should make sure to set actionable and realistic goals. Some 43% of marketers claim that they never get much traction when they place ads through a network, and it’s likely that most of these advertisers suffer from lackluster performance because they’re not quite sure who they’re trying to reach.

Take a few moments and map out what your prospective customer needs, what kind of message they need to hear and what aspects of your products solve problems they have. Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be in a great position to try out these other techniques and really take your marketing game to the next level.

1. Try Out Technologies Your Competitors Would Never Touch

Online advertising networks have gotten much more diverse in the last few years. Since there’s now more platforms than ever for companies to advertise on, it makes sense for networks to provide support for an array of solutions. You can exploit this trend by finding out which ones are underutilized. For instance, relatively few network users are advertising through chat services. You might be able to get a jump on the competition simply by focusing on these services.

Over-the-top video streaming services and even online radio platforms might enjoy at least some degree of support from your chosen ad network. While you’re unlikely to reach as many people through these as you could on something like Facebook, there’s bound to be less noise from other advertisers so there’s a greater chance you’ll be noticed by prospective clients.

There’s no reason that focusing some of your time on these outlets means you have to sacrifice any of the attention you pay to major ones, either. In fact, you could even use this kind of logic when you pick out which search engines to target.

2. Explore Other Search Providers

Chances are that you’ve traditionally focused on one or maybe two search engine vendors to the exclusion of all others. This makes sense to a point, since a majority of the world’s search traffic is routed through only a few portals. With the industry becoming more diverse, it’s likely that more people are going to turn to alternative search engines. Some ad networks have gotten the jump on the market by working with some of the other major players in the search space.

For example, check out CodeFuel – their marketing representatives have developed a close relationship with Bing, for instance, which is likely to get a lot of traction in the coming years because of its heavy investment in generative artificial intelligence technology. Other organizations have focused on specialty search providers like Ecosia, which have proven very appealing to the environmentalist community. By focusing on these and other alternative search tools, you may be able to reach customers that none of your competitors have even thought about. These potential clients are likely to avoid more popular search platforms, which make them a captive audience who may not see anyone else’s ads.

3. Go Beyond Geolocation Targeting

Segmenting your promotions is extremely important if you plan on using an ad network to reach out to large numbers of potential clients simultaneously. You’ll need to target people based on more criteria than just where they are. Considering the proliferation of virtual private networks and remote Internet access points, you can’t even trust that a client is where their IP address claims they are.

Assuming that you’re working with an ad network that offers an extended targeting interface, you might want to promote your brand to people who use a specific type of device. Mobile users are more likely to buy products they need right at the moment, which means they might be the best source of revenue for businesses that focus on extremely fast turnaround times. More than one-third of consumers now say that they always order goods and services through their phones, so targeting them through an ad network may be the best way to reach them.

High-tech brands and startups may instead want to target users of a specific platform or operating system. Potential leads who have a user agent that’s somewhat out of the ordinary could make for a very interesting sales possibility.

4. Invest in Smarter Web Beacons

Web beacons are normally tiny images made up of a single pixel that lets you know whether or not clients loaded up a specific message. There’s a good chance that the ad network you’re working with only maps a single tracking pixel to each account tied to it. Therefore, you might want to consider creating a separate ad network account for each product you’re marketing. While this might increase the amount of work you have to grapple with each week, it’s also an excellent way to find out which messages your clients are actually opening.

Each time you send out a message from an individualized account, users will have to load the pixel associated with the specific promotion they receive rather than one that represents your marketing efforts as a whole. Counting your ad impressions will be much easier once you know which ads the impressions are coming from.

5. Monitor Your Progress and Make Adjustments

Keeping a close eye on all the relevant metrics you collect in the course of running an ad campaign isn’t enough. You actually need to make adjustments whenever it seems like something isn’t working. Consider investing in an application that keeps track of more information than just clickthrough rates and engagement numbers. While these metrics are of course going to help provide a good picture of whether or not potential clients are interested in the campaign you’ve been running, they’re not going to tell you much about the kind of people who are most likely to get converted into sales.

Sophisticated social media reporting tools can help you figure out whether or not people are sharing your content outside of the ad network you’ve chosen to work with. The ultimate goal is to get so much traction that regular netizens not attached to any network start sharing your material. If it doesn’t seem to be attracting followers, then you’ll want to reevaluate whether your creative material is right for your preferred audience.

Refocusing Your Campaign After Reviewing the Statistics

Not all ad networks are designed to reach the same type of customer, so it’s completely possible that you might want to reconsider whether you’re working with the right organization. If you feel you’ve picked the right network but still aren’t getting a good return on investment, then you might want to reinvent your brand image. Few companies ever stand still, so there’s no reason yours should.

Design creative materials that promote solutions to problems your prospective clients suffer from. There’s a good possibility that you don’t want to spend much more on your advertising budget than you already do, but you should be able to create positive promotional messages internally that you can then share with the rest of your network.

Smaller businesses might want to work with ad networks that heavily promote amateur content like this. While you might think this can make your brand look unprofessional, it might actually help you connect with people who otherwise wouldn’t respond to slick commercial advertising campaigns. Companies that are focused on B2B sales may even find that working with a small ad network helps them to find potential prospects who’ve struggled with many of the same challenges they have.

No matter what kind of campaign you send into the network you work with, it’s important to give it enough time to grow into its own. Stick with the network you feel most comfortable with and your brand will eventually start to catch on with a perpetually growing audience of people who are truly interested in what you have to offer them.

Philip Piletic
I have several years of experience in marketing and startups, and regularly contribute to a number of online platforms related to technology, marketing and small business. I closely follow how Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud and other rising technologies grew to shape our everyday lives. Currently working as managing editor for a UK tech site.


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