By Matteo Gasparello
What I like about media buying is that it’s a well-defined process, data-based, that tells you clearly if your ad spending is generating positive ROI.
Well, it is possible to obtain crystal-clear insights, but only if you have the right strategy in place.
In this case study, you’ll discover how I doubled the CTR for one of my B2B clients and connected his company with 1K decision makers.
It’s a 5 step process that you can follow along and replicate for yourself. I call it…
THE BULLSEYE MEDIA BUYING STRATEGY
Before implementing this strategy, the average CTR for my client’s Linkedin ads was a mere 0.7%. And with low engagement, sadly, comes a higher cost per click.
It took me four weeks to implement and execute this strategy, and the results were the following:
- The CTR doubled, we regularly had ctr of 1.5% or higher. Some ads got ctr of 6%.
- As a result, the CPC went down.
- The visitors were engaged and shared the promoted article more than 700 times
Note that I used this strategy for Linkedin Ads because it’s where my client’s audience is hanging out online, but it works with every ad platform.
Now it’s time to break down the step by step process I used.
Bonus Material: Download our advanced b2b report with 4 detailed strategies to generate more leads in a B2B market.
STEP 1 – SMART MEDIA PLANNING TO GET YOUR AUDIENCE RIGHT
Fail to plan your media buying strategy, and I guarantee that you won’t succeed.
This first step is essential, and it’s the foundation to your media buying empire: understand your audience, its frustrations, desires and struggles.
When you analyse your customers and come up with their demographics and psychographics details, you will be able to:
- Target the right audience every single time;
- Don’t waste money on people that won’t convert;
- Create ads that highly resonate with the audience more likely to buy from you.
The approaches I used:
Customer interviews to get to know previous clients
This method is a bit time consuming, but if you do it you will be ahead of 90% of the competition: it starts with customer interviews.
I asked my client to connect me with five of their previous clients, willing to chat with me via Skype for 15-20 minutes.
The insight I acquired were golden. I wrote down the specific words they were using to describe their problem and the solutions that my client provided them.
I saved them words for later because I would have used them in the copy of my ad.
But what if you don’t have previous clients ready to talk to you?
How to gather as much data as possible
Whether you spoke with previous clients or not, I invite you to do the following.
First of all, speak to the CEO, VP of Strategy or any other person that can give you insights on the kind of clients they want to target. Understand what their dream client is. Take notes.
Now move to the sales team, and ask them which questions prospective clients usually ask them.
Double check your CRM and analyse what people submitted to the contact form.
And finally, my favourite: stalk the social network profiles of previous clients and dream clients. This is an essential move because it allows you to:
- See what these people are sharing on social networks
- See which blogs and websites they follow.
The interests box at the bottom of every Linkedin profile.
We can now move to step 2, where we start to use all the info we gathered so far.
STEP 2 – CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM TO MAXIMIZE INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
At least at the beginning, you don’t want to promote your services on every single ad platform. Instead, you should only focus on the one platform that can drive the biggest impact.
I focused only on Linkedin because I discovered that my audience was most active on that social network.
For you, it could be different:
- You may discover that lots of your dream clients are following the financial times, so you may try Outbrain to place your ad on financial news websites.
- Or you discover that your clients are following a specific brand on Facebook, so that would be your best ad channel.
At this point, it also made sense to me to check my client’s competitors to see where they are most active online, and where their content is shared most. With Buzzsumo it’s really easy to do that. I just wrote the URL of the competitor, and I discovered where their top pages and articles were shared most.
Nordstrom is doing a fantastic job to engage people on Facebook and Pinterest. I would promote on these two social media channels to maximise my ROAS.
Now that I know perfectly my client and where he is interacting online, it’s time to create my ads.
PRO TIP – If you work in a B2B market you’ll want to take advantage of the granular targeting of Linkedin Ads. Discover how in my B2B media buying report.
STEP 3 – TEST MULTIPLE ADS TO FIND THE MESSAGE THAT RESONATES BEST WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
This step is crucial, and also one of the most overlooked. Most of the people simply create one ad and call it a day, but I wanted to discover the best ad possible for my ad campaign.
What I did was to craft 3 completely different messages that I thought would resonate with my audience… and I run them one against the other.
I did this because I’m applying a strategic approach to media buying.
I want data, not guesswork.
I want to be able to say “Ok I tested three messages and there’s a clear winner. Let’s do more of that and delete the underperforming ads.”
At this step I didn’t simply change the background image (that comes later) – I created three messages that are completely different one to the other. I used different words, different offers and, of course, different images.
After two weeks I started to understand what resonates with my audience. And only at that point, I created variations of the winning ads testing multiple backgrounds, AB testing headlines and CTAs.
At this point, organisation and clarity are crucial: write a very descriptive name for every ad and ad group you create.
Don’t write “ad 1” “ad 2” “ad 3”, write “winter collection white coat” “winter collection blonde girl” instead.
Now that my three ads were ready, I focused on defining multiple audiences-.
I came up with three different audiences, and I run my three ads for each audience. It’s a total of 9 ads that were running at the same time.
Do you see what I did here? I’m maximising my chance to find an ad that performs well because I’m running more AD concepts and show them to different niches of people.
Some ideas to get you started to find the perfect audience:
- Test a lookalike audience based on previous customers;
- Test a retargeting audience;
- Test a contextual audience (based on your dream client interests).
Now that the ads and audiences are ready there’s one hot topic that needs to be addressed: price.
How much should I spend? How should I split my budget?
STEP 4 – DIVIDE YOUR BUDGET IN 3 MONTHS TO GET MORE OUT OF IT
It may seem counterintuitive, but spending less at the beginning of your ad campaign can lead to better results later.
Remember that in step 3 you just created several ads and several audiences, and you still don’t know which ones will perform better.
Give yourself minimum a week to run all your ads together and see if there are some clear losers (that you can turn off) and some clear winners (where you will invest more money).
If you have enough budget, you can do like me, and run extensive tests for eight weeks. After two full months, you’ll know exactly which ads are working or not, and you’ll have the key to scale and make even more out of your ads.
This is how I split my client’s budget.
- Test phase – After researching my target audience and competitors, I put together my best ideas and made some educated guesses on the message that would resonate better with my audience. I tested 3 ad concepts one against another. Just by doing that, I was able to spot underperforming ads (0.7% of CTR) and disable them to get more of my budget, running only ads with 1.5% CTR or higher.
- Verify – I kept looking at the data from my ads, and I verified that the ads running were still performing well. If the CTR of an ad was dropping compared to month one, I was disabling it.
- Optimize – In the middle of Month 2, I started to know which was the best message, which words to use, and which concepts were driving more interactions to my ads. At this point, I was duplicating my ads and tweaking them a bit to decrease even more the CPC and get a better CTR.
- Scale – Now there’s nothing else to do apart from investing more! I knew what was working well, so we used a bigger budget to drive even more visits, for a lower cost, to the website.
The final question you may have for me is: I have all these great ads that are performing amazingly, but where should I drive traffic to maximise my ROI?
The answer is in the next and last step.
STEP 5 – MAXIMIZE LEADS WITH A HIGH-CONVERTING PAGE.
Mostly in the B2B world (but even for most every b2c offerings), a lead generation page can be everything you want it to be.
It can be a specific landing page, or article on your blog.
For my client, I used (and tweaked) one blog post that was deeply connected to his dream clients.
The key to generating leads was to insert a content upgrade: it’s a simple, locked, document that the reader can download filling up a form on the page.
It’s exactly what you see on this article. If you click this link, you can input your name and email and I’ll send you four additional media buying strategies for B2B companies.
An easy way to create a link like this is by using Sumo. It’s a great plugin and it’s completely free when you are starting out. After you install it, just head over “List Builder” and create a new popup. Alternatively, you can use OptinMonster.
An additional way to generate leads is by sending traffic to a simple (but effective) landing page.
Your page doesn’t need to have lots of elements or a fancy graphic, but it needs to have the right elements on it.
The perfect landing page.
First of all, remember that people that will land to your page have never been there before, so you should simplify the page as much possible and make it extremely easy for them to do what you want.
To do that, decide one single thing that you want your visitors to accomplish (for example, sign up for your newsletter, get a discount or download your white paper).
Second thing, the visitors need to see that the value of the offer is higher than the pain of leaving their email address on your website.
When you have these points clear in your mind, you can focus on the actual content of your landing page. Make sure to include as many of these elements:
- Remove unnecessary, distracting elements like the navigation bar.
- Visible call to action: Make it easy to find the sign-up/download button
- Social proof: Has your company been featured somewhere important? Has your product been sold thousands of times? Write it to increase credibility.
- Catchy headline: Your headline should be compelling enough to make the reader continue reading.
- Relevant copy: It’s after the headline, it explains how you can solve the pain of your target customer. Use 2-3 short bullets points.
- Bonus – Urgency: If you can add real urgency to your landing page (limited availability, or time-sensitive promotions), conversions will increase.
Next step: test. When your page is up and running, and you are getting data (like CTR and conversion rate), you can test more versions of your page. Create an entirely different page and compare the results.
NOW YOU KNOW HOW TO CREATE A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MEDIA BUYING CAMPAIGN
You just learned my 5-step strategy to boost the performance of any media buying campaign.
The basic approach of creating a single ad, starting it and hoping for the best is a guarantee to fail. With my method, you’ll create a detailed strategy to minimize your risks and you’ll be sure to spend your ad budget better.
Get started, try your best and iterate based on the performance of previous ads! If you’d like us to help you implement an advertising strategy like this in your business, you can apply here.
And if you got some value from this post, let me know in the comments below.
Bonus Material: Download our advanced b2b report with 4 detailed strategies to generate more leads in a B2B market.