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Case Study: The Benefits of Combining Advertising Channels

Combining Advertising Channels

Today we’re looking at a store which outsourced its advertising to us since the day of its launch. It’s been selling for a year, which makes it a fairly new business. From our point of view, this situation implies a special responsibility. The store owner came up with an idea, had access to products, and set up an online shop. Now, it’s up to us to prove that selling online can be a rewarding experience, which we’ll do with pleasure!

Combining Advertising Channels

Adding new advertising channels to the mix can be a great way to grow any online store. If the advertising budget is limited, the business needs to focus on the potentially most effective channel, at least at the early stages. As the investment begins to pay back,  you can introduce more channels. That’s the standard approach, as most businesses don’t have enough courage and/or funds to invest heavily in omnichannel advertising. However, the case we’re going to discuss demonstrates that courage, backed by our experience and skills, pays off in the end.

The case study shows that acting fast and being decisive when investing an advertising budget brings the desired outcome, even for a newly established online store. Combining individual channels into a single, coherent communication of a vision is important too.

Why is a coherent message that achieves high view rates in many channels so important?

Because people buy on impulse. Some channels are there to inspire, others provide answers and recommendations, while others still are there to meet the customer at the ideal moment to make the purchase. Your brand needs to be present at each of these stages of the customer journey. Otherwise, the opportunity will pass you by.

The data discussed below refer to an online store that sells HOME AND GARDEN products. In January 2020, the business wasn’t even around. That’s how far it has come since then:

Positioning

Web positioning was the first service commissioned by the customer. Since positioning takes time, attracting customers with organic search results may feel quite disappointing at the early stage. This happens for two reasons.

Firstly, you compete against other businesses which have been on the market for longer and have been investing in web positioning too. The efficiency and timespan of customer data acquisition depend on the strategy adopted by the business and on the budget dedicated to these operations. 

Secondly, web positioning must not be aggressive. Developing a service by leaps and bounds rather than by making slow and steady progress isn’t “natural” to Google (or, more specifically, to the indexing software which performs the assessment of the website) and therefore won’t be as efficient as a more consistent approach would be. Also, it carries the risk of the website being filtered.

It’s common practice for businesses that invest in web positioning early on to combine it with another channel (such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads) to diagnose the store’s potential sooner. Web positioning, meanwhile, is seen as investing in the future.

Now back to positioning. The graph illustrates the visibility of the store in March 2020, when we first started working for the business.

SEO March 2020:

As the business was only just starting out, the results were extremely poor, and consumers had virtually no awareness of the store. Nine months later, in January 2021, we achieved visibility which generated a revenue of $15,000 for the store and which will continue to improve in the months to come. Several phrases reached the top 3, over 50 phrases were in the top 10 and more than 300 phrases occupied lower positions. These figures give us reasons to expect yet better results, even if the level of engagement remains the same.

SEO January 2021:

Since the launch of the project, the SEO budget amounted to $875 per month.

There are dozens of articles about Google Ads available on our blog. The tool is quantifiable, budget adjustable, and marvellously easy to optimise. Also, fees are charged only when the consumer clicks on your ad.

There’s no single, universal budget figure which can guarantee success with Google Ads. If the budget is too small for the industry, it may not generate sufficient traffic to achieve conversion or to generate profits and specific data which would help optimise the campaign. On the other hand, in some sectors, increasing the budget makes no sense and may lead to burning money on groups with poor conversion rates.

Let’s have a look at this:

Google Ads May 2020

At the initial stage of the project, the budget amounted to $3,000. It generated a revenue of $24,500. Sounds good? It turns out that it can get even better.

Google Ads October 2020

The budget was raised to $4,250 and the revenue went up to nearly $45,000 per month. Between May and October, the marketing budget grew by around 30 percent. Interestingly, revenue growth between May and October reached 47 percent. This was down to two reasons.

Firstly, May 2020 was the second month in which we worked together on advertising with Google Ads. The results were already satisfactory; however, we knew that the campaign would “learn” and deliver even more successful outcomes in the coming months. It normally takes three months for our self-learning algorithms to achieve reproducible and optimal results if they are provided with enough data.

Secondly, we could see after the first few weeks of the campaign that there was scope for an increase in the budget. The customer was open to the idea, which enabled us to allocate funds to different channels more effectively than before.

Combining the budget increase, a fully optimised campaign, and the customer’s faith in our skills (which, in some cases, is the key factor), we managed to stabilise the campaign at a highly satisfactory level.

Facebook Ads

Seeing how well we’ve done and wanting Verseo to take care of everything, the customer eventually decided to place the Facebook Ads campaign and fan page content curation in our hands too. This case is the best example of the benefits of the application of self-learning algorithms to running a campaign, as the budget remained unchanged. Also, this particular product range is not affected by any major seasonal fluctuations in sales.

In this case, Facebook proved to be a great channel for generating sales. The graph below illustrates the results at the early stage of our work for the client:

Facebook Ads May 2020

The budget dedicated to advertising via Facebook Ads was set at $500. It generated a revenue of $3,000. This result had to improve, and we worked hard to make this happen. The change we saw after the summer was a real breakthrough.

Facebook Ads October 2020

In October,  advertising expenditure didn’t go up and still amounted to $5,00. Meanwhile, revenues grew and exceeded $22,500.

Finally, the customer made us responsible for the FB fan page, with the view to achieving several soft goals, such as increasing brand awareness, building brand reputation, and providing support to users. All this is crucial to consumers who need more time and more motivation factors to finally settle on a specific shop.

Benefits of Combining Advertising Channels

At the time of writing this article, the customer’s total budget dedicated to all advertising operations amounts to c.a. $5,000 per month, which generates revenues of around $125,000 per month. This means that each $1 spent on marketing operations generates $25 of revenue.

Of course, not all sectors and products will generate equally high returns on investment. The final outcome depends on a combination of factors, ranging from the store’s UX design, through successfully optimised campaigns in all advertising channels and seasonality, to the store’s complaints policy and details such as the shipping costs and the tone in which the company’s fan page responds to customer queries. We deeply believe that advertising channels should be combined. Of course, when financial resources available to the business are scarce, it’s best to focus on the most efficient channel rather than to divide them between different channels. However, if a business can invest more, it’s best to be present in many different channels. Each marketing channel works more effectively when combined with other channels than when it stands on its own.

Given that success depends on multiple factors, cooperation between the customer and the agency is crucial. We’re always ready to advise the customer on their experience, preferred web design solutions, and best advertising investment strategies for their sector. We have run thousands of campaigns, which gave us a deep insight into what works best and what isn’t necessarily effective. We take full responsibility for our know-how.

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Author of the article

It’s been 8 years since Maciej took his first steps in the world of marketing - especially the one related to content. So far, he has worked for politicians and the b2b and b2c industries. A fan of content marketing in the digital strategy and its influence on customer navigation and brand reputation. He is also interested in the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility and sees this topic as a springboard for the communication development of many businesses. Responsible for marketing in Verseo. In his free time Maciej reads reports from the world and scientific + sci-fi literature. :)
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