How to advertise when your audience lives and works in Orange County
It’s truly amazing.
Anyone with a credit card can advertise in front of almost any person on earth. All it takes is punching in a few keys on a keyboard and you’re in business. But therein lies the problem. With such a huge audience of eyeballs at your fingertips, and with the absolute ease of these advertising platforms, it’s really easy to throw money away on the wrong audience.
Some say that’s by design.
Google and Facebook are now in the top 100 of all companies on the planet. The sloppier a business runs an advertising campaign with either of these two companies, the more revenues they both stand to make.
Think about it.
If your advertising campaign has the highest return on investment possible, the less money Google and Facebook make. That means every cent you put in their system is creating more customers for you and not going towards wasted clicks on advertisements that don’t convert.
So how do you run the most efficient advertising campaign possible?
Let’s start with this simple question:
What’s Your Offer?
It might not look like it, but this is a really deep question.
It’s so important, it’s worth a company retreat just to answer it properly.
But this is the starting point.
Every marketing campaign eventually ties into what your business offers its prospective customers. If the offer stinks, no one is going to buy from you.
Here’s a classic example of a terrible advertisement we see all the time:
This isn’t an advertisement. It’s a blurt.
We know what this company does (which is a good thing, some advertisements even mess that part up). But what’s the offer? Why should anyone call this company when more companies are advertising right next to them?
This is actually why digital advertising is hard. It’s hard to explain in a limited amount of characters as to why you’re different than your competitors. However, it can turn out that an advertisement like this one:
..could be the winning ticket to get more paying customers. People searching for carpet cleaning services on Google for instance, are usually looking for some outfit that can take care of their messy carpets pretty quickly - or - at least a company that can get the work scheduled right away, meaning on that call, everything will be planned and scheduled to get done by the time the customer hangs up. That’s the desire of the customer.
A great offer is tied to knowing your customers and knowing what your customer wants.
One of the best ways to know how to get your customers to click on your ads is to sit and write down all the reasons why past customers decided to do business with you.
It's these subtle reasons why people decided to choose you over your competitors that you want to focus on. The exact language they use to describe their reason for choosing you is the language you need to be using in your advertising copy. The words they use make the offer convert into real business.
PRO TIP: As a matter of fact, you should be collecting this data. That’s the secret component to making your business grow. Create a process that requires you or your sales team to ask this question and record the answer in a database.
Understanding Conversion Rate
One thing that neither Google or Facebook discuss with you is YOUR conversion rate. Meaning, the number of people who engage with your ad and convert into a paying customer.
This is an important metric that gauges how well your ads are performing.
Most advertising platforms will tell you about your click-through rate. Meaning, the number of people that clicked on one of your ads based on the number of times the ad was shown.
But the next step is almost as important. How many of the people that clicked on your ad:
- Filled out a form or made a call?
- Came back to your ad a day, week or month later?
- Eventually became paying customers?
All of the questions above are important things to know if you’re going to be spending money on digital advertising. If you can’t track them, then you really don’t know if your ads are working or not.
Now, you may be asking, “How do you track these things?”
Most business owners tend to keep track of these things in their heads. Which obviously isn’t the best way. However, there are tools that work in conjunction with these advertising platforms that allow you to track the various parts of the conversion process.
We’ll admit, even these tools aren’t perfect but at least they let you know what’s working and what isn’t. What this also means is you should spend a little more money every month on tools and analytics packages that help you track your digital marketing efforts.
What Affects Conversion Rate?
There are a few things that affect your conversion rate:
- Whether or not the intent of the search engine visitor matches the ad’s offer.
- How close advertisement language matches the language on the landing page.
- How easy it is for the prospective customer to take action on the landing page.
Intent is a really important concept to understand when you’re advertising on a search engine for instance.
People who do search engine queries are usually on the hunt for information or a solution to their problem. If we go back to the carpet cleaning example, its usually makes sense to assume that the intent of the searcher is that they need to get their carpet cleaned right away.
Now, if the searcher in the same example is searching using the query “carpet cleaner”, there’s a chance that the intent of the searcher is to find a carpet cleaner product. If your advertisement says:
The searcher may click on the ad thinking that you’re advertising a carpet cleaning chemical product and not a carpet cleaning service. In this case, you’ll blow money on the click and the searcher will move on to the next result.
In this case, the intent of the searcher didn’t align with your ad because the advertisement copy wasn’t specific.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your advertisement language consistent on the ad as well as the landing page.
Let’s use another example of a golf course that also has a golf shop on site. We’ll assume they are running an ad for golf balls, and instead of sending the searcher to a page dedicated to the online sale of golf balls, they send the searcher to the homepage of the golf course.
In this case, the searcher has been dropped off on a wildly confusing adventure to find the golf shop’s online store and if they can find it, then they will have to navigate to the page where golf balls are listed for sale.
It’s a much better practice to send the searcher directly to a page that’s dedicated to the sale of golf balls and has a page heading that clearly states they are on a page about golf balls. That way the searcher knows they have arrived on a page they were looking for.
When digital advertising is thoughtfully set up in this manner, conversions tend to increase because the entire experience has been much easier for the searcher to hand over their money.
Let’s keep running with the golf ball example. The searcher could land on a page that sells golf balls, however, there are:
- 117 links to different pages
- 17 buttons (3 for future golf course events,10 navigational buttons, 4 buttons to subscribe)
- A whole section on golf sweaters for sale
..and a really hard to see “Buy Now” button all the way down at the bottom of the page.
Sometimes, the general web design of a website can doom conversion from the start. The best design for a page that sells anything is:
- The least amount of links and buttons that can take the visitor elsewhere
- A big prominent “Buy Now” button (or whatever the call to action needs to be)
- The least amount of distraction possible (perhaps lose the pop-up)
Occasionally, website owners we’ll get in the habit of adding lots of bells and whistles to their site as time progresses. Generally, these do more harm than good.
PRO TIP: Any design change or website update should always be sanity checked against: how will this affect my conversion rate?
One thing to keep in mind is not all internet advertising is meant for instant conversion (i.e. instant sales). Sometimes it’s a good idea to advertise simply for more brand awareness. We see this kind of advertising all the time - think of the last time you saw a paper towel commercial on television. There’s no call to action to go out and buy paper towels immediately. Instead, they focus on making the viewer aware of the brand name and perhaps how absorbent their paper towels are.
What Makes Digital Advertising In Orange County Unique?
There are a few things that make OC unique to the rest of the globe when it comes to digital advertising:
- OC has a large bilingual population.
- Most residents own smartphones.
- Many people still use desktop computer from work AND home.
Orange County's Language Diversity
Orange County is home to many people that speak different languages, whether it be Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish or Vietnamese.
Knowing this can be a huge advantage for certain businesses because chances are they're missing out on targeting speakers of these various languages.
We all know that most people are on their smartphones all day and that some people rarely touch their desktop computer.
We also know that some people prefer to do certain tasks on desktop computers and NOT on their smartphones.
However, many business owners design their digital advertising campaigns with a desktop-first perspective. This is usually due to the fact that they are on a desktop computer when they're launching their Facebook or Google advertising campaigns.
Therefore, it's important to understand your audience to know what devices they are on when they visit your website or landing pages. An easy way to know this beforehand is to install Google Analytics on your website. Google Analytics will tell you what percentage of people are visiting your website from desktop, smartphone or tablet. This information becomes very helpful when you're designing digital advertising campaigns.
Multiple Device Behavior
Another mistake is to assume that a particular demographic uses one device only for all their daily computing, searching and social media activity.
It's much better to assume that they use multiple devices and come back to look for your offer at a later time. That's why digital advertising campaigns should be designed with the entire prospect cycle in mind.
Remember, many people work and live in OC, which means they may do some searching and social media from their work computer. We see this in our own analytics and we can assume this is a common behavior across the county. However, when we run digital advertising campaigns for our clients we're able to detect what the percentage of device type visitors are using when interacting with their advertising campaigns.