If you’re anything like me, ideating and building strategies is often much more fun than presenting your plan and being pressed by the question, “what am I going to get from this? How much more revenue (or conversion volume) is this initiative going to provide?”
Last year, we talked about forecasting uncertainty in Excel as one way to answer that question. Rachael Law also taught us how to identify budget increase opportunities in Search using impression share metrics. Today, we’ll go through two approaches to forecast spend and conversion potential specifically for paid social campaigns.
Scenario A: Launching a New Campaign, Channel or Platform
Launching a new campaign or expanding into a new platform can be intimidating. It’s impossible to predict exactly what how much volume or what kind of quality you’ll get out of the ad dollars you invest. However, we can leverage historical data from an aggregation of other advertisers (read: benchmarks!) to create a reasonable forecast.
Step 1: Gather the Data
To create a forecast using benchmark data, you will first need to find one cost metric (avg. CPC or avg. CPM), and one engagement metric (avg. CTR).
If you are launching a new campaign in an existing channel, pull the historical data for a set of campaigns most similar to your proposal (e.g. if you are proposing a Conversions campaign targeting the U.S., look at all previous Conversions campaigns targeting the U.S.). Certainly, there will be differences between your previous campaign and the future one, but this will give you a reasonable approximation for what you might expect.
If you are launching a campaign in a new channel with no historical data, you can do a quick Google search for the benchmarks of that platform. You can find industry-specific benchmark data for Facebook on a number of different blogs, including WordStream and Instapage. Each quarter, AdStage also releases a paid media benchmark report that includes cost and engagement metrics for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
The final metric you will need to pull is your own website conversion rate. Channel-specific post-click conversion rates are ideal, but you can use the overall website conversion rate as a substitute if planning to launch on a new ad platform. Some sources from the previous step will also provide benchmark conversion rates, which you can blend with your own website data (take an average of the two, or some other weighted average that makes sense for your goals).
Step 2: Calculate the Outcomes
Once you have these foundational metrics identified, you can set up some simply marketing math in Excel or Google Sheets to translate a dollar amount (budget recommendation) into the volume of impressions, clicks, and conversions that can be expected.
Scenario B: Quantifying the Growth Potential of Existing Campaigns
In another circumstance, you might find yourself wondering whether your current campaigns (particularly ones that are performing well) have the potential to utilize more budget than they presently are. In Search and Display, we have impression share metrics that make such calculations simply. On the social side, not so much.
Fear not! We’ve gone through the trouble of creating an organic growth forecasting tool that you can copy for free here.
To use this tool, you’ll need to follow the below steps:
- Step 1: Copy the tool into your own Google Drive account. You can do this by selecting File >> Make a Copy and selecting the destination and file name.
- Step 2: Download the Spend, Impression, and Conversion data for the campaigns or ad sets you want to include in the forecast.
- Step 3: Copy and paste ONLY the campaign/ad set names, spend, impressions, and conversions columns into the spreadsheet (cells A8:D225).
- Step 4: Update the number of days contained in your data (cell E4).
- Step 5: Update the Target Frequency, or the maximum number of times each month that you would like a user to see one of your ads (cell B2).
- Step 6: Insert the Estimated Audience Size from the ad platform for each campaign or ad set (cells E8:E225).
- Step 7: View the growth potential in the cells highlighted in green. You can adjust the Target Frequency to assess how different levels of saturation would affect your total spend potential.
A Word of Caution
As with all statistical modeling and forecasting efforts, the outputs from these exercises should be treated as predictions rather than promises. They are calculations based on actual circumstances in the recent past but are not a guarantee of similar conditions persisting in the future. However, with that distinction clearly understood, these forecasts can be a powerful tool to identify and communicate opportunities for growth
How to Manage Your Online Brand?
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.
In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.
By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.
In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.
What is an online brand, and why do you need one?
Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.
It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.
It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.
How to manage your online brand for success?
Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.
A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?
1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.
Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?
Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.
Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.
2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.
When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.
By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.
3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.
Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.
For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.
Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.
4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.
Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.
Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.
If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.
5) Pay attention to your social media presence.
Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.
Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.
6) Monitor your online reputation.
Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.
For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.
7) Manage your online brand proactively.
The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.
By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.
The benefits of having a strong online brand
Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:
1) Stand out from the competition.
With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.
2) Build trust and credibility.
A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.
3) Connect with your audience.
By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.
4) Drive traffic and sales.
A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.
5) Increase your visibility.
A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.
6) Attract media attention.
A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.
7) Enhance your career prospects.
Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.
8) Make a positive impact.
Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.
The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.
When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.
Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:
1) Define your brand.
The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?
2) Create guidelines.
Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.
3) Train your team.
If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.
4) Monitor your brand.
Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.
5) Be prepared to adjust.
Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.
A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.
If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.
Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog OssieRodriguez.com, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.
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