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The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising



The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Advertising has always been considered a valuable marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While advertising methods and mediums have evolved over the years, the goal is always the same: to reach your audience and make them aware of your product or service. 

While most marketers agree that advertising is essential, many have differing views on structuring ad campaigns.

So today, we’re here to discuss lifecycle advertising — delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

What Is Lifecycle Advertising?

Before we move forward, let’s take a quick look at the difference and relationship between a “customer journey” and a “customer lifecycle.”

  • The “customer journey” is a series of actions (stages) your customers go through from the moment they start interacting with your business.
  • The ”customer lifecycle” is a series of categories (segments) you apply to your customers for multiple purposes, including sales, marketing, and customer service.

Although different, it’s important to know that the segments within the customer lifecycle should correspond with the customer journey stages.

Once you have the full picture, you can begin to advertise accordingly (also known as “lifestyle advertising”).

Ultimately, the goal is to create thoughtful, intentional interactions that lead potential customers further along their journey to not only purchase a product or service from you but turn them into lifetime loyal customers.

The best way to accomplish this goal is to identify your customer’s needs at each stage, then deliver messaging that responds to their needs at the right time.

The Customer Journey Stages

While every business has its own unique lifecycle – some can be days long, others can be years – they all are characterized by the same stages:

  • Awareness: When a potential customer first learns about your company.
  • Engagement: When a potential customer begins interacting with your brand.
  • Consideration: When a potential customer decides whether to buy from your business.
  • Purchase: Well done! Anyone who makes it to this stage is now a customer.
  • Retention: Now a customer, the post-purchase support can be the difference between a one-time purchase and a repeat buyer.
  • Loyalty: If a customer is happy with your product, they reach this stage where they are likely to become a repeat buyer. They’re also likely to tell their friends and family about your product or service.

Lifecycle Advertising Strategy

Here is how to create an ad strategy based on the lifecycle stages mentioned above:

Awareness Ad Campaign

At this point, you want as many potential customers to learn about your business as possible.

This stage is about getting your ads in front of anyone looking at them.


While it’s essential to consider where your potential customers are hanging out and putting your ads there, it’s also important to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

In other words, while you’ll likely find that your potential customers are viewing ads in one specific place more than another, never ignore those second, third, and fourth places (Instagram vs. Facebook vs. print ads, for example) where your ads could be seen!

These advertisements should help potential customers get to know your brand. Include your logo, brand colors, and appearance, but also communicate your values and what sets you apart from the competition.

Here is what a call-to-action (CTA) in this stage might look like:

  • Learn more.
  • Read more.
  • Visit our website.

When a consumer sees your awareness ad, they are now aware of your company.

However, the “rule of seven” states that a consumer needs to see an ad at least seven times before they take action, which is why we continue to advertise past the awareness stage.

YouTube is a great platform for awareness because it’s quick, it allows you to have a button if someone wants to learn more, and you have to watch at least five seconds of the video ad – see the ad below from Cozy Earth:


The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

To learn more about YouTube advertising in general, visit here.

Engagement Ad Campaign

Beyond making your customers aware of your product, the next stage of the journey is encouraging them to interact with your brand.

While these ads should also represent your brand well, the main goal of the ads in this phase is to get the customer to engage.

Engagement can mean:

  • Visiting your website.
  • Signing up for your newsletter or email list.
  • Reaching out to a sales representative.
  • Following your social media.
  • Reading a blog post.

However, you want your potential customers to engage, decide on that goal, and create a CTA that reflects your goal.

Below are some calls to action for this stage:

  • Sign up.
  • Read more.
  • Download.

Instagram is a great platform for the engagement stage because you can actually ask readers questions – the ultimate engagement.

This gets someone excited about what you have to offer while hopefully keeping your brand top of mind.

Below is a great example from Dapper Renaissance:

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from Instagram, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Consideration Ad Campaign

When a potential customer hits this stage, they’ve already engaged with your company.

A great way to target customers who have reached this stage is by investing in retargeting advertisements. By segmenting your audience, your ad will only be shown to people who have visited your website or interacted with you in some way.

At this stage, your customer has already shown initial intrigue and engaged with your brand. The goal of the ads at this stage is to help them decide whether or not to buy from you.

Some ways to help your consumers at this stage:

  • Be clear about your pricing.
  • Clearly explain your features and benefits.
  • Share customer testimonials.
  • Offer a demo.
  • Answer any questions your consumers might have about your product.

Think about what your potential customers need to see at this stage that would help them choose your brand over your competitors.

In this stage, it’s also extremely important to make converting as easy as possible so that when they do decide to buy from you, it’s not a challenge. The end goal of this stage is a conversion.


A CTA at this stage could be:

  • Sign up.
  • Download.
  • Shop now.

Retargeting ads can be shown on any platform, but usually, desktop ads have your consumer in a position to dive deeper and buy.

Running banner ads on popular publications in your industry, such as the example below, is a great option for this stage:

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising


This stage is the primary milestone for most businesses because it turns a prospect into a customer.

It’s important to tag these individuals as customers since they will receive different messages.

This stage isn’t about ads so much (because the last three stages should get you to your “shop now” button), but it’s about actually having an optimized check-out page.

You can learn more about optimizing your checkout page here.

Retention Ad Campaign

Once a customer decides to buy from you, they don’t end their journey.


Retaining your clients is important because repeat buyers can bring in a lot of revenue.

When you’re creating ads for this stage, some great strategies include:

  • Offer exclusive discounts or other perks with future purchases.
  • Announce exclusive access to a new product.
  • Advertise offerings that complement their previous purchases.
  • Share a new product.

To successfully engage consumers at this stage, ask yourself, “How can I support existing customers?”

Below is what a CTA could look like at this stage:

  • Purchase now (with a discount).
  • Download.
  • Shop member-exclusive products.

As an avid traveler myself, Abercrombie & Kent is a product I have purchased in the past. They know I’m a solo traveler, so they often retarget me with deals specifically for solo travelers, such as in the example below.

With such a big ticket item, the “exclusive” deal is crucial to retaining me as a future traveler.

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Loyalty Ad Campaign

The final stage of the lifecycle is about creating loyalty.

This stage creates repeat buyers but also people willing to advocate on behalf of your brand, recommending your products to their families and friends.

At this stage, similarly to the retention stage, we recommend focusing on exclusivity. For example, you can create exclusivity by offering a membership.


This is the route Psycho Bunny has taken—they offer a VIP membership, which creates loyalty. In turn, their VIP members get access to exclusive deals.

The Complete Guide To Lifecycle AdvertisingScreenshot from, December 2022The Complete Guide To Lifecycle Advertising

Another route you can take at this stage is offering incentives to share testimonials.

This shows your loyal customers that you value their feedback. The testimonials will help you land more future customers while also giving your loyal consumer a nice perk. It’s a win-win.

Here are some other options:

  • Create referral programs.
  • Invite consumers to webinars.
  • Offer other exclusive perks for repeat buyers.

The end goal of this stage is to keep customers interacting with your brand and show them that their opinions matter. They’re not just another number – they’re a customer that you greatly value.

At this stage, a CTA could look like this:

  • Shop now.
  • Leave a testimonial.

Creating Lifecycle Advertisements

To create an effective ad strategy, ensure you’re communicating with your consumers at each point throughout the lifecycle.

Your ad should be direct at each point, with one goal in mind.

Finally, ensure it’s effortless for consumers to take the action you want them to take.


You got this!

More resources: 

Featured Image: wee dezign/Shutterstock

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WordPress Releases A Performance Plugin For “Near-Instant Load Times”




WordPress speculative loading plugin

WordPress released an official plugin that adds support for a cutting edge technology called speculative loading that can help boost site performance and improve the user experience for site visitors.

Speculative Loading

Rendering means constructing the entire webpage so that it instantly displays (rendering). When your browser downloads the HTML, images, and other resources and puts it together into a webpage, that’s rendering. Prerendering is putting that webpage together (rendering it) in the background.

What this plugin does is to enable the browser to prerender the entire webpage that a user might navigate to next. The plugin does that by anticipating which webpage the user might navigate to based on where they are hovering.

Chrome lists a preference for only prerendering when there is an at least 80% probability of a user navigating to another webpage. The official Chrome support page for prerendering explains:

“Pages should only be prerendered when there is a high probability the page will be loaded by the user. This is why the Chrome address bar prerendering options only happen when there is such a high probability (greater than 80% of the time).

There is also a caveat in that same developer page that prerendering may not happen based on user settings, memory usage and other scenarios (more details below about how analytics handles prerendering).


The Speculative Loading API solves a problem that previous solutions could not because in the past they were simply prefetching resources like JavaScript and CSS but not actually prerendering the entire webpage.

The official WordPress announcement explains it like this:

Introducing the Speculation Rules API
The Speculation Rules API is a new web API that solves the above problems. It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation. This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them.”

The official WordPress page about this new functionality describes it:

“The Speculation Rules API is a new web API… It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation.

This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them. Also, with the Speculation Rules API, “prerender” actually means to prerender the entire page, including running JavaScript. This can lead to near-instant load times once the user clicks on the link as the page would have most likely already been loaded in its entirety. However that is only one of the possible configurations.”

The new WordPress plugin adds support for the Speculation Rules API. The Mozilla developer pages, a great resource for HTML technical understanding describes it like this:

“The Speculation Rules API is designed to improve performance for future navigations. It targets document URLs rather than specific resource files, and so makes sense for multi-page applications (MPAs) rather than single-page applications (SPAs).

The Speculation Rules API provides an alternative to the widely-available <link rel=”prefetch”> feature and is designed to supersede the Chrome-only deprecated <link rel=”prerender”> feature. It provides many improvements over these technologies, along with a more expressive, configurable syntax for specifying which documents should be prefetched or prerendered.”


See also: Are Websites Getting Faster? New Data Reveals Mixed Results

Performance Lab Plugin

The new plugin was developed by the official WordPress performance team which occasionally rolls out new plugins for users to test ahead of possible inclusion into the actual WordPress core. So it’s a good opportunity to be first to try out new performance technologies.

The new WordPress plugin is by default set to prerender “WordPress frontend URLs” which are pages, posts, and archive pages. How it works can be fine-tuned under the settings:

Settings > Reading > Speculative Loading

Browser Compatibility

The Speculative API is supported by Chrome 108 however the specific rules used by the new plugin require Chrome 121 or higher. Chrome 121 was released in early 2024.

Browsers that do not support will simply ignore the plugin and will have no effect on the user experience.

Check out the new Speculative Loading WordPress plugin developed by the official core WordPress performance team.


How Analytics Handles Prerendering

A WordPress developer commented with a question asking how Analytics would handle prerendering and someone else answered that it’s up to the Analytics provider to detect a prerender and not count it as a page load or site visit.

Fortunately both Google Analytics and Google Publisher Tags (GPT) both are able to handle prerenders. The Chrome developers support page has a note about how analytics handles prerendering:

“Google Analytics handles prerender by delaying until activation by default as of September 2023, and Google Publisher Tag (GPT) made a similar change to delay triggering advertisements until activation as of November 2023.”

Possible Conflict With Ad Blocker Extensions

There are a couple things to be aware of about this plugin, aside from the fact that it’s an experimental feature that requires Chrome 121 or higher.

A comment by a WordPress plugin developer that this feature may not work with browsers that are using the uBlock Origin ad blocking browser extension.

Download the plugin:
Speculative Loading Plugin by the WordPress Performance Team

Read the announcement at WordPress
Speculative Loading in WordPress


See also: WordPress, Wix & Squarespace Show Best CWV Rate Of Improvement

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices




10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.


1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.


Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.


Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:


Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.


Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Vanatchanan/Shutterstock

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Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law




A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.


Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.


However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.


Featured Image:Ismael Juan/Shutterstock

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