A few weeks ago I spoke with Michael (Mike) McEuen about how to buy and optimize online advertising. Mike really knows this topic because he has worked on all sides of paid advertising triangle. He has been on the sell side with Gannett Papers, on the AdTech side with the company AdStages, and today he is on the buying side at DoubleDutch.
In the world of Inbound marketing were quality content rules the roost, you might think that paid advertising and those who earn their living buying or selling ads might feel competitive pressure but Mike makes it really clear that the best place to focus the starting point of a digital promotion is amazing organic content. Mike makes it clear you should be working with your sales staff and agreed with me when I talked about the value of the PR team in terms of storytelling and audience building.
Mike sees organic content as part of the validation or optimization process that every digital effort needs. That is, organic content validates both the message and the audience and proves that there is an alignment between that customer base (or persona) and the message you are delivering.
Mike suggests that you would be wasting money if you start promoting before you have validated your approach. I would add this could go even further in that you should also be testing out the landing page(s), and any follow on efforts you may be making once you have brought people to your site. I’m sure Mike would agree.
Mike was very clear, “once it is working you can double down.” Which is a very polite way of saying once it is working you can really start throwing money at the effort.
In my overtime conversation with Michael we get even deeper into how today’s PPC efforts work. We talk about lookalike audiences, cost per action (CPA), and other even about how to fine tune a digital ad campaign. We talk about return on advertising spend; how to really understand how much you can afford to spend and understand what your business gains from that. We converse about how to blend different priced ads into a single buy, and also about buying during urgent time frame (near a holiday). We talk budgets and every else.