There are 1000 companies competing in stretch ceilings: from independent contractors to federal-level companies. However, there are only 10 spots in contextual advertising, and they buy 80% of all traffic. The rest collect crumbs. What distinguishes successful companies? There is no accident or "a secret of the young business." We will share our vision on the example of a real case.
Our client will be represented by Julia, a marketing specialist. In her words, contextual advertising is a black box to them. That is, they understand the basics, what are keywords, conversion, cost per lead, etc., but this knowledge is not enough to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns or manage them. When the advertising budget is in the millions, an error of 5% can cost the company 50 thousand rubles, or 600 thousand per year. One percent here, one there, and you work "to zero".
Julia said that they wanted to hire a specialist on staff, but the difficulty is in finding and evaluating the candidate’s competencies. Beautiful cases more often than not are an exaggeration, when in reality, it is “Yes, this is my case, but I was just handing the tools.” You may go by the rule “if it's expensive, it must be good” and hire someone at, for example, 100 thousand rubles per month, but for many this will not pay off. Although, the specialist will certainly be able to dive deep into the project
Or you may find a freelancer, and we will not reiterate the risks of that. It’s not an obvious problem that maintaining an advertising campaign also requires knowledge of web analytics to assess the effectiveness of advertising. A contextual advertising specialist may not necessarily know very well two areas at once.
The picture is taken from one of the articles on vc.ru
Therefore, a contextual advertising agency is the best option. But this option is not without difficulties either, since there are hundreds of providers on the market.
The topic of choosing an agency deserves a separate article. In short, there is no quick recipe - you need to dive deep into the market and competencies and analyze providers in detail.
Let us insert a client’s answer to the question, “How did you choose a contractor and why us?” Admittedly, the answer is flattering to us, nevertheless, it describes the market.
«Hello! We were looking for a contractor with experience in our segment in Moscow. We first turned to XXXXXX as an well-advertised agency specializing in AdWords, since our problem was originally with AdWords: we could not find an acceptable price per lead. XXXXXXX showed a strange approach, which seemed to be not quite adequate for the fee that they were asking. Then we tried 4 other agencies. One was rejected immediately, because we were talking to a sales manager without any experience in contextual advertising. It was obvious that they cranking out projects on an assembly line, and we wanted a more individual attitude. Another company was dropped at the negotiation stage. Before the sale was made, they already showed lack of organization. They would not call back when agreed, we had to wait for a commercial offer for three days. It was down to you and another company. We liked your approach and the specifics. You made it immediately clear that you can work with KPI; the negotiations were conducted by a competent manager; I did not have to fill out the questionnaire because what I told you on the phone, you put into electronic form by yourselves; the communication was without bla bla bla, short and to the point. This showed how you are generally disposed to conduct business, demonstrated organization and awareness, plus you were interested and offered an adequate price. In general, you seemed more serious and it was clear that you it had the process ironed out. The other company let us off at some point: the manager did not push, and you called back, showed that you were motivated and you need clients. Basically, you did not let up, and we went to you)»
«We try to work only on promising and healthy projects. So, if during the first conversation with a client, to our question about the target audience, we get answers like, “Who cares who my target audience is, we just need contextual ads set up,” or “I only need a price quotation,” “Why rework the website? This has been done recently!” then most likely the client has a superficial attitude to business and it will be very difficult to grow with them, we do not take such projects.»
At the start of cooperation, the company had fully captured the market of Kaluga and began to test Moscow, where they opened dozens of outlets, but the cost per lead from contextual advertising was several thousand rubles, which was holding the business from scaling up.
Julia had a document with monitoring of all competitors, their prices and promotions. There was a clear understanding of the target audience and their preferences, our task was to integrate contextual advertising in their business. For example, «we know that a client in Zelenograd has many leads, but a low check, customers ask for mid-range materials, the number of production teams is limited, therefore, we make the landing page accordingly and calculate the optimal amount of traffic to maintain the workload for these teams and get the maximum profit.»
Often, we are asked to suggest which market segment to choose «Stretch ceilings or plastic windows?», «What goods to trade?», «Why is no one buying from us?», «How to make a good website?» Most customers sincerely believe that they can outsource their business to us, which is particularly ironic when we are dealing with online stores or services, where the website itself is the main product.
That is, we understand marketing, website development, web analytics, but only to the extent of implementing contextual advertising. We will not answer questions like, «Why is that I have no sales?» because sales depend on many factors, of which contextual advertising is just one. We will bring the target audience to your website, but if they do not want to buy, we cannot exactly answer why.
To this you could say, «You are not interested in the client's result, you are just running an assembly line!» No, it's just that we are engaged in contextual advertising and not in integrated marketing, which is a whole different story. We’d rather do one thing but do it well. It's our area of responsibility and we focus on it.
Comment from the expert:
«Hundreds of projects went through me. There are only two schemes for building online sales that work: when the owner personally delves into the process, makes the website, and only then delegates some of the processes to the contractors; or the second, when the client hires an internet marketing consultant, and even then, you need to have a basic understanding of the mechanics, so as not to choose the wrong person for the job.»
In 90% of cases, the client expects a miracle from us. That we will turn on the Yandex Direct button, and their phone will burst from buyers' calls. At this point, it is virtually impossible to convince the person otherwise, for them it is counterintuitive. It's hard to hit the mark on the first try. Therefore, most of those who want it all and want it now become frustrated and leave. Others stay and continue to learn about their customers, make landing pages, improve the product.
According to our observations, success comes to clients who test more hypotheses in a short time span. For example, in this project 90 tasks were completed in the last 5 months, this is almost one task/hypothesis per day. The average task time is 1 hour, for example, to test a new promotion in the heading by region.
Screenshot from Asana project management system
It is unrealistic to try and keep all the tasks in a chat or email correspondence. Even for an average project, at the start there may be 7 tasks for the client to fulfill with their own discussions and descendant tasks. We use Asana.com project management system, which connects all the project team members.
We conduct an audit for almost every client, because to make a proposal more relevant for the client, we need to dive into the client’s marketing. Only then will we be able to make proposals like «we will reduce CPA by 30% without reducing the number of leads» and explain how we can do it.
Essentially, we are looking at campaigns from all possible angles: in terms of keywords, time, possible and actual traffic. For example, a client's CPA differs a lot by regions of Moscow.
Almost every client encounters this problem, since very few people know how to optimize campaigns. That is, it is not so difficult to set up: you collect the keywords, set up trial rates and launch it. However, where it gets interesting is when you need to calculate optimal rates and adjustments, and now you are in mathematics, which requires knowledge and experience that most specialists lack. Link to an article on optimization.
At the start of the project, we dive into the client’s market: we look at competitors, their products, market reach, etc. This is necessary to avoid fails, such as when we launch advertising, and our client's price is double the market level or the website is messed up, and all the efforts on traffic go down the drain.
To understand who is the main force on the market and why. As a rule, most of the traffic belongs to 1-5 players. And the remaining players are in constant rotation: someone tries to make a website, but their model does not pay off. Players come and go all the time.
As a result, we identify common patterns and write recommendations for the current landing pages and developing new ones for the in-demand segments.
We identify the most frequent patterns to be tested and agree the testing scope with the client in the form «Demand Segment - Ad - Landing Page».
Comment from the expert:
«Some clients want perfect advertising campaigns at the start of their business: «Let's write Order, not Buy,» «Let's test several different pictures,» «Why didn’t they add this to negative keywords?» Of course, we can make perfect campaigns, but 20% of actions bring 80% of the result. The remaining 80% of actions take time and money, but they bring only 20% of the result and will not pay off on a scale of up to 20 thousand rubles. That is, why would you order a logo of Artemy Lebedev if you do not even know if your product is going to sell? In modern business, this approach is called Agile or a Lean start-up. We fully support it. Anything else does not work on small scale projects.»
So that both we and the client clearly understand which segments of search queries should be including in the scope and how to work with them.
Comment from the expert:
«We observe Internet advertising shifting towards segmentation. That is, you search for «buy a white stretch ceiling for apartment» and you get a landing page with information on stretch ceilings for an apartment with your layout, ten shades of white offering free measurements on your street. You study the website, stop to view the calculator, enter your dimensions and for a week you will be stalked by a banner offering free installation for your dimensions for 150 rubles. According to our observations, segmentation improves the conversion rate by 2-3 times relative to a generic offering.»
We cannot show all the segments and landing pages due to the project confidentiality, but we will give one example for «page for desktop devices for middle aged night audience in area N»
Each segment has a different scope and cost per lead, for which we need to find the optimum.
For example, if a lead earns you 4000 rubles on average, then the optimum will be only at the point of 40 leads. Calculation example below.
|Cost per lead||Number of leads||Costs||Revenue||Profit (Revenue - Cost)|
There are 3 levels of reporting depth: high, medium and low.
The high-level report should contain only the basic KPIs and CPA indicators by day/week. This report should be viewed once a week. An example of such a report is below.
The mid-level report contains data with breakdown by campaigns, devices, audience segments. It makes sense to look at it once a month to monitor KPIs at lower levels and look for insights.
A low-level report is often compiled manually for a specific goal, for example, to study cannibalization of organic traffic by paid traffic.
Since we maintain confidentiality, KPI for our work can be shown only for some demand segments in some cities and only for leads and CPA.
We started working with Google AdWords from the beginning of 2018. For Moscow in 5 months, we quadrupled the number of leads without increasing CPA.
(ROIStat analytics system)
We started working in Yandex Direct from April and doubled KPI and CPA efficiency.
(ROIStat analytics system)
It should be noted that a twofold improvement in efficiency is 100% joint effort. For example, we write a report on audiences, and within a few days the client's team makes new landing pages for each segment. We report that the competitors came out with a special offer, and in a day the client launches tests of 3 new promotions. This is what an effective approach looks like.
If it seems to you that doubling efficiency in 5 months on the stretch ceiling market is a weak result and elsewhere they improve conversion 10 fold, you are most likely divorced from reality. There are no magic recipes in Internet marketing.
In conclusion, we will try to summarize in a few points what distinguishes successful projects from the opposite:
Nothing else works, otherwise you are strongly relying on luck.