When is it Time to Change Biddable Media Channels?

February 23, 2016
By Adam

When it comes to biddable media channels, here at Six & Flow we are what you would call agnostic (...cue rolling of eyes). What this basically boils down to is that we will use everything at our disposal, as long as it works for the client in question.

But how do you tell what's working and what is simply wasting client spend? You may say it’s about first click, not last click attribution, and preach of the holistic value of a cross-channel analysis (blah blah) Really, it boils down to three simple questions.

Does it provide measurable value?
Does this value outweigh the cost?
Does it work for my client?

I have seen plenty of execs trying to justify campaigns based on impressions, post shares and likes. Whilst that’s important, in lead generation terms it makes you sound like some gibbering idiot clutching at straws. Nobody wants to be that guy. Below we are going to take a look at the giveaway signs that your biddable media campaigns are flagging, how you can deal with it so you come out looking tip-top.

If you want to achieve any marketing aim, then biddable media is a great way to boost activity. However, biddable is difficult to get right. If you want to get some solid advice on perfecting your campaign, read our blog 'What is biddable media, and how can it catapult your growth?'

Channel Saturation

When it comes to channels there will only be a finite amount of people receptive to your proposition at any given point. Although this will regenerate over time, you need to take into account how heavily you are advertising on your biddable media channels.

Channel saturation is annoying but inevitable. It occurs when you apply the logic of “I’m on to a good thing here, let’s keep pushing” then throw a lot of click spend at one channel and create a web of remarketing so your consumer can’t escape. That’s all well and good for increasing exposure for a few weeks but think of it from your consumer’s position.

“Imagine being followed around by some faceless golem shouting “BUY ME, BUY ME NOW!!” …. that’s what your advertising is doing.

This will quickly lead to audience numbness and price jumps. When you start to see CPL’s creep up and your tweaks are not having a measurable impact you need to start thinking about how hard you are pushing a channel.

A clear sign of saturation is when you begin to see a steady increase in CPL over a 10-day period. When this happens you have 3 choices:

1 Make ad copy and targeting tweaks.

2 Pray the new intern is more disposable than you.

3 Reduce your channel exposure and switch to another source.

The best (and only) way to avoid saturation is to have multiple biddable media channels and a good working relationship with your clients. This way you can chop and change as required by lowering your exposure and explaining this to your clients (without too much fall out). By lowering your exposure for a few days you reduce the audience ad frequency meaning when they do see it, they are more receptive and not sick to death of the shouty man.

Hollow Traffic

Hollow traffic is when you generate a lot of impressions and clicks, but very few conversions. It is single-handedly the biggest waste of click spend in campaigns (Just look at programmatic fraud) and a lot of the time it comes down to targeting.

Targeting 5 million people or 2000 broad match keywords and claiming it's logical because the channel won’t saturate, doesn’t make sense. Great PPC campaigns are built on tight keyword groups with well structured negative lists and great social campaigns are built on strong creative suited to small audiences. A bad campaign is loosely targeted and spews non-converting traffic.

Your targeting needs to reflect your aims, which may seem remedial, but often overlooked. You need to assess whether the channel you have chosen can meet the targeting needs of your campaign.

For example, on Facebook you can overlay and narrow your audience using "and" logic, incredibly effective for niche targeting. This capability doesn't exist to the same degree on Twitter, and although you can exclude certain data profiles it's not as granular, meaning the targeting is less accurate.

So the question you need to ask yourself is:

“Does this channel meet the targeting requirements? How can I use these to target as precisely as possible?”

If you need to get high quality, high conversion leads, you need accurate targeting. If the channel can’t give you that level of targeting, its time to change channels.

Companies are always looking for the best quality at the best price. To deliver this, your targeting needs to be precise and on point, a scattergun approach won’t cut it. Lead generation with inaccurate targeting is like surgery with a blunt spoon; messy, painful and inevitably useless.

lead generation, tageting, biddable media

Lead Quality Drop

You have just received a call from a client crying grey mare, “The leads were great but now my sales team can’t convert a thing.” This is usually followed by demanding you up the quality or lose your fee. Instead of panicking, throwing blame at the sales team and threatening your intern, take a step back and look at your biddable media channels. The lead details never change - name, email, phone number - but what does is the intent of your audience.

The intent of an exact match PPC lead will always beat that of a paid social lead as the consumer is actively looking for the product/service online. Paid social is a softer sell but normally comes with a lower CPL when compared to a PPC lead. What it loses in quality it makes up for in cost.

You need to generate a strong channel mix and work closely with your client’s sales team so you know what is and isn’t working for them. If you can say to a client:

“The quality of the PPC leads are flagging so we are going to reduce spend while we sort it and push that into Facebook so your team aren’t thumb twiddling”

... then you are in a really good position. Once you have quelled the fears of your client there are a number of things you can do to control lead quality, what you always need to keep in mind is whether the channel is delivering for your client. A lot of the time finding the balance between lead generation quality and cost is a fine art, and you need to be in a position where you can find this balance without the fear of losing your client.

Lead Generation Overload

I once had an awesome 3 days where some new targeting brought in 220 leads in for a client who normally did 50 a day. I thought this was great and was fishing for kudos all week, until we had a call with the client. All the details were the same, nothing had changed but the sales team hadn’t converted a single lead.

The issue wasn’t quality we had just flooded the sales team to the point they couldn’t handle the leads. A person can only do so much in a day and normally 5-7 high quality leads is good enough for any sales person to convert, but understandably when you when you triple this, people get stretched.

There are 4 ways to sort this; don’t strop and complain like a toddler that’s had its toys taken away (which I did for at least an hour after the call), secondly outline what are acceptable thresholds, introduce workflows and management systems and finally reduce the channel exposure.

By thresholds I mean acceptable levels of leads your client can handle. If the client outlines they need a min of 5 leads a day and max 10 you will naturally aim for 7 leads. This means you can tailor your resource around this and scale up if required. You don’t get overloaded the client doesn’t get overloaded and everybody is smiles and rainbows.

Thirdly, by installing workflows and lead generation management systems you can ensure the leads don’t go cold if they are missed.  We installed a system which mean if a lead hadn’t been reached within 24 hours they had an apology email sent and were moved higher up the CRM. This kept the leads warm and upped the conversion rate of the sales team.

Finally, if you can reduce channel exposure, then do. Like we said previously, too much exposure will saturate any biddable media channels. If you are hitting lead volume and can rest a channel in the long run it will help the stability of your business.

It’s a Scientific Art

Keeping a campaign working throughout the ebb and flow is difficult and although it does require a lot of number crunching and projections it also requires a hell of a lot of communication with clients. Being proactive with your channels and spotting what is and isn’t working for your clients is the only way to achieve a lasting a successful relationship with lead generation.

If you want to achieve any marketing aim, then biddable media is a great way to boost activity. However, biddable is difficult to get right. If you want to get some solid advice on perfecting your campaign, read our blog 'What is biddable media, and how can it catapult your growth?'

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