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4 Ad Strategies That Increase ROI, Protect Budgets.

Byline: Ryan Ruud

In the search engine advertising (pay per click) world, there are studies that show around 25% of search advertising budgets are wasted. So if your credit union is spending 10,000 a month, $2,500 is going straight down the drain.

As online advertising has evolved, tactics expanded, and getting in the online ad game has become ubiquitous there's a lot of opportunities to opportunities to waste ad dollars fast.

When I audit accounts, I often find the same culprits behind wasted budget and lost opportunity. Luckily, each is easy to fix and get your advertising budget back on track; increasing ROI and protecting your overall spend.

Not using built in look-alike modeling

Outside of awareness tactics, the goal of credit union advertising is to find someone who's likely to become a member. What better way then starting with a profile of your existing members? Look-alike modeling builds audiences based on Internet users who share similar traits to a control group, in this case, your member base.

There are different ways to create look alike audiences. Many programmatic DSP's have the capacity built in to leverage audience segments and third party data sets. But if your advertising program isn't this sophisticated yet don't sweat it. You can build look-alike audiences for Facebook, Twitter and Google. All you need is an email database or an anonymous tracking tag like the Facebook pixel.

Not leveraging remarketing

Remarketing is one of the most cost effective ways to increase the overall performance of an ad program. Users who are served a remarketing ad have a 70% increased likelihood of converting. Additionally, the actual cost to serve the impression is usually less then the initial impression. The decision to make then is, are you be willing to pay a few cents to serve a remarketing ad for a high chance to convert a user you already have incurred cost to attract?

Not spending time targeting

Targeting is probably the biggest area where budgets get drained and ROI get's zapped. When you first set up a campaign, make sure you have geographic parameters set to only serve ads where relevant. Whether state, city, zip code or neighborhood.

Next, make sure you leverage contextual targeting. If you're running search marketing, use negative keywords to constantly refine when your ads come up, for example don't just use a broad match "credit union" or you risk loosing money on clicks for credit union league, credit union network, or people looking for a specific credit union.

When it comes to display, contextual targeting makes sure your ads appear on sets that are relevant to your user. For example, if you're running a father's day campaign you'll be looking to target News, Sports, Comedy and Film if you review data from the recent "Modern Dad" insights out from Nielsen.

Finally, make sure you leverage device specific behaviors and creative. For example use call to actions and landing pages that are appropriate for mobile, for example tap to call or lead forms that are easy to fill.

As your campaigns run and you collect performance results, continue refining targeting based on time of day, device, location and bidding. Refine all targeting on a granular level now increasing and decreasing bids to make sure your maximizing your budget. For example, you may find that one neighbor performs really well on mobile during a certain period of the day so you want to increase your ad bids to win more conversions.

Not considering programmatic

Programmatic advertising enables credit union marketers to deliver the right ad, at the right time, to the right user. Automated media buying combined with third party and first party data unlocks significant efficiency and media scale for sophisticated ad programs.

When you have very specific campaigns, personas and goals in mind, programmatic may be an option. Programmatic combines creative, media, big data and the power of machine learning to drive significant performance from advertising budgets.

Privacy Concerns

With the exception of targeting, the recommendations in this column require site tagging or tracking codes as a foundation behind strong performing digital advertising campaigns.

Many financial institutions have concerns about tagging websites, especially when working with third party vendors or agencies. The primary concern is around the collection of personally identifiable information (PII). Ask your vendors or agenciess about their products, if they collect PII. Also make sure that any audience data collected isn't sold to third parties or used in other advertiser campaigns (for example to build a look-alike model for someone else).

Final Thoughts

Your compliance team will likely have other questions to sort out regarding tracking and tagging. However when done correctly, leveraging the existing, unidentifiable data of your existing web users and smart targeting will significantly improve the performance of your credit union advertising campaigns.

Ryan Ruud is the founder and CEO of Credit Union Consulting Group and Lake One Digital. He can be reached at 612-799-0803 or ryan@creditunionconsult.com.
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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Jun 26, 2016
Words:826
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