A paid campaign amplifies your firm’s organic efforts, increases conversions, and boosts your ROI. But only if you have the right strategy behind it.
We hear it often from consulting firms: Paid campaigns drain resources with little ROI. Or, organic campaigns should be enough to attract new clients… right?
Not by a long shot.
Misguided strategies and unrealistic expectations likely burned these firms. But knowing the elements of a strong paid strategy will turn digital marketing efforts around and make anyone a believer.
A paid campaign is necessary, and should be combined with your organic efforts, to drive new business. All you need are the right tactics for your paid campaign, which include:
- Defining your ideal client
- Sharpening your point of view and positioning
- Focusing on strategy first, then budget
- Testing, refining, and optimizing
#1 – YOUR IDEAL CLIENT: THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR PAID CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
Running your first paid media campaign is intimidating. As you begin, you’re guessing at the right platforms and budget— and leaning on unrefined skills to get you there. Only when you focus on the specifics of what you want your campaign to look like can you develop an effective plan of action.
You have to set up a strategy with your end goal — securing business with an ideal client — in mind. You also need to use the right platforms for the job and develop skills to gain experience. Otherwise, you end up with a haphazard approach and unfocused efforts that do result in insufficient use of time and money.
To achieve your desired outcome of driving new business with ideal clients, you need to base your strategy around them. Who they are, what problems they have, and what solutions your firm provides. Doing so allows your firm to:
- Personalize your messaging and keep it relevant to your audience
- More accurately allocate your resources
- Learn from data about what’s working (and what’s not) to refine your ongoing strategy
There are key qualities you need to consider when defining your ideal client, including the size of their firm, their industry, pressing issues in their industry, and more. Once your ideal client is defined, you can start mapping out your strategy.
Also, you need to know which tools to wield and when. For example, one platform may be better suited for your target audience than another and which one you choose will make or break your campaign. Each platform (e.g. LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, etc.) has its own unique capabilities. Once you understand what platforms are best for your goals, you can develop a specific strategy for each and avoid using the wrong tools.
#2 – USE STRONG POSITIONING TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE
No matter where your firm’s ideal client spends their digital time, you will be competing for their attention. Not just with other firms, but with all the other distracting content flooding their feeds. To capture — and hold — their interest, you must present a strong expertise or unique point of view (POV) that tells them your firm has the answers to their most pressing challenges.
Telling your ideal clients what you do, what problems you solve, and your point of view on how to solve them serves to educate, build trust, and start a relationship. It differentiates your firm and tells your ideal client you’re the best fit.
But having strong positioning does more than capture attention. It also informs your strategy. Positioning allows you to further hone your paid campaign by using effective keywords in your ad and landing page copy to make the best use of your budget.
#3 – LET YOUR STRATEGY DICTATE YOUR BUDGET
It may be tempting to set a budget first and then strategize your paid campaign. But doing so only limits your campaign’s potential, costing you more in resources over time.
With a sound strategy that aligns with your firm’s marketing goals, you’re in a much better position to target your audience, use accurate keywords, and refine your strategy resulting in a much more efficient use of your budget.
Most platforms offer estimates on how your campaign will perform based on what you want to spend and your goals. And this is where the rubber meets the road. Plug in your strategy and see what it would cost based on expected clicks, click-through rates (CTR), impressions, spend, and more.This can serve as a guide to help avoid surprises and give you more confidence in moving forward with the best plan in mind.. And, the more you hone your strategy, the farther your marketing dollars will go campaign after campaign because you will be confident that your investment is directly related to the strategy you put in place.
#4 – TEST, REFINE, OPTIMIZE, AND REPEAT
It’s frustrating when your original strategy doesn’t pan out. When CTRs plateau, messaging falls flat, and conversions grow cold. But just because your first campaign didn’t perform well doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it again — and ASAP.
The great thing about paid campaigns? You’re able to gather and analyze your audience data, adapt your strategy, and jump back into the game with a new approach. Quickly.
So be open to A/B testing everything. From font type and background color to messaging, headlines, CTA language, and more. There is no shortage of variables to test. You’ll never know what resonates best with your firm’s audience until you try different things. A key point we always follow is the “14-day rule”. Before you make any decisions on switching creative or messaging, make sure you give your campaign plenty of time to run and serve your audience. This 14-day time frame allows you to gather enough data to confidently switch the right piece of your campaign.
Testing, refining, and optimizing don’t mean you’re failing. Taking these actions means you’re getting closer and closer to the most thoughtful campaign design, and your strategies are becoming sharper (and more cost-effective).
PAID AND ORGANIC EFFORTS WORK TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE YOUR FIRM’S MARKETING GOALS
You shouldn’t just focus on paid campaigns while tossing organic campaigns aside — and vice versa. They should work in tandem if you want your consulting firm to attract and secure business with your ideal clients.
Organic marketing campaigns serve to showcase your defined expertise and POV to your prospects. These campaigns elevate your status as an expert in your field that can tackle the issues your ideal clients are facing. Your email marketing campaigns, organic social media posts, and thought leadership content on your website serve to educate those who already know who you are.
But what about those who don’t?
Say you are ranking low on keywords that you think you should own based on your expertise. That’s where paid campaigns come in. When done right, they target those who don’t yet know you but should. They generate more awareness about your firm — who you are, what you do, and where your expertise lies. And they create exponentially more opportunities for leads to enter your pipeline.
GET STARTED: SEE RESULTS FASTER WITH AN EXPERT-DRIVEN PAID CAMPAIGN STRATEGY
With 20 years of experience under our belts, we’re your partner for leveraging search, social and paid media to drive leads into your firm.. We leverage our knowledge in various slices of the professional services universe to create targeted strategies that reach exactly who you’re looking for sooner — and with a better ROI than if you were to do it alone. Let’s get started.