For more than a decade, performance marketing has gotten a bad rap. Quantity had taken precedence over quality, which made for some good-looking reports – with nothing to show for it on the bottom line. That’s because surfacing great ads on poor quality sites, or flooding sites with non-human traffic, (NHT) may result in great-looking numbers, but those numbers will never result in sales.
The key to driving great performance is quality: quality publishers, quality traffic, and quality creative. With these three pillars in place, performance marketing can be incredibly effective – and yield honest results. Let’s take a closer look at each of those pillars and how they contribute.
- Quality publishers: First, let’s be clear – “quality” does not necessarily equate to “big.” Sure, there are great publishers like Forbes and Conde Nast, but there are great niche publishers as well. Sites like “Fierce Biotech” may not draw the same crowds as the bigger sites, but they produce frequently updated, high-quality, original content that draws a loyal audience within its vertical. That’s key. Quality isn’t about numbers, necessarily – it’s about content and infrastructure, as well as available ad formats.The benefits to buying high quality media should be obvious. Apart from attracting quality audiences, the sites are likely to be be better protected from fraudsters. Leading sites (and apps) are more apt to want to drive meaningful results for advertisers, not just better numbers. They want users who register and engage and come back to their sites and keep using their apps. This is good, not only for advertisers, but for their brand, as well. Fraud is as bad for them as it is for you.That concern for the prestige of their brand is also a benefit for you. If you care about your product or app’s reputation, you know how important it is to be associated with quality publishers. Your ad will look much better on ABC News’ website than it would on someone’s ad-filled blogspot page. I promise.
- Quality traffic: Audience is everything. And today we have so much data available to tell us who our audience is – where they came from, what they’re looking for, and how closely they match your customer profile. If you know your target audience is male gamers, aged 25-40, with a household income of $50-75K in major metropolitan areas, then your messages need to surface on sites and apps that appeal to those audiences.So clearly, the first step here is to know who your audience is – and we mean know, not assume. Look at your first-party data – from your CRM, from purchase records and from analytics – and determine who is actually buying, downloading or using your product or app. Then use that data to find more of your audience in the digital world. If you’re not targeting and engaging quality traffic that meets your audience criteria, you’re wasting money, plain and simple.Quality traffic obviously goes hand-in-hand with quality publishers – you need those popular, respected apps and sites to reach your audience. But first- and third-party data also play a key role here.
- Quality creative: Creative matters a lot, because it’s how you persuade audiences to buy, download or take whatever action you want them to take. The guys in the black turtlenecks will tell you that the most beautiful creative is the one you should be using, but performance marketers know that testing is the only way to know for sure which creative will convert best.The good news is that the most effective creative can also look great – there are so many stunning ad formats available. We’ve come a long way from tiny strip ads at the bottom of apps and mobile web pages. Advertisers can now “surprise and delight” audiences with full page interactive ads and video, even on mobile screens. And the best part is, they can still be tested. Even in mobile, multivariate and A/B tests across campaigns, audience segments and devices can help marketers determine which ads are most effective for every group they reach.
At Cross Audience, we believe these three pillars are the foundation to building a high-performing campaign. Our core belief is that quality campaigns yield quality results, and that’s what we want for all our clients. While performance advertising is certainly about the numbers, we want those numbers to be real and meaningful. Because at the end of the day, if the numbers aren’t having a positive impact on your bottom line, what good are they? So rather than hand you reports with some great-looking charts, we want to deliver real, honest results. That’s what performance is really about.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you drive honestly better results for your mobile marketing campaigns.