If the lights go out on all your servers, your business no doubt has a robust IT disaster recovery plan in place. But what about when your marketing has a spanner thrown in the works, and what did work suddenly stops? Can the same be said for your sales generation?
IT systems can normally be fixed in a number of days as a worst case scenario, but a permanent change to a marketing platform can take much longer to recover from.
As we reported in our Tech Treats update from 22nd February, Google has updated how ads appear in desktop search results. For anyone not in the loop, the right hand ads have been removed from search results.
Why is this so important? The level of competition is going to rise, and this will inevitably push up the CPCs, and likely the CPAs. So, if a large part of your business is overly reliant on paid search, this could have either taken a big chunk out of your profit, or hit the volume you are able to sell.
As an agency, we often see companies opt for either paid search or organic optimisation and then rely heavily on that platform to deliver the majority of their sales. For this reason, changes in the platform, or Google’s algorithm, can then have a huge impact on their digital sales. Disaster!
Think you’re immune? You may want to think again. Google has penalised a number of leading brands over the last few years for various reasons, including BMW, Interflora and the BBC. Even if you are doing everything right there are occasional ‘innocent’ companies that get caught in the crossfire of an update. Such penalties are often unintentional, but have still resulted in links disappearing from search results.
Have you got your Marketing Recovery Plan sorted?
As with any disaster recovery plan, the best advice is to minimise the size of the disaster. The recent search results changes were a reminder to reduce reliance on any one platform. Instead, you should be building sales from a range of digital sources.
FE International recently published an interesting article on how investors and business owners can value a SaaS company. Interestingly, having too much reliance on organic ‘free’ clicks represents a risk, rather than a benefit for a company’s valuation as the revenue stream is out of the control of the owners and could be lost.
The same can be said of any company if they are over reliant on any one platform.
However, while Google still continues to dominate the search market overall, less competition on the Bing Ads platform means that CPAs are often cheaper, and you’re more likely to generate a higher ROI from your ads.
Paid social media platforms are also exploding. Facebook, in particular, has great reach, as well as very granular targeting. Facebook recently rolled out advertising on the Instagram platform, which is going to be very useful for retail brands.
B2B companies often feel that this is not a platform worth utilising, but with lower CPCs and some of the best targeting options available, we recommend a sensible campaign is tested at a minimum.
Twitter and LinkedIn are both currently playing catch up with Google and Facebook, although they’re also committing some serious investment in getting their advertising platforms just right. LinkedIn, in particular, have just announced their new Advanced Targeting options which look promising.
Additionally, decreased competition on other platforms often translates into lower CPAs. The biggest challenge will now be ensuring that the volume can be delivered.
Why not target yourself to build a viable campaign on another platform? Get in touch with the Traffic Jam Media team for suggestions on what work best for you!
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