Day: February 13, 2021
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Diane asks Harry Litman, legal affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Constitutional Law professor at UCLA and UCSD and host of the podcast “Talking Feds.”
Federal debt held by the public has reached 100% of GDP even before Biden’s plans become law.
When you launch a new campaign, what are the most important metrics you track?
Did you think of conversion or click-thru rate? Cost per conversion? ROI?
All of those answers are essential metrics for every marketing or advertising campaign, but they won’t help you pinpoint a single ad’s or campaign portfolio’s monetary success.
That’s where ROAS comes in.
ROAS is the metric marketers need to determine their marketing and advertising campaigns’ success. It’s vital for new campaigns since it allows you to see how much revenue a campaign generates against costs in real time.
Marketers can use cost per conversion, but because that calculation focuses on a single conversion at a time, it only gives marketers part of the picture.
ROAS helps determine whether a campaign is bringing in the money it should be. If it isn’t, marketers can pivot quickly or cut their losses.
What is ROAS?
ROAS stands for return on ad spend. It’s the amount of revenue generated by every dollar spent on advertising or marketing. Unlike ROI, ROAS focuses only on the revenue return from a specific ad or marketing campaign.
ROAS is expressed as a ratio. For example, a ROAS of 10:1 would represent $10 in revenue for every $1 spent.
A ROAS calculation is similar to an ROI calculation, but it’s very flexible and can be applied to one, a few, or even several campaigns. For instance, you can use it to look at one campaign with a new influencer or all of your email marketing campaigns for the quarter.
ROAS, however, isn’t as specific of a calculation as costs per conversion, click-through rates, or any of the other laser-focused metrics marketers look at regularly. It gives you a holistic view of a specific campaign’s success, but it isn’t as high-level as ROI.
Calculating ROAS may not be as complicated as it seems. To calculate ROAS, divide revenue by the amount of money spent on a specific ad or marketing campaign.
For example, let’s say your company spent $1,000 on a Facebook ad campaign, which generated $15,000 in revenue. The equation would look like this:
Using numbers, it looks like this:
The ROAS in this example is $15 in revenue for every $1 spent. This is a simplified example—and a pretty good ROAS—but it gives an idea of how to calculate ROAS.
Before you plug numbers into this equation, there is one other calculation you need to do first: the total cost of your campaign. This should include things like money paid to an agency, to pay designers, to bid on keywords, or put toward a PPC campaign.
There are some other hidden costs you also need to consider.
- All Vendor Costs: include the costs of all vendors, including freelance writers, graphic designers, or email marketers
- Salary: include the cost of any in-house employees working on the campaign
- Affiliate Commissions: according to AdEsspresso, that includes commissions and network transaction fees
- Overhead: include the cost of equipment and apps used for the campaign
Pro Tip: There are free ROAS calculators that will use your ROAS to help you figure out your budget, PPC spend, and several other helpful stats. This one, from AdRoll, asks you a series of questions, including the type of business you run, the number and value of orders per month, and the number of site visitors you get monthly.
It then gives you a breakdown of a suggested advertising budget. I erred on the side of modesty and plugged in 100 orders worth $2,500 each for my tech site, which gets 1,500 visitors per month.
These were my results. First, I got a monthly advertising budget breakdown:
The site broke this down even further:
Now that you know what a ROAS is and how to calculate it, it’s time to figure out what a good ROAS looks like.
What Is Considered a Good ROAS?
A good ROAS can vary from business to business and even campaign to campaign.
For some campaigns, such as those where your goal is to raise awareness, build a following, or grow newsletter subscriptions, you should usually expect a low ROAS.
Most businesses, however, aim for a 4:1 ratio overall. That’s $4 made for every $1 spent.
However, ROAS goals can vary by platform, too. A 2:1 ROAS, for example, is about average for Google Ads.
ROAS isn’t a standalone statistic. It’s an indicator of how effective or ineffective your ad or marketing campaign is. If your ROAS is low, start digging into your other stats to figure out why.
How to Improve Your ROAS
A low ROAS doesn’t necessarily mean your ad or marketing campaign is a complete failure, and you need to start from scratch. Your campaign (or your site or product) may just need a bit of tweaking.
Here are some ideas to get you started on improving your ROAS.
Experiment With Ad Placement
Strategic ad placement on social sites can lift your ROAS as well.
Newsfeed: Promoted posts and ads appearing directly in newsfeeds usually get more visibility and convert at a better rate than other ads.
In-Stream Ads: Ads showing up in videos can be placed pre-roll or mid-roll. Pre-roll ads go before main content and are about 25% cheaper than mid-roll ads. If they’re skippable, however, your audience may never see them. Also, if the video is longer or not very engaging, they may never get to the mid-roll ad.
Mobile-Only Ads: Targeting mobile-only ads on Facebook and Instagram is also a good option for visibility. Facebook is the second-most downloaded app, bested only by TikTok. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users globally.
Use Audience Targeting
For example, Facebook allows you to target your ads based on many audience parameters, including location, age, relationship status, and interest. You can create ads targeting subgroups of your audience as well.
Since I looked up AdRoll for this article, I’m now seeing their ad in my Facebook feed. Clearly, they’ve targeted their ads based on interest, hoping to catch leads that are possibly closer to making a purchasing decision.
Meanwhile, marketers can use Local Campaigns on Google to highlight their products to potential customers in their area.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of choosing the right platform for your ads. If your audience skews younger, for example, you may not be as concerned about Facebook as you are about Snapchat and TikTok. B2B brands, meanwhile, may want to invest more money in LinkedIn.
Refine Your Keywords
It’s tempting to go after trending or more general keywords with large search volumes. If you bid on those, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of money only to get lost in a sea of search results.
In a previous post, I outlined exactly how to choose keywords to bid on to get your ads seen. Start by looking for specific search terms relevant to your brand. If you have a chain of pizza places with vegan and gluten-free slices, for example, target keywords in those areas, keywords such as “cauliflower crust pizza” or “best vegan cheese pizza.”
If you have physical locations, target location-specific keywords. After all, 96% of people surveyed by BrightLocal used the internet to search for local businesses.
Let’s say your chain of pizza shops has locations across Queens, NY. Don’t stop at targeting pizza shops in Brooklyn. Bid on keywords specific to the neighborhoods your pizza shops are in. Your keywords, then, might be “pizza shops in Forest Hills” and “pizza shops in Briarwood.
Take advantage of tools, such as Ubersuggest, to research stats and drill down on keywords that make sense for you to bid on.
Lower the Cost to Develop Your Ads
The first and most obvious step is to use your ROAS to eliminate campaigns that aren’t generating enough revenue. It’s better to put time and effort (and money) into the ones that are.
Refining your keywords and target audience can also save you money by funneling your cash to keywords you’re more likely to rank on and the audience most likely to convert.
You may want to consider adding negative keywords to your ads. A negative keyword is a term you want to exclude. Your ad won’t appear when users search for those terms.
Finally, if you’re running PPC campaigns, put caps on your budget. Lots of click-throughs are a good thing only if you have the budget to support them.
Use Target ROAS in Google
When setting up ad campaigns, Google lets you choose based on a target ROAS. Once you set a target ROAS, Google predicts a conversion rate based on your current concession values. It uses that prediction to optimize your bids based on your budget.
You can set a target ROAS for a single campaign or an entire portfolio.
Investigate Issues Unrelated to Your Ads
A low ROAS doesn’t always indicate a failed campaign. Instead, it could mean an issue outside of your ad strategy.
If ROAS is low, but conversion rates are high, it could be your product is priced too low. If click-throughs are high, but conversions are low, you may have priced your product too high.
If users are abandoning their shopping carts, your UX could be making the purchasing process confusing. Or, it could be the calls to action (CTAs) on your landing pages aren’t clear, or users aren’t sure where to go to buy your product or service. In that case, it’s time to rethink your UX.
As you can see, there are so many reasons for a low ROAS. This type of ROAS is the means of raising the alarm, telling you and your team to look deeper into the problem.
ROAS is an essential metric for marketers and advertisers.
It helps indicate a single campaign’s or several campaigns’ success by measuring revenue against cost. By combining it with other metrics, marketers can root out issues with campaigns that aren’t succeeding.
When marketers figure what’s working and what’s not via the ROAS, they can play with ad placement, tweak and narrow target audience and keywords, or simply decide if it’s time to start from scratch.
If you calculate your ROAS and find you need help identifying problems and implementing solutions, reach out. We are here to help!
How have you made ROAS work for you?
The post A Complete Guide to Improving ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) appeared first on Neil Patel.
Did you know that the average American sees over 5,000 ads per day? That’s a tremendous amount of content to compete with, especially if you’re running a small business or a new startup.
To stand out, you must clearly communicate to consumers what’s so great about your products and why they’re superior to competitor models.
One strategy by which to do this is comparative advertising. It requires a little finesse, so before you add comparative advertising to your marketing strategy, here’s a rundown of how it works
An Overview of Comparative Advertising
Comparative advertising means directly comparing your product to a rival’s product to show why your item is better.
Is it OK to go after another brand like this? Sure. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) permits companies to use this marketing strategy (within limits, which we’ll talk about) for three reasons:
- Comparisons encourage healthy competition in the marketplace.
- Clear, verifiable comparisons help customers make more informed buying choices.
- Criticism encourages brands to up their game and innovate, which benefits all consumers.
Comparative advertising works best when you’re making specific, measurable comparisons. For example, you might use comparative ads to show things like:
- the enhanced features your product has compared to its rival
- price differences between goods
- the results of a blind taste test showing people can’t tell the difference between your product and a more expensive name brand
Comparative marketing yields positive results for many businesses. For one thing, over 51% of consumers report disliking uninformative ads. It’s a good thing comparative ads are informative by nature, then.
Additionally, visual ads often draw more attention, and comparative ads are highly visual.
Comparative Advertising vs. Competitive Advertising
Comparative and competitive advertising are similar, but they’re not the same.
With comparative advertising, you present a product as better than a competitor’s version of the same (or very similar) item. You can explicitly name the competitor or imply who they are and which product you’re referring to.
There are three hallmarks of a comparative ad:
- advertises one product
- identifies at least one specific quality the product has over its rivals
- provides evidence to back up claims
For example, say you’re FreshBooks. You want to compare your online accounting software to your competitor, QuickBooks, by showcasing how many extra features your product has. You’re talking up your brand, but the ad is more about the product than your business as a whole.
Competitive advertising is more general. Rather than promoting a specific product, you’re trying to influence consumers to choose your overall brand over your competitors.
Competitive ads leave consumers with a different impression than comparative. If FreshBooks advertised why they’re “better” as a company than QuickBooks, that’s competitive advertising. They’re nurturing people towards their brand, not an individual product.
Nowadays, companies are making the news for their unique takes on advertising. Take Wendy’s, for example. Wendy’s restaurants pride themselves on never using frozen meat. They create an ad mocking a specific McDonald’s burger, the Big Mac, but the focus is on Wendy’s overall brand values.
In other words, they don’t specifically compare their own burger to their competitor’s to show why it’s better—they don’t mention their products at all. This means the ad is competitive, not comparative.
Think of comparative advertising as a tool to use for competitive advertising. Comparative ads can be used in a broader competitive marketing campaign.
4 Best Practices for Comparative Advertising
There’s no “right” formula for comparative advertising success, but here are some practices I think you should bear in mind before you design your ad.
1. Keep Comparative Ads Lighthearted
The best comparative ads are fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
Samsung, for example, loves poking fun at Apple. Back in 2010, the iPhone 4 received widespread criticism over bar drops and reception issues. Samsung quickly took advantage of the situation:
The ad doesn’t directly mention Apple, but it does subtly compare specific phones.
In 2011, Samsung took comparative ads to the next level when they mocked people queuing for the iPhone:
It’s a lighthearted ad highlighting why the Samsung model is just as attractive, if not superior, to the iPhone. Unsurprisingly, the ad was part of a wider competitive marketing campaign.
Here’s something else to think about: consumers are more likely to remember an ad if it’s funny. Humor is a great way to build a stronger emotional connection to your target audience, so keep your ads lighthearted—and maybe even a little cheeky.
2. Be Clear about Which Brand is Yours
If you plan on using comparative advertising, always make it clear which brand or product is yours.
First, you can’t use comparative advertisements to confuse or otherwise mislead your customers. If it’s unclear which product is yours, you risk giving your customers a false impression.
Second, it’s hard for many customers to tell the difference between some products to begin with.
For example, when someone buys soap from the grocery store, they might not inspect the brands. Depending on the persona, these consumers might buy the cheapest item, because to many, “soap is just soap.”
How can comparative advertising help? By showcasing why not all soap is made alike and why your brand is superior. This technique may also draw in a new customer base of discerning buyers too.
3. Support Your Claims
You must be ready to back up all claims you make. The evidence you need varies, but here are some examples:
- blind taste test results
- scientific studies
- research results
- verifiable comparisons, e.g., price matches and ingredient lists
Think about it this way. If a user reaches out on Twitter and asks you to prove your claims, how does it look if you can’t provide them with any evidence?
Let me show you what happens when it all goes wrong, and you can’t back up your assertions.
First, false advertising can cost you both financially and in customer trust.
For example, Dannon’s Activia brand paid out $45 million after claiming its yogurt was scientifically proven to improve digestion. They couldn’t support this claim with scientific evidence, so they pulled the campaign and removed “scientifically proven” from all labels.
Similarly, Coca-Cola withdrew its Vitaminwater ads after implying the water:
- replaced the need for a flu shot
- was truly healthy to drink
The lesson here? Whether it’s a comparative or competitive ad, don’t make false claims about your products. Stick to the facts.
4. Steer Clear of Comparisons with Smaller Brands
Generally speaking, it’s okay for smaller brands to poke a little fun at a larger company because the larger company has a competitive advantage.
It doesn’t necessarily work the opposite way, though. If you compare yourself to a smaller company, here’s what might happen.
- There’s a chance you’ll introduce your customers to a brand they didn’t know about.
- People love underdogs. Make your rivals look like the underdog, and you could lose customers.
- You could look like a bully who’s going after the “little guy.”
Remember, comparative advertising is only one digital marketing strategy. It’s not for everyone, so weigh up the pros and cons before running comparative ads.
Is Comparative Advertising Legal?
Yes. comparative advertising is legal. Remember, the FTC encourages businesses to use comparative advertising where appropriate:
(c) The Commission has supported the use of brand comparisons where the bases of comparison are clearly identified. Comparative advertising, when truthful and non-deceptive, is a source of important information to consumers and assists them in making rational purchase decisions. Comparative advertising encourages product improvement and innovation, and can lead to lower prices in the marketplace. For these reasons, the Commission will continue to scrutinize carefully restraints upon its use.
Before you start crafting comparative ads, though, you need to know the rules around what you can and can’t do. Essentially, the rules control three things.
- what you say about your brand and products
- the claims and remarks you make about competitors
- how you present your claims in the ad
Comparative ads must be truthful and not misleading in any way.
What constitutes a “misleading” or “deceptive” ad? It’s all about the overall impression you leave on consumers.
If you leave people with the impression that your brand is superior via making false claims or omitting qualifying details, you’re misleading people into buying your product over others. There’s a chance competitors (or consumers themselves) will sue you for false advertising.
Here are some tips to keep your ads in the clear.
- Be specific about which claims you plan on making.
- Ensure you can back up every claim you make in the ad.
- Give customers enough information to verify the claims themselves, e.g., direct them to a website for more details.
- Only compare your product against products intended for the same use and purpose.
What Is Puffing?
“Puffing,” or “puffery,” is when you make a promotional claim about your product or business, but it’s an opinion, not fact. Puffing is legal only if the claim is:
- clearly an opinion
- upfront about who made the claim
- phrased so no reasonable customer would rely on it to make a purchasing decision
Engaging in puffery involves indirectly comparing your business to others, but you’re not pretending there’s any factual evidence to support your claim. Here are some examples.
There’s no factual basis for these claims, but they make catchy slogans. No reasonable buyer would assume there’s any truth in these statements, so they probably won’t influence someone to choose these products.
Puffing can be effective, and it might work as an alternative to other forms of comparative advertising.
Is Comparative Advertising Ethical?
Some people don’t respond well to comparative techniques from an ethical standpoint, whereas others are more receptive.
Essentially, if you stick within the law, there’s no reason you can’t run comparative ads. However, here are some considerations to bear in mind before trying it for yourself.
First, not all comparative ads resonate with their intended audience. To avoid dissuading potential buyers from choosing your brand, do some market research. What kinds of ads does your target customer base respond well to? Use your findings to shape your marketing decisions.
Secondly, our personalities influence everything from our buying habits to the values we attach to brands. There’s always the chance that some customers will steer clear of your brand on principle if you use comparative ads.
Customers aside, think about whether comparative advertising meshes with your brand identity. For example, if your brand’s personality is bold, witty, and maybe a little cheeky, comparative ads may help you build a consistent online presence.
Before you run your comparative ads, look at some successful comparative advertising campaigns in your industry, and think about what you can learn from them. Pay special attention to the ad tone and the supporting evidence’s quality.
Finally, consider how you want your competitors to see you, especially if you’re a new and relatively unestablished brand. If you plan on trying comparative advertising, look for ways to clearly distinguish yourself from your competitors by appealing to a particular customer base, rather than alienating other brands.
Comparative advertising is all about proving why your product outclasses similar goods and services in the marketplace. You’re not trying to disparage your competitors. Instead, you’re showing why your product is superior.
Just remember to follow the rules around comparative advertising, and always ensure you can back up your claims with solid stats.
Have you tried out comparative advertising yet? How do you find it?
You’re probably thinking there is no such thing as a 0 interest business credit card. However, that’s not exactly true. While this type of interest rate doesn’t last forever, there are a number of cards that will offer a 0% introductory rate, some of them for a year or more!
Get a 0 Interest business Credit Card and Make it Work for You
Since a 0 interest business credit card is likely going to turn into a higher interest card after an introductory period, it’s important to know how best to use it while the 0% is available, and what to do to save interest when introductory rates disappear.
When it comes to short term funding, 0 interest business credit cards can be a life saver. Here are some of our favorites.
Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has no yearly fee. The 0% initial APR is for the first year. After that, the APR is a variable 13.24– 19.24%.
You can get double Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases like office supplies or client meals for the first $50,000 spent annually. Get 1 point per dollar thereafter.
You will need great credit to qualify.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
American Express ® Blue Business Cash Card
The American Express ® Blue Business Cash Card is also an option. Note: the American Express ® Blue Business Cash Card is identical to the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It’s rewards are just in cash instead of points.
Get 2% cash back on all qualified purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year. Afterwards get 1%.
There is no annual fee, and there is a 0% introductory APR for the first year. Afterwards, the APR is a variable 13.24– 19.24%.
You will need great credit to qualify.
Discover it ® Business Card
Lastly, check out the Discover it ® Business Card. It has no yearly charge either, and it also has an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for one year. After that the regular APR is a variable 14.49– 22.49%.
Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, without category limitations or bonuses. They double the 1.5% Cashback Match ™ at the end of the initial year. There is no spending requirement.
You can download transactions quickly to Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel. You will need great credit to qualify for this card as well.
Use Your 0 Interest Business Credit Card to Your Advantage
Since the 0% interest doesn’t last forever, you need to make the most of it while it’s available. If you don’t need all of the funds on every 0 interest business credit card available right now, consider only applying for one at the time.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
By doing this, you can take advantage of the 0% interest longer. For example, get one card, and use it for whatever you need for the time you have the 0 interest. Pay it off before the introductory rate ends if you can, then stop using it. Apply for the next 0 interest card when the previous introductory rate ends, then repeat the process. By doing this, you extend your 0% interest period.
Another possibility is that you may create competition between the cards and be able to negotiate longer 0% interest periods, or at least lower interest rates than would otherwise be offered.
Know Your Other Options
Of course when it comes to funding a business, there are the obvious options. Business loans, business lines of credit, and business credit cards all have their place. But, there are other options that may sometimes work better. You may be able to get better terms or rates, or get your money faster, with one of these possibilities.
If you need equipment, it might be better to consider equipment financing. You will put up your existing equipment or the new equipment you want to purchase as collateral. Amounts are available up to $10 million with terms ranging up to 60 months. You will need a credit score of at least 550.
Why would you choose this over a 0 interest business credit card if you could pay it off during the 0 interest period? Well, the short answer is, you wouldn’t. That is, unless you cannot get a high enough credit limit to cover the cost of the equipment. However, if you need longer than a year to pay it out, you may very well end up with a better rate going this route.
It’s a complicated risk vs. benefit calculation that must be carefully considered.
Real Estate Financing
Likewise, you probably will not be financing real estate with business credit cards, even if it is 0 interest. You can get real estate financing in amounts up to $10 million with terms from 6 to 60 months and interest rates as low as 6%. You will need a 500 minimum credit score, and there are a few other requirements.
Credit Line Hybrid
What if you could get the same super low or even 0% interest rates you can get in the early days of a business credit card, along with the same rotating credit, but with no documents required and no security necessary? That is exactly what you get with the credit line hybrid, and you can use the funds for anything.
Not only that, but you can potentially get up to $150,000, and build business credit at the same time! That’s because this type of financing reports to the business credit bureaus, so your consistent, on-time payments help your business credit score grow.
A credit line hybrid is not hard to qualify for. Your credit score should be at least 680, and you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Furthermore, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.
Credit Line Hybrid Financing: Get up to $150,000 in financing so your business can thrive.
More About the Credit Line Hybrid
Of course, you’re thinking “that sounds pretty hard to get.” However, if you do not meet all of the requirements, you can take on a credit partner that does mee them. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding.
Remember, it is your business credit that the payments are reported to. Regardless of whether you qualify yourself or use a business partner, your business credit will still grow, and you can use this type of funding to finance any type of business need you have.
Here is another bonus. This is a credit card stacking program, meaning that you are using multiple credit cards at once to create the credit line. You really can’t do it yourself. You’ll need to work with a business credit expert. However, there is a natural competition created between the cards that increases the chances of extending low interest rates past the introductory period.
A 0 Interest Credit Card Can Be a Great Tool If You Use it Right
A credit card with a 0% interest rate, even for a short time, can be a great tool to grow your business. Use it to purchase discounted inventory or supplies in bulk, cover short-term expenses, or to pay off higher interest rate debt.
However, you have to keep in mind that the best rates won’t last forever. Use it while you can, but have a backup plan. Also, be certain you use it for the right purposes. If you want to buy a large piece of equipment or real estate, something that will take longer than a year to pay, you may want to consider a different type of financing.