Return. For nearly every cost outlay in business, return is the name of the game. We’ve shared some tactical ways to improve Return on Ad Spend but wanted to revisit improving Return on Ad Spend from a more strategic brand perspective.
Return on advertising spend (ROAS) is a metric that measures how well your partnership marketing campaigns are working. What’s going over well, and what’s falling flat. It allows you to pivot or leave well enough alone. It’s the amount of partner revenue you’re getting from each specific marketing channel in relation to the amount you’re spending to get it. It sounds very similar to Return on Investment (ROI), but there’s one key difference: ROAS is a ratio of how much you spend vs. how much you earn, while ROI is the amount you earn after your expenses.
Here are a few ways to strategically approach improving return on ad spend:
Choose the right opportunities. You can’t reach your target audience if you don’t know where they are, how they use the internet and how long they’re there. Ideally, you’ll have researched your target market’s digital habits long before you launch a campaign. Creating segmented customer profiles and understanding the psychographics of your customers will determine what kind of opportunities you want to pursue. If you’re trying to reach millennials through a partnership or sponsorship with The Economist, there could be misalignment.
Use consistent messaging across all channels. Nike is Nike is Nike, no matter if they’re advertising on TV, on a billboard or popping up on your phone. Your brand message needs to be consistent and spot-on, no matter where customers find you. Having consistent messaging means consumers will have the experience you want them to have with your brand.
Special promotions. Leveraging steals and deals is an easy way to increase your conversions and sales. Everybody wants a deal, especially if they’re trying new products or services. According to a recent survey by Hawk Incentives, 97 percent of customers are looking for deals when shopping and 92 percent say they’re “always” looking for deals. That’s most of us. Get creative with the promotions you run and make sure it aligns with the consumer behavior you want to drive, not necessarily a simple coupon code.
Look at your website with a critical eye. Is it user-friendly? If not, for the love of all things digital, work on improving it. A few things to consider when you look at the user experience to improve conversions:
- Does your landing page give bang for the buck “above the fold?” You’ve got your ideal customer on your site. Now you need to keep them and convert that click into a sale.
- Are you optimized for mobile? In July of 2019 Google started using mobile-first indexing which means if your website does not work well on mobile, it will impact how Google indexes your site in addition to the user experience.
- How long does it take to load? Today’s consumers expect immediacy. If your website doesn’t spring to life immediately, you’ve got a problem.
- How many clicks for a customer to buy whatever you’re selling? You should be directing those consumers to the page that allows them to buy whatever coaxed them onto your site.
- Is your contact info buried or easily accessible? Don’t make people work to find your email and phone number.
- Do you have email alerts people can sign up for? Building your email list is a great way to stay engaged with customers and become less dependent on search engine traffic.
- Does it reflect your brand identity? Make sure your brand story is consistent and flows through your website.
- When is the last time you gave it a face-lift? If your website is older than 3-5 years, it’s time to consider a refresh.
Align affiliates and other partners. Affiliates and other performance-based partnerships can broaden your reach at different stages of the conversion funnel. The goal is to reach new customers you’re not reaching today and drive incremental sales. The beauty of it from an ROAS standpoint — you only pay partners when they produce the desired results.
Where is partnership marketing headed? The industry continues to grow and influence more online sales. A couple of quick stats:
- According to Digital Global, nearly 90 percent of advertisers say affiliate marketing is an important part of their overall marketing strategy.
- The affiliate marketing industry is expected to grow by 10.1 percent each year, and reach $6.8 billion in the U.S. in 2020.
Building relationships with your partners. Finding high-value affiliates and partners is one thing. Keeping them engaged and growing the partnership is another. Give your marketing partners reasons to keep promoting your brand. What you can do:
- Provide easy access to assets to encourage partners to promote your brand. This also helps ensure your brand guidelines and standards will be upheld.
- Understand their business model and how you can best work together. Partnerships are a two-way street. Learning their business and how you can help them be successful will amplify your efforts.
- Look for meaningful opportunities to stay top of mind with your partners. Go beyond sending them an email when you need something from them or something is new.
Want to learn more about how affiliate and partner marketing can grow sales and improve your return on ad spend? Get a free consultation from iAffiliate Management and begin growing revenue business through strategic partnerships.