We often get asked for digital marketing tips or secrets. At Unfair Advantage, the secret is that there is no secret. Our data-driven, meticulous approach means that for all our clients we:
- set up our accounts carefully and monitor them closely
- dive deep into the data for insights
- use what we learn to expand strategically, and
- iteratively test to optimize performance on an ongoing basis
Click here to learn more about Unfair Advantage’s digital marketing approach and values.
To get more specific, let’s dig into the details of one long-term client in financial services to see what kind of digital marketing tips we uncover.
The Initial Situation
This particular financial services (fintech, in this case) client approached us more than five years ago. Their paid search efforts had been experiencing a significant drop: impressions, clicks, conversions, and revenue had all dropped by more than 33% over the previous three months. What had changed? The first thing we noticed was that the automated bid tool they were using had lowered their bids and paused many high-volume keywords. These automated adjustments meant their ads were not showing up as often, choking off their leads.
While we at Unfair Advantage constantly test and implement a variety of tools to optimize our client’s accounts, we also use those tools very strategically and monitor them constantly to ensure the tool is improving our effectiveness and efficiency. The first step we took, therefore, was to revert to manual bid management. Within a few months, their conversions and conversion rate had each more than doubled.
Our first digital marketing tip, then, is to stay on top of automated tools. Like a car, a tool needs a “driver” to make sure it is going in the right direction at the right speed to reach the right destination to meet the client’s business goals.
Making the Account Count
Our next step was to restructure the account to focus on high-value searchers through careful targeting of keywords. This fintech company provides backend services to many clients with different reimbursement agreements, making their accounts unusually large and complex.
The Unfair Advantage solution was to create separate campaigns for each of their clients while using one overarching strategy for them all: move searchers from the top of the buying funnel to the bottom using frequent and consistent keyword optimizations. We included a variety of high-volume relevant keywords to drive traffic combined with appropriate negative keywords to weed out irrelevant searches. After we implemented these account changes, the client saw a 193% increase in average weekly revenue and a 224% increase in return on advertising spend (ROAS).
Once we had the account set up and running smoothly, we identified patterns in the revenue cycle. With some clients, these patterns may fluctuate according to the time of day, day of the week, or time of the year; this financial services client’s pattern fluctuated consistently throughout each month. Part of our account management, then, became making preemptive bid adjustments based on each of the client’s customer’s revenue cycles to increase account efficiency in low-converting periods and capture additional conversions during peak periods.
Our second digital marketing tip is to structure your account’s campaigns so that you can manage each element (keywords, bids, ads, etc) to optimize your results based on business goals. Thinking through the account and the strategy beforehand allows for flexibility with control over time.
Following these successes, it was time to find ways to grow the business. Where were potential leads we hadn’t yet reached? We expanded into new channels whose audiences demographically matched the target market for this fintech client. As we do with every expansion, we started with what we learned during the initial implementation and then enhanced it by customizing the keywords targeted, bid settings, and ad copy for each channel. Once launched, we applied the same strategy of granular, frequent, consistent optimizations to the new channels. While the additional channels do not have as much traffic volume, they have comparable costs per conversion with much lower costs per click, meaning they increase revenue while efficiently expanding the target audience.
Where else were potential leads? More and more, people were conducting financial business on their mobile phones. Our next expansion was to add mobile-specific campaigns; three years later, mobile was responsible for nearly 30% of total conversions and revenue.
Our third digital marketing tip is to use learnings from the initial implementation combined with thoughtful targeting to expand strategically into new channels. Where is your target market now and where are they going?
Test, Test, Test (#2 Pencil Optional)
Each of these tips has an underlying theme: monitor your account closely and use what you see to decide what to test. We are always testing new tools, new channels, and new tactics. Each account has a unique target audience, keywords, bidding strategy, traffic or revenue pattern, expansion channels, successful ad messaging, and more. The data behind each element can be examined for opportunities to improve performance based on business goals. At Unfair Advantage we expect 10% of our overall efforts to be testing new or enhanced options. Some will prove effective, others will not. Without data-driven testing cycles, we can’t know which are which.
Our strategic approach and testing, along with our focus on business goals, brought striking results for this financial services client. In just over five years, their click-through rates and conversions increased consistently while bottom-line revenue increased over ten times.
The fourth digital marketing tip, then, is to always be testing. Your #2 pencil is optional, learning how and where to improve your results is not.
Contact us to learn more about the Unfair Advantage approach to digital marketing and how it can help achieve your business goals.