What do you want people to do when they see your ads? Identifying your campaign goals will help you design and implement more successful campaigns. Campaign goals should shape both your ad and how you target it. Goals tend to fit one of three places in the “funnel” used to drive someone to become a customer: raising awareness, encouraging audiences to truly consider, and converting viewers into customers. A fourth type, competitive conquesting, is used when you're specifically focused on how you stack up against competitors. Advertisers will likely want to consider all types of strategies over time, but choosing one and executing strategy for that goal will bring better results than a non-specific strategy.

Awareness campaigns focus on increasing people’s awareness of your product, service, or brand. They are “nice to meet you” campaigns, where you are introducing your business to as many people as possible, and putting your best foot forward. Often it’s a general introduction, associating your name with your product, mission, or specific value, in hopes that positive impressions about the value of your business will increase interest. Ad design implications: You want to design ads that convey your identity or message without the need to click on the ad to get more information. You can include a link in the ad, but it’s secondary to the ad itself. Targeting: You don’t want to restrict your audience too much. Typically, you want to cast a wider net, and let the data tell you more about who is interested in the product. Evaluation: Awareness campaigns are all about impressions - the more the better, as you just want to increase exposure, including being seen multiple times by the same person. Understanding who clicked on your ad from among the many people who saw it will help you know how to target future ads. 

Consideration campaigns are designed to get people to think more about your product, service, or brand and seek more information. They are “let’s get lunch” campaigns, where you’ve already established something generally positive about your business, and you’re now encouraging people to dive a little deeper. In specific, you are trying to drive traffic to your website, so they can engage and learn more.  Ad design implications: Messaging for consideration campaigns should be informative and product-focused, highlighting unique selling points or competitor comparisons. They should contain compelling calls to action (CTAs) that encourage people to click-through to your website. Targeting: Consideration campaigns will benefit from good audience targeting, especially if you have identified audiences who seem more likely to respond positively through a prior campaign.  Evaluation: Since the goal is to get people to visit your website, you are interested in high numbers of clicks. Click-Thru-Rate or CTR (just the percentage of people who visited your site after the ad was shown to them).

Conversion campaigns are designed to capture people who are ready to buy or take some action, and get them to do so with specific or compelling reasons. They are “please give me a call” campaigns, when you want them to take action, like come into the store, sign up, or make a purchase. People are most likely to take action when they feel a product or service is specific to them, and/or when there is a compelling reason to act now, so you want your messaging to reflect that. Ad design implications: Messaging for conversion campaigns should highlight specific product or service benefits, designed to speak to specific audiences. Personal appeal or messaging is the name of the game, including custom messaging for new vs. returning customers. Promotional messages and pricing, or conveying a reason to act immediately are also impactful. Strong and specific calls to action are important (register, download, buy now). Targeting: Very targeted, with different ads expected to appeal to and be targeted to different audiences. While all campaigns benefit from a retargeting component (that is, tracking people who have visited your site and sending ads to those people), retargeting is especially important for conversion campaigns, as additional ads help remind people of your brand and increase the likelihood that they return to convert. Evaluation: Click-thru-rate (CTR) is valuable here. Setting up a conversion tag (also called a conversion pixel) is very valuable, as it allows you to see whether people (and which people) actually took the action you wanted on your site. Linking this tag (invisible tag embedded in your ad) with, let’s say, the “purchase” or “register” button on your site, allows you to know whether that specific ad compelled action. We’ll be happy to give you instructions on how to embed your own conversion tag on your website.

Lastly, competitive conquesting campaigns are designed like conversion campaigns, but deploy tactics that specifically allow tracking of market share. Ad design implications: An advertiser might specifically invite comparison with a competitor in the ads (although typically not naming them). This is most effective if the focus is positive - that is, what your brand does better, rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the competitor. Targeting: Typically these campaigns adopt similar targeting strategies to the competitor, particularly in focusing on people who are in market for the competitor brand (e.g. Chevy targeting people who have search behavior that implies the are in market for a Ford). Evaluation: Similar to conversions, but also includes outcomes like auction win rates and how many times the brand appears at the top of search results.

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