TLDR; sometime this year, our monthly page view hit a whopping 1.2 million – and this significantly raised the bar and expectations for Vulcan Post.
Following that, our editorial team has been pressured to match, or surpass, those figures every month.
But to be very honest, it has been tough on us to continually build readership and vie for our readers’ attention in a flood of content.
That said, trying to stand out against this ‘noise’ and deliver engaging content to our readers have been a constant challenge.
Similarly, I’m sure other business owners face this same problem and are always thinking of effective ways to get ahead and beat giant competitors in terms of brand awareness.
They need to get their product or service known; but with the slew of advertising and marketing options available today, SMEs like us find it difficult to decide which way to go thanks to the limited advertising budget.
Considering this financial constraint, we have to maximise every penny of our marketing and advertising budget to achieve the highest return on investment (ROI).
So what can we do to market our company when we don’t have a whole lot to begin with? And above all, how do we work on executing it successfully?
Going Online To Get Eyeballs
Since everyone’s going digital (aka on the Internet 24/7), it only makes sense for us to opt for digital advertising.
Besides capturing a wider audience, digital marketing campaigns guarantee some form of return and a measure of delivery.
It is also the most cost-effective way in reaching targeted prospects, and there is no long-standing commitment because website traffic channel like pay-per-click can be updated regularly.
We Tried It For Ourselves
With our waning page views, we urgently needed to drive traffic to our website.
But besides having a low budget to spend on digital advertising, we also don’t quite know how to go about doing it, and we simply don’t have the leisure of time to craft a campaign.
And this is when Adtiq came into the picture to lend us a helping hand.
Adtiq promises to make online advertising instant and simple for small businesses, without burning a hole in our pockets.
It also removes complicated advertising jargons and the hassle of learning and managing multiple platforms so anyone can run an advertising campaign – within mere minutes.
All these sound a little too good to be true, so we decided to put it to the test!
Step 1: Planning
We logged onto their website to sign up for an account, and just by filling in our objectives, we instantly got a customised online advertising proposal, for free!
This is absolutely great because at a glance, we can see what our campaign can potentially deliver before we even start.
We had zero advertising experience, and we didn’t have to go through complex calculations to understand how it works – all it took was 2 to 3 minutes to complete this simple form.
What was unexpected was how we could start a campaign with a budget from as low as $200.
And if we were to visit each individual platform – Google and Facebook – to run the campaign, it is possible that we can do it at a low cost; but the time and resource spent having to learn them would be a waste of time.
On the other end of the spectrum, if we were to engage a digital agency, it would have cost us a lot more to get started.
Adtiq also helps to auto-split the budget between Google AdWords, and Facebook and Instagram based on best practices, so we didn’t have to rack our brains to figure out the ideal spending ratio.
After settling on a budget and timeframe, Adtiq lets us choose our targeted audience so we can reach out to those who matter and effectively double our ROI.
For Google AdWords, we needed to choose the keywords our potential readers will type into the search engine.
Our ads may show up for the keywords that we buy, so it’s important to be succinct with this in order to create an effective Google ad.
Here’s a little trick that we discovered: we can actually use our direct competitors’ websites for ideas on the types of keywords they use.
With that, we can either include them into our own keywords (bidding on the same keywords may end up costing us more though), or find similar ones that don’t clash.
Step 2: Create
We decided to boost one of our top-performing articles to help drive traffic to our website.
That said, picking the right image is essential for the ad. The same idea applies when choosing a cover image for our articles – a good photo will actually entice readers to click!
Besides a great image, the copy for the ad has to be well-written as well, and convey a reason why readers should click on it.
The very last bit of creating the campaign is the Google Ad, which will appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.
AdWords operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisement.
And just like that, we’re pretty much done! We were surprised that it took us about only 30 minutes to get everything up and running.
It’s really not an understatement to say that Adtiq was really simple to use. The step-by-step selections made it idiot-proof, and great for advertising amateurs like us.
This holistic platform also helped to streamline all the various processes into one, allowing us to create, manage, and customise the ads for Google search, Facebook, and Instagram simultaneously.
In a nutshell, it helps to streamline the process of running and managing campaigns from these three platforms; as well as optimise their campaigns with industry benchmark-based recommendations.
We Monitored The Results After A Week
Prior to the campaign, the total page views for this article is 79,439, garnered over a span of seven months.
This is a very substantial figure, considering that an ‘average’ article typically racks up about 10,000 to 20,000 page views.
Since we already know the potential for this article to do well, boosting it will definitely help to generate more views for us.
But how many more views can it help to accumulate for us is the million-dollar question.
While the campaign runs, Adtiq does all the work for us and helps to monitor and notifies us on what is working and what is not.
After a week, Adtiq sends us an email with this jargon-free report so we can edit the campaign accordingly to improve ad performance and ROI.
Such recommendations are very useful to optimise the campaign.
Adtiq actually automates the “studying” of the data and gives relevant suggestions to help users understand and make improvements to their campaigns without prior marketing knowledge.
Nonetheless, the mid-progress report showed great results – six days in, the ad chalked up 39,676 impressions and 3,377 clicks.
A quick check on the Adtiq dashboard on the same date revealed that our ads have hit 42,443 views and 3,603 clicks.
The Facebook ad did especially well, compared to Google AdWords.
But this might also be because we allocated 75% of the budget to the Facebook ad rather than Google AdWords – we took into consideration that majority of our readers tend to chance upon our article via social media.
We heeded Adtiq recommendations anyway and added new keywords to strengthen our Google ad, which was the weaker of the two.
At the end of the one-week campaign, the Adtiq dashboard revealed that the page views have jumped from 42,443 views to 47,154 views.
This is an additional page view of 4,711 in the span of one day, which is a rather substantial figure, proving that their recommendations are useful after all.
In other words, following this adjustment, our ads have generated a total of 47,154 views and 4,016 clicks.
And in terms of output, the page views for the article spiked up to 83,030 – an increase of 3,591 in total!
All in all, Adtiq’s campaign turned out to be a decent success.
And in the publication world, to garner a few thousand views over a span of one week for an old article is no mean feat.
Numbers Speak For Themselves
The beauty of online advertising is that it’s measurable – we love the fact that we can see exactly how much we are getting from our marketing dollar.
Clicks and views are all tracked, so we can determine if the ads are effective and meeting our goals (it was).
But if it isn’t, we can always edit our campaign and tweak it so as to achieve a more desirable result.
It’s really a constant process of tweaking and testing until we create the ad that generates the best results for our business.
In a way, we can never go wrong leveraging on Adtiq as it gives us a lot of control, but also at the lowest cost.
It effectively meets our needs and budgets, and we can also save more with Adtiq’s 10% service charge.
This is significantly lower as compared to advertising agencies, where a good percentage of the budget actually goes into this service charge.
At the end of the day, digital advertising is one of the most affordable solution for business owners to quickly get more attention and create more business opportunities.
But the most important thing is to start small, and learn to optimise towards creating an effective channel to grow a customer base.
So SMEs looking to spend money on digital marketing should definitely consider leveraging on Adtiq as part of their marketing spend for the upcoming year.
Get up to speed, and sign up for an Adtiq account to get a customised advertising online proposal for free. Doesn’t hurt to try it out right?
This article is written in collaboration with Adtiq.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post