Should You Scale Your Marketing Campaign?
September 19, 20226 minute read
- Digital Marketing
Over $600 BILLION will be spent on digital advertising this year! Yup, that’s right. After all, when 4.7+ billion people are accessible online, wouldn’t it make sense that companies are pouring that much money into their marketing?
More and more people are reaping the benefits of digital marketing strategies for their companies. Hence, businesses, big and small, are finding themselves spending more and more on digital ads.
Now, if you’re a company still trying out the digital marketing space, when do you know your campaign is a success? And if it is, how do you scale your campaign? Perhaps, most importantly, what is scaling in the first place?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, scaling can mean to rise in a graduated series or to reach the highest point. How does that translate to digital marketing? Scaling is commonly understood as increasing your spend on an ad campaign, but it can also mean simply taking the same ad and targeting a different audience. When something works well for you, increasing your efforts and expecting larger outcomes would make sense. However, this would only work if you know when is the right time and which campaign you should scale. So, how do you know a campaign is a success? You need to turn to your metrics.
Before everything else, you need to make sure you have a clear, actionable marketing plan in place.
This plan will help you know what goals to aim for.
With that being said, the goals outlined in your plan will tell you what metrics are essential. The sheer number of metrics available on different digital marketing platforms can get overwhelming. You must hone in on what matters for your brand and whether a specific metric is indicative of good performance and ignoring vanity metrics.
Metrics To Track
Some of the most important metrics are the following:
When you invest money in a venture, whether building a new business or optimizing an existing one through advertising, you expect your money back and more. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) tells you the return or profit relative to the amount of money you spend on your ads. You’d typically want this metric to be above 100%+.
The conversion rate refers to the number of people who made the desired action divided by the total number of audience impressions (meaning).
Note: A low conversion rate can sometimes be misleading. If a particular ad has low conversion rates, it does not necessarily mean it’s not performing well. For example, the ad gets served to 100 people, and 5 of these people immediately purchase, which translates to a 5% conversion rate. However, not everyone who sees your ad will purchase it right away. If three other customers saw that ad and it caught their attention (as it ought to) but purchased at a later time, who’s to say that number is not included in your conversion rate? After all, they bought it because they saw your ad. Does that mean the conversion rate should be at 8%? This can be confusing, so you must lay down all your metrics and analyze them in context.
The clickthrough rate refers to the number of times your ad was clicked (clicks) over the number of times it was shown (impressions).
This metric refers to how many times the audience was exposed to your ad at a given time frame. Knowing the frequency is important because you don’t want to scale an ad with high ad frequency.
For example, if you’re advertising on Facebook and the same people are shown your ad too many times a day, that means that the platform is struggling to find people in your target demographic.
Cost per lead
CPL refers to the amount of money it takes to generate one lead on any given platform or campaign. This can vary from campaign to campaign, and you’d want to scale the campaigns that generate the lowest but most consistent CPL.
Cost per click
CPC refers to the amount of money a business pays to an ad publisher or platform for every click on an ad. Facebook uses this pricing model. This can vary from campaign to campaign and ad to ad.
Great! Your campaign is deemed a success as per the metrics laid out above. Now, you want to maximize your results and earn more from it through scaling.
But how do you go about scaling?
It’s not as easy as throwing more money into the top-performing ads and expecting results to grow. While spending more money is one part of scaling, it goes beyond numbers and goes into not only getting bigger, but also better.
Different Ways to Scale
There are two ways you can scale:
Vertical scaling is probably what comes to mind first when we hear scaling. It means increasing your budget for a campaign. Increasing your budget lets your ad reach more potential customers. However, ensure you’re not increasing your budget too fast or too slow. No specific percentage increase over a particular time would work for all campaigns. There are many differing opinions on this; some say no more than 50% over seven days, others say 50% over three days, or not increasing for more than 20% at a time. It would all boil down to what fits your unique business or a specific campaign. A drastic budget increase over a short period would freak out the algorithm and affect the platform’s ability to optimize your campaign.
But don’t be too slow, either. It takes careful consideration and analysis, but you need to follow your guts as a marketer. You compete with millions of other brands, and you got to take advantage when something works. As American Actor BJ Novak said: “slow and steady wins the race till truth and talent claim their place.”
Social Media Examiner recommends using four different experiments when starting a Facebook ads account which involves four set budgets and knowing which is your “magic number.”
Horizontal scaling might be a tad more complex than vertical scaling, since it can mean many different things. It can involve making new ad sets for repeat customers, targeting a new audience with the same ad set, or expanding to an entirely new platform.
Now, this might get confusing as doing all these must mean spending more money, right? Correct. And isn’t spending more money under vertical scaling? Yes. And no.
Yes, because vertical scaling means increasing your budget. But also, no, because vertical scaling is limited to increasing the budget on an existing ad set. Horizontal scaling goes deeper than just increasing the budget.
On the other hand, horizontal scaling requires a lot more active work. For example, one way of scaling horizontally is to make new ads or introduce new offers to an audience that has already converted from an existing campaign—trying new formats or using new images or videos for the same audience. This type of scaling is especially useful when you notice a particular ad has a high frequency. You don’t want your audience to experience ad fatigue, so switching some things out once every so often would help.
You can also make use of many platforms’ similar audiences data (Lookalike Audience on Facebook and Custom Audience on GA4). If you have an ad that works well, you can target a new audience similar to your current audience. Or, if you already have a bigger budget, you can also target audiences that are similar to those who have already purchased and those in other stages of the funnel (e.g., Added to cart).
To Scale Or Not To Scale?
You’ve pored over the metrics, your campaign is successful and it’s showing more potential.
Now you’ve begun scaling, maybe increasing the budget by 20%. But wait, the numbers are not growing.
Should you have held back on scaling?
Should you revert it to its previous scale?
We get it; you’re worried.
You’ve spent time and effort on a campaign. It performing less because of an ill-timed scaling would be very unfortunate. But hold your horses, your platform is likely still adjusting.
Like Facebook’s learning phase, most platforms would need time to settle into the new budget you’ve set and are still optimizing for the best results. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Results do not always show immediately, and an awkward period is inevitable. Give it time.
From the information above, you might notice that to maximize scaling, more often than not, a combination of both horizontal and vertical scaling is best. If your campaign’s performance, allows it, decide on how and how much you want to scale it. Try your best to adjust your budget in increments or whatever you think makes sense for that unique circumstance. Lastly, try to do experiments, there are no set rules on when or how much to scale. Just remember to always keep an eye on your metrics. Take a deep breath. You know your campaign best. You got this!
How are you planning to scale your next high-performing ad campaign? Will you do horizontal or vertical scaling? Or, a combination of both? We can give you some advice! We offer a free strategy session, and visit the Strikepoint Media Blog for more resources. Start scaling today!