The current year has been shaped by numerous uncertainties. Macroeconomic challenges that have resulted in troubling inflation, the war in Ukraine leading to energy shortages in much of Europe, supply chain delays. In this environment, many companies have cut costs, reduced or held back marketing budgets, and are wondering if and where they should invest now.
In the early days of the pandemic, we already discussed the benefits of not stopping marketing efforts during challenging times. The strategy proved correct, as the rebound came relatively quickly. This time, however, it looks as if the challenges will last longer. It’s even more important that marketers look for opportunities to advertise as successfully as possible, particularly as the end of the year is ahead of us and businesses start to wrap up their Q4 plans.
Here are 5 ways to give your brand a push and drive success even in highly challenging times:
1. Use the end of the year to make a sales push
Unfortunately, forecasts suggest that the crisis is not over and that your customers’ financial circumstances may even worsen next year. Although studies already show buyer restraint, it’s not necessarily as low as you might think. In some key regions, for example, Black Friday weekend spending plans have dropped only slightly and are above levels seen in the first year of COVID. So there’s still plenty of potential for you to capitalize on the rest of 2022 – especially if competitors shut their campaigns down.
Efficiency will be paramount when it comes to spending. We already see that many customers no longer implement pure awareness campaigns, but want to enrich them with engagement KPIs, such as generating traffic or even sales. Outbrain is a great solution, because our platform offers users the recommendations they are really interested in, so they are more likely to convert.
2. Go for platforms with low entry barriers
Even during COVID, digital channels saw a huge influx of ads. This is due to the fact that campaigns can be dynamically ramped up or down and budgets can be pushed to platforms that get the best results in a timely manner. The large number of channels and formats offers a wide range for marketers to pursue different marketing goals.
Outbrain is the gateway for brands to advertise on the world’s leading publishers while taking advantage of similar campaign management tools available on major social platforms. Upload and combine ads, set targeting, and analyze campaigns with just a few clicks.
3. Use automated optimization tools
There are two ways to optimize your campaigns. First, you can optimize creatives and settings; for example, create different campaigns for different device types and use the appropriate images for different audiences.
But don’t underestimate the power of the automatic optimization tools that platforms like Outbrain offer you. For most performance marketers who optimize for conversions or mid-funnel KPIs, these tools are now a standard feature. They analyze conversions and adjust bids accordingly to reach your goals. Thousands of adjustments are made in a very short time, which would be impossible to do manually.
4. Get everything out of the one touchpoint
Retargeting is becoming increasingly difficult, so marketers need to get the most out of the one touchpoint they have left. Two factors are important here: optimizing your landing page, for which you can use first-party data, and optimizing your traffic so that you only pay for users who are actually interested in your offers.
Both factors should ideally work together: Use soft conversions on your landing pages to identify traffic with a high interest, or directly use Engagement Bid Strategy from Outbrain, which taps into your Google Analytics data and automatically optimizes for traffic that stays on your page longer or clicks there more often.
5. Link directly to store pages
Content works very well for native advertising, but it’s not a must! You don’t need specially created content pages or blogs for Outbrain. Many e-commerce companies are very successful by linking directly to store pages. Remember, your ads should match the offer on the landing page (in principle, you should never raise false hopes with your creatives). Take a look at how fashion brand Marc O’Polo linked their Outbrain ads directly to their store and achieved impressive results.
Want to try native for your end-of-year advertising push?
Outbrain makes it easy to get started with resources and native experts who can help your campaign succeed. Check out the guide to the most important consumer trends for this year. Or enroll in Outbrain Academy to learn how to run performance campaigns on Outbrain – it’s free, and you’ll earn your Native Advertising certification, too!