Tag Archive for: channel diversification

A person budget planning for digital ad spend

5 Channels to Diversify Your Digital Ad Spend

A person budget planning for digital ad spend

The great thing about the internet and how we consume content is that it’s constantly changing. This gives us growth marketers a perfect chance to test new channels and tactics regularly and make sure that we’re exploring new ways to use our digital ad spend. If you’re already running paid ads and are looking for ways to improve your channel diversification, you’ve come to the right place. 

It can be daunting to start fresh on a brand new platform, especially if you’ve had success on traditional digital channels such as Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram). Different platforms and tactics are constantly emerging, and provide great options for your advertising efforts, depending on your goals, budget, and target audience. 

TikTok

At Tuff, we’ve been able to drive incredible results for our partners on TikTok.  While B2C opportunities on the platform are well known, we’ve also explored the ever-expanding B2B targeting options when applicable.

Since TikTok is a video platform, it provides a great space to break out the creative chops and showcase your brand in a native storytelling format. Plus, since the majority of videos on TikTok are relatively low-fi, it’s easy to create new assets to test on the reg. If you’re wanting to take some of your Facebook digital ad spend and put it to a new channel, Tik Tok is perfect for you. 

Plus, did you know that TikTok is the most popular website in the world as of 2021? If you’ve been putting off testing it for your advertising efforts – you should give it a spin.

 

Pros: Huge audience of daily users, lots of targeting options, fun way to engage users

Cons: Clunky ad manager, ad disapprovals

Perfect For: Businesses trying to generate demand via storytelling

 

Programmatic

Programmatic” has been a buzzword for a while and we’ve certainly been hearing more and more partners who are interested in testing it out as of late.

In essence, programmatic advertising allows advertisers to reach very specific audiences outside of Google and Facebook/Instagram.  Notable programmatic platforms include StackAdapt, The Trade Desk, and Criteo, though there are many others.

Ad types include standard display, video, CTV, audio, and native display, making it easy to repurpose assets used on other channels before investing into platform-specific creatives.  Using benchmark data from legacy platforms will help inform early optimizations and the overall effectiveness of the strategy. If you’re looking to tap into a platform that can massively scale your digital ad spend, programmatic may be just the thing for you. 

 

Pros: Variety of ad formats, lots of creative options, massive reach of users, effective targeting options.

Cons: Easy to get lost in the weeds, easy to overspend on ineffective placements and channels.

Perfect For: A business in scaleup mode trying to diversify from the “major” players. 

 

Nextdoor

Nextdoor advertising has become an attractive option for many advertisers, with 1-in–3 of US households being present on the platform.  Data indicates that these users make 90% of their purchases within 15 miles of their work or home, and predominantly from local businesses.  

When Tuff works with partners that have more of a local target audience, Nextdoor is one of the first non-traditional PPC tactics we explore. 

While Nextdoor is a great emerging channel for diversifying your digital ad spend, we do run the disclaimer that it likely won’t be a major part of your media budget. With limited placements and a growing userbase, it’s hard to spend a large amount of money on Nextdoor in any given month – although this could change in the near future as they continue to grow. 

Pros: Hyperlocal targeting, affordable CPMs, engaged local audiences

Cons: Smaller userbase, limited placements

Perfect For: Businesses with local presences

 

Pinterest

Pinterest can be a great option for advertisers, especially for ones that already possess a strong paid search strategy.  This is because the Pinterest platform allows you to use keyword targeting.  Since Pinterest is used as a search engine, this makes sense and can allow for incredibly targeted advertising.

The platform also has other traditional targeting methods that mirror Facebook, Instagram, and Google audience targeting, such as interest-based targeting.

Pinterest is a largely untapped platform, especially for ecommerce brands and service businesses. Since Pinterest users are planners, we recommend using their larger attribution windows (30 / 30 / 30) and using it as a mid-funnel tactic to increase consideration for your brand, and having it be a smaller part of your digital ad spend. 

An example of Pinterest ads

Pros: Visually appealing ad formats, very active userbase, lots of targeting options (intent + demographic)

Cons: Low last-click activity, longer attribution windows

Perfect For: Businesses trying to reach users in the consideration stage of the funnel

 

Spotify

Spotify should definitely be considered when attempting to diversify ad spend and reach new audiences.  As one of the largest podcast and music streaming services in the world, the reach is massive and the audio ad-format adds another method of communicating with your target audience.

However, the targeting on Spotify can seem somewhat limited when compared to other platforms. Though reduced targeting options may cause an advertiser to shy away from the platform, it is still worth testing as a top-of-funnel awareness play due to its tremendous reach. 

 

Pros: Good ad formats, affordable CPMs

Cons: Limited targeting options, secondary platform

Perfect For: Businesses trying to scale top of funnel reach

Things to Avoid While Diversifying Digital Ad Spend

While testing new channels and tactics for your digital ad spend, it’s important to remember that channel diversification can take many forms and isn’t a one-size fits all. It’s also not a panacea – testing a new channel and finding a strategy that works for you will take time. You shouldn’t expect to see immediate results on a new channel by copying the strategy you have on one of your primary channels – it will take testing, learning, and refining to find the right tactic for you.

Here are some common mistakes we see in digital ad spend diversification that you should try to mitigate: 

It takes time to optimize

Most tests and experiments on new channels don’t work in the sense that they are a completely new tactic, and take time to master. Don’t try to diversify ad spend and expect to get the same results you’re seeing on other channels in week, or even month one. 

Don’t forget to account for extra management

Adding new channels can increase the complexity of reporting, optimization, and overall management. Instead of checking Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Analytics, for example, now you’ve got to learn how to incorporate new channels’ data and reporting dashboards into your existing systems and processes. 

Don’t over-diversify

While diversification of spend and strategy is a great idea, over-diversification is a thing and can present issues of its own.  If spend is spread too thinly across multiple new channels or platforms (or even multiple campaigns or ad creatives in one platform), it will take longer to gather actionable data and will be much more difficult to gauge the effectiveness of.

Want to Diversify Your Digital Ad Spend?

Tuff has managed ads on just about every platform imaginable, with budgets from partners ranging from a few thousand dollars, to one million-plus a month. Whether you’re in scale-up mode and wanting to try some new tactics or channels, or you want to optimize your advertising efforts on your existing channels, we can help. Let’s talk!

Why Should I Use Nextdoor Advertising?

2022 has brought a lot of surprises to the macro environment for both marketers and consumers. A new favorite game we’ve started playing across the social ads team at Tuff is “which prices increased more this week” – gas prices at our local gas station, or CPMs for our Facebook campaigns. For some of our partners, CPMs for Facebook campaigns have risen by 30%+ in the last 60 days, with no sign of slowing down as advertisers fight to get in front of their target audiences. 

If you’re one of the countless businesses or agencies across the world (and the metaverse), you’ve likely noticed that your reliable paid acquisition channels look a little less reliable these days. You may be wanting to see if your spend can go a little bit further on another channel. So, you ask yourself, “Why not try a new channel? I’ve heard about Nextdoor advertising. What about testing that out”?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. 

Why Use Nextdoor?

Is Nextdoor effective? Does Nextdoor advertising work? How much does Nextdoor advertising cost? As you might’ve guessed, the answer is, “it depends.” As a growth marketing agency, we work with all types of partners with a variety of needs. Many of them use Nextdoor with great success, for some, it doesn’t make sense as part of their marketing mix. 

The first of many considerations you have to make when you’re thinking about using Nextdoor is “Why?”. Maybe Simon Sinek was onto something when he said to start with “why”. The first real question you should ask yourself when considering Nextdoor isn’t “should I?”. It’s “Why should I?”.

There are a few reasons why you would consider using Nextdoor: 

  • Your target audience is there
  • Your competitors use Nextdoor advertising
  • You need to differentiate spend away from rising costs on your Facebook Ads

Regardless of your reason, there’s a why, and you should unearth that before you move on to the next step.

Can I Reach My Audience Using Nextdoor Advertising?

According to Nextdoor there are nearly 1 in 3 U.S. households already on Nextdoor. These neighbors are motivated to support local businesses.

More than that, 88% of Nextdoor users frequent a local business at least once a week and they make 90% of their purchases within 15 miles of their work or home. Nextdoor neighbors love to spread the word.

If you’re a business with a local storefront or local events, then this should be appealing to you. Understanding that every social platform has slightly different behavior, you can leverage Nextdoor’s ability to generate local behavior in a way that you can’t with Facebook or TikTok.

What Targeting Options Exist on Nextdoor Advertising? 

By default, Nextdoor will deliver your ads to all audiences within your selected locations. You can uncheck this default setting though and get access to more demographic targeting options

Overview of Nextdoor Targeting Options

As of the time of this article, Nextdoor does not have targeting that is as robust as some of the other demographic targeting platforms such as Facebook, but it does give you some pretty interesting homeownership and interest targeting options that you can leverage. 

Are Nextdoor Ads Expensive?

Nextdoor ads are comparable in cost to other paid social channels. Nextdoor works on an auction system so you’re bidding on placements in the platform based on the targeting parameters you’ve set. The platform offers you the ability to bid on a CPC basis or a CPM basis. 

The option you choose will influence how you’re charged and it will affect your costs. It is possible to run Nextdoor with relatively small budgets, but as with most platforms, it performs better given more budget to work with.

Overview of Nextdoor's Bidding Options

What Creative Placements Are Available on Nextdoor?

Nextdoor has 3 placements for you to use in their self serve ad platform: Newsfeed, Finds, and Right Rail. We have found that most advertisers opt to only use the Newsfeed placement since that is the most effective use of spend on Nextdoor. However, depending on your objective, the Finds placement and Right Rail placement could also be good for brand awareness initiatives. 

Should I Use Nextdoor Advertising? 

Nextdoor as an ad platform has a few limitations, and it’s not for everyone. It isn’t the next Facebook (Meta), TikTok or Snapchat. And it’s not trying to be. 

Nextdoor is incredibly effective for local businesses, local events, and getting the community involved. So if you have a business that has a strong localization component or wants to be seen in the community more, then absolutely give Nextdoor a try.

Want to take a new approach to paid social channel diversification, but are unsure of where to start? Let’s talk about how Tuff can help you make the most use of your paid social advertising spend with a multi-channel approach.

Running ads on a computer.

Using Programmatic to Assist Your Growth Marketing Channel Mix

Running ads on a computer.

At Tuff, our team is well-versed at a variety of growth marketing tactics. On a daily basis, we partner with clients to set the roadmap and then get to work experimenting with a variety of different tactics based on their goals. 

More recently, when we identify our channel mix and consider how we’re going to diversify across the entire user journey, programmatic has continued to make its way into the conversation. 

In this post, I’m going to break down what this means and how it could impact your acquisition channel mix. 

What are programmatic ads?

Programmatic advertising is the leveraging of automation tech for media buying. It leans on data insights and algorithms to deliver ads to users at the optimal time to drive them to a specific action (buying a product, filling out a lead form, etc.)

Programmatic offerings take control of where and when your ad gets placed on the web. Some campaigns even go as far as generating ad creative for you as well. These campaigns use automation to help you hit your marketing goals. Chances are, if you’ve done any sort of digital advertising in the last few years, you’ve used programmatic ads in one form or another.

What are some examples?

Almost all modern digital ad platforms have some aspect of programmatic ad buying baked in. There’s automated app ads on PPC platforms, dynamic product ads on paid social platforms, and countless other examples within the channels most digital markets are familiar with. 

A great example of the shift towards programmatic is Google’s newest campaign type, performance max. This offer allows users to upload a number of images, videos, logos and headlines to a campaign. From there, the Google algorithm combines these and places them across the web. This campaign can show up as a youtube ad, display ad, or an ad in someone’s gmail inbox. 

On the paid social ads side of things, Facebook’s dynamic product ads have some programmatic elements to them. They still allow the user to dictate the audience, but ad creative is pulled from a product catalog uploaded to Facebook. The Facebook algorithm will then select product images based on the users interests or their activity on your website, and deliver ads across Facebook, Instagram and their audience network.

How did we use programmatic channels at Tuff?

As a growth marketing agency, we are always looking for new avenues and channels to help our partners grow their businesses. This typically manifests itself through a variety of paid and organic acquisition, with conversion rate optimization and creative strategy layered in.

Programmatic solutions offer us a great way to complement these strategies and bring in new customers that wouldn’t be found through more traditional methods. That being said, we’ve learned that these more automated strategies can’t really carry the full weight of growth marketing strategy. While they are great at finding users to convert who you wouldn’t find with more traditional methods, they often struggle to achieve results at scale. This makes programmatic campaigns the perfect tools to complement strategies that can achieve results at a higher spend.

Where does programmatic fit into a paid acquisition strategy?

Let’s look at this through a real breakdown of one of our partners. They are an ecommerce brand that brought us in to use paid acquisition to drive new customers to purchase online through their site. 

We were having a unique problem here that was tough to solve with our existing channel mix. Cold traffic was converting at a great rate with really strong results, but the price of getting users who have already interacted with the site was too high to be sustainable. This led us to explore alternate channels to re-engage these users, ultimately ending with us launching programmatic ads on Mountain.

Mountain has a few different campaign types, but we take advantage of their display network in the context of this partnership. Our strategy with this channel is very focused, using their display network and dynamic, programmatic ads to target users who have added items to their cart, but not completed a purchase. 

Like I mentioned earlier, these strategies can struggle to work at scale, so it made sense for us to use it on a smaller, highly interested audience. We also leaned on Mountain’s programmatic tools to help build ad creative for this campaign. Mountain allows us to build a template where they’ll pull in relevant product images through an uploaded Shopify catalog. This means that the user is seeing ads with images of products they added to their cart on the website.

After extensive testing on this channel, we found that spending any more than $5k/month here would result in a higher than acceptable cost per purchase. Keeping the budget on Mountain at $5k/mo (which is about 5% of our total ad spend across channels) resulted in CPAs that were half of what we were seeing on our next top performing paid social channel, Facebook. 

This campaign was a huge success for us in an area where other channels struggled. After introducing this as a technique to target users who have added to cart, we’ve kept it running as an incredibly efficient tool for bottom of funnel spending.

There are definitely programmatic channels out there that can handle a larger spend (Google performance max comes to mind) but for our needs bringing in Mountain to pick up high intent users did the job incredibly well at a low budget. 

Conclusion

For this partner, programmatic is only a piece of the puzzle. Without support from our social ads channels (Facebook, Pinterest, Tik Tok) as well as PPC channels (Google search and Youtube,) it would fall flat. This is a specific example of how to work programmatic ads into your channel mix, but it’s representative of how we treat this advertising technique here at Tuff. It can be a very effective tool, but it’s not a silver bullet. Mixing programmatic ads into your larger acquisition strategy is the best way to achieve results. 

The partners we work with often require a complex channel mix to achieve their goals. The digital advertising landscape is always changing, and the growth marketers and channel experts here at Tuff love testing new campaign types and channels. 

If you’re looking for a team to put together an acquisition plan and execute on it, drop us a note!