Optimizing and analyzing campaigns on traffic sources that require frequent bid management and placement analysis can be a struggle. While you may have dialed in a campaign once, circumstances arise where you may need to start things over from scratch and reset settings that previously worked very well.

Media buyers are frequently challenged by selecting the right bidding strategy, understanding where to increase/decrease traffic frequency, and carrying over campaign learnings to apply to other products and traffic sources. 

We have created a list of four techniques which media buyers can use to address these challenges and frame their campaigns in a way which leads to replicable success.

Define All Your Campaign Goals

Setting the right goals for your campaign is as important as knowing how to stand when you’re boxing. Your campaign goals keep you grounded as you weather the trials and tribulations of yield management and optimizing your paid media efforts to profitably. 

It is important to look beyond your bottom of the funnel KPIs, particularly during your campaign’s initial launch. On traffic sources with broad reach, your budget will be spread across dozens if not hundreds of placements and tracking higher funnel metrics such as add to carts, time spent on page, and other on page behaviors will allow you to find early signals for where results are being generated

For example, if you are an eCommerce business selling products online, rather than just focusing on purchases, you should also look to measure page views per placement as a signal for success. This allows you to maximize initial media data, thus allowing quicker decision to narrow targeting and improve yield.

Stay On Top Of Your Campaign During The First Few Hours Of Launch

The first few hours following your campaign’s launch is crucial, particularly when targeting broadly or uploading multiple ad sets/variants. In the past, we have seen brands that had campaigns with well defined goals and planning, completely flop upon launch, due to errors made in either their asset uploads, targeting, or creatives. 

A simple rule of thumb is to ensure you’re monitoring traffic flow and checking your KPIs 2 hours after ads going live. Be sure not to overanalyze the data, the goal of monitoring your stats so early is to ensure your campaign is just hitting your target sites and users are behaving as they should upon reaching your website. 

Tailor Your Data Analysis To Fit The Campaign Goal

It’s important to analyze data in the context of your campaign goals and the traffic source you’re buying media from. Using tools to track and visualize your data such as Excel or Tableau is always recommended. Make sure that your campaign’s KPIs are reflected in whatever model you use and analyze the model regularly to assess performance and what levers can possibly be pulled to improve your yield. 

If you’re looking to decrease your CPA, prioritize data that explains how close or far you are from decreasing your CPA over multiple time periods, such as CTR, spend, and clicks. If you’re looking to raise awareness and increase visits to your site from certain regions, focus on data such as viewable impressions, CTR, and video views (if applicable). 

Consolidate your results into brief insights, and a case study

It’s important to keep track of your campaigns performance by writing insight reports. Doing this allows you to keep track of tactics that were implemented successfully and unsuccessfully, and can be applied to future campaigns. 

These insight reports can be turned into case studies which are great internal resources and external resources to market your media services! 

A case study is very similar to a lab report that uses the scientific method:

  1. You write down a purpose or question: This could be “how can I lower my CPA on campaign X to $45?”
  2. You do a bit of background research: For example in analyzing a campaign’s data you find that adding new landing page content and increasing the number of touches with prospects through retargeting can help you drop your overall CPA by decreasing cost per click and/or increasing conversion rate.
  3. You build a hypothesis: “We will lower our overall CPA by rotating in new content, as well as building a retargeting campaign.”
  4. You run the experiment: Apply the tactics to the applicable campaigns.
  5. You analyze the data: After statistically significant data sets have been achieved, compare prior performance to performance after your experiment was implemented.
  6. You reach your conclusion: Where you are versus your original goal, what worked in getting you to your goal, and what didn’t, and, how would you improve upon what you have accomplished?

Once you break down a case study into these 6 components, you can quickly summarize insights from your data in a well structured manner.

When I was first starting out, the above four steps helped me improve and sharpen my media buying skills significantly. Hopefully implementing the above will help you frame your campaigns in a way which is more productive and scalable. Here’s to positive ROI!