The top #3 tips for driving a strong ROAS

Jordan Schofield

June 13, 2021

Jordan Schofield

June 13, 2021

Social media ads are a pretty universal investment for businesses in 2021. Despite pouring budget into clicks each month, it’s surprising how little strategy many brands are putting into their spend.

The truth is that you won’t get marketing much more measurable than social media ads. All the technology, formats and targeting options are there for the taking, but nonetheless marketers run poorly configured campaigns with a rotten return on investment.

So in this takeaway we’re going to share three of our top tips to get a better return on your ad spend.  We’ll focus on social media marketing, but you can apply these principles across all your digital channels.

Where it’s measurable, there’s room for improvement!


1. Implementing evergreen digital funnels

You are probably either nodding and stroking your chin, or asking “what the hell is an evergreen funnel?”.

An evergreen marketing funnel is a set of ad campaigns, that run automatically based on the stage that your user is at in the customer journey.

First let’s remind ourselves of the marketing funnel.

There are a few different versions of this, but the basic principle is the same. Users go through a journey from becoming aware of your brand, to engage with your content , consider some alternatives and then make a purchase or complete a conversion action.

After over a decade of measured online marketing the data is there to define these stages pretty well, and marketers have established some uniform strategies for each stage that can be rolled out somewhat automatically.

The beauty of an evergreen funnel is that your advertising creative runs in synchronicity with the individual user’s journey. This is powerful as you can put your customers in different “buckets” based on logical rules and serve them ads that are reactive to their behaviour.

This approach is about much more than the creative. It’s about how much control you have over the auction process as a whole. By creating audiences that can be excluded from one another, you can drill down into your data and really optimise your spend to guarantee more bang for your buck.


2. Dynamic creatives make ad personalisation easy and affordable

Marketing automation goes further than helping you to win the auction. We can get personal with our clients too.  How? By using Facebook dynamic creatives.

We’re all individuals and ultimately our buying decisions are our own, so it makes sense that marketing should be tailored to us personally too.

For marketers this used to mean a labour intensive process of creating countless ad variations, and separate audiences, not to mention the analysis of the data.

One of the hurdles for most businesses is that each audience required it’s own budget, and when your testing multiple audiences with different creatives, you need to collect a lot of data to draw statistically significant conclusions.

Facebook’s dynamic creative ads make that part of the process automated, as they already have aggregate data on how certain customer profiles react to different ad creatives. You just have to upload enough compatible variations in copy, images, call to action, so that your audiences are covered, and Facebook will serve what it thinks is the right creative to the right audience.

That means you get a kick start with personalised ads without the months invested in collecting your own data from scratch!

Of course there are other more common forms of dynamic ads, such as dynamic product ads for e-commerce businesses. Showing your users products that they have previously looked at is a no brainer for marketers.

If you are not doing this already for your online store, then it should be your first port of call. But if you are looking to milk some more returns on investment through personalisation, then why not apply this approach to other stages of the funnel too?


3. Never stop split testing (creatively)

The age old mantra of online marketing is as relevant as ever. Keep running those split tests, analysing your results, and then run some more.

While the advances in machine learning may seem to be making a marketers life easier, don’t sit back and put your feet up just yet. As the marketplace catches up with the latest features, and it will catch up, this is an opportunity for you to get an edge over the competition by running deeper tests.

While your competitors are still spending half their day managing hundreds of ad variations, your dynamic creatives are doing that work for you. Not so you can enjoy a frothy one, but so you can be testing something else!

By taking the more mundane tasks from your daily schedule, these automated features are giving you the chance to focus on the elements of a great campaign that are not so easily run by an algorithm.

No computer is going to come up with a truly compelling narrative for your ads, or to try new approaches to graphics, videos and more. Your split test results are only as impactful as the hypothesis that you are testing, so take your extra time and come up with a better test.

Combining use of the latest ad tech, with your own creativity to run great tests will give you the edge over other advertisers in the auction.

Plus here’s a bonus tip for your split testing. Don’t forget to record your results! While the data itself is in your campaigns, you will inevitably forget what you were testing if you don’t keep a record.

Keep a sheet or notepad where you track your learnings, and even better, set up a regular meeting to share them with the rest of your team. You never know how your learnings may offer impactful insights to other parts of your business.

Not sure where to start? Keep it simple. Create 3 or 4 ad variations (these can be dynamic creatives too) and run the campaign. When you have statistically significant results, pause the losing two variations, analyse the winners and put the budget into those with some fresh competition. Rinse and repeat.


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