2020: The Year of Integrated, Flighted Digital Marketing Campaigns
- Posted by Kate Hinson
- On February 25, 2020
…(and the year Cybertrucks take over the roads.)
With a new year comes a system to determine the ideal length of time a campaign should be in-market.
While there is a time and place for 72-hour sales in the digital world, planning for integrated campaigns allows for a more robust digital marketing strategy.
A flighted campaign is defined as a set of ads served over a set period of time and involves allocating your advertising budget to ensure maximum exposure during optimal periods.
Timing of flight campaigns can revolve around any number of things: fiscal quarters, seasons, or booking windows, to name a few.
A sophisticated marketing campaign has relevant and consistent messaging across all applicable channels. Consistency can develop trust with your potential guests by providing assurance they’re getting the best offer at the time of purchase.
Campaign inconsistency with offers, timing, or messaging can create distrust and a mindset that a better offer may be just around the corner. Part of campaign consistency comes from the length of time campaigns are in-market.
So, What’s The Ideal Length Of Time For My Integrated Flight Campaign To Be In Market?
TLDR; Look at the data.
While there’s not a hard and fast rule about the exact length of time a campaign should be in the market, there are a few guidelines to follow in 2020.
The ideal length of time for your flight campaigns depends on the type of property, historical campaigns, booking windows, need periods and many other factors. Along with that information, a few simple metrics can help determine 1) if your campaign is still relevant 2) if the campaign needs more exposure or 3) if the market is starting to experience ad fatigue.
- Audience Size & Budget
Consistency can be tied to the “Frequency” metric, indicating the number of times a unique user was exposed to a specific ad. To understand your ideal ad frequency, monitor the KPI’s tied to your campaign, coupled with the frequency metric. If you start to see your campaign KPI’s change in a negative way, the frequency could be too low or too high, indicating the ad isn’t served enough or it’s served too much and is causing ad fatigue.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all ideal frequency for every ad campaign, understanding frequency boils down to this: A user should be exposed to the same message multiple times, across multiple channels, in order to accurately recall the message and have a higher likelihood of taking the desired action.
Audience Size & Budget:
These two pieces of information help answer the question “Out of everyone we want to get our message in front of, how many people are we reaching?”
For example, if you’re running a GDN Custom-Intent campaign for people searching for “Florida Beach Resorts”, your audience is going to be much larger than if your audience is a remarketing list of users who abandoned their cart in the booking engine. Depending on your budget, you may only have funds for GDN Custom-Intent ad frequency average to be between 1-3, whereas if you take those same funds and put them towards a campaign for your cart abandonment audience, the frequency could easily triple.
It’s important to understand the data points within the context of the entire campaign, so when monitoring the performance of your flight campaign be sure to keep in mind the size of your audience and your budget.
A common PPC KPI is CTR (acronyms on acronyms!).
CTR (click-through-rate) is calculated by impressions/clicks. As digital marketers, one of our primary goals is to drive qualified traffic to the website. If the CTR is consistently at or above industry standards, it indicates users are continuing to engage with the ads at a stable rate. If the CTR starts to decline, this indicates ad fatigue and that the message isn’t resonating with users anymore.
Look at the CTR’s of two different display remarketing campaigns that were in-market for several months:
Non-Flight Campaign: Inconsistent messaging & time in-market:
Flight Campaign: Consistent messaging & time in-market:
You can see how much the CTR fluctuates with the non-flight campaign as offers and ads changed each month. Looking at the flight campaign, the CTR remains very consistent over time indicating users remained engaged at a consistent rate month in and month out.
Are you convinced?
Great! Below are 3 easy steps to launch your 2020 integrated flight campaigns:
- Pick your timeframe: A good starting point is to break your campaigns up into 3-month flights.
- Pick your messaging: Ensure messaging is relevant for both the time it’s in market and the booking window.
- Monitor the data: Watch the KPI’s and be flexible! If you start to see ad fatigue, consider changing up the image, tweak the copy, review the target audience and analyze the budget. A small change can have a big impact on campaign performance.
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