Why placing ads is not yet a marketing strategy

November 28, 2022

Your Google Ads are not bringing the desired success? We explain why paid advertising should only be one component of your marketing strategy and which measures can complement it.

Those who want to increase sales in their store often rely on classic search engine marketing, for example in the form of Google Ads. Either an agency can be commissioned to create the campaigns, or the work can be distributed internally within the marketing team. So far, so good! But what many forget: Just because there is now a Google Ads account and funds are flowing to the search engine giant, the recipe for online success is far from complete! After all, a well-thought-out marketing plan adapted to your target group should ALWAYS include several components to ensure the success of the store in the long term. So if you don’t have a written marketing strategy yet, it’s high time to sharpen the pen and open the inkwell!

The basic task: building a marketing strategy

The development of a marketing strategy belongs to the small 1×1 of marketing! After all, as an advertiser, you need to know where your target group is, what they like and how you can best encourage them to make purchases – in the best case, of course, not only through paid advertising, but also through free channels such as e-mails, search engines and the like. The point is to keep your company on track in the long term and not to chase after every new channel that comes along. For example, if your target audience is athletic men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are interested in running, then you’re unlikely to see your sales skyrocket with hip TikTok videos. The channel may be hip, but your target audience simply doesn’t use the medium. Instead, think about what components can encourage your audience to buy and how your marketing activities can be aligned with your business goals – whether it’s creative storytelling, SEA campaigns, Facebook Ads, or traditional email marketing.

For extra points: regularly scrutinize your own marketing strategy

Your Google Ads are already running great and you’re generating top sales? Wonderful! But the tide can turn quickly. That’s why you shouldn’t regard your marketing strategy as a dogma set in stone, but rather regularly put your ideas and components to the test. Are the products I’m promoting actually still from the current collection? Are my creatives still appealing or do they need to be replaced? Are my prices competitive? Have CPCs increased for certain trending brands? Are we currently promoting products that are experiencing supply issues? Did the last email campaign bring the desired success? Critically examine your actions and adjust your annual plan as needed to reflect changing conditions.

Why Google Ads sometimes doesn’t seem to work:

  • The company does not rely on an overarching marketing strategy, but only wants to increase sales through Google Ads – supporting measures such as tailored landing pages are missing.
  • The company sells its products to B2B customers, who have very different marketing requirements – a customer journey in the B2B segment can quickly extend over months, making it difficult to track the success of Google Ads.
  • The search volume for the products being offered is not high enough – in this case, Google Ads can be used as a supporting measure in the strategy, but should by no means be the main component of the marketing plan.
  • The company’s offer does not convince the target group – be it because the prices are not competitive or the brands offered do not match the taste of the potential buyers.

Components of a successful marketing strategy

As mentioned earlier, your marketing strategy should not be based on a single component like Google Ads, but rather a healthy mix of different channels that fit your business and target audience and complement each other in a meaningful way. Below you’ll find some ideas for these components, from which you can create the mix that’s right for you.

  • Social media
    Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTop, Snapchat – the number of social media is greater than ever these days. But if you want to use the channels as part of your marketing strategy, you shouldn’t just post away. You should come up with a plan that works and think carefully about which platform you want to present which content on. If your customer base consists of other businesses, perhaps LinkedIn as a B2B platform is a good choice. Very good engagement with posts for a B2C audience is again possible on Instagram. Also think about cross-channel campaigns and retargeting in your marketing strategy, and refine your target audience by looking at the demographic data that Facebook and co. provide you. Our tip: Create a monthly or quarterly plan to perfectly coordinate your social media activities with your other marketing measures.
  • Search engine optimization
    The easiest and above all cheapest way to bring new visitors to your store? Search engine optimization! And even if the work in this area does not increase your sales from day one, the investment is still worth it in the long run! After all, hardly any component of your marketing strategy can have such low acquisition costs as search engine optimization. This can be achieved particularly easily, for example, by publishing new posts on your blog or updating outdated texts. Plug-ins can also be helpful in alerting you to typical SEO mistakes and providing tips on how to fix them. If you have a little more time to spare, think about a whitepaper or a new landing page.
  • Paid advertising
    Of course, SEA campaigns should not be missing from your marketing strategy – depending on your own goals, different formats are available here, which sometimes help the branding of your brand, sometimes increase sales in your store. For example, banners are great for high-reach campaigns, such as when you’re promoting your Black Friday sale, and retargeting, while channels like search engine ads and shopping campaigns can be geared more towards conversions. Incidentally, the same applies to paid advertising on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Consider in advance what goal you are pursuing with the campaign and align your texts, creatives, etc. precisely with this goal.
  • Content marketing
    The term content marketing has also been on everyone’s lips for many years – and rightly so, because this work also pays off in the long term. Customers appreciate it when you provide them with practical tips, instructions, information, etc. This can take the form of webinars, podcasts, e-books, video instructions, or even quizzes. For example, you can regularly introduce your new and existing customers to the latest trends in the clothing industry or report in your blog about a new brand that you have added to your range. By the way: Classic PR work can also fall into the area of content marketing and positively influence the image of your store.
  • Collaborations
    Are you working closely with another company or have you developed a collection with another brand or influencer? Make this collaboration part of your marketing strategy and work closely with the other party. After all, you have the opportunity to reach not only your own target audience, but also to convince the audience of another brand of your products.
  • Email marketing
    An old, but more than proven component of a marketing strategy that can be found again and again: email marketing. To keep your customers updated with new info or to inform them about the latest products, you should definitely build up an email distribution list. This can happen either in the buying process, by asking your customers to sign up for your newsletter, or through opt-in forms on your blog or website. If you offer a small discount for subscribing to the newsletter, experience has shown that the inhibition threshold for signing up is much lower. Please note: As your address list grows, segmentation of the data is essential. Divide your customers into different groups and target them more specifically, e.g. with suitable additional products for their last purchase.
  • Video marketing
    What used to be expressive images are now cool videos – so moving images should not be missing from your marketing strategy. And fortunately, creating the content is no longer witchcraft – all you need is a cell phone and an often free app with which you can edit the video.
  • Giveaways and promotions
    Sweepstakes, small giveaways or discount codes that can be spread around the world via influencers, e-mails, banners and the like – even if promotions and giveaways are not usually on an advertiser’s daily to-do list, such components can be an important part of your marketing strategy if used wisely. It’s best to think about which promotions (Christmas, Black Friday, Easter …) you want to participate in and how you will inform your customers about discounts and the like at the beginning of the year.

Conclusion: A marketing strategy consisting of several pillars pays off!

It’s a lot of work, but a real marketing strategy pays off. If individual components are not performing at the moment, they are cushioned by others. In addition, the individual pillars interlock and create synergetic effects when combined. Apart from that, it is never advisable to put all your eggs in one basket.