KNB Online elevates companies to the next stage of their growth journeys. From websites to online advertising, KNB’s growth experts understand how to curate a custom strategy designed to help businesses expand their online presence, double their return on ad spend, and provide an investable foundation to grow on. Kevin and his team partner with businesses ready to invest in their audience and put in the work needed to achieve meaningful results.
Digital marketing has become incredibly nuanced. Algorithms change, techniques that once delivered no longer work, and an army of agencies claiming to help businesses get the most out of their ad spend have emerged. While many of these agencies are great at selling their services, they’re not always so great at following through. Sometimes, they even miss low-hanging fruit that’s dangling right in front of them.
My journey into digital marketing began with SEO affiliate marketing. As more people asked for my advice and expertise, I began building my own agency, KNB Online. At the same time, I had the opportunity to work at another successful digital agency and eventually lead marketing efforts for two ecommerce sites that generated significant revenue.
From those experiences, I learned what I wanted in my own agency. I really enjoy being involved in everything we do, so I’ve purposely kept KNB Online small. We serve clients across various industries — it all comes down to whether I can help them or not, and whether they have enough budget to develop a successful plan. With the right investment, I can deliver at least a 9X return on ad spend (ROAS) under the right conditions.
I also knew I wanted to take a different approach from the “churn-and-burn” of the larger agencies, which are always looking for the next deal. For me, it’s about having fewer clients and delivering remarkable results for us both. A lot of agencies, I’m sorry to say, will sign a deal and hand off the account to people who have no real-world experience, especially when it comes to managing bigger budgets. Then, they rush on to the next big sale. Meanwhile, a lack of expertise on the account management team causes the client to miss out on some of the basics.
What Many Agencies Miss: Leverage More Data and Focus On Retargeting
It’s shocking to see how some big-name agencies have set up digital ad campaigns. They set bad objectives, have no tracking, and blow through the budget fast. The experience for the client is that their digital ads don’t work. However, digital ads do work — so long as the digital marketer behind them puts in the work using the right strategy to make them effective.
One problem is that many marketers became reliant on Facebook when Facebook had everything figured out. But things change, and Facebook now takes a much broader approach to audience targeting. Casting a wider net doesn’t work for a lot of industries, especially those that deal with higher-priced items and have longer buying cycles. It doesn’t make sense to show consumers ads for luxury goods and services if they can’t afford to buy them.
Some marketers have responded to these Facebook changes by using lead form ads. But unfortunately, these types of ads result in low-quality leads who opt-in without realizing it and do not fit within the client’s target audience.
Privacy regulations have also come into play. Certain platforms can no longer share detailed customer data, meaning it’s up to marketers to leverage third-party data to get the best results. For my campaigns, I factor in every piece of information we can get, including a person’s income, what kind of car they drive, and whether they have a mortgage. If there’s a detail about someone, I can find a way to use it for targeting. And that’s the low-hanging fruit that many marketers are missing out on: Personalized customer targeting — and retargeting — should be a significant part of anyone’s digital marketing strategy. AdRoll is one of the main tools in my tool belt to help me get great results for my clients.
Drown Out the Competition with Crisp, Clear Banners
I started using AdRoll a long time ago, but I stepped it up a few years ago when Apple changed its tracking capabilities due to privacy concerns. That’s when I started digging deeper into AdRoll’s features and found I could use the platform to achieve the retargeting performance I was after and enhance my strategy.
Of the marketers who do retargeting, many use Google as their platform of choice because it’s simple to use. You upload some banners, and if you win an auction for a banner display, Google will show one of them to the visitor. But your banner is just one of several others on the site and your message gets drowned out. Retargeting with AdRoll delivers much better value. AdRoll allows you to win all the banner spots at the same time, which is much more effective. Your target will actually see your banner — and only your banner — keeping it front of mind.
We also utilize HTML5 banners with AdRoll. Traditional banners, whether static or animated, tend to be low quality. What’s the point of creating a display if it’s hard to see? HTML5 banners, by contrast, are crisp and clear. Whether it’s viewed on a mobile device or a Mac with Retina display, the banner will look good, stand out, and consequently perform better. It sounds simple, but many marketers don’t do it, partly because uploading HTML5 into Google is an arduous process. AdRoll makes that process easy, and now we use HTML5 banners for all of our clients.
Building Campaigns in AdRoll is Easy and Transparent
I build campaigns by dedicating a percentage of a client’s budget to cold audiences and a percentage to retargeting. It all depends on the client, the systems they already have in place, and the data they collect. If they have enough conversions, we have enough data to find similar folks in the cold category.
For colder audiences, I’ve had some success with lookalike audiences, and even more with contextual targeting, where we leverage the interests of our target audience. We use AdRoll’s lookalike and contextual targeting brand awareness solutions to get our clients’ messages in front of the right people, in the right places, and at the right time. In cases where our client doesn’t already have an AdRoll account or hasn’t had enough conversions to create a solid picture of their target audience, our first priority is to set them up with AdRoll and start gaining more insights into their customers.
AdRoll optimizes and drives sales because it has a wealth of pre-defined audiences and users to pick from. It’s easy to add these audiences to a client’s system and let AdRoll do all the work. That ease of use is a real selling feature, especially compared to the Google interface, which can get complicated. What might take me 10 minutes in Google only takes a minute in AdRoll — it’s that easy to go in and create campaigns.
AdRoll’s ease of use helps improve transparency, too. We recognize ad accounts are valuable assets for our clients, so we don’t hold their information hostage. Many agencies will run all client campaigns from their agency ad accounts. We, on the other hand, ensure the client owns everything outright. Even though we manage the client’s AdRoll account for them, the client can log in and get visibility into campaign activity and progress. AdRoll does a great job in pushing those warmer audiences over the goal line to purchase, and it’s easy for our clients to see how we’re creating those great results.
Our Results Speak to the Benefit of Retargeting with AdRoll
My team at KNB Online has delivered a ton of great results, including 9.5X ROAS and attributed revenue of up to 103%. Let’s take a look at actual dollar figures achieved by some of my clients:
- 12,280% ROI: Spent $5,654 and generated $700,000 in revenue
- 3,463% ROI: Spent $14,528 and generated $517,777 in revenue
- 781% ROI: Spent $12,755 and generated $112,447 in revenue
The power of retargeting through AdRoll means my clients don’t actually have to spend very much to get great returns. One client, The Christmas Palace, is a good example. They have a short buying season: from the beginning of November up until Christmas. Prior to working with us, The Christmas Palace was barely doing any retargeting at all. They ran their campaigns entirely through Google and weren’t seeing good results. We rebuilt their campaigns through AdRoll and saw dramatic improvements, which are included in the above figures.
Even though AdRoll is pretty self-serve, and I have a whole team of marketers, designers, and writers behind me, I still find value in having my AdRoll account manager, Dallan Whatley. If I ever run into an issue, Dallan is there to help. Dallan’s ability to quickly solve problems saves me time, which means my focus stays on the client instead of on a platform. He’s often a great springboard for ideas and expertise, including where he’s seen other companies succeed and in terms of features I’d like to see AdRoll develop.
Tips to Get the Most Out of AdRoll
My biggest tip is to always retarget your traffic with great visuals. You don’t need to spend your entire budget there, but you have to always put something in front of the people you want to see it. Many marketers make the mistake of not uploading as much creative as they can, when the goal is to show up on every single banner spot for your target. If you look at Facebook’s Dynamic Ads, for instance, you’re allotted up to 10 spots for creative. Very few people use all 10, even though they’re right there for the taking.
Even in AdRoll, people miss out on banner spot opportunities. Every site is unique in the banner sizes they sell, and if your ad is only one of five on a page, it’s easy for your message to get lost. The more banner sizes you provide, the better your chances are of blanketing pages that your prospect visits. This will catch their attention and help them remember to go back to your site.
Finally, make sure your conversion tracking is set up correctly. If you have a Shopify store, leverage the Shopify integration with AdRoll. Double-check that your audiences are properly populating and that you are accurately tracking purchases and dollar figures.
On smaller teams, accurate tracking is one of those things that can fall through the cracks. But it matters more than you think. Data is everything, and a system is only as good as the data going into it. Set it up right from the start, keep your focus on retargeting, and you and your clients will reap the rewards.
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