Let’s face it, digital advertising is complicated and it’s hard to get straight answers. We’ve found an all-in-one tool that we’re moving forward with because it allows us to test and measure with small budgets and scale with bigger budgets. It’s called AdRoll and it’s the most widely used prospecting and retargeting platform.

This post is intended to provide a bottom line summary and a simple plan for using AdRoll. If you want more details about digital advertising, we have a 110 page paper from Marketo at the end that you’ll find rewarding.

So here is the skinny…

AdRoll offers three types of display:

  1. Retargeting – Re-targets website visitors to drive CTA (call-to-action) conversions with both new leads and existing customers
  2. CRM – Integrates with CRM lists to display ads to your list (matches up to 60%).
  3. Prospecting – Profiles your conversion visitors and shows ads to other people online with similar profiles

These ads reach individuals across any device or app with access to over 500 ad exchanges, including inventory like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google. So, it could certainly be supplemented with Google PPC and/or YouTube ads but it covers a lot of ground.

So, how much should you invest and what results should you expect?

We explored several other platforms including digital profiling, IP targeting, domain retargeting, geo-fencing, etc. (happy to explain these in person). We’re still keen on testing some of these as well as Facebook custom audiences which is basically a CRM display. But, it takes a lot of time to set these up and can cost $1,000’s per month so it requires a big appetite. The numbers we’ve seen from AdRoll vs. these other options are similar in impressions and clicks for the dollar; we just don’t have the huge spending commitments.

We suggest defining your CTA’s for leads and existing customers 1st. How many CTA’s does it take to fill your pipeline so you get the results you want?

Here is an example table to help you get this organized. Keep in mind a CTA conversion is tracked by an url visit. Once a person visits a targeted url, they are considered a conversion and will stop getting a specific ad. This planning should be done when your site layout is done.

(Download Web Planning Guide) There are many ways to drive people to these CTA’s including direct social media, direct digital banner ads, direct YouTube ads, Google PPC, traditional sales networking/shows, direct marketing, print ads, email, etc. Layout your mix of communication channels and decide how much traffic you want from each. Call us if you need some help!

Once you know how much traffic you want from your AdRoll ads, establish a baseline of impressions and click thru. We have some general rules of thumb but honestly, it’s still pretty experimental.

Impressions will depend on what amount of traffic on your site you decide to show ads to. We have one site with low traffic (approx. 600 visitors/mo) that generates 17K impressions and 22 clicks. Every visitor is shown the same set of ads. We have another with approx. 5,000 visitors/mo generating 100K impressions and 223 clicks. These are just two examples but it shows how much it can vary.

Click thru rates range from .1% to .5%. The key in our minds is to use this as part of a well balanced communications base so that the impressions are working for you as well as the clicks.

Looking for more information about digital advertising? Here is a 110 page document from our friends at Marketo.