It is now fairly common for communications professionals to execute paid advertising campaigns and conduct media buying on social media for their organizations. Why the shift from organic posting to paid advertising? It most likely has to do with constantly changing algorithms and the switch from public to private online communities. That’s why IABC Ottawa invited Kelly Kubrick, President of Online Authority, to lead a digital strategy bootcamp to give a comprehensive refresher on digital analytics and advertising. Keep reading to learn the key takeaways from the session.

An overview
Where to start? When defining a digital strategy, communication professionals identify digital opportunities that will increase their competitive advantage. In a competitive industry like communications it is imperative to evaluate an organization’s Paid, Owned, Earned and Shared Media (POEM) to get a desired edge on their competitors. For many organizations digital content is created for social media, website, and email communication.

The competitive advantage
Many organizations rely heavily on earned media, but it is important to constantly analyze your organization’s channel and source effectiveness. How effective are your earned media efforts and is the time spent on it worth the output? Often organizations can reach larger and more specific audiences when adding paid advertising into their media mix.Paid media is especially useful when an organization is looking to reach a new audience and specific audience segments.

How to establish your digital strategy
The first step to incorporating a digital strategy for your company is to establish objectives and identify specific target audiences. You do not need an detailed understanding
of the intricacies of the ad platforms. All you need to do is contact a digital media buyer who will be able to set you up for success.

Where to find a digital media buyer? Ask around your network for suggestions. An effective digital media buyer will have worked on at least 10 campaigns and be able to set up an ad campaign for your organization. Digital media buying is a fairly new space, so make sure to be wary of buyers who claim to have +20 years in the business.

Measurement
There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to measuring the success of a campaign. You will need to try throwing different amounts of money behind one initiative and see if it generates enough clicks to meet your targeted goals. Sometimes, as little as $100 will give you the desired results. Also, if you’re new to using Google analytics try not to be discouraged by the hidden features in the platform. The platform is a great way to measure success and sometimes you will not know what features are effective to help you measure success until you run the campaign.