Why Building Digital Ad Campaigns is Like Making BBQ

Low and Slow Food Preparation Has More in Common with Fast Paced Digital Advertising Than You Think

Anyone who has spent more than hour or two around me knows I love food. I love to plan for it, prepare it, and, of course, eat it. BBQ is one of my favorite things to do. It requires attention to detail and constant oversight: the meat has to be prepped and seasoned, a fire needs to be lit, and throughout the hours-long process of cooking, the food and smoker have to be monitored so that you finish with the perfect outcome.

While daydreaming about the next rack of ribs I would be smoking it hit me; this sounds a lot like the process for digital advertising!

Planning

Why Building Digital Ad Campaigns is Like Making BBQ
Baby Back Ribs done 3-2-1 method. Notice that competition bite!

Before you ever light the fire you’ve got to determine the right rub and smoke for your meat, select sides that pair well, and choose a wine or beverage pairing that will give you the best meal. The same process applies for digital advertising.

With bbq you’re aiming for delicious food but with digital advertising you need to establish a goal before you start; driving sales, improving brand awareness, building out your email list, et cetera.

Each step builds on the previous (like good BBQ) and knowing exactly why you’re launching a campaign simplifies the subsequent parts of their process (like setting your targeting and building out the creative.)

Maintenance

Sunset Marketing Works - Brisket
12 Hour Brisket over Light Mesquite

With BBQ there’s no way to know how your ribs or brisket are going to turn out until they’re done. If you like to micromanage your outcomes (like me) that can be nerve wracking! Questions like “is everything seasoned ok? Did I use the right amount of smoke? Will it be moist and tender?” can only be answered once the process is complete.

With digital ads, though, you can know in almost real time how you’re doing. By taking advantage of the ad platform’s reports and dashboarding you can make adjustments on the fly to influence your success. Fine tuning your targeting and copy are great places to start if you don’t like what you’re seeing.

Measuring Success (or Is it Delicious?)

After setting the table and plating up you finally get to enjoy the fruits of your BBQ labor. Conversely, with digital ads it shouldn’t be a surprise how your campaign performed. If you handled the Maintenance phase like you’re supposed to, Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) will be a near foregone conclusion.

How you calculate your Return will be dependent on why you’re running ads in the first place and the nature of your sales cycle.

Clearing the table

The only way to fail with either BBQ or digital ads is to not try. You may start out with dry baby backs or a dud of a campaign but those become learning opportunities. Light the fire and get started!

Not sure where to start? Shoot me an email by using the contact form (and be sure to pick your complimentary offer!) and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Posted in: PPC

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