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The How-To: Maximizing Your Online Efficiency Through Paid Media Campaigns When building your brand awareness online or improving your revenues from online sources, there is really only one starting point – your online strategy.

By Aida Sahraoui

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

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Whether you run a pure online retail or an omni-channel business, you would want to know how you can establish a sustainable positive brand awareness online and improve your revenues from online sources. And in this region, that is increasingly important- according to the latest online trends, the GCC is among the fastest-growing e-commerce regions worldwide with more than 30% of consumers shopping online monthly, while the UAE has among the highest percentages of smartphone penetration in the world. In addition, GCC millennials have a 100% mobile usage.

During my six-year-long career in the digital field, I have had the chance to strategize, operate and monitor what became one of the leading GCC online businesses, and I can tell you that when building your brand awareness online or improving your revenues from online sources, there is really only one starting point– your online strategy.

Your online strategy strictly depends on your global vision. Your digital KPIs must serve your global business targets. Once this is defined, and based on your financial capabilities, you will need to surround yourself with great digital experts who know the region, your audience, and which fundamentals should be respected to help you overachieve your goals. These fundamentals are related to your offer, your website UX/UI, your content strategy as well as your digital marketing campaigns.

Today, we are sharing some key tips to keep in mind when it comes to digital media campaigns:

  • Preparation and media planning: Keep in mind to plan your media mix and your budgets based on your goals. The most important thing at this stage is to know where your budget is going to go and why. Depending on your targets, you may need to give the biggest chunk of your budget to SEO campaigns rather than social media campaigns, since the latter often have the highest conversion rates for e-commerce websites. You would also want to focus much more on mobile app advertising if you have an app. Similarly, if Dubai proves to be the most profitable emirate in the UAE for your business, you would need to consider this factor while finalizing your media planning.
  • Set up and methodology: The methodology used to build your online campaigns should be granular and thought in a way that serves your key online purposes: achieving key performance indicators, reporting and scaling your business. Digital advertising requires expertize, therefore, feel free to seek the advice of professionals at least to help you kickoff your digital journey.
  • Result-driven: Anything we do in life is somehow result-driven, this rule doesn't derogate from the online world. As a matter of fact, digital is where this rule applies the most. Every single online campaign we run is built to drive specific results. The algorithmic thinking behind every advertising platform makes is possible whether you run Ads through Google, Facebook, Bing, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat or many more. Data is collected based on a clear targeting and set of creative assets; we measure the performance, optimize the latter then take decisions. This is fundamental if you are looking to maximize your online performance.
  • Measurement: If you cannot measure, you should not advertise. We strongly dissuade our clients from starting any advertising activity if the right measurement tool is not in place. Whether it is a free Analytics solution or a sophisticated internal tracking tool, you need to be able to assess your campaigns and consequently optimize their performance.
  • Always-on optimizations: Digital advertising works on a test and learn basis, once you collect enough data to assess how healthy your campaigns are, you need to put a continuous optimization process in place, reviewing your settings, your bidding strategy, your budget allocation, the assets you are testing and keeping an eye on external factors that can have an impact on your online performance, this can be anything from national holidays, summer season, Ramadan season, paydays, rainy days, and so on.
  • Reporting: Reporting correctly helps you keep track of your daily, weekly and monthly results. It often helps entrepreneurs or Heads of Marketing, when sharing their results with the Board of Directors, helping them to explain them intelligently and to negotiate additional marketing budgets. The best reporting tools are the ones that minimize manual efforts and help you visualize the data in real time while giving you a 360 view of your performance, as far-off as possible from default attribution models. Whether you use Tableau, Google data studio, BIME or many others, consider the use of add-ons that connect with your visualization dashboard and allow you to centralize your data under one umbrella.
  • Know your customers: Besides growing your business KPIs, the other very important benefit you can get from launching, measuring, optimizing and reporting is getting to know your customers, their dreaming phase, their purchase journey and how you can keep them happy and loyal to you brand.

If you are a retailer or an omni-channel player, keep in mind that you can leverage online campaigns to drive qualified traffic to your store, which is possible through specific ad formats on Google, Facebook, and a few more. Some technical configuration is often needed to have the data integrated to your CRM, precisely to have the fundamental measurement part covered.

Finally, stay informed and ahead of your competitors, new digital features are rolled out almost everyday, soon we will make purchases using Search voice commands and we already talk to robots to help us solve our day to day issues, stay tuned!

Related: Five Key Aspects SMEs Should Consider For Their Digital Strategy In The Middle East

Aida Sahraoui

Co-Founder, WONE

Aida Sahraoui is the co-founder of WONE
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