Carrying out an audit for paid social is such an integral part of being able to improve your current performance & strategy.
You need to know where you are on a map, before you can navigate anywhere else.
We’re going to run through all the things that make a successful audit for paid social, so you can find yourself on that map.
1. What is an audit for paid social?
Well, simply put - it’s the process of going through your current and past paid activity to understand if your efforts are working or, your efforts need to be changed.
Once you have completed an audit for paid social, you should be able to pinpoint areas that are working and areas that need improvement.
It’s important to note, try to take things one at a time, rather than changing everything at once. This will allow for granularity and isolation of issues that could be affecting your performance and progress.
2. Goals & KPIs
Ask yourself why you are using paid social, what is the main goal you want to achieve?
Is it more downloads for your mobile app? More customers to your online store? Increasing the LTV (Lifetime Value) of each customer perhaps?
Once you have these reasons written down, you need to start figuring out what are the main KPIs that will allow you to achieve these goals.
For example, if you are looking for more downloads of your mobile app your primary KPI might be CPI (Cost per install).
You can then supplement this main KPI with a few others, in this case they might be Impressions, Engagements, Engagement > Install Conversion Rate.
Ultimately you are focused on one final result, however the secondary KPIs will give you a good understanding of how users are interacting with your paid social activity and provide direction for improvement.
This part is very important, but sometimes you won’t have access to all of the information you need.
The more you understand your industry benchmarks, the more realistic you can be with your expectations.
For example, if you are spending 10 times more than your industry average on acquiring a customer or install, then there might be something wrong.
Alternatively, if you are expecting to pay 10 times less in your forecasts, this can throw a spanner in the works when it comes to budgets and actual spend.
I emphasise the word can, good marketing can allow you to pay 100’s if not 1000’s of times lower than industry averages if you get a good campaign or idea going (ask any seasoned growth hacker and they’ll be able to tell you about companies like Dropbox & Airbnb).
4. Identify Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks are essentially areas where something is not working as efficiently as it could, for whatever reason.
The important thing is to pick up on them as soon as possible. When you reach high levels of advertising spend, these bottlenecks can hemorrhage ad spend very quickly.
When looking for bottlenecks you want to write down all of your KPIs in sequential order and look at how the data flows.
If there is anything that looks out of place, for example, you have 100000 people coming to a landing page but only 0.000001% are converting...then that would suggest there is something wrong with the landing page.
That is a bottleneck.
5. Take action.
Once you have listed out all of your bottlenecks, you will need to figure out which one to fix first.
So, list out all of the issues for each bottle neck.
For example, if we go back to the landing page scenario. Your page may be loading very slowly, therefore a bunch of customers leave before they even get to the page.
Another example might be that your adverts are great and they get people clicking on them, however when they get to the app store, there is no consistency with the advert they were shown, so they leave and don’t download.
Now you need to list out all of the solutions for each bottle neck.
For example, the solution to slow landing page speeds could be heavy imagery or lots of unused and conflicting code (wordpress sites with a sh*t ton of plug-ins I’m looking at you).
For your app store issue you might need to ensure that you are showing the same app in the advert and app store screens/videos. Use the same language, create consistency and cohesion between the two identities. I believe they call this ad scent.
Finally, choose the one you think will make the biggest difference to reaching your goals & hitting your desired KPIs and start testing out solutions.