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Navigating the paid media landscape can be difficult for advertisers big and small. Making informed decisions on goals, targeting, and budget are challenging but integral aspects of ensuring your campaigns deliver the results you want. One of those challenging decisions is knowing when to keep campaigns running and when to pause. The first instinct when a campaign is underperforming or when the market isn’t as strong is to pause or cancel a campaign. However, keeping a campaign live, even at a lower spend, allows for increased campaign learning which ultimately leads to long term benefits. Especially in the case of automated campaigns, extended campaign flights allow the platform to optimize towards the best performing audience and provide more data for future campaigns.

Always On Campaigns Keep Momentum Strong

When considering keeping campaigns on or deactivating, it’s helpful to think of the analogy of being stuck in traffic. The instinct when stuck in standstill traffic is to put the car in park and turn the ignition off. That would save fuel while things are moving slowly so you have more fuel when the traffic picks back up again. But when traffic picks back up, you’re stuck having to turn your car back on which takes more fuel and the cars around you are already down the road before you’re able to get your car moving again. In this analogy, think of your car as your campaigns and your fuel as your budget. By the time you get your campaigns going again, your competitors are already coasting down the highway and it took less effort and budget for them to get that far down the road because new campaigns typically take longer to deliver the best results. 

Campaigns with a longer duration historically perform better on many digital marketing platforms including Google, Facebook, and The Trade Desk for several reasons including:

  • The platform optimizes towards campaigns with more history and higher engagement. Particularly in the case of Google Paid Search, Google’s algorithm is more likely to present an ad from an advertiser with a history of a high user engagement than an ad from a brand new campaign.
  • The ability to A/B test audiences, creatives, and other strategies with a lower budget. Down periods of seasonality allows for testing of what is the most effective strategy in a lower risk time period with a smaller spend.
  • Spread awareness when intent may be lower. Though users may not be converting at the target rate, keeping campaigns on brings those users into the funnel so that when they’re aiming to convert, you are top of mind.

Maintain Brand Consistency and Messaging

Users are more likely to trust a brand that they’re familiar with. This isn’t a new concept, yet it’s as true now as it has ever been. Consistently reaching a target audience allows advertisers to stay in front of potential customers even if they’re not ready to make a decision. This doesn’t have to be at the expense of extra budget because even keeping campaigns active at a much lower spend will keep users engaged so that when they’re ready to buy, you already have a spot in their consideration set.

When seeking results in the paid media landscape, consistency and optimization is key. Staying in front of a target audience while making changes is more likely to lead to results than pausing or ending campaigns because of poor results. The best way to improve is to continue to test, and evergreen campaigns are the most effective way to do that. 

Key Takeaways

  • Learn and optimize before you cancel under-performing campaigns 
  • Extend campaign flights for improved efficiency and platform optimization
  • Maintain consistent momentum to stay top of mind with consumers

By: Matt Prosperi, Account Strategy Director

Recommended reading:

How to Act on Analytics with Data Storytelling

Blurring the Lines Between Performance and Brand Marketinghttps://www.coegipartners.com/blog/2021/09/07/blurring-the-lines-between-brand-and-performance-marketing/