Looking to assist a brand to break into a competitive vertical?

You will need a very innovative and creatively inclined paid media to create a foothold in the market with the use of budget with maximum efficiency.

Doing paid search ads in competitive verticals is not very feasible for a challenger brand due to restricted CPCs.

It is more sensible to be dependent on low CPCs of social ads so that visibility can be built before using search ads targeting options to drive conversions.

Using Social Ads to Build Visibility

There’s data that shows social spending was done by UK advertisers on Facebook in the past was a food startup known as Huel.

This startup is in a competitive vertical environment and competing with other health and fitness big competitors and also trying to build a demand for a product that consumers don’t know they need.

It is not only the new companies that need to diversify spending into social media to get a good foothold in the marketplace.

Businesses that are competing in a vertical competitive environment should consider diversifying a larger portion of their ad spend into social so that they can achieve:

  • Maximize visibility.
  • Increase budget efficiency.
  • Gain effective full-funnel coverage.

Why You Should Diversify your Ads spending

So, you’ve got your advertising budget. Just why not dump every single penny on one ads channel that you know will yield a good return.

You can try it, a lot of businesses try it. There’s one problem and that’s the law of diminishing returns. There will come a time the returns you will get from one ad channel will begin to plateau. You will keep pumping money into that channel, but your return will grow ever smaller.

 Knowing where the return is gone plateau for your business in the channel is for you to determine. But keep your eyes open for the signs like increasing cost per lead or cost per impression.

The diminishing return on your ads is a real concern, but if you diversify your ads spending. Your returns will not diminish but amplify your marketing efforts across different channels.

  • Generate higher Engagement with your Marketing
    As we become more and more overwhelmed by the ads, it will take more effort to make an impression. When consistent use of a well-crafted marketing message across multiple channels is done, it increases the likelihood that it will reach you through the noise around.
  •  Know different stages of your sales funnel
    Every person who comes to your store or comes to your website is not in the same stage of the sales cycle. Different ads channels allow you to speak differently on different stages directly. For education and awareness, sales cycle video and content ads are a good fit, digital advertising and education are good for the attraction and consideration stage.
  • The message needs to be delivered in the right place at the right time to the right people
    In this world of choices. Knowing your target audience will allow you to take your message to them. For example, a teenager would spend more time on Instagram or Facebook and a working professional would spend more time on LinkedIn so you can run targeted ads on these social media channels. There are other ads like display and Tv ads to target another type of audience.

How to diversify your ads spend

You have established an advertising budget, and you have decided to take a multi-channel approach to your advertising, so how will you decide to take which channel to use and how to divide the budget amongst them.

As you can see in the chart below, it is an ongoing consideration for marketing professionals to decide where to put their marketing money. You should also revisit your annual budget or quarterly budget.


You need to establish what you need to accomplish before you can decide which ads channels are the best fit.

Like for example if you are a start-up with a brand-new product, you need to focus on creating awareness and consideration stages of your sales funnel. You will need to run campaigns to educate the audience about the product and make them consider buying your product.

If you are an established firm, perhaps your focus will be more evenly spread across the consideration, purchase and retention stages of your funnel.

Once you have decided on your advertising goals, you can determine what kind of channel you will need and how to allocate the cash.

An Example Full-Funnel Coverage Strategy

Full-Funnel Coverage Strategy
  • Building Awareness & Consideration
    The first step a challenger needs to take before attempting to get into a competitive vertical is you will first invest a major chunk of your budget into paid social and display activity to create awareness while putting a smaller portion attributed for search.

    In social and display activity CPC is significantly cheaper compared to search. This allows brands to get higher volume of top of funnel traffic.
  • Facebook & LinkedIn Ads
    The content of the campaign and copy of the ads should be informative and should be beneficial. Their main focus is to drive users to the site and into the list of valuable audiences.
  • Display Advertising
    Benefit-Focused Visual Ads to Drive Landing Page Traffic

    The same creative approach can be used as previously mentioned paid social activity, display ads are targeted on the basis of:

    – Demographics.
    – Interests.
    – Placements.
    – And more.

Just like paid social, display ads is also a low-cost method of getting attention from as many customers on your product/service as possible compared to the cost of gaining visibility in Google search.

  • Gmail Ads
    Benefit-Focused Ads to Drive Landing Page Traffic

    Pushing the benefits of your solution and highlighting problems solved can be achieved through Gmail ads.

These ads can be targeted at anyone who’s visited your site through:

  • Social media awareness ads.
  • Similar audience targeting.
  • In-market audience targeting.
  • Affinity targeting.
  • Demographic targeting.

Informational Search Campaigns

Solution-Focused Ads to Drive Thought Leadership Content Traffic

The CPC on informational queries are much lower compared to head terms in competitive verticals.

This strategy is used to target the users at the time they are searching for help and advice on issues that your product or service solves.

Tools such as AnswerThePublic can help you get an initial list of questions related to your product/service before carrying out research on related CPCs.

Use this tactic to bring down CPCs and reach people who are not aware of your products by bidding on long-tail question keywords rather than head terms.

Encouraging Consideration & Driving Conversions

  • Facebook & LinkedIn
    Lead Generation Campaigns & Conversion-Focused Bidding

    Social media lead generation campaigns to allow for custom contact/lead forms to be:
  • Displayed on the platform.
  • Automatically filled in with user details for ease of conversion.

    Conversion-focused bidding strategies also enable ad delivery to be optimized for specific conversions.

    This means different levels of the campaign can be set up to move a customer through the funnel step by step, beginning with micro-conversions such as PDF/ebook downloads.
  • Search Advertising
    RLSA-Restricted Search Campaigns

    By now, you should have built up a chunk of audience data which you’ll be able to use as RLSAs (remarketing lists for search ads) to hyper personalize and target ads on Google search.

    In doing so, it will help you drive down previously prohibitive CPCs to a more manageable level.

For example, B2B advertisers could use the audience lists they’ve built up through social media job title targeting campaigns to target search ads at those individuals on Google search.

By applying this audience list on your Google search campaigns, you’ll ensure your budget is only spent when a perceived decision-maker (based on job title) is searching for related keywords

  • Maintain & Expand Reach Through Intelligent Audience Management
    – RLSA & Display Remarketing
    – Nurture High Interaction, Non-Converters

    RLSA and display remarketing can be used to:
    – Maintain a brand’s existing customer base.
    – Up-sell to increase customer lifetime value.
    – Prevent customers from being swayed by competitors.

    For example, you could use RLSAs to display ads to users when searching for competitor keywords on Google search.

    In a competitive market, you may not ordinarily want to divert too much budget to competitor keyword targeting.But if you’re able to increase bids when your existing customers are searching to avoid losing them to a competitor, it’s a no-brainer.
  • Facebook Lookalike Audiences
    Use Existing Customer Data to Identify & Target New Customers

    If you’ve exhausted all customer demand within the constraints of your budget in a competitive niche, building lookalike audiences is a good option for expanding reach.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences

By using existing customer lists, Facebook will identify users with matching demographics, interests, or behaviors of your existing customers. It is a great way of creating new audiences ready to seed with your awareness campaigns.

Audience targeting will help you reach a specific group of people with a combination of information about your customers and also information about how people will use Pinterest

You can create four types of audiences:

  • Lists of customers
  • People who were on your site
  • People who have engaged with your pins on Pinterest
  • People who match with the existing audience list


Actalike will help you to reach people easily who are similar to one of your existing audiences. We build Actlike audiences with info about the people on Pinterest and their behavior.

You have to choose your source audience from one of your existing audiences to build your Actlike. With the help of a source audience, you can choose the target people in a specific country and also choose a target size percentage. With the help of alike audiences to find new customers who are likely to engage with your Pins or new people who will visit your website based on the source audience.

Now that you have created your audience, within 24 hours the size will update on the audience page in Ads Manager. The audience size will update within 72 hours if your source audience is new.


New entrants to competitive verticals must diversify media spend into platforms that provide cost-effective visibility.

Social advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn can be a great option for brands looking to gain a foothold in a competitive marketplace. It can even enable new businesses to generate demand for unique products or services.

This doesn’t mean other networks should be completely written off. Instead, more intelligent planning is required.

A cost-effective, full-funnel strategy is always possible in even the most competitive industry.