Raise your hand if you’ve ever chosen to not use an external marketing channel or platform, such as affiliate networks, comparison sites or marketplaces because it’s just too much effort? Or fallen behind optimising campaigns for new goals because it’s so time-consuming to implement? It’s okay. Many marketing professionals can find it difficult and time-consuming to manage the performance of channels, but they don’t think it’s worth interrupting a technical colleague for the umpteenth time or turning to a third party, as it can be expensive for small adjustments. There are solutions that provide marketing professionals with the reins to manage such processes to take back control and make the most of online marketing outlets.

One solution is data feed optimisation, which can seem very technical, but it can be made understandable. Before you dismiss, what seems like, another marketing jargon buzzword, take note that data feed optimisation is something you probably already do. But by understanding it, you can do it better, faster and cheaper. This is because you can minimise the time spent launching marketing campaigns by regaining autonomy through data feed optimisation with a DIY tool.

The technical definition of data feed optimisation

Data feed optimisation is an element of feed marketing. Feed marketing is a method to automate certain online marketing processes with a data feed. To best explain data feed optimisation it’s best to break it down word by word.

What’s data? (more than a four letter word)

Data is synonymous with information and is the rawest form. For feed marketing, data refers to the raw information of an advertiser’s offering. Take a retailers offering, their data includes the product title, the description, the price, the product URL, the SKU, the brand and even a sale price. Another example is an airline’s offering, their data will include: the destinations they fly to, the airport names, the departure country, the cost of a flight, the flight date, the link to buy the flight etc. Easy.

Then, what is a data feed?

A data feed is a file that contains all the data. It’ll be a string of all the items in an advertiser’s offering. It’s easy to visualise it as a simple excel file where each column lists a different attribute of an item. Data feeds can come in an XML file or text file but also many other forms.

Data feed optimisation made simple

Therefore, data feed optimisation is the process of optimising the data feed containing an advertiser’s offering. The optimisation is necessary because, like many things, advertising online is no walk in the park. A complete online multichannel marketing offering will include paid advertising, affiliate networks, social platforms, SEO and can extend to comparison sites and marketplaces if your client falls into the eCommerce industry. Managing all channels is no easy feat due to them having different requirements and, as a marketer, you having different strategies for each channel. 

Furthermore, a feed will need to be optimised in order to stay current, to appropriately communicate information, and to ultimately increase conversion rates. Optimisations include optimising a campaign title; to include the most valuable information. Or, filtering items that are low in stock of the traditional sizes; minimizing the number of clicks you’d pay for only for people to immediately exit when they see their size is out of stock. This process of managing and ensuring that the information sent to such channels is in a high converting condition is, in essence, data feed optimisation. 

For performance marketers, data feed optimisation will stretch beyond making sure the data feed complies with the channel. It also extends to optimising existing campaigns. As a company’s goals change, campaigns will need to be tweaked in order to improve one’s quality score and click through rate. 

But how do you manage optimisations?

It’s no good knowing you need to implement highly converting content into an ad or product listing but having to wait for someone else to do it. There are online tools and plugins out there that provide the means to easily optimise data feeds. These tools are designed to be as user-friendly as possible removing the “high technicality” obstacle often perceived with data feed optimisation. Using a tool as a solution will enable you to make (and see) implementations faster. 

Channable offers a tool that provides you with the means to optimise feeds and simplify managing multiple channels from one dashboard. Meaning that you don’t need to limit your reach because you’re not certain it’s worth the effort. With simple IF-THEN rules, you can transform raw data into quality data. Channable also offers a free trial so you can test out all the features for yourself to see how optimising feeds yourself can drastically improve ad performance for you and ultimately your clients. 

Data feed optimisation with a tool increases a marketers autonomy and will shorten lead times of implementing new channels and optimisations to an online marketing strategy. Make instant adjustments to campaigns with a tool to improve quality scores, which can ultimately lead to a higher ROI and conversion rate for clients.