Get your message to the masses

Target Your Audience

Utilizing Digital Advertising

In the modern digital era, there are many methods, strategies, and tactics to get in front of users. Many with limited resources are struggling with how to prioritize, and effectively execute to accomplish the goal in mind. For website and business owners the time required to effectively do this is consuming. Search engine optimization is a long-term approach that requires consistent adaptation to changing algorithms and search engine positioning. Social profile creation requires consistent content creation to organically build audience growth. These can be effective strategies for engagement and conversion.

Advertising is a quick and targeted way to reach your audience, and convey the messaging of your brand, products or services. Cross-channel advertising can effectively combine offline ads, such as mailers, bus benches etc. or signage messaging with online ads which increase your touchpoints and allow targeting to coincide with ad messaging. There are several forms of online advertising strategies, from the standard Google or Bing search engine ads, that appear at the top and side of the search results, to contextual ads which can be a banner style that you see at the top of content pages. Also, paid native advertising which generally appears at the bottom of a blog article or content page. These native advertising look like they are “related articles” on the site but actually send traffic to another site. They are contextually targeted to be relevant to the article the user is reading. There are even remarketing ads, which target traffic that’s already been to your site but follows them around to other sites reminding them of your brand or service, by continuously serving your website visitors ads – on websites they visit next.

Managing & Optimizing Online Advertising Spend

Logically all of this requires a budget, and to spend your ad budget efficiently, these methods require forward thinking professionals that track and produce a return on investment (ROI). Optimizations during an ad campaign to achieve a positive ROI can take up to 60-90 days from launching a campaign – dependent on a multitude of variables. This is if you know what you’re doing, the objective in the first 60-90 days is to break even and optimize based on the performance data. Testing ads with images, messaging and calls to action might be some of the tasks performed in this process. Analytics tools, like Google Analytics, Hot Jar, Optimizely are some of the tools that can be used in this process. Excel, is always a great way to mine larger and more dynamic ad campaigns, and there are terrific programmatic tools that can help pivot larger datasets too.

Online advertising is complex in its execution when you consider your prospects or potential website users are online with the intent to do different things. Some might be information seeking, in which they have no intention to buy, no matter how great your ad is. In this case, it would be better to try to get an email, maybe a phone number, or cookie them so you can remarket to them as they get closer to a decision. Others are looking to acquire your service or product right away. Analyzing the buy cycles of your users, and patterns online help create efficient spending which generates positive returns. Measuring to the Life Time Value (LTV) in your ad campaigns is better than simply looking at the cost of the last click, and optimizing to LTV maximizes profitability that otherwise could fall to your competitors.

Answers to Your Questions

Which websites would my advertising appear on?

Depends on which method of advertising you pursue. Ads can appear on the major search engines, like Google and Bing. Social platforms, like Facebook and Youtube. Or, even secondary engines like Ask or Baidu. Contextual advertising can target by audience or websites that are in the Google Ad Network, or Yahoo Display Network. Native advertising options will allow ads to appear on websites that are relevant to your content on the Taboola, or Outbrain networks. Utilizing these options in conjunction with each other can maximize reach, but would require sufficient ad spend. Its recommended given the complexity of tracking, targeting and performance optimization to allow professionals to determine which websites to target.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of online advertising?

The advantages are for the first time in advertising history, companies can get in front of a targeted audience for an effectively modest budget and then scale their reach based on returns. In the days of pre-digital advertising, nobody could efficiently measure the ad dollar how effective ad spend was performing. Even with offline ad dollars, there are practices that can help define how effective offline ad dollars are being spent by utilizing online actions. With this new paradigm, and enough budget a brand or product can become a sensation or recognized in a moderately short period of time.

These disadvantages are related to costs bleeding a business because less qualified marketers, or traditional marketers naively or ineffectively run campaigns. Sometimes this is related to improper tracking or visibility in reporting and other times it’s related to lack of knowledge of how each platform serves ads to audiences they serve. Google consistently has changed their targeting types and costs related to Broad match keywords and phrase match keywords. Facebook, has modified their algorithms to predict “engagement” quality on posts and ads they serve. Some shopping ads require feed management and mismanagement of feeds can alter the ability for ads to appear or perform. With so many components to digital advertising, it is best and more effective to have a professional partner you hold accountable to your ad dollars.

    How much will advertising cost?

    Advertising costs can be as little as you choose to spend, as the saying goes “you pay for what you get.” Naturally the less you spend, the less traffic or eyeballs you receive. There are ways to stretch your ad dollars, such as very specific demographic targeting, or geographic targeting. “Dayparting” is another way to utilize ad spend more conservatively, which is targeting times of day or days of the week you would like your ad to show up. Some industries have extremely high ad budgets, some national insurance companies spend millions of dollars each month to assure they are everywhere in the consumer space.

    There are several advertising cost models, the more popular ones utilized are cost per click (CPC), Cost per Impression or Impression based (number of eyes viewing your ad), and Cost per Acquisition (CPA). Each has a utility based on the goals intended in the ad campaign, but CPC is the more popular model and generally cost-effective. Sometimes, CPA model is more cost effective if the CPC of keywords or products is too high. An Impression based model is generally used in a branding first strategy, or a campaign that really wants reach despite conversions on the site.

    Is there free advertising or other types of online tactics, such as Facebook?

    Yes, depending on the industry your website, products or services fall within there are sites like Craigslist, eBay or Amazon too. Specifically, with Facebook, merchant pages are being more and more devalued by Facebook feeds, in order to promote those businesses to advertise on Facebook to their users. Yes, there are also options like blogger outreach and engagement, in hopes relevant bloggers who always need content, might write about your service. Press releases to local media and local website editors can work too. Always your time is valuable and most of these methods require time, focus and a frequency of failure to improve. Advertising solves the need for urgency and can provide not only a return on your ad dollars but save the invaluable asset of your time.

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