Digital advertising has evolved to become an essential marketing tool for businesses of all industries and sizes. It offers a direct gateway into reaching desired target audiences, allowing advertisers to promptly connect with relevant new or existing customers, generally for surprisingly cost-effective prices. Most importantly, digital advertising is a responsive, reflective form of marketing that’s mirroring how virtual the overall consumer market and experience has become.
In 2020, consumers spent over $861 billion online with U.S. merchants, an increase of 44% from the year before. Businesses have essentially been trying to play catch up with growing virtual e-commerce markets, with U.S. companies spending over $332 billion on digital marketing in 2020 – a number that’s projected to increase to over $525 billion in 2024.
These numbers signal that digital consumerism and advertising are becoming the norm when it comes to everyday business transactions, and refraining from investing in digital advertising can leave your company left in the dust.
If your business is curious to know what benefits digital advertising can bring, keep in mind that no two digital advertising campaigns are alike. Digital marketing essentially boils down to customizing a strategy that reflects your company’s ambitions, as well as tailors specifically toward your ideal, preferred customers.
Let’s take a look at three essential tips when it comes to choosing the right digital advertising strategy for your business!
Tip #1 | Focus On Your Goals
No matter what medium your advertising strategy is catering to, having well-defined goals is essential for the entire marketing process. This applies directly to digital advertising, as developing a strategy requires knowing what objectives you want to achieve.
Are you trying to increase overall sales, or are you striving to directly reach more desired clients? What’s the exact number of leads you want your digital advertising strategy to generate, or how will an active social media campaign foster a feeling of community and loyalty for your clientele? The more definitive you are with what goals you want to accomplish, the easier it will be to create a digital advertising strategy that will adhere to and focus on achieving those ambitions.
Tip #2 | Know Your Options
Once you’ve established your goals, it’s time to evaluate which avenues of digital advertising will work best for your overall strategy.
There are a variety of digital marketing plans, each offering unique advertising advantages, so knowing the gist of how they work can help you determine whether it’s the best plan of action for your business.
Pay Per Click/Search Advertising.
With the keyword targeting capabilities of search engine optimization (SEO), you can vastly improve your website’s virtual visibility, as well as overall ranking in search engine results. However, SEO is more of an organic, long-term strategy to invest in, whereas pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can provide more immediate results and lead generation.
PPC allows your business to bid on specific keywords, but you only have to pay for it when someone clicks on your ad. This way, advertisers can zero-in on marketing toward customers who are not only relevant to the services your company provides but also more likely to buy. This allows you to control or adjust your budget by setting bids based on how much a click is worth to you.
- When to Use It: If you offer a product or service that customers are likely to search for online, pay-per-click advertising can be a very cost-effective way to drive quality traffic to your website.
- What to Keep in Mind: While typically “faster” than SEO, running effective PPC campaigns isn’t an effortless process. To get the best return on your advertising investment, you should regularly review your campaign performance and make adjustments to your ads, bids, and other campaign elements.
- Success Tip: Use the Keyword Planner tool in Google AdWords to find high-quality keywords. The tool provides valuable insight into how often people search for specific keywords, whether other advertisers are bidding on those keywords or how much you might pay for a click.
Any business looking to expand their brand awareness or even reconnect with anyone who visited their website without purchasing or enlisting any services will definitely want to explore their options with display advertising. This is a marketing strategy that focuses on displaying your advertisements on a variety of relevant third-party websites that pertain to your preferred target audiences and demographics.
For example, suppose your business is in the landscaping industry. In that case, you’d want to place ads on specific sites that relate to landscaping, so you can target consumers in need of landscaping services or products.
- When to Use It: Because you can advertise to a broader audience, display ads are a great option if you want to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your site. If you have a longer sales cycle, remarketing ads can help you stay in front of prospects until they are ready to buy.
- What to Keep in Mind: To advertise to previous website visitors using remarketing, you’ll need to add a snippet of code to your website (or have your developer do it for you).
- Success Tip: The more eye-catching your ad is, the more likely it is that your target audience will click through to your site. If possible, invest in professionally-designed ads with strong calls-to-action.
Social Media Advertising
Over the past decade, social media has allowed businesses to connect directly with their clientele, which harbors a feeling of trust and loyalty within that customer base.
Social media advertising taps directly into that one-on-one, business-customer relationship, allowing advertisers to apply powerful audience-targeting capabilities through various social media platforms. Social media advertising also allows for more engaging and personalized ads, which are great for showcasing any specific products or services your business wants to emphasize toward your target audience.
- When to Use It: Social media advertising allows you to target a very precise audience, making it a great option for advertisers who want to find new customers online.
- What to Keep In Mind: Generally speaking, social media targeting is “people-based” rather than topic or keyword based. Make sure you have a defined target audience before launching your ad campaign.
- Success Tip: If you’re using social media to drive prospective customers to your site, make sure your landing page content is organized, and your site is optimized for conversions.
Tip #3 | Be Realistic About Your Resources
Once your digital advertising campaign has been launched, the real work begins! From there on out, it’s important to continue monitoring your virtual marketing efforts to check if they’re performing up to par and make any necessary adjustments to get the best return on your investment.
Before your business invests in any digital advertising campaigns on any platform, you’ll need to review and assess what marketing resources are available to you, including:
- Design Capabilities. Display and social media ads need to stand out to be effective. Are you able to create high-quality ads that meet the platform’s design requirements, or are you willing to hire a graphic designer to create them for you?
- Budget. You’ll need to know how much you are willing and able to invest in your ad campaigns. It’s possible your ads will need to run for a few weeks or months before you can determine how effective they are.
- Time. Creating, launching, and maintaining effective campaigns takes time. Make sure you are setting aside time to review your campaign performance, analyze results, and make adjustments as needed.
These are the primary initial digital advertising strategy components you should keep in mind when determining what virtual marketing campaigns will work best for your business and its goals. If you need help planning the best course of action for online advertising with your company, contact our team today to get started on a free Digital Marketing Blueprint!
Originally published January 29, 2018