Have you ever stopped scrolling through your Instagram feed to admire and double-tap a post or liked and shared a Facebook video only to realize later on that it was a sponsored post/video, aka, an ad?
Well, that is the power of online advertising ! Nowadays, online ads are pretty effective as they are incredibly relevant, targeted, contextual, and helpful. Businesses are readily using online advertising channels to promote their brand, products, and services. It makes perfect sense because the internet is the only place where businesses can reach out to a massive global audience as more and more people across the world are using the internet regularly.
With that said, the online advertising scene is surely an ever-evolving one. New advertising platforms and channels, ad types, and audience targeting systems are cropping up regularly. So, let’s take a comprehensive look at online advertising across multiple ad platforms.
1- What Is Online Advertising?
Online advertising is using a set of advertising channels and tools to deliver promotional and advertising messages to people using the internet as a global marketing and advertising platform. Online or internet advertising is a virtual equivalent of traditional advertising methods such as newspaper advertising, radio and TV ads, billboards, etc. In fact, it is quickly becoming the more popular advertising medium with businesses giving it precedence over traditional media advertising.
So, if you are wondering how you can advertise your products and services online, here’s how:
1.1- How to Advertise Online
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that their organic marketing efforts such as SEO blogs and other marketing content are separate from their paid advertising campaigns such as PPC and social media advertising. This is often the case because they are managed by two diverse internal teams that have somewhat different goals.
Bloggers generate SEO content that helps websites rank higher on SERPs and are focused on metrics such as traffic and leads. Social media marketers share that content and interact with the audience. Advertisers, on the other hand, are concerned with performance metrics such as return on ad expenditures and cost-per-acquisition.
Even though the goals of your organic marketing and paid advertising are different, they can actually work together to promote your business and boost your Return on Investment (ROI). In fact, online advertising increases your brand visibility, which helps you promote your content to a large global audience. It also allows you to create high-quality content that caters to the interest of your target audience by analyzing what sort of ad content resonated the most with them.
So, how do you advertise online? Well, the foremost step is to figure out your advertising goal. The most important goal of any ad strategy and campaign is to get a positive ROI, which is essentially evaluated by calculating the revenue generated by your campaign against the cost that you put in.
So, how do you determine how much to spend on your ad for a solid ROI? To figure that out, you’ll have to comprehend the bidding structure used by ad networks.
Simply put, your bid is the money that you’re willing to part with to generate the desired achievement from your ad such as a click. Think of it as an online auction. Ad networks have limited ad space, so you have to pay them for the ad space to reach your target audience. The advertiser who bids the highest wins the space.
All ad networks allow you to only pay the lowest sum that you’d need to win a bid. For instance, if you are willing to bid $10 for a click on an ad, but the highest bidder has only bid $5, then the ad network will only allow you to pay $5.01 to win the bid. It’s important to win this online auction and produce high-quality ads to ensure that your ads get displayed on diverse ad networks.
2- Types of Online Advertising Strategies
Here are the different types of online advertising and the strategies and platforms that you can use in each type to effectively promote your content.
2.1- Social Media Advertising
All month, the three most widely used social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enjoy an abundant number of active users worldwide:
Consumers frequent social media for a wide number of reasons such as staying connected with people, following the news and their favorite celebrities and influencers, networking and business purposes, and more. Due to the massive number of users on social media platforms, businesses are spending a lot on social media advertising; during the last year, the cost of advertising on social media throughout the world was expected to surpass $8.5 billion!
Advertising on social media has various benefits such as reaching a targeted audience and leveraging different ad channels and varieties to advertise content that helps you meet your business targets. It also enables you to invest in specific advertising strategies that generate leads and boost sales for your business. Furthermore, a huge advantage of social media is its relatively low cost. Fifty percent of B2B marketers think of social media as a low-cost advertising option.
So, let’s examine the most popular social media platforms and the ad strategies that you can use within each platform.
Of all the social media platforms, Facebook enjoys the most number of users across the world, which surely makes Facebook advertising the best internet advertising for a small business. So, how do you advertise to such a large audience? This is where audience targeting, Facebook’s most effective and unrivaled advertising feature, comes into the picture. Here are the three types of target audiences on Facebook:
- Core audiences – created on criteria such as location, age, and interests.
- Custom audiences – people who have formerly interacted with your brand.
- Lookalike audiences – people whose likes and interests are comparable to your best customers’ interests.
You can use Facebook to reach the most relevant audience as well as those audiences you wouldn’t be able to connect with via organic efforts alone. There are various ad types – photo ads, story ads, video ads, and lead ads – that you can use on Facebook to engage with your target audience.
Photo ads work well when you want to share collections of images such as a collection of your products. Video ads work wonders for branding and business explainer videos. Story ads enable you to merge photos and short-form videos to create cohesive ad content.
However, the best ad type for an online advertising business is definitely lead ads as they involve promoting visual content and creating leads simultaneously.
They enable you to generate lead data without redirecting people to your website. Regardless of your business’s size or niche, you can utilize lead ads to find potential customers who’d be attracted to your services or products. Lead ads offer customers some form of helpful content that inspires them to sign up for a newsletter, request supplementary business data, or receive a price estimate. This allows your business to receive new leads.
You can also use Facebook Messenger to advertise your content on Facebook. However, it’s a different messaging app with its own advertising features. It is the go-to messaging app in countries such as Canada, the US, and Australia.
Throughout the world, different businesses exchange 20 billion messages with different individuals each month on Facebook Messenger. In such messages, ads play a huge role in initiating the conversation.
You can use the app in your advertising strategy via CTAs in Facebook ads that send a message to interested parties. You can also put up story ads on Messenger Stories and use Messenger Ads to send your content straight to the app’s users. You can use these ad strategies to initiate different conversations with your audience, encourage them to buy your products and services, and even to share your content such as blog posts.
With that said, perhaps the most effective Facebook Messenger advertising strategy is retargeting. Retargeting ads allow you to start targeted chats and offer personalized content to your target audience. These ads enable you to promote to and engage with individuals who have already engaged with you via Facebook Messenger.
You can also use the Facebook Ads Manager to advertise on Instagram. The platform enjoys over 1 billion monthly users worldwide, with most users fall between the ages of 18 and 34. You can advertise your brand, products, and services on Instagram in three ways. Use your Instagram account to promote your posts and stories. Use your Facebook page to create ads and then sponsor them on both the platforms. Generate ad campaigns in the Facebook Ads Manager to find your targeted audience on Instagram.
It’s best to take the third route and create custom ad campaigns for your Instagram audience. You can use photo ads, story ads, shopping post ads, video ads, and ads in the explore section to promote your brand, products, or services. Ads in Instagram Explore allow you to increase your brand’s visibility and engage with new audiences. Shopping Post ads give you the opportunity to add a tag that displays the name and price of the product to your image. If an interested user clicks on the tag, they get directed to the product page, which gives them the opportunity to buy the item.
LinkedIn has more than 660 million monthly global active members. Most LinkedIn users are working professional which makes it the ideal platform for B2B advertising. Additionally, LinkedIn has its own unique targeting criteria which include demographics such as industry, job title, and job function. LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities are so in-depth that they allow you to target super specific audiences. For instance, if you want your ad to reach just the managerial level customer service employees within the IT industry, LinkedIn makes it possible for you. The platform also has the potential to be a massive lead generator thanks to its option of adding lead gen forms in your LinkedIn ads.
Message Ads are the most interesting type of LinkedIn ads. They allow you to send a direct message to your prospective audience to engage with them instantly. You just have to send a targeted message with a clear CTA, make sure to respond to and engage with the prospects, and evaluate the impact of your message. Just make sure that you don’t spam your prospects with too many message ads and try to sound authentic in the ad copy. Make the content as conversational, personal, and relevant as possible.
YouTube is the next biggest search engine after Google. It has more than2 billion monthly active users. YouTube ads appear before the start of and during the YouTube videos. However, it also has stand-alone promoted videos that are displayed after a user performs a search. YouTube allows you to target demographic data and key interests, which you can use to show your videos to relevant audiences watching videos on interrelated topics.
2.2- Paid Search Advertising or Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Paid Search Advertising has numerous benefits, including the fact that advertisers earn$8 for each $1 that they spend on Google Ads. Moreover, search ads appear before the organic results in SERPs. Search ads enable you to anticipate the needs of your likely customers and present highly contextual and relevant ads to them.
Advertising on search platforms uses the targeting features accessible on various social media platforms and combines them with search keywords to make a lethal and effective combination. When a user types in a query into the search bar, Google displays the results that best match the searcher’s intent. This is why you need to select keywords in your ad content based on the queries that you want your ad to show up for on search engines.
This is because Google will match your ad with search questions that use the keywords that you choose. For instance, if a searcher types in “best IT firm” in the search tab they will get results for companies that used keywords such as “top-rated IT firm”.
For location-based searches, make use of the Promoted Pins in Google Maps to attract customers to your business location. For purchase-related queries, use Shopping Post Ads keywords as that’s what Google will highlight for such queries.
So, how do you go about choosing your keywords?
There are two categories for keywords – brand and non-brand. Brand keywords are words or phrases that will include your brand’s name or its variation, while a non-brand keyword is a relevant keyword without your brand’s name or its variation in it.
Brand keywords allow you to protect your ad from your competition’s brand. Running ad campaigns without brand keywords might lead you to lose website traffic to your competitor who’s bidding on the same brand keywords. Meanwhile, non-brand keywords help you to connect with new audiences who are unacquainted with your brand.
Pay-per-click or paid search advertising operates on a bidding system; you essentially compete with other brands to place your ads in search results for your chosen keywords. You bid on the keywords and if your bid is one of the highest bids, you then earn top placement in SERPs above the organic search results. The best part about PPC advertising is that you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. So, your money is only getting spent on people who are most likely to convert into your customers.
2.3- Native Advertising
Native ads are embedded onto a website so seamlessly that they blend in with its visuals and working. The best examples of native advertising are the sponsored posts and videos created by publishers such as the Dodo and BuzzFeed in the same format that they use for their own content and distributed among their massive audiences via their website and social media.
Geico, primarily a car insurance company, collaborated with BuzzFeed to create a video ad on morning workouts. They tapped into BuzzFeed’s expertise to create video content that fits right in with the rest of the content on BuzzFeed’s website.
The benefits of native online advertising services are that you get to leverage the audience reach and editorial expertise of your publisher. This allows you to promote your brand, services, and products to a better and bigger viewership.
The way native advertising works is that you collaborate with your publisher to create sponsored content that also highlights one of their main topic areas so that it looks like any other piece of content on their website. This allows your post to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the content without disrupting the browsing experience of the publisher’s audience.
This opens your brand up to a new audience that’s interested and provides you with numerous lead generation opportunities. In fact, 31% of internet users say they’re more inclined to purchase from a brand after watching its native ad.
2.4- Display Advertising
Display advertising technology has progressed a lot over the years. Today, ad networks use data and machine learning to provide advertisers with effective and operative targeting tactics and consumers with highly relevant ads.
Ad networks such as Facebook’s Audience Network and Google Display Network are the leaders in display advertising. They show your ads to the perfect target audience at the perfect time and place. They also provide you with the option to decide where you want your ad to be placed.
So, let’s take a look at the two display advertising networks:
2.4.1- Google Display Network
When using Google’s Display Network, you have the opportunity to design high-quality, visually appealing ads and promote them across two million apps and websites, Gmail, and YouTube. Additionally, it allows you to create new audiences by targeting individuals who are most inclined to be attracted to your services or products. You can also remarket website visitors by simply using a list of their contact information. Alternatively, you can let Google Ads build your target audience; its automated targeting feature can quickly recognize the audience most likely to convert for the most lucrative ROI.
2.4.2- Facebook’s Audience Network
When using Facebook’s Audience Network, you can expand your Facebook ad campaign and use the campaign’s targeting data to promote your ads on a wide array of apps and websites. Businesses can place banner ads, native ads, full-screen ads, and rewarded video ads (for instance, ads with tags such as “Watch this ad to get more coins!”) on the network’s apps and websites that their Facebook audience visits frequently. This advertising strategy is especially effective for mobile games. 5agame was able to generate 80% of their revenue via their rewarded video!
2.5- Geofencing Advertising
2.5.1- Amazon Advertising
If you are wondering what is the best advertising website, then look no further than Amazon. For e-commerce businesses, Amazon is inarguably one of the best web advertising channels. It’s the third most popular ad platform, beaten only by Facebook and Google. With Amazon Advertising, you can sponsor your products in Amazon product pages, search results, and more. What’s more is that you can also advertise on websites linked to Amazon such as IMDB to further reach a large audience.
2.5.2- Influencer Advertising
Influencer marketing is another highly effective advertising strategy; it offers an impressive average ROI of $6.50 for every $1 spent! Many businesses use influencer marketing to generate brand awareness, cultivate user trust, and boost their sales. It involves partnering with a highly influential personality such as a celebrity with a massive following and having them endorse your services or products on their dedicated channels.
However, you can take your partnership one step further by integrating influencers into your ad campaigns. Brands such as The Hershey Company used this advertising strategy with massive success. It partnered with numerous influencers to sponsor its Hot Cocoa Kisses on YouTube. It launched a paid ad campaign on YouTube, which promoted the influencers’ advertised content. The campaign resulted in generating more than$9 million in retail sales!
3- Benefits of Online or Internet Advertising
Here are some benefits of online advertising:
3.1- Global Coverage
Today, people go online to search for information about services and products. People rely on search engines such as Google to guide us ion the right direction. This is why internet advertising is so effective. It’s a convenient way for you to display your services and products in front of more than 4.5 billion internet users throughout the world. This is a massive global reach and a huge target audience pool for you to make customers out of.
Did you know that the cost of digital marketing and online advertising to reach an audience of 2,000 people is 3 times cheaper than the cost of traditional advertising to the same number of people? Given this data, it’s pretty clear than online advertising is an incredibly affordable form of advertising that even companies on a tight budget can make use of.
3.3- Drives Traffic to Your Website
When your website traffic increases, it also increases the chances of getting more leads and conversions, which is exceptional for your business as it results in boosted sales. The very premise of online advertising is to attract the attention of internet users and direct them to your site.
3.4- Targeted Advertising
Online advertising allows you to filter out your target audiences and allows you to reach them via tailored ad copies. These are people who are the most likely to convert into your customers.
3.5- Enables Remarketing
With the best internet advertising, you can effectively promote your products and services on other websites as a way to remind your website visitors of your brand. This leads to increased conversions.
3.6- Multi-tier Advertising Campaigns
Online advertising allows you to use various different digital platforms together and in unison to form a cohesive advertising strategy that actually works to drive people to your website. It gives you the unique opportunity to connect with people across different channels and it also allows you to increase your online presence and brand visibility.
3.7- Precisely Measurable
Unlike traditional or offline modes of advertising, where you can only gauge the effectiveness of our campaigns, online advertising allows you to track your returns precisely. You can use web analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to measure your advertising ROI.
4- How to Select the Best Online Advertising Strategies for Your Business?
With so many advertising strategies, it can be a bit difficult to figure out which one will be the best fit for your business. For instance, if you are a small business with a comparatively low advertising budget, you might be tempted to start with low-cost options such as social media advertising and PPC.
However, if you have more room and flexibility in terms of budget, then you should definitely use as many of these advertising strategies as you possibly can. Run a campaign across different digital platforms for a unified advertising goal. When you utilize multiple platforms, you’ll be able to effectively reach more global consumers from different demographics.
As a baseline, just make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and designed to generate maximum conversions. This is because regardless of how much money you spent on PPC advertising or social media advertising, if your website is not user-friendly and professional, you won’t be able to generate favorable results. Utilizing online advertising strategies allow users and potential customers to find your website and products. However, your website is what convinces them to stay and become your customers.
5- Online Advertising Tips
Here are some of the best online advertising tips that you can use to better promote your business:
- Evaluate your ROI – with internet advertising, it’s pretty easy to check your progress and the state of your efforts. Simply keep a check on all of your metrics for the digital platform that you’re using. For instance, readily use Google Analytics for your social media ad campaign and SEM
- Create audience segments – divide your audience into different groups that have things in common such as gender, age, location, etc. Make sure to find the right, tailored approach for all of your audience segments. For instance, if you create a display ad campaign for clothing, make sure that your ad copies differ for different target audiences such as men and women.
- Choose the right media for your campaign –make sure that you use the right digital platforms for your ad campaign. For instance, if you sell vegan products, then it would be best to promote them on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. You can also place an ad in the local directories in Google search results so that any potential client who Googles “vegan food near me” can be instantly directed toward your website.
- Use social media platforms that are popular among your target audience – if your target audience comprises of 14 to 30-year-old individuals, then Instagram and Snapchat are your top choices for social media advertising.
- Create unique and imaginative ads – create ads that can resonate with your audience and make them as expressive and imaginative as possible. This will help you attract the attention of your audience. Use bright hues and catchy headlines and make sure to use clear and concise language to create the best online ads.
- Use a clear CTA – Use a crisp and clear CTA such as “Book now,”“Grab the promo code,” or “Learn more,” to get your message across to your audience.
- Create mobile-friendly ads – since so many people use their phones to browse the internet, make sure that all of your ads are mobile-friendly and easy to access on smartphones.
6- The Bottom Line
There is a large variety of online advertising channels and strategies that you can employ to effectively promote your business. The best online advertising strategy for your brand would be the one that perfectly aligns with your advertising goals.
For comprehensive and professional online advertising services, reach out to SEO Resellers Canada today. We will help you promote your brand and take it to new heights of success!