Digital advertising is a proven way to create brand awareness, generate leads and convert sales. It’s cost effective and can increase your brand’s visibility and engagement, allowing you to tap into markets that are otherwise is difficult to crack.

With digital advertising platforms easy to come by these days, how do you decide which platform and ad types are right for you?

What is digital advertising?

Digital advertising is essentially purchasing ad space on the internet. This could be through Google search or display ads, on Facebook or other social media sites, on blogs, mainstream media platforms or a range of other websites.

Unlike traditional advertising, digital is preferred for its targeted, measurable and affordable approach. It’s also highly flexible, providing various options that can be tweaked to maximise ad performance. There’s no one size fits all solution though, so it’s important to fully understand the options available and what they’re best suited to achieve.

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Do your homework first

While most platforms make it easy to create ads and start spending money—which is great for entrepreneurs and those wanting to promote their business without fuss—there can be lasting detrimental affects if you don’t get it right because it’s just as easy to waste your money on advertising if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.

A critical part of any digital advertising campaign is the strategy behind it and the knowledge to execute it. Before spending a cent stop and consider why you want to advertise, who you want to reach and what the objectives are. Then you can effectively evaluate the pros and cons of each option and ensure your advertising budget will get you the returns you hoped for.

What are the options?

There are many types of digital ads and platforms to choose from ranging from pay-per-click (PPC) models and social media advertising to mobile and video advertising, and more.

It’s safe to say that Google is the frontrunner when it comes to search and display advertising with the platform clocking up 5.6 billion searches each day. Investing in advertising through this platform is a sure fire way to hit some goals—providing you put the necessary effort into keyword research and understanding the process.

Search ads appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) above and below the organic results, and are identified by the ‘Ad’ icon. They allow advertisers to bid on relevant keywords in order to have their ad served to people browsing for similar products or services. Though they are useful in remarketing, their main purpose is to attract new customers and increase brand awareness by placing your ad front and centre of search results.

Display ads work a little differently in that you can target relevant keywords but ads appear on high-traffic websites such as blogs, news sites or social media platforms, and can incorporate text, video, or static images. They too can be shown to new customers or as part of a remarketing campaign, but they don’t require someone to be searching for a product or service in order for ads to be served to them. They are useful in building brand awareness and reminding users of a product or service by motivating them to click and convert (remarketing).

Social media platforms are growing rapidly in number and size, with Facebook alone boasting 2.41 billion monthly active users and Instagram 1 billion, making social networks a valuable ingredient in digital campaigns.

People have become comfortable using social media—places where they connect, engage and seek information; making one of its most valuable features the capacity for engagement and interaction.

By leveraging this connectivity, social media can benefit your business in many ways by reaching a targeted audience, building brand awareness and directing customers to take action. Instagram in particular is useful for consumer brands to generate leads and boost sales.

Social media ads are powerfully visual and blend seamlessly with the videos, images and other visual content appearing in news feeds. Even more impressive are the granular targeting options and the ability to stretch a budget while still seeing return on investment. With highly competitive pricing, social media advertising is equally a very attractive option for small businesses/low budgets and big brands/vast budgets.

Native advertising is essentially a form of paid advertising that publishes your owned content in a way that resembles editorial. Native ads are subtle, helpful and non-obtrusive, offering quality content that is carefully designed to engage a reader.

Your customers may be scrolling their Facebook newsfeed, browsing search results or catching up on their daily news fix when they are served with native ads relevant to their user experience.

In a time when people are training their eyes to block out traditional advertising and primarily using mobile devices to view content, native ads can cut through by delivering relevant and engaging content within newsfeeds and to targeted audiences.

With YouTube now one of the largest search engines—second only to Google—video is fast becoming a go-to digital advertising channel. With all the targeting features of display ads, video advertising is a powerful way to reach and engage with potential customers. Video advertising is also especially successful in driving website traffic and growing brand awareness, useful for campaigns that require storytelling.

Another cost-effective digital advertising solution, video advertising can fit with almost any objective and budget while reaching a large audience of potential prospects based on several possible targeting options; keyword search, channel type, content format, industry, and even other websites where Google’s display network is able to serve ads.

One, two, three or more?

It’s easy to see that there are plenty of options when it comes to digital advertising that will help grow your business. They provide cost-effective and measurable advertising solutions with proven results for driving awareness, engagement, clicks and conversions.

You don’t need to pick just one platform though. Depending on your objective, target audience, budget and creative, your campaign might be suited to several.
For example, native advertising can be successfully used across social media sites such as Facebook along with display advertising placements for example, on mainstream news media sites.

If your brand has a story to tell, video is a powerful advertising vehicle and can be used successfully across multiple platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

The next steps

At the end of the day, your digital advertising campaign is only going to be as effective as the planning put into it. Technology will also continue to evolve, as will the habits of your potential customers so it’s vital you regularly review your campaign to ensure its success and stay on top of platform changes and new ways of advertising.

If you’re still unsure of which advertising platform is right for your business, confused by the differences between the search and display network, or want to learn more about ways of advertising through video content, contact us for an obligation free chat. Our team has a wealth of experience developing digital advertising strategies and solutions that work and will make sure that you put your advertising spend where it will get the results you want.

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