Digital Advertising: How to Maximize Your Digital Ads 
By Jose Gomez / Updated: January 13, 2021
This guide has everything you need to know about Digital Advertising.
Nowadays, it’s critical you become familiar with the latest digital advertising trends and strategies, or else you would be left behind.
Don’t worry, in this guide, I’ll deal with digital advertising essentials as well as advanced techniques. Once you’ve finished reading it, you would be such a digital advertising expert. Thus, you would be able to apply some of my proven tactics and succeed!
If you don’t want to be beaten by your competitors, you can’t miss out the chance to be up-to-date as regards digital advertising.
Let’s get started!
Digital Advertising Essentials
There are one thousand reasons why digital advertising matters these days. Among many others, due to the fact that most people spend loads of time using digital devices like laptops or mobile phones.
Thus, if you want to reach them and get your content viral, you will need to approach them wherever they are. So, whether you like it or not, you must become familiar with digital advertising.
In this chapter, I’ll focus on digital advertising essentials. That’s to say, I’ll explain to you what digital advertising is and how it works.
And then, I’ll provide you some data as regards the latest digital advertising statistics. To conclude, I’ll devote some lines to the importance of digital advertising nowadays.
What is digital advertising?
Digital advertising is a promotion strategy that aims at reaching consumers online. It covers the whole process. That’s to say, from awareness to sale. More and more people search for products or services online.
Thus, if you want to catch their attention, you will need to run advertising campaigns on the internet. Indeed, not only do people search for information online and buy products, but they also use the internet to spend their free time.
In fact, many internet users do interact with brands online. For example on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. Consequently, failing to advertise yourself online would be a mistake. The amount of time people spend online increases every year.
Anyway, digital advertising differs from organic traffic. The former includes a certain cost such as CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). Whereas the latter aims at gaining better rankings on search engines due to high quality content and relevant keywords.
Moreover, digital advertising is on the rise nowadays. It’s pretty cost-efficient and you can target specific audiences. Not to mention the fact that it is measurable in real time and it gets quick results.
How digital advertising works?
Digital advertising is used to advertise content, promotions, products, services, and more. Yet, what characterizes this type of advertising is that brands promote themselves on digital platforms instead of traditional channels like billboards.
Why does this matter?
It’s crucial you advertise yourself on those platforms your target audience spends most of their time in. Not any platform will work for you, nor do they have the same formats and specifications.
Thus, if you want to make the most out of your digital advertising, you need to do some audience research first. Once you become aware of which platform is best for you, you will need to decide on the type of advert.
Not all advertisements work the same, nor do they have the same effect on people. Depending on your advertising campaign, budget and aims, some ads would be better than others.
But, the advantage of digital advertising is that it will allow you to increase your brand awareness no matter how big or small your brand is.
The difference between traditional and digital advertising is not only that they use completely different channels, but that the effects of digital advertising are significantly faster.
Traditional advertising addresses the general public. Though, digital advertising is focused on a specific group. On top of that, with traditional advertising, there wasn’t a way to check where leads came from. Though, digital advertising metrics provide you loads of information.
Digital advertising statistics to drive 2021
Given the fact that the time people spend online has significantly increased, it would be wise to focus on improving your digital advertising strategy. If you are still not convinced of how relevant it is these days, have a look at the statistics below!
There was a 13% average increase in budget for digital marketing between 2019 and 2020. ( Statista )
68% of all online experiences start with a search engine. ( BrightEdge )
Including a customer testimonial on a landing page can increase page conversions by up to 34%. ( VWO )
The average CTR for Facebook ads is 0.9%. ( WordStream )
Mobile app usage has increased by 20% in 2020. ( AppAnnie )
Instagram advertising platform is used by over 2 million businesses ( Instagram )
By 2022, Phil Gaughran (McGarryBowen) said, 80% of the advertising process will be automated ( Adobe )
Ad placement and audience targeting are the top ways that advertisers drive more demand. ( Hubspot )
Online ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. ( WebFX )
Customers are 70% more likely to purchase a product when a company utilizes retargeting. ( TechJury )
Keeping customer journey and customer experience top of mind will help you to provide a better service. Whenever you plan to run a new ad, it’s fundamental you think about how it would be perceived by your audience.
You should pay attention to your customers’ journey too. This way, you would be able to provide a greater UX. Thus, they would visit your site again and might order more products. Or they could even share your ad and support your brand in the eyes of others.
How to Choose the Right Channels for Your Business
Choosing the right digital channels for your brand is critical. This would depend on your audience, but also on the effect you want to cause. Not surprisingly, each channel has a specific format and several advantages.
Thus, in this chapter, I’ll help you to choose the right channels for your business. I’ll talk about digital display advertising, search advertising, social media advertising and email advertising.
Then, I’ll stress the significance of remarketing and retargeting. Not to mention that I’ll tell you all about the latest digital advertising trends. Finally, I’ll devote some lines to programmatic digital advertising.
Given the amount of ads available, you need to have a clear understanding so that you can select which ones are best for you. Not all ads have the same format, nor will they reach the same audiences.
Indeed, each type of ad will help you to reach different audience groups. On top of that, there are several advantages and drawbacks you need to know as regards each type of ad. Let’s have a look at them so that you can make the most out of your digital advertising!
Digital display advertising
Display advertising is a digital approach which aims at drawing online users attention to take a specific action. It tries to reach people on social media platforms, websites and any other digital mediums.
That’s to say, display advertising pretends to catch your audience’s attention with image, video, text-based ads and more. In the vast majority of cases, it includes CTAs which drive users to a landing page.
What’s more, display ads are great for any business since most of the times you just pay if people click on your ad. Not to mention the fact that you can use several types or just one depending on your budget and audience’s preferences.
Whether to use one type of ad or another depends on your audience, but also on the channel you want to show them in. Each medium has different specifications. Only research and A/B testing will help you to make a wise decision.
On top of that, you might want to use different display ads in different campaigns depending on the audience segment you want to target and your goals. Below there is a list of the most well-known display ads:
Search advertising is a marketing method that shows ads on search engine results. Brands which make use of this advertising campaigns just have to pay each time someone clicks on their ad. So, they are extremely targeted and cost-effective.
Among its benefits, it’s worth mentioning the fact that it will help you to boost your brand awareness quickly among search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Marketers who use search advertising display their ads in front of people who are already searching for particular keywords. This type of ads most of the times appear just below or above organic search results.
Not surprisingly, there are several types of search advertising. Depending on the type of audience you want to attract, you would need to use one or all types. The same is true for search engines.
I mean, whether you should display your search ads on one search engine alone or several search engines depends on your audience. You might want to appeal to worldwide audiences or very specific ones.
PPC – Text ads
Social media advertising
Social media advertising is a promotion method that will give you benefits from day one. In other words, you won’t have to wait for people to type your keywords to see your ad. Social media ads appear on social networks with huge audiences.
As easy as it sounds, you will need to carefully choose which platforms are best to show your ads. This will depend on your audience. However, among its many benefits, one of the most significant advantages of social media ads is that it allows you to target specific audience segments.
On top of that, it is a well-known fact that social media ads help you to engage with your audience and strengthen your relationship with them. Not to mention the fact that your audience themselves can help you spread the word since they can share and support your campaigns.
Where you can put your ads on main social media
Which social media platform to use will depend on your audience. I mean, you need to do some research and become familiar with what platforms they like to spend their free time in. And most importantly, it would be helpful to know where do they interact more with ads.
Below, there is a list of the most popular platforms to display your social media ads:
Source: InVision email
What is email advertising?
Email advertising is a marketing procedure which needs receivers consent. That’s to say, marketers create email lists to which their audience has already opted-in. That’s why email marketing is so efficient these days.
Apart from giving you the chance to send personalized emails to different segments of your audience, email marketing is no doubt affordable since you don’t need to spend on printed ads. Most adults have email accounts and many admit to favor emails as an advertising channel.
If combined with social media, email advertising can be really successful. You should include links to share email content on the emails you send. Besides, you can use social media networks to increase your email list.
Apart from personalizing your emails, you can also automate them. So, you can divide your email list into segments with similar preferences and email them according to their likes. In fact, one of the benefits emails have is that it’s really easy to track their effectiveness.
Yet, among its drawbacks, it’s the fact that as time goes by some people decide to opt-out. So, it’s essential that you keep your contacts list updated. Some people do not open emails or classify them as spam. However, emails are still worth using.
Remember to ask your audience to opt-in, do not spam them and assure them you won’t sell their email addresses. This will help you convince them to subscribe. Some marketers even provide something in exchange of emails like taking part in a contest.
Mobile digital advertising is a little different from desktop advertising. Both of them are necessary, but the ads are not the same due to the screen size for instance. So, you will need to optimize your ads and adapt them for both devices.
Indeed, mobile digital advertising is more effective these days as there are more mobile owners. So, it’s easier to target mobile users since you can provide ads that are more personalized.
Don’t forget that video ads are more widely seen on mobile devices. Thus, it’s mandatory they’re not too long. Not to mention the fact that in mobile advertising you need to ask users to opt-in to receive data, while for desktop ads is not always necessary.
Remarketing and retargeting
What is remarketing?
Remarketing aims at reactivating consumers intends mainly through emails. That’s to say, when visitors to your site start an action like place an item in the cart, but never complete it.
Remarketing happens when you send an email to remind them how great your product is. Such a reminder tends to go accompanied by a further motivation like free shipping or a discount.
You can even create a sense of urgency. For example, the offer will expire soon or there are only a limited amount of units in stock. Not surprisingly, you will need a catchy subject line.
If you convince them to open the email, there are lots of chances they complete the desired action soon. In general, remarketing emails are highly effective since consumers have already shown interest.
What is retargeting?
Retargeting, on the other hand, is a tactic which aims at reengaging visitors to your site through ads. These ads are shown on other websites or on a search engine. So, once your website visitors have interacted with your site and left, you retarget them somewhere else.
The ads goal is to drive visitors to your website again so that they can carry on interacting with your site. Retargeting ads could be sent due to various reasons. For example, you can use them with users who have been in a website which is similar to yours or due to a user’s history of searches, and more.
You can either retarget users off-site or on-site. Whether you should use one or the other depends on your goals. Most of the times, retargeting is used to catch users attention and interest.
If you retarget off-site users, you would do so based on their keywords use on search engines for instance. While on-site retargeting happens because visitors leave without taking a desired action on your Web page.
Both remarketing and retargeting have pros and cons. There is not one that is better than the other. They simply work better depending on several circumstances. Yet, you need to know what they are so that you can make the right choice.
The difference between remarketing and retargeting
Retargeting means that you target again a specific group of your website visitors. These are visitors who abandoned your site without completing a desired action. So, retargeting means that you try to convince them by means of showing them ads on other sites they visit.
Although they’ve got some similarities like trying to revive consumers engagement, retargeting and remarketing differ in many aspects. Remarketing differs from retargeting not only in the channel (usually by email), but also in the users interest.
Remarketing happens when you send consumers an email after they’ve shown interest about one of your products, but never finished the transaction. They might have got distracted or where not 100% convinced.
So, in remarketing the idea is that you remind them how interested they are. And also, it’s common to provide some incentives to make sure they end up taking the desired action. For example, they return to your site and buy the product which was on their cart.
Whereas in retargeting users don’t necessarily have shown any interest in buying before you show them ads on other sites. Nor is it common to offer special promotions to convince consumers to go to your site.
In retargeting you show an ad repeatedly hoping to convince users to go to your site. And once they are there order a product or hire a service, but they haven’t shown their interest in doing that beforehand.
Digital advertising trends in 2021
The world is constantly changing, and so does digital advertising. There are many innovations due to technological advances. Still, many aspects keep on growing as it was predicted. And others just remain the same.
Below, I’ll explore the most relevant trends for 2021. I’ll tell you all about the latest digital marketing techniques to succeed. Don’t miss the chance to be informed and beat your competitors. Let’s peek inside it!
Digital marketing will expand
Digital marketing is supposed to carry on growing this year and the years to come. This growth will go hand in hand with speed. I mean, the speed at which new products can be created to help consumers with their needs.
This might be easy if companies partner with social networks since they have at their disposal loads of data as regards users preferences. If brands take advantage of this data, they can do wonders to please their audiences.
Artificial intelligence is on the rise
Artificial intelligence is here to stay. It has significantly improved since it first appeared. Now, it’s more difficult to differ between machines and humans. This means that we will continue using robots to help us.
These “robots, apps, machines, platforms, etc.” have many advantages as regards humans. They are always available to help us, they don’t get angry even when we annoy them, they have a great memory, and more.
Voice searches are every day more common due to mobile users. Digital advertising cannot ignore them. So, this means that you will need to take into account voice assistants when choosing your keywords.
Either Siri, Alexa, Google or any other voice assistant use conversational language. So, if you want your content to be found, you need to bear this in mind. Remember that most people ask questions, so this matters too.
Private messaging apps
More and more marketers are starting to use private messaging apps to communicate with their customers. The truth is that apps such as WeChat, Viber or WhatsApp are already being used to communicate instead of emails.
These apps are trendy as they allow you to share data in real time and they foster relationships and brand awareness. Not to mention the fact that some of them even allow users to pay online like PayPal, Venmo or WeChat.
Many brands will keep on using chatbots
Like voice assistants, chatbots are a form of artificial intelligence. Many businesses use them nowadays to answer their audience queries on their sites for instance. Among its benefits, it’s worth pointing out that they are able to communicate with users in real time.
Besides, they are cost-effective and can offer a much more personalized treatment. Visitors to your website will appreciate not having to wait for their questions to be answered while they can carry on browsing on your Web page.
This year a lot more companies are expected to use personalization in their digital marketing campaigns. The truth is not many companies are offering a completely personalized service. However, this is what many users expect.
So, if you want to improve your benefits, you need to focus on personalization. I mean, not only using your customers name on their emails, but offering them products you think they might like based on past purchases, and more.
Customer retention is gaining importance
Getting new customers is great and you need to do your best to reach new audiences. But, it’s also important to retain your customers. The latter could do business with you again in the future. You will be able to gather reliable data from them.
What’s more, it’s cheaper to retain customers than to gain new ones. Not to mention the fact that past customers, if they’re happy with your brand, can recommend you to the people they know. So, it’s worth drawing them the attention they deserve.
Consumer privacy has to be guaranteed
These days, more relevance is being given to consumer privacy. You must be transparent with your customers and assure them you won’t use their personal information to sell it to databases.
Instead, you need to convince them the information they allow you to collect will be used to offer them a better user experience. Otherwise, people would stop providing personal details to brands. I don’t blame them, no one likes to be spammed all the time.
Programmatic digital advertising is somehow a method to automate the buying process of digital campaigns. This way, you won’t need people to negotiate with one another, AI will do it for them. Thus, they could better use their time and energy to improve advertisements.
Were you to use programmatic digital advertising, you would increase both the transparency and efficiency of the process. It normally happens through real-time auctions while users are already browsing a website.
Now you are ready to choose the right channels to advertise both your products/services and your business. I hope you have found this information useful.
You wouldn’t be able to make a great choice unless you knew what digital display advertising, search advertising, social media advertising and email advertising are.
Remarketing and retargeting are essential too. Any of them can help you convince those visitors who left your site without taking a desired action. Besides, being familiar with the digital advertising trends of this year is mandatory.
Thus, you can move on into the next chapter where I’ll talk about how to develop your own digital advertising strategies. Sounds interesting? Keep on reading!
Create Your Digital Advertising Strategies
Developing your own digital advertising strategies is key to succeed. What works for some brands, doesn’t necessarily have to work for others. What’s more, if you want to beat your competitors, you’d better be original.
In this chapter, I’ll show you how to create your digital advertising strategies. First of all, you need to know what a digital advertising strategy is. Then, I’ll focus on advertising research and its relevance these days.
To conclude, I’ll devote some lines to how can you craft your advertising strategy. So, I’ll talk about audience targeting and how to make the most out of your budget. Ready?
What is a digital advertising strategy?
A digital advertising strategy is a plan that somehow helps you to achieve your goals, whatever they are. For example, attract more qualified leads. This can only be done by means of thoroughly choosing the right online channels for your brand.
Normally, you will need to use more than one channel, including paid, earned and owned media. Though, in the majority of cases, all of them are used to support the same advertising campaign. It is with several campaigns that you can reach your goals and fulfill your strategy.
But, what do you need to include in a digital advertising strategy? To begin with, you will need to define your buyer personas. Then, you’ll have to establish your goals and think of the tools and resources you need to achieve them.
Besides, you should also analyze your marketing campaigns (owned, earned and paid media). And then, come up with a plan. Do not forget to review and optimize your plan as needed.
Advertising research aims at improving your marketing strategies and your digital marketing campaigns. But, when should you carry out advertising research? Well, at least before and after each marketing campaign.
On top of that, it would be wise to do some research once you’ve launched a campaign. Just to check if it is going in the right direction and having the desired effect.
Before you start an advertising campaign, you will need to try to understand your audience. Think about your customers and prospects and their needs. This way, you’ll be able to target several audience segments within the same campaign.
You can collect data through surveys, customer reviews, Google Analytics, keyword research, blog comments, social media and more.
Once the campaign is over, it’s key to analyze its effectiveness. You should pay attention to your website analytics and check where traffic came from for instance.
Besides, you can check the volume of mentions on social media platforms, news coverage, sentiment, reach, engagement, purchase intent and etcetera.
Advertising design research
Advertising design requires some market research so that you can better understand the behavior of potential customers. Once you’ve defined your buyer personas, you will be ready to generate a creative design.
Even though, you probably won’t have a lot of concise information during the creative phase of your ad, it’s mandatory you do some research. I mean, you should A/B test with different ideas before deciding on the final work.
However, you must be very careful with deadlines and the budget. That’s why research during the designing phase is so critical. That’s to say, if for whatever reason, you don’t finish some of the ad phases on time, this would affect the others.
Likewise, if you spend too much in the design of an idea, this would be in detriment of other parts of the ad’s design. So, checking things in advance is of utmost importance. This won’t only save you time, but it will also prevent unnecessary issues.
What is competitor analysis?
Competitor analysis is a research you cannot miss out. Its goal is to collect data from your competitors and use it to your benefit. In other words, knowing your competitors strengths and weaknesses can help you to develop a better advertising strategy.
First, you will need to identify your major competitors. And then, you should both analyze and compare their content with yours. You might want to check blog posts, press releases, videos, podcasts, FAQs and more.
Moreover, you may well pay attention to their SEO practices. That’s to say, you can observe how often they post content for instance. And, their website and social media are worth monitoring too.
Once you have collected all this information, you will probably have an idea of what’s what they are doing better than you. These are the areas you need to keep an eye from now onwards and make an effort to improve. You could also take advantage of their weaknesses if you find any.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process by which you look for keywords related to your website. It aims at selecting those keywords which would give you the best ROI. Since search engines rank Web pages according to their keywords, it’s critical you do some research.
Not surprisingly, not any keyword works well. If you choose highly competitive keywords, it will be complicated to rank high. But, if you use keywords nobody is looking for, search engines won’t help you to get traffic.
So, apart from choosing keywords related to your website content, your products/services, and more, you should pay attention to long-tail keywords. These ones might not be so popular, but they are more specific. So, chances are they will help you to get visitors.
It is advisable to use tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or SEMrush to help you find relevant keywords. Think that users won’t use the same vocabulary you use to define what you sell, you will probably utilize complicated terminology.
It’s also relevant to mention that more and more people search for keywords using questions. So, you might benefit from including them among your keywords. And finally, if you want to get prospects near where you live, you have to include your location into your keywords.
Social media research
Social media research refers to analyzing social media platforms to compile information and use it to improve your digital advertising strategy. Since many Internet users spend lots of their time in social media channels, it’s worth analyzing this data.
Thanks to social media research, you would be familiar with the latest trends, consumers opinions, get to know potential influencers and more. Believe it or not, social media channels are a powerful source to either boost or ruin an advertising campaign.
So, it’s vital you pay attention to what people are saying about your brand and products. You can also use social media platforms to check what your competitors are doing, to interact with your audience and so on and so forth.
But, most importantly, social media platforms are an excellent resource to collect data. Users share many personal details, what they like or dislike, where they live and more. Thus, you can use this data to create more specific and personalized advertising campaigns.
Whatever strategies you decide to follow, whatever campaigns you run, it’s vital to check their effectiveness once they’re over. How would you know if the efforts you made were worthy if you don’t measure them?
You don’t need to wait till an advertising campaign is over to check if it’s working. Yet, it’s crucial you do analyze its acceptance when the campaign has finished. This will help you to discover weaknesses, so you will be able to work on them.
Likewise, understanding your strengths will help you to enhance them. You will probably need to use different strategies for different campaigns. But, if you know what works, you will save time and energy that you could use to improve your ads.
How to craft a digital advertising strategy
Crafting a digital advertising strategy is essential. Not only is it important due to the fact that many people spend time online, but is is also crucial since there are lots of possibilities available. In other words, digital advertising can be complex if you don’t know your audience.
Indeed, you would have a specific budget to spend on digital ads. It is believed that marketers are increasing the amount of money they spend on digital advertising. Still, you cannot cover everything.
Even if you could afford it, it would be worthless to use channels your audience doesn’t pay attention to. Thus, you need to develop a plan to make the most out of your digital advertising efforts. Let’s have a look at some critical steps to follow!
1. Set your goals
Before you can start planning your strategy, you’ll need to set your goals. You will probably have several goals such as increase your sales, get X number of likes or shares on social media networks, and more.
Whatever your goals are, it’s fundamental you know them. In fact, you should distinguish between those which can be obtained soon and those which would come in the long-term. You should also know of all your goals which are more important for your brand.
What’s more, goals are what will help you check the effectiveness of your strategies, and your advertising campaigns. It’s important you start with goals you can achieve as it’s discouraging if you never reach them. Likewise, if they’re too easy, motivation won’t be high.
2. Define your target audience
It comes as no surprise that you need to know your audience so that you can reach them better. Indeed, becoming familiar with your current customers is not enough. You should also think about those who you would like to have as customers.
The best way to understand your audience is by means of developing buyer personas. These ones are imaginary customers you might have. They have to be different, each of them representing a segment of your target audience.
You should have data as regards who they are, where they live, what they do, their gender, their age and more. Besides, it’s helpful to know how they speak. As the language they use to talk about your products or services is not the same you use to describe them.
The best way to know your audience is to listen to them. You should try to make an effort to know their pains and do your best to solve them. Learning about your audience will also help you target them where they are online. This way, boosting your efforts.
3. Develop a customer journey map
It is critical you define your customer journey map. This one starts with your customers awareness about your brand and products. Then, you must convince them to think you are the right choice. The last phase is when they actually convert to customers.
The more you understand this process, the better informed you will be. And, as you may well know, information is power. Becoming familiar with your customer journey map can make a difference in the planning of your digital advertising strategies.
4. Find out what channels work for you
Likewise, it’s mandatory you discover what channels work for you. How would you know that? Finding out those channels which your audience uses. It could be the case that if you look at your audience and its several segments, they use more than one channel.
That’s fine, it’s what we already expect. So, you will need to use both paid and organic advertising on those social networks they use. However, if you know there are other platforms they don’t use, it is not necessary you waste your budget targeting people there.
As there are more and more channels everyday, it’s fundamental you select the ones that matter for your brand. Those would be the ones your audience interacts with.
It’s worth considering that your most relevant channels are not only the ones in which your audience is active, but also the ones in which they engage with ads and their brands.
5. Come up with a calendar
Any great digital strategy should go hand in hand with a calendar. This one might include deadlines, industry events, meetings, who is in charge of creating and posting content and much more.
Likewise, this calendar will serve you well during all the advertising process. I mean, since you have the first idea of an ad, till it becomes a real ad. You can monitor all the process thanks to a calendar. This way, you’ll make sure everything is done on time.
Interested in downloading a marketing calendar? Want to know how to manage yours if you already have one? Read this complete marketing calendar guide to find out more information.
What’s more, a calendar could also help you to manage your social networks. You will probably have more than one. Yet, they have different formats and specifications. Thus, a calendar would help you to analyze and check everything is running as it should.
6. Build a content strategy
Content creation is gaining a lot of importance. Online users value high quality, long-format pieces of content. Yet, you must favor quality over quantity. Above all, you need to discover what issues your audience wants to know about. And then, write about that.
For instance, if you notice they frequently ask you the same questions about a particular topic, it would be wise to write about this topic and share it with them. If you post it online, it would serve them well. You can even attract new clients because of that.
Content creation not only helps your audience, it also attracts visitors to your site and increases brand awareness. Try to post interesting and creative pieces of content. You could later share them, and ask others to share them on social networks. Who knows, you might get it viral!
7. Watch out your resources – plan according to them
by Philip VanDusen
Obvious as it may seem, many brands fail to plan according to their resources. But, if you want to get the work done on time and succeed, it’s vital you take your budget into account for example.
Indeed, the budget is not the only factor which affects an advertising campaign. You should also bear in mind your staff and their capabilities. If you want to get successful outcomes, you need to be realistic.
Similarly, controlling your budget is not only advisable, but detrimental. Consider that if you spend too much on one part of the advertising phase, you would have to cut down expenses on another one. It could even make the campaign fail.
8. Check and monitor effectiveness
The last strategy you need to focus on is to check whether you have achieved those goals you defined at the beginning. Each platform has its own analytics, you could also use other analytics tools outside them.
Still, knowing your goals will help you find the data you need to analyze. You could later use this information to improve your digital advertising strategies. Not to mention the fact that if you find any issue, you would be a little closer to solve it.
And, that’s all for digital advertising strategies. Remember that advertising research is fundamental to succeed. So, don’t rush yourself and devote some time to keyword research, competitor analysis, social media research and more.
Crafting a digital strategy is not that easy. Yet, if you follow my proven steps, you won’t have any problem to create your own strategies and succeed. Want to know more about digital advertising? You can’t miss the next chapter where I’ll deal with display network advertising.
Display Network Advertising
Display network advertising can bring you loads of benefits. But, if you want to take advantage of it, you will first need to understand it. Its results and effectiveness will depend on your objectives and the strategy you take to achieve them.
In this chapter, I’ll tell you all about display network advertising. I’ll cover from what it is to why should you use it and its main benefits. Not surprisingly, I’ll explain to you display network advertising types in more detail.
And then, I’ll show you how to increase the effectiveness of your display network ads. Thus, I’ll provide some proven tips and I’ll help you grow your remarketing list.
What is display network advertising?
Display network advertising refers to all those paid ads that can appear on strategically chosen websites, social media platforms, and apps. Its aim is to call the attention of a specific segment of your audience so that they later take a desired action.
There are several networks where you can display your ads on. Being Goggle, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube the most important ones. Whatever the network you use, you will need to set your goals. And then, by means of keywords, audience demographics, topic, interest, placements and etc. let the network work for you.
Basically, display network advertising works by means of showing your display ads on other websites and social media apps to others. You only pay if people click on your ads. It is highly effective in the case of remarketing as users have already shown some interest.
Indeed, you can either use display advertising to target those who left your site without purchasing or to target people with similar interests. The latter tends to be practical too since if the audience you’ll target has similarities with yours, they would probably be interested in what you have to offer.
The purposes of digital network advertising
There are many reasons why you should put into action digital network advertising. Indeed, you can put into place campaigns with various purposes. You’ll find them explained just below!
One of the most well-known display network advertising purposes is to increase brand awareness. Such a campaign will take a while to be effective. So, you need to make sure you have enough budget.
The aim of a brand awareness campaign is to reach a wider audience. Still, the objective is not that they take a desired action. But, that they get to know you as a highly respected brand. Some of them will convert, of course, but that’s not the main goal.
A brand awareness campaign could be easily measured by means of metrics like reach, impressions and engagement. If you launch your campaign on social media networks, your audience will help you to reach more people.
Another purpose of display network advertising is retargeting. This is probably one of the most profitable purposes. Mainly because as the word says retargeting aims at re engaging with users. It could be users who have already visited your page, due to audience similarities and more.
If you decide to run a retargeting campaign, you will first need to create an audience list. This list should clearly differentiate several segments of your audience. If you retarget others according to their preferences, you have more chances to succeed.
So, once you have your list, you just have to create several ads appealing your audience segments. Those ads would follow them to other sites, apps, and more. The odds are they will be convinced to return to your site and fulfill a desired action.
Display network advertising campaigns which aim at the acquisition of new prospects are a little bit more complicated. This doesn’t mean they don’t work, they do. But, you’ll have to manage and analyze all the campaign properly, or else you would end up spending a lot of money.
Depending on the type of ads and the channel where you advertise them, there would be significant differences. Still, in the case of banner ads, it’s complicated to get quick results. Not only because people have developed a skill to avoid them, but also because they can be blocked.
However, it’s true that, if done well, acquisition campaigns can help you get conversions. It would be wise, though, to check how much these conversions cost you. You can easily measure that comparing what you’ve spent with what you’ve earned from display network ads.
Why should you use display network advertising?
To begin with, display network advertising gives you the chance to create many different ad formats. This matters because you can choose the format that best adapts to your audience preferences.
Digital display advertising is also well-known due to the fact it helps you to increase your brand awareness and loyalty. But, it also increases the amount of people you can reach. In other words, when showing an ad on social media networks, you can engage with loads of users.
Besides, one of the features of display network ads is that it can target very specific audience segments. And this is critical in advertising. The more concrete your ad is, the more chances you have to get conversions.
Finally, it’s worth commenting that digital display advertising is quite easy to measure. Whatever the channel you use to advertise your ads, there would be certain metrics you would be able to analyze like engagement.
Benefits of display network advertising
Easy to measure its effectiveness
Allows you to target specific audience segments
Gives you the opportunity to reach a huge audience
Supports many different ad formats
Types of display network advertising
There are many display advertising formats. Whether you should use one or the other, will depend on two facts: your audience preferences and your goals. In fact, many brands use more than one format depending on what they want to achieve and their budget.
Let’s have a look at each of them!
Banner ads are those rectangular display ads that appear either at the top, bottom or sides of a website. They are usually image ads that aim at promoting a brand or getting visitors to a brand’s Web page.
Not surprisingly, these ads are placed on highly-visible spaces in high-traffic websites. Besides, there are several paying methods. You can use pay per impression, pay per click or pay per action.
Which of these methods you should use depends on your goals and your budget. These days, banner ads use programmatic bidding. That’s to say, companies bid for an ad space during the time it takes to load an ad into a website.
Yet, there are some disadvantages as regards banner ads like most people seem to have generated a certain ad-blindness and don’t pay attention to them. Although, they can still be highly effective if you develop a good banner ad strategy.
Native ads are those paid ads that are used as if they were organic content. Thus, if a user finds them while on social media, they would appear within the rest of the content of this platform. This kind of advertising, apart from being extremely efficient, it is not disturbing.
Native ads usually get more views. Thus, they increase purchasing intent. Although they aim at looking as native content of the platform where they’re displayed, most users notice they are ads.
However, they still get better results than other ad formats due to the fact they do not annoy users. Their views are 53% more than display banner ads for instance. So, you cannot ignore them. You’ll find these kind of ads in platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more.
Video ads are an ongoing tendency. No matter where you are browsing the internet, you’ll probably find videos. Video ads are popular as they increase audience engagement. People love consuming videos as the only thing they have to do is watch.
There are various types of video ads: Web page videos, in-stream videos, out-stream videos, interactive videos and more. The most popular platforms where marketers promote their ads are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and etc.
Yet, the difficulty of video ads is that they need to fit several screen sizes. Many people watch videos on their mobile devices. But, there are still those that watch them on a laptop or tablet. Thus, it’s mandatory you optimize your video ads.
Not to mention the fact that videos length is tricky too. This one will depend on the purpose of the video, the audience to which it is addressed and the channel. In general, video ads need to be short, at least those you want mobile users to watch.
by Ian Martin Adams
GIF ads are animated image and text ads. If there is only one slide is static. But, GIF ads contain several images that tell a story. Thus, GIF ads work like in a cycle repeating images. Each cycle is called a loop.
There are several possibilities, GIF ads can loop just once, non-stop or somewhere in the middle. Among its benefits, it’s worth mentioning the fact that GIF ads are not difficult to design, work well on mobile phones, you can use them in most networks, etc.
by Google Developers
Interstitial ads are those which appear in the middle of an action. For instance when you are reading an article and reach the middle of it. Or, they can also appear when playing a game, in the middle of levels, and more.
Once they appear, users have the option of either click on them or close them and continue with what they were doing before the ad appeared. Their main difference as regards banner ads, is that interstitial ads cover the whole screen. Thus, they’re more visible.
If used properly, they have higher click-through rates than banner ads. Because of that marketers tend to use them quite a lot to reach mobile users. In fact, the size of the ad is a greater opportunity to convince your audience.
How to increase the effectiveness of your display network ads
Since display network advertising comprises many aspects, it’s worth commenting some tips that will help you to succeed. On top of that, growing your remarketing list is mandatory. Let’s see how you can increase ads effectiveness!
1. Don’t be afraid to experiment with social media platforms
Whatever the platform/s you use to promote your ads, it’s worth using it to your benefit. That’s to say, before spending loads of money in an advertising campaign, you can always test how it works on social media networks.
Indeed, you can even try several types of ads for the same campaign. And then, take the one that works best for your advertising campaign in other channels. This will help you to test your audience’s reaction before you make a huge investment.
As social networks allow you to target people by gender, age, location and more, they are perfect for running different ads. What’s more, people expect to see ads there, so they won’t have problems interacting with you.
2. Make the most out of your video content
Video ads are quite a lot popular these days. Believe it or not, people love interacting with video ads since they’re extremely easy to consume. As a marketer, you should keep on using video ads to boost your brand’s awareness.
Video ads won’t only help you to increase your brand’s awareness, but they also give you the chance to demonstrate how to use your products. You can also use them to solve doubts or allow your audience to show others how great your products are.
Thus, under any circumstances should you overestimate the power of video ads. On top of that, videos can be displayed and even shared in many platforms. Go for video ads and let your message go viral!
3. Consider several devices in your ad design
Device screen sizes differ to a great extent. And, this is something you need to bear in mind when designing your ads. There would be ad designs that could look awesome on a desktop computer, but terrible on a mobile phone.
So, when creating your ad campaigns, you should consider all device screen sizes. It would be fantastic if you could also focus on the LEAN Principles (Lightweight, Encrypted, AdChoices supported and Non-invasive).
But, flexibility is not all you need to pay attention to. You should also make your ads more visual as regards text. This will no doubt increase users engagement. So, take advantage of image, video and any other graphics to make your ads stand out.
But, don’t forget to optimize your ads so that people can easily interact with them no matter where they see them.
4. Mobile optimization is a must
Likewise, as the amount of mobile users is non-stop growing, you need to create a mobile-first advertising strategy. This doesn’t mean you have to forget about other devices. But, what it does mean is mobile users matter.
It would be terrible to ignore them as your advertising campaigns won’t have a great success. So, you need to develop a mobile-first strategy which will help you reach your audience where they are.
5. Implement a data-driven approach
Thanks to a data-driven approach you would be able to target the right ad to the right audience at the right time. Thus, ad effectiveness will no doubt increase. But, how can you know who to target, when and where?
You’ll need to collect data from audience research. You can either use the information the platform where you’re running your ads gives you or any other research platform. What matters is that because of this investigation, you’ll be able to better reach your audience.
6. Address audience segmentation
Not surprisingly, audience segmentation is key for display network advertising. What better way will you find to please your audience than offering them a more specialized treatment?
Indeed, that’s what most audience groups expect nowadays. You can no longer create general ads that suit everyone’s likes and preferences. You’ll increase your campaign’s efficiency if you target several audience groups according to their preferences.
This audience segmentation targeting will help you to increase your reach and engagement. On top of that, you can also target similar audiences. I mean, you can target audiences with similar preferences as your audience. In theory, they should also be interested in what you have to offer.
7. Enhance your landing page
There are one thousand reasons why you should care about your landing page. By improving your landing page, you will provide a better user experience. Besides, your landing page, your ads and the keywords you use affect the quality score.
As you may well already know, quality score matters because if you manage to get a great result it can both reduce costs and make your search engine rankings better.
Remember that in digital display advertising, the most common is to PPC. But, if when you manage to drive visitors to your site, you fail to catch their attention, it would be all for nothing.
Don’t panic if you don’t convince them the first time visitors go to your site. You can always benefit from running a remarketing campaign. In fact, it is only by means of your landing page that you can create audience lists.
8. Plan according to your budget
This is not only a tip, it’s common sense. Still, many marketers fail to do it properly. The best advice I can give you here is to target several audience groups and in several platforms according to your budget.
And then, once you analyze which of these platforms and audience groups gives you more ROI, spend more budget on them. It’s worth to always save some money for testing. Preferences are ongoing changing, you can not predict what will happen in the future.
Yet, you can spend more on what seems to work, and less on what gives you less benefits. This way, you’ll make sure your budget is spent wisely.
9. Broaden your strategy – grow your remarketing list
by Google Ads
You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. If something went wrong, it would be the end of your campaign. But, if you diversify your efforts, you will see lots of benefits. It will take more time and effort, no one doubts that.
Still, targeting several audience segments on several channels would do wonders for your advertising. You can always spend more on what works and play a little safe. Yet, you would never discover new opportunities if you don’t think outside the box, at least from time to time.
On top of that, the more channels you use, the easier it would be to increase your remarketing list. You can then classify people according to their location, gender, channel you want to address them in, and so on and so forth.
10. Use site links and ad extensions
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of site links and ad extensions. First of all, they need to be placed where needed to improve user experience. But, you can also use them to collect data and increase your remarketing list.
11. Come up with simple and visual ads
Simplicity is key as regards display network ads. And, if they are highly visual, chances of success are guaranteed. Visual ads have higher click-through rates than text only ads. This is because an image is worth a thousand words.
Almost any industry can take advantage of visual ads. You can also combine image and text ads. But, remember messages need to be simple and convincing or else you will lose leads. Besides, the simplest the ad, the easiest it would be it calls others attention without bothering them.
12. Choose relevant keywords
Selecting the right keywords is critical. If you fail to pick relevant keywords, you would be sending the wrong people to your Web page. Keywords do matter as they are the ones which tell users interests.
In other words, imagine you didn’t use the right keywords, what would happen is that you would be sending visitors thanks to ads to your website. However, as soon as they reached your site, they would abandon it as you wouldn’t be offering what they were looking for.
But, if you come up with relevant keywords, your visitors will get what they expected. So, when they reach your site, they won’t leave that easily. Indeed, as you PPC, you want to attract audiences that are interested. Otherwise, you would be wasting your money.
That’s all for display network advertising. Now you now its benefits, types and how to increase its efficiency.
In the next chapter, I’ll focus on search engine advertising. Keep on reading to either learn what it is or update your knowledge and make sure you’re using the latest strategies.
Search Engine Advertising
Little did we know how relevant search engine advertising would be. Who was going to imagine that search engines would be used for advertising, instead of only providing organic information?
The truth is search engine advertising is currently gaining a lot of relevance. Users interact with paid search ads as if they wouldn’t mind someone is paying for those ads to be placed where they are.
Search engine advertising can be remarkably beneficial as it will help you to get leads and conversions quickly. In this chapter, I’ll explain to you what search engine advertising is. Then, I’ll talk about its types.
Besides, I’ll tell you all about its benefits and why should you use it. After that, I’ll focus on the different targeting options available and Google’s ads extension. And, I’ll finish this fifth chapter talking about some search advertising tactics you can’t miss if you want to succeed.
What is search engine advertising?
Thanks to search engine advertising, you can display ads on search platforms like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex and more. Regardless of the search platform, what marketers do is to bid on relevant keywords for their audience without this being seen.
Search engine advertising can also be called as search advertising, internet search advertising or online search advertising. Moreover, search engine ads usually appear above, on the right or just below organic search results.
by Digital Garage
Businesses that use search advertising only pay if someone clicks on their ads. Search advertising is pretty effective as it is based on users intent. That’s to say, companies bid for relevant keywords. In theory, these keywords are the ones their audience is looking for.
So, chances are the ones who click on your ad are interested either in your brand, products, services or content. Most users appreciate search ads as they offer them exactly what they want. It can be beneficial for any company no matter its size.
Types of search engine advertising
PPC (Text ads)
These are the most typical search engine ads. They appear on SERPs like Google, Yahoo and Bing. They can either appear on the top, on the right or below organic search results. This would depend on the keywords you use and the cost of the ad.
They must identify themselves as ads. Whether they appear or not depends on the keywords you use and a bidding system behind the scenes. The higher the ad appears, the more you’ll have to pay.
Apart from the right use of keywords, you can also target your audience by time of day, location, etc. As you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, search engine ads are easily measurable.
Google shopping ads
Likewise, Google shopping ads also use keywords. This means, they can also be measured and that they target specific audiences. They provide online users with a photo, title of the product, price and Web page.
Not surprisingly, these ads can also be targeted by demographic, location and time. However, something which differentiates shopping ads from text ads is that in shopping ads everything eligible can be used to be found.
Remember that high quality product images are key. They will help you to stand out from your competitors. Besides, having a responsive website is mandatory. Many shopping ads are viewed through a mobile device. So, you need to optimize your ads for all screen sizes.
Dynamic search ads
by Google Ads
Differently from the two previous search ads, dynamic search ads do not work through keywords. Instead, you allow Google to introduce your ad when appropriate. The downside is that you cannot write your own ad text, Google does it for you.
But, the good news is that you don’t need to make any campaign regular modifications as everything is run by Google. This kind of ads are mainly used by brands which have large product inventories.
You won’t need to waste your time and you’ll gain a lot of traffic to your landing pages.
Image and video ads
Source: Google Ads Blog
Either in Google’s images and video galleries or on YouTube, you can now target online audiences through image and video ads. The former can either appear in Google’s images within the rest of the images or on YouTube. You are allowed to include a caption and a link to your site.
The latter appears in Google’s video searches or in YouTube too. For instance, when you want to watch a YouTube video, it’s common you have to watch a promotional ad first. Sometimes you can skip it, after a few seconds.
Both image and video ads are extremely effective among consumers. Since they offer visual content, they have more chances to generate leads. Marketers know that. That’s why image and video ads are so popular.
Call-only ads are a type of search ads that has the purpose of encouraging people to call your brand. Thus, they only appear on devices that can make a phone call. But, before you will need to win an ad auction.
That’s to say, you get your ad selected in a search network bidding. Someone clicks on your ad. This person will have a direct call without having to type your phone number, the ad will do it automatically.
You only get charged when someone clicks on your ad. Call-only ads purpose is just that to make a phone call. You’ll be asked to provide other data such as your website URL. But, this won’t be shown in the ad.
If you want an ad that shows several ad extensions, you will have to choose a text ad instead. And then, include more than one CTA. I’ll talk about ad extensions in more detail later on in this chapter.
What are the benefits of search engine advertising?
Under no circumstances can you underestimate the benefits of paid search ads. Interestingly, paid search advertising is more powerful as regards mobile users. But, it can also bring many advantages to desktop users.
Given its exposure on well-known search engines, it will help you to increase your brand awareness quickly. That’s because your Web page will be more visible than with organic search, even if your target audience doesn’t click on the ad.
Another perk is that thanks to search engine platforms analytics and your keywords choice, you’ll be able to target the right people with the perfect ad. Thus, you’ll get more traffic as your audience will be somehow interested beforehand.
On top of that, it’s worth mentioning search advertising is critical for mobile users. There are more and more people using their mobile devices to look for information. There is a sense of urgency in their searches. So, they would be more inclined to complete a desired action.
Target the right audience with the right ads
Quality score is what defines Google’s rating system. In other words, it’s the score Google gives to your ads considering how well they answer people searches. The goal is to prevent low-quality ads from ranking high on search engine results. Thus, improving UX.
Targeting options in search network ads
Search network advertising started targeting keywords. They’re still the most important targeting option in search network ads. Still, there are other factors which affect bidding-auctions and search network ads success.
Let’s have a look at them!
Keyword targeting consists of figuring out which keywords would your audience use if they were interested in your products/services. The drawback is that only with keywords, there can be misleading search results.
What’s more, if you want to select relevant keywords, you’ll need to understand your audience. Not only their preferences matter, but the devices they use, where, when and a lot more.
Search network ads can target audience groups like social networks do. However, search engines don’t have as much information as social media networks. Still, audience targeting can help you better reach your ideal audience.
You can even target people according to the data you get from your website. Although audience targeting has improved paid search ads success, you can not rely on this targeting option alone. Guessing relevant keywords is still king as regards paid search targeting.
Demographic (age, gender, location and device type)
Demographic targeting forms part of audience targeting. But, due to its importance I decided to devote some lines to it alone. Thanks to this targeting option, you can take into account user intent and adapt your bidding to it.
That’s to say, if you just target through keywords, it could be the case that two people used exactly the same keywords to look for different things. Say, an elderly woman from the US won’t be looking for the same “party dress” as a young woman from Japan.
So, because of demographic targeting, you’ll be able to show ads to specific audiences. You can target others by location, age, gender and device types. Any of these options would make a great difference to your search advertising success.
The language in which you create your ads matters. You can create ads on different languages to better match your audience groups. But, you can also ask search engines to only show your ads to specific language searches.
This way, you’ll make sure the person who sees your ad will understand it. It is worthless to show your ads in countries where the majority of people can’t figure out what your ad is trying to convey.
Affinity audiences and in-market
These targeting options are also connected with your audience. They will no doubt help you to spread your search advertising campaigns as they’re based on people’s actual searches.