Online advertising has come a long way from its traditional form of pamphlets and posters. It has evolved from just a still image on someone's website, even on the online spectrum.
Today, online ads are still uncharted waters for some companies. Every day there seem to be new opportunities to promote your business appearing from the most unlikely sources.
We are often asked, "Hey Small Business Mentor, what are the best ads to utilize?" The answer isn't simple. However, the best advertising strategy for your business is the one that provides you the largest return on your investment.
Tips for Online Advertising
- Don't underestimate how complicated advertising can be
Many business owners will put a few hundred dollars towards an online advertising campaign and receive no results. They then write off paid advertising and say it doesn't work. Paid advertising is complicated, data-driven, and needs an expert eye to look at it.
- Data is important.
Every time you run an ad and aren't running an experiment, you're wasting time and money. Whether it's the copy of the ad or the picture you're using, you can always improve how much engagement the ad receives. The only way to know what works best is to test continuously.
- Give it time.
Paid Advertising is one of the quickest returns on investments you can have in marketing. However, running ads correctly with a data-driven approach takes time. Depending on the budget and platform, you want to give the ad campaign a couple of days to a couple of months to get going. Ad campaigns are usually a walk before you run approach.
- Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
Platforms change. Don't rely on a single strategy to supply you with customers.
To showcase the full extent of the potential behind online paid advertising, we have compiled a shortlist with the most prolific types used by businesses today.
You have certainly seen a couple of display ads today. It's hard to avoid them. After all, they're everywhere!
Display Ads are visual ads that appear on third-party websites, much like a virtual banner, promoting your business or product with a video, image, text, pop up, and so on.
Offline, you could consider a billboard as a display advertisement as it performs similarly.
Display ads are the most common and traditional form of paid online advertising. Since the word "traditional" tends to carry some stigma, here is why most companies go for it:
- They are very affordable.
- They offer a lot of flexibility in choosing the ad's format and how it appears on people's screens.
- Many of these third-party websites allow for demographic, geographic, contextual, and behavioral targeting, so you can ensure those ads reach the right people.
Paid search advertising is when marketers place their ads on search result pages and pay for the engagement they gain from those ads.
You must select a method based on what you are looking for when it comes to paid search. You could be looking to gain more website traffic or track specific conversions on your website.
Search Advertising can become complicated rather quickly, but the results can transform a business.
In case you didn't know this already, Pinterest is a social media focused on sharing and interacting with images, be them artistic, comedic, informative, or anything in between.
In 2020 Pinterest has registered a growth rate that was 70% faster than Facebook.
It's image-focused nature also makes Pinterest one of the best fields for B2C businesses to gain in terms of conversion rates. It also has some of the least obtrusive link sponsored product showcases on the internet.
Facebook has a monthly active user base of 2.7 billion users, according to numbers from the second quarter of 2020.
Since one of the marketing rules is to get your brand where people can see it, Facebook makes one of the best places to invest in paid ads.
However, it's a good idea to always do so with your target audience in mind. Many Millenials have stopped using Facebook consistently. With the rise of E-commerce stores, Facebook advertising has become relatively expensive over the past few years.
Another good trick to get the most out of your Facebook ads is to include professional pictures and original content to increase their clickability.
The main strength and defining feature of Twitter is the strong tie it has to current events on an "as it happens," real-time basis.
In other words, if you want to ride the current trades and events in order to give your brand greater visibility, there is nothing better, or better yet, get your brand trending!
One of the most exciting parts of paid ads on Twitter is that you can have your ad placed along with the trending topics, giving you a genuinely privileged spot.
However, due to the nature of Twitter's platform, Twitter isn't high on the list of advertising options for small businesses.
LinkedIn has been steadily building up a reputation as "THE" social media for professionals looking to do some online networking.
If you are looking to establish yourself as a leader in your particular field, investing in LinkedIn Ads could be an excellent option for you.
In many ways, paying for ads on LinkedIn will be a similar experience to Facebook, as you can target your campaign to specific niches, instead of basing yourself on keywords and sentences.
However, due to the ability to target business owners directly, the ads can be expensive.
As you can imagine, targeting business owners with specific solutions is an incredible opportunity for a B2B business.
Now, paid advertising is not solely about finding and converting new customers. Sometimes action to ensure customer devotion is also necessary.
This is where a technique known as re-marketing is beneficial, as it mainly targets people that have already been to your website and learn about your product.
This technique consists of (with the visitor) using a "cookie" to track their behavior so that they will keep seeing your ads as they travel around the internet.
Retargeting is one of the least expensive forms of paid ads and significantly increases conversions since you ensure that the visitor will remember you after they left your website.
Did you know that 49% of consumers rely on influencers for recommending products and services? That's almost half of all consumers!
However, after businesses caught wind of the effectiveness of influencers, prices skyrocketed. Someone with 100k followers on Instagram or Youtube was soon out of reach for small businesses.
However, small businesses can take advantage of the growing trend of "micro-influencers." Micro-influencers are those who don't necessarily have a large following but do have an influence over their community.
If you think about it, someone is more likely to listen to a friend or family member's recommendation than an ad or celebrity influencer.
Prices for influencers can vary, and it's best to plan details and tracking before getting started.
Native advertising refers to the sponsored listings at the end of blog posts.
One of the best aspects of this particular genre of paid ads is how subtle it is, with the content being integrated and camouflaged into the platforms where they appear.
You'll often see it in "The best (insert type of company or service here) posts. While disguised as an informational article, the author is usually getting paid for mentioning the companies.
Native Advertising is an excellent strategy for your conversion rates since potential visitors are less likely to reject an ad if they find it is unobtrusive.
Most video ads take the form that has been popularized by Youtube, a small clip that plays before or during a video, and that can generally be skipped after the first five seconds.
However, that is just one of many video ads formats, which can take the form of tutorials, educational videos, or even story-telling, which you would pay to have displayed under the spotlight.
This ad is ideal if you have a product or service that can be demonstrated visually, like a new carpentry tool, kitchen appliance, or software.
And if you think that investing in video ads is going to limit you to Youtube, you'll be happy to know many platforms work with video ads like:
Search Engine Marketing
Tell us if this situation sounds familiar: You are planning a winter trip and decide to get some new coats, doing what 63% of clothes shoppers do and searching for what you want online first."
The three first links you find in your search results are more than likely going to have the label "ad" beside them, and in all likelihood, you are going to at least consider clicking them. This is the effect of search engine marketing now. Let's have a look at what it looks like at the advertiser's end.
When it comes to getting your URL on that golden first spot in search results, as an advertiser, you'll likely have two options:
Pay Per Click: Where you bid some keywords, and your address will appear at the top of the search result based on bid value. As the name suggests, you are charged when people click the ad.
Cost Per Thousand: In this option, you are billed to appear at the top of at least a thousand search results. This strategy comes with the advantage of being guaranteed a number of impressions.
When it comes to effectively employing online ads in your online marketing campaign, a certain equilibrium is paramount for success.
You don't want to spend too much money and not get a return on your investment. However, as soon as you find a method that works, you can double or triple the size of your business in a short amount of time.
Budgeting, combined with the sheer variety of options presented, can make online advertisings daunting and treacherous.
Luckily, you can always contact Small Business Mentor for guidance on what strategy suits your business best and how always ensure the best results.