The digital advertising landscape was once limited mostly to pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google. Today, savvy marketers have a growing toolbox of digital advertising options to expand their reach. Here are some of the digital advertising platforms that you should know about when planning your marketing and advertising.
Paid Search Advertising (Pay-Per-Click)
Paid Search Advertising, or pay-per-click, is one of the oldest digital advertising methods, but it remains a reliable method of reaching a large number of prospects at a consistent cost.
Google remains the largest resource for PPC advertising. Google AdWords, the search engine's PPC platform, commands nearly 70 percent of the paid search advertising market.
With PPC, you advertise based on keywords users enter into the search engine. Marketers bid on keywords, which are terms relevant to their products or services. When users enter those keywords as search terms, advertisements featuring those keywords appear on the search engine results page (SERP) alongside the organic search results.
An effective PPC platform delivers significant advantages:
Quick, reliable traffic: PPC advertising can bring visitors to your site relatively quickly compared to other methods. Once you find an effective keyword mix, you can expect a reliable stream of traffic based on those keywords.
Easier to target keywords that are difficult to rank for: Some keywords and combinations are difficult to rank for in organic search results. PPC advertising gives you the ability to get specialized search terms on the first page of the SERP.
Precise targeting of ads: With PPC, you can target your advertising with great precision, putting your ad on pages that are directly relevant to your target audience.
Increased clicks with ad extensions: PPC techniques allow you to include extensions in your ad that provide more information or make it easier to contact you. These extensions can include phone numbers, links to specific internal pages of your site, or third-party reviews.
More commonly known as banner advertising, display advertising allows you to place visually appealing, attention-getting ads on sites that your customers frequently visit. These banners are usually rectangular areas that contain your advertising information and that can be clicked to take users directly to your site.
It is best to use a direct publisher when applying display ads. This allows you to avoid third-party fees and can give you access to a larger number of display networks.
Using a demand side platform can let you easily bid for ad space on several different ad exchanges. Programmatic display techniques allow real-time bid management and monitoring of results.
Shopping campaigns (previously known as product listing ads) work well for marketers who are selling a specific product. They work much like PPC advertising, but display relevant information such as photos of your product and its price.
A manufacturer of kitchen goods, for example, could have a shopping ad that shows several different types of spatulas, along with the price for each.
When users click on shopping ads, they are taken directly to a purchase page for your product.
Remarketing is a method for putting your advertising in front of those who have already visited your site. It gives you the opportunity to bring viewers back to your site and re-engage with them, presenting another chance to market your offerings.
In essence, remarketing "follows" people who have visited your site and presents relevant advertising designed to draw them back.
Remarketing can target users while they are anywhere online. There are also remarketing methods for engaging with users who have abandoned a shopping cart or who are browsing on Facebook.
Social Media Advertising
Social media continues to dominate much of the attention of online and mobile users. The three powerhouses of social media--Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter--give you access to a majority of social media users. Facebook alone has more than a billion users, half of whom use the site daily. With social media advertising, you can easily get your advertising message in front of audiences with the specific demographics you seek.
Facebook uses demographic data and user interests to target your advertising. This means that Facebook is a good platform for highly targeted advertising.
LinkedIn is more suited to business-to-business advertising. A large user base of professionals and business people make LinkedIn a good resource for advertising business-related products and services.
Twitter also allows you to target certain niches or groups of people to drive traffic to your website or build brand awareness.
An additional social media platform is the popular video site YouTube. Using YouTube for your digital advertising engages your potential customers in a way that is appealing, interest-grabbing, and effective.
An effective digital marketing campaign can engage millions of potential customers that can't be reached any other way. Keep these platforms in mind and try one or a combination to see how they can increase interest, traffic, and conversions.