Since most people spend much of their day looking at their screens searching for people, places, and products, it’s vital that businesses take advantage of internet advertising. But the world of digital marketing can often seem intimidating and overwhelming. With all the different advertising strategies and platforms, it is difficult to decide which ones are the best fit for your company and budget.
Before we look at six key elements that will help you understand how paid online advertising works, let’s break down the difference between paid, earned, and owned advertising.
This is the easiest to define…it’s any marketing channel that you pay for to increase traffic to your website. Paid ads are often aimed at potential customers, but it also includes retargeting past customers. Retargeting helps you get visitors back after they’ve already visited your site.
Paid ads generate traffic almost immediately, so it’s a great way to gain visibility quickly.
Everything that relies on the direct control of the business is known as owned media. It does more than sell a product, it pulls customers in. Some examples include your website, blog, email marketing, and your social media profiles and pages.
It can take a few months before the pages of your website can be ranked accurately. And, if you’re measuring SEO, it can take a few weeks to see what kind of traffic a single post brought in.
Earned media is the word of mouth that is shared by other people, usually reviews. It can’t be owned or paid for but instead is obtained organically.
It takes time to measure engagement. You can instantly see ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, but it takes time to track impressions, clicks, and other SEO driven data. You have to consistently promote your content in order to build up engagement.
Six Things You Should Know About Paid Online Advertising
1. Bidding Models
Once you purchase ad spots and the featured ads appear on designated websites, marketers or companies bid against their competition for keywords related to their products or services. Customer actions determine the price, and that’s what makes paid online advertising so complex. The two main bidding avenues are CPM and PPC.
Cost-Per-Mille or Cost-Per-Thousand
Cost-Per-Mille is the amount you invest for one thousand impressions, or ad views. Mille is the Latin word for “thousand”, so cost-per-thousand-impressions is known as CPM. While CPM doesn’t guarantee clicks or conversions, it does increase your ad’s visibility. Also, an accurate calculation of CPM helps you know which ads are performing well, which ones aren’t, and how you can improve your marketing outcomes.
Pay-Per-Click or Cost-Per-Click
The PPC model of internet marketing, also known as cost-per-click (CPC), is when you pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, instead of trying to “earn” those visits organically.
One of the most popular forms of PPC is search engine advertising. It allows you to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links whenever someone searches for a keyword related to your business. The price of each click depends on the demand for your keywords. You have a greater chance of conversions with PPC ads, and you’re able to place a limit on the number of clicks you want which helps you maintain a budget.
2. Types of Paid Ads
Although search engine advertising and display advertising are two separate types of paid ads, you’ll get better results when you use them together. Let’s look at how each type of digital advertising works to reach your target audience.
Search Engine Advertising
Search engine advertising, also known as PPC, gets your business found on search engines because it directly targets consumers in your area who are looking for your services or products. Search ads blend seamlessly into search results…you’ll notice the words “ad” or “sponsored” by a search ad.
When someone searches for a keyword you’ve bid on, their search term will trigger your text ad. This is a quick and cost-effective way to increase your visibility. If your text ad is interesting enough, the searcher will click your ad and visit your website.
Search ads are like online billboards, but they are much more effective because they are only shown to people in your area…and those people are actually looking for your services or products.
Display advertising is used to grow your brand’s awareness online. Display ads, also known as banner ads, appear on a variety of web pages but not on search results pages. Your target audience sees them whenever they’re surfing online, but not searching for your service or product. The goal of display ads is to put your business in front of potential customers, so they’ll remember you when they’re ready to buy what you’re selling.
3. Advertising Networks
To make sure your ads get noticed, choose one of these popular locations for your search and display ads:
Since Google is the leading search engine, it’s the most profitable network to place your search and display ads. The Google Display Network is made up of over 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. It reaches over 90% of internet users, and you can target your ads to specific consumers.
Bing may not be as popular as Google, but they’re still relevant. 1 in 5 people use Bing for online searches, and less competition means better ad positions, cheaper costs per click, and bigger returns.
Social Media Ads
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform – for both users and marketers, and it has the largest blend of demographics. They also offer the most impressive targeting features to make sure you reach your key audience. Your display ads are shown on newsfeeds, columns, and stories.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, they function almost the same. Twitter and LinkedIn also have their own ad platforms.
Companies can also advertise on the largest e-commerce platform in the world…. Amazon.com and Amazon-owned devices and websites such as Amazon Kindles and IMDb.com. And if you don’t sell on Amazon.com, they still offer advertising options for you.
4. Keyword Research
To make sure your ads appear in front of the right people, you should do detailed keyword research. When your ideal customers search online, what phrases do they use? Your online ads will be more effective when you know and understand what your customers are looking for.
When people search for something specific, they tend to use more words. A drawn-out search phrase, also known as long-tail keywords, can help you target a specialized group. For example, looking up “search engine optimization tutorial for beginners” is more specific than just “search engine optimization”.
Head keywords are popular keywords that drive high search volumes and have a lot of people trying to attach their ad to them. Head keywords are the opposite of long-tail keywords, and they are very competitive when it comes to ranking. Long-tail keywords are more affordable, have less competition, and are remarkably effective.
It’s important to understand exactly who your target audience is, especially for platforms that offer multiple demographic options. Precise targeting allows you to focus on the people who are most likely to become paying customers.
With online paid advertising, you can deliver your message to potential customers and bypass the consumers who don’t usually respond to your product. By focusing on your target audience, you can increase the click-through rate (CTR) and boost your sales.
6. Landing Pages
After a person clicks on your ad, they’re taken to a landing page on your website. A landing page is not the same as your homepage, it is a separate page designed to only receive traffic from your ad campaign. This is your opportunity to make a positive impression and turn visitors into customers.
Make sure your landing page matches the keyword and language in your ad, so visitors stay focused on what attracted them to your ad in the first place. Landing pages should contain a headline, a simple layout, and a call to action.
Use a captivating headline to grab a visitor’s attention and entice them to stay on your page.
You want the layout of your landing page to be organized and have clear visual elements that will hold a visitor’s attention.
Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) tells your visitor what they need to do in order to take advantage of the offer in front of them. To increase your conversion rate, make sure your CTA includes: the benefits of taking advantage of the offer, create a sense of urgency so they have a reason to take the offer right now, and make the offer and instructions concise and easy to understand.
Paid online advertising is a powerful tool that will help you reach your target audience, boost your sales, and maximize your ROI.
Evolve Impact Group is a full-service digital marketing company, and we specialize in online advertising. We can help you determine which advertising strategies are best for your business, and we’ll work with you to create a customized plan for your budget. Contact us today and let us help you make the most of your online advertising!