Digital Advertising

Utilising digital platforms to achieve a return on ad spend (ROAS)

The Internet's dirty little secrets

There are a lot of different ways that you can promote your brand online. Creating content and thinking about your SEO are effective strategies, but they take a lot of time and planning. Digital advertising can serve as an easy method to quickly get your brand in front of a lot of new customers. However, similar to traditional forms of advertising – cost is involved. Because of this, it’s vital that you understand digital advertising fully, or outsource it to an agency that does, to ensure a return on your investment.

There are a lot of different methods of digital advertising out there. We’re going to focus on search engine marketing (SEM) and social media advertising for this guide -  because these are the most accessible platforms for businesses getting started with digital advertising. Other avenues include influencer marketing, app-based advertising, affiliate marketing and more.

When it comes to getting started with digital advertising, it's similar to most marketing methods. Firstly, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of your audience, and that you know where they tend to spend their time online. Are you trying to sell trainers to young people between the ages of 18 and 25? Maybe Instagram or TikTok is where you want to be. Are you trying to sell software to CEOs of businesses in the financial services industry? Then look at LinkedIn. Different advertising platforms have different targeting capabilities and choosing a platform that matches your target audience best is essential.

Search engine marketing (SEM)
or social media advertising

When we work with our clients, we usually define these two important advertising strategies in the following manner:

Social Media Advertising – We want to target our audience based on who they are

Search engine marketing (SEM) – We want to target our audience based on what they want

Deciding the right strategy for you all comes down to the marketing funnel. You need to determine whether your customers are at the awareness, consideration or intent stages of their buying journey.

Prospective customers at the consideration and intent stage of their buying journey will likely use search engines like Google to search for what they want. Alternatively, customers who don’t realise what they want just yet, probably won’t be.

In reality, both advertising methods can be used to cover every stage of a customer's buying journey as part of a wider strategy. Social media advertising can be used to build awareness of a particular product or service to the correct audience. SEM, on the other hand, can be used to capture them when they’re ready to buy.

Understanding remarketing

We’re going to reveal one of the Internet’s dirty little secrets now…

Have you ever found yourself looking for a particular product online and deciding not to buy it? To then be followed around the Internet everywhere you go with ads about that product? Well, this is remarketing.

Remarketing utilises cookies, and allows you (with appropriate consent, *ahem* GDPR) to track your website visitors around the web until they return to your website to convert. Many customers have become aware of remarketing in action, and find it quite pushy and an infringement of privacy. This demonstrates exactly why remarketing needs to be used in the right way.

If a customer left your shop without buying something, don’t bombard them with the product for the next week. Think about why they didn’t buy it. Perhaps create a remarketing ad which offer discounts. Alternatively, think of utilising it to share content that expresses the value of the particular product.

Pay per click (PPC) and other bidding methods

Pay per click (or PPC) is probably the most heavily adopted bidding method out there for advertising. This is likely because it’s easy enough to understand, better for measuring a return on ad spend, and is available on all of the available digital advertising platforms. However, you don’t need us to tell you that not everybody that clicks through to your website is going to convert. In fact, the average landing page conversion rate only stands at around 2.35%.

When implementing pay per click as your bidding method, it’s absolutely essential to consider the performance and user experience of your landing pages. Something as small as a page loading slowly, or a poorly optimised layout for mobile could have a huge impact on your results.

Alongside PPC, you can also bid per a thousand impressions. This is called (you guessed it) cost-per-impression, or CPM for short. Choosing to create a campaign that focuses on impressions can be fantastic for building brand exposure. CPM campaigns are also useful to push your target audience along in their buying journey.

There’s also CPA (cost per action), this focuses on getting you the most conversions for your budget. Many advertising platforms utilise machine learning to paint a picture of what your ideal conversion looks like. The platforms then use this knowledge to find you similar leads at the best cost.

We've covered a lot about digital advertising here, but there's still so much to know.

If you need support with your digital advertising campaign ideas, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We work closely with growing businesses to ensure that they’re getting the most out of digital advertising.

You can take a look at our portfolio of work here.