Everyone is so fixated on content marketing and organic search. Even the most successful companies are still using digital advertising tactics to get their content found. We can’t forget how effective ads can be for getting our products and services found, but we need to be aware of how the landscape is constantly growing and evolving.
The state of digital advertising
Digital ad revenue has continuously grown from year to year. The biggest part about it all? Mobile is taking over. (Not really taking over, but it’s growing at a very rapid pace). Therefor, content marketing alone might not be enough and mobile is becoming more and more important if you want to advertise online. Where do you start? How do you know which platform is best for your business or brand? The most effective form of digital advertising varies. It ultimately depends on who you are trying to reach and how you want to get there.
It’s rare to find a company without a social media channel these days. When it comes to advertising on social media, everything is fairly new. The way we advertise on these platforms is continually changing, because no one really knows what works and it’s true, not even us. Advertisers aren’t quite sure yet (although some claim they are). The consumers are confused with these new ads popping up on their social streams and even the platforms themselves (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) are still balancing user experience with maximizing revenue. Social ads generally follow Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Impression models, making them relatively easy to budget for. All in all, you pay for what you get.
Facebook is perhaps the most advanced with their digital advertising platform. Facebook ads are similar to Google Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns. With these types of campaigns you can bid for clicks or impressions on different keywords, then display ads on Facebook’s news feed, right vertical bar, etc. The news feed ad’s have proven a much better ROI than the right vertical bar as of yet. Keep in mind that the people seeing your ads will find them in a social manner, so proper images, text and links are a core component of a successful ad campaign.
These ads are not dissimilar from Facebook’s ads when it comes down to the mechanics. Yet, they’re different conceptually. Facebook ads are pure advertising, they’re an opportunity to put your commercial foot forward. Twitter ads not so much. Paying for ads through Twitter is a great way to put what you might normally tweet into a more obvious place rather than just your following. These ads work in parallel with the personality of your normal Twitter feed, and shouldn’t be tailored towards sales.
Interstitial ads are promotional pages that show up before a visitor makes their way to the content they actually want to see, like a landing page, signup page, etc. It basically guarantees visibility. On the downside, it’s irritating to users. Interstitial ads are targets for the ever popular adblock software and many clients avoid them just on principle. However, the industry has undergone a mild change. They’ve really come into their own on mobile devices, where they quickly capture attention, leading to an increase in success. Especially in the case of video and rich media ads.
Banner ads might not pull the engagement that other options do, but banner ads remain wonderful for establishing visual branding and reaching a highly targeted audience. The ability to pick and choose where an ad shows up allows advertisers to tailor their campaigns towards a given website and demographic.
Pay Per Click advertising is somewhat of a less-expensive alternative to banner ads. Google’s Pay-Per-Click campaigns have become a massive hit for cash-heavy businesses looking to get in on banner space. At least at the moment, they’ve proven to be effective. Perhaps the best thing about PPC ads is that they offer a more-or-less predictable ROI, and one that won’t drop to levels low enough to seriously hurt companies (most companies). Especially if an ad completely flops, which happens. The PPC model guarantees that advertisers won’t drop too much of their budget upon launch.
While all ad formats still have their applications for different companies, changing technology and market trends will result in a few finding even greater success than others down the road. We’re particularly talking about mobile. Whether you go banner, video interstitial, etc. Mobile ads will likely make up a larger percentage of all advertising in the upcoming years.