Tag: online advertising

Online Advertising with Google Ads

Online Advertising with Google Ads

How many different online advertising platforms have you tried? If you’re considering spending money on online ads, then you want to maximize your ROI with a platform that has a proven track record of success. Google Ads has been around since October 2000 and with billions of daily users and a large return on investment, it’s one of the best online advertising platforms out there. We’ve been using it for years so we figured it was about time to express why we love it so much and how to go about creating effective ads.

Why Choose Google Ads?

Google is by far the most used search engine. Just take a look at how Google compares to other search engines:

online advertising Google ads

Source

I’d say those are pretty definitive in Google’s favor. Google receives on average 3.5 billion search queries every day. But when you advertise with Google, you’re ads aren’t just showing up on the search engine. Ads from the platform span several channels that include Google, YouTube, Blogger, and other websites that are part of the Google Display Network.

According to Google, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads, so it’s definitely a platform that’s well worth your time. Plus, Google’s online advertising platform has been around for nearly two decades, so it’s a very well-established and advertiser-friendly option for your paid advertising.

Getting Your Google Ads Set Up

Today we’re going to focus primarily on Google search ads because Google accounts for 80% of searches performed online. But you should know that there are three different types of ads – search, display, and video – and each has its own purpose and benefits.

Ad Types

Google gives you the option to select one of three campaign types: search, display, or video. We’re going to dive a little deeper into each one to determine the optimal uses for each and why one may be better for your ad campaign than another.

Search Ads

Search ads are pretty simple: they are text ads that are displayed on the Google search results page. As an example, I typed “link building services” into the search bar and what returns are several sponsored ads before you get to the organic search results:

online advertising Google ads

Search ads are prime real estate because your ads are being displayed where most searchers are looking for information first – right on Google. Plus, your ads look just like the rest of the search results – minus the fact that it says “ad” – so people are accustomed to seeing and clicking on results that are in that format.

online advertising Google ads

Display Ads

Display ads are placed on sites that have opted into displaying Google Ads and are therefore part of the Google Display Network. The website owner is paid per click or impression on the ads and the advertiser gets their content in front of an audience that aligns with their target market.

When incorporating display ads into your strategy you may want to check out the audience tab where you can test out a Custom Intent Audience.

online advertising Google ads

Video Ads

Although display ads can sometimes appear in video form, video ads are a separate entity; these are the ads that you see before, during, and after YouTube videos. YouTube is a search engine just like Google so the right keywords will place your ad in front of their video, interrupting their results just enough to grab their attention.

Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are essential for your Google Ads because they give users additional information as they interact with your ad. Plus, they’re free!

There are five categories that ad extensions fall into:

Sitelink Extensions

These provide additional links to your site and offer more enticing reasons for the users to click.

online advertising Google ads

Call Extensions

With this option, you can incorporate your phone number into your ad so that users have an additional method they can use to reach out to your company.

online advertising Google ads

Location Extensions

Location extensions offer searchers the ability to easily find your store or a location that’s near them. This is great and recommended for businesses with a storefront and ties in with the search query “…near me.”

online advertising Google ads

Offer Extensions

If you are currently running a promotion, use offer extensions to entice users to click your ad instead of your competitors who aren’t offering a discount.

online advertising Google ads

App Extensions

App extensions provide a link for users to download the app onto their mobile devices. This is a great option because when within your app, they’re not clicking around to other sources or performing new searches.

online advertising Google ads

How Google Ads work

Google operates with keywords. Let’s say you type “Google ads” into the search engine. Here’s what comes up:

online advertising Google ads

Google offers a combination of organic search results and ads in response to pretty much anything you search for on the platform. As you can see above the organic search results, there are ads that use the same keyword phrase as I typed into the search bar. When you advertise with Google, your ads will show up for the keywords that you picked.

online advertising Google ads

Google counts the number of clicks you get on your ads and charges you for each click. They will also give you a count of the number of impressions, which tells you how often your ad has been shown when users searched for that keyword. If you divide the number of clicks by impressions, you get the click-through-rate which is the percentage of users that come to your landing page because they clicked on your ad. This is an important metric because it tells you which of your ads are working and which aren’t.

Google Ads works similarly to an auction. You set a budget, you bid, then you cross your fingers and hope for the best. The interesting (or maybe complicated?) thing that sets Google Ads apart from a standard auction is that it’s not always the highest bidder that wins. I mean, of course, Google wants to maximize revenue so they’ll show the ad by the company who bids the highest amount for the keyword. But only if the bidders have the same quality score. Google cares too much about its user experience to show an ad with a low quality score; they want their users coming back again and again, which is precisely why they’d prefer to show a more relevant ad that came with a lower bid than a low-quality ad with the highest bid.

Now, you have two options when it comes to bidding on your keywords: automated and manual. Automated gives Google the reins and allows the platform to adjust your bid based on those of your competitors. You can still set a maximum bid and Google will work within that range to give you the best chance at winning. Manual puts the control fully in your hands so you set the bid amounts for your ad groups and keywords, which gives you the chance to reduce spending on low-performing ads.

Why Your Google Ads Might Not Be Working

No matter how good the deal ends up being, it doesn’t mean much if you’re not getting conversions. A conversion is a new lead, sale, or more generally means that the customer took the action that you offered. If you’re not getting conversions, then your ads are underperforming and you need to assess how you can get better spend out of your ads. Here are some of the most common reasons your ads aren’t working:

Reason #1: Your keywords are too broad

You should constantly be testing and tweaking your keywords as part of your Google Ads strategy. If your keywords are too broad, Google will be placing your ad in front of people to whom it will not be applicable, meaning fewer clicks and a higher ad spend. You’ll want to review which keywords are generating clicks and adjust your ads to match your target audience effectively. It takes a few tries to get the best mix, it most likely won’t happen on your first try but if you continue to add, remove, and tweak keywords, you’ll eventually stumble across the perfect combination. It’s all about the trial and error.

Reason #2: You have a low quality score

Your Quality Score (QS) is the way Google decides how to rank your ad; it’s based on your click-through rate, the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and your past performance. The higher your rank, the better your placement. A lower quality score means you’ll have fewer people seeing your ads and therefore fewer chances to convert.

Reason #3: Your ads are irrelevant

Google is extremely user experience focused so they will never place an ad that is unrelated to the search keyword. If your ad doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, you won’t get enough clicks or conversions to justify how much you’re spending on your ads. Your headline and ad copy should match the keywords that you’re bidding on and whatever solution your ad is marketing needs to solve the issue that the searcher is experiencing. Again, this may not be something that you achieve the first time; it could take a few tweaks to get it just right.

Reason #4: You’re driving them to a poorly designed landing page

As we stated earlier, the quality of your landing page is one of the ways that Google ranks your ad. If you’re landing page is not offering a solution that the searcher is seeking, you’ll have a high bounce rate. A high bounce rate indicates that you are not providing your user (and potential customer, remember that) with a seamless transition from the ad to the conversion. Make sure that your landing page is optimized for conversions, uses the same keywords as your ad, and provides the answers that the user is looking for.

Additional Methods to Optimize Your Google Ads

Use your negative keywords list

Google provides a list of keywords that you would not rank for so use this to your advantage. This will save you from wasting your ad spend on keywords that are completely irrelevant to your online ads.

online advertising Google ads

Link Google Analytics

Google Analytics is something you can connect to your website to track traffic, conversions, goals, and other unique metrics. You should also like your Google Ads account to your analytics so that you can track the different campaigns all in one place.

“Daypart” your ads

Google has a feature that allows you to make your ads active only during the hours of the day when you are open and available to take calls from prospects and customers.

online advertising Google ads

Monitor which device is producing the most results

The amount of data that Google tracks and provides to you as a resource is pretty astounding and yet another reason we favor Google Ads as one of several online advertising platforms that we employ. Google tracks what type of device is producing the most click and having the most success so that you know to focus on mobile usability if you have mostly mobile users, for example.

Utilize UTM codes

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and essentially they are codes that you insert into your URL that track any activity that’s associated with that specific link. They provide you with information on which offer or ad led to a conversion so you can track what aspects of your campaign are the most effective. You should add your UTM codes at the campaign level so that you’re not having to add each URL manually.

 

Not ready to take on all of this yourself? Let’s talk! Array Digital has been a Google Partner for the last year which comes with many benefits including exclusive training, immediate technical support, and customized growth strategies. 

Benefits of Working with a Google Partner

Google awards Partner status to companies that feature teams of Google-certified advertisers, manage a substantial amount of ad spend for their clients, and demonstrate a track record of successful return on investment. It’s like getting a pat on the back from the biggest name in advertising.

But there’s more to it than that. Being a Google Partner comes with benefits to our clients as well! Here are a couple of the key upgrades our clients get because they are working with a Google partner.

Exclusive Education and Training

Google Partners are provided with numerous exclusive opportunities for ongoing education, including product trainings, certifications, and sales trainings. The more we improve with specialized education, the more we fine-tune our expertise to better serve our clients. Our Google certified employees are well versed in every one of the Google Ads features, and we are able to maximize their potential for each client.

Immediate Technical Support with Real People

Google likes to reward the people who are getting the best return on investment for the clients, and through Google Partners, we get access to personal account managers. What that means: we don’t have to sit through long phone lines and prolonged email exchanges when working to improve your account or troubleshoot an issue.

This provides immediate access to real people who spend all day every day learning the technicalities, helping us to keep our learning up to date. They are incredible pools of exclusive knowledge and assistance backing us to ensure that we can provide optimal performance for our clients.

Customized Growth Strategies

Every business is unique with its own vital goals, and a key part of your growth plan is tracking your progress to see what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to Google, your digital marketing team needs to be able to set up precise conversion tracking to optimize your approach.

When you work with a Google Partner, you combine the proven effectiveness of the Google Partner with the extra muscle of Google’s analytics advisors that help make sure your conversion tracking is both accurate and streamlined. This way, you can get a clearer view of how effective your strategy is and what tactics you can capitalize on.

LANDING PAGES: WHY YOUR ADS AREN’T CONVERTING

We work with a lot of clients who have dumped money into online advertising on platforms like Google and Facebook. They may even get good click-through-rates (CTR) and cost per click (CPC), but they don’t see actual leads coming through. We find that more often than not, landing pages are the missing component keeping their ads from closing the deal.

Online Advertising Pillar Page (3)

Closing the Deal with Landing Pages

So you’ve decided who to target. Your copy and imagery are set up. Now, there are a few key things to consider before leads will start pouring in.

The main consideration (which I’m sure you guessed from the title of the article) is where to send the people who are clicking on your ad.

A majority of advertisers will take the easy route and drop in the URL of their website’s homepage or some generic related page. This technique will result in clicks, but will ultimately be a waste of money when your new website visitors don’t convert into leads.

Online Advertising Sales Funnel

Your advertising strategy does not end with a click and the reality is the click on your ad is only a very small portion of the entire funnel. A landing page is a dedicated page on your site where you are directing traffic, typically through paid advertising strategies.

The primary goal of a landing page is to maximize the percentage of people who convert into a lead or sale after clicking on an ad.

Ready to convert your clicks into leads? Follow the techniques below and build an effective landing page for your advertisements.

Consistency is Key in Landing Pages

People may click on your ad for any number of reasons – curiosity, entertainment, value, etc. What you need to do is identify the core reason your ideal customer is likely to click on your ad.

This is one of the most critical elements of your landing page because the place you take your clickers needs to meet or exceed the expectation that caused them to click. If they land on some generic page that includes a broad variety of topics, you are missing an opportunity to direct their attention to the most valuable offer or content you could connect them with.

So make sure your landing page is consistent in two ways: content and design.

Make sure your content is consistent. If you bait them with a great offer, make it as easy as possible for them to get the offer. If you promise to help them with something, immediately present them with something that will meet that specific need.

Know exactly why someone would click on your ad, and connect them with what they were hoping to see when they clicked.

Also, make sure your landing page and ad are visually consistent with your brand. No curious clicker wants to feel uncertain of the ad they clicked on. Give them a consistent, comfortable experience with your colors, style, and typography.

Make the Most of Your Words

Like in all advertising copy, quality is far more valuable than quantity. Both in your ads and your landing pages, only include what is genuinely valuable and communicates your value as quickly as possible.

As for your landing pages, we recommend skimming-friendly elements like bullet points to outline value or 1-3 sentence testimonial from someone your prospect would likely relate to.

Also, get creative with your style! People (including you) hear sales-y talk all the time. Stand out and connect with your audience by talking like a human – pretend you were describing your offer to a friend!

Winning Landing Pages Have A Clear Call-to-Action

Whatever you’re offering, don’t let your prospect get distracted by less important things. Don’t link out to your social media or to other pages on your website that are unrelated to your offer.

Ideally, you want them to have two options, take action or leave.

Now, you might be concerned that a seemingly “all or nothing” approach may cost you some customers who need more warming up. We encourage you to experiment with your own ads and get to know your own following! In our experience (and those of many industry experts), you want your page to be dedicated to closing the deal, not giving a runaround.

Whatever you do, make sure you have a clear call to action. Your ad will be useless if your traffic doesn’t have a clear idea of what value they’ll be getting.

Using the Right Landing Page Tools

So maybe you’re not a web designer and the thought of building a dedicated landing page for every ad sounds like a nightmare. We get that!

For our clients who are only doing advertising with us (instead of full website support as well), we utilize a tool called Leadpages. Leadpages is a drag-and-drop landing page builder that helps you make attractive, custom landing pages in no time. Check it out!

Need Another Set of Eyes?

Would it help if you had another set of eyes take a look at your current strategy? Let’s chat! We love doing digital marketing reviews. We can take a look at your current strategy together, and help you identify actionable gaps and improvement areas to boost your marketing performance.

If that sounds like something that would help you, let’s connect!

Online Advertising Pillar Page

So you want to start advertising online? Awesome! But where do you start? How do you know which platforms will give you the best results? What about strategies?

Well, you came to the right place. Here is your all-in-one guide to getting started in the online advertising world. We will walk you through a simple but meaty approach to online advertising, showing you the best ways to use online advertising, the best platforms, and the best strategies to leverage what they have to offer.

Online Advertising and Your Sales Funnel

Before we jump right into the online advertising platforms themselves, you need to have a clear picture of where online advertising fits in your sales funnel. If you don’t understand this, your strategy has next to no chance of accomplishing your goals.

Where do you think advertising fits into your company’s sales funnel?


Online Advertising Sales Funnel
Most commonly, advertising sits towards the top of the sales funnel. This is because it’s a great tool for brand awareness due to its targeting options in every platform including search, display, and social.

Here’s a few examples of how online advertising increases brand awareness.

Capturing New Customers with Online Advertising

In many cases, online advertising is the most cost-effective way to capture customers who are just entering the market.

In traditional marketing, you employ a sort of spray-and-pray tactic, hoping that your advertising is seen by some people who are interested in your product or service.

With online advertising, you can filter your targeting by intent in ways traditional can’t.


Customer Acquisition Cost
One way you can do this is with search ads. You can target keywords that demonstrate a customer without brand loyalty.

For example, if you run a restaurant, what kind of keywords do you think people would search if they were looking for a new place to eat? They are likely to search terms like “restaurants near me” or “places to eat near me”.

Getting in front of a potential customer at this point is exactly what you want because you don’t have to change their mind – they weren’t planning on going anywhere else! You found the best kind of prospect using search.

Nurturing Interested Prospects with Online Advertising

Online advertising doesn’t just provide a way to get in front of new customers. It lets you stay top of mind too while they are going through their buying process.

Once you’ve used online advertising to make your prospects aware of your brand, you can keep your offer in front of them while they think about their decision. This is called retargeting.

Retargeting is one of the most effective advertising tools in terms of ROI because you can target people who have already showed some level of verified interest in you and what you offer.

Here’s a few of our favorite retargeting strategies.


Online Advertising Retargeting strategy

Retargeting Website Visitors

Whether they came through an ad or organically, sometimes prospects come to your website but don’t convert, right?

Have you ever wondered why you may have hundreds, if not thousands of pageviews a month but less than 5% even become leads?

The internet is more crowded than ever with competitors all vying for your prospect’s attention. (Some of them are likely advertising too!) Odds are, unless your web design and brand are extremely remarkable, there’s a good chance they’ll get distracted in the slew of options.

A great way to re-engage those people is through retargeting. You can use platforms like Facebook and Google’s Display network to show your clients attractive ads that build on your messaging.


Online advertising retargeting
For example, our website is designed to appeal to business owners looking for digital marketing. If someone comes to our website, but isn’t convinced to work with us yet, we have to ask this question: “What else would encourage them to work with us?”

As a result, we put together a Facebook, Instagram, and Google Display advertising campaign that features business owner testimonials. Here’s an example:

 


Array Digital Online Advertising
These simple campaigns gave us the opportunity to build upon our brand to people who were already aware of us.

We will get further in depth on how to retarget in just a moment, but as far as your sales funnel goes, retargeting website visitors is a great way to stay top of mind!

Implementing Specialized Retargeting

Get creative with how you retarget! You aren’t limited to just throwing your home page visitors into a target pool and that’s it.

If you are running ads targeting new customer acquisition, like we talked about above, you should be directing them to a landing page.

If you have enough traffic going to your ads, try retargeting just the people who clicked on the ad and went through to the landing page! That way you can create ultra-personalized ads specific to the people who were interested in what the first ad was offering.

Specialized retargeting advertising
Like in our example above, Businessman B may also sell suits, slacks, and shoes, but he knows this specific customer is looking for ties. With personalized retargeting, he can further segment the interests of the people he is showing ads to based on their behavior.

Brainstorm ways you can use retargeting to engage people who have already demonstrated interest in your brand or offer!

Online Advertising = More Efficient Top of Funnel

So how does online advertising fit into your sales funnel?

It proves its worth by delivering the most precise targeting, getting you the most visibility as well as leads for the best price.

Now, onto the next step: picking your advertising platform.


Picking online advertising platform

Picking the Right Online Advertising Platform

This is a question that we get a lot from prospective clients – which platforms should we be advertising on?

With online ads, there’s not really a one-size fits all approach that we recommend.

For example, we’ve run search ads for clients that reported around a dollar per click. We’ve also had prospects come to us, like personal injury attorneys, competing for keywords at $150 per click.

Here, we are going to show you how to pick the best online advertising for your specific company so you can maximize your ROI.

Google Search Ads (PPC)

Google Search Ads are possibly the most well-known form of online advertising.

Most people, even if they don’t really know how they work, have seen those first few search results with the little green words denoting that the search result is a paid listing.

How should I make the most of my Google Search Ads budget?

Google Search Ads are great for a few kinds of companies, but what companies should do specifically varies on budget. Larger companies can aim to dominate the search areas, especially prominent local companies. Smaller companies can use special tactics to carve out their own slice of the search pie.


Google Partner Advertising
(If you’re thinking about outsourcing your online advertising, you should look for a Google Partner! Here’s why.)

Here’s a few tips on making the most of your Google Search Ad campaigns.

1. Target Local Keywords to Reach Local Prospects

A great way to narrow down your targeting is to make sure you include geographical keywords in your targeting. What is geographical targeting?

Think of when you want to find a local service, attraction, or store. What do you search? Do you type your city or town name? Do you type “near me”? Using these keywords can be a great way to narrow down your targeting if you want local clients.

2. Target Long Tail Keywords

The simpler the keyword, the higher cost per click you’re likely going to encounter.

To use Array Digital as an example, it costs more to advertise for the keyword “digital marketing” than it does for a question like “how much does digital marketing cost”. Do you see how the second keyword is less generic but actually shows a better potential buyer intent?


longtail keywords Google
For longer, more specific keywords, there is often less competition meaning more clicks for your budget and consistently better targeting. Try and identify what kinds of questions or related keywords your ideal prospect might be searching and advertise there!

3. Target Your Competitors Names (Cost Allowing…)

A great way to present your brand to more people is to advertise over your competitors’ brand names. That way, you can borrow from their brand capital to identify more prospects for yourself.

Not everyone feels the same way about this tactic, but nonetheless, it is a popular one because it works. You don’t want to trick people into clicking your ad by pretending you are the real listing, but you are simply presenting them with another option!

If someone is doing this to you, you may want to spend a little bit more money here with ads targeting your own brand name. You can push them out of the top advertising spot and keep prospects coming to your website.

Brands that take their name seriously make a regular practice of this. Take Apple (below) as an example. You might think that because they’re so popular as it is, they don’t need to run any ads to catch people who are searching for them. But they do! That’s valuable real estate. Don’t let other companies cut in front of you when it comes to your prospects!


Brand hijacking online advertising

Bing Search Ads

Our team uses Google Ads in combination with Bing Ads to get your company consistently into the top rankings of major search engines. Bing, which is owned by Microsoft, has three search engines — Bing, Yahoo, and AOL — so when you advertise on one platform, your ad is actually seen on all three.

Many do not take advantage of Bing Ads, but those who are have opened themselves up to lower costs per click (the average cost-per-click on Bing Ads can be up to 70% lower compared to Google Ads) and an additional 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google Ads alone.

Bing Ads online advertising

Another major factor that has led to advertising for our clients on Bing Ads is the older and more educated audience. Almost half of Bing searchers have a household income above $75k and nearly 3/4s of Bing searchers are over the age of 35.


Bing Ad demographics
All of these factors make Bing a quiet but valuable asset to your online advertising strategy.

Google Display Ads

When you’re clicking around the internet, you’ve probably seen the wide variety of ads that pop up across the top, down the side, and throughout the web pages you visit.

You may have noticed that frequently, these ads are coming from either companies whom you’ve recently interacted with or from similar competitors.
For example, you may have recently done some research for a home improvement project on a site like Home Depot. You’re likely now seeing ads for not just Home Depot, but Lowes as well! This is the power of Google’s Display Ad network.


Google Display Advertising Sizes
Now we should note here that there are definitely some mixed feelings on display ads. People have called them annoying, disruptive, and other things. You may personally have never clicked on one, and we admit, that’s a pretty common response.

But people who discount display because they “don’t like it” are missing out on a goldmine.

Let’s start by addressing the concern: do people actually click on display ads?

It is true, a successful display ad likely has a click-through rate (CTR) far below that of a successful search ad. But that doesn’t tell you the most important stat: cost per click (CPC).

Here’s an example from a recent display ads campaign we recently ran:


Google Display Ad Results
Now, if we told you that you may only get a 1-2% click-through rate but you could get 2,643 clicks for just over $350, would you do it? Of course you would!

First of all, your brand awareness is maximized this way (check out those impressions), and even though the percentage is lower, you get the best CPC of any platform!

At the end of the day, your goal is the most traffic for the lowest cost, and Google’s Display Ads deliver!

Social Media Advertising (Facebook + Instagram)

Social media is a favorite for online advertisers because of its incredible ability to segment your advertising, allowing you to target the best audiences possible.

Where else have people so willingly given so much personal information? Regardless of your thoughts on that, it works wonders for your advertising efforts.

Targeting goes far beyond simple criteria like gender and geography. You can target based on personal networks to the second and third degree. You can target based on interests. You can target in just about every way you could want!

There are several different ways you can approach social media advertising, but for right now, we will focus on using social ads to drive traffic to other places like your website.


Facebook Advertising Sizes

Generic Targeting on Social Media

Generic targeting is a pretty user-friendly option for people just starting out but who aren’t putting all their budget’s eggs in this basket.

This approach will give you access to a long list of useful criteria to segment your target audience, but if you are able to do more advanced targeting, you should absolutely step it up a level or two.

Of the more basic criteria, we have a personal favorite.

Our favorite is called the “Lookalike‘ target audience. Using this feature, Facebook will identify people with similar attributes to another target audience, for example, your current social media following.

 

If your current following is made up of people who have either been your customer in the past or are likely to be a returning customer, a lookalike audience can be a great strategy. Facebook will find people with similar demographics as well as interests, associations, and friend groups, and include them as an easy way to potentially improve your targeting efficiency.

Building Custom Audiences

Facebook gives you the unique ability to target fully customized audiences. There’s a wide variety of ways you can create a custom audience, but we will go over two main ones.


Facebook Custom Audiences
The first one is uploading your custom audience. This involves uploading a CSV file with a list of emails on it, which Facebook will look for accounts associated with those emails and advertise to them.

When would this be especially useful?

If you have a business model that emphasizes customer retention and re-engagement, upload your contacts! Any time you have a contact list that you want to reach with top-of-mind visual ads, upload your custom audience to Facebook and get started!

Retargeting Website Visitors

We went over retargeting pretty thoroughly above, but here’s a few more things you’ll want to know.

For retargeting website visitors on Facebook, you need to add what’s called a “pixel” to the web page you want to retarget. A pixel is a small line of code, not visible or distracting to your visitors, that registers who visits your site.

The pixel will feed that information in real time over to your advertising campaign to let your ads responsively target website traffic immediately after they leave your site.


How to Add a Facebook Pixel
For more advanced applications, you can utilize this tactic to retarget specific behaviors on your website like people who have already made a purchase, downloaded an eBook or white paper, or left items unpurchased in the cart.

If you want to do that level of targeting, you may want to consult with someone who already is familiar with that territory. Feel free to leave us a message if you’re looking for someone to help!

Get in Touch with Us

Our Favorite Online Advertising Resources

We hope this helps you get off to a great start!

Once you’ve picked your platform, there are a few ideas you’ll still want to pick up. To help you take your next step, here are a few of our favorite resources!

How to Track Your Return on Investment (ROI) || by Search Engine Journal
Is my marketing working? Which campaigns are performing the best?

How to Optimize Your Marketing for Conversions || by Moz
How do I know what to improve in my advertising funnel?

Agency vs. In-house Digital Marketing: A Comparison || by Array Digital
Which option is the best fit for your company? Which provides more value?

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

I seem to start all my articles off with a statistic, so why make this one any different? As of December 31, 2018, there are over 2.32 billion active monthly Facebook users worldwide. That enormous, global audience means that Facebook ads could be the missing link to your online advertising strategy if you’re not already taking full advantage of this social media platform.

With the Facebook algorithm constantly changing (and de-prioritizing business content) and making it more challenging to connect organically with fans and potential customers, Facebook ads have amazing micro-targeting features that will allow you to get your message in front of the people most likely to respond to your online advertising efforts. No other social media or online advertising platform has been able to leverage parallel targeting capabilities that allow you to use such specific demographics as 50-year-old, English-speaking men that live in Orlando, Florida, work in marketing, and like Bud Light. This means great things for your budget, conversion rates, and ROI. But it’s important that you understand not only the basics of Facebook ads (the different ad types and targeting options) but also the advanced features before you dive head first into this online advertising option.

Let’s talk ad types:

Types of Facebook Ads

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to use up to 10 photos or videos to showcase your product or service. These are great if you want to highlight different aspects and benefits of one particular product, you want to show a variety of related products, or even to use one large panorama image.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Photo Ads

These are the simplest ad type that Facebook offers and are great for beginners as they are exactly what the name suggests: a single photo, frequently created by boosting an already existing post from your Facebook page.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Video Ads

Video ads are great to give a little personality behind your brand: you can show your team with some behind-the-scenes type footage, show a product in action, or create an inspirational video that relates to your brand’s mission statement or goals.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Slideshow Ads

Somewhat of a hybrid between video and photo ads, slideshow ads offer an easy way to create short videos by using a collection of still photos or existing video clips. The great thing about these is that they use much less bandwidth than videos so they load faster, but they still have the scroll-stopping motion that’ll inspire people to stop and watch… and click.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Collection Ads

Collection ads are only offered on mobile devices (don’t worry, that’s still 1.5 billion mobile daily users), and they allow you to show one or more products that people can click to buy.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Instant Experience Ads

When combined with Collection ads, Instant Experience ads allow users to buy products without ever leaving Facebook! They’re a full-screen ad format that loads faster than a mobile website outside of Facebook, making their online shopping experience fast and seamless.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Lead Ads

Lead ads are exclusive to mobile devices because they are designed to make it easy for people to fill in their contact information without requiring them to do a lot of extra typing. They’re especially useful for collecting newsletter subscriptions, signing people up for product trials, etc.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Dynamic Ads

Have you ever placed an item into your online shopping cart and left before completing the purchase, only to see that exact same product three different times on your Facebook feed? Those are dynamic ads, used to promote products to customers that are most likely to be interested in them. This can be a very effective online advertising strategy.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Messenger Ads

You can set photo, video, carousel, and dynamic ads to appear in Facebook Messenger, giving you even more access to Facebook users, as over 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month. During the process of creating your ad, simply choose Messenger as the desired placement in addition to Facebook feed.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

Create Your Facebook Ads

Now, we won’t go into the actual process of creating and publishing your Facebook ads, mostly because Facebook makes the online advertising process pretty simple and self-explanatory.

Facebook allows you to choose and set specifically defined goals for your ads, which is one element that makes it such a great online advertising platform. By setting goals for your ad campaign before even going live with the ads, you’ll have a way to measure your success. You can set goals such as increasing attendance to an upcoming event, generating new leads, and boosting engagement on your Facebook page.

 

Next, Facebook will have you choose an objective for your campaign. You’ll have 15 options on a screen that looks like this:

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

After choosing a goal, you’ll want to define your audience and budget. Facebook allows you to get really specific with your audience qualifications, so take advantage of the fact that you can really narrow down who is seeing your ads, which in turn saves you money by not displaying the ads to people who would be uninterested. You can also retarget people who have already interacted with your business.

 

Here’s an example of a recent Array Digital ad campaign, advertising our Marketers Anonymous Orlando meetup to people that live close to the venue.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

We were able to narrow down our audience from the entire population of Florida to just the people we thought would find value in our Marketers Anonymous meetups and the information those provide.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

As you can see, Facebook alerts you if it thinks your audience is too broad or specific, which is also a really helpful feature in allowing you to target the perfect number of people for your online advertising.

 

After selecting your target audience, you’ll have to decide how much money you’d like to spend on your ad campaign. Remember, this is the maximum amount of money you want to spend on this particular ad. You can set either a Daily budget – the average that you’ll spend per day – or a Lifetime budget – the maximum you’d like to spend over the lifetime of the campaign.

 

Now for the fun part.

 

Choose your images (or video), headline, body text, and where on Facebook you want your ad displayed. There are two ways to go about creating your Facebook ads: 1) Use an existing post, or 2) Start with a blank canvas and create a new ad.

Not Sure What to Advertise?

With the huge range of ad options, it’s completely understandable if you feel like you’re standing on the side of the deep end, too overwhelmed to get your feet wet. But you really just have to dive right in and here are some strategies to help you do that.

#1: Take a Piece of Content and Convert It Into a Video

Your brand likely has a piece of content that has outperformed most of your other content and driven loads of traffic to take action on your site. Maybe it was an Instagram post that got tons of engagement, a blog post that got lots of clicks, or a FAQ that you get often then answered on Instagram Stories and got tons of DMs in response. Whatever it may be, you can adapt that into a short video to repackage it as top content for your Facebook ads.

Figure out how you can convey the same key message into a short video with a little text and what images will reinforce the idea with your brand identity.

#2: Experiment.

Try starting with a very narrow audience and then broadening it slowly as you see fit by adding more interest categories into the mix until you find the sweet spot. You can also target different audiences with different ads depending on their interests. If you have a business with a largely local audience, you can try narrowing your audience by zip code, which is especially helpful when you know you want to target a particular city or neighborhood.

And test everything! You shouldn’t assume that one thing might work and another won’t because with Facebook ads (and online advertising in general), you never really know. Something new might perform extremely well with an old audience while a new audience might not respond well to your tried and true techniques. Every time you try something new, you should test it against your old metrics to see what improvements you are making. That’s why it’s also important to closely monitor the performance of your campaigns in the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. If one campaign is not performing well, take money from that budget and put it towards one that is. And if you’re just starting out, it makes the most sense to run several ads with small audiences and budgets than limiting yourself to one large campaign and over-targeting with your audience.

#3: Focus on Great Visuals but Don’t Neglect the Words

You know what’s super unattractive? Low-quality photo and video ads. This is the part of your advertisement that’s going to spark your audience’s interest and make them stop the mind-numbing scrolling. While, yes, your body text is important too, your visuals make the first impression. Just like we said in “The Ultimate Guide to Using Pinterest for Your Business,” if you don’t have the equipment to take your own pictures or videos, there are tons of stock image resources out there.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising with Facebook Ads

 

If you sell a product, Facebook recommends creating an ad that shows someone using or benefitting from the product rather than a single product shot. For example, let’s say you are a skincare company. It would be far more effective to have a video of someone talking about the best features of your new moisturizer than a picture of the moisturizer jar, no matter how aesthetically pleasing the styling of the photo is.

#4: Let Facebook’s Algorithm Work Its Magic

The Facebook algorithm is extremely intelligent, so use it to your advantage. You may find that when you are running ads you get hit with a higher cost per click or cost per conversion than you anticipated. One way to combat this is to turn off those ads and start from scratch, but that probably won’t solve your problem. A better way to get things back on track is to broaden the audience in your ad set and let Facebook’s algorithm take over. As people click or convert, Facebook will pick up on the similarities between them and begin showing your ad more often to people with those characteristics, while limiting the times the ad is shown to people who Facebook feels are unlikely to click or convert.

Traditional v. Digital Marketing Advetising

We spend a lot of time at my agency determining which platforms provides the best value for advertising. We work with a lot of businesses who have historically thrown all of their marketing into traditional advertising – TV, radio, mailers, etc. But we see more and more of these businesses shifting their budget to digital advertising. Why is that?

(Get the whole gist in less than 2 minutes with this video)

Some media such as radio are much older than other media such as social media. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, and benefits to marketers.

Traditional media is defined as media that existed before the rise of the internet. That includes newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, and broadcast TV and direct mail. Digital media includes everything you see online — online advertising, search engines, social media, video streaming services, and websites. Digital also includes other online and mobile techniques such as geofencing, OTT (over the top) long form video, and Digital OHH (digital out of home) such as digital billboards.

This article provides a comparison of advertising options in traditional and digital media.

Disclaimer: I’m a digital marketer. But that’s no accident — if you want to know why I made it my career, keep reading.

Attention Trends in Advertising

Viewership and listenership — what I like to refer to collectively as attention — is quickly shifting from traditional to digital. The below chart from Statistic shows how quickly the two trends are converging.

viewership digital traditional
Not shown in the chart, but clearly overlapping is upon us or has already occurred and will come out some in backward looking charts.The flow from traditional to to digital is quite obvious.

Ok, but that’s for all of traditional as a whole. What about the advertising bellwether, TV? How is TV doing?

Time spent watching TV

“Traditional TV viewership continues to fall among every major demographic between the ages of 2 and 49, according to Nielsen’s Q3 2016 Total Audience Report.”
~ Business Insider, Jan 4, 2017

When viewership and shifts from one media to another, their time and attention is shifting as well.

Advertising Trends: Follow the Money

Where attention shifts, advertising shifts.

The following chart shows advertising spend for the top 200 leading national advertisers by type of media, as reported by AdAge.

advertising spend comparison
This chart tells an amazing story!

Internet advertising is growing like crazy.

TV advertising has taken a dip of about 8% from its high from 2012.

Newspapers have been absolutely decimated. They’ve lost an astounding 80% of their revenue! As an example of newspaper’s demise, our local paper in Norfolk, VA, was bought after 153 years of operations for just $34 million. Of that amount, $14 million was for real estate holdings. So after toiling away for 153 years it was worth only $20 million.

Our paper has since merged with another paper 30 miles away and the newsroom has unionized out of fear of losing their jobs and pay. Yikes!

Radio, after being hammered by the emergence of TV about 70 years ago, will have lost 38% of its revenue over a 20 years span.

Magazines — down a crazy 67% in revenue!

Out of home — billboards, signage, ads before a movie in the theatre — surprisingly, have seen consistent growth, increasing revenue 66% over 20 years. Well done OOH!

Storytelling in Advertising

Advertising relies heavily on storytelling. Storytelling allows advertisers to frame a scene that’s familiar and relatable to the consumer. The best way to tell a story quickly is through video and pictures. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video done well is worth a hundred thousand words.

story telling in advertising

Image sourced via Phaidon

TV historically was the king media for storytelling. In 15 to 30 seconds, a scene could be set, a trusted advisor introduced, and a common problem would be solved.

Moving pictures is the primary reason that TV dominated radio and print when it was introduced.

Second best to TV was print due to its ability to include images. After that, radio which had the ability to describe something best suited for visual consumption.

the first banner ad

The first internet banner ad, via The Atlantic.

In the early days of Internet advertising we had banner ads. Obnoxious and conspicuous, they were the bane of the early days of the internet. But they worked.

According to The Atlantic, the above banner ad is widely described as the first ever was a little rectangle purchased by AT&T on HotWired.com in 1994.

About 44 percent of the people who saw it actually clicked on it.

Cool, but that didn’t last long.

Banner ads don’t tell a story. They demanded attention through antics that anyone who remembers the internet of the mid 90s cringes at. Slowly the state of internet advertising advanced to be more subtle. And bearable.

Now online advertising can include images, multiple images in a slide deck, and video. Internet ads are also much more relevant given the high degree of targeting capability. Many of the ads you’ll see online these days are actually products that could make sense for you to purchase.

The use of video online with ads is a powerful combination, one that rivals TV. With attention already shifting to search engines, social media, and the rest of the internet, the somewhat recent addition of video ads tells a story is familiar to the consumer.

Broadcast vs Targeted Delivery

Since traditional advertising is broadcast via mass communication, anyone can receive it. Generally a particular type of programming will attract the same type of person.

So a particular station, channel, or program will have more of one demographic profile than another. As an example, a show about hunting will likely draw older men than young women.

Targeting with traditional advertising is based on the percentage of readers, viewers, listeners, or people within proximity of a public ad.

Using polling mechanisms such as the Nielsen ratings, the percentage of each demographic of a medium can be estimated through statistically relevant sampling.

See my previous article The Soft Underbelly of Traditional TV Ratings for some more details on how those ratings work.

The best that traditional advertisers can do is to broadcast their ad on a medium that has a high concentration of the demographic they wish to attract. They cast a wide net and hope to grab the attention of the subset of viewers that their offering may appeal to. But, they’re paying to show the ad to the rest of the non-target audience as well.

do tv advertisements work
Contrast the broadcasting approach with the capabilities of digital advertising. Digital platforms hold personal data at the individual level. Now, those platforms protect individual personal data to the best of their abilities, but they also aggregate that data in way that allows marketers to provide contextually relevant messaging to the individual people.

As digital advertisers, we don’t know who the individuals are that are getting our messaging, but we know that they are relevant based on the filtering we specify.

To continue with the hunting example, if we were to advertise for a hunting product on Google or Bing then we’d have our advertisement show anytime someone searched for a relevant hunting term in our relevant geographic region.

Let’s say you’re selling a hunting tree stand. If someone searches for “tree stand”, and if they are in a geographic area that you support, you can have an ad shown for your hunting stand at the exact moment that they have the intent to find a hunting stand.

Amazing, right? But wait, there’s more.

Let’s say your Google or Bing ad resonated with the person searching for a hunting stand and they clicked through to your website.

But they didn’t buy. That’s ok.

With a technology called retargeting, we can show them an advertisement on Facebook and other social networks, and on relevant websites across the internet, for your tree stand.

Retargeting reinforces the recent intent that they already expressed by going to your website.

We already know that the individual was interested enough in tree stands that they went to your website — we don’t want to let the lead go. With retargeting, which is relatively inexpensive, we can reminder the consumer about what they’re missing by not buying your tree stand and why yours is the best tree stand in the world.

We can set a budget that will dictate how frequently they will see you ad after going to your website (ex: two times a day) and we can set how long they will see your ads for (ex: 30 days after visiting your site). With this, you don’t have just one shot at getting the attention of a relevant consumer…you can stay in front of them.

With social media advertising we can create text, image, and video based ads that target consumers individually by their interests and intent.

Using various techniques, we can find individuals on Facebook who are into hunting, and have sufficient income or net worth to afford the offering, and show them Facebook ads that are relevant to their interests.

We can even have different ads for different demographics — ex: an ad with a woman hunter to show to women who are interested in hunting — because people resonate better with those who look, sound, and act like us.

Within a large demographic, we can continue to segment even further. Once they click on the ad and go to your site, you can retarget them going forward.

How Reach & Engagement Are Measured

Reach is defined as how many people see or hear the media. Engagement is how many people take some sort of action such as calling, clicking, liking, or sharing what they receive from the media.

Measuring Radio

According to Nielsen, radio has the largest reach of all – 93% of adult Americans (18+) tune into AM/FM radio each week, and 243 million each month. That’s pretty amazing. Radio is the king of reach. But radio gets very low engagement.

There’s no user interface with radio, and most of radio’s listeners are in cars during the morning commute. A person has to take out their phone while driving, remember the number or website address they just hear, and call or click — while driving. Radio doesn’t have any form of direct engagement.

But radio can lead to brand awareness and lift other types of more engaging advertising.

Measuring TV

It’s actually quite difficult to figure out how many people watch TV. Neilen provides the number US households with TVs (about 119 million), but that doesn’t equate to people.

And TV is no longer a well defined term that means broadcast over the airwaves or cable.

There’s “linear” TV which is effectively streamed by the broadcaster and you watch whatever is being broadcast, there’s time delayed (ex: DVR), connected TVs (delivered via the Internet), and OTT (over the top) is effectively TV content delivered on non-TV devices like phones. TV has really gotten quite unruly.

Anyway, here’s a relevant chart I found from Nielsen. There aren’t hardcore numbers besides the percentage, but you get the point that TV has less reach than radio.

weekly reach of media platforms
Engagement wise, TV is similar to radio. There’s no way to directly engage with TV.

But at least people are sitting on their couches and they have a laptop in lap or a phone in hand, and they can navigate online much easier than engaging with radio.

This is what’s referred to as “the second screen”.

Watching TV on the first screen and following up on the offering seen on TV with the phone (the second screen).

Measuring Digital Marketing

Measuring digital marketing – represented by smartphones, PC, and tablets in the above chart — is equally difficult to put my finger on for reach.

Neilsen says that search sites like Google reach 197M people per month, eCommerce 143M, social media 179M, video sites 143M, news sites 105M, and sports sites get 57M people.

But I’m unable to find how many unique people there are. Sometimes, like it or not, the data doesn’t yield clear answers.

But what is clear is that advertisers move to where the action is, and advertising is migrating to online.

(see the above chart from AdAge that shows internet ad spend skyrocketing)

That’s because of the rich ability to target individual, just-in-time intent instead of broadcasting to the general population provided by traditional TV, radio, and print.

Engagement is very high online — it’s one giant social experiment where people rate, review, like, share, and click. If someone has an opinion, it’ll be expressed online.

Online is where all the engagement happens.

What Does All This Mean?

I’ve dumped a lot of data on you. It’s can be tough to make heads or tails of this, so let me clearly summarize the state of traditional and digital media.

People are fleeing from traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) to digital media (websites, social media) through their smartphones and laptops.

Although some traditional media such as radio continues to have reach in the US, their revenue stream is getting hammered as advertisers follow people as their time and attention migrate to digital media.

As a marketer, do you want to keep your marketing budget with the legacy of traditional media and declining returns, or make your name in emerging digital?

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© 2019 Array Digital LLC
© 2019 Array Digital LLC