If you aren't advertising online yet, or are looking for new avenues to pursue, below are 7 places you can market your small business online. While I'm a huge proponent of optimizing your website so you can get found in the search engine results for free (SEO), the reality is that it takes alot of time, patience and persistence to rank high in the search engines. While you're slowly and methodically building up your organic search rankings, why not spend your advertising dollars more efficiently online right now?
Before we dive into the details of display advertising, let’s take a bird’s-eye view. The other major Google Ads network is the Search Network, which enables advertisers to buy promotional real estate in the Google search results. Generally, search advertising is a valuable channel for marketers because it allows them to capitalize on the commercial intent that often motivates people to use Google.
Every ad you create should be spell-checked and proofread before publishing. These ads are generally either a customer’s first interaction with a brand or used to encourage previous visitors to complete the sales process and convert. Neither of those things are likely to happen if you are displaying an ad with a painfully obvious typo or grammatical error.
Vertical networks: They represent the publications in their portfolio, with full transparency for the advertiser about where their ads will run. They typically promote high-quality traffic at market prices and are heavily used by brand marketers. The economic model is generally revenue share. Vertical Networks offer ROS (Run-Of-Site) advertising across specific Channels (example: Auto or Travel) or they offer site-wide advertising options, in which case they operate in a similar fashion to Publisher Representation firms.
Paid search advertising is nothing new. While it is not the most flashy of advertising methods, when performed correctly, it continues to provide fruitful results that raise the bottomline. That said, as the channel begins to truly embrace a new, data-driven approach, there are opportunities to capitalize on the new possibilities not previously provided by search engines.
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Enhanced Targeting — Because ads are purchased in the seconds before a web page loads, advertisers know a lot of information about who will be viewing the ad. This includes the demographics, time of day, and sites visited previously, to name a few. This allows them to more accurately target their ads and make sure that every one of their ads is being seen by their desired audience. This also eliminates the possibility of ads being shown to low-value audiences who are unlikely to engage with the brand.
But before you start swapping all of the models in your image ads for scantily clad replacements, remember that most online advertising platforms have strict policies prohibiting erotic images in ads. To make it through the approval process, marketers must be stealthy and use images or messages that simply imply sex. I love this example, from Volkswagen. The image and copy is completely PG, but the innuendo is clear.
Two of the most common targeting options for Display Network campaigns are in-market and affinity audiences. One typical way to research which of these options could be good to test for a new display campaign is to look at the Audience Manager within Google Ads and compare which of these audiences might show up depending what root audience you are viewing.
Demand side platforms, or DSPs, give advertisers the ability to buy ads in real time through a process called real time bidding (RTB). DSPs are not a specific advertising channel but instead allow advertisers to reach individuals instantaneously in real time. With DSPs, advertisers can purchase ads on an impression-by-impression basis, by bidding on an incoming impression within the milliseconds it takes for a web page to load.
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As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user’s online activity, they can then combine this information to create a picture of the user’s interests to deliver even more targeted advertising. This aggregation of data is called behavioral targeting. Advertisers can also target their audience by using contextual and semantic advertising to deliver display ADs related to the content of the web page where the ADs appear. Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual advertising all are designed to increase an advertiser’s return on investment, or ROI, over untargeted ads.
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Social advertising is the practice of placing ads on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Marketers and advertisers use social advertising software to help to automate and streamline the ad buying process on social media sites. Social media advertising is fast growing, but still relatively young. Offering advertising solutions is often seen as a sign of maturity for social networks as they work towards monetizing their efforts. The availability and robustness of social advertising capabilities on any given social network is highly dependent on the popularity of the site as well as how long it has been around. While social advertising is only one piece of a digital advertising strategy, marketers also use other channels such as display advertising, mobile advertising, video advertising, or search advertising to form a comprehensive approach to digital advertising.