Internet marketing started in the early 90’s as simple web pages that had text-only information. It emerged into advertisements comprising of graphics, videos, and multimedia interaction with the advancement of the World Wide Web (WWW). Presently, billions of people use the internet globally and it has become an essential means of communication. As opposed to traditional media such as radio or television, everyone knows that the internet is an interactive medium where our messages and views can be personalized according to us. The Internet has also transformed the world of marketing and business in general considerably. In today’s world of the digital era, companies ranging from small businesses to large fortune companies utilize online marketing or internet marketing to advertise and promote their products and services online.
Both consumer behavior and online marketing strategies are getting rapidly transformed due to the rise of mobile commerce (m-commerce). For ecommerce businesses to be successful, one must interpret and evaluate the best methods to encourage customers towards their brand through search engine marketing, advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and other online marketing strategies.
Internet Advertising Channels:
Your main motto as an advertiser should be to put an investment in appropriate advertising channels that provide the most returns for your business. There are loads of studies backing digital marketing return on investment (ROI), so to elevate your business and its products and services, you must have a presence on all the best digital marketing channels. However, there are numerous online advertising channels accessible to advertisers over the internet. The question is how to move forth by selecting the suitable channel for your business. An advertiser should have a full knowledge of their budget and the expense of employing a certain channel. Here are various digital advertising channels that will enable you to make the maximum out of your budget:
Considered as the colossus of online advertising industry, the focus of Google’s business is ad revenue. Google presents diverse prospects and choices for advertising. Along with various formats of the advertisement, comprising of text, display, shopping, and video, it is no wonder that perhaps you even must have come across Google’s advertising options yourself during searching the web.
The search function of Google is one of the most innovative and original online option for paid ad. For instance, a person requires a new backpack and begins a search; the results on Google will be placed on the left, (text ads) top three results and the results on the right (shopping ads) are all sponsored advertising by several corporations that market backpack. With an auction system in the Google Adwords tool where companies bid on keywords, these results are determined. The higher the bid is placed by a company, the possibility of their ad displaying up is as higher. Precisely like any other auction, the prevalence, and popularity of the keyword determines the amount of the bid. Apart from search engine result pages of Google, Adwords customers can prefer to have their ads publicized on the Google Display Network.
Microsoft owns the search engine Bing and though it’s markedly diminutive when compared to Google, ads on Bing are something worth considering. Though that rests upon not just the quality of that traffic but also the place from where your particular search engine traffic appears from. Bing offers exposure to more than just searches on Bing.com and their network also comprises searches from AOL and Yahoo.
It is advised that an advertiser should first become aware of the Google Adwords interface because after they spend some time there, the Bing Ads interface becomes familiar, as they share a number of similarities. You’ll also discover related formats on Bing Ads containing options for search, display, and shopping.
Social Media Advertising:
It is essential that you should maintain a strong presence on the various platforms with the accounts of millions of people from across the globe on social media platforms. Social media platforms like LinkedIn also permit you to build business and professional networks with other employees and business owners globally. With more and more users joining social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus etc worldwide, it becomes essential that you maintain a strong social media presence.
Facebook at the close of Q4 2015 claimed 1.59 billion users every month. Instagram which has 400 million users per month is also owned by Facebook and is yet another advertising platform that is accessible to the Facebook network. By simply adding up the total number of users that Facebook and Instagram possess, it’s not hard to recognize the potential of these channels and the kind of amazing targeting capacity for advertisers.
Facebook has designed numerous ways to communicate through their stage, including news feeds, pages, events, videos, etc. Based upon the objectives of advertiser’s campaign, they provide diverse formats.
When it comes to active monthly users, the next in the line after Facebook and Instagram is Twitter. As of March 2016, it has about 310 million users worldwide. Depending upon the base of your user and customer, Twitter can be a great platform to consider through paid advertising as it has a worldwide usage that is immensely broad. Tweet is the one and only medium of Twitter and with the help of this medium, there is various stuff you can perform in order to engage an audience. Depending on the objectives of your campaign, the things can extend from increasing followers on Twitter, to accumulating leads, to directing prospects to your website.
Apart from Google, there are various search engines available to advertisers. YouTube with its more than a billion users is reportedly the second-largest search engine. In extension to display ads, YouTube provides the advertiser’s videos in an ad format i.e. both engaging and more interactive for the customer. Generally, the ads in YouTube show up at the starting of a video that is chosen, and display ads are displayed either on top of a video or in the lower part of the video window.
There is an abundance of various channels through which you can select the ones meeting your objectives. When digital advertising is being talked about, advertisers can also include LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat on their list. Once you have discovered where your prospects and customers hang out online and after you’ve become comfortable with online advertising, all of these platforms are worth considering. By that time, the channels reported above are large sufficient that advertisers must not confront any sort of obstacles while targeting and finding qualified traffic.
After you have decided on your channel then you can ascertain the audience you would like to target. In digital advertising, capabilities of targeting have become very appreciative. It is possible that while your interactions on the web, you have experienced targeting in some form or the other. Earlier, this kind of specificity of a message used to be immensely costly for marketers and also not practical. However, now the scenario has completely changed. All the channels we have talked about till now have targeting capacities that are really potent. Also, you don’t need to have a huge advertising budget and you can start using them immediately.
The targeting method that majority of the audiences are familiar with is Keywords. Moreover, it has apparently existed the longest. It was Google that pioneered Keyword. Keyword targeting enables an advertiser to bid on an auction on such keywords that the advertiser believes proposed customers may apply while looking up for their product on the internet or a problem their product solves. Apart from Google, Keyword targeting is also present on other channels and search engines.
Most of these channels (Google and Bing, specifically) provide various options of keyword-matching that enable you to better match prospective customer search patterns.
Broad Match – This matches keywords that are associated with the original search. It incorporates misspellings, synonyms, and alterations of the keyword.
Phrase Match – This method will match on keywords that are a portion of a particular phrase.
Exact Match – This method will match on the precise word or term.
Negative Match – This method enables the searcher to eliminate a term.
The internet is aware a lot about you, essentially this is possible from profiles that are filled out by you on sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Consequently, these sites can provide targeting to advertisers that match their considered profiles of the customer.
Each time a person searches the web, selects a particular link, does online shopping or takes any sort of action online, they are leaving behind a digital footprint that can be utilized for targeting.
In the context of targeting method, the audience that is being targeted generally is not known to the advertiser. Applying keywords, demographic, and behavioral information, advertisers are targeting the profile of a person they think would be an ideal match for their product or service.
However, while talking about retargeting, it enables you to market to an individual who is known to you. Though you might not be having their credentials like name, email address, or too much amount information at all but they have at least landed upon a web property you hold some control over, enabling you to cookies. A cookie is a small file stored on the user’s browser that is used for targeting the user in future.
The majority of the people have faced this one form of the targeting, where we visit a site and then keep seeing online ads associated with that site on other websites that are usually non-related. This happens because in your browser there is a cookie that indicates that you visited a particular page, and other websites utilize that cookie to attend a specific ad.
There exists another kind of retargeting in which you possess any sort of identifying information about a prospect and/or customer. Most of the channels considered in this post provide advertisers the option to upload a list of prospect or customer information which is then used to serve ads. It is typically email addresses. For instance, if you buy a product from a company and they have your email address, that company can upload your email address to Facebook and consequently attend your ads on Facebook for similar or additional products they might have.
The aim of a digital advertising is to produce something of value. That could be an email address that can be used to send follow-up communications or an online sale if you have an e-commerce business. Channels for example Facebook and Twitter provide the expertise to drive new likes and followers with ads, but it’s unlikely that a like or follow is as worthy as an email address or direct revenue from a sale.
With the aim of accumulating something of significance, for instance, like an email address, you’re going to want to do everything feasible to optimize the experience of the person who clicked your ad. Common reasoning informs us that in order to accumulate something of significance, we require offering something of value, too. For an ecommerce sale, this is a comparatively simple thing to do but for sites that are non-ecommerce, a standard method is to give some sort of content the visitor would seek worthwhile or use a giveaway to incentivize the visitor to provide an email or take some other action.
These are the reasons why a landing page that is precise simply explains your offer and eliminates distractions. It can help you make the most of your ad spend. Your paid advertising traffic should not be spent on your home page! When you think of how much time you have just given away targeting the precise group of prospective customers, it would turn out to be a heavy waste of not just time but money. On the landing page, you can simply display your message, particularly to that targeted group.
Internet Advertising Cost:
There are costs involved in advertising and these channels do not allow you to advertise for free. On all the channels that are mentioned above and over virtually, you will have to pay usually for a cost per action. Some popular acronyms describe these actions:
PPC – PPC or Pay Per Click advertising is a simple model where an advertiser has to pay only for the advertisements that are clicked by the users. This means that the advertiser does not have to purchase and collect any extra ad inventory and a considerable amount of money can be saved. They will not only gain speedy results with PPC but can also estimate the performance of their campaign. Additionally, because of PPC, the numbers of wasted impressions are reduced and it helps an advertiser to target the appropriate audience.
CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions: In this cost structure, the action is an impression of your ad on a particular channel. This would generally be used for a company engaged only in branding, vs. the initial purpose of accumulating a lead.
CPV – Cost Per View: As video ads are becoming widespread day by day, this cost structure has been created to support this ad type.
CPA – Cost Per Acquisition: It is an online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays for each specified acquisition.
CPC – Cost Per Click: Although at times this is practiced to describe Cost Per Click, though it is also used to describe Cost Per Conversion.
ROI – Return on Investment: The ability to track virtually everything is among the greatest advantages of the internet. This also includes the cost to procure leads or make a sale. In fact, most of the channels in their standard reports present the ability to show the per-unit cost. In case you have not already done so, it is well meriting your time to ascertain the unit economics of obtaining a new lead or customer. Once you’ve ascertained the value of a new lead or customer, you can use the per-unit costs presented in the last section to determine the return on your advertising investment. This is sometimes also called as ROAS, or Return On Ad Spend.
Every channel used by you will have a separate cost correlated with obtaining a lead or customer. Over a period of time, as you analyze these costs with the value of each customer, you will be able to sharpen and refine your ad expenditure to concentrate only on those channels that present the highest and most profitable ROI.
Internet advertising is remarkably viable marketing option as it can be extremely effective in driving a wide range of customers. Online advertising not only boosts your website traffic but when planned as a central strategy, it can work for you in the long-term by considerably increasing your revenue.
Zahoor Bhat has over 10+ years of experience as an online editor and media manager. He has worked with major online news and content sites as a media manager. He is well versed with major content management systems and web platforms such as WordPress and social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Business, Yelp, Instagram & Linkedin. He is an expert in content creation, proofreading and finally making it live. Being a social media expert, he is able to make relations with social media influencers and make sure to generate leads and grow business via different social media platforms.