Quick Guide to Digital Advertising


Making sure your advertising budget is being put to good use and maximized is an important component of a business’s overall marketing initiative. Whether you are in the initial stages of exploring options for your business and curious about where to focus your efforts, or evaluating new strategies in digital advertising, we have created a quick guide to better inform you about the array of digital advertising possibilities and when they are best employed. 

Performance Marketing

Performance marketing is a combination of paid advertising and brand marketing.  A level of accountability is present in performance marketing efforts because there is an expected measurable result. Businesses will pay when a specific action is completed– such as a sale, lead or click. This translates well to digital advertising where there is a desire to draw clear lines of cause and effect to dollars spent and goals achieved. 

Other digital marketing channels such as paid search, native advertising and paid social, all fall under the overarching umbrella of performance marketing. As you approach these different channels of digital advertising, keep the foundations of performance marketing top of mind.

Paid Search/PPC

If you have ever typed in a search query on Google, then you have noticed the sponsored results that feature prominently at the top of the page. Businesses looking to boost clicks to their website should explore advertising with Paid Search and Pay-per-click (PPC). PPC is when you bid on target keywords to show up in the sponsored results, and pay a fee for each click received. By placing an ad on a search engine results page (SERP), your business will be targeting potential customers looking for what you have to offer. 

Before getting started, it is important to research keywords that will resonate with your target audience and may be what they are using to find your product via search. Comprehensive keyword research is vital to achieving a good ROI since you will be bidding against other businesses for clicks. Popular platforms for paid search include Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, AdRoll, Pinterest, and Taboola.  

Native Advertising

Native advertising is paid content such as articles, infographics, or videos, that is featured in-feed or on websites where your target audience is most likely to consume content. With the goal of providing real value to your target audience, native advertising can bypass ad blockers designed to suppress other digital advertising efforts.

To incorporate native advertising into your digital strategy, first begin by considering other websites your ideal customer might be visiting or topics they could be interested in learning more about. For those new to choosing publishers and putting together a smart distribution strategy, leverage content discovery platforms to help put your content in front of the right potential customers. Others with more experience can opt to partner directly with a business to develop quality content that is on-brand for both parties and speaks to the target audience. Be sure to determine specific goals and measurable metrics so that after launch it is easier to fine-tune the campaign and continue to encourage engagement.

Paid Social

As the name implies, paid social digital advertising efforts focus on the core social media channels- Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok. However, the types of advertising options on these platforms vary and should be evaluated based on your business’s objectives. Pay-per-click advertising, branded or influencer-generated content, and display ads are all examples of paid social media. Typically, when scrolling through a social feed, a post may be tagged with “sponsored” or “promoted” to communicate that it is an ad. 

To get started in choosing which platform is right for your brand, begin by asking how the demographics and intent of the different networks align with your business. Your goal is to choose the network where your target audience is hanging out and then begin to evaluate what types of digital advertising strategies your competitors have or have not deployed on the platform. Finally, experiment with various advertising options while always trying to ensure that your efforts blend in with organic content on the networks. 

Although digital advertising options are numerous and varied, this quick guide has touched on the major categories and types that your business can explore and incorporate into its larger marketing strategy. Remember, no one option is the right fit for every business and by evaluating your goals and identifying a target audience, only then can you begin to craft an effective digital advertising strategy.

Learn how you can partner with First Media to support your digital advertising strategies here

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