Part 6-Digital ads to generate traffic
Digital ads and other advertising for small business serve to build your brand, generate awareness and spur demand. There are many DIY digital platforms for advertising such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, among many others. Legacy or traditional advertising in the Yellow Pages, newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, and TV is certainly well known but lacks the 100% attribution that digital advertising has. Your TV or radio does not know that you left the room to make a sandwich in the kitchen! For this post, we will focus on digital advertising.
Why do digital ads? There are many really good reasons, as mentioned above. Practically speaking, grand openings, new products, opening additional locations are common reasons to run a digital advertising campaign. Social media can amplify your ads and reinforce your messages. Here is an example of what we mean: assume your restaurant is opening a second location. You are planning a digital ad campaign and are working on drafting the campaign. As the new location is being built, take pictures and post those to social media - these are great teasers for the big event! The ad campaign for your new location plus the social media posts will be effective in making prospects aware of the new location.
One of the biggest challenges of digital advertising is knowing your target audience. We like to start with ZAG (zip code, age, and gender) - this begins the process of defining your target audience. From there, consider income, life stage (young adult, college student, singles, married, new baby, your child goes to college, retirement, etc.), and online behavior (desktop, tablet, smartphone). Finally, psychographics: how do they see themselves? What do they aspire to? Does your target see themselves as busy people and place a premium on convenience? Or do they want to showcase their home with landscape lighting? Most digital platforms have a range of targeting options and it important that you have a profile of your ideal customer to set up the campaign.
Types of digital ads
There are two kinds of DIY digital advertising available to small businesses: display ads and search engine marketing (SEM).
Display ads can be images, animated GIFs, and videos, so small businesses can run displays ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google Display, and YouTube. Typically, display ads are impression based - this means you are paying to show a certain number of ads regardless if anyone clicked on the ads. Each platform (Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) has its pros and cons, but they all do a great job of providing data and connecting to your website’s analytics.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is when you use a search engine (Google or Bing) to look for something. The ads appear at the top and bottom of each search engine results page (SERP). SEM advertising is performance-based, meaning you only pay when someone clicks. There is no cost to have your ad show in the SERP. Again these ads have wonderful data and connect to your website’s analytics.
There are several advertising terms that you should understand because campaign pricing and effectiveness are often described in these terms. Impressions are counted when your ad is shown to a prospect on another website like Facebook or a Google website partner. An impression is counted if your ad is fully displayed to the user. Typically, you are charged a certain dollar amount per 1,000 impressions or showings of your ad. This fee is to deliver the ad and does not change if people click on the ad or not. This is called Cost Per Thousand or CPM. On the other hand, search engine ads charge you per click. This is the Cost Per Click (CPC) or the Pay Per Click (PPC). The ratio of clicks divided by impressions is the Click Thru Rate (CTR) percentage. The higher the CTR% the better!
How does digital advertising fit into marketing automation? Simple really, you are paying for ads to get people to your website and interact with your company. Why not give them the way to exchange their email or contact details for more content, specials, deals, prizes, appointments, etc?
The conclusion to our Marketing Automation series
The goal of marketing automation is to offload manual work to automatic systems to support company goals. As we described in previous posts, there are many parts such as content, emails, landing pages, databases, analytics, digital ads, plus the software tools that connect everything together. Connecting these parts together can be done by most small business owners with a little work.
Using marketing automation technology is worth the investment for your company. It's positive for branding, lead generation, sales, and saves time.