A small business without a digital advertising strategy is like a ship with no captain.
Sounds like an exaggeration?
Not when you consider the stakes involved. More than two billion internet users are expected to make their purchase online by 2021. This huge figure includes both products and services.
Looking at numbers alone, there is a large audience online that your small business can tap into. With the right digital advertising strategy in place, your business can really see an increase in results, whether that’s brand awareness, sales, conversion rate, new leads or something else.
A small business starts out with one main goal in mind: to grow. To do that, they need to make people aware of their brand, products, and services. To get their product or service out there, they need effective digital marketing strategies. The question now is which online advertising strategy to use. Perhaps the best answer is the one that best fits the vision and goals of the company.
We’re about to discuss some of the different digital advertising campaigns you can have, but the overarching key-point is here is that you want your online marketing campaign to align with your goals. For example, we wouldn’t recommend investing all of your ad budgets into a campaign that grows your followers, if your biggest and most immediate goal is online sales.
See how the campaign and goals don’t align? Having clear goals will help you avoid disconnects like this.
Digital Advertising Campaign Examples
Variety is the name of the game when it comes to digital advertising campaigns. For small business owners, these are the types of campaigns that they can choose from.
1. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
PPC ads have become a common and effective search engine marketing strategy, but they can also be very expensive. Some marketers are not that fond of running PPC ads as they think it will require them to spend more money than they can actually earn. However, pay-per-click ads can give you the immediate results you’ve been hoping to get. PPC allows your website to rank at the top of organic search engine results for certain keywords people are searching on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It is a “faster” way to be on top of search engine results pages compared to SEO.
However, you must note that if your business is using keywords that are considered popular (and several other businesses are competing for them), then get ready to spend some top dollar for it. But if you want to avoid that and still use PPC effectively, you can always use the more affordable long tail keywords.
What exactly are these long tail keywords? Long tail keywords comprise of three to four keyword phrases that are very specific to whatever your business is selling or offering. Searchers usually use these long tail keywords to get the most relevant answers to their search queries. When used in PPC advertising, this type of keywords offer more options so you can find words that are cheaper and much more suited to your budget.
Did you know that 63% of internet users will click on a PPC ad on Google? That’s about four times as many people clicking your ad compared to other search engines. That’s one of the major reasons why 96% of brands spend their online advertising budget on this particular digital advertising platform.
As a marketer, there are several Google Ads campaigns that you can utilize. Keep in mind that each has their own strength that you can make the most of.
Search Ad Campaign
Search ads are basically text ads that are shown on Google results pages. They appear on top of the organic search results with a similar format. Showing your ad to searchers who are actively looking for information in the same format as the other links is what helps this type of ad campaign to generate more clicks.
Display Ad Campaign
If you opt to use Google display ads, your ad campaigns will be shown on Google’s display advertising network. And what is this network? It’s actually a network of websites across different industries and catering an array of audiences who signed up to display Google ads on their websites.
It’s a win-win scenario for both the website owner and the advertiser as the website owner gets paid for every click or impression the ad gets, and the advertiser will be able to reach an audience that fits their buyer personas.
One of the most effective ad campaigns that you can take advantage of our video ads. According to the Video Advertising Report conducted by IAB, video ad spend has been continuously growing through the years. In fact, it has increased up to 25% this year. Additionally, 86% of marketers across the globe use video ads for their PPC ad campaigns. That’s how effective it is.
These video ads are shown either before, at the middle of, or after the videos on YouTube. Take note that YouTube is the second largest search engine and second most visited website next to Google. With this statistic, there’s no doubt that marketers like you will easily reach your target audience on this platform.
Shopping Ad Campaigns
Shopping ads are somehow similar to search ads wherein they are shown in the search engine results pages. However, these ad campaigns are not only limited to texts- they show detailed product information too like the price and image.
This ad type allows you to promote specific products or product lines instead of advertising your brand as a whole. Each ad is optimized for a particular keyword and you can run these ads through the Google Merchant Center.
App Ad Campaigns
Do you have a mobile app that you want to promote? Google’s App ad campaign is what you need! With the app ad campaign, you can promote your ad on Google Search Network, Google Play, YouTube, Google Display Network and more. These ads can encourage your target audience to install your app or take an action within it, if ever it’s already installed in their devices.
But unlike the other types of ad campaigns, you don’t need to design your ad. You just have to provide some information about your app and audience to Google, place a bid, and Google will do the rest.
Google Ads remarketing is an ad campaign type that enables you to show targeted ad campaigns to those users who have previously visited your website. These users will see your ads either while they are browsing the web, when on YouTube watching videos, or reading other websites’ content. This type of ads will help keep your brand on top of mind of your target audience and encourage them to check out your website again.
2. Social Media
We all know the power of social media. In today’s era, it’s harder to find someone who doesn’t have a social media account than to find one who has. It offers unmatched reach across the globe that other platforms find hard to rival.
Let us be clear about one thing, though. For social media outreach to work, you need to have the willingness to invest in it. And we are talking about time, effort and money here.
Also important is the exact social media network that you want to focus your efforts on. You probably know it that there are several social media platforms out there that you can use to promote your brand. But before you jump in and use all of these social networks today, ask yourself these questions first.
Where do you want your brand to be in? Do you want it to be on Facebook? Or maybe you want it on LinkedIn? How about Twitter? Or perhaps in Instagram or YouTube? Our advice would be to spend some time researching your target audience to see which platform they are active on the most! Because that’s the whole point of having a social media presence- to be able to reach your target audience and engage with them in the platforms where they are.
Moreover, depending on which social media platform you choose, they may be organic (unpaid) options, or it may be more of a “pay-to-play” platform. Regardless, we’d recommend setting aside an advertising budget to help you accomplish your goals on social media and boost the results you’ll be getting.
If you have been an active user of Facebook- either as a marketer or a personal user, you probably have seen these ads while using the platform. With billions of Facebook users around the globe, it’s a risk to overlook using this social platform for your Facebook advertising strategy.
For one, Facebook provides several ways on how you can reach a specific set of people. They offer various targeting options such as:
- behavior on your website
- their known likes
- engagement with your Facebook page
- and other demographic elements such as age, gender, and location
With tons of targeting options offered by Facebook, it is indeed the perfect social media advertising platform to reach your ideal, target audience.
Benefits of Digital Advertising
There you go, if you want to really drive up the visibility and eventually the sales of your brand, then you can go with one or more of those campaigns in the advertising industry. To continue, it will be best to look at what the top 5 benefits of digital advertising are for small businesses who implement one of those marketing campaigns.
Digital advertising is cost-effective, especially when you compare it with traditional advertising such as TV ads, billboards, radio ads, print ads and more which is much more expensive. For small businesses, cost is understandably a big deal. They need to be very careful on how and what they spend their budget on since their resources are limited.
If you are an owner of a small company and you decide to go with traditional advertising such as print ads, billboards, a TV commercial etc., then you better be ready to spend.
Hiring a graphic designer is a given if you want ads that look like they are professionally designed. Aside from the expense of hiring a designer, there are also charges for getting the ad featured in a magazine or newspaper.
Now you might want to go the extra mile and have ads on TV or on the radio. That is great and opens up opportunities, but you also have to understand that costs will skyrocket (and usually not for much ROI, but we’ll get into that later).
You have no such issues if you choose to go digital. It is much more affordable, and there are even instances when it can be completely free of any cost. Posting on some social media platforms does not cost you anything. You get the unmatched reach of social media while saving money that you can use for other things.
Even when you do invest in digital advertising with Google Ads or Facebook Ads etc. the cost per 1,000 impressions or cost per click is infinitely less expensive than paying for a billboard or print ad (which may not reach as many people anyway!). You can check out some of our case studies here to know what we’re talking about.
2. Fast and Easy to Plan
Digital advertising also offers the advantage of being fast and easy to plan. The same cannot be said about traditional advertising, which has to be planned way in advance. It can take weeks or even months.
With digital advertising, that is not the case. The turnaround time it takes to set up a digital advertising campaign is so much quicker than that of traditional marketing.
Let’s say you suddenly decided to run a sale for one of your products last minute. If you are using digital, you can run an ad campaign for it almost instantly if you have time and know what you’re doing.
Traditional marketing outlets by nature just aren’t as flexible to operate that fast. All that is required of you is to click a few buttons, and you can soon see your ad out there for the world to see. And it is not only limited to one type of ad. You can opt for a display ad, banner ad or retargeting ad campaign.
Going digital also gives you the option to make any quick changes anytime the need arises. Time is such an important commodity in business, and even more so for small companies and startups. Being able to save time means that there is a better opportunity to get digital marketing ROI much sooner.
3. Easy to Keep Track
As digital advertising is easy to plan, it is also easy to track. If you want to know something or anything about your ad campaign, you can find out from your digital ad campaign instantaneously.
Do you want to know what is working for you and what is not? The digital option makes it easy for you by measuring all the important aspects of your campaign.
Yes, we are talking about analytics here. And you ought to use it to see what is going on with multiple aspects of your ad campaign. For example, your website has a regular email newsletter, and you want to know how many people are opening it on a regular basis.
The solution? You just track how many of the people who are in your email list and receiving the newsletter are actually opening it or clicking the CTAs.
As for your actual ad, you can simply track how many times that particular ad has been clicked on. You can then compare it to how many times the ad has been actually viewed. Your analytics dashboard will allow you to see important metrics such as your ad’s CPM, CTR and more.
Using the billboard example again, you could pay thousands more for a billboard ad space than a Facebook ad. But unlike with a Facebook display advertising campaign, you wouldn’t know how many individual people saw the billboard, their demographic, if it resonated with them etc.
Make analytics work for you, especially since it is one of the main advantages offered by digital advertising.
4. Easy to Update
Since digital advertising is easy to keep track, it follows that it is also easy to update. That is extremely helpful if you want to make any changes to your campaign, both major and minor.
What if you suddenly thought of a better message than the one you published yesterday? Or the one that you put out just hours ago? What if you’re running a short, temporary sale on your site?
Well, all you need to do is to update your ad copies through your ad platform, whether you’re using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads Manager etc.
With traditional advertising, you cannot make these kinds of updates. There is no turning back once you send out your ads, so to speak. If you are stuck with offline advertising, the best precaution is to double or even triple check everything before sending it out, the copy, design, color scheme, everything about your ad campaign.
Digital advertising is targeted. This means that you have absolute control over who actually sees the ad. And perhaps more importantly, you can make sure that your ad is only seen by those who are really interested in it.
What enables digital advertising to be this targeted?
The many tools made available to you by platforms such as social media networks make this possible. For example, let’s say you have a children’s clothing line. You are looking to step up your ad campaign for your line’s products that are made for two- to three-year-olds.
You can target relevant keywords that parents would be searching in Google through search advertising around your product, or you can target parents of toddlers directly on social media!
Another obvious but added benefit of going digital is that it has unlimited reach. You simply cannot beat it because you can be located anywhere on the globe and still reach everyone you want to sell your products or services to.
Imagine the kind of impact that such a global reach can have for your small business. It will let you go beyond what you previously thought were borders and will let you connect to more people. Those people can then become your target audience, aka your potential customers.
In decades past, a small business with limited resources couldn’t hope to be more than an ordinary brick-and-mortar store. But now that is no longer true.
The digital revolution is in full swing, and there is no coming back for every industry that decides to be a part of it.
Last but not least is the role of digital advertising in driving your business’s ROI. That is the bottom line and ultimate goal for any company, big or small.
There is no secret to getting it done. All that is required is a hardworking team that understands what it takes to succeed, coupled with the right knowledge.
Having the vision and foresight to set the right goals also helps. And jumping right into the digital bandwagon is sure to pay off sooner rather than later.