Digital Advertising Methods:
- PPC Vs Traditional Marketing
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Ad Networks
- Call Tracking & Reporting
1) PPC vs. Traditional Marketing
Traditional advertising, like renting a billboard or getting a newspaper ad, is like standing on a street corner and shouting at all passers-by to come and buy your goods and services.
It’s not very effective. Problems include:
- The message is not well targeted. Not all people who walk by are interested in your message/products.
- It’s very expensive. You pay for everyone to see your ad, even those who are not interested.
- Your one advertisement has to be so general to attempt to appeal to everyone, it often ends up appealing to no one.
- It’s difficult to calculate return on investment (ROI) since there is no reliable feedback mechanism. You could be completely wasting your money, and you’d never know.
That’s bad news for your business.
Enter online PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising, which addresses all of these issues:
- Your message is specifically targeted, based on keywords that people type into search engines or interests based on their online behavior. Your message will only be shown to those whose behavior indicates an interest.
- Not only is your ad only shown to a targeted audience, you only pay for those who further indicate an interest by clicking on your ad. If your ad is shown to 100 people and only 1 person clicks on it, you pay only for that 1 click.
- You can easily create as many ad variations as you like, allowing you to specifically tailor your message to niche audiences. When your message is custom designed for an audience they are much more likely to respond.
- Online analytics track everything from ad clicks to phone calls to website visits. You’ll know exactly which ads converted into desirable actions and we can even attempt to correlate offline sales with online interest origins. This allows you to further optimize your campaign and continuously improve your ROI.
2) Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ad Networks
There are a number of ad networks that businesses can use to get their message out to the public. The major ones have partnerships reaching 95%+ of the online population, so most online advertising efforts focus on these few ad networks.
Google Ads Search
Google AdWords is the most popular PPC advertising platform in the world. Using Google’s Adwords platform, businesses can reach users on Google search, partner sites and websites around the world that have ad space through Google’s AdSense system.
The most common type of PPC ad is a search ad. Search ads appear in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). Ads typically appear on SERPs at the top and bottom. These paid ads receive more clicks than the organic (non-paid) search results simply because they are at the top of the list and have some additional features that make them stand out.
Ad placement at top of search results
Search ads are text only and can include various extensions including site links (deeper links into your website), click-to-call buttons for people to place a phone call directly from the ad, testimonials, product review, and more, which enhance your ad and make it stand out from the organic results.
Search ads target the keywords (search terms) people are entering into their Google search and can also be fairly tightly geographically targetted.
Display Ads (typically run through Google AdWords or for larger budget & more complex campaigns, Google’s DoubleClick Network) are more visual in nature and replace what used to be called banner ads. Display ads are not shown on search result pages, but rather on millions of websites around the world that have defined ad space.
These visually-rich ads combine text, images and sometimes animation into a compelling ad that can target peoples visiting behaviours. Display ads can target based on the topic of a website, a users demographic information, geographic location and even specific websites. Display ads can also participate in retargeting.
Because display ads are a less contextual compared to search ads, they are less expensive, but typically yield a lower conversion rate. They are great for brand awareness, increasing traffic to websites where you can use a well-crafted landing page to do the heavy lifting of converting your visitor to a buyer.
Facebook ads, as you might expect, are ads that appear exclusively Facebook. Since more than 75% of online Canadians use Facebook, the reach is tremendous. Facebook ads contain images, videos, and text and appear in the timeline and on sidebars on Facebook.
Similar to Display Ads, Facebook ads are less expensive than search ads and usually have a lower conversion rate. Having said that, Facebook knows a lot about its users which enabled businesses to target very specific interests, behaviours, geographic areas, and demographics.
Facebook ads must be based on a Facebook page and also have their own version of retargeting similar to display ads. Facebook also owns Instagram and ads created on Facebook can simultaneously be served on Instagram using the same ad interface.
Simple Facebook Ad
A little-known fact is that YouTube is the worlds 2nd most popular search engine. People search YouTube for all types of things from music, to entertainment, to how-to videos. Since YouTube is owned by Google, it has the same powerful advertising capabilities that Google has been building for years.
Advertisements on YouTube come in the form of pre-roll video ads (short video ads that show before the video you want), interstitial ads (ads in the middle of another long video) or even large YouTube homepage ads for the largest of budgets.
YouTube video ads have a number of options, but similar to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads, video ads have a PPV (Pay-Per-View) model where you only pay if the video ad was viewed longer than a certain time, but if the ad is skipped, there is no charge.
Since more and more video is being consumed every week, video advertising is very powerful. Of course, production costs for making a good video ad are much higher than search or display ads, but the return on investment (ROI) can make it worthwhile.
3) Retargeting / Remarketing
Have you ever visited a website about a particular product or service and then suddenly you’re seeing ads about that product on many different websites? That’s retargeting at work.
Retargeting works on the principle that only about 2% of people will take the desired action on your website after the first visit. Repeated exposure to your message through retargeting can boost ad response by 400+%. Typically a retargeting campaign is run in tandem with a regular PPC search and/or display ad campaign.
Retargeting ads only work in display ads or Facebook ads, not on search ads. The process is set up by tagging your website with a tracking code. After users visit your website, they can be exposed to retargeting ads on other websites. Retargeting takes a little more effort to set up, but once things are in place, the results can be phenomenal.
Remarketing, on the other hand, is usually used when people sign up to your email list and get repeated exposure to your business offerings through your regular email campaigns. Remarketing is also a very powerful and inexpensive way to continually reach out to those who have already been exposed to your messaging.
Both of these techniques can significantly enhance your digital marketing techniques and improve your results.
4) Call Tracking and Reporting
One of the main goals of PPC ads is to have a potential client call your business. In order to accurately report on your ROI (return on investment), tracking phone calls that originate from your advertising campaigns is a must.
This is normally done by setting up a call-tracking number which is a new local phone number that when dialed rings through to your regular phone number, but the entire call is tracked for reporting purposes. Using a tracking number, we can report back on :
- number of calls received during a period of time
- duration of each call
- phone number and name of the caller
For more complex campaigns, you can set up a number of call tracking numbers to determine which ads creatives or sources perform the best. Also, we recommend that calls be recorded and periodically reviewed and used for team training, quality assurance and business process improvement.
A call tracking number can be set up by your digital marketing specialist.
PPC Advertising in its various forms can be an almost immediate boost to your business. The options and ongoing optimization options can get very complex. Get in contact with us to discuss your needs and we’ll help determine the ideal mix of options.