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Digital Marketing Demystified - Part 3: The Role of Digital Advertising for the Modern Business

May 14, 2024By Isabel Refford

Topics: Social Media, Marketing Strategy

Can you name a time you've gone online and not encountered an ad? Probably not. Online platforms hold massive audiences, ready to be reached by your brand. This blog series equips you with the knowledge to tap into this potential and transform your online advertising strategy.

We'll unveil the secrets of digital advertising, from its core benefits to some of the diverse channels you can use to reach different audiences. Reach your customer at the right moment, build a loyal online community, and strategically remind visitors about your brand through website and app ads.

Let's untangle the complexities and empower you to craft a winning online advertising strategy. It's time to watch your brand flourish!

What is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising refers to using the internet to promote a product or brand. Showing up in a wide range of media formats (text, images, audio, and video) and can appear on many platforms (like search engines or social channels).

What makes digital advertising different from traditional advertising? Digital advertising allows you to target specific audiences, who are more likely to be interested in your brand based on their pre-existing interests. Digital advertising encompasses various channels, allowing you to tailor your message to specific demographics and interests. We’ll break down the different channels to use to target certain segments of your audience.

Benefits of Digital Advertising

One of the most significant advantages of digital advertising is the increased brand awareness and reach. Infiltrate online spaces, providing your audience with content that resonates on the channels they spend the most time on. Targeted marketing efforts are the key to attracting an audience with high purchase intent. How do you do this? The answer is in the keywords. 

Using relevant keywords and user data, you can ensure your ads reach people actively searching for products or services like yours. Sound familiar? You may have read our last blog in the series, Digital Marketing Demystified - Part 2: The Role of SEO for the Modern Business, where we dive into all things SEO.  

By focusing your ads on high-interest keywords, you attract users already primed for conversion. This is helpful to audiences because your content answers a need they have while still being cost-effective for the business. Compared to traditional methods that require hefty upfront costs, digital advertising allows a budget-friendly approach that can grow with you. You can transform curious web surfers into loyal customers by strategically placing ads and crafting compelling landing pages.

Digital ads can be tailored to each stage of the buyer's journey, encouraging action. Here's a quick cheat sheet on how to target each stage of the buyer's journey: 

  • Awareness: Reach new audiences who are unaware of your brand or have a problem you can solve! Broad keywords and awareness campaigns will be your friend.
  • Consideration: Target those who are already familiar with your brand or similar brands. Set yourself up for success by promoting customer testimonials to highlight your unique selling points. 
  • Decision: Appeal to people who are weighing their options. Free trials or limited-time offers incentivize purchase decisions. 

We've covered some of the potential of digital advertising to boost your reach and spark engagement. But with a vast array of online channels at your fingertips, how do you select the ones that resonate most effectively with your target audience?

The key lies in strategic selection. Not all channels speak the same language. Each platform offers unique strengths and caters to specific demographics. We're going to explore the most common digital advertising channels, helping you craft a winning strategy that propels your brand forward.

Search Engine Marketing

If you read our last blog in this series, you'll know all about SEO. But, do you know about SEM? Search engines like Google use algorithms to crawl and index websites, gathering a comprehensive understanding of their contents. When someone enters a search term, the engine retrieves the most relevant web pages based on various factors, including keywords and website content.

With SEM, you create ads that appear specifically on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and organic results. How does it work? You pay for the ad every time someone clicks on it (hence the name Pay-per-Click). Pay-per-click ads make search engine advertising a cost-effective way to reach audiences already primed for your product or service.

Want a Trailblaze Tip? It lies in the magic of LinkedIn and Bing integration. By leveraging the power of LinkedIn to target ads to specific users, you can tailor ads to these individuals. When someone with the criteria you defined on LinkedIn searches for relevant keywords on Bing (like the best software development tools), your ad can appear at the top of their search results. This powerful one-two punch captures the audience's attention on LinkedIn, then nudges them toward your solution when they turn to Bing for research. 

Social Media Advertising

Going way beyond creating a company Facebook page, social media advertising has become an internet giant over the past decade. Modern social media marketing strategies use social platforms to foster a relationship between the brand and its target audience. Social media advertising can build a community around your brand by fostering genuine connections with the people who frequent your channels.

Social media platforms offer two-way communication unlike anything else. Respond to comments or answer frequently asked questions to foster a deeper brand loyalty within your customer base. While there are a whole host of social media platforms, these are the most widely used for advertising: 

Part 3 Digital Marketing Demystified Photos (1200 x 675 px) (3)

Display Advertising

Display ads reach people on websites and apps, while they browse content online. Unlike search engine ads that target users actively looking for something, display ads aim to engage people while passively scrolling. You'll see banner ads on the front page of a fashion website, or a short video promoting the features of a new phone on a news app. 

Programmatic Display ads are the way to fast-track your ad content for success. Instead of having to set out onto the world wide web to find places to strategically insert digital ads, Programmatic ads use software to find the best places to show your visual ads, reaching a specific target audience, making your online advertising more efficient AND effective. 

If someone browsed your online store and didn't follow through with a purchase, you can use digital advertising to retarget them with ads showcasing products they've viewed. You can use Programmatic ads to target these specific people who have already shown interest in your site but haven't followed through with a purchase. 

Here are some additional tactics on the rise: 

  • Streaming Audio: The average podcast listener spends 7 hours per week listening to their favorite shows, podcasts are a great way to target a specific audience based on a shared interest, by placing ads between songs or podcasts.
  • In-App: Target mobile apps with banners, videos, or playable ads that integrate seamlessly into the existing app experience.
  • CTV (Connected TV) Ads: Deliver ads straight to smart TVs and other streaming devices, reaching viewers who prefer traditional TV content
  • In-Game: Integrate your brand messaging within a video game, reaching an engaged audience through an interactive format. 

By incorporating a strategic mix of search engine, social media, and display advertising, you can create a comprehensive digital advertising strategy that reaches your target audience across various online touch points.

Agility Matters: Cookies Crumble

The digital advertising landscape is constantly evolving, and one of the biggest changes on the horizon is increased user privacy regulations. Traditionally, cookies – small data files stored on a user's device – have played a major role in online advertising. These cookies track user behavior across the web, allowing advertisers to target users with laser precision based on their browsing history and interests. 

With growing concerns about user privacy, regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) are placing stricter limitations on how data can be collected and used for advertising purposes. This means relying solely on cookies for targeting may not be as effective in the future.

So, how can you stay ahead of the curve and continue to reach your target audience effectively?  Marketers and agencies alike need to be nimble and adaptable. The good news is there are still plenty of options available.

Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Contextual Targeting: Focus on the content users are consuming rather than their browsing history. By placing your ads on relevant websites, you can reach people who are already interested in topics related to your brand.
  • First-Party Data: Leverage the data you collect from your customers, like email addresses and website behavior. This data is valuable for creating targeted campaigns and building stronger relationships with your audience.
  • Focus on Building Trust: In this new era of privacy, building trust with your audience is more important than ever. Create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. This will encourage users to opt-in to share their data with you, providing valuable insights for future campaigns.

As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, with user privacy regulations taking center stage, agility is paramount. While tried-and-true methods may need adjustments, the core principles of reaching your target audience remain. Let's put this knowledge into action and transform your understanding of digital advertising into a winning strategy.

Implementing Digital Advertising Techniques

So, you've grasped the power of digital advertising and explored the various channels at your disposal. Now it's time to translate that knowledge into action! Here's a roadmap to guide you through the implementation process:

  1. Define Your Marketing Goals: Set a foundation of clearly defined goals you want to reach through your advertising strategy.
  2. Identify Your Target Audience: Who are you trying to reach with your ads?
  3. Set a Budget for Your Campaign: How much do you want to spend?
  4. Choose the Right Channel: The right channel for you will depend on your target audience and goals. Advertise on search engines, social media platforms, or across various websites. 
  5. Craft Compelling Ad Copy and Visuals: Your ad creative needs compelling visuals if you want to grab audiences' attention. Include a call-to-action to funnel people toward what you want them to do next.
  6. Track Your Results and Adjust: The beauty of digital advertising is its measurability. Most platforms provide detailed analytics to track key metrics and see how your ads resonate with your audiences. 

By setting clear goals, identifying your target audience, crafting compelling creatives, and embracing data analysis, you can transform your understanding of digital advertising into a successful online marketing strategy. 

Your Digital Advertising Adventure Awaits!

Congratulations! You've journeyed through the exciting world of digital advertising. This series has equipped you with the knowledge to unlock its power for your modern business. From understanding the core benefits to exploring diverse channels like search engines, social media, and display advertising, you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to reach your target audience online.

Remember, the key to success lies in strategic implementation. By taking action and continuously refining your approach, you can transform your digital advertising efforts into a driving force for brand growth and customer engagement.

Take the first step today and watch your business thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape! Don't stress, we're here to help you. 

Looking to leverage results-driven digital marketing for your business? Contact us today and let's get started!

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