Kudos to you for digging so deep into the world of the customer. You’ve begun to understand what people want by building your persona and doing the proper market research. Now it’s time to take it up a notch by showing your wonderful ads and content to the right people.
The 3 Digital Advertising Types
This is your first and (maybe) only chance to grab hold of your customer’s attention. So make it count! Use carefully crafted and memorable advertising design to generate brand awareness. Think billboards, 8-second commercials and full-page spreads.
You guessed it. Content ads are, well, content. They’re targeted for customers who are seeking information. And being the awesome company you are, you know exactly what kind of information they’re seeking.
Content ads come in the form of vertical formats (i.e. portrait, half-page, filmstrip) and/or content streams such as Facebook and Twitter.
If you hear people saying that tracking the ROI of content ads is harder or impossible – they’re wrong. This is where keeping an attribution score (coming soon) is crucial to knowing which content actually, truly resonates with your personas.
This is probably the most straightforward and most familiar type of advertising. It has one primary goal: get users to click and buy. They serve their purpose if leads convert to sales.
The best advertising is a mix of all of these. Different personas are susceptible to different techniques.
Targeting Your Ads
I bet you’re sick of all this “targeting” talk, but I can’t say it enough. You want your dollars spent on being in front of the right people, or you waste your marketing budget on people who won’t even care.
- Contextual. Another term is “semantic targeting” – when you put an ad in relevant context of what the user is viewing.
- Behavioral. These are based on what the user has already done on your website or prior (i.e. site registration, content viewed, sites visited).
- Demographic. Ads are dedicated to people who show certain demographic features, such as gender, age, income, and ethnicity.
- Geographic. You target ads specifically for users based on their location.
- Audience. A more narrowed version of grouping people with specific details in all categories you’re seeking.
- Keyword. This is all about targeting content with specific keywords that relates to the customer, whether through searches, social media, etc.
- Time-based. AKA “day-parting.” Time-based is as it says: ads depending on the time or day of the week.
- Emotional. Something more recent, new emerging technology allows for facial recognition to track emotions and movements – target people in their current mood.
Once you’ve identified which type(s) of targeting you want, you’ll need to draft a strategy on the most effective ways to propose your ads to your target audience.
I’ll list it out in 2 terms: cross-channel marketing and retargeting
Cross-Channel Marketing & Multi-channel Marketing
Marketers use these terms interchangeably, but I think they have some differences, albeit small.
Multi-channel marketing is when you use multiple channels to advertise, though the ad itself may not be the same. On Facebook you might announce (and promote) your new 10% sale on all designer bags, whereas your (promoted) Tweet might be about the upcoming webinar in 2 days.
Cross-channel marketing is the same ad on several channels. You might want to blast the news about the mind-boggling conference you’re hosting on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
These types of marketing tactics can be improved by using something called…
Retargeting (or Remarketing)
When someone visits your website, you can place a “cookie” onto that visitor that says “Hey! I was here!”, and a vendor follows them around (thanks to that cookie). When that vendor thinks it’s a good time to show your ad, it will. Both Google and Facebook have remarketing methods to bring up your ad when you want them to.
Here’s how they do it:
- You target an audience.
- They use code to match your criteria.
- Ads will pop up. A lot. Or a little.
Each vendor has its own steps, and not every place adopts the same methods.
Warning: It can be seen as “creepy” or “stalker” behavior.
People say it feels like we’re watching them. In a sense, that’s true. Make sure you come off as helpful, not creepy.
Use these best practices for a great customer experience:
- Frequency caps. If they haven’t revisited your website after seeing your ad 30 times, the chances aren’t very high that they’ll come back. Don’t annoy them.
- Burn code. I’ve had a time when I bought items from an ecommerce site, and yet they still followed me around! Stop showing (the same) ads after they converted.
- Segmentation. People will be at different stages in the buying cycle – some who haven’t bought and some who have. Make ads depending on the Buyer’s Journey.
- Targeting. I don’t want to beat a dead horse anymore. I think you get my point.
- Use one provider at a time. It might seem like a good idea to use retargeting everywhere, but it’s invasive to the customer and costly. Choose the one who appeals to you and move on to the next, one provider at a time.
- A/B Testing. See which ads provide the most conversions. You will never go wrong with analytics.
Where to Put Ads
Let’s wrap this up with a good list of places you can post up your ad.
- Google Adwords & Google Display Ads
- Bing paid campaigns
- Facebook paid campaign (not very receptive for B2B)
- Twitter Ads/Promoted Tweets/Twitter cards
- LinkedIn Sponsored Posts (not as successful for B2C)
- Google Search Ads
- AdWords Ads
- PPC Ads (paid-per-click)
- Bing Ads
- Facebook Ads – promoted posts, sponsored stories, Facebook exchange (aka Share 4 Share)
- Tumblr Ads – Tumblr radar, spotlight, web post ads
- Banner Ads
- Retargeting Ads (i.e. Google Remarketing)
- Flash ads – Chrome has taken huge measures to block Flash
- Reddit Ads
- Mobile Ads
- In-Game Ads
- AdMob Ads
- Email Ads (the ads within the body of an e-mail)
- Gmail Ads (the e-mails that show up at the top)
- Video Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Instagram Ads – they don’t have official ads yet, but you can use photos for brand awareness
- Vine Ads – they don’t have official ads yet, but you can use videos for brand awareness
- Quora Featured Questions (try to be sneaky and relate it to your industry and company)
- Forums – just joining various communities will boost awareness and trust (Facebook Groups, LinkedIn groups, phpBB, etc.)
And don’t forget to track, measure, and analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Now you can walk away with a better idea of what goes into Digital Advertising. By this stage, you understand the importance of Visibility. We’re moving onto the Attraction phase of the VAIRCG method.
This is a blog series outlining the details of the 6 principles of Engagement Marketing: VAIRCG.