Digital advertising is a thriving industry that’s growing every year. By the end of 2020, UK digital advertising spend is projected to be worth approximately £15.6 billion, while investment in some traditional forms of advertising, such as magazines, is stagnating or declining.
Why is digital advertising so popular, and what kind of formats and channels are available to your business? Let’s take a look.
Digital advertising, or online advertising, refers to the process of delivering promotional content across a wide range of online mediums, from social media and mobile apps, to search engines and email. Digital ads are typically highly targeted and data-driven and can be used for every stage of the sales cycle, from awareness to purchase.
Traditional advertising refers to ‘offline’ advertising, such as TV, radio, direct mail, billboards and print ads. Here are some of the key pros and cons.
While both options have their positives, it’s easy to see why digital advertising spend has begun to overtake traditional. Half of marketers say the biggest drawback of traditional advertising is that there is little to no interaction with your audience. Although you can reach a lot of people with traditional ads, it can feel as if you’re shouting into the void, and you may not even be shouting at the right people.
Digital ads, meanwhile, can be highly targeted. For example, you could target a very specific audience, area, or even choose to go after people who you know have interacted with your website before – ideal for small or niche businesses that only want to reach a very particular audience and need to know their investment is going to be worthwhile.
Dipping your toes into digital advertising can be daunting, as there are so many options, platforms and types of ads to choose from. To help you understand your choices, here are the most common types of digital advertising and their benefits.
Perhaps the oldest form of digital advertising, display ads appear on third-party sites and come in many different formats, including:
Display ads are a popular choice due to their affordability. You can either contact the sites you want to appear on directly, or use tools such as the Google Display Network, which allow you to target users by demographic, location, behaviour and more, so your ads will only be shown to relevant audiences.
With almost three billion users, social media channels can be a cost effective way to advertise your products and services. There are lots of different platforms to choose from, so it’s best to focus on the ones your customers use and the ones your brand has the biggest presence on.
Some of the most popular social media platforms to advertise on include:
Each platform has its pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research before deciding where to invest your money. LinkedIn ads, for example, are great for B2B businesses, but are typically expensive.
The biggest upside of advertising on social media is the wealth of user data available, allowing you to target specific audiences. On Facebook, you can even target people based on important events in their life, such as their wedding day or their first house purchase.
Advertising to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is called paid search. It’s a great way to get your product and services to the top of the search results, ahead of your competitors, without having to worry about your SEO. Most paid search ads use a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Paid search ads can appear at the top or bottom of the SERPs and come in two distinct forms:
Paid search ads are targeted by location and keywords; the keywords you want to target should be based on what you expect your audience to type into a search engine when they’re looking for your product. If you sell gardening products, for example, you may want to appear in searches for the keywords ‘gardening tools’ or ‘potted plants’.
This type of digital advertising can be an extremely effective way to get more traffic, and conversions, on your website, but it’s also complicated, so you’ll probably need a PPC expert or agency to help you manage and run your paid search campaigns.
While most ads are made to stand out, the exact opposite is true for native ads. Sponsored blogs, videos and articles all fall under the umbrella of native advertising – branded content that’s created to blend in with the rest of the content on whatever third-party site it’s hosted on.
Native advertising is popular because it’s unobtrusive and therefore may be more likely to engage your target audience. It’s great for brand awareness, but because it’s not designed to explicitly advertise your products and services, it’s unlikely to immediately convert readers into customers.
Videos ads typically appear at the start, end or even middle of videos hosted across a variety of channels, most notably YouTube. If you have the resources to create video ads, this is an excellent, and very cost-effective way of getting your products and services in front of a lot of potential customers.
The downside? In most cases the ads can be skipped, meaning you only have a few seconds to make a real impact. Check out this HubSpot article for some great examples.
Sometimes referred to as ‘retargeting’, remarketing is when you show ads to people who have either:
Remarketing is about as targeted as you can get, as you’re showing relevant ads to people you know are interested in the services and products you have to offer. You could even show them an ad which features some of the products they were browsing on your site, so they have a constant reminder of what they were considering buying.
You can set up remarketing ads on your favourite social media platforms, or through Google Ads if you want them to appear on third-party sites instead.
Previous site visitors are 2-3 times more likely to click your ads compared with new visitorsSource: Wordstream
We may not be a marketing agency, but customer reviews can make a huge difference to your digital advertising campaigns. At Feefo, we have a selection of tools that can help your ads stand out online and boost their overall performance – let’s take a look.
By collecting reviews through a trusted source such as Feefo, your PPC ads can become eligible for an ad extension called seller ratings, which displays your star rating within your paid search ads. Google claims that showing seller ratings on your text ads can boost click-through rate by up to 10%.
To be eligible for seller ratings, you need to hit a few requirements:
Sometimes a star rating isn’t enough to stand out or really capture why your business is so great at what it does. Think about the last great review you received, was it the star rating that blew you away or what they said? Your customer’s comments can help back up what your ads are saying, which is why we created our Review Enhanced Ads tool.
Using AI technology, REA automatically collates your best review snippets, so you can place them in your paid search ads. You can also easily split test ads against each other, so you can make sure you’re always improving your ad campaigns.
Feefo client Fire Label used our REA tool and saw:
“Having recently started using Feefo for our reviews service, we were very impressed with the way the company worked and their forward-thinking approach when it came to AI and automation - something which has come in very handy with a PPC account as large as ours.”Sam Turner, Sales Director
If you want to give your social ads a boost, our Adverting for Facebook tool makes it easy to add your product ratings to your Facebook ads. Your ratings are automatically kept up to date, so you know your product star ratings are always accurate.
Advertising for Facebook also allows you to retarget people who’ve already engaged with your feedback, including those who’ve previously left you a positive rating or visited your Feefo reviews page.
Our Adverting for Facebook tool can:
After using Adverting for Facebook on their ads, Andertons saw:
higher conversion rate on ads
increase in return on ad spend
reduction in cost-per-click
Digital advertising is a competitive space, so getting your ads to stand out is important, but not always easy. Reviews are an often-underutilised tool and hopefully we’ve shown you how they can help. If you’re interested in learning more about Feefo reviews, get in touch with our team today.