It’s fair to say that digital advertising has changed the marketing game in the past decade. The industry has gone from relying on print and radio to spreading the channel mix across everything from social media to search engine advertising, influencer marketing to digital sponsorship through mediums like podcasting. The landscape is vast, which begs the question – if you’re not on the digital marketing bandwagon yet, are you too late?
The answer is simple…no! The good thing about the evolution of digital marketing is that there are a huge range of digital channels that may be suitable for your business now. Whether you’re looking for broad brand awareness or a conversion targeted campaign, there is a space for everyone. Even better? The cost is often lower than traditional media placement, and budgets are flexible so the spend can be altered on a daily basis if necessary.
Gone are the days where business content on social media was “boring”. There is a way to advertise any business online. Take a look through these steps to refine your marketing approach and choose a digital lane that’s right for your business.
Who is your audience?
If your business has been running for a while you may have a really clear view of who your target market is. If your business is new or you’re evolving your product or service offering, it’s worth digging a little deeper. You’re likely aware that there is merit in your business idea or new direction, but how do others view it? Who does the offering appeal most to? Ask around! An example of this could be a car detailer who assumes their target audience is mainly young males with fast cars, when in actual fact those people are happy to detail their own car. An overlooked target audience for the business could be busy professionals, busy parents, or older people who find it difficult to keep their car looking tip top. It’s great to have multiple audiences, possibly a primary target audience and a few secondary audiences.
Where is your audience?
By “where” we don’t mean physically. Where are they online? Which social platforms are they using? Do they use Google to find products or services? Going back to the car detailing example, “car people” often belong to social media groups and follow related pages or accounts, they may also watch car related content on YouTube. So social media and YouTube (Google Video) ads might be the way to target this audience. Extend that to the older demographic and you may not find them in online social media car groups, so the business could opt for digital advertising targeted at an older demographic. Social media could still be the right channel, but audience targeting becomes important. It’s about getting the product, service or brand in front of as many relevant sets of eyeballs as possible. Options for connecting with your audience include:
- Facebook and Instagram (Meta) – targeting can be refined by demographic, location and interests.
- LinkedIn – a more professional audience, targeting can be refined by location, role type, role seniority, industry and more.
- Google – Google Search Ads are a great option when targeting an audience who is searching for a product or service online, Google Display Ads offer a high reach option syndicated across a large number of websites, Google Video Ads run on YouTube. All types of Google Ads can be refined by demographics and geographic location, while Search ads are further refined by search keywords and Video ads are easily refined by interests.
- Podcasts – this content type has exploded in recent years and it now seems there is a podcast for every niche interest. Podcast sponsorship is a great option and offerings range from pre-recorded ads to in-depth host reviews and entire episode takeovers.
- Influencer Marketing – influencer agencies can point you in the right direction and recommend the right influencer mix for your product or service, keeping your target audience in mind. Influencing isn’t reserved for fashion anymore, it’s becoming more niche and you may be surprised by the reach and “influence” some of these personalities have over their audience, even if their following isn’t huge.
What does each audience value?
Each target audience will want to know something slightly different, based on their values. Now is the time to think about what you’re selling and the benefits (or unique selling points) for each group. What’s important to them? What do they want to know? Why should they choose you? Using the car detailing example, if the business offers a pickup and drop off service it may appeal to an older audience, but the younger car enthusiasts may not have much interest. Instead they could be after information on the products used, previous car detailing car photos, and customer reviews.
If the channels you’ve chosen require visual creative, a general rule of thumb is that video is king. Social media advertising achieves a higher audience reach and conversion rate when engaging video is used as the ad creative. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, what would stop them scrolling and engage them for long enough to get your message across? If you’re using still images (as opposed to video) in your ads, ensure there isn’t too much text on the image as that will impact on your reach. For all creative types it is best to crop the image or video into the different aspect ratios for social media especially – don’t let the platform crop it or you might end up with a wonky ad! If you’re unsure about creating your ad you can engage a design agency, or use great online tools like Canva. Using Canva allows you to create templates to adhere to social media platform requirements, it has a range of pre-loaded templates that can be edited to suit your needs and it has a number of blog articles to guide you in creating the right ads for your campaign.
Before running any digital advertising, take a look at your page information to ensure everything is correct. Check phone numbers, website links and information about the company. You may find users engage via Messenger so make sure a team member has access to the account, and also that someone is available to monitor ad comments every day or so.
Digital advertising can be a great way to reach target audiences for minimal spend. It’s a way to dabble in advertising without a huge financial outlay, and offers the flexibility to change things up if targeting or messaging doesn’t seem to be working. Have a go, most businesses’ target audience is online in some capacity so get started to see if digital advertising is right for you.