Online advertising consists of paying to show a specific ad online on different platforms. It can contain an image with text, text only, or video, and can help businesses both for brand awareness or lead generation.
Online advertising is very important for businesses as it allows speeding up the process of your company’s online reach and growth. With online advertising, you can in fact reach a much wider audience in less time, and create ads that are focused on your objectives and goals.
Where should I advertise?
Social Advertising VS PPC Advertising
Online advertising includes a great number of platforms, and this choice is very important as it will most likely determine the success of your campaign.
Depending on what your business does, and who’s your audience, you can define which channel to use for your online advertising. It can also be that more channels can work for your business, and in that case, we always suggest starting with one or two channels and test to see how they work.
You can decide to go for Social advertising or PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, it all depends on what you’re looking for achieve with your ads.
Main online advertising platforms we use
During the years, thanks to our work experience in different industries, we were able to experiment with online advertising on different platforms, according to the company’s needs and audience interests.
And even on some very niche platforms like dev.to. The reason why we cover so many platforms is that we need to always adapt to places where the customer spends their time. This brings us to always research new ways to reach the target audience, that also go beyond the classic PPC advertising channels that everyone is using.
We now can cover advertising on
Online advertising on Facebook
Facebook allows advertising on Facebook only, or a combination of Facebook and Instagram, allowing the algorithm to learn what’s the best placement based on the goals selected for each campaign, and performance.
Facebook advertising allows you to select among a great number of objectives, each one with a specific goal - be it brand awareness, lead generation, page likes, events participation, and many more.
Online advertising on Instagram
As mentioned above, Instagram ads can run independently, or together with Facebook ads. Their set-up can also take place directly on the Instagram account, by promoting an existing post, or they can be set up on the Facebook Ads Manager page
Facebook ads manager allows playing more with the ad variation, as you can also create a video directly on the platform, and run A/B tests easily - which we always recommend.
As for the formats, Instagram ads can only run with visuals - images or videos - and can be in Story, Reels or Square formats, which will also determine their placements.
Online advertising on Google
Google also presents different advertising opportunities. You can choose if your goal is brand awareness, sales, video views, or even store visits. You can also select the online advertising form: in this case, it can be text only - Search ad - or an ad containing videos and images - Display ad.
Search ads allow you to select some keywords you want to target and in which country. It can display your company in a few lines on top of the search results when anyone from that country will search for one of those keywords.
Display ads contain visuals and have different placement, they can also be found in YouTube videos or on other third-party websites.
The choice of the type of Google Ads depends on a number of factors: what the business does, what you want to achieve with the ads, budget, audience...
Although Google Ads seem to be easy to set up at first, there’s a lot that needs to be done behind the scenes, to make sure they will convert and bring the results you planned.
Similarly to Facebook, Twitter also allows choosing among a number of different objectives for your campaign. The way the ad will show is in the form of a Tweet, and also in this case we can decide among different formats, deciding to use visuals or just a text - Tweet.
While the previous platforms embrace a larger number of business sectors and focus, we found Twitter ads to perform more effectively for some specific sectors, in our case they were performing best for tech-related businesses.
What makes LinkedIn Ads special is their targeting: you can select the targeting based on the audience’s profession, industry or job title. This makes it easier to target the right people when you know these key factors about your audience.
Also on LinkedIn, Ads can be text only or with visuals, and unlike the previous platforms, LinkedIn also allows you to select In-Message Ads.
These latest ones will send a private message to your target audience, and in our experience, they’re also the most cost-effective type of ads on this platform.
LinkedIn ads normally have a higher cost per acquisition compared to the previous platforms, but we can say that’s the price to pay for a well-targeted audience.
Reddit is a community platform where you can find topic-specific channels. These channels allow users to ask questions that the rest of the community can answer. The ads on Reddit can appear like a normal post that anyone else is publishing, and you can choose if to place it in some specific channels, or in the news feed.
Placement is exactly what makes Reddit Ads special: they can appear in communities that are focused on topics related to your target audience’s interests.
We’ve always embraced a test-analyze-improve advertising workflow, and that’s our secret when it comes to running successful online advertising.
How does online advertising work?
For each campaign we run, we reserve 20% of the budget for testing on a monthly basis. This includes testing new platforms, or just new versions of the ads on the same platform.
Testing allows us to quickly understand which platforms and Ads versions work best for the objectives we have in mind while making sure we find the most cost-effective way to achieve the goals.
All the previously mentioned platforms allow you to join forces and create retargeting campaigns on the channels you tested and worked best. When all your online advertising campaigns lead customers to the website, those visits can be tracked using different tools and create a campaign retargeting people that were previously interested in your business. Retargeting is essential especially when we identify that the customer journey takes more days or even months. Customer journey analysis helps you not only understand the customers and their behavior, but also allows us to create a customer acquisition funnel and decide what’s the best action to take in which step of the funnel.
Retargeting ads are usually used in the awareness phase, when your audience already knows the product or service you’re offering, and they’ve already expressed interest in it by visiting the page. Moreover, it’s possible to filter the retargeting criteria based on the past ads objectives, e.g. video views percentage, or minutes spent on your website.
Not all the online advertising platforms allow creating retargeting ads, this is why it’s important to analyze the data and see where it would be best for your business to show up.
Online Advertising Tracking
We had many cases of businesses that asked for our help with online advertising in the last two years, that didn’t have a proper tracking set up. We cannot perform any of the previous online advertising strategies if there’s no tracking in place. Starting online advertising campaigns without tracking would be a waste of time and money, as you wouldn’t be able to understand which ads performed best or how they performed, nor retarget those in the future.
Tracking is fundamental in any area of digital marketing, even more when it comes to online advertising, that requires both a budget of spending, and ongoing testing. The best way to set up tracking is to install Google Tag Manager through a code on your website, and have all the tracking for the different channels start from there. This will not just simplify the code of your website, but it will also allow to quickly apply changes to any tracking when needed.
How Digithy can help with Online Advertising
We are a multicultural team specialized in different areas, that worked with different startups and SMEs for many years. We like to understand what the clients’ goals and needs are and put together a plan that can be the most effective from every digital point of view. When it comes to online advertising, we will start with the goals and audience analysis. That will give us the input on the first channels to test, the budget to apply and a first estimate of the leads we can achieve. But this would be just the beginning: as stated above, online marketing is a continuous testing process, that needs to be tracked and analyzed, and, finally, improved.