Real Audiences, Real Reach – What You Should Know About Advertising Online
There were over 4 billion internet users on Earth at the start of 2019, and thanks to increased numbers of folks hunkering down through the 2020 pandemic, that statistic has most certainly ballooned to an even more staggering number! If you’re really interested in helping your business to connect with its intended target audience, then you need to go where they are. And where they most certainly are is on the internet! For that reason alone, the need for having a successful online advertising strategy is more important now than ever!
What is Online Advertising, and How Does It Work?
Online advertising is a broad term which encompasses all of your digital efforts to make your brand known, to engage your current customers, and to attract potential customers online. Online marketing really breaks down into two categories: organic marketing efforts like business websites, blogs, and social media posts, and paid advertising strategies like search engine ads and social media ads. Many tend to think of organic marketing and paid advertising as two separate entities, which is understandable since the two are often managed by different internal teams with different skill sets, sometimes seeking different sets of individual goals. Organic marketers are usually focused on building communities, sharing useful content, and finding ways to engage their audience. Advertisers, on the other hand, look more at focused lead generation, sales conversions, and ROI of specific ad spends. Which is more important? That’s really the wrong question. The right question to be asking is how can paid advertising and organic marketing work together for the ultimate benefit of your brand, as well as the bottom line of your business?
If organic digital engagement is a priority for you, then you should know that paid ads can have a very positive impact upon your organic marketing efforts. Paid advertisements can help to increase your brand awareness, give you a better understanding of your target audience(s), and help you to understand which published content performs better in helping you to achieve specific business goals. Each of these results can help to give your organic marketing efforts a boost.
At the end of the day, though, the ultimate goal of any paid advertising strategy is to generate positive ROI for your business. This is typically measured by how much revenue your advertising is actually generating for your business, versus the amount of capital you’re investing in said advertising.
The Types of Online Advertising that Actually Work
Now that you understand a bit more about the nature of online advertising and how it works, let’s take a moment to learn more about some common approaches to online advertising and how each of them works.
Social Media Advertising
Facebook continues to be the largest social media platform in the world, with over 2.6 billion active users. That staggering number amounts to over 1/3 of Earth’s total population, so chances are very good that your target audience is on Facebook. Instagram has over 1 billon active users, and LinkedIn brings another 660 million. While you’re at it, go ahead and throw in other popular platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok. And don’t forget Facebook Messenger, which is the preferred messaging app in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other nations. Social media advertising is definitely worth your time and attention, and it also allows you to reach some very specific target audiences.
Paid Search Advertising
How do people find what they’re looking for online? By using a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, of course! If your website already appears in organic search results, that’s great…but you could probably be achieving much more through paid advertising. For one thing, advertisers typically make 8x what they spend on Google Ads! Advertising on search engines also helps to protect you from competitors who are also trying to market themselves on similar branded terms in your industry. Plus, users typically gravitate towards what appears at the top of the search engine results page – paid ads always show up above any organic results.
Native advertising is a strategy which involves producing quality content which snowballs in popularity, and carries the potential of going “viral.” Brands like GEICO use this strategy with great success. Native advertising is really a delicate balance of utilizing sponsored content that is technically promotional, while also being naturally engaging, enticing, and relevant to your viewers and target audience.
Display ads have gotten something of a bad rap, because some advertisers have used them rather haphazardly, trying to trick users into clicking on an ad that’s truly misleading. This is the reason why some users have developed what’s known as “banner blindness,” and are now prone to download ad-blocking software. Even so, advertisers who choose to utilize display ads in the right manner continue to enjoy some very positive returns. Ad networks like the Google Display Network and Facebook’s Audience Network have helped to lead the charge in the renaissance of banner ads.
Content marketing is a more subtle way to advertise your business to potential customers by providing them with content that’s truly useful to them. This often takes the form of interesting or helpful information delivered through formats like blogs, infographics, and videos. No matter what business you’re in, the publishing of original content that’s both relevant and engaging is an incredibly effective way to connect with your target audience! Plus, regularly sharing content that your customers, clients, and leads find to be meaningful is one of the best ways to establish brand awareness and further build brand loyalty.
Email is dead, right? Wrong! Though email may be one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it’s still one of the most potent and effective – when done correctly. Email is a great way to help build a community around your current clientele, and can help you to make inroads with potential customers, as well. Email allows you to reach individual members of your target audience directly in their inboxes through newsletters, promotions, messages about new products or services, and more. Plus, each email blast can be targeted very specifically in conjunction with the data you’ve collected about your customers and leads. Personalizing your email content and creating enticing subject lines are also proven tactics that create better email marketing success.
Cibirix Can Help You to Achieve Your Online Advertising Goals!
Need some help getting your business seen and heard online? Well, that’s exactly what we do at Cibirix! Helping businesses to Rise Digitally is what we’re all about! Take a moment to browse our digital brochure to get a better sense of what we can do to help your business grow! And if you’d like to reach out to us to get a conversation started, all you have to do is click here! You can also simply give us a call at (336) 415-3534 if you’d prefer to speak with a friendly, live human. We’re here to help!
Scott Kyles serves as Senior Content Specialist & Trainer for the Cibirix digital marketing team. Scott brings over 25 years of experience in teaching, training, coaching, and leadership in the business, academic, and nonprofit sectors. Scott has earned CCXP and APTD certifications, and holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wake Forest University. In his role at Cibirix, Scott partners with businesses to help them clarify their message in order to better connect with both current and future customers & clients. Scott’s areas of passion include branding, marketing, customer experience, employee engagement, and organizational culture. He’s also a fan of hot sauces, an admitted weather nerd, and is better-than-average at ping pong.