Running ads can be expensive, especially if you are unsure of how to execute them. Setting up ads has many factors to consider. You need to ensure that you are targeting the right audience, you’re running the ad effectively, and it is the right advertising campaign for your business.
It’s even harder for small businesses that have to compete in the same market against larger companies with bigger budgets.
With digital media, there’s a way to create effective ad campaigns with a smaller budget and still be competitive. There are several different ad strategies that we will dive deeper into.
The benefits of going digital
Although traditional marketing is critical for many small businesses, in today’s digital market, it can be a budget killer. When it comes to traditional marketing you hope to reach your audience. However, when it comes to digital marketing you are able to reach your audience in them most cost-effective way.
The top benefit of digital marketing is that you can reach a much larger targeted audience online. There are 292.89 million people in the US who use the internet and is projected to grow to 310.1 million in 2022, making digital advertising cost-effective.
It costs less to reach the same number of people using digital than traditional channels.
You can track digital campaigns, something traditional marketing can not. You can monitor key metrics on digital ads such as cost-per-click, site traffic, bounce rate, impressions, conversions, and cost-per-conversion.
With digital campaigns, you can learn from the data and adjust your ad accordingly. But, in order to select what’s best for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite strategies. If you’re still working to decide on what’s best for you, here’s an overview of the key differences between inbound vs outbound marketing.
Google Search Ads
Google has a lot of advertising streams. One of these is search ads, one of the most popular forms of PPC. You only pay when a viewer clicks on the ad.
These ads will appear in Google search results and will help you buy your way to the top of the search for a keyword, without any SEO strategies needed.
Benefits Of Google Ads
There are several benefits of Google Ads. You will be able to reach people with high intent. People searching on Google who has an intention to research, understand, and potentially purchase the service or product they’re finding, that you provide.
With Google Ads, you can identify a few keywords and target within a particular area, using a targeted specific geographical location. If you’re a local business, this can help you gain more customers from your community, and not waste budget dollars on customers who are unable to partake of your services.
Most businesses sell products or services that have many audiences, with Google’s PPC Ads you can reach multiple audiences with different keywords.
Google Ads uses an auction-based model. The auction determines whether the ad will show and if it does, which position it ranks on the search page. From this, the algorithm will calculate how much it costs per click.
When someone conducts a search, Google finds every keyword that matches, and Google Ads is ignoring searches that aren’t eligible (e.g., a different country or disapproved due to policy violation). With the remaining ads, higher-rank ones will appear at the top or bottom of the SERP, search engine results page.
Ranking ads include bid, ad quality, ad rank thresholds, the context of the search, and the impact of extensions and other ad formats. Google Ads rewards businesses with high-quality ad campaigns with low click-through costs and stronger ad placements.
While the average cost per click (CPC) on Google Ads ranges from $1 to $2, it varies based on your location, industry, and keywords. If you are in an industry with a lot of competition your CPC could be higher especially if you are bidding on high-value keywords.
Google Display or Banner Ads
Google display ads are the visual banner ads you see on advertising-supported websites. You can find them almost everywhere, from businesses to Mommy blogs.
Display ads function a lot like paid search ads. They have a headline, text, and URL. They contain ad design—like graphics, video, or audio—that helps them jump out on the page.
Instead of appearing on the search engine results page (SERP), display ads appear on websites relevant to your service or product.
Benefits of Google Display or Banner Ads
Google display ads allow you to remarket to those who have expressed a genuine interest in your business. Remarketing to website visitors can increase a visitor’s engagement with the brand. It takes on average 7-8 marketing touchpoints in order to convert a consumer. This is why remarketing campaigns are important.
Create ads in visual and video format. Unlike Google search ads, the Google Display Network allows you to use visuals, videos, and even elements of sounds, which make for more engaging ads. As we know, videos gain more views and more engagement than standard text ads.
The Google Display Network has over two million websites, all users have to do is go to any website that has Google Display Ads. With Google search ads, the user needs to visit Google and search for keywords.
With Google Display Ads, you can choose to set the price you want to pay. Like Google search ads, Google Display Ads works via an auction approach.
There are several different ways to calculate the cost.
Cost per click (CPC)
Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Ads on the Google Display network generally have lower clickthrough rates.
The average cost per click of an advertisement on the Google Display Network is under $0.58. Which is still lower than Google Search Ads, but more than LinkedIn Sponsored InMail.
Facebook is one of the best platforms for advertising as a small business owner. It’s the world’s most popular social network, with over two billion monthly active users who access their accounts multiple times a day.
Best of all, you can target your Facebook ads to a specific audience of your choosing, much like Google Ads.
We recommend exploring video on Facebook, especially since social video is shared 1200% more than images and text combined.
Benefits of Facebook Ads
Facebook is perfect for mall businesses to tap into their audience affordably. These ads will cost a fraction of what other online and traditional marketing channels cost.
One reason it is so affordable is the number of advertisers is smaller than traditional platforms, for now. Now is the time to get moving on Facebooks Ads before everyone else does too.
Facebook is the most targetable platform to advertise. There are so many different demographics you can advertise to people by their location, age, education level, relationship status, interests, and behaviors. If you know who your target audience is, then you can reach them.
Similar to Google, Facebook Ads is an auction-based model. The average CPC, cost per click, on Facebook is $1.72. However, this varies depending on the industry, just like Google Ads.
Amazon Shopping Ads
Amazon Sponsored Products
Like Google, Amazon has many advertising options, but we are going to explore Sponsored products.
Sponsored product ads are driven by manual keywords (words users type in the search bar) and automatic keyword targeting (Amazon’s systems target keywords for your campaign).
Amazon is now the third-largest seller of ads in the US, just behind Google and Facebook, hence it’s third spot in our list.
If you are selling products on Amazon then it is definitely a no-brainer to advertise using their platform so you can reach their +100 million Amazon Prime members.
However, if you are a local service that does not ship its products then it is best to skip advertising on Amazon.
Benefits of Amazon Ads
Reach more buyers, not impressions. Amazon customers look to the website for products they can purchase. When it comes to intent to purchase, Amazon users are ranked higher than Facebook and Google users.
Sponsored ads allow businesses to feature their product in front of millions of potential buyers. As your product’s visibility increases, so do your chances of increasing revenue.
According to Rob Sieracki from Practical Commerce, the average CPC on Amazon rarely exceeds $0.35. Which is far less than Google Ads and somewhat equal to Facebook Ads.
LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
There are over 610 million business professionals on LinkedIn.
As a local business that sells services to busy professionals, other companies, or enterprises, then you need to leverage LinkedIn ads.
Most platforms offer various ways to advertise, LinkedIn is no different. Sponsored InMail is a more budget-friendly and small business-friendly marketing tool.
Sponsored InMail ads are totally different from the Google, Facebook, and Amazon ads we explored previously. The Sponsored InMail ads allow you to enter conversations and promote content like webinars, ebooks, and other assets with key decision-makers. Which is a great way to nurture and engage a relationship, especially if it involves an expensive or ongoing purchase.
Benefits of LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
You can send personalized messages to prospects, via LinkedIn Sponsored InMail. You can target audiences with relevant content through LinkedIn messenger. There are personalization options just like what you would see in an email campaign.
Another benefit is the messages only go to actively engage users. The ads are only sent out once every 60 days so the message is received two and uncluttered inbox.
As you have seen throughout this article, Sponsored InMail campaigns work as a bidding auction to reach a target audience, just like the other ad campaigns.
You can buy LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail messages on a cost-per-send basis (you will be paying per unit for the delivery of each Sponsored InMail.) There is a minimum total campaign budget of $25.00.
Google Shopping Ads
A Google Shopping ad is a product listing that has your brand, product’s image, name, and price. It can also include reviews or other exclusive perks, for instance a discount or free shipping. These ads also appear before search ads.
Benefits of Google Shopping Ads
Sell more with less and achieve a better ROI. Google Shopping ads have a 26% higher conversion rate and a 23% lower CPC rate than search text ads.
Utilizing shopping ads will help you gain better-qualified leads. With the critical information available (brand, product image, product name, reviews, promotions), shoppers will be able to familiarize themselves with the product. When they click on the product, they’re less likely to bounce from your site because they know what to expect.
The price of Google Shopping Ads will depend on the amount of visibility you’d like for your products. You can set your daily budget and your PPC bids just like other campaigns.
Online advertising can be extremely affordable for small businesses, especially since you can set daily budgets for your campaigns. leveraging Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Amazon’s network to advertise your products and services, and get in front of the masses, can only grow your business.
As you explore and hone in on your target audience you be able to identify which network would work best for you and your business needs. Let Blue Water Marketing assist you in selecting the right platform to help narrow your audience and market directly to your niche.
As a small business keen to increase sales, you should take advantage of one, two, or more of these cost-effective ad types and find out what works for you. Consider giving us a call today!