To get ahead in 2018, many businesses will turn to digital advertising. That means buying space across websites, mobile apps and social platforms like Facebook where audiences are targeted with the help of specific information about their purchasing habits and interests.
What you may not know is that digital advertising is accessible to everyone because you don’t need to spend a lot to run campaigns online. With a little guidance, you can do a lot to boost your bottom line.
If you’re considering digital advertising, here are seven things you need to know before you get started.
1. Ad Spending Is Affordable, Very Specific And Easy To Use
Traditionally, when we think of advertising, we think of big stars in expensive TV commercials. The reality is that running digital ads doesn’t have to be expensive; they’re so streamlined and easy to use that even small businesses can log in, set up and have their ads running in an hour. You can run ads for as little as $5 per day on platforms like Facebook and Google.
You can also target a much more specific audience of users: Those most likely to be interested in your product or service. Their data is pulled from a number of sources like subscription services, web browsing behaviors, financial data, your physical world location and credit card purchases.
Algorithms are built in to serve your ad at the best time to impact the user. They’re really easy to use because ad buying platforms are created to be simple and organized. The algorithms combined with big data you’re using on these platforms have been simplified to help you target your audiences.
2. Use Connected TV And Digital Audio Ads To Diversify Your Communications
Digital media also includes digital audio and internet-connected TVs. Videos on connected TV ads run on Hulu, Roku, Slingbox and TV apps like Fox and CBS. In the U.S., 168.1 million people watch content through a connected TV. These people are harder to reach through broadcast TV and they have higher household income.
How do you do this? Work with a company that buys connected TV ads from adtech companies including MediaMath and The Trade Desk. Look at your local market to find companies that offer these capabilities on a marketing budget that you can afford. They are out there.
The same goes for audio ads. They appear on Spotify, Soundcloud and your local pop stations like Power 106 in Los Angeles. If you want to do it yourself, you can apply to the Spotify self-service advertising program to buy your own audio ads solely on Spotify. But if you want to reach many different users across stations, you may want to deploy digital audio on local stations, Soundcloud, ESPN Sports, CBS Radio and others with the help of a marketing agency.
3. Digital Video Ads Deliver Valuable Sight, Sound And Motion
High-value videos targeted to the right users in premium environments is a powerful win. Imagine that you own a private school system in a small U.S. city, and you want to get your message out. Video ads can help you amplify high-value testimonial videos to those parents most likely to be interested in your private school system; such ads appear on premium video properties like CNN.com, Yahoo and local news channels.
To turn on video ads, you can work Google AdWords, which has limited targeting connected to the user’s search behavior. For more robust targeting, you may want to work with an advertising company or agency that uses partners like Adobe, MediaMath, The Trade Desk, RTBIQ and Choozle.
4. Hyperlocal Advertising Is The New Black
There’s a whole interconnected system of apps, data collectors and media companies that make your physical location available to ad companies. By plugging in specific coordinates, vendors can run ads to users who are within a given location. Simply draw a radius around an address and your work is done. Or, use the same data to reach those in your vicinity who have visited similar businesses. If you want to know more about hyperlocal targeting, I’ve written about the subject extensively here.
5. The Open Web Is An Untapped Opportunity
You may remember when AOL was the internet. Today there are several digital media kingdoms: Facebook, Google, Verizon and Snap are the biggest. Then there’s the open web, the far-reaching kingdom that is home to your favorite blog, news site, dating or music app, etc.
With all these ad kingdoms, you may wonder where digital advertisers are spending their money. Let’s break it down.
In 2018, according to eMarketer, digital spending in the U.S. will be $94 billion. (In comparison, TV will total $72 billion). The biggest chunk of that pie is spent on display advertising (banners, Facebook ads, video ads and mobile), which accounts for $48 billion. The numbers tell us two clear things: 1) Businesses choose Facebook ($22 billion in 2018) over Google for display ads ($7 billion), and 2) open web advertising ($20 billion) is a massive untapped opportunity, at about 40% of display advertising.
6. Make Your Advertising Mobile
Mobile devices are key to reaching audiences. According to eMarketer (paywall), 81% of adults (264 million) in the U.S. own a mobile device and 52% (168 million) own tablets. More than twice as much money is spent advertising on mobile (phone or tablet) than desktop ($58 billion for mobile vs. $24 billion on desktop). And it’s estimated that adults spend three hours and fifteen on their mobile devices daily, compared to two hours and eight minutes on desktop.
That means that ads should be looked at as mobile first and desktop second (unless you specifically only target ads on desktop devices).
7. Your Competitors Are Already Doing It
You’re in good company. On Facebook alone there 5 million businesses buying ads, most of these are small or mid-size. That accounts for just 8% of the 65 million small businesses in the U.S. with the potential to cross over.
The truth is, your competitors will continue to turn to digital advertising to increase awareness, influence the buyer’s consideration process, close new customers and nurture relationships with existing customers because digital advertising is scalable, accessible, affordable and powerful. As you plan for 2018, consider doing the same.