Digital advertising is a form of advertising for small businesses. Because you’re able to get very specific with your target audience and messaging, it can be very effective. Reaching the right audience with the right message is like talking to your customers one-on-one. Here are 10 digital advertising techniques that will help you achieve your goals:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Google Business Profile Manager (GBPM)
- Email Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Facebook Ads
- Mobile Optimization
- Display Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital advertising technique that will help your business gain visibility online. A large part of an SEO strategy is the selection and consistent use of specific keywords. A keyword is essentially a term or phrase that someone might type into the Google search engine in order to find something. By looking at what your audience is searching for or anticipating which keywords make the most sense for your brand, you can determine the keywords your business wants to target.
One easy way to determine your brand’s keywords is to start searching for something brand-related in the search bar. You’ll see some results start to populate below as you type. Use those keywords as a starting point when creating your list of brand keywords.
Small businesses should be familiar with Google Business Profile Manager (GBPM) and how it works so they can utilize this tool to its fullest potential. GPBM helps consumers find what they are looking for when they search for something on Google. It is a quick-reference guide that appears when searching for a store, company or location. On desktops, this guide appears on the right side of the search results. On mobile devices, you’ll see it above the first result.
The information in this guide gives the consumer everything they need to know, even without having to visit a website or click through to anything. Essentially, without even leaving the search engine, a consumer can find all the information they need about your business. Just be sure your Google Business Profile Manager listing is up to date. Otherwise, this pertinent information won’t appear.
Writing blogs for your business is a great way to boost website traffic and share your knowledge with your customers. Blog content gives people a reason to see you as an authority in your industry, not only as a seller of a product but also as an expert in the lifestyle related to whatever you sell. You could offer tips and tricks, ideas for using your product, expertise related to your industry, behind the scenes stories and so much more.
In order to make sure you’re getting the most out of each blog that you publish, you’ll want to sync up your SEO techniques with your blog content. Your total blog strategy should be a mix of content that inspires and content that serves those brand keywords we talked about. Not every blog has to be SEO-driven, but you do want some to be optimized so you’re not spending time creating content that doesn’t get seen.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective advertising techniques, even with the rise in popularity of social media as a preferred choice of communication for younger generations. Building a list of email subscribers is the first step. Then once you’ve built your email list, you own that list and you can market directly to some of your most loyal customers.
Emails are a great way to offer discounts, share upcoming sales, launch new products, and promote your blog content. There are many platforms to choose from that will help you build and market to an email list, including Constant Contact, Drip, Mailchimp and many more.
Pay Per Click
Pay per click (PPC) digital advertising can be very effective for many businesses. When someone clicks on an ad that you own, you then pay the publisher for that click. The goal with pay-per-click advertising is to drive traffic from search engines and other websites to your own website. These types of advertisements are typically short and to the point, usually enticing the customer with a special offer.
Search engine ads are popular pay-per-click ads. These appear at the very top of search engine results. Each ad is bidding for specific keywords. For example, the keyword phrase “top email marketing software” populates the below ads in the search results.
If you’ve ever clicked away from one website to another to see an advertisement for the first website, this is what is known as a retargeting ad. When a customer visits a website, they leave a digital trail. You can see that this person visited the site. When they leave the site to go to a different site, a retargeting ad will appear on the new site as a reminder to click back to the other site and make a purchase.
Retargeting ads can also utilize existing customer lists or leads rather than following their digital trail. With these types of ads, it’s important to understand that most customers don’t have a linear path to purchase. A lot of people bounce around from site to site, often over an extended period of time, before deciding on a purchase. So retargeting ads can be effective in reminding them which product they were interested in and why they should purchase from you. When done right, retargeting ads should feel natural and non-intrusive, a seamless way to guide the customer back to your site.
It’s no secret that video consumption has increased tremendously over the years. When watching a video online, you’ll likely notice that an ad will be played before, after or intermittently throughout the video. These types of ads are like commercials you see on television but are much shorter.
On some platforms, like YouTube, you won’t pay for the ad unless it gets watched. Unlike traditional television commercials, a video advertisement can entice the viewer with a call to action. This means that if they feel compelled, they can click on the ad to learn more or visit a website.
Facebook ads are a form of social media advertising. These ads look like the other posts on Facebook, so they blend in more than other types of digital ads. Each ad contains a call to action with a button so the person clicking on the ad knows where they’ll be directed. Facebook ads can be highly targeted. Knowing your target audience is crucial in running effective Facebook ads.
One reason why Facebook ads are a popular choice for digital advertisers is because you can learn and adjust as your ads are running. In essence, you don’t have to spend your entire budget upfront. You can spend a couple hundred initially, see how it goes, adjust your audience if you need to, and then put in more money to amplify what you learned from your data. This is essentially why digital advertising and social media marketing are such budget-friendly and highly effective options for small businesses. If you’re just getting into digital advertising, Facebook ads are a great place to start.
One way to get the results you want is to look at your website on a mobile device. Websites that have a seamless experience will perform better than those that do not. If your website is not optimized for an effective mobile experience, customers may leave your site or abandon their cart if they get frustrated with their experience.
A few things to get your website optimized for mobile are:
- Automatic reformatting on various devices
- Larger “thumb-friendly” navigation buttons
- Limit having users type
- Fast load times
- Reduced graphics
One of the most common forms of digital advertising is display advertising. Display ads are kind of like the billboards of the internet. The difference is that you can get creative with animation and video, or go the traditional route and use copy and graphics. These kinds of ads will show up on websites at the top or sides of the page. They are very clearly denoted as an advertisement.
Display ads are often placed on relevant websites or within relevant contextual areas of the internet so they’re being targeted to the right audience. They may also be used as a retargeting measure to remind web visitors about your product or service.