Advertising has a long and rich tradition in human culture. From vendors harking their wares on the streets with loud pronouncements, to the editorial advertisements in colonial America, advertising has served a critical purpose by enabling businesses to compete with each other for consumer attention. With the media revolution that the Internet has represented, and the subsequent introduction of a 24/7 information sharing culture, attention spans have shortened, while advertising methods have diversified.
Today, effective advertising is more important to a business’s success than ever. While methods of advertisement have expanded into a dizzying array of strategies, finding your business’s grand advertising strategy need not be burdensome. Here we’ve compiled a handy short-list of all the most popular and effective advertising methods for your business.
Worldwide, there are over 1.49 billion active Facebook users monthly. So many active users translates to great marketing potential. In recent years, many businesses have seized upon Facebook as a useful marketing tool. In fact, the number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by over 75 percent since 2009. Facebook generates customers for companies big and small, and even for B2C companies. Unfortunately, with so much competition on Facebook, most companies do not receive the engagement rates they’re looking for.
That’s why companies looking to expand their reach can benefit greatly from the use of Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook offers a number of different types of advertising methods to help businesses better connect with their target audiences. While these advertising methods all cost money, they need not rip a hole in your wallet. In fact, paid advertising via Facebook ranks among some of the most cost-effective methods of advertisement.
Facebook provides a myriad of effective advertising options, including website advertising, external link ads, multi-product carousels, photo ads, video ads, text-based ads, Facebook page promotion, local ads, event promotion ads, promotional offers, mobile app ads, Desktop app ads, and more. Businesses can use these Facebook adverts for enhanced audience targeting, to expand reach to mobile audiences, and to generate leads. Learn more about the different types of Facebook ad campaigns you can employ, and their potential benefits.
Anyone who uses Facebook sees dozens of advertisements per day. Your company may already be utilizing Facebook ads but seeing little results. Ultimately, one is prone to ask, does Facebook advertising really even work? The answer, in short, is yes. But there is a caveat. Facebook ads only shine when you set specific goals for them. You cannot sell products directly through a Facebook ad, but you can drive traffic to your website, get email newsletter sign-ups, increasing brand awareness, and more through them.
In order to garner benefits from Facebook ads, you have to know how to properly use them. You have to know your target audience and marketing goals and tailor your ads to those specifications. You also have to learn enough about the metrics behind Facebook advertising to fully calculate the costs of using it. Facebook’s paid advertising platform is advanced enough that you can measure exactly how much it costs to get someone to sign up for your newsletter list, or how much it costs to get someone to purchase a product from your website. Figuring out this information, however, takes both patience and practice.
Google AdWords is Google’s advertising service, and many companies use it as one component of their advertising campaigns. AdWords allows you to place (paid) search results for your website on Google’s search engine results page. This allows you to bypass the long process of optimizing your website to organically rank higher in search results. These ads typically appear at the top of a search engine search, or to the right hand side.
To use AdWords, you first pick a few keywords that a searcher might use on Google in order to find your company’s product. Google then allows you to create and customize an advert that will appear in search engine results when users type in your selected keywords. Google’s Display Network reaches approximately 80% of Internet users in the U.S., and with cost-per-click bidding, you can easily keep track of how effective your campaign really is.
Related: AdWords Guide for Small Businesses
As the world’s most popular mobile-first social network, Instagram, with over 300 million active monthly users, is particularly popular with younger generations and the companies looking to market to them. Companies utilizing paid marketing on Instagram have reaped in $595 million in mobile ad revenue this year, and that number is expected to jump to $2.81 billion by 2017. There’s never been a better time to jump on the Instagram bandwagon.
Like Facebook, Instagram offers a few different methods of advertisement. You can choose between three different types of ads: image, video and carousel. Carousels allow for several photos, while videos can be up to 30 seconds long. But here’s the kicker: Instagram also incorporates call-to-action buttons. Normal Instagram posts feature unclickable images. Information and links must be included in the accompanying image description.
With advertisements, however, you can drive traffic directly to your website or offers with a call-to-action button tacked onto your advertisement. This very useful feature is available for all three ad types. You are also able to get very specific with your target audience, and can select location, age, gender, interest, and connections to place your ads directly in front of your preferred segment of the population.
Companies with an aesthetically-attuned product or service, or a product that would be well served by visual representation, can benefit highly from YouTube ads. YouTube ads appear before other videos on YouTube, appear beside videos that are currently playing, and appear in search results.
YouTube ads are similar to Facebook ads in that you can narrow down your target audience via age, gender, and interest, and in that you only pay per engagement, which YouTube classifies as more than 30 seconds of your advertisement being watched. If your video is skipped before 30 seconds or the end of your ad, you don’t have to pay at all. YouTube’s built-in analytics makes it easy to see how your advertising campaigns perform.