Making The Case For Digital Advertising

Making The Case For Digital Advertising

Digital Advertising is constantly changing. Targeted mobile advertisements to specific audience members are the next big thing in online marketing. Traditional SEO marketing, while highly effective, relies on the consumer or prospect finding your brand. With our approach, we help our clients find, then target very specific audience members directly on their mobile devices and tablets at the times when they are most likely to view content or visit websites based on their media consumption habits.

When I advise our clients, I often refer to these key statistics that make a compelling case for mobile advertising:

  • Mobile App usage has surpassed PC internet usage.
  • Click-through rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) are at a higher rate on mobile devices than desktops.
  • Adults are spending more time daily watching videos.
  • Adults spend more than 3.5 hours daily on their mobile devices.
  • Viewership on video advertisements have been rising; in Nov. 2013, 36% of online videos viewed were advertisements.
  • Traditional channels (TV, Print) are aggressively digitizing their content and consumer touch points.

The reality is that there are less people paying attention to TV commercials or radio ads anymore. We have the technology to fast forward through commercials on our DVR or change the channel on our radio whenever an ad comes on the air. Thanks to Netflix and Pandora, some people don’t even watch live TV or listen to AM/FM radio anymore.

Marketers need to try new angles to ensure the messages are received.  SEO is highly effective (it’s one of the services we offer), and certainly cheaper for companies to pursue and it produces tremendous results.

In certain instances, our clients have a difficult time engaging their audiences.  Early adopters often come to us because they feel they have no other effective options for reaching their audience or traditional marketing has not worked for them.

So What is This?

We view digital advertisements daily when we are checking the weather, sports score or spending time on our favorite social media sites. It’s more common than we think. Here are a few samples of display content that was recently captured on an iPhone while visiting The Weather Channel, ESPN, and Pandora apps:

Since its inception a few years ago, entry into digital marketing has been extremely expensive for a lot of companies, and therefore, you only view advertisements from major corporations. As time progressed, the price of digital advertising has declined enough to where regional and much smaller companies who need something to engage their customers can use it.

Our Approach

We start each campaign by determining our target audience and Direct Market Area (DMA). We work with your team to determine who you wish to target, and where. We can always make adjustments to this targeting criteria along the way. In this early stage, we identify goals of the campaign (download CTA’s, develop leads, educate consumers, solicit donations, etc.) and then develop a marketing strategy.

Next, we will develop a media plan with a number of online and mobile messaging tactics. It is important to have a rigorous test and learn approach to messaging before using it on a broad scale. We propose using a variety of experimental design testing strategies, such as exposure to test and control, fractional factorial, and other techniques selected in partnership with you. We can then assess what message/creative works best with what audience, how well the advertising covers the target audience, and gauge the expected incremental lift in performance as additional channels are added.

Here are a brief description of some online messaging tactics we will employ for campaigns:

Audience Targeted Pre-roll: Most adults will watch one to three videos on their mobile device daily. One of the easiest ways we watch online videos is via a Facebook post by a friend or family member. Typically, you would click on the link on your Facebook feed, and are redirected to an ad you must watch before you can actually view your video. This practice is a golden opportunity to reach your targeted audience. Because a portion of the population is not reachable with pre-roll video, we always recommend a diversified media mix (re-targeting, search, IP targeting, FB/Twitter), to ensure we reach every audience.

Audience Targeted Mobile Display and Video:  Currently, we can reach 70 million mobile devices in the United States with our targeted mobile display ads and videos. Mobile ads have a significantly higher engagement rate than desktop ads. Mobile video advertising spends in the US will triple from 2013 to 2015, according to eMarketer. 58% of American adults have a smart phone. 42% have a tablet, so mobile advertising is an effective way to target your audience and increase the value of the online campaign. Targeted mobile ads may run in mobile applications (apps), mobile browsers, Apple iAds network, and Facebook News Feed.

IP Targeting:  Internet Protocol (IP) Targeting delivers display advertising inside a target building or institution. This method determines the geolocation of a website visitor and delivers content to that visitor based on their location, all the way down to their ISP & domain among other criteria. Targeting buildings will be effective if you want to reach every federal employee at the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C., or employees at in CA. Every person located in and near that building that is on the Wifi or near the Wifi signal will have ads.

This is an effective strategy if you are trying to reach an audience that is attending a sporting event, trade conference, or if you are unable/restricted in communicating with a specific consumer. The downside is that if a Starbucks in New York’s Penn Station is the target, everyone in there will be served the ads even those we may not want to reach. This is a cost effective strategy to reach a broad audience very quickly.

Search/Key Terms:  Search marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility by purchasing ads on search engines like Google. This is paid search advertising where the client pays-per-click (PPC). Search advertising will generate the highest click through rate of any format and in most cases, it is considered best practices to include search.

It is recommended that only a small portion of any media buy be devoted to search because we are trying to find and entice those who do not have as much awareness of your brand in the first place – given this, they are less likely to search to find your brand when they search on their own.

Re-targeting:  Re-targeting is a form of online advertising that keeps your message brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Re-targeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.

When someone visits a website, these ads follow the individual on other ad-driven sites. Typically, the click-through rate will be several times higher than other display ads. Even with a modest expenditure, these ads give those interested in the campaign the sense that the online campaign is “everywhere.”  A good example of re-targeting is to type in the search term “Las Vegas vacation.” You will find ads from sites like Orbitz when you visit another website like Washington Post. For example, the Orbitz ad might be placed by design on the right side of the Washington Post page after your search.

Facebook/LinkedIn Ad’s:  This tactic shows ads that are relevant and interesting to you and your friends. Ads can appear in News Feeds, on the right column, and on the Facebook log out Page. Ad content is sometimes paired with news about social actions that your friends have taken, like liking a Page. Your friends might see news about the social actions you have taken in Facebook Ads. This news will only be shown to your friends.

I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

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