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Week 3 of our workshop on Digital Marketing Essentials was a big one. We covered Digital Advertising for your business, a topic of special interest for anyone looking to take their online presence to the next level. It can also be a bit of a nerve-wracking topic since it involves spending money. When you start investing money in your business, you want to make sure you’re making the right choices. We’re here to help!

It’s helpful to keep three things in mind when approaching the topic of digital advertising. We’ve broken them down into three words so that you can easily remember them and apply them to your situation.

What–What is your business? While there are many options for digital advertising, not every option is going to be right for you business. Certain avenues provide a better return on your investment than others.

Who–Who is your target customer? Knowing who your target customer is will help you make sure that you are using the most effective methods to reach them. Many business owners believe they want to reach everyone, but there are often specific unique characteristics that your target customer has and if you want to reach them more effectively, it’s important to understand what they are because digital advertising really drills down to specifics.

90– Everyone likes to see instant success, but it’s not realistic. When you start launching your digital advertising campaigns, keep in mind that you need to give them at least 90 days to start seeing real success.

Options for Paid Ad

You have a lot of options when it comes to paid advertising. There is no one size fits all and you should know what is available to you before you jump on the latest bandwagon. You can advertise both on search engines and on social media. Depending on your answers to the above questions (what is your business and who is your target customer) you may choose one or both.

Email Marketing is another important and sometimes overlooked aspect of digital marketing. 58% of people check their email first thing before they check anything else, even social media. And the vast majority of people use email daily. So email is a great way to reach prospective customers.

Paid Advertising Work Like Auctions

When it comes to social media advertising and search engine marketing, they both operate by auction. This means that you bid a certain amount of money to surface your advertisements in the feed or searches of your prospective customer. There are two different ways that you pay for your ads
CPC–Cost per click. This means you are charged each time someone clicks on your ad.
CPM–Cost per (thousand) impressions. This means you are charged according to how many people view your ad.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and more. These are sites that consumers go to keep in touch with their family and friends, look at pretty pictures, watch videos, keep up with the news and get inspiration for their parties and cooking. These sites know their users which means that you can target quite specifically when you use them. Target users by demographic, occupation, geographic location, interests and more. This is a huge benefit that will help you find your prospective customers.

Advertising on social media gives you the opportunity to extend brand awareness. Traditional methods of advertising were often cost prohibitive but when you advertise on Facebook and other social media channels, your spend is much less and you can reach beyond the followers you already have on those platforms. It’s a great way to get the word out about your business.

Facebook also offers powerful analytics so can you see the success of your ads and learn more about your target audience.

Search Engine Marketing

Advertising on Google or another search engine is a useful tactic when you want to reach in-market buyers. In order to see ads on search engines, a consumer needs to already be searching for your product or service. So if you want to reach this highly desirable market, you’ll want to advertise on search engines.

Advertising on search engines gives you the opportunity to be competitive with even the bigger players in your field. It’s a great option if you know you have customers searching for a service or product like yours on Google.

If your business is a restaurant, you’ll want to focus more on increasing your presence on Google Maps. Google Maps shows up before anything else so having great reviews and a full presence there will help you do well in organic search. You’ll be better off spending your advertising budget on social media advertising.

Mobile App Marketing

Waze is a crowd-sourced navigation app. Ads on Waze reach consumers right when they are in the area. People spend a lot of time in their cars, so Waze can be a great way connect your message with them.

Yelp is a popular review app. When consumers reach the point of making a decision to do something, they will look for reviews. When you advertise your business on Yelp, your ads can appear in a variety of places including on relevant search result pages, competitor business pages, photo pages and more.

You have a lot of options when it comes to digital advertising so it’s worth taking the time to learn about them so you can make the best decision for your business. If you’re worried about how you’ll find the money for your digital advertising, take a moment to look over your marketing budget. When you start to advertise on Facebook or other social media platforms, there isn’t a huge upfront cost, so if you have the funds to give it a good 90 day run, you will definitely start to see the benefits soon. If you don’t have money upfront, you might want to reexamine your processes, see where you can make improvements and adjustments, and then start saving. The benefits of digital advertising are too good to ignore.