Embracing The Power of Digital Advertising
Have you ever watched one of those Netflix documentaries about sustainable food?
Next thing you know, you’re vowing to go vegan and fight the good fight against corporate evils.
Then, during your next visit to your favorite restaurant, all ready to order the veggie burger, when you see a sign:
Tonight’s special: 9.oz Filet Mignon
You feel the cognitive dissonance kick in between your new vegan ideals and your tastebuds.
Suddenly, you come up with the perfect rationale: ‘I might as well get the steak. Otherwise, the poor cow died for no reason.’
Suddenly without realizing it, you’re back at square one.
Now, what does this hypothetical vegan anecdote have to do with digital ads?
Quite a lot, actually.
A lot of businesses resolve to ‘go digital’ with their advertising and yet every time they’re ready to kick off a new Facebook campaign, the old rationales kick in.
“Those direct mailers did get us some clients last time.”
“My friend said his Facebook ads didn’t get any good leads to call.”
“Nobody goes online to look at ads. It’s a waste of money.”
This is why a lot of businesses get stuck. They are hesitant to depart from what’s familiar. They end up rationalizing themselves back into old habits and never moving forward.
Well, I’m here to tell you the times they are a-changin’ and here are a few reasons why you should change too.
Go Where The People Are
The whole point of advertising is to find people on the medium that they use. At one point it was radio, a little later television, and now it’s almost impossible to find someone that is not online.
Let’s first look at some stats. Today there are over 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook and over 1 billion active users on Instagram.
This massive uptake would explain why social media has become the most popular content marketing tactic for over 90% of B2C businesses today.
Add to this the fact that the worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021.
The numbers don’t lie. Hopefully, it’s clear that digital advertising in 2019 is a worthwhile investment. And even though it might take a few attempts to find the right strategy, it’s worth testing and working at it for the benefits.
Flexibility Is Your Friend
There is no comparison when it comes to the level of flexibility available with digital marketing and the Mad Men era of advertising.
For example, when you send a print piece to print, there is no turning back. Even if you regret the design choice or messaging a week after it’s submitted, it’s too late.
However, when it comes to Digital Marketing, you have unlimited opportunities to revise and optimize your ad creative with real-time data.
If after a few days your promotion isn’t resonating with your target market you can switch it up. Throw in a discount code, give them fast shipping, or throw in a free puppy and hit publish!
(Kidding, don’t give away puppies. Keep them all for yourself.)
As a business owner, you have much more budget flexibility with online advertising. Unlike with conventional advertising, you’re not dealt a fixed rate that you have to spend half the year negotiating to get 15% off a quarter-page ad. You can even set ad spend limits and optimize to lower the cost of your impressions and clicks.
Lastly, you can target your audience at essentially any time of the day at any location. So if you want to reach only International Dodgeball Open fans you can pinpoint where they are, puts ads directly in front of them.
Level the Playing Field
One of the things I love the most about digital marketing and advertising is that smaller businesses have a better shot of competing with the big-time players.
When done correctly, with only a small budget, you can make a significant impact with digital advertising. Compare that to traditional means where you need an entire creative agency plus a cool million in ad spend to reach the people.
Imagine only paying for the times that someone looks at your ad in a magazine or on a billboard. Sounds impossible, right?
With digital, it’s not only possible, but it’s also the way things work.
This is why a small business can be extremely effective by only focusing dollars on those people that engage with their brand.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Digital Marketing is the only advertising platform that allows you to change any piece of your marketing strategy in real-time.
It’s the only channel that allows the audience to tell you what they gravitate toward.
Best of all, with each digital advertising campaign, you have the opportunity to test your ad against other ads you’ve created.
With a strategic A/B test, you don’t have to wonder what prompted someone to engage with your ad. Testing leads to stronger creative, allowing you to speak to your target audience in the way they want to be spoken to.
You Just Skimmed This Article, Didn’t You?
How did I know? Well, I happened to take a lucky guess.
However, your online behavior is not a guessing game for marketers anymore. Thanks to the genius marketers out there, our online behavior is being tracked and utilized to create even more targeted and compelling advertisements.
Have you ever been surprised when the exact product you looked at last week on Macy’s is now popping up as an ad on Facebook?
This isn’t some sign of a prophecy or coincidence. It’s what is known as a retargeting ad. Once you know about retargeting you will see it everywhere. Then, as an advertiser you might even start using it.
No, they are not (technically) watching you. But trust me, savvy digital marketers are keeping tabs on your digital footprint.
Surprisingly, retargeting ads are still considered to be the most underutilized digital marketing tactic, even though website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.
Considering roughly 90% of online visitors are not ready to make a purchase the first time they land on a site, it’s valuable to be able to include retargeting ads in your strategy. It keeps your brand and your products top of mind for whenever they are ready.
A Dollar Spent is Profit Earned
In 2019, 95% of businesses will increase their spending on digital marketing. But the big question is, what will you do?
This is why I ask you to resist the temptation to stay within your advertising comfort zone and succumbing to familiarity.
Yes, digital marketing may feel like unknown territory. Just like your first bite into a veggie burger. However, with the right chef and a few condiments, you may find yourself coming back for more.
When it comes to digital marketing, working with an agency can help you get together the right mix of the target market, ad spend, creative, and strategy. Combine them all together, and you’re guaranteed some tasty results.