A shrewd marketer knows that they should explore every possible advertising channel available to promote their business. That doesn’t however mean they can or should utilize all of them. In fact, since the advent and ascent of digital advertising, it’s nearly impossible to utilize all channels because there are so many. Only the biggest businesses on earth with the largest teams and budgets can do that, and many still don’t.
That said, digital presents tremendous marketing opportunities, and should have a heavy presence in any advertiser’s media mix. It’s also a highly competitive and crowded space. So how can marketers break through with their messaging online? Here are a few key tactics.
They keep it simple
One of the universal challenges in marketing is that clients want to put as much information as they can in their ads. It makes sense; a financial benefits firm might boast of its customers’ average 401K return. A cleaning service may want to show its customer satisfaction rating. A car dealership will want to post specifics of its financing options. Here’s the bad news: a digital ad isn’t the place to do that. Here’s the good news: it’s the best way to lead potential customers to a client’s website where they can hit them with as much information as they want.
Digital banner ads should be treated like outdoor billboards. They should include a striking image, six to seven words of copy, a logo, and a strong call to action. So, for the financial firm, the message may say “Incredible Returns on 401Ks. Click to Learn More.” The image could be some form of currency, and their logo should be prominent.
Of all these elements, the call-to-action must be clear, concise, and easy to follow. You can usually click anywhere on a banner ad to learn more, but it helps to put a box around “click here,” or “learn more” in the graphic design. Viewers’ eyes will be drawn to it, and they will process it as a clickable button.
They utilize paid social
There are pros and cons to all forms of digital marketing, from static banners to video pre-rolls, to homepage takeovers. Different industries will gravitate towards different platforms based on target demos, but all companies should invest in some form of paid social.
Simply put, paid social is the best way to pinpoint a precise audience. Through the ad-buying platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, a buyer can designate who receives their ad by demographic factors. These include age, gender, income, and location. Even the most fastidious media buyer can’t deliver an audience that is precise with traditional media. This also allows marketers to run multiple sets of creative if they have secondary target demos.
Speaking of targets and location, a savvy digital marketer should strongly consider taking advantage of geotargeting. A geotargeted ad uses smartphone location information to serve ads to people within a given area. One of its signature features is using “cookies” to capture items that a customer has looked at while browsing on their phone. It can then serve those ads in apps later, essentially “following” the customer and getting them to consider buying the item again.
They stay consistent across platforms
Whichever platforms or channels you decide are the best fits for your business, it is crucial to maintain consistency of both look and messaging. Digital advertising is a relatively young medium, but don’t let that fool you into disregarding the tenets of marketing and branding. Just as you would supplement a television ad with a radio spot that has a similar copy, you should always make sure your digital ads complement each other. Chances are, your customers will see them in more than one place. Take advantage of that opportunity as a frequency play, and hit them with repeated, consistent copy.
Digital advertising is a truly groundbreaking tool. Marketers must use it, but they must use it thoughtfully. Apply these principles to your online strategy, and you will set yourself up for a successful return!