a beginner's guide to

online advertising


getting started with online advertising.

The world around us has become digital. Our marketing strategies have to evolve to match the reality that everyday customers are facing. Consumers are spending more and more of their money via ecommerce, and an ever-increasing amount of their waking hours tuned in to social media and online tools.

Whether you are an experienced professional looking for some new ideas, or near the start of your digital commerce journey, this guide will provide valuable insight into the benefits and strategies of online advertising.

how online advertising can help your business.

As a savvy business professional, you always want to know the “why” behind the “what” before you invest time and energy in a new strategy. We understand! Here's why every business needs to use online advertising.

1. Get a Bigger Audience

Everyone who is selling a product or service wants to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. Offline advertising is limited by geographic space in a way online advertising is not. When done strategically, advertising online expands the reach of your content exponentially and broadens your audience to include people who might never have the opportunity to interact with your product or service offline.

2. Get a Specific Audience

Online advertising allows you to focus on the audience that is most interested in what your business has to offer. With offline advertising, it is difficult to target only your customers.

3. Get a Better ROI

Online advertising increases the efficiency of every dollar you spend. In fact, 76 percent of retail companies agree that digital tactics yield better results compared with offline advertising. The combination of more reach and a more tightly defined audience result in more conversions per dollar than traditional advertising.

4. Get Better Tracking

Online advertising has the edge when it comes to tracking results. It’s difficult to optimize a campaign without access to specific data on the performance of your previous efforts. Analytics software gives you in-depth details on the path online buyers take before they make a purchase. You can use that information to tailor future ad-campaigns and optimize your content strategy and layout!

So, to sum it up, online advertising empowers you to achieve a bigger audience, a specific audience, a better ROI, and better tracking. Put those together and your business is creating and converting more leads per dollar than the offline alternatives.

the different types of social ads.

People spend more time today on social media than ever before. Our marketing strategy should nearly always strive to meet people where they are and reduce the effort it takes for our audience to interact with our content. Social advertising makes that easier than ever by putting your product or service directly in front of your audience in a place they already engage with for hours each day. Social ads also provide even more targeting options than search advertising, so you can get very specific and personal. Each social media site has its own set of advertising types, so it's important to know what you have to work with before you start building your campaigns.
Some of the most commonly used social networks for advertising are:

  1. Facebook
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Instagram
  4. Twitter

Here are a few of the most useful types of social advertising:

Paid Post Promotions

Paid post promotions allow you to boost the visibility of your content, which helps you drive likes and expand your audience. Most social networks offer this option.

Sidebar Ads

Sidebar ads are similar to Display Network ads, and they're typically text-based. They appear on the sidebar of some social media sites and are good for building your brand awareness.

Event Promotions

Facebook's event promotion option gets your event in front of people who are most likely to be interested in attending. You can attract many people who may not have otherwise known about your event, as well as achieve additional brand recognition by showcasing the type of events you host and who attends them.

choosing the best online advertising option.

When you are deciding whether to use search ads, social ads, or both, consider these things first:

data from past campaigns

Look at your past campaign analytics for the platforms and ad types that performed the best. You want a good balance of cost efficiency, conversion, and reach. If you pay attention to these metrics as you compare search and social advertising options, you’ll find that your analytics will guide you on which ones to use and when to use them.

your advertising goals

Consider the overall goals of your current advertising campaign. Focus on the platforms or mediums that will help you achieve those goals.

the buyer's journey

To maximize your ad spend you have to know who your ideal customers are and where they are in the buyer's journey when you advertise to them.

past website visitors

If you want to generate more sales from previous customers, you can pursue advertising options that allow you to narrowly target your audience, such as a remarketing campaign.

Ultimately, deciding how to use social and search advertising options will always be a moving target. Focus on the channels that make the most sense for your campaign and budget based on the factors above and your organization's preferences.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an “Either/Or” decision, and you aren’t locked into it forever. Part of what makes advertising so much fun is that it is a dynamic exercise. Engaging it deeply gives you the power to stay mobile and keep growing your brand using whatever tools are working most effectively.

guides for creating online advertising campaigns.

Online advertising is a powerful tool for reaching more of your target audience. While none of the ad platforms intentionally make themselves difficult to use, they can certainly be overwhelming at first! So we rounded up a few guides that will ensure you have a great experience setting up your first online advertising campaign.

Google Search Ads Guide
Twitter Ads Guide
Facebook Ads Guide
LinkedIn Ads Guide
YouTube Ads Guide

when and how to choose an ad agency.

The art of online advertising can be learned, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have time to do it. Here's when you should seek help with your online ads and how to choose the right ad agency to partner with when that time comes.

when to seek help with online ads

  • When you don't have the expertise or time to learn it
  • When you don't have the time to manage online ad campaigns
  • When you aren't impressed with your current ROI with online ads
  • When you aren't remaining consistent with your online advertising efforts

things to consider when choosing an ad agency

  1. Consider which fields they typically work in and if it aligns with your industry.
  2. Find out how they monitor your campaign data.
  3. Pay attention to who manages your account and executes the work to avoid dealing with outsourced work.
  4. Consider their cancellation policy, payment schedule, and contract terms.
  5. Make sure their business values align with yours.
  6. Consider the budget size of their largest account. If it's way out of your range, they may not be the best fit for you.
  7. Find out how they plan to optimize your return on ad spend (ROAS) to ensure your budget is consistently optimized.
  8. Learn how they do their keyword research to see if they have a strategic approach.
  9. Make sure they plan to learn all about your target audience and your product/service.
  10. Consider their prior work to see if they can create the types of online ads your target audience responds to.

become an online advertising pro.

Online advertising can be a huge win for your organization. As the world spins towards an increasingly digital future, it’s important to be ahead of the curve. Want to really stay on top of your online advertising?
With our downloadable template, you can easily plan and keep track of multiple campaigns, ad groups, ad variations and more. Download our template now to become an online ad pro!