Online advertising should form a core part of your small business marketing strategy. It is the process by which you actively promote your business and encourage people to visit your website. There are many different ways you can do this, and there are plenty of types of online advertising that you might find beneficial.
Actually, if you go out and do some research, you’ll discover there are almost far too many types of online advertising to deal with. Trying to implement them all into your strategy isn’t a bold move. Instead, you need to know which types are going to be the most effective. To help you kickstart your online advertising campaign, here are the current top five methods:
Native advertising is designed to blend in with the page around it. The best example of these are adverts that you see on social media. You scroll through your Instagram feed and are suddenly met with a post from an account that you’re pretty sure you don’t follow. A keener look will show you that it is an advert. Native ads can be used in many different ways, but the key is that they blend into their surroundings and become as non-invasive as possible.
You can promote and post native advertising through a range of different platforms. This is fastly becoming one of the most sought-after means of advertising because of how successful it is. To demonstrate this, the click-through rate of native ads is 40 times more than classic display ads. Experts theorize that this is because they are so non-invasive, making users more likely to stop and look at them.
Despite native ads having a better click-through rate, display ads are still one of the most popular concepts around. These ads are the original online ads, being displayed as banners, pop-ups, static images, or text. When used correctly, they can be extremely effective at luring customers to your website.
Video ads are interesting as they tend to blend a traditional method of advertising with the newer online format. For decades, companies have been advertising on televisions. They still do this, and it means that businesses create video adverts that are displayed to the masses. Online video ads do a similar thing but in an arguably more effective way. Instead of spending a fortune trying to claim prime-time TV ad space, companies can display their video ads directly to their target market.
Again, it works similarly to display ads in that your adverts are only shown to people that fit your criteria. Video ads are effective in that they catch people’s attention better than static display adverts do. They draw people in, and they are also sometimes forced upon people. That makes it sound worse than it is, so let’s explain. When you watch a YouTube video or play a game on your phone, there are times where adverts pop up. As users, we’ve grown used to this as a way of being allowed to enjoy the content for free. Sometimes, ads can be skipped after a few seconds – but this still means you have to see a bit of them. As such, this can be enough to hook a user and get them to watch the whole advert.
On the other hand, there are instances where video ads cannot be skipped. So, a user has to watch all of it before they can continue watching a YouTube video or playing Candy Crush. This means that video ads are seen and watched a lot more than other forms of advertising. The longer you have someone looking at an ad, the greater the chance of them clicking it.
Search engine ads
Search engine adverts are the most common form of online advertising. You see them all the time – in fact, you see them every time you search for something. When a user is looking for something online, Google will present some organic results, along with ones that have been paid for. The benefit of this is that it gets your website right at the top of the results as one of the first things someone sees. Thus, there’s a higher chance of them clicking on your ad.
These adverts are all based on keywords. There’s a bidding process where you bid on specific keywords that you think are the most relevant for your business. If you’re one of the winning bids, you will get your ad presented at the top of the search whenever someone searches for that keyword. You pay for these ads through either a PPC or CPM basis. PPC is the most popular, meaning you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad. Your payment will be what you bid for the keyword.
CPM is billed differently, giving you a flat rate for every 1,000 impressions your advert receives. The problem with this is that you are billed even if people don’t click on your advert, which is why most businesses opt for a pay-per-click strategy instead.
Lastly, you have email advertising – which is often referred to as email marketing. Here, you have two ways of advertising your business via emails. The first is through sending emails to your leads, promoting things to them. This is a smart idea if someone is on your website and you have their email. It’s one of the most effective ways of retargeting existing customers by reminding them of what they were looking at. Similarly, it helps to convert leads that gave you their information but still haven’t made a purchase. You can see what they were looking at and send out automated emails that draw them back in. Of course, you’ll need email marketing software to help you do this as it’s difficult to do manually.
The second approach is by paying for adverts in email clients. Platforms like Gmail will now present ads to users while they are looking at their email. This is technically a type of native advertising, but it can fall under this heading as well. The idea is that you tempt people into clicking the ad and opening the sponsored email, where they can then be taken to your website.
And on that note, we’ve come to the end of this list. Above, you have seen the top five forms of online advertising available right now. Others do exist, but they are either not that effective or blend in with the forms we’ve already mentioned. For instance, social media advertising is very popular, but it’s basically the same as native advertising.
Now, as a business owner, it’s your job to figure out what types of advertising will work best for you. Some of you may use all five methods listed above, while others may settle for one or two. When implemented alongside a strong marketing strategy, online advertising can help you drive traffic and clicks to your website, helping you increase leads and sales in no time at all.
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