When it comes to coordinating your digital marketing efforts across the business, it can be tricky to know where to focus your efforts.
Whether you’re a traditional bricks and mortar business or online business, B2C or B2B, it can be handy to have an overview of all the online advertising routes available and an update on the most successful channels.
We took a look at some of the best options for you, with a range of supporting stats so you’ll know the best social networks for you, why banner ads still work and the reason video marketing could be perfect to market your business to other businesses.
Here are our top types of online advertising to consider for the year ahead.
In this article, we’ll go over the 4 main types of online advertising which are:
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is key to any business but is particularly successful in B2C. Whilst the days of organic reach may have gone, paid for social media marketing and boosted posts definitely have their place.
When it comes to channels, according to Statista’s overview of the most popular social networks worldwide Facebook is still the top network for advertising and marketing.
As of 2017, the site has over 1,870 million active users, an 18% market share, and despite the talk around chatbots and messaging taking over, Facebook still beats WhatsApp.
Having said that, if your demographic is younger, you might want to look at Snapchat or Instagram.
Snapchat has more than 173 million daily active users who watch 10 billion videos every day – something that many brands and marketers are harnessing.
With 8 million accounts and 60% of Instagram users coming in between the ages of 18-29, the youth market here is equally attractive to advertisers. Your options include not only ads and sponsored content but also influencers – New research says that 86% of marketers used this strategy in the last year!
Your social media strategy isn’t dead in the water or limited to small results because you are selling B2B either. Whatever the platform, be human and you can easily demonstrate company culture, showcase your team and recruit new talent or launch new products and services.
Don’t forget that LinkedIn is a hive of activity for potential business contacts, and Sponsored InMail makes it easy to target audiences with relevant content delivered through LinkedIn messenger – a great way to deliver native ads at a time and place relevant for the recipient based on job title, interests or location. Sell something pretty B2B? You’ll be needing Pinterest.
With the highly successful pin it button in play and the word part of our lexicon, it can seem a long time ago when Pinterest was the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visits – an incredible feat.
Pinterest themselves state that more than 75% of Pins saved to Pinterest come from businesses – native advertising, done in a way that feels natural and organic, and not one to miss out on.
Email Marketing is NOT Dead!
If you’re thinking that people have stopped using emails as their main mode of communication you’ve got another thing coming. Over the past few years, email marketing has actually boomed as one of the main types of advertising!
As of today, more than daily. This figure is expected to reach 246 billion daily emails by 2019.
And whilst email marketing strategies have changed over the years and have become more targeted, this should absolutely be in part of your plan for the coming years.
You might choose to advertise other businesses in return for income – Sponsored email, which involves sending emails to your audience on behalf of a third-party sponsor, or using #another businesses lists – such as a magazine or website in your niche or you might use emails direct to businesses or consumers.
Don’t forget that sponsored email content comes with a varied price tag – the exact rate depends on the lists size and scarcity, but it could start at around £70 CPM, or be purchased on a ‘per campaign’ basis.
Email marketing is very cost effective, is traceable and makes good business sense – whether it’s your own list or a sponsorship, you start from the belief that the person or business has opted in to receive targeted emails.
This means that the people receiving your emails have signed up for a reason; they are invested or interested in your product in some way, or hearing more around subjects in relation to what you offer.
Email still comes with a great return. A study by Experian found that personalised emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates – meaning if you take on email best practise (targeted, timely personalised) you can expect up to six times that, a very nice return.
Types of Email Marketing
Welcome messages – acknowledge their interest and give them a bit of information about yourself, just keep it simple. You’re giving them something to look forward to.
Announcements – jump in with an update once in a while. Show them you haven’t forgotten about them, a simple note out to them will suffice.
Product posts for them to keep updated – show your followers what’s new or what’s been going on at your headquarters. This might also be a time to think about some promotional campaigns, and limited offers.
Surveys – see how they’re feeling about your services, your products… just a little feedback to see how you can improve your business.
Newsletters – these are a great way to give them multiple updates or show them what’s coming next! People will use newsletters as a break from their day, give them the boost they’re looking for – keep it nice and simple, whilst giving them a bit of a story (possibly even an insight into a staff’s job or journey), tell them how your latest events went… think out of the box.
Giveaways – this is your chance to give your customers a discount, show them that you appreciate their loyalty in one way or another. Provide them with the chance to get to the newest products before anyone else – making it exclusive – or give them the chance to win a hamper of products or a weekend break at an amazing price! Pull them in and close off with a promotion.
And of course… those gorgeous Thank You notes – your followers will appreciate some gratitude once in a while, even for no reason.
The Steps for writing any type of email
- Outline – your main topic
- Final edits/testing stage to make sure everything is working
- The newsletter is ready to be sent off!
We’re going to focus on Newsletters as they are the most text-heavy content emails you will be writing – they are equivalent to your site blogs.
How to engage subscribers to read the newsletter?
Think about your reader – will they be seeing this from their desktop or their mobile? What time are they most likely to read it? So taking all of that, what will they want to read? The design and layout are very important. Make sure to keep everything on-brand (so anything from colours you use to the fonts).
Logo header, bold headings, and images. Then go on to include proper dividers – people like to have a structure and a break from one topic to another, give them that. You can keep it interesting by varying the size of the fonts, images and including some emojis. Keep to the company tone and mood, and allow for a certain flow in your writing.
Definitely always include a ‘call to action’ button – this increases conversion rates – so link to your social media accounts.
The Main Tips
Create catching headlines – even if you’re using facts, make them interesting. Give them what they want but also what they need – what they don’t know that they need. Offer incentive and inspiration.
Go for 90/10 – this means that you have 90% educational matter and 10% promotional. It’s not about you, it’s about the subscriber.
Keep it short and sweet and simple – write as much as is needed and embellish with great photos. Read our blog on How to take good photos for your blog – it will work just as well for your newsletter and website.
Use proper ALT text – this is helpful for those instances when your image does not appear in the email but at least you provide your reader with a link.
Make unsubscribing easy – this will allow you to maintain an active and engaged subscriber.
Make it more personal – this is essential to create more of a conversation between you and the reader. Include their name instead of the general heading at the start of the email for example, and a little thank you at the end.
“To be impactful, you need to give your viewer something to laugh, cry or think about…whether you’re selling an ultra-luxury ranch resort in Montana or cream cheese.” – Larry Lipson, Managing Director at The Resort at Paws Up
This is so true…it’s all about the story. Whatever business you’re coming from make sure you invest time in your current customers so that you will have a loyal base to entice new ones from. Your new customers will come as a reflection of how you treat your current clients as well as your staff.
Whether it’s PPC such as Bing or Google advertising, search or banner advertising ‘internet marketing’ that covers native environments as people search, browse or stroll the internet can be highly successful.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click, and is known as pay per click advertising. Paid search is the term that refers to paying for advertising within the listings of a search engine. These normally appear at the top of a SERP or to the side when a search is run.
What is PPC marketing?
PPC marketing is the art of designing campaigns that are enticing to potential customers, whilst also profitable by being able to convert, Conversions are key in PPC!
When it comes to budget management, you can pick a maximum bid amount, and if you choose the automatic option offered in your PPC ad management platform, you can be assured that the system will set a budget and a bid amount for you, reducing risks.
There is also another less common PPC advertising method called cost-per-impression (CPM). This is where you pay the search engine for every 1,000 times your ad appears on the SERP. The user doesn’t have to click-through.
Both of these methods are very different from organic search.
What is organic search?
Simply, organic search is traffic that is not paid for.
Whilst technically, achieving organic search success does involve an investment in time and fund to get SEO optimised, this is an absorbed or ‘behind the scenes’ cost.
Organic traffic is shown on search engines because it is deemed relevant and the most useful to the searcher. Paid traffic can be bought – but that doesn’t mean anyone can get ahead in PPC.
What type of ad should you use?
When it comes to the types of online advertising that works best, it’s all based on your demographic and an understanding of where the market is headed.
With 2.08 billion global smartphone users, we are mobile first. We’re also time poor, but the time we do spend is increasingly on social channels, or sites we know and trust.
So where do banner ads on online ads sit? You might think they are a bit retro, but with Netflix, Uber and huge businesses opting in for banner adverts, it has been predicted that in 2021 the spending on digital advertising will almost double what it is now.
Need more convincing? Consider that 59.5% of Google’s net global ad revenues will come from mobile Internet ads in 2017 – which is up from about 45.8% that was in 2015.
That means banners are all about smart marketing, designed for smartphones. It could mean retargeting plays a big part; it could see these digital banners being used on YouTube channels or affiliate sites. But this part of the tapestry of internet history is still key.
SEO and PPC deserve a piece all on their own, but with Amazon Alexa and Google’s smart devices bringing vocalised search to homes across the World, it’s only a matter of time before smart marketers adopt even longer tail, question-based search and PPC strategies.
If you aren’t looking at video marketing and in particular, video content marketing, you could be missing a trick! Video is also a space where B2B thrives. (75% of people in upper management roles are reported to watch at least one work-related video every week.)
Video marketing is transforming the way businesses reach consumers and is considered to be, if not the best, one of the best formats which produce the most effective results amongst other content formats.
Whatever your niche, start with a plan of action based on the tone, type of videos and approach.
Content has to be king, second only to production. If in doubt – try funny – a recent survey by eZanga found that 30% of respondents were less likely to skip video content if it was humorous.
Cross pollination happens here too – According to marketing week, a video within a #MumWins series created by Time Inc’s Good to Know site attracted 49 million views on Facebook, meaning video advertising and marketing isn’t limited to ‘YouTube’ anymore, it could be designed purely for mobile users viewing on Facebook.
Towards the end of 2016 HighQ released an infographic predicting the boom of video marketing in 2017 as one of the main types of online advertising, stating that by 2017, online video will account for 74% of all web traffic.
The infographic illustrates the amount of viewing that is done from different devices during different times of day, showing how investing time and effort in this medium will boost business rankings and reach customers.
According to the HighQ infographic:
- More video content is uploaded to the web in 1 single month, than TV has created in 3 decades
- 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video
- 33% of tablet owners watch about an hour of video on their devices every day
- 28% of smartphone users watch a video on their devices at least once a day
- 78% of people watch videos online every week
- 55% of people watch videos online every day
Video as an Important Ranking Factor
In particular, they looked at the correlation between ranking factors — like views, comments and shares — with YouTube rankings, and came up with the following data:
- 200-300% when marketers included a video in an email, the CTR increased by 200-300%
- Even simply using the word “Video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%
- 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
- A lot of people feature their video on their brand website
The Benefits of Video as a content format
- A video reaches audiences quicker and on a larger scale
- On average a visitor will stay 2 mins longer on a website that includes a video compared to a website that doesn’t include a video
- Video marketing can drastically increase the CTR on a website
- More exposure and social engagement
- Video guarantees 46% more conversion lift
From effective email marketing to social media, there are so many types of online advertising and marketing to be getting started with.
What successes have you seen?
Leave a comment below and let us know where you predict the future of online marketing booming in the forthcoming year!