Digital, mobile, and social have all quickly become the hottest advertising platforms in today’s world. Digital marketing agencies are now a dime a dozen, and those exclusively digital media professionals are some of the highest paid in the industry. In addition, many existing national agencies have hired specific digital media executives to supplement their successful traditional expertise and help brands navigate the radically changing landscape.
Let’s face it: Digital marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there is substantial research to support up to 40% growth in digital advertising revenue by 2015. So how do you, as a brand marketing professional, keep up with it all? The fact is that with so many sub-platforms and intricacies involved, it’s impossible to become a digital media expert overnight. What you can do is start small, become familiar with general terms and principles, and use that knowledge to either choose an agency that is the best possible fit for your brand, or challenge your existing agency to ensure the highest ROI and get the most out of your digital advertising campaigns.
What is arguably the greatest part of digital (at least for marketers) is that it is 100% data driven. You can easily monitor the success rates of your ads and have the gratification of knowing what works from an attribution standpoint. So whether you are completely resistant to the digital world, are just getting your feet wet, or are ready to dive into it head first, here are some basic tips to help you enhance your digital marketing strategy.
1. Google Adwords is Your New Best Friend
Adwords is among the most important resources for web based marketing. But even if you’re already using it, you might not be employing its full potential. One commonly overlooked feature is ad site links, which enables you to insert links to different pages of your website at the bottom of your Google ads. This is a huge opportunity to drive traffic your way, plus it automatically beefs up the size of your ad, making it more visible. There are a ton of similar added value features on Adwords, most of which are completely free and a piece-of-cake to set up.
2. Take the Bad with the Good
Some advertisers get so wrapped up in their keywords they forget to focus on the flipside, which are those terms and phrases you do not want your ads to appear for. When people search for a particular term only to click on your ad and find it irrelevant, you’ve wasted a click (which often means dollar signs) for zero return. Lucky for you, Google makes it easy look through your analytics to help identify negative keywords, and you can always use their free Google Keyword Tool as well.
3. Target your Facebook Ads With a Specific Goal in Mind
To get the most out of Facebook ads, you need to determine your target. Facebook lets you narrow or widen your audience however you see fit, and there are benefits to both. Your results might be better if you cast a wide net with your targeting parameters, which means a larger audience. More often though, a precise, hyper-targeted, clearly defined audience (you’ll need to determine who that person is long before you place your ad) will help you get the best bang for your Facebook buck. Of course, marketing strategy will vary from brand to brand and campaign to campaign, and that’s okay. Part of the beauty of digital advertising is being able to choose exactly who sees your ad and who doesn’t.
4. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Clicks
There’s a reason why magazine spreads are better than single pages, why color ads are better than black and white, and why creative agencies are in business. The more visual impact an ad has, the more likely it will have impact. People are inherently drawn to all things appealing to the eyes, and that’s why visual aesthetic should always be a consideration in your overall display ad strategy. There are an infinite number of factors that contribute to the visual effectiveness of your ad, such as using images that include a person vs. those who don’t, those that use a company logo vs. those who don’t, and even different fonts and colors. The main thing to remember is that the ad itself sets the stage for your CTA. So make sure you test and re-test to see which visual elements are drawing the most eyeballs.
5. Remarket Yourself!
Make use of retargeting options to attract people who have visited your site in the past. Google conveniently allows advertisers to reach those people by showing them relevant ads on a particular ad network. So, by tracking your sites visitors, Google can then use this information to show your ad on another page once the visitor leaves. This is the easiest way to keep your business at arm’s reach for those who have shown previous interest in what you offer, which is a no brainer for most marketers.
We know it’s easy to get lost in the saturated options and opportunities of advertising digitally. The best way to finding the optimal media is to first educate yourself on the basics. The goal is to incorporate digital elements into your marketing strategy at a granular level, keeping analytics top-of-mind and using them to tailor that strategy. Rather than throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, you should arm yourself with quality content and enough knowledge of digital marketing tactics to achieve the best possible result.