A Complete Guide to Online Ads

A Complete Guide to Online Ads

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of online ads? Between display ads, retargeted ads and social media ads, it’s easy to get confused! Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to review and understand your ad options, you could be allocating your budget to the wrong areas.

I’ve gathered up the most common types of online advertisements that your business will run into, along with a short definition of each and their benefits. It’s helpful to work with a digital marketing agency that can help you see the most return from your ad investments. This way, you can rest assured that your ads are working for you all of the time!

Let’s get started with the most popular online ads.display 

Display Ads

Display ads are some of the oldest forms of online advertising. These ads appear on third party websites that are usually related to your products or services. This way, when customers shop for products associated with yours, they might come across ads for your products, too.

From the original display ad to today, there has been a lot of changes. Display ads now include the following:

  • Banner ads. Basic static images that are incorporated into the content.
  • Text ads. Simple AdWords ads that appear in the search results.
  • Remarketing ads. Ads that are shown to people who have visited your website but did not convert.
  • Video ads. Short videos that autoplay when a user lands on a website. Or, the video will play for a few seconds before the user can close out.
  • Wallpaper ads. Utilizes background space for money.

Display ads are cost-effective. If you choose to advertise on Google, you also get the option to target highly specific audiences based on their demographics. If you advertise on other websites, the costs will vary. The key is to get your ads in front of the right audience while sticking to your budget.

Social Media Ads

Social media advertising platforms have come a long way thanks to the targeting features. For example, Facebook allows you to reach people with certain interests, income levels and educational backgrounds. With the available analytical tools, you can keep track of how your ads are performing and make adjustments in real time.

The two main types of social media ads are organic and paid. Organic posts generate brand awareness and loyalty, but it is getting harder and harder for these posts to be seen by enough people. To boost your social presence, it’s important to throw paid ads into the mix.

Each social platform has its own paid advertising options with its own pay structure. Soe are more affordable than others, but most allow you to set a reasonable budget that can be spread over the life of the campaign.

Search Engine Marketing

SEM is one of the most dependable forms of advertising. With this approach, you and other businesses bid on keywords through the search engines. All SEM ads are featured as text ads at the tops or sides of the search listings. Paid ads can be pay per click (PPC) or cost per mille (CPM).

With PPC, you bid on the keywords and the placement of your site is dependent on your bid. You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad, and you can set a budget you are comfortable with. It’s also easy to track the results of PPC campaigns so you can see what works for your audience.

With CPM, advertisers are charged a flat rate for every 1,000 impressions. This makes it easy to budget while ensuring that you will get a certain number of views. At the same time, you can end up overspending because people aren’t necessarily clicking on the ads.

We can’t forget the role that SEO plays in SEM. This unpaid form of marketing optimizes websites for certain keywords. This increases the relevance of the website and helps it to be found by the right people. With SEO, you’re basically getting “hits” for free.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is what you see when you read an article and sponsored listings appear. The ads are integrated into the content so that they look natural. The most common forms of native advertising includes in-feed ads, search ads, recommendation widgets and promoted listings.

Retargeted Ads & Remarketing

Retargeted ads are shown to people who visited your website but did not convert. This is done through cookies that are installed onto the person’s computer. As they browse various websites, the cookies track their behaviors and show them ads at the right time. The hope is that when shoppers see the ads, they are reminded of the business and return to complete the sale.

Remarketing offers numerous options to connect with people who have visited your site. For example, there is remarketing for mobile apps, dynamic remarketing and email list remarketing. The goal of all remarketing advertising is to reach out to people who have a need for your service and get them to convert.

Video Ads & YouTube Ads

Video ads are more engaging than other types of promotions, and now they are easier than ever to create. Videos can be in any format of your choice, such as how-to, educational or storytelling. Keep your videos short but interesting, as most viewers have a limited attention span. Video ads can be uploaded to any platform, including Facebook, Twitter or Google.

There are lots of new things going on with YouTube ads. Take advantage of the targeting features that are available to connect with your audience: keywords, interests, topics, demographics and more. People love to watch videos and they’re a great way to shake up your marketing campaigns. YouTube also has new CTA text that runs over the videos to complete the conversion.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has many perks: it’s fast, easy and affordable. Email marketing is best known for building customer loyalty and generating sales. Use some type of email tracking program to identify how your email campaigns are performing. Examples include MailChimp, Constant Contact or GetResponse. To get the best results, grow your subscriber list using quizzes, polls, mini games and gated content.

There is no shortage of ways to advertise your brand. If you need help sorting through them or putting together an affordable yet effective advertising campaign, call WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737. We have options for all size budgets!


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