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What is Display Advertising and How to Use It

Display advertising, also commonly referred to as banner advertising, is the action of advertising online in the form of display ads. When users are searching, shopping, browsing, or interacting with the internet, they are also focusing on the images that appear along with their search. The process of internet search is highly visible, and because display advertisement highlights these ads during normal internet activity, it can be a very effective method of marketing.

What Does Display Advertising Mean?

The idea and goal behind display advertising are to capture the attention of the consumer when they are considering their purchase choices. Of course, display advertising can also be used to increase brand awareness when the customer is browsing the internet for information. By displaying ads across multiple platforms, display advertising can increase the recognition and awareness of your brand.

Display advertising is also referred to as banner advertising because it is often in the form of a banner that displays on top of the search results. Display advertising might also include rich media and other types of advertisements, though.

Done intentionally, display advertising can produce exceptional campaign results. Using tools like targeting interests and re-targeting, you can reach your potential customer at the ideal time.

Display advertising offers the following advantages:

  • Ability to target in detail: With the targeting tools available with display ads, you can reach the exact type of customer that is most likely to engage and convert with your brand. You can target potential customers by location, interests, topics, and even with geo-targeting.
  • High reach: Because billions of people use the internet daily, you have the opportunity to reach a large number of people and to convert them to customers.
  • High conversion rates: Because display advertising allows you to target the exact demographics of the customer you want to reach, you are more likely to notice a higher conversion rate with this form of internet marketing.
  • Ability to track success: In addition to the ability to target the exact customer who is most likely to interact with your brand, you can also take advantage of the many tools to track the success of your campaign. Using these tools, you can also make any necessary adjustments to increase the effectiveness of your ads and maximize conversions.
  • Flexible costs: Display advertising also allows you to be flexible with your marketing budget. With both cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions bidding (CPM), you can choose the cost method that works best for your brand.

Display advertising offers many advantages to brands of all sizes and types. With ample tools and targeting options available, display advertising is a great way to get your brand in front of a large number of customers.

How Does Display Advertising Work?

Display advertising will fall into the pay-per-click (PPC) type advertising. This means that brands will only pay when users click through the display ad. This is a preferred marketing method for many brands, especially ones with lower budgets.

With display advertising, banner ads are displayed to the customers who are most likely to engage with the brand. This is done through the use of cookies. Internet cookies are minimal pieces of data that are gathered from a website and then stored in the browser. This data ensures that each internet user receives an experience that is personalized to their interests and browsing history.

Internet cookies can track things on your banner ads like account logins, passwords, payment information, or buying preferences. They can reduce the time it takes to check out online or login to an account that you use frequently.

Internet cookies also have marketing value. They can track more than a user’s buying interests. Cookies can also track:

  • If a customer left a page without buying anything
  • If a customer added items to their cart without checking out
  • If a customer frequently orders a certain product
  • If a customer uses a certain device often

This collection of information is called behavioral targeting, and it can be used to understand the customer’s buying habits, as well as to re-target them. Some marketers will also use geo-targeting to target customers when they are in a location near a storefront. By tracking the user’s location in the background of a downloaded app, stores can also push coupons or incentives that encourage customers in a certain location to take action.

What are the Different Types of Display Advertising?

The marketing and targeting options available with display advertising are diverse. By understanding where you can run display ads and what types of ads you can create, you can establish a display advertising campaign that works best for your brand.

Display ads can run on different platforms, including:

  • Blogs
  • Google search sites (Google Shopping, Google Play)
  • News sites
  • Email accounts
  • Social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest)
  • YouTube
  • Websites
  • Smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop

With so many platform options available, it is easier than ever to reach your ideal customer with display ads. Just as display ads can display on different platforms, there are also different types of display ads that you can use. 

A few of the most common types of display banner ads include:

  • Static image banner ad: A static image banner ad is a static image. The static image banner ad is the most common form of display ads and includes text, an image, and a logo. While the images used in a static image banner ad should still be engaging and attention-grabbing, they are not rotating or animated.
  • Interstitial ads: Interstitial ads are a form of full-screen ad that is displayed before the user is taken to the actual web-page. Interstitial ads are often used in smartphone apps.
  • Rich media: Rich media ads are interactive. They might include videos, moving images, or other interactive features.
  • Video ads: Video ads use videos and are common on platforms like YouTube.
  • GIF: GIF ads feature moving graphics or images with a graphic interchange format (GIF) file.
  • HTML5: HTML5 ads have recently taken over flash-based ads and feature numerous moving parts. They are interactive and responsive, making them a preferred type.

You have many choices available when choosing the type of display ad to use. It is also important to note that some brands may benefit from multiple types of display ads. Some ads will resonate better with one type of consumer, whereas others work better with another customer.

How Much Does Display Advertising Work?

The extent to which your display advertising works will depend on many factors, including the design of your ads and the effectiveness of your content. Other factors can affect your success rates, like the quality of your landing page and the responsiveness of your web-page experience.

When compared to other types of marketing, display ads have great results. The average click-through rates for the most popular marketing platforms include:

  • Facebook: CTR of 0.051%
  • Google ads: 0.4%

When targeting effectively, this can mean a success rate that is up to 36 times higher than compared to social media. 

You can measure the success of your display ads with the following available metrics:

  • Reach: Reach refers to your potential audience with display advertising. This is the number of potential viewers who will view your ad.
  • Impressions: Impressions define the number of users who viewed the ad. This metric is often used when gauging brand awareness.
  • Click-through rate: This refers to the number of individuals who clicked through the ad. This is not necessarily a conversion. The click-through rate can dictate the effectiveness of an ad, but if the landing page or offer is not effective, it will usually not result in a conversion.
  • Conversions: Conversion refers to the success of the display campaign or the completion of a pre-set goal. This might include the completion of a purchase, the request for more information, the download of an e-book, or the payment of a monthly subscription service.

Paid search display advertising can work very well for certain brands that have pre-set goals and audiences and the ability to track their ad’s effectiveness.

Identifying Problems With an Ineffective Display Ad

In addition to measuring certain metrics for success, you can also evaluate certain metrics that can determine a problem with your display ad. If your display ad is not producing the results you had expected, then you might consider one of these measurements:

  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate refers to the number of website visitors who leave without interacting with other pages. Higher bounce rates mean that the consumer engaged with your display ad, but then didn’t follow through with the conversion. This often means an issue with your landing page or user experience.
  • Relevancy rating: Your relevancy score is calculated based on feedback from your target audience. The more relevant an ad is, the more likely the user will interact with it. Poor relevancy can lead to a high number of users visiting your site but then bouncing because the items or content they are presented with is not relevant to them.
  • Unclear call-to-action: Display ads that are not clear about the next steps to take are considered ineffective. Users are unlikely to click on an ad unless they know what to expect.
  • Design issues/poor user experience: Design issues refer to the quality of the landing page and the overall shopping experience. If an audience does not trust the website or it does not work properly, they are unlikely to go through with the conversion. Additionally, if they are not taken directly to the related page, they are unlikely to look further.

While issues with the landing page or user experience might not initially seem relevant to your display ad campaign, these issues can inhibit the overall buying cycle. Without an effective landing page and clear CTA, you could end up wasting valuable marketing dollars on your display ad marketing campaign.

In a time when users are used to viewing ads, it is important to be creative and direct to grab the attention of potential customers. Customers have gotten so used to banner ads that they have come to learn how to ignore them. There are even some programs that will block out ads altogether, which can reduce your reach and, ultimately, the success of your display ads.

What is Re-targeting in Marketing?

Re-targeting is the action of following a customer’s internet habits and displaying relevant ads across multiple platforms. If a customer interacts with your display ad in one way or another but does not convert, it is possible that they are not yet ready to buy. By retargeting them and showing them ads on other platforms, you can ensure that you are at the top of their mind when they are ready to buy.

Re-targeting is an especially powerful tool in the retail paid search industry. Many customers will essentially window shop, which means they may browse the items in an online store without taking action. They might even add items to their cart. Then, there are many reasons why they might not go through with the purchase. They might want to think about the purchase longer. They might want to shop around. They might be unsatisfied with the cost of delivery and shipping. It is also possible that they will just run out of time and forget to check out. By reminding them of their interests, you can increase the chance that they will return and complete the checkout process.

The great thing about re-targeting with paid search is that you can personalize how you re-target your potential customers. You might choose only to re-target customers who have added items to their cart, or you might re-target all customers who visit a certain page. By displaying them relevant items or offering a free shipping code, you can even encourage them to take action.

There are two types of re-targeting in marketing:

  • Standard re-targeting: Standard re-targeting will display ads to your audience based on certain sites they have visited or interacted with.
  • Dynamic re-targeting: Dynamic re-marketing display ads is a feature within Google Ads that allows you to display re-targeting ads with specific details about the product. This might include price, text, or even a reminder image of the item they were interested in. Dynamic re-targeting can be more complex but leads to more personalized user experience.

Dynamic Re-targeting Types

Brands have many options available when using dynamic re-targeting. Just a few of the available options include:

  • Buyer persona
  • Cycle in the buying funnel
  • Cross-channel
  • Previous buying habits

The most effective method is to consider where, in the buying process, your highest bounce rates occur. By understanding when and where customers abandon conversion, you can continue to remind them of your brand. By keeping your products top of mind, you not only encourage action, but you are also increasing your overall brand awareness.

What Makes an Effective Display Ad?

The display ads that are the most effective with the paid search are clear and relevant. They target the ideal customer when they are searching for a related topic or product.

The best and most effective display ads are:

  • Relevant: Customers are more likely to click on a display ad that is relevant to their current search. If they are looking for a local restaurant, they are more likely to click an ad of a restaurant rather than a site that offers recipes. In this example, the customer has already decided that they want to dine out, not cook. Another customer who is searching for a new pair of shoes is more likely to click on a display ad that markets a shoe retailer, not a show cleaning company.
  • Concise/simple: Customers today are provided with an overflow of information. Smartphone users are quickly scrolling through feeds and looking for answers in search as quickly as possible. This means that ads that are complex and difficult to read are unlikely to do well. The most effective ads are concise and simple. They are visually appealing and flow naturally, allowing the consumer to learn what the ad is marketing quickly.
  • Direct message: Just as an ad should be concise and simple, it should also be direct. Don’t make the customer guess what you are trying to offer or sell.
  • Recognizable: With just a few seconds to capture the attention of the customer, it is also important that your display ads are recognizable. In addition to getting your message out quickly, it should also be easy to recognize your brand. Brand consistency and a clear logo are important too.
  • Quality of the ad: The visual quality of the ad can also affect its effectiveness. Following Google’s recommended sizing guide can ensure that your ads display properly, depending on the type of device the customer is using. You will also want to follow Google’s accepted image formats.
  • Landing page: The landing page is also important to consider. While the quality of the landing page might not directly affect the number of users who interact with your display ad, it can decrease the number of conversions.
  • Carefully targeted: Display ads cannot be effective if they do not reach the right audience. Targeting is an important feature that it deserves its section below.

Consider the types of ads that grab your attention. Ads with too much text or poor quality images are unlikely to encourage action. The goal of display ads is to grab the attention of your potential customers as quickly as possible.

How to Target Your Display Ads

Targeting with display ads allows you to reach your ideal customer when they are most likely to buy. Fortunately, there is a large list of targeting tools available that will allow you to reach your ideal customer.

Just a few of these targeting perimeters include:

  • Keywords: Keywords are important not only when optimizing your page for search, but also when running display ads. It is important to match your ad’s keywords with the keywords that customers are using when searching. This allows the right ads to be displayed next to the right search criteria.
  • Placement: Where your ads are placed can also make a big difference in the success rates of your campaign. Brands that promote a product versus a service will have significantly different success rates based on the placement of their ads. With a product, it makes the most sense to display it on sites that sell other products. With a service, it makes the most sense to display it on other service-based websites.
  • Interest: Understanding the interests of your ideal customer will also help you run successful display ads.
  • Targeting exclusions: Depending on your brand and goals, targeting exclusions may also be useful to your display campaign. This is a tool that is used to block your display ads on certain websites. Similar to how negative keywords work with Google Ads, targeting exclusions tells the ads when not to display. If you are trying to sell college textbooks, you don’t necessarily want your display ads to run when a user searches for fiction books. If you want to run ads for a desktop computer repair service, you might not want to reach customers who are shopping for a new desktop computer.

By carefully establishing your targeting perimeters, you can maximize your display ad budget and reach the audience on the display network that is most likely to complete a purchase with your brand.

When to Use Targeting Exclusions

Targeting exclusions also allow you to exclude certain websites and devices. You might wonder why you would ever want to exclude your ads from any customers. The goal of digital marketing and display ads on the display network, in particular, is to place your ads in front of the audience who are more likely to not only interact with them but also convert. This means that you don’t want your ads running on every website.

If you are a local-based business, it might not make sense to show your display ads to customers in another city or state. If you are primarily in the wedding business, you might not want your ads to display on the network to individuals who are recently divorced. Without carefully targeting the most relevant locations and interests, your conversion rates will be higher, and you will pay more per click. Chances are, you will also notice an increase in bounce rates as customers find that your brand is irrelevant to their needs.

Using Real-Time Bidding to Increase Effectiveness

Some marketing professionals will also choose to utilize real-time bidding to increase the effectiveness of their display ads. Real-time bidding allows your ad to be shown to the most relevant consumer. The system actively analyzes the demographics of the consumer and decides in time to display the ad with search results on the display network. With real-time bidding, the ads are displayed per impressions using programmatic auctions. Setting up a campaign that uses real-time bidding can require a lot of planning and preparation, but can be beneficial to some brands.

Using Frequency Capping to Increase Effectiveness

Frequency capping is another tool that can be used to increase the effectiveness of your display ad budget. Frequency capping is the ability to restrict the number of times that an individual views an ad. This ensures that the same consumers are not getting the ad over and over again.

Important Components of a Display Ad

A display ad is made up of the following:

  • Headline: The headline is the first thing the customer will notice on the display ad. Headlines should be short and concise, with no more than 30 characters. Some display ads will also have a sub-headline, which is located underneath the headline and offers additional information about the product or service.
  • Text: Use the text in your display ad to provide more information to consumers. Use this area to guide them in determining whether or not your product or service is beneficial to them. This is a great location to highlight any impressive features or product offers.
  • Image: Whether you use an image, video, or other types of display ad, make sure it is relevant to your brand and offer.
  • Call-to-action: Conclude your display ad with a strong call-to-action. Tell the customer exactly what they should do and when they should do it.

Marketers can also get creative to make their ad stand out. You might create advertisements that use images or videos. You can also test out different call-to-actions to determine which one works best with your targeted audience.

Creating an Effective Landing Page

We briefly discussed landing pages and their importance in reducing bounce rates when running display ads. The landing page is one of the most overlooked forms of marketing. Marketers can put all of your efforts into creating an effective display ad that has a great offer, but without an effective landing page, you won’t be able to maximize your results.

The best landing pages are:

  • User-friendly: Landing pages should be direct and simple to use. Customers don’t want to go through multiple steps to accept an offer or make a purchase.
  • Relevant: Your landing page should never be your home page. Sending traffic to your home page does not provide customers with the information or products they want — instead, direct customers from your display ad to a relevant landing page. If you are selling an item, then the link should take customers directly to the page where they can buy that item. If you do not currently have a relevant page, then it might be useful to create a landing page specifically for your current offer.
  • Consistent: In addition to relevancy, your landing page should also be consistent. It should use the same language and keywords that were used in the display ad.
  • Secure: If your landing page requests customer contact or payment information, be sure that it is secure.

Take advantage of the landing page as one of the tools that you can use to maximize the success of your display ad campaign.

Testing the Effectiveness of Your Landing Pages

How can you know if your landing page is effective? 

You can use the following methods to test the effectiveness of your landing pages:

  • Evaluating your bounce rate: While a higher bounce rate does not necessarily indicate the problem is with the landing page, it is worth evaluating.
  • Split testing: Split A-B testing is a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of your landing page. By trying out two different types of landing pages, you can determine which one encourages your customers to interact the most.
  • Quality rating: Evaluating your quality rating can help you understand how relevant your ads are.
  • Try them: One of the best, and easiest, ways to determine the effectiveness of your loading pages is to try them out yourself.

Always test your landing pages before making them public and connecting them to your ads.

Creating a Sales Funnel That Works

The best marketing campaigns are planned. They are integrated into the sales funnel in an efficient and carefully planned method. 

Let’s first review the typical sales funnel and then determine where your display ads will fit into it.

  • Brand awareness: The first step in the sales funnel is to build brand awareness. At this cycle, the customer may not be ready to make a buying decision. However, by informing and educating them about the brand, you will hopefully become an option when they are ready to buy.
  • Brand recall: Brand recall occurs when an audience can recall the brand. Once they reach this cycle, they are likely to consider your brand when they are ready to buy.
  • Consideration: During the consideration cycle, the buyer is considering each of their options.
  • Conversion: During conversion, the buyer is ready to make a decision.
  • Loyalty: If the customer is satisfied with their experience and purchase, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.

Display ads can reach multiple parts of the funnel. You can use them to promote brand awareness and brand recall. Then, search ads come into play as the customer considers and eventually converts. Display ads are a powerful tool that marketers can use to increase brand awareness and conversion rates.

What is Cross-Channel Advertising and Why is It So Difficult?

Digital marketing, including social media and content, tends to get the majority of attention in the marketing industry today. Marketing experts are constantly arguing over the effectiveness of Facebook versus Google ads, which website platform is ideal, whether or not marketing via text is useful, and how to format content for the best SEO results.

But, the one thing that many fail to consider is the power of cross-channel marketing. Cross-channel marketing not only gives you the chance to reach a larger number of customers, but it also allows you to reach customers who are on multiple channels.

Think about your research and buying habits. When you interact with Facebook, is that the only program that you have open, or do you also have your favorite internet browser open? When watching TV, do you ignore your smartphone? Do you ever communicate about your favorite TV shows or commercials on your favorite social media accounts? When shopping, do you open a new website to ask for recommendations or to consider reviews?

Each of these examples demonstrates the importance and power of cross-channel marketing.

What is Cross-Channel Marketing?

Cross or multi-channel marketing is the idea that you must use multiple channels to effectively reach consumers. Even if you have had great results with Google Ads, you are missing out on an entire group of potential customers by not taking advantage of SMS marketing. Storefront businesses might find that direct mailers bring in the most traffic, but could be missing out on a significant source of customers by not using digital in any way.

Cross marketing generally includes three or more marketing platforms. While many brands may consider marketing on multiple digital marketing channels to be considered cross-marketing, it also includes non-digital platforms.

Benefits of Cross Marketing

Your consumers of today are more distracted than ever before. Consumers no longer focus on just one channel at one time. This means that if you want to stand out and get the attention of the customer, you need to be present on multiple channels. In addition to the ability to increase awareness, there are many benefits of cross-marketing, which include:

  • More customers: When you focus on just one platform, you are limiting the number of potential customers you can reach. Multiple platforms and channels mean more brand awareness, which can translate to more customers. You can also reach a larger number of customers of a specific demographic.
  • Consumers can choose the brand they use most: While many customers are present on multiple channels, most have their preferred destination. When your business is also present on multiple channels, it allows customers to interact with the brand using the channel they use most frequently.
  • Multiple platforms that encourage engagement: The digital world has made it possible for consumers and brands to communicate. If a customer has a question about a product, they can find an answer in minutes. Implementing multiple channels within your marketing campaign means your customers or potential customers have more opportunities to engage and interact with you.
  • Ability to develop a brand voice/trust: Developing a brand voice is crucial in today’s crowded digital world. Customers have more choices than ever before and are more likely to interact with the brands that most closely align with their values and thoughts. Multi-channel marketing allows brands to develop a brand voice that is consistent while also earning the trust of their customers.
  • Ability to take advantage of channel tools: As each marketing channel attempts to win over more of the marketing world, they will continue to introduce new tools. These analytical and creative tools assist marketers and businesses in better understanding their customer data while also allowing them to reach a larger customer base. When you choose a multi-channel marketing campaign, you are not limited to the tools of a few channels.
  • More available data tools: Multi-channel marketing also allows you to learn more about your customers’ buying and searching habits. When you focus on just one platform, your data is limited to the activities they take when frequenting that channel. The best way to get a conclusive view of your customers is to consider data from multiple channels.

By taking advantage of each of these different channels, you can maximize your marketing budget and reach your ideal customers at a lower dollar amount.

Difficulties of Cross Marketing

If cross-channel marketing were easy, everyone would do it. While multi-channel marketing offers many advantages to brands, it is also important to be aware of the challenges.

A few difficulties of cross-channel marketing include:

  • Time-consuming: Imagine the amount of labor and planning that goes into the marketing campaign for just one channel. Once you have two or three more channels, the process can get very time-consuming. Smaller to intermediate-sized brands that do not have as much manpower or marketing resources may find it difficult to meet these time constraints.
  • Larger budget: Multi-channel marketing also often requires a larger budget. In addition to the need for testing to understand better which channels should be focused on, there are also costs of different creatives and account management to consider.
  • A large amount of data: Once you branch out to include other channels in your marketing campaign, you will notice an increase in data. While many of these reports are automated, it still takes an analytical review to evaluate and determine the meaning of the data. A large amount of data can easily become overwhelming to smaller marketing departments.
  • Technology challenges: Technology has come a long way since brands first began marketing digitally. That doesn’t mean that digital marketing is without its challenges today. Multi-channel marketing often requires dedicated technology professionals who can integrate and streamline the marketing process.

Multi-channel marketing is not without its challenges, but with the right amount of planning and organization, it can truly pay off. Programmatic advertising is an automated process of buying and selling ads across multiple channels, which can ease some of the difficulties that come with cross-channel marketing. Programmatic advertising can make it more affordable and less time-consuming.

What is a Cross Channel Consumer?

The cross channel consumer is different than the consumer who spends the majority of their time on just one platform. The cross channel consumer is adept with technology and easily transitions from TV to smartphone and then to their laptop and tablet. Many cross channel consumers will interact with multiple channels at one time. This cross channel behavior presents an opportunity for brands to reach consumers at each level of the buying cycle, making their presence known from initial interest until the completion of the purchase.

Cross channel marketing also allows you to develop brand authority. The more locations that potential customers can identify and interact with your brand, the more they are willing to trust you. As more brands shift to a focus on the consumer experience rather than selling products or services, cross-channel marketing will become even more important. The best way to follow the customer through the buying cycle while also meeting all of their needs is with multi-channel marketing.

Difference Between Multi-channel and Integrated Marketing

Although there are many similarities between multi-channel and integrated marketing, they are not the same thing. Integrated marketing is the action of displaying the same message to consumers across different platforms. The message is consistent and serves a purpose to reach a specific goal.

With multi-channel marketing, brands are displaying multiple messages across multiple channels. The biggest difference is the ability to adjust your message based on the consumer and their current action. The message given to consumers through TV may differ from the message given through the radio. That is because consumers are participating in different things when interacting with each channel.

A consumer who is watching TV is likely at home relaxing. They are not thinking about work or responsibilities at the time. A consumer who is listening to the radio is likely driving. They may be sitting in traffic or commuting to home after their workday. Brands that can adjust their message based on the specific channel have a better time at connecting personally with the customer and meeting their needs.

What is a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign?

A multi-channel marketing campaign directs and adjusts the brand message to the consumer based on their current needs. The specifics of the multi-channel marketing campaign will vary depending on the brand and the goals of the campaign.

Just a few channels that you might choose to focus on include:

  • Content marketing
  • Facebook ads
  • Twitter ads
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Direct mailer
  • Website
  • PPC
  • TV
  • Radio

A multi-channel marketing campaign combines multiple channels into one campaign. The specific channels depend on the goals of the brand and where the brand’s ideal customer is most often.

How Does the Audience Change Over Different Channels?

Each marketing channel offers a unique type o customer. Even consumers who frequent more than one channel might act differently on one than when on another one.

Common characteristics of each listed channel include:

  • Content marketing: Content marketing is often used as a long-term marketing strategy. By implementing keywords into useful blogs and articles, brands can develop trust and become an authoritative source in their industry. Individuals who read and interact with a brand’s content are often tech-savvy and looking for answers. These consumers want to do their own research to guide them in making a buying decision.
  • Facebook ads: With over one billion active users on Facebook, it is a great way to reach customers. Facebook users tend to be diverse, with the majority of users social media savvy. They enjoy communicating with friends and sharing images with their feeds. With such a diverse population of Facebook users, Facebook also offers the ability to customize ads based on things like personal interests, location, career, and even buying habits.
  • Twitter ads: The Twitter audience is social and enjoys staying up to date on the latest trends and news. Brands can use Twitter to increase interest in upcoming products or launches.
  • LinkedIn ads: LinkedIn is considered a professional social media platform, making it a great location for brands who want to reach other business professionals. LinkedIn users are professional and focused on products and services that will improve their knowledge or also their careers.
  • Direct mailer: Digital marketing is not the only way to reach customers today. Direct mailers are a great way to reach customers in your direct area. Even larger brands that sell products can grab the attention of consumers through direct mailers during a time when the majority of brands are focusing entirely on digital.
  • Website: Many experts would agree that a website is a requirement in today’s digital world. Many of the other digital channels, including ads and social media, work toward directing traffic to the brand’s website. The consumers that click through to the website are more likely to convert.
  • PPC: Similar to Facebook marketing, PPC can reach a diverse population of individuals. The ability to target keywords and users during different buying cycles is a powerful marketing tool.
  • TV: While TV might have changed significantly over the years, it is still an important part of people’s routines. Streaming services have taken over cable programming, making it more difficult for consumers to view ads. The ads displayed, however, tend to be more memorable.
  • Radio: Radio consumers tend to be active when interacting with this channel. They might be driving to work, cleaning their house, running errands, or enjoying fun with friends.

As you can see, different marketing channels allow you to reach different types of consumers while they are doing different activities. Creating a multi-channel marketing campaign requires that you consider the message and demographics that you want to reach with each type of channel.

What Channels Should I Focus On?

With so many marketing options available, it can be difficult to choose the best ones to include in your marketing campaign. There isn’t one channel that is preferred among all brands. Instead, it is important to understand your business and your ideal customer.

Consider the following when deciding which channels to use in your multi-channel marketing campaign:

  • Determine your ideal customer: Determining your ideal customer using buyer personas is an important exercise to take before marketing on any channel. Consider the most important demographics of your target customer, including age, location, interests, and challenges.
  • Decide where your ideal customer is: Once you have a good idea of who your target customer is with a buyer persona, it is important to understand their buying habits. Do they ask friends and family for recommendations first? Do they frequent social media interacting with brands to gauge trust and loyalty? Consider where your target customer is most likely to spend their time. In a multi-channel marketing campaign, this will include multiple channels.
  • Create different marketing campaign: Now is the time to branch out and determine which creatives, call to actions, and a copy will best reach your target audience where they are.

Many brands will have multiple customer types. For example, if you sell multiple items, you might find that one item resonates best with one type of customer, and another item is better suited to another. In this case, you might need to create multiple customer platforms and go through each of these steps to create an all-inclusive multi-channel marketing campaign.

What Channels Work Well Together?

In addition to determining the best marketing platform for your business, it is also important to consider which channels will work well together. The ideal marketing campaign will complement each channel, encouraging the customer to move from interest to converted customer.

Here are a few examples of channels that may work well together for your brand:

  • Computer/ smartphone: While the computer and smartphones of today tend to have the same features, individuals often to use their laptops and desktops for work and study purposes. This means that coming across an advertisement while browsing on the computer might not necessarily encourage them to convert yet. However, if you then follow the user to their smartphone when they have shifted to personal use, they may be ready to convert now. Additionally, with things like PPC extensions, you can encourage users to visit your website or place a phone call, right from their smartphone.
  • Email/ PPC: Email and PPC channels also complement each other. Noticing a quick brand ad in your email or with an ad displayed on your search may not be strong enough to encourage the consumer to take action. However, multiple channels can encourage them to remember your brand when they are ready to buy.
  • TV/ smartphone: Many individuals use their smartphones while also watching TV. Cross-channel marketing across these two channels allows brands to increase brand awareness while also developing hype. A great example of this is when TV shows create a hashtag that allows viewers to interact with other viewers while using their smartphone or laptop.
  • Direct mail/ smartphone: Even traditional types of marketing, like direct mailers, are beginning to integrate more with modern types of marketing. If you look at direct mailers, you will notice that many of them have social media tags or the ability to scan to visit the page directly. Others have the URL of the social media account of the business listed.

You will find that smartphones pair well with most forms of cross-channel marketing today. This is due mostly to the fact that the majority of Americans have access to a smartphone and spend hours each day interacting with it. Even brands with a physical storefront and minimal digital presence can find success in multi-channel marketing.

The Importance of Testing When Running a Cross-Marketing Campaign

Testing is important regardless of which type of marketing you choose for your brand. However, it may be even more important when running a cross-marketing campaign.

A few ways that you can test the effectiveness of your multi-channel marketing campaign include:

  • Set control groups: By setting control groups, you can determine which groups have the best conversion rates and find which channels should make up your marketing campaign.
  • Compare individual success rates to cross-channel: Comparing conversion rates across individual channels and then multi-channels will help you determine the effectiveness of your campaign.
  • Integrate your campaigns: When you integrate your multiple channels, you can learn more about your customer’s buying habits.
  • Dive deep into the data: Diving deep into the data offered with each type of channel will give you information into the buying habits of your current and potential customers.

The most successful cross-channel marketing campaigns are frequently tested. You may need to update ads and make adjustments throughout the entire campaign.

The Effectiveness of Re-targeting When Marketing Across Channels

Re-targeting is a very useful tool that allows you to not only know where your targeted consumer is spending their time but also gives you the ability to reach them there. Using cookies, you can follow your ideal consumer through each part of the buying cycle. By continuing to show them ads wherever they are, you remind them of your brand. You can begin to develop brand awareness and trust, increasing the chances that the customer will choose you when they are ready to buy.

Cross-Channel Software to Integrate Your Marketing Campaign

Multi-channel marketing can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many software programs that you can use to integrate and ease the process. These programs allow you to track ads across different channels, giving you a clear and concise understanding of the performance of each one. 

A few top ones include:

  • Basis by Centro: This comprehensive tool allows you to automate your digital marketing campaign across multiple channels. Marketers can use the program to plan, buy, and even evaluate the data of certain campaigns. The system also allows you to set and track workflow from the initial project to its completion.
  • Criteo: Criteo is a great tool for brands that want to focus on retargeting marketing. This program focuses on the retail industry, allowing businesses to track buyer’s interests and products they have interacted with and then display them in other channels.
  • AdRoll: AdRoll is another one that focuses on digital marketing channels. The comprehensive program not only personalizes experiences across multiple channels but also assists brands in determining who their ideal audience is.
  • Celtra: If your brand focuses on creative advertisements, Celtra software allows you to work closely with other team members to create dramatic campaigns across multiple channels.

It is important to determine the needs of your marketing campaign and then choose a program that offers tools and data to assist with that goal. There are many programs out there, and one is not necessarily better than another. Depending on your campaign, it might make sense to use multiple.

Multi-channel marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. By truly understanding your targeted customer, where they frequent, what their buying habits are, and how they interact with brands, you can significantly increase your campaign success. While you may need to get creative, developing a multi-channel marketing campaign can be very rewarding.

Top Affiliate Programs To Successfully Earn Income

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the process of you earning a commission as a result of you promoting a product to your audience on your niche site or social media platform. Your audience clicks on the affiliate link to the products or services you are promoting, and when they purchase the products or services, you earn a commission. It is passive income, where you can essentially make money in your sleep. Your commission is usually a percentage of the amount that was bought, with commission rates anywhere from 5% to 30% of the company profit and revenue brought in by you through affiliate marketing. 

While it may seem daunting at first to not only promote someone else’s product on your social media platform or site but also to seek out and sift through different affiliate programs until you find one that fits you and your niche, there is no need to fret. There are many different options for you to find ideal affiliate programs that work for you and what you want to stand for and promote, as well as earn you a decent amount of money through commission.

How Do I Become An Affiliate Marketer?

Anyone can join an affiliate program and promote a product. The key to being successful at it is to find a product or service that you are passionate about and naturally want to tell others all about. This will make it easier to promote something if you believe in it yourself. An affiliate marketer is most often a blogger or someone with a social media platform that is in a similar niche to the products or services you are promoting and want people to buy through your referral affiliate link. You don’t want to be promoting a makeup product if your site is focused on workout routines and weight loss since your audience is less likely to find it relevant than if your site focused on makeup, beauty, and fashion. When people buy something based on your recommendation of a company’s products, you get paid from the resulting sales. So, it is vital that your referral is relevant to your audience and the niche focus of your site or social media platform.

There are several different ways to find affiliate programs that match what your audience is looking for when they visit your site or social media platform. One of the ways that you can find affiliate partners that not only have high paying commission but are relevant to you and your audience and visitors is to go to one of the search engines on your computer and do a search. It can be as simple as “insert product’s name here” affiliate programs. Then, you can sign up for their affiliate program, and they will send you a unique affiliate link that allows the company you are affiliate partners with to keep track of any customers or foot traffic that click on your link so you can get paid from the resulting sales.

If you are worried about sifting through various affiliate partners to find one that is the perfect fit, Innovation Exchange has an excellent list of affiliate programs you can join to jump-start you building your affiliate marketing network and earning a decent amount of money through commission.

Top 5 Affiliate Programs

To help you get started on your affiliate marketing journey, here are a few of the top affiliate marketing partner programs to help you successfully earn money and get paid passive income.

HostPapa: The HostPapa Affiliate program is highly recognized and respected in the web hosting world. It is very simple and easy to navigate, which makes it ideal for beginners who are just getting their feet wet in the realm of affiliate marketing with affiliate programs. HostPapa is America’s #1 Web Host, with over 500,000 websites hosted. The goal of HostPapa is for its affiliate partners to earn a large commission. Their most successful affiliates earn over $10,000 a month. Not bad for a job you do part-time on the side, am I right? HostPapa also has an excellent customer service team that is available 24/7 to help you boost your customer retention rate and increase traffic to your site, as well as answer any questions you may have. 

By signing up with HostPapa as your web hosting affiliate, you will have access to real-time reporting and statistics, download a personalized tracking code for your affiliate link, manage multiple referral campaigns, and track your commission. They also have free domain transferring services available, if you already have a personal domain name, and offer free website migration, along with hundreds of mobile-friendly templates to help improve the aesthetics of your site and help customers to stay on your site and increase customer retention rates. HostPapa is a solid choice for anyone that is looking for a reliable and helpful affiliate partnership and increasing the commission you get through sales.

BlueHost: BlueHost is an excellent paying affiliate if you want to promote products and services without a lot of pressure. BlueHost is an excellent site that gives you a free domain name for the 1st year, 1-Click WordPress Install, and 24/7 customer service support to help you at a very affordable rate of only $3.95 a month. It is a wonderful thing to promote to your audience, regardless of your niche, since it gives them the ability to build sites of their own. The way that BlueHost affiliate WordPress hosting works is you promote BlueHost with customized banners and links throughout your posts and on your page. For every customer that clicks on your unique affiliate link and signs up for their services, you get paid $65. BlueHost offers a wide range of WordPress themes and creative banners and ads that you can pick and choose from to find one that complements your site’s aesthetics and feel. There is also no cap on the amount of commission you can earn based on the sales from your referrals and ads. The more you promote, the more money you can get paid.

HostGator: HostGator is one of several great affiliate programs that focus on affiliate marketing through promoting websites and domain names. There is no referral fee for you to sign up, and you can earn up to $125 each time someone signs up for HostGator’s web hosting services through your unique link or code. With HostGator, their affiliate payments are on a tiered scale, so the more you refer, and the more people sign up, the more you get paid for each signup. For example, for the first 1-5 customers in a month that sign up from the pool of your site’s visitors, you get paid $65 per signup. Once you reach 6-10 monthly customers, you get paid $75 per signup. Your commission can increase to when you get 21+ customers in a month, and you get paid $125 per subscription. So, the more people that sign up through your affiliate link, the more you get paid from the resulting sales.

GoDaddy: GoDaddy is another great web hosting affiliate program where anytime visitors click on your affiliate link or customized banner or ad for their web domain services, you earn a commission based off on your referral. You choose from their over 100 banner ads and text links to find one that fits the look of your site, copy and paste the affiliate code the GoDaddy will provide you, and presto chango, you are ready to earn commission through affiliate marketing. It is as simple as that to get started with affiliate platforms.

DreamHost: DreamHost has been around for over twenty years now. They have helped bloggers, web designers, and entrepreneurs all around the world to have a greater presence on the Internet through their web hosting capabilities and services. They have over 400,000 customers and 1.5 million hosted websites. With many affiliate platforms to choose from, DreamHost is an excellent choice to become affiliate partners with due to their high commission for up to $200 per referral that signs up for their products and services, as well as DreamHost’s easy to use dashboard. DreamHost has many ready-to-use creative banners and ads to attract visitors and your audience to click on your affiliate link, which helps to increase the retention rate of your potential customers since your site looks pleasing to the eye, which in turn helps boost your sales and resulting commission. DreamHost also has a capability of easy sharing across various social media platforms and gives you a comprehensive report of your progress for that month, as well as secure payments that are made through PayPal on time, every time, so you aren’t caught waiting to get paid your commission.

Choose What Is Best For You

As you can see, there are plenty of marketing options out there, depending on how you want to accomplish your affiliate marketing by using affiliate programs. From individualized affiliate programs for specific products or services you want to promote that fit your niche site or social media platform, to generalized web hosting affiliate platforms that can be promoted on any site, there is something for everyone. The trick is to find one or several options that work for you and run with it. Don’t wait for the perfect time or when life gets less busy to start your affiliate marketing journey. Start now and see how much passive income you can earn through you referring someone else’s products and services and watch the commissions start to pour in.

How To Write Good Affiliate Marketing Content

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

You may have heard the term “affiliate marketing” once or twice, but are not sure what it means, let alone if it is something that you want to do yourself. Frankly, the words “affiliate marketing” may sound confusing and or intimidating. Rest assured, this IS something that you can do, and even excel at. Being an affiliate marketer is where you are making money in your sleep, through the form of passive income. Affiliate Marketing is the process of making money or commission every time you promote someone else’s product, and your audience buys something based on your referral. When you are recommending a company’s product to your followers, and they end up buying, based on your recommendation and affiliate marketing strategies, then you get paid off of that and earn a commission. 

How Do I Become An Affiliate Marketer?

Anyone who has a passion for something and loves telling other people about it can join the ranks of affiliate marketers and become a social media influencer. An affiliate marketer is simply a fancy way to technically describe a social media influencer, who loves a niche product, tells her audience about it, encourages them to buy it, and gets paid based on the resulting affiliate sales. To become affiliate partners with someone or a company through an affiliate marketing program, you first want to find a product that fits into your niche and intended target audience. 

To become an affiliate marketer, you will want to sign up for an affiliate marketing program. Innovation Exchange has a great list of different affiliate marketing programs you can join to create content that is fun and engaging to your niche audience and generate sales for the company, which in turn, you earn commission on. The business you are partnering with will then send you an affiliate link with a specific code that you will share with your audience when you promote the product. When your followers click on the affiliate link and either buy or sign up for a trial for services, then you, as the affiliate marketer, get paid and earn a commission off of it. Your commission is often based on the conversion rates of how many sales your affiliate link generated, versus how many times the link was viewed without anyone buying anything. Commissions are anywhere from 5% to 30%, based on the affiliate marketing business and marketing program you are signed up with.

What Different Kinds of Affiliate Marketing Content Are There?

There are several different ways you can easily share affiliate marketing content on your blog or social media platform and not feel like a salesperson or telemarketer. You can create content either with the written word or via videos or tutorials through blog posts or as a social media influencer while earning a commission at the same time you are having fun and sharing your passion with others. You have to come up with a marketing strategy and a process you will want to follow to be successful in your affiliate marketing business, while not driving away your audience and friends through being too much like a salesperson. Innovation Exchange has an excellent guide with 10 steps to doing successful affiliate marketing through your blog or social media platform, and doing it without driving away your audience because you are trying to shove a product or service down their throat all of the time. There is an art to creating content that your viewers will love. Here are some of the different ways you can with ease post about various types of content without becoming boring or obnoxiously pushy. 

Seasonal Blog Articles: They are two different types of seasonal blog articles, time-based and event-based. This kind of content is successful with both businesses and affiliate marketers. Time-based posts will revolve around the season, such as promoting snow-related things in the winter, and summer activities or products in the summer. Event-based posts target major holidays like Halloween or Christmas and promote assorted paraphernalia that fits with the holiday. Bringing in holiday buzz keywords will help your blog posts to come up more easily in search engines.

Evergreen Blog Articles: With these types of articles, the content remains consistent and relevant with time. It is never-changing, but it is evergreen, no pun intended. These articles tend to target a particular niche and serve their needs. An example that comes to mind is a diet or exercise blog, where you become an affiliate marketer and promote special foods, cookbooks, and recipes, or exercise programs to your audience, and you earn affiliate commissions based on people clicking your affiliate link or buying the product.

Roundup Posts: These kinds of influencer marketing mashup posts are excellent for bringing a lot of traffic to your site and your partner’s affiliate sites. It is when you compile the best of the best products for specific types of customers and promote them all at once. For example, in a beauty and makeup blog, you could promote makeup products, as well as hair products and hair accessories, and tie them all together in a package and show how beneficial the items would be and how they all would complement one another if your audience bought all of them.

Email Mini-Courses: You can be a part of email marketing by offering mini-courses to your audience via email. These courses typically take the form of lessons through a series of automatically generated emails. You will want to make sure an instructional emailed mini-course is relevant to your brand name and the product you want to promote, such as a baker emailing her audience recipes and cooking tutorials, and then having an affiliate link for a cookbook or kitchen supplies.

Best of Posts: This type of affiliate marketing is done after you have already built up an audience and have multiple posts with affiliate links attached. Bloggers and content creators typically do this at the end of the year, or at an important anniversary for you and your followers, such as the 1-year mark since the blog or social media platform was created. It is a summary and collection of the best or most popular of your articles from the past, and help re-direct your present traffic back to old forgotten articles, as well as create SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value for you and your site through the content you created, as well as any ads that are attached. It also draws the attention of new followers to posts they may not have seen before, thus creating even more traffic and chances for people to click your affiliate link and buy the company’s products or sign up for their services.

Product Reviews: Product reviews should be concise, honest, balanced, and to the point, otherwise you risk boring your followers and sounds like a salesperson. You could even include a brief comparison of two or more similar products, so your audience can see how the product you are promoting is the best of the best and why they should buy it. A short, colorful infographic may even be helpful in grabbing the attention of old and new eyes and encouraging people to stay on your site longer and listen to what you have to say.

Tricks for Creating Exciting And Relevant Content As An Affiliate Marketer

Content marketers have a tough job if you don’t know what you are doing. It would be best if you were current in affiliate marketing trends so you can bring in revenue for you and your family, as well as create exciting content that will draw the attention of your followers, in addition to convincing them to buy the product you are promoting. It is no easy task, but if you take it one step at a time, you will find that it is a very enjoyable process, and you can earn some nice passive income while you are at it. We’ve already explored the different types of articles or posts you are writing, now let’s delve into a winning strategy for how we can keep our readers engaged and better yet, get them to buy what we are promoting.

Know Your Target Audience: No matter what kind of article or post you are writing, be it an evergreen kind of article or a product review, you need to be sure you understand who your followers are. You don’t want to be promoting a bodybuilder drink, while your niche site is focused on hair and beauty tips.

Strive For Amazing Content Creation: In your posts, you don’t want to ramble on and on. Get to the point and make sure to use high-traffic keywords, or long-tail keywords (specific phrases that get searched for less often but have a higher conversion rate) so your post will pop up easier and closer to the top in search engines. You can use Google Analytics to give you a better idea of what words to use and pepper your post with.

Choose Products to Promote That Fit You Niche: Be very choosy in what products you promote and make sure it will be relevant for your intended audience. Then, do a product review type of post or a comparison of several different items to show how much you love a particular product or service and why your audience should too.

Use Eye-Popping Images and Heading to Draw Attention: Use images sparingly. Choose a relevant picture that will draw the attention of your followers and make them want to stop scrolling and listen to what you have to say. Use an image to break up content, so it does not look so long. In addition, with the actual words you write, make sure you are using smaller paragraphs, subheadings for a new idea, and bullet point statements for lists. It is much easier on the eyes when you break up your content in ways that are easier to read quickly and skim. Chances are higher if something catches a person’s eye when they are skimming that they will read the entire article, than if all the person sees is one giant wall of text.

Where To Go From Here

So, there you have it, the key to successful affiliate marketing and how to write good affiliate marketing content. The rest is up to you. So, find something you love and want to talk about a lot and share with others, partner with an affiliate marketing business, write fun and relevant content for your audience to encourage them to buy and watch the commissions start to grow. The first step to success starts today, with you. You have the tools, what are you going to go out and do with it?

Creative Fatigue in Advertising: How Often Should I Update Campaign Creatives?

Digital marketing provides you with all the tools you need to run creative advertisements that attract impressions and conversions. With features like targeting and scheduling, you can easily reach the exact customer that is most likely to interact or convert with your brand.

But, that doesn’t mean that you should set up your digital ads, determine your budget, find an ad that works, and then forget about it until you run out of money. Just because an ad works initially does not mean that it will continue to provide you with the same results. Most ads will not continue to produce the same results. Eventually, your audience will tire of the creatives, and it will lose its effectiveness.

Ad Fatigue in Digital Advertising Campaigns

You spend hours determining the best creatives and call to actions to use with your targeted audience. With exceptional click-through rates and brand exposure, you find that the research and creative process has paid off. Your ideal customers are viewing your brand, and much of your audience converts to a sale.

However, after a few months, you identify a decrease in ad results. Eventually, you can expect the success rates to decline as the same audience views the same ads over and over again. Over time, the images won’t be as effective at grabbing their attention, and the call-to-action won’t encourage them as strongly to take action. Eventually, the creatives you worked so long to create will just become a part of their background.

Ad fatigue is a common occurrence when running social media ads. Whether you are a multi-million dollar business with hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend in ads each year or you are a small storefront with just a couple hundred dollars, you will be subject to ad fatigue.

How to Identify Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue is common, and chances are, all ads will eventually notice a decrease in numbers. This means that it is important to continue updating and refreshing your business ads. But, how can you determine a drop in audience results is due to ad fatigue?

There are many factors to consider when determining the potential for ad fatigue:

Key Performance Indicators

Without first understanding what your marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPI)s are, it is almost impossible to determine if your ads are experiencing ad fatigue. Before spending anything on social media ads, one of the most important steps to take is to determine the goals of your campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to increase the number of customers who come to your website and make an appointment? 

Once you have determined what your campaign goals are, it is important to determine precisely how you will measure success. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might pay attention to impression rates. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website to take a specific action, then you might measure the number of social media users who click through and then complete a contact us form. Listing your campaign goals and KPIs can help you determine when your ads are less than effective.

Calculate Your ROAS

Marketing professionals are concerned with each campaign’s return on ad spend (ROAS). This number is compiled by dividing the revenue from a specific advertisement campaign by the dollars spent. This is a number that is often used to determine the success of an advertising campaign. By calculating this number initially and then continuing to update it, you can recognize the occurrence of ad fatigue.

Determine how frequently you will calculate your ROAS and carefully track it in an Excel sheet. Fortunately, Facebook offers a wide collection of tools that makes it easy to track ROAS changes. Make it a point to evaluate these trends often. Identifying ads that once performed well but are on the decline may be experiencing ad fatigue, giving you the chance to take action to increase your results.

When to Expect Ad Fatigue and When to Change out Creatives

While there is not an exact calculation that can tell you when to expect creative fatigue, the typical rule is that- the larger the budget, the more quickly it occurs. This is because when you have a larger budget, you can reach a larger number of people in a faster period of time. But, even marketers with smaller budgets are likely to eventually notice ad fatigue.

Just as there isn’t an exact number of days or impressions in which you can expect to experience ad fatigue within your business, there is also not a specific time in which you should change out your ads. The base rule is to change them out as soon as you notice a decrease in results and have determined that your ads are less than effective. There are many factors to consider, including budget, goals, and number of ads placed that go into this timeline. Some brands can experience ad fatigue within just a couple of days, whereas, with other brands, it can take weeks.

Overcoming Ad Fatigue With Social Media Ads

Fortunately, if you notice ad fatigue within your advertising campaign, you have a few options available to overcome it. There are four things that you can focus on when overcoming ad fatigue which includes:

  • Copy: Changing out the content or call to action in your ads can refresh them
  • Targeting dimensions: Changing the targeting dimensions of your ad can increase the number of users who view it, thus extending the time until ad fatigue
  • Objectives: New objectives can encourage users to take a different action on an ad they might have already noticed in their newsfeed
  • Creatives: New creatives including updated pictures or a new video can make an ad stand out again

Once you notice ad fatigue within your advertising campaign, one of the best things, to begin with, is to change your creatives. Your creatives are the first part of the ad that viewers will notice. The creatives will either encourage the reader to stop scrolling and to interact with your ad or to skip it.

Overcoming Creative Fatigue

Many ads that experience ad fatigue is due to creative fatigue. This means that consumers have gotten used to viewing the same creatives over and over again. Because social media is primarily a visual tool, it is crucial to update ad creatives frequently.

What is an Ad Creative?

An ad creative is the visual part of an advertisement and is an important one when using social media to market your business. Depending on the industry and the goals of the ad, it might be a concept, content, or e-commerce ad. Ad creatives are important because they connect the marketing goals of the campaign with the customer. Facebook also breaks down ad creatives into three parts, which include the creative itself, the placement in which the ad runs on, and the preview of the unit.

Tips to Overcome Creative Fatigue

Updating the creatives of your advertising campaign doesn’t have to be a timely or overwhelming process. You can use the following tips to overcome creative fatigue in your ads:

  • Consider which creatives have worked previously: You can learn a lot from previous ads. Evaluate which ads performed the best and with which audience. If your brand is relatively new to ads, then a split test might be useful to gather data. Use this information to create creatives that are similar, but different enough to overcome fatigue.
  • Change out the image: Changing out the image in each of your creatives might be the most time-consuming way to overcome creative fatigue, but it might also be the most effective. A new image gives your audience something new to interact with.
  • Change the type of creative: Changing the type of creative used can also be effective in overcoming creative fatigue. If your potential customers are used to viewing images, then a video ad is a great way to change things up. Make sure you only change out the creative. Otherwise, it can be difficult to determine if the improvement of rates was due to the change of the creative or another parameter.
  • Change the background: The background plays an important role in your overall creatives, especially on social media. It is also a great way to overcome creative fatigue when you can’t necessarily change out the main portion of your photo, such as if you are selling an object or advertising a specific location. Changing the background color can also make a big difference. If your current ads are displayed on a black or white background, consider getting playful with it, if it makes sense with your brand. Swap out the color for a bold red or blue instead. This is also a great method to reuse images that were costly to produce or that accurately describe your brand.
  • Change the copy: You can also change the copy in your ad creatives. Call-to-actions with limited time offers are a great way to grab attention while allowing you to update them often.
  • Create a schedule: Facebook offers you the ability to schedule your advertisements. Instead of choosing a couple of ads and then running them around-the-clock, consider using a rotating schedule. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might choose to run breakfast ads in the area in the morning and then change them out to your lunch specials in the afternoon. You can also have different ads for weekends or for marketing your catering services. While this method might take a lot more planning, it is a great way to maximize the return of your ads and prevent creative fatigue.
  • Change the placement: Facebook is the most popular platform, but it is not the only one that offers to advertise. Overcome creative fatigue by displaying your current ads on a new platform such as Instagram or LinkedIn.

There are many strategies that you can take to overcome creative fatigue within your advertising campaign. These tips will help you keep your ads fresh, allowing you to stretch your budget and reach a wider audience of potential brand customers.

Getting a Competitive Edge on Your Competitors

Frequently updating your creatives is a great way to earn a competitive edge against your competitors. While all businesses are subject to creative fatigue, you can beat out the competitors who are less active with managing their ads. Because a lot of brands either do not have the capacity to monitor for creative fatigue or are not familiar with how to overcome it, this is an extremely useful tool to use when marketing on social media.

Preventing Creative Fatigue

While there are steps you can take to overcome creative fatigue in your ads, it is also possible to prevent it in the first place. Planning is an important part of preventing creative fatigue. A lot goes into the creative process as teams work together to come up with the best ads that are more likely to attract the largest number of their targeted audience. When planning for an upcoming advertising campaign, it is important to also plan for creative fatigue. Consider which ads to begin with and how you will measure for creative fatigue.

When determining your campaign goals and KIPs, consider at what point you will change out your creatives. You can also determine when you will need to shift your creatives based on your budget. Your budget size not only determines how long until you can expect creative fatigue, but also the number of creatives you need to create ahead of time. Larger budgets will notice creative fatigue earlier and may need a significant amount more of creatives to rotate in ads.

Routine testing is also crucial when preventing and overcoming ad fatigue. Continue to test your digital ads for impressions, conversions, and ROAS.

Taking an active approach is the best way to identify and overcome ad fatigue within your advertising campaigns. By understanding your objectives, keeping track of your ROAS, and knowing when to swap out your creatives within your ads, you can maximize your budget and produce the best results, while expanding your targeted audience and consumer potential.

Contextual Advertising

The impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on behavioral Targeting has raised much interest in the topic of contextual advertising. Behavioral Targeting is inhibited by tighter regulations through the GDPR, like keeping cookies in a user’s internet browser. The GDPR forces marketers to relinquish very much of their dependence on behavioral details and to seek new targeting strategies.

Contextual marketing is marketing on a site that applies to the page’s content. In conventional contextual advertising, automated methods display advertisements associated with the information of your website based on keyword targeting.

Obtaining the right message in front of the proper individuals is essential for good results. Find the right message, and you’ll attract a customer sector that wants what you’ve chosen to provide. If you try to run ads willy nilly, you’re throwing your money into the fire.

So contextual Targeting involves displaying advertisements that apply to the information on the webpage. Usually, this particular method of Targeting does not utilize info regarding users; it just uses the context of the advertisement. Nevertheless, behavioral details could be used to enhance the importance of contextual ads.

Contextual advertising is about understanding your target audience. The information in your advertisements is matched against keywords, selected topics, location, browsing patterns along with many extra elements. Businesses might choose ads out of the inventory of advertisers that register with AdWords.For example, DuckduckGo advertisements are contextual since the advertisements which show up based on the phrases of the search query.

An additional illustration of contextual promotion is Google AdSense. It considers a searcher’s locality and language, together with keywords to search for the perfect ad for the next post. Google Ads figures precisely what your core product or service is all about by examining your posts over time.

Google Ads analyses probable placements to figure out which websites are relevant to your market targeting. To make this work, Google analyzes the appearance, language, internal backlinks, and other factors on each website. By choosing specific things and pairing them together with the written content on your site, these advertisements will likely appear on many related publications, blogs, and websites. Begin by including targeted keywords as well as subjects within your Display Network advertisement organizations. These intelligently placed ads automate many things in the background, allowing you to focus on the broader themes.

Behavioral Advertising

It’s essential to understand Behavioral marketing, as it used as part of contextual advertising. Such marketing involves ads served up based on the online surfing habits of those in the target audiences. This focus allows marketers and advertisers to target particular categories of potential customers. The idea is that the advertisement doesn’t have to be pertinent to the webpage itself, but rather towards the site visitor. Behavioral Targeting has been widespread in internet marketing and advertising for more than a decade as a result of the increasing availability of user information.

To work well, behavioral Targeting should have adequate info about online users. Nowadays, behavioral advertising isn’t merely about explicit user info, but additionally about making sense of information and drawing appropriate conclusions. The data used for behavioral Targeting can come from a selection of potential sources, including websites, mobile apps, along with additional marketing automation methods.

There are many positives to Behavioral Targeting. The abundance of information marketers has around their users enables them to produce extremely comprehensive profiles to display better ads, applicable to each audience sector. Behavioral Targeting benefits visitors as well as helping the website exhibiting the advertisements.

Site knowledge, in turn, is more pertinent to the unique visitor and thus benefits customers commonly more interested in well-targeted advertisements and content. Using behavioral Targeting comes with a significant return on investment in the type of higher click through rates as well as much better conversion rates.

Other pertinent information includes HTTP Requests: A little bit of javascript, or possibly cookies, sends information about the individual on the advertising campaign platform (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.). Each individual is going to be decided using a cookie, and those ads placed within the user’s online “neighborhood” of habit.

Unregistered owners are usually focused on making use of cookie info kept on the customer’s internet browser. If the person visits the website once again, the cookie (unless the person had removed it) is delivered to the web server, making it easy to focus on the user.

There’s additionally a means to obtain and also track info through Internet service providers (ISPs) whose techniques include deep package inspection to evaluate their customer’s visitors and find out the forms of sites they visit.

Next, the information is sold to advertising and ad serving companies to deliver much more personalized ads. This is a typical practice, as quite a few ad serving businesses purchase the behavioral information from third parties as Nielsen and data logic (now section of Oracle).

The two most utilized advertising networks are Google Display Ads and Facebook Ads.

Analysis and Collection of Data User information are collected from a selection of sources but is usually accomplished through tracking cookies (also referred to as third-party cookies) and kept in a DMP or maybe various other AdTech platform such as a DSP (A demand-side platform). The more information, the more precise the Targeting. Flash Cookies are like the cookies stated earlier, but they continue operating time after the individual has shut the web browser. For instance, when somebody browses a particular brand of shoe on a clothing website, your business will know to deliver promotions associated with that person, motivating one to make a buy. The collected data will be analyzed as well as utilized to create user segments.

Consumers are clustered into sections by behavior (for instance, those who travel all the time, who likes frog legs, individuals who frequently go back to the same types of products, and so on). This is called segmentation. Ad promotions are applied to complement a specific personality segment, making the advertising more pertinent for particular groups of users and also boosting the chance of responses and sales. By collecting this specific info, we paint a broader picture of individuals’ browsing habits. Web surfers with comparable practices are often grouped together. (https://www.instapaper.com/read/1259397163)

For a business to better provide the relevant ads, sites need first to track specific behavioral info. There are many things behavioral advertising tracks; Login info, IP address, geolocation, length of visit (including how recent the visit was), number of clicks, overall site interaction, prior purchases, internal site queries, demographics, and websites visited. Any publisher or advertiser can gather some of these onsite data about their visitors and customers. Understanding how to leverage the info towards achieving individual marketing goals is crucial for excellent Behavioral Targeting. Reaping the benefit of this technique is a simple means to increase conversion rates.

In community behavioral targeting, such details may be collected as well as shared throughout several websites on the web. This does not include information as individuals telephone numbers, email addresses, or names, but could involve device-identifying info including MAC and IP addresses, cookies, or maybe any other device-specific IDs. The algorithms crunch the information and also assign the user to specific segments. The algorithm may subsequently think of an individual’s age, gender, and potential purchase choices, so they can exhibit tailored advertisements the individual will be much more likely to click.

A good example will be a user seen on a selection of automotive websites, online hunting gear sites, and various business sites. A fair guess would be the person is male. The advertiser can purchase this particular segment – usually supplied by data management platforms (DMPs) which are integrated with and also sell to demand-side platforms (DSPs) – to focus on the appropriate market.

Inside Google Ads, you are going to have to produce brand new audiences. To do this, you’ve to generate- Positive Many Meanings – a remarketing list. To have the ability to start tracking behavior, you must add in the remarketing tag snippet on your website. To be able to optimize the earnings, equally publishers, as well as advertisers, are urged to come together. It benefits each side – everyone makes profits when it’s done correctly.

Google’s Smart Pricing Scheme allows charges currently being modified dynamically (though, advertisers hold the ultimate say).

Facebook works comparably. It requires that you create a business Facebook page plus an advertisement account. Then, create a Facebook Pixel, which is an analytics tool that measures the effectiveness of your Facebook advertising. After that, you’ll embed the javascript into your website. Refer to all of the instructions within Facebook themselves to learn more about how you can achieve this.

There are ways other than website traffic to cull from the masses a personalized audience. Retargeting to upsell products that are associated after an individual has made a purchase. Or Emails, push notifications, SMS messages – all of the things available on mobile. There is a plethora of information accessible to advertisers, far more than even before the last decade.

Native advertising is appealing to many media companies, as well as advertisers. Using Native content adds value. When screening native advertising and marketing, don’t write about your products or services. Focus on the requirements, interests as well as desires of the market of yours at first. Native advertising is one kind of paid advertising, much like a showcase and also remarketing promotions. The distinction is they mimic the look as well as the feel of blog posts, other styles, and interpersonal information of the press.

For example, native advertisements often show up at the bottom part of posts as part of the editorial design. These are based on topics applicable to the general content or even related to the specific passions of those reading it. Such placement is not to be underestimated; 70 % of consumers prefer to learn about solutions via editorial content.

Don’t overlook video! Video plays a crucial role in contextual advertising attempts. Placing advertisements in films before the main video starts is a beneficial use of contextual advertising, just like movie theaters have always done. Another example of contextual video ads are individuals that focus on a single video game or a particular popular app in a mobile device.

Video has always been an excellent medium for evoking an emotional response, making advertisements that are well-timed relevant far easier. More recently, Virtual Reality has provided the most recent innovations. The introduction of virtual reality offers advertisers a brand new landscape and is for many a contextual advertiser’s dreams. For example, offering clients complete solutions within a VR meeting. The possibilities are endless.

There are several services to consider when investigating the benefits of native advertising:

Taboola Serves native advertisements to over one billion users, across websites such as Fox Sports along with USA Today, and other niche blogs.

Outbrain, also massive, is a platform boasting it’s the ability to help companies make sure their customers discover content, services, and content that may be of interest to them, using sensible filters to record the quality of ads.

Nativo: Nativo’s differentiator is guaranteeing native info satisfies the look as well as experience of the branding for each website within their network.

The uses of contextual and behavioral marketing today is well integrated with the tools of programmatic marketing, which is the procedure of automating the buying as well as selling of advertisement inventory in real-time with an automated bidding system. Programmatic advertising is one way to immediately purchase as well as optimize unique electronic promotions, instead of buying from publishers.

We create programmatic ads to affect human negotiations with machine learning and AI optimization. The aim is increasing transparency and effectiveness to both the advertiser as well as the publisher. Previously, programmatic ads were obtainable only by more prominent media organizations, as they had the budget, though the fast rise of self-service tools has made that moot. The utilization of Artificial Intelligence, as well as machine learning to buy marketing in real-time, rather than going through standard means like human negotiations in addition to pre-set prices, has flattened the playing field.

For a programmatic advertisement system to do the job effectively, there needs to be different crucial parts in place. On the advertiser’s side, this is a Demand Side Platform (DSP), linked to a Data Management Platform (DMP). Suppliers (publishers) make use of a Supply Side Platform (SSP) to distribute the free listing of theirs across a single or maybe numerous Ad Exchanges.

Real-Time-Bidding (RTB) is the most common, and a better way of purchasing as well as selling advertisements utilizing a real-time auction. It allows for quicker and better Targeting, enabling advertisements to be purchased as well as offered on a per case basis, meaning visitors to the site who are in the target audiences will be put through to see the ad. Such a transaction is created by the time it takes a webpage to load, approximately a hundred milliseconds. https://www.instapaper.com/read/1259484898

For example, if a business promoting widgets wishes to show the ads of widgets on individual sites, but only to visitors who perused the site and did not make a purchase. An auction occurs between the company advertising the widgets and their competitors. The winning bidder gets to showcase the advertisement on the publisher’s site.

Historically, advertisers would simply place advertisements on sites they thought matched their market. So an enterprise promoting grills would perhaps single out blogs about outdoor cooking and personally purchase placements on these websites. Their banner ads would subsequently be displayed to other visitors of that site, regardless of whether they were applicable consumers.

As another example, a person may have earlier visited a website selling grills and also would, therefore, be a far more appropriate target for a spatula advert. The advertiser would subsequently improve the bid for these types of visitors, maybe even outbidding huge multinational models. This type of real-time media buying was the start of programmatic technology.

Google Ads excels at the intelligent selection of placements depending on which type of targeting you’ve selected. The figures do not lie. In 2018, eighty % of digital display advertising in the US was conducted via programmatic marketing. https://www.instapaper.com/read/1259484898

The magic is in content keyword phrases: Google Ads technology utilizes its algorithms to concentrate on what its massive cyber-brain deems adequate, targeting those particular web sites to place your brilliantly constructed advertisements. This is displayed on a website when everything complements the standard design of your chosen subject.

Real-Time Bidding is only one element of the programmatic marketing ecosystem. There is a means of bypassing ad exchanges entirely, Programmatic Direct ads, a purchasing platform that plugs immediately into the publisher’s inventory. Such ads are traded directly between a publisher and advertiser through automated programmatic ad-buying systems. It is a method to purchase a guaranteed quantity of impressions on particular websites.

Typically employed for significant “premium” formats like full-page takeover ads, Programmatic Direct practices usually involve a fixed price agreement instead of an auction Personal Exchange buying (PMP). This is often an “invitation only” marketplace, wherein one, or maybe a select number of publishers allow particular advertisers to bid on their listings. An auction typically happens, though the conditions of the deal are pre-negotiated, creating a far more controlled environment than the typical RTB (Real-Time Bidding).

Once contextual and behavioral marketing is understood and how it’s used with a programmatic advertisement system, a business will have a significant advantage in today’s race to increase revenue and attract buyers.

Sources:

https://www.wordstream.com/contextual-advertising

https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/ppc/contextual-advertising/

https://www.acquisio.com/blog/agency/contextualtargeting-comprehensive-guide/

https://www.criteo.com/insights/contextual-vsbehavioral-targeting/

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/contextualadvertising.asp

https://lumenad.com/what-is-contextual-targeting/

https://www.matchcraft.com/5-things-you-need-toknow-about-contextual-advertising/

Affiliate Marketing 101

What Do You Mean By Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re anything like the average person, then the words, “affiliate marketing” mean very little to you, and may seem like it is all Greek. However, affiliate marketing is something beneficial. It is sometimes labeled as “passive income.” Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning money or commission every time you promote someone else’s products and services, and the consumer buys something based on your referral. How affiliate marketing works is when you are singing the praises of the company or their products, and your affiliate marketing and promoting earns the company a sale, you get affiliate commissions off of that purchase as a result of your excellent marketing. So, if you were promoting Cheerio’s cereal, you would be paid anytime someone bought Cheerio’s based off of your recommendation. It is essentially making money while you sleep. The long and short of it is, you use your skills as a marketer to refer others to a particular product, and when someone buys it because of you, you get paid from it.

The funny thing is, we are promoting things every single day, in our day to day lives. We promote certain brands of clothes depending on what we wear, we promote the kind of phone we bought and use all the time, and we promote the type of car we believe in and trust every time we get behind the wheel, etc. So, wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually get paid for purposely promoting a product, when it is something that we do subconsciously every day? That is possible through affiliate marketing, as well as you can earn money online through affiliate income, encouraging people to buy their products and services. If you are scared of scaring off your friends as a result of you continually bugging them to buy things you are promoting with your internet marketing, don’t be. There is a right and wrong way to go about affiliate marketing. Innovation Exchange has a fantastic article with ten suggestions of how to stay friends with your friends, while still making a decent amount of income through affiliate marketing campaigns.

Affiliate Marketer; Mystery Terms Unraveled:

Advertiser: The advertiser, or merchant, is the company or individual that the affiliate is teaming up with. The advertiser creates and produces the product that you are promoting. They are the reason you have something to get paid for at the end of the day.

Affiliate Links: This is the unique link or code that is given to the affiliate by the advertiser, that your audience will click on to learn more about or buy the product you are promoting. The affiliate links are embedded with a unique tracking code that allows the company or advertiser, to track all sales, leads, or foot traffic that you bring in to them through your affiliate network.

Affiliate or Associate Program: This is the two-way street where you, as the affiliate, earn a commission for promoting a company’s products and services, and the company benefits from the referrals and foot traffic that is a direct result of your marketing efforts and you promoting their business.

Commission: A commission is the money that you get paid as a result of the sales that you generated for the company with whom you are an affiliate for.

Conversion Rates: Conversion Rates are the percentage that an affiliate gets paid after dividing the total number of sales that came as a result of your promoting the company’s affiliate products, by the number of impressions that your affiliate link has multiplied by 100. The conversion rates show how often an affiliate link has generated sales versus how often the link has been viewed, and the company’s various websites have been accessed by your followers and viewers.

Impression: An impression means the number of times that an ad is shown on your page.

Niche: A niche is a focused or specific topic that addresses the need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream companies. It is a narrow group of potential customers that have very specific needs that only you can address and help. For example, if you have a site about yoga, then your niche is yoga. On a larger scale, your niche is health and well-being.

How Do I Become An Affiliate Marketer?

Any individual or company can be an affiliate or promoter for someone else. Affiliate marketing campaigns are for anyone that has a passion for a product or service and wants to tell others all about it. Most often, however, affiliate marketers are bloggers or other people with social media platforms with similar content to the niche sites of the company’s products you want to promote. So, if your blog or social media Instagram or Facebook account are tailored towards beauty and makeup tutorials, you may want to team up with an affiliate partner like e.l.f. Cosmetics or Ulta or Avon and promote their products in your posts or videos, with an affiliate link for the company attached. 

To become an affiliate marketer, you find a product that you want to promote that fits into your niche and will be relevant and important and of value to your audience. Then, search for “insert product’s name here” affiliate program. You can sign up for their affiliate program, which will then send you a special affiliate link that allows the company to track anyone that clicks on your unique link. Then you can begin earning a commission off of your audience buying the other company’s products. It sounds like a dream, right?

Because you have already built a rapport with your audience and they trust you, you already have a built-in network to promote other businesses’ products and drive your traffic to buy from them. You can write a blog post or a social media post or do a video to encourage your viewers to check out a new product. It is a lot easier to guide your audience to affiliate websites or products and services and turn the potential customer into a buying customer based on your marketing recommendation, than if they were to randomly see an ad for the product that popped up in their search engines. When your consumers click on your unique link and either fill out a lead form for more information or buy the product, then you can earn commissions based on the sales you brought in. And, a bonus is, you also get paid for doing something that you love and are already doing, you just are now doing it with a little more purpose and with an affiliate marketing angle.

You can promote the company you are a partner affiliate with through posts, videos, ads via banner ads, search boxes, or a share link. Depending on the marketing program you are an affiliate for, the commission rates will vary. Your commission is usually a percentage of the amount that was bought, anywhere from 5% to 30% of the company profit and revenue brought in by you through affiliate marketing.

Innovation Exchange has an excellent list of affiliate marketing campaigns you can join to jump-start you building your affiliate marketing network and earning a hefty sum of money through passive income.

In summary, to become an affiliate marketer, you first need to sign up for an affiliate or associate program. Then they will send you an affiliate link with a unique code that you can share with your audience. When your followers click on the affiliate link or buy something from the company, your affiliate partner gets notified. After that, you will be paid your commission, anywhere from 5% to 30% of the revenue that the company gained as a result of your promoting their business and product. Commission payouts are usually given to you monthly, but this can vary and depends on the affiliate program you are with.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

As affiliate marketers, you are paid based on your performance. There are several different marketing strategies that you can make money from and be earning a commission, all while doing something you love. 

Pay Per Click or PPC: is where affiliate partners get paid for all clicks on the affiliate link, regardless of the conversion rates of the clicks turning into sales or leads.

Pay Per Lead or PPL: is when your affiliate company gives you a commission based off of every qualifying action that your marketing generated. This could be people buying the company’s products, an online form submission, signing up for a free trial, completing a survey, etc.. The customer has to complete an action or agree to some form of commitment to the company you are recommending for you to get paid from an affiliate account set up like so. They are basically like pay-for-performance programs.

Pay Per Sale or PPS: is when the affiliate company pays you a percentage of all sales as a result of your having affiliate links with them. The most common PPS affiliate marketing program is Amazon Associates, where a successful affiliate can earn commissions of up to 10%, depending on the product you are promoting.

As you can see, there are multiple ways that you can earn money and be paid as a result of your efforts to drive traffic to an affiliate partner. The different ways that you can make commission depends on the type of product you are promoting and the affiliate marketing program you are with and their parameters for you to earn an affiliate commission. Make sure you understand the different ways that you can get paid for each company you team up with as an affiliate, so you can have a better expectation of the kind of passive income you can generate from product to product.

Is Affiliate Marketing For Me?

At the end of the day, we all want to be happy and satisfied with our work and the amount of income we are bringing in. If making posts and videos about things you love and are passionate about, while earning a commission on the side at the same time is something that excites you, then don’t wait any longer. Take that first leap, and get started with affiliate marketing — the results of how easy and fun it may surprise you.

What You Need to Know About Mobile Geo-Targeting

For years, marketers have attempted to understand the buying habits of customers. They have spent billions of dollars to gather this valuable information in an attempt to create offers and advertisements that result in the highest number of conversions possible. 

Then came the invention of smartphones. Smartphones have become a powerful tool that allows brands to interact with customers while also gathering their information in a much easier method. Mobile geo-targeting is a form of targeting that pinpoints customers based on their previous or current location. 

Location targeting available with geo-targeting includes:

  • Country
  • State
  • City
  • Zipcode

Marketers can also choose customers who are within a certain mile radius of a specific location or storefront.

If you have ever searched for a top restaurant or hotel in a certain area without inputting your location, then you have probably witnessed geo-targeting in action. If you open up your favorite web browser on your smartphone or laptop and do a quick search for a product or service, you will be provided with results that are relevant to your location. The purpose of this is to customize and personalize the user experience for all internet users.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of digital marketing is the ability to target your consumers. Digital marketing tools have become so adaptive that marketers can target consumers by interests, buying habits, browsing habits, and even their current location. With geo-location targeting, you can personalize each customer’s ad experience.

These are just a few examples of how you could use location targeting with ads:

  • An individual who visits a vehicle dealership- They are likely considering buying a new vehicle in the near future.
  • An individual who searches for wedding dresses online- It is likely that they are engaged and planning an upcoming wedding.

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and many expert marketers believe that geo-targeting is the future of digital marketing. With the amount of information you can gather today through marketing platforms like Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, marketers have all the tools they need to create detailed ads that convert.

How Does Mobile Geo-Location Targeting Work?

Many would agree that geo-location targeting is not only useful, but it is also necessary for running effective ads. Many brands, especially service-based ones, can waste valuable marketing dollars when displaying ads in front of customers that are not likely to convert. Mobile geo-targeting allows brands to narrow down these customers, pinpointing the exact demographics that they are trying to reach.

The internet and advertising have made it easier than ever to access brands from all over the world. But, displaying your restaurant’s ads to customers who are currently in another country will waste your ad spend and produce poor results. In addition to the necessity of geo-targeting, it is also a powerful tool that can maximize your ad spend and produce significant results.

Understanding the Background of Geo-Targeting

Understanding how geo-location targeting works can help you refine your targeting strategy and maximize its effects. The internet can track each user’s location based on its unique IP address. Billions of IP addresses are stored with their location, including city, state, and even country. When an internet user inputs a search, the database looks through the data, pulling out the ads that are most relevant to the IP address.

Where this data is stored and retrieved from varies but is most often stored in a business that primarily focuses on geo-location data. Some might wonder if this breaches any confidentiality or personal data regulations, but ownership of ISPs is public data. The information is usually organized by IP range and location. The system organizes this information and makes assumptions on where each IP is in location.

Identifying the exact location of each IP address can be more complex. Using pings, geo data companies can test if and how long it takes to connect to a local database. Evaluating this data offers valuable information and will often lead to accurate location estimations. Of course, there is always the possibility of error. Larger companies can overcome this location challenge by gathering data physically through technical methods such as sending pings while physically visiting certain areas.

Overcoming Challenges of Geo-Targeting

As with any type of marketing, there are also challenges of geo-targeting to be aware of. These are a few of the most common challenges with steps you can take to overcome them:

Challenge 1: Location is not always accurate: Because smartphones and manual check-ins track the location, it is not always accurate as to a person’s current location.

Solution 1: Fortunately, you can use additional features that narrow down your location options. Your targeting options include:

  • Everyone in this location
  • People who live in this location
  • People recently in this location
  • People traveling in this location

Challenge 2: Geo-location targeting data can be expensive to gather.

Solution 2: With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you no longer have to spend a fortune to take advantage of geo-targeting marketing and advertising practices.

Challenge 3: Concerns of privacy are on the rise.

Solution 3: Although there have been concerns regarding privacy and the collection of data, many data companies are shifting their practices to be more ethical. Additionally, brands can gather information from customers who have elected to share their location.

Challenge 4: Competition among your brands is possible. If you own more than one brand within a certain area, you could potentially end up competing with yourself. If you are a franchise owner, you could also reach your ads into a partner’s market.

Solution 4: Fortunately, many tools can help you prevent competing against yourself. You can narrow down your location by excluding certain cities or zip codes. You can also exclude individuals who follow or interact with another brand.

These location targeting tools not only allow you to reach your ideal audience but to also target others based on more creative perimeters. For example, you might advertise a transportation service to individuals traveling to a certain area. People who live in the location are less likely to use the transportation service because they likely already have their vehicle. However, travelers may have come to the area without transportation.

Now that you understand how geo-targeting works, let’s take a look at how it can be applied to your marketing campaign.

When to Use Mobile Geo-Targeting

Chances are if you have ever run an ad or analyzed the data from one, then you already are aware of the importance of targeting. With so many targeting perimeters available, it can make it an overwhelming task to choose which ones work for your brand. To take advantage of each targeting tool, you would have to make hundreds of different buyer personas. With mobile geo-targeting, you can narrow down customers based on their location. You can learn about their buying habits and interests in this information.

Mobile targeting is especially useful for:

  • Local businesses with a storefront who want to increase in-store sales
  • Brands who host special events
  • Brands that already have a good idea of who their target customer is, including where they live and work
  • Brands that want to expand to a new location

Brands that are entirely online can still take advantage of geo-targeting. For example, a large retailer that sells outerwear might target colder parts of the country. If they sell internationally, then they might adjust their ads based on the season in each part of the world.

How to Set Up Mobile Geo-Targeting

Setting up mobile targeting will look different, depending on the platform you choose to run your ads.

Facebook:

  1. Open the main page of your ads manager
  2. Choose local awareness type
  3. Drop a pin in the center of the area you want to target
  4. Set your total radius

The great thing about Facebook is that it tells you what your estimated reach is. You can add or remove targeting criteria to hone in on a realistic reach number.

If you want to break down your geo-location options even further:

  1. Open the audiences tab of your page
  2. Choose the targeting perimeters that work for your marketing campaign. (Age, career, buying, interests).

Google Ads:

  1. Open your campaign within the campaign tab
  2. Choose Settings, then Locations
  3. Enter the name of the country
  4. Narrow down your location based on state, city, or zip code

With Google Ads, you can also target multiple locations across different campaigns or add locations in bulk, cutting down the time it takes to draft your ads.

Geo-Targeting Facebook Ads

With one billion people active on Facebook, it has become a top platform for marketing. Social media sites like Facebook are not only for engaging and communicating with your followers. You can interact with and reach thousands of customers who do not follow your brand already.

It is important to know that Facebook ads use an automated auction method. Brands with a lot of local competition will notice a higher cost per click, which can quickly drive up your overall marketing budget. While geo-targeting can be effective for smaller businesses, it is important first to understand your goals and how you will measure them.

One of the biggest advantages of using Facebook for geo-targeting is that they provide you with all the tools you need, right within their system. Using local brand awareness ads, you can target customers in an exact location, without having to go over your marketing budget. You can track the results daily and make any adjustments to your marketing campaign, as needed.

Geo-Targeting Instagram Ads

Instagram, another social media site owned by Facebook, also offers brands the ability to target by location. The interface for running targeted location ads on Instagram is very easy and user-friendly. While Instagram might have fewer active users than Facebook, it is also a more interactive platform. Almost 80% of users follow at least one brand on Instagram.

With Instagram ads, you can target potential customers by country, state, city, zip code, and even specified address. You also have access to the same detailed targeting as you do with Facebook and Google ads, allowing you to extend your customer reach.

Tips on Finding High-Value Customers

Many brands add digital ads to their campaign in an attempt to not only increase the number of customers but also to find high-value customers. Geo-targeting can be a great way to increase both.

For example, a brand that wants to extend services into a higher income area can do so with geo-targeting. If you have already researched your current customer base, then you might have a good idea of where your most valuable customers live and work. You can use this information to target other customers who may have similar buying habits.

These tips can assist you as you narrow down your customer base and find the highest value:

  • Dive into the data: Geo-targeting will offer you a lot of useful data. You can use this information to determine the buying habits of a certain market and to make important decisions like whether or not to expand to a new location.
  • Create look-a-like audiences: Creating look-a-like audiences that mimic your current high-value customers can help you reach even more converting customers.
  • Use geocoding to find new opportunities: Using your data, you can also find new opportunities for high-value customers that you are not already reaching. Evaluate your data to determine where your current customers are coming from and then gauge your ad success in these areas.
  • Re-target high-value customers: Don’t make the mistake of using all your resources to attract new high-value customers so that you lose sight of the ones you already have. Loyalty goes a long way.
  • Prioritize certain geo locations: Just as you can exclude areas, you can also prioritize certain areas. By adjusting your bid, you can dictate where your ads display.

The most successful brands recognize and appreciate their high-value customers. Doing so can lead to customer loyalty, which can lead to increased sales.

Best Practices When Mobile Geo-Location Targeting

Following these best practices, when mobile geo-targeting will ensure that your ads are optimized and reaching your intended audience:

  • Consider your offer and how far customers are willing to travel: Creating a location radius that is too large can waste valuable marketing dollars, whereas choosing one that is too small can lead to missed customers. Consider the value of the offer and how far the average customer is willing to travel for it.
  • Use the radius feature instead of zip code: Geo-targeting by zip code can lead to missed customer opportunities. Instead of inputting individual zip codes, consider using the radius feature.
  • Get creative: One ad type will not match the purpose of each targeted area. Consider the audience that you are trying to reach in each area and adjust the image and text-based on that information.
  • Ensure your ads are mobile-optimized: Because geo-targeting is reliant on the location services of a mobile device, your ads must be optimized for mobile use. This allows you to target other locations like hotels or airports.
  • Test your ads frequently: Testing the user experience, location perimeters, and creatives of your ad will help you determine whether or not your location ads are working.

By defining your ideal audience and drafting ads that meet their needs and interests, you can reach the customers that are most likely to interact with your brand.

How to Find Your Ideal Audience

The success of mobile geo-targeting depends on understanding your ideal customer and their location. Fortunately, you can also use the tools within geo-targeting to find your ideal audience.

  • Choose a related venue: Consider the locations where your ideal audience will frequent. If you are selling a movie subscription service, then you might target a movie theatre. If you are trying to sell a healthy meal plan, then you might target local fitness centers in the area.
  • Use exclusions: You can also take advantage of exclusions to narrow out customers that are unlikely to fit your ideal audience. If you are selling a babysitting service, you might exclude the local college. If you are trying to increase the store visits to a local vehicle dealership, you might exclude individuals who are traveling to the area on vacation.
  • Go beyond location: Location is a powerful tool but combined with additional targets, you can refine your exact customer. You might gather data that your customer visits weekly, but it can also be valuable to understand the time of day they visit and the things they do when visit.

Narrowing down these options can ensure that you reach your ideal audience.

How to Optimize Your Geo-Targeting Campaign

There are many techniques you can take to optimize your geo-targeting marketing campaign.

Here are a few:

  • Look at the customer’s habits: When you geo-target, it is not necessarily limited to the customer’s current action. Instead, you can look at their trends and overall habits.
  • Target areas where your ideal customer is frequents: If you get creative, you can target specific areas in which your customers are likely to frequent. For example, if you own a tutoring company, you might geo-target the local community college. If you run an errand business, you might create a geo-target around an assisted living area then.
  • Choose keywords: Keywords allow your ad to be displayed to customers who have searched those exact terms. Consider what location-specific keywords your ideal audience is using when searching for your product or service.
  • Gather data from alternative locations: Gather additional data from alternative locations like social media check-ins to understand interests and buying habits.
  • Take advantage of third-party tools like Google Trends: Google Trends allows you to identify buying trends in specific locations.

Optimizing your ads will ensure that you can maximize your ad spend and increase your ad conversions.

When to Exclude Locations

Geo-targeting is also a useful tool to use when you need to refine your potential reach. Using the radius feature to determine your targeted location could leave you with areas that you don’t necessarily want to target.

Just a few times when you might exclude locations include:

  • Your franchise agreement prevents you from marketing to a certain area
  • You already have marketing campaigns running in another area
  • You don’t actively serve a specific market
  • You already have a large presence and awareness in the specific market

Excluding these targeted areas will prevent you from competing with yourself or wasting ad spend on customers who are already aware of your business.

Example of a Major Brand Who Found Success With Geo-Targeting

Many large brands have demonstrated exceptional success using geo-targeting practices, with the large restaurant chain, Denny’s, as one great example.

Denny’s reminds many customers of a simpler time when going out to eat meant enjoying a meal in a booth of the local diner. As convenience and speed have taken over the restaurant world, Denny’s was pushed to the back of American’s minds. It wasn’t that diners were against Denny’s; it’s just that there were too many options available, and Denny’s had a hard time capturing that interest.

Commercials ads provided a temporary increase in traffic, but results would quickly decline. That is until Denny’s chose to take a geo-targeted route. By targeting potential customers who were nearby Denny’s location of their ongoing pancake promotions, they were able to boost their click-through rate significantly.

Following on this success, they decided to narrow down their targeted audience even further. They expanded their targets also to include customers who had previously been to Denny’s. This allowed them to reach their loyal customers. They targeted build your ads to these customers, increasing their conversions significantly.

Many retailers have also found success with geo-targeting. Retail brands like Kohl’s, use mobile geo-fencing to track in-store visits. They use this to thank the customer for visiting while also encouraging them to take action and make a sale. Additionally, they can then place ads on other platforms to encourage repeat visits. Customers view these practices as convenient, while Kohl’s can understand the buying habits of their customers.

Geo-targeting is likely to become an even more important part of the digital marketing industry over the next few years. As marketers learn to narrow down geo-location targeting to better reach the exact customer they want, they can optimize their ads and maximize their marketing budget.

New to Affiliate Marketing? Here Are 4 of the Best Affiliate Networks that Can Bring You a Hefty Amount of Monthly Passive Income

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the number one source of passive income for online marketers.  But not many people realize you can earn a lot of money online as a full-time affiliate marketer.  Affiliate marketers have racked up a bad record and are regarded as 21st-century charlatans willing to sell you the latest youth elixir.

While there are certainly some affiliate marketers as crooked than a ram’s horn, most are trustworthy and follow a code as exacting as a samurai’s.

You want to be that kind of affiliate marketer. One that an audience can trust, one that won’t sell their soul for gold.

Ethics aside…

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is essentially a type of internet marketing based on revenue sharing.

It is a system in which an affiliate promotes other people’s products and earns a commission on each referral sale they make.

Affiliates aren’t limited to promoting things like consumer products alone. In fact, promoting software usually pays off handsomely.

The B2B (business to business) and SaaS (software as a service) niche can be very lucrative.  Businesses have and are willing to spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to spend on software that can make them more productive and profitable.

Affiliates can also promote services such as consulting too.

If you already have a sizeable audience and you want to monetize, joining a good affiliate program is a step in the right direction.

Can I make a lot of money from affiliate marketing?

Well, you can, depending on the size of your audience and how much credibility you’ve built over time.

I mean, Jon Morrow, owner of the smashingly popular Smartblogger, regularly makes thousands of dollars every month just by promoting products like the SiteGround hosting.

Smartblogger earns anywhere from $75 – $125 as commission from any user that buys Siteground hosting from links on their website.

When you factor in the hundreds of thousands of monthly visits, their earnings can easily add up to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Affiliate Marketing Checklist

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But wait.

Before you get all excited at this proposition, just consider that Jon, by virtue of his many years of experience, has become an expert in the blogging niche and therefore has a massive following.

If there are only tumbleweeds on your desert-like website, there’s no way you can make a decent amount of money from affiliate marketing.  Your first priority is increasing traffic and producing regular, quality content.

We’ll look at some of the most profitable affiliate programs in a bit.

But in the meantime, let’s first examine some of the finer differences between an affiliate program and an affiliate network.

What is the difference between an affiliate marketing program and an affiliate network?

To clearly understand the difference between them, and to avoid any confusion, we’ll have to look closely at the individual components that comprise an affiliate marketing system

First, there’s the merchant.

The merchant is the one who starts the ball rolling. The merchant creates products and services.

A merchant can create anything from a physical good to an intangible service.

Anyone or any company can be a merchant as long as they have a product they’re willing to sell through affiliates.

The affiliate, also sometimes called the publisher, is the party that promotes the product through specialized, affiliate links that track the sale to the advertiser. The ‘product’ could be anything from a consumer product like (skincare products), to a service like consulting.

The consumer is the most important part of the system. No consumer means no audience to market to.

Let’s examine the differences between an affiliate network and an affiliate program.

An affiliate network is a managed software platform that connects both merchants and affiliates. It provides a platform that allows affiliates to join affiliate programs.

The work they do is two-fold.

For merchants, an affiliate network offers reporting instruments, tracking technology and payment processing with the added benefit of access to a large base of affiliates.

On the other hand, it provides services like payment aggregation for affiliates and one-click application to new merchants.

An affiliate network is essentially a service that provides a platform for merchants to offer their affiliate programs and for affiliates to join those programs.

In contrast, an affiliate marketing program is an agreement between a merchant and an affiliate created, offered or initiated by the product creator.  The merchant agrees to pay an affiliate a commission for directing traffic and/or sales their way.

However, to get paid commissions, the affiliate has to join the merchant’s program and agree to their terms and conditions.

In short, a merchant, in a bid to give his product or service some more exposure, creates an affiliate program where affiliates can join and then earn commissions for every sale they make for the merchant.

And Affiliate Manager is your advocate with the merchants in your network.  They advise you on which affiliate offers work well for your audience and how to promote it.

How do affiliate programs work?

Affiliate marketing is usually done via online media, like websites and blogs.

When an affiliate marketer signs up with a merchant, the affiliate gets a unique affiliate link (which they will add to their website). This affiliate link will be tracked by using cookies.

Cookies are a value stored on an end user’s computer, and in this case, they are used to track affiliate sales.

Cookies usually have terms like cookie length and cookie life to describe their life cycle.

If the user clicks on a link with a 30-day life (or duration) and a sale is made within that time, the affiliate is credited with the sale and consequently receives a commission.

In order to be successful with affiliate marketing, you need a lot of traffic, merchants with generous payout policies and you need to promote only products that are relevant and suited to your audience niche.

How does affiliate marketing work?

As easy as this all sounds, you can’t just throw an affiliate link or display ad on your blog sidebar and expect to roll in the cash.  It’s not going to happen.  You have to create a way to funnel your audience into the path of the sale.  Which, as a blogger, isn’t nearly as hard as it may seem.  Many affiliate marketing campaigns are straight forward and promoted with organic and paid traffic from social media and search engines.

If you are writing a blog post on fitness, you would appropriate affiliate products (like fitness clothing, exercise equipment, weight loss offers), that you can link to as you write your article.  And with tools like Widgetly, you can create your own native and banner ads to sprinkle throughout the content.

By driving traffic to your site, either to specific blog posts or the root domain, you can increase the number of impressions (eyes that see the ads) and the conversion rate (people who buy).

Some of the most lucrative affiliate programs for beginners.

It’s no secret.  Not all affiliate marketing programs are created equal.  Some are more equal than others.  Bloggers who have a decent audience and want to monetize can join the following affiliate programs through affiliate networks.

We’ll examine each network and its pros and cons respectively.

Amazon associates.

This is the brainchild of the retail giant, Amazon.

Amazon associates is great for beginners as they take the sales process out of your hands so you can focus on bringing in as many leads as you can through your website.

Amazon associates can pay a commission of anywhere from 1-10 % depending on the category of the product.  Items like clothes and luxury beauty products tend to have the highest commission rates which can be up to 10%.  The commission on the sales of books can be even higher. They can be as high as 15%.

Although this commission rate isn’t so much in the affiliate marketing universe, it is quite plenty on the Amazon associates planet.

Amazon doesn’t hold its cookies for too long. They, however, do have a staggering number of products that virtually anyone can promote.

They are popular for another reason too.

If a user clicks on a link to buy a product on an affiliate’s website, and didn’t end up buying the product, but purchased another one instead, they still get a commission from this sale.

All in all, although the affiliate commissions aren’t as high as some others, Amazon associates is well suited to a beginner just learning the ropes of affiliate marketing.  And with enough traffic, affiliate marketers can make a lot of money with Amazon associates.

Click Bank

This is another affiliate network that has been around for a while. They have, in fact, been in business for more than 17 years, and in that time, they have evolved and become more efficient while still providing a fantabulous user and customer experience

They previously used to allow just any product to be sold and promoted through their network.

This relaxed attitude towards quality control resulted in a profusion of low-quality products on their network.  As you can imagine, affiliate marketers and customers alike were not happy.  Fortunately, their policies became more rigorous and the overall quality of their service improved.

Clickbank is widely known for working with affiliate marketing newbies. Their service is free to use, and they still offer a myriad of programs that affiliates can join.

With a cookie duration of up to 60 days and commission percentages of up to 75% in some cases, Clickbank can easily become lucrative for newbies.

Commission Junction (CJ affiliates)

Commission Junction is another popular and well-established network.

With over 300 established big-brand advertisers like Go Pro and Priceline, and an impressive 43 % year on year growth in commissions, this network is definitely for the big players.

And occasionally for small players who aren’t so small anymore.

On this network, cookie life can be anywhere from 1-120 days, depending on the merchant.

ShareASale

This is another vast affiliate network. With over 3,900 merchants and 1 million+ affiliates, they have become a leader and a force in the industry

Some of their verticals include fashion, home and garden, food and drink, and even B2B products.

They are an affiliate network that is easy and intuitive to use and navigate. In addition to this, they pride themselves on their speed, efficiency, and accuracy.  This platform is a solid recommendation for beginners who want to get their toes wet in affiliate marketing.

The Big Dogs

As you can imagine, the more exclusive the affiliate network is, the more lucrative it has the potential to be.  Networks such as MaxBounty and Clickbooth are not for newbies.  You need established and successful affiliate income and traffic history in order to promote their offers.  These are intermediate and advanced level affiliate networks.

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Adwords vs Adsense: What is the difference?

adwords vs Adsense

Adwords vs Adsense vs Google Ads!  Oh my!

Adwords vs Adsense: They’re both Google products, what are the differences between them?

Let’s start off by saying that Adwords and Google Ads are the same thing.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

Long before blogs were the rage and the internet was much less hectic than it is today, Google, the company that never rests, was secretly preparing something that would forever change the way people and businesses used and interacted with the internet.

And among all of Google’s revolutionary products, none has been more popular or generated more income than its advertising platforms, Adwords and Adsense.

Statistics show that Google has a 75% search market share and generates 71% of its revenue from ads.

Because of the ubiquity of Google’s advertising platforms, you’d think that all of Google’s products are unique and the first of their kind.

But this isn’t the case for all their products.

Although Adsense was revolutionary, it originally wasn’t Google’s idea. Or at least they weren’t the first to announce it.

Applied Semantics had announced its service and already called it Adsense in October 2002.  But former Googler, Paul Buchheit, claims that the idea was talked about for a while at Google before they finally launched their prototype contextual targeting ads late in 2002.  And since Google released its program around the same time, it supports the theory that they had at least been thinking about the concept just like Paul Buchheit claimed.

Google had deep pockets, and they did what Facebook recently did with Whatsapp and Instagram; they bought the company and then incorporated some of its technology into their existing ads program.  They then proceeded to call their ‘content-targeted advertising program’ Google Adsense.

Google Ads: the evolution story

Unlike Adsense, Google Adwords, when it first launched on October 23rd, 2000, really was the first of its kind.  It was a revolutionary idea, one that changed the dynamics of internet advertising.

This two-pronged hook would meet the needs of both businesses and consumers.  It gave businesses the kind of exposure they couldn’t have gotten otherwise. It also simultaneously made it much easier for consumers to find the products and services most suited to their needs.

As the landscape of the internet has been remolded and reshaped by advances in science and technology, and as consumer behavior has adapted to these changes, Google deemed it fit to upgrade their tools and platforms to accommodate these changes.

They felt a change was necessary to adapt to the new digital landscape and to provide a comprehensive and intuitive platform for marketers who use Google products.  In an article, Alessandro Antiga, head of Brand, Digital, and Creative Operations at Google, gave some reasons why Google rebranded.  One reason they rebranded was “to help brands agencies, publishers, and advertisers better meet people’s needs by delivering meaningful and relevant messages.”

Over the years, Google’s customers had indicated that they wanted a single platform to “create, plan, buy and measure their campaigns.”  Marketers who used Google’s tools were already using products like “Double Click and Google Analytics 360 suite products in tandem to create campaigns and measure their impact”.

This trend was even supported by statistics

In an interview that Google conducted, of almost 1,000 marketers, a staggering 80% said they wanted to use integrated marketing and advertising technology from a single vendor.

This wasn’t the only reason too.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s head of ads and commerce, also stated that they wanted to change people’s perspectives about the platform to more accurately represent all of Google’s offerings.

Sridhar, in an interview with Search engine land, said that ” with Google Ads as opposed to Google AdWords, it is moving the imperceptible default opinion that you get as an advertiser when you hear ‘Google AdWords’ … you think, ‘Oh, Words. Search.’ It’s a slight cognitive dissonance to all the other great things that we are doing in terms of both the format and surfaces these ads can show. And so, Google Ads, in our opinion, is a much more straightforward representation of what Google advertising can provide. It’s that simplicity and alignment of the core message from the first instant you hear the name, which is the goal.”

If you’re wondering, Google didn’t change its core functions either.

Managing Director for platforms, Dan Taylor said that although its look and feel the change, the core functionality of Google Ads would remain the same.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the rich histories that make each platform unique, we’ll proceed to examine how each platform works and how businesses and marketers alike can use both platforms to their advantage.

What are Google Ads?

Adwords, in Google’s words, is a program that enables advertisers to creates ads which would appear on Google search results pages (SERPs), Google’s display network, Youtube, Gmail, and a network of partner sites.

The ads also appear in different formats, too, like text, shopping, display, video, and app installs.

Google Ads, depending on how you use the program, has the potential to be laser-like.

It can target users based on demographics like age, gender, location, sex, and a myriad of other demographics.

Careful consideration of demographics is crucial to the success of any campaign because, after all, there’s no point displaying your juicy steak ads to cabbage-consuming, kale-crushing vegetarians.

Doing so is contrary to what common sense would suggest.

Who can use Google Adwords?

Because of the almost nonexistent barriers to entry, most businesses can use Google Ads.

The platform itself is built primarily for businesses that either has a brick and mortar store or an online presence, or both.

Before we explore how Google Ads work, we’ll take a sneak peek at Google’s sneaky method of ensuring that advertisers continue to spend fantastic sums of money on ads.

Sneak peek at Google’s sneaky methods

When Google first displayed Ads, they appeared on the right side of the SERPs. But Google discovered that placing ads above the fold would increase clickthroughs, which would invariably result in more money.

Through A/B testing, they found ways to make ads even more inconspicuous.

Ads were previously yellow, and they would also have text alongside to emphasize their ‘adness.’

But as Google continued to test, and as users became more biased towards organic results and learned to blatantly ignore ads in favor of organic results, Google began finding even more subtle ways of displaying ads.

They went from using yellow to a subtle green, which more closely resembled organic results.  These days although Ads still look like ads, they don’t scream ‘ad’ like the older ones used to.  And you likely wouldn’t know if you were clicking on an ad or an organic search result.

While I may call this camouflage “sneaky” the truth is, advertising has always evolved to appeal to its target market.  It’s the nature of marketing and we should all be following this trend.  Design can make or break your ad campaign.  So take note and give your customers what they want!

How Google Ads work.

Any business, a remodeling company, for instance, can advertise on Google Ads by creating ads that are optimized for keywords like ‘cost of remodeling in SA’ or ‘tools for remodeling.’

Businesses can optimize for any keyword, depending on whether they’d like to reach a local audience or a larger international one.

But because of the high earning potential of the Google Ads program, many advertisers and businesses jostle for the most competitive keywords that rank the highest on the first page.

Google helps businesses more closely match their products and services to the most relevant audience by letting them bid for keywords and ad space on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) or display network.

In return, advertisers pay every time a user clicks on an ad. In other words, they pay per click, hence the acronym PPC.

However, whenever at least two advertisers bid for keywords that a lot of users enter, Google triggers an auction.

A Google auction is not like a typical auction where the highest bidder always wins, and the auctioneer rattles on like a machine gun. In a Google auction, instead of the highest bidder winning, the bidder with the highest Ad Rank wins.

This strategy is simple, click fraud – the process of repeatedly and intentionally clicking on an ad in order to increase revenue, whether by automated or human means – is common.  Auctions based on quality is one way in which Google can try and mitigate this.

What is Ad rank?

Ad Rank is Google’s system of determining whose ad is the most relevant. Ad Rank is calculated by multiplying the maximum cost per click bid with the quality score of the ad.

And the quality score is calculated by factoring in things like a page’s relevance to the keyword, clickthrough rate, and user experience.

Google triggers this auction to encourage and reward advertisers with the most relevant and most engaging content.  They also reward these advertisers with higher ad rankings and lower cost per clicks.  They, however, do the exact opposite to advertisers whose content isn’t so engaging.

Advertisers with low-quality scores will only get a high ad position if they pay a ridiculously high cost-per-click bid. If they cannot afford a higher cost per click, they have to settle for rock-bottom ad rankings.

Adsense works a bit differently.

What is Adsense?

Unlike the case of Google Ads, where businesses have to pay Google to advertise on the SERPs,  Google’s Adsense program pays webmasters (those who own websites) to display other Adwords ads on their sites.  Native ads and text ads are the most common.

In return, Google pays the webmasters a certain percentage of the Adwords average cost per click whenever users click on a particular ad.

To explain better, Adsense is one way that Google advertises businesses. So, other webmasters that have partnered up with Google (through Adsense) get a cut of the money that businesses pay through Adwords.

Just like in the case of Google Ads, the webmaster is paid per click or thousand impressions depending on the ad.

The webmasters have total control over where the ad appears on their website, the dimension, and the general appearance of the ad.

Who is Adsense for?

Adsense is a website monetization tool.  If someone is scrolling through social media, sees an article that pikes their interest, clicks on the article ink, sees a relevant ad and clicks on the ad, they have been part of an Adsense monetization funnel. Congratulations!  They have helped bolster the economy and further the success of many small businesses.

Adsense works best for those with a sizeable audience. The emphasis is on sizeable because Google Adsense isn’t as profitable as other networks.  But even if the payout is small, it’s a start, so if you want to monetize your website, sign up for Adsense.  Period.

How does Adsense work?

Just like in the case of Adwords, advertisers bid for a webmaster’s advertising space in Google Adwords, and the one who bids the highest gets the space.

And the good news is that Google takes care of the billing so that webmasters can just sit back and watch the cash roll in. Literally.

The Google Ads platform allows advertisers to optimize their ads for the greatest ROI and click-through rate, but it doesn’t afford Adsense users such a luxury, as the position of the ad, it’s coloring, and the size are all at the webmaster’s discretion.

The whole process is automatic too. Businesses that enable the display network through their Adwords account will automatically have their ads displayed on relevant third party websites that have signed up to Ad-sense.

The caveat, however, is that unlike in the case of Google Ads, where there are almost non-existent barriers, and almost everyone can sign-up, Google Adsense is more rigorous.

We’ll get to that in a bit.

Adwords vs Adsense: Which should you use?

There are situations where Adwords is suitable and when it isn’t. The same goes for Adsense too.

As we’ve previously established, there are no absolutes when it comes to using Google’s advertising platforms, since they solve different problems for different people.

Adsense is for webmasters who want to sell advertising space to businesses, while Google Ads is useful for businesses that want to advertise on Google’s display and search network.

Although businesses can use both the search and display networks for advertising, they are best used in tandem for the best results.

When users see a display ad on another website, there’s no intent to buy; they’re just looking for helpful information. The logic is to use display ads first to create awareness of a product.

This works out well because it is much cheaper to advertise to a new audience through one of Google’s partner sites compared to the high CPC of using Google Ads.

Businesses can use the display network to increase brand awareness and to create brand recognition, thereby creating demand

With Google Ads, there is already search intent and demand, so Google Ads helps you to convert users who are already aware of your brand into paying customers.

Google Adwords vs. Adsense: The sign-up process.

Signing up for Google Ads is so simple and uncomplicated. All you need is a Google account.

You sign in to a Google Ads account using the same email address and password you would use for your Gmail account.

As we have established earlier, signing up for Google Adsense is much more rigorous and complicated than that.

To get a Google Adsense account, you would need to provide the following information:

  • Your website URL
  • Language
  • Account type
  • Your name and address
  • Phone number

Even after providing all the information required, you don’t automatically become a part of the Adsense Program.

Google still has to evaluate your site and approve of you.  Google is trying to prevent consumers and advertisers from click-fraud and any other unsavory practice.

If they do that, you will then be given a code that you can use to display ads on your website. You may then customize the ads as you so desire.

As a consolation, despite the long and arduous process of signing up, Adsense is free to use, and you’ll hopefully earn boatloads of money.

There are no rules when it comes to advertising with Google’s major advertising platforms. You just have to outline your goals and make sure that you are using the platforms to achieve those goals.

And if the whole thing becomes too complicated and convoluted, and you find yourself out of your depth, hire a digital marketer. Or a digital marketing agency.

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