This is a question we get asked all the time at Buzzshift. Many businesses know who their target customer is, but they aren’t always sure where to find them or how much it might cost to reach them. Many platforms and channels reach different audiences at different stages of the customer journey. Below we will discuss a wide range of places you can advertise digitally, and where to attract the audience you’re looking for so you can build the best marketing plan for your brand.
Social Media Advertising
Social media ads are one of the most well-known and widely used forms of paid media. One reason is that, as consumers, we interact with these ads on a daily basis which makes them come to mind first when we’re thinking about advertising for our own brands. Paid social ads are a low-barrier entry into digital marketing with many methods of developing ads and several platforms available to choose from. Whether you plan to advertise on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, or any other platform, the right platform will be based on the level of effort you are looking to put into your content creation, the audience you are looking to target, and the ad spend budget you have allocated.
For a successful paid social ad, you need the right content and targeting strategy, effective and eye-catching creative assets, captivating copy, and a sufficient pool of advertising dollars to pull from. For those willing, it is best to tackle this process one step at a time. For those who find this daunting, there are hundreds of agencies out there (BuzzShift for example) who are eager to help with everything from the strategy and channel selection through creating the ads to managing and optimizing the campaigns for you.
One of the most important parts of social media marketing is making sure you analyze and learn from your ad performance so you can optimize your campaigns, refresh the ads on the right cadence, and drive conversions!
Search engine marketing (SEM) is when you create an ad that will show up in a search result. The biggest player in this space is Google by a large margin, however, Yahoo and Bing also receive notable amounts of traffic as well. Yahoo and Bing tend to be less expensive than advertising on Google and have a lot of similar targeting features, but their reach is more limited as most users conduct their searches through Google. By using Google search ads and developing the right keyword strategy for your brand and budget, you are ensuring that when someone does a search for your business, your products/ services, or highly relevant topics, you will be one of the first things that they see. Google Ads allow your brand to appear in the search results, on Maps, or on the Shopping tab.
Search ads help your brand show up to the right people, at the right time. For example, if you sell red shoes, you could bid on the ad space and lead users to your product page if they search for the keywords “buy red shoes”. If the user performing this search saw your ad as the first result, there is an immensely higher chance that they would click the ad and purchase your shoes, since they are already showing intent to purchase what you are selling.
Even though this is only one example, you can see that advertising on search engines such as Google can allow you to find your target market at different stages in the buying process, educate them on your brand, and guide them to make your desired action all with precise keyword targeting. Google Ads are also a perfect channel for brands that may not have a brand story that is easy to showcase visually or do not have access to or budget for a creative team to develop ad assets.
Display network ads are banner image ads that appear at the top or in the side margins of many websites, including news websites. These are a great way to keep your audience engaged no matter where they are online. Display ads are effective methods for building brand awareness or helping to retarget your audience and remind them to reengage with your brand.
You can post these ads through tools like the Google Display Network through Google ads, or using services like StackAdapt, Adroll, or Criteo. They require a similar strategy and investment to social media advertising and allow you to target users who may not be as active on social media or those you can reach on both platforms for an extra touch point.
Native ads are typically single image or gif ads that appear in the middle of a news article or piece of content on a website. These ads normally lead to an article-style landing page and can be used to further explain the details of your product/service or compare yourself to your competition.
Native ads are typically run through platforms like Taboola or Outbrain and can be more affordable in terms of ad spend. The main downside is that is it to scale up past a certain point. You can reach any demographic, but most of the targeting will come down to the algorithm and how you decide to bid on website placements.
We know these options can be overwhelming. The platforms you should choose will depend on factors like your marketing budget, creative creation capabilities, and where your target audience is spending their time. If your ideal marketing platform isn’t clear to you right now, that’s okay. You can contact us at any time and we would be more than happy to learn more about your business and send you in the right direction!
BuzzShift is a digital growth strategy agency with a focus on mid-market, scaling, purpose-driven DTC Brands. By combining the ideologies of branding, performance marketing, and retention agency, we are able to create memorable experiences with measurable results, and build long-term success for our clients with scalable, sustainable growth. Learn more about BuzzShift.