Your Online Advertising Guide

Naturally building relationships with your audience via quality, interesting content is the best way to promote organic traffic and customer loyalty. Complementing your content and relationship efforts with professional, appropriate digital advertising can be a good way to boost numbers, especially in the short term. It’s important never to fully replace your organic efforts with paid marketing, though, and we always advise striking a balanced effort in favor of building lasting relationships with the reader.

Digital advertising is a continually evolving landscape with many paths to success, and a satisfying return on marketing spend if you do opt for paid methods requires you to stay up-to-date with trends and tools. Our guides to digital advertising cover many topics, providing guidance and actionable steps so you can build a strong foundation in ads ops.

 

VIDEO ADVERTISING

When it comes to online advertising — or marketing of any type — video isn’t new, but it’s definitely a continuously emerging format for web branding. As more people across the world gain access to high-speed internet, video is becoming a favorite way to engage, educate and promote. Cisco’s VNI Forecast for 2015 through 2020 predicts 69 percent of web traffic will be video-related by 2017, so it’s not a tool online advertisers can afford to ignore.

Today’s video advertising isn’t all about glossy Hollywood campaigns and enormous budgets. With a smartphone and a few social media profiles, you can create engaging, effective video marketing that gets people talking about your product, participating in your communities or sharing your pages. Our definitive guide to online video advertising helps you get started.

Read our full guide on video advertising

 

MOBILE ADVERTISING

If you’re looking for the best way to advertise online, don’t forget how most people access the internet. Around 2014, the number of people accessing the web via mobile devices eclipsed the number of people using desktop computers, and that trend isn’t going to change in the future. To capture the widest possible online audience, you have to be able to reach smartphone, tablet and other mobile device users. Luckily, mobile platforms provide seemingly infinite pathways to consumers.

Our ultimate guide to mobile advertising introduces you to marketing via Google, apps and games. We’ll also discuss some of the top trends and platforms in mobile marketing.

Read our full guide on mobile advertising

 

DISPLAY ADVERTISING

One of the most versatile types of online advertising is the display ad. They work across almost every platform — including social and mobile — and are easily integrated into the existing themes and site architecture for websites. Most content management systems have pre-built tools that let you launch display ads as banners at the top or bottom of pages, on side margins or within the text. Engaging display advertising often includes more than flat images and texts, letting you capture the audience’s attention with rich media, audio, and even video.

Display ads are one of the older forms of online marketing, but they can still be highly effective. You can overdo this type of campaign if you aren’t careful, which means walking a line between eye-catching advertising and over-the-top, spam-like marketing.

Find out more about display advertising with our complete guide, which walks you through display ads on popular platforms for search or mobile. We’ll also cover how to target ads and which advertising networks you should be looking at for the best chance at success.

Read our full guide to display advertising

 

PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING

With so many types of digital advertising available, it can become a seemingly impossible task to keep up with campaigns and maximize marketing spend using data-backed decision-making. Programmatic advertising takes some of the work out of the process and ensures your campaigns keep running via new ad space even when you or your staff aren’t able to constantly buy or negotiate ad purchases. This is the future of ad buying online, but it’s not a complete replacement of the human element in web marketing — for programmatic advertising to work, you need both machines and people involved in the process.

Learn about the basics of programmatic advertising via our comprehensive guide. It includes information on Real Time Bidding and where you can get professional services for programming video, display, and other marketing.

Read our full guide on programmatic advertising

 

NATIVE ADVERTISING

Native ads fit in stylistically or contextually with the page they appear on. In-feed ads on social sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram are great examples of native advertising — those campaigns look and feel a lot like the posts that surround them, so platform users often engage with them in the same way they would posts from friends or family. In a study from Sharethrough and IPG Media labs, 25 percent more users looked at in-feed ads as opposed to standard banner ads on the same page.

These types of advertisements, which can be incorporated into search listings, social profiles, content management platforms, eCommerce sites and blogs, are highly effective for targeting mobile audiences and generally have a higher lift than static banner ads. The success of native ads is due in part to the fact that they appear to be part of the content, which means they’re seen as being more trustworthy than a more obvious advertisement.

With that trust comes responsibility, though, and brands must be careful that they don’t wear out their welcome when it comes to native placements. Leverage the power of contextual and social marketing once you read our guide to native advertising. We’ll also provide some best-practice examples of this tool and point you in the direction of some of the top platforms.

Read our full guide on native advertising

 

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Facebook’s ad revenue grew a whopping 59 percent between 2014 and 2015, and it continues to trend up. While Facebook is certainly a giant among social platforms — or online sites period — the upswing in social advertising is something that all brands can play to their advantage. Akin to native advertising, social media marketing lets you meet the audience where they are, making it a powerful channel for inbound efforts.

Each social platform has its own advertising program, and you can run your social ads via on-platform tools or a variety of plug-ins and advertising apps. While launching an ad on sites such as Twitter or Facebook is simple — you can get an ad running with less than $5 and 5 minutes on Facebook — ensuring your campaigns perform is no simple matter.

You can’t learn how to advertise online without reading our definitive guide to social media marketing. We cover the topic for beginners and intermediate advertisers in a way that’s easy to understand, so you can implement new tactics immediately.

Read our full guide on social media advertising

 

PAID SEARCH ADVERTISING

Paid search advertising is also called search engine marketing, and it’s not the same thing as search engine optimization. SEO usually involves optimization of web content to rank higher in the search engines; SEM involves activities such as paid search ads and pay-per-click advertising to get in front of search users.

While Google AdWords is usually the first platform people think of when considering SEM, numerous helpful tools exist if you want to get involved in paid search advertising. Regardless of which platforms you choose, simply tossing money at ads and assuming you have the right keywords and targeting is often a waste of money. Strong paid search efforts are contextual in nature and targeted using a foundation of behavioral and demographic data.

Our guide to paid search advertising helps you understand how to build that foundation using landing page testing, keyword mining, and budgeting. We also cover topics such as ad placement, PPC bidding, and quality scores.

Read our full guide on paid search advertising

 

RETARGETING

After going through the work of bringing visitors to your site, it seems like a waste if they leave without making a purchase. In reality, most first-time site visitors don’t follow through on calls to action, but retargeting is a way to remain fresh on their minds so they remember your brand when they’re ready to take action. When retargeting, you work with a vendor that uses cookies from your site to put your ads in front of visitors who’ve browsed elsewhere online.

While retargeting is a proven advertising method, it works best if you drill down to various visitor segments. Targeting someone who browsed women’s dresses with adverts for tools isn’t necessarily effective, but showing someone the same type of dress they searched for a few days ago could be the thing that pushes them to make a purchase.

To get great results with retargeting, check out our comprehensive guide. We introduce you to retargeting via Facebook, AdWords, Twitter, YouTube, email and other platforms so you can find the strategy that works for your brand.

Read our full guide on Retargeting

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