If you’re like me and are old enough to still remember the days of using top online casinos ca billboard ads, radio and newspaper ads for business marketing, then you know what I’m talking about!
When I first started in marketing (over a decade ago) the standard marketing campaign included all of the above, plus a small budget allocated to Facebook ads. Fast forward to today, and not only is Facebook now called Meta, but advertising has completely changed over the years with little ol’ Facebook/Meta taking over a huge chunk of advertising campaigns, and the rest going to Google, YouTube other social media platforms and other digital platforms, like news websites and online magazines where the banner ads are called “native ads.”
This may be a confusing world to some brick-and-mortar businesses that had used the older marketing channels for many years, so I will give a brief overview of how digital advertising works. What used to go on a billboard to drive brand awareness (now titled Top of Funnel) goes on Google Display Ads and Facebook Ads that are aimed at familiarizing consumers with a brand via visuals, video content or, more cleverly, through a Lead Magnet–a freebie download that will capture email addresses the business can then use to build a relationship with the potential customer.
After the Brand Awareness campaigns, the next step on the Customer Journey (in the Middle of the Funnel) are “Nurture Campaigns”. This is where strategic brands continue to build a rapport with the consumer by offering information about their company values, mission and vision, and providing free content that they know (after doing research) their customers are interested in. Social media, blogs, podcasts, videos, newsletters or downloadable freebies are all ways of nurturing leads who are interested in the product offerings. Engaging with potential customers via webinars or Facebook Lives is another great way to build that relationship.
Asking for the sale, whether it’s a new program for a sales-based business or product sale for an eCommerce business comes at the Bottom of the Funnel and is referred to as Conversion. It makes perfect sense that people buy from people (not companies) so they need the time to get to know a brand and its company owners or the people within it and build the Know, Like and Trust Factor before committing to buying something from the company. This is why freebies, email lists, and Facebook groups are so useful.
The reason digital advertising is better than the olden ways of billboards and newspaper ads is that marketers now have so much more control over targeting. Say you advertise on a billboard by the highway, you have no control over the customer segment that you are targeting, so if your product is only for a specific customer avatar then you would be wasting your marketing dollars.
For example, soup and coffee companies can still use billboard placement with some success because almost everyone consumes their products. But if your product is for, say, female entrepreneurs, and the highway has at least 50% male drivers, and of those women only about 10% of them are entrepreneurs, then it will not be a very successful marketing campaign.
With digital advertising, we have complete control over what audience we want to target, we can target by age, gender, geographic location and even interests and hobbies. This way your advertising is seen by those who it is meant for and therefore has a much higher chance of conversion. We can even re-target people who visited your website or downloaded your freebie as they are more likely to purchase after already having been exposed to your brand.
One way to speed up the whole conversion process is with Google Ads, SEO or Digital Ads that lead to a Landing Page.
SEO builds your digital reputation over time so that, based on the evidence provided for search engines (by SEO pros) you come up at the top of the search results and are seen as the go-to authority in your industry when a potential customer is searching for services or products like yours
Ads that connect to a Funnel Page/Landing Page/Sales Page try to go through the whole client journey in one, concentrated, and usually long website page. If a Landing page is designed really well then it will complete all of the requirements for introducing the brand, connecting with the target audience, building confidence in the brand, and closing the sale.
If the Targeting, Customer Research and Brand Strategy are all done professionally then a sales campaign like that can be much more successful.
Just keep in mind that most successful, professionally done campaigns have a conversion rate of just 1-5%. This is largely due to how much competition is out there; the average internet user is bombarded with ads and offers on a constant basis so it becomes a lot harder to cut through the noise. The strategy with Sales campaigns is to have a big ad spend so that even the low 1% conversion rate will still result in a high enough number to produce a good ROI.
So for example, if you have the budget to advertise to 250,000 people then you can expect about 10-25% of them to actually click on the ad and then 1% of that number to convert. So you have to keep your product price in mind and do the calculations to make sure you will still make a good profit at the end of the campaign. This is why the longer version of the customer journey with a quality nurturing campaign is sometimes a better route.
With SEO, the investment is high as well, for a good SEO service the budget is $1500 to $2500+ per month and the ROI is not instantly apparent, because just as with real life, building a reputation takes time. The internet is a digital version of your brand slowly being known by more and more people, directories, newsletter publications, basically the world. So the process of building that reputation and proving to Google that you are the go-to authority in your niche or geographic location takes time.
I hope that helps put digital advertising into perspective for you and if you ever need help with any of your campaigns, you know who to call (us, Dream In Digital)!