A strong digital advertising strategy could take your business over the top.
Before COVID-19, It was projected that over 600 billion dollars would be spent on advertising in 2020. In the US, more money would be spent on digital advertising than TV and print ads combined. Mobile advertising is expected to be double that of desktop, and a large portion of digital marketing will occur on social media. Marketing strategies are gradually transitioning from traditional to digital channels giving businesses more data analytics and flexibility. If you are considering riding this powerful new wave of online advertising, some of the following information may be able to help you on your journey.
To begin we will address some common digital advertising related questions and phrases that people have entered into Google’s search engine.
What is Digital Advertising?
Let’s start by breaking “digital advertising” down into two separate words.
Digital: Any form of media that relies on computer technology, electronic images, and non traditional internet tools or devices..
Advertising: Any attempt to promote or distribute information regarding a product or service that is for sale.
Now that we understand each separate word, let’s define “digital advertising.”
Digital Advertising: any attempt to promote the sale of a product or service by means of an electronic device, computer technology or use of the internet.
What are some of the different platforms used for digital advertising?
One of the most common digital advertising platforms used by businesses to promote products or services is a website. Websites consist of interlinked web pages that operate within the confines of a single domain name. Website’s are the framework of a businesses entire digital marketing strategy because the owner has full control over the platform. There are currently 400 billion active websites on the world wide web and approximately 4 billion unique internet users. According to a study by research firm Clutch.co, 64% of small businesses have a website.
Another platform used by businesses to market their products and services is email. Many businesses have adopted aggressive email advertising strategies that result in hundreds of billions of emails being sent out every single day. In 2019, it was estimated that over 3.9 billion people used email as a form of communication. That figure is expected to grow to over 4 billion in 2020 as businesses continue to try to stay in contact with their customers. Many of these emails will be in the form of a follow up. Research has shown that following up within an hour of meeting with a customer or client increases your chances of success by a factor of 7. The follow up is one of the most important parts of the sales process and emails make following up easy and convenient. The ability to track open rates as well as other analytics will give you the ability to test your follow up process and make adjustments based on the results of your emails..
Analytics that can be tracked for email marketing
- Open Rate
- Percentage of people who opened your email.
- Click-through Rate:
- Percentage of people who read your email and clicked on at least one link.
- Conversion Rate:
- Percentage of people who read your email and completed a task such as making a purchase or signing up for an email list.
- Bounce Rate:
- The percentage of emails that never made it to the recipient
- (ROI) Return on investment from your email campaign. Calculated by dividing total revenue by cost of email campaign.
The third digital advertising platform used by businesses is social media. There are currently 3.5 billion active social media users every day which is equivalent to about 45% of the global population. Facebook has proven to be the most used social media network by businesses with Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn playing influential roles as well. The average person spends 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media and 91% of those people are on mobile devices.
Facts and figures about some of the most popular social media platforms
60% of all internet users interact with Facebook. There are 2.4 billion active Facebook users. 80 million businesses use Facebook as part of their digital advertising strategy every day. Facebook is clearly the most used social media platform and with the average person spending almost an hour on Facebook daily, you would be crazy if you did not have a business page on this platform.
1 billion people use Instagram every month and 63% of users log in at least once per day. Around 33% of the most viewed stories are from business accounts. Instagram has a lot of potential for growth due to the fact that it is one of the most used social media platforms for teens. 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business page per day. Not utilizing Instagram as a business is hampering your ability to get your product or service in front of the eyes of millions of potential customers.
There are 330 million active Twitter users. The average Twitter user follows 5 businesses. 54% of Twitter users surveyed stated they have taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in a tweet. Twitter is not as widely used as Facebook or Instagram but the nature of the platform allows businesses to quickly respond to clients and customers. The fact that Twitter is not as popular as Facebook or Instagram does not mean your business should not utilize this platform. There is a lot of opportunity for small businesses to make up ground against other businesses who may not think it is worth it to build a presence on the platform.
LinkedIn has over 660 million members. LinkedIn is the number one platform B2B companies use to distribute content .More than half of the traffic driven to B2B company websites comes from LinkedIn. Digital advertising agencies who create content for other companies would be wise to have an active presence on LinkedIn.
The fourth platform used for digital advertising is search engines. Every year more and more websites are created and the internet is flooded with increasing information. For that reason, search engines are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are used primarily for internet searches but social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube also utilize their own search engines to help viewers find what they are looking for.
Who should be using digital advertising platforms?
If you are a business owner or entrepreneur who offers a product or service, your customers expect you to have a website. 81% of customers look up a product or service online before making a purchase. If you don’t have one, you are forfeiting potential customers and giving away business opportunities. Credible businesses send a message to their customers that they care about their needs. Your business can do just that by investing in a professional and responsive website.
Here are a few examples of specific business types who could create a positive experience for customers by making a user-friendly and responsive website part of their advertising strategy.
90% of guests search a restaurant online before dining. 70% of consumers say they would rather order directly from a restaurant instead of having to pay a third party fee. These two statistics indicate that customers would prefer for a restaurant to have a website. These statistics also reveal buyer intent so it would be profitable for a restaurant to fulfill the customer’s expectation and invest in a website. A website also prevents restaurant staff from answering unnecessary phone calls. When the menu is not available online, the phone rings constantly with people wanting to know what the special is or what is for dessert.
5% of all Google searches are health related. For local health facilities, having a website can have a big impact on how many patients they see. The following percentages reflect the amount of consumers who made a search online before scheduling a health appointment.
- Chiropractors – 61%
- Clinics – 67%
- Dentists – 71%
- Hospitals – 69%
- Nursing Homes – 79%
- Optometrists – 74%
- Physical Therapists – 84%
- Physicians & Surgery – 71%
Although only around 2% of patients schedule their appointments online, at least 70% of consumers call a healthcare provider after searching for them online depending on what type of service they are looking for. Over 90% of consumers make a call after searching for hospitals, nursing homes, physical therapists, and physicians.
- Every month around 34,000 people in the US use Google to search for “emergency plumber,” “emergency plumber near me,” or “emergency plumbing services.” When you add keywords such as “clogged toilet,” “water leak,” and “busted pipe,’ the demand for plumbing services only increases. The people typing in these keywords and phrases have a potential emergency and if you have a website, you will have an opportunity to be a solution to these problems
- 301,000 people search for “mechanic near me” on Google every month. Around 6 million traffic crashes occur in the US every year. In order for traffic to flow smoothly, vehicles involved in traffic crashes often end up being towed to local yards. Some companies however, will tow a vehicle to a mechanic or auto shop if the driver is willing to pay an additional fee. Law enforcement on the scene of a traffic crash must clear the traffic way quickly so being able to find a mechanic in local search results in a timely fashion is vital. If your website ranks well, you have a strong chance of winning the business of the driver in the described circumstance.
- Over 780,000 people search for some variation of “landscaping” on Google every month. Over 40 million homeowners actively invest in landscaping and 73% of business related to landscaping is from returning customers. The landscaping industry is projected to eclipse 100 billion in total revenue in 2020. Having a strong digital advertising strategy can help new landscaping businesses compete in an industry that is experiencing tremendous growth and increasing demand.
If you sell a product or service, email can be a great way of keeping an ongoing dialogue with your leads. 50% of all sales happen after the first contact so consistently reaching out to your prospect with high quality, valuable information can make the difference between a yes or no for your business. Emails are also vital to retaining customers as 49% of respondents surveyed said they like to receive emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.
Here are two examples of business types who could better connect with potential clients by implementing a robust email campaign.
The market share of the fashion industry is projected to reach 390 billion dollars by 2025. More than 50% of people who responded to a survey said they check their email more than ten times per day and it is their preferred way of receiving information from brands. 59% of respondents said that email influenced their purchase decision. Cart abandonment emails are a great way of re-engaging with customers who were about to buy but did not for whatever reason. Fashion has proven to see the biggest increase in sales from the cart abandonment advertising.
The return on investment for email marketing for the real estate industry is 38$ for every 1$ spent. 93% of realtors surveyed preferred to speak with their clients via email. In a 2018 industry report, it was discovered that the average open rate for emails was 19.24% with a click rate of 1.9%. Asking leads to provide their email address during an open house or after an appointment is a great way to start building your email list.
All businesses that are serious about connecting with potential customers need to have a business page on all major social media channels. Putting fresh new content in front of the eyes of your customers can result in sales as 54% of social media users are purposely researching products. 71% of people who have had a positive experience with a particular brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to family and friends.
Social media could bolster sales and engagement from the following business types
- YouTube is a social media platform that the entertainment industry has benefited from tremendously in recent years. By using movie trailers and snippets for ads the entertainment industry has been able to re-direct viewers from the video they were originally viewing. YouTube call-to-action buttons make it easy for viewers to navigate between videos and click on more compelling content.
- Pet Grooming & Day Care
- With so much competition on the internet and social media, being able to capture someone’s attention as they scroll through a search engine or feed is absolutely vital. Pets & Animals have the highest click through rate of all ad types on Facebook and Instagram and it’s not close. Ads featuring pets and animals have a click through rate of almost double the total average of all types.
93% of all online experiences begin with search engines. People trust search engines to produce the results they are looking for so much that they will type a business name into the search engine to save time instead of entering an exact web address. All businesses interested in growth and competition should absolutely be aware of where they are appearing in search results. Over 90% of all users click on a website located on the first page of search results. More and more businesses are using optimization tools to rank higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Due to the prioritization of ranking higher on search engines, viewers are having more positive experiences and enjoying the accessibility of more valuable information.
Search engines are dominant when it comes to businesses driving traffic to their content.
- There are 75,000 searches per second on Google
- ⅔ of all clicks go to the top 5 organic search results
- Over ⅔ of digital marketers believe that driving traffic using search engine optimization is more effective than pay-per-click ads.
- Search engines have proven to be 300% more effective for digital marketing purposes than social media.
Search engine optimization is so powerful when done correctly that some digital advertising agencies will offer it as a service without truly being able to deliver. The value of the service and the amount of work required to do search engine optimization the right way carries a larger price tag. Companies that see the value in the service but have a lower budget will sometimes hire companies at a much lower price who use practices that go against Google or other search engine guidelines. In some cases, they may not do any services at all and leave the client empty handed. Here are a few examples of search engine optimization strategies to look out for that violate policy.
- Keyword stuffing
- Hidden/Invisible links or text
- Buying and selling links
- Private blog networks
Everyone wants their website to rank on page one today, but using techniques that circumvent Google’s goal of user satisfaction will eventually result in your website being de-indexed which will hurt your business badly.
When should I start using these platforms?
Most businesses aren’t using every platform to promote their business. Some businesses start off on social media because it is less expensive and they can reach the people they already know first. Adding new platforms to your digital advertising strategy is good for reaching more people, but you need to make sure you can consistently give proper attention to new channels once you start them. Here is some information explaining when businesses should begin using some of the platforms we have already covered..
It is not uncommon for a business to have a website built before official launch. When a business is starting out, there is a lot of excitement and a lot of opportunity to drive traffic to your website. People who may not necessarily be interested in your product may still promote your website because of a friendship or family relationship. One of the factors search engines consider when deciding where to rank your website is your domain’s age. It may also be worth it to buy your domain name early before someone else can take it. With free website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, there’s no reason why your business can’t have a professional website during the early stages of development.
Chances are, you are already using email for businesses purposes. If you aren’t, you could benefit from immediately integrating email into your sales process. The key is making sure you are using email enough and using it in the most efficient manner to stay in contact with your leads. You may also be interested in getting a professional email box for your business. You will be a lot more credible if your email doesn’t end in yahoo or gmail.
You probably already have a personal social media page. Creating a business page is quick and simple and can be connected to your personal account. Make sure when you create your business page that you are not creating another personal account and naming it after your business. You want people to be able to like your page, not send it a friend request.
If at all possible, you should start optimizing your website for search engines from the very beginning. If you don’t, there is a possibility you may have to retrace your steps or make costly changes. Being cognizant of search engine optimization may alter your business name, slogan, or other significant parts of your business. Getting traffic to your website is going to be extremely important for your business success so keeping search engines in mind from the start is a smart idea.
How do search engines like Google decide who ranks on the first page?
The answer to this question requires an understanding of how Google makes their money. Google’s business is based on their ability to provide the most relevant search results to consumers. When a user enters keywords and phrases into Google’s search engine, ads appear at the top of the search results. 13% of all the clicks on the first page of Google go toward the ads which companies bid on in an effort to direct viewers to their website as a possible lead.
There many different factors that Google considers when ranking websites in the organic section of their search engine. Here are a few examples:
- Age of domain
- Keyword Density
- Domain Authority
- Bounce Rate
- Mobile Compatibility
Google wants the most relevant content to be on the first page because they profit based on the consumers ability to find what they are looking for in a timely fashion. The person who makes the final decision on what is relevant is the consumer. If Google places you on the first page and people are not clicking on your content, your ranking will begin to decrease. If a consumer clicks on your website and leaves after only a short period of time, that is going to tell Google that you are not the solution to the consumer’s problem and you are going to slide in the rankings..
What should my budget be for digital marketing?
Research has revealed that the average budget for marketing services for businesses range between 6%-12% of annual revenue.Some companies may spend more and there are some companies who don’t spend any money at all on marketing. If you decide you want to go with the average and spend around 8%-10%, the next decision to be made is what percentage of that will be digital versus traditional. With consumer culture and social media having such a stranglehold on mobile device use in the US and around the world, digital appears to be the way to go. Here are a few reasons why digital marketing should take the lion’s share of your budget.
- Digital marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing and provides a better return on investment.
- You can operate your business online and reach customers beyond the walls of your storefront location.
- More engagement from consumers
- You can track the results of your ads and make adjustments based on the behavior of consumers.
- You can target your audience specifically based on many factors including location.
Here are some strong return on investment statistics for digital marketing
- On average, companies generate $2 for every 1$ they spend on Google Ads.
- On average, companies get a return on investment of 40$ for every 1$ spent on email marketing.
- Digital content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional content marketing.
You have a lot more flexibility and control with digital marketing than traditional. The fact that you can track analytics including impressions, likes, comments, shares, click rates, and other forms of engagement is a game changer for business.
Your digital advertising strategy should include a website, email process, social media channels, and search engine optimization in order to truly compete in today’s digital age. The technological transition that we have been through as a society over the years is astounding and as a business we have to be able to keep up and adapt. Ideally, your business is going to be using multiple platforms to give yourself credibility and show consumers that you aren’t falling behind the times. Let’s go over a quick summary of what you should be doing on each platform to set yourself up for success.
- Your website should be mobile compatible
- Clear navigation
- Social media integration
- Content that is up to date
- Contact information that is easy to find
- Professional Titles
- Personalized to prospect
- Follow-up process
Social Media Presence
- Google My Business
Search Engine Optimization
- Website optimized for local search
- Content easy for Google to crawl
- Enough relevant content for Google to trust you enough to rank
If you don’t already have a digital advertising strategy, it’s not too late to get started. If you just started your business there is no reason to wait before establishing your online presence. The time is always now for digital marketing because it is affordable, has a great return on investment and a lot of it can be done along the way for free.