Demystifying Digital Advertising: 12 Ways Local Brands Can Run Online Ads
The landscape of digital marketing is so massive that sometimes, it can feel like there is an unlimited number of ways to use digital resources to connect with online audiences.
With so many opportunities, it can be overwhelming to try and discover all of your digital advertising options.
To help simplify the landscape, we created this guide on demystifying digital advertising so you can get an overview of paid online ad options. Use this guide to identify the platforms and digital advertising methods that will work best for your local business.
Digital Advertising Terms to Know
Before we jump into the list of digital advertising options, let’s first run through a few important (and commonly misunderstood) terms you may come across through the process.
- PPC or Pay-Per-Click Marketing: Digital ads that you pay for based on the number of times people click on it. Ads have a cost-per-click, and it is charged each time a user clicks on the ad. Many digital advertising platforms use a PPC model. Learn more about PPC for local businesses.
- SEM or Search Engine Marketing: Marketing tactics that pay for ads on search engines. This is different from SEO or search engine optimization which uses tactics to increase organic (unpaid) search visibility.
- Geotargeting: Using audience location (based on city, neighborhood, or zip code) as a targeting option in paid ads. Geotargeting is a powerful targeting tool for local brands that only need to connect with audiences in a specific area.
- Retargeting Ads: The act of showing ads only to people who have already engaged with your brand in some way (whether they visited your website, engaged with your social pages, signed up for an email list, etc.). Learn more about digital retargeting.
- Google Display Network: A network of platforms and sites where Google ads may appear outside of Google’s search results pages. According to Google, “The Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide, across millions of websites, news pages, blogs, and Google sites like Gmail and YouTube.”
12 Types of Online Ads
Now that you know the tough terminology associated with online ads, let’s look at a list of your options for digital advertising platforms.
#1) Google Search Ads: Ads that show on Google’s search results pages. You choose the keywords you want to target, and your ad shows when users search for that term.
#2) Google Display Ads: Banner ads that show on websites and apps that are in Google’s Display Network. You submit the graphics and choose your audience. Google places the ads on sites in their network that are most likely to get in front of your target audience.
#3) Google Video Ads: Video ads that play before or during YouTube videos or show as videos (in place of static graphic ads) on Google's Display Network. You create the video and submit it to Google, and they place it on channels across both networks.
#4) Google Shopping Ads: Ads that share information directly tied to specific products. They may appear on Google as Product Shopping, Showcase Shopping, or Local Catalog ads. You create the campaigns and add the product info through Google ads.
#5) Bing Ads: While Google remains the most popular search engine, it's worth noting that you can create many of the same type of search, display, video, and product ads through Bing's network.
#6) MyArea Network Display Ads: Hyper-targeted display ads that show on MyArea Network sites. Choose the Area Network where your customers are (Area Networks are categorized by local area codes), and choose pages closely related to your campaign (like placing an ad for a happy hour special on a local bars page) to get the best ROI on your ads.
#7) Geofence Ads: Display ads and videos that target people based on their exact location. Ads are shown on third-party websites and apps to customers when they walk in or out of a set geographic boundary. You create the ad and set the exact location you want to target.
#8) Facebook Ads: Sponsored posts that appear as photos, videos, slideshows, carousels, and dynamic product ads in the Facebook feed or sidebar. You create campaigns within Facebook to boost your content and campaigns.
#9) Instagram Ads: Photo and video ads that appear as Sponsored Posts in a user's feed or as Sponsored Stories in a user's story timeline. You create the graphics and decide to show it as a post or story.
#10) Twitter Ads: Promoted Tweets that look like regular Tweets and show in a user's timeline. You can tell that a Tweet is sponsored as it includes an ad designation. Ads can include graphics, videos, and call-to-action buttons.
#11) LinkedIn Ads: Promoted posts that appear as sponsored updates in the LinkedIn feed. Ads can also appear as basic text ads on the sidebar of the site.
#12) Pinterest Ads: Pins that appear in a normal user feed as Promoted content. You create the Pin graphic and caption and boost it to get it to appear in more timelines across the platform.
Launch Powerful Digital Advertising Campaigns
Even once you know your options for digital advertising, it can still be difficult to decide which platform is best for your business, audience, and goals.
Before you start putting money into paid ads, talk to the team at MyArea Network.
We can help you analyze your marketing needs, determine which platforms are right for getting the most bang for your buck, and even help you set up and launch your campaigns.
So don’t spend a dime trying to reach audiences on the wrong platform. Talk to us about our expertise in geofencing or how we can help you launch display ads across our proprietary local area sites. Create a plan that leads to real results. Schedule your free consultation today.