Did you know that the revenue generated from digital ads increased by 21% from 2016 to 2017?

Digital advertising is one of the fastest growing marketing channels today. Why? Because it helps you target a specific set of audiences and track results in real-time.

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Image Source – IAB

There are many benefits of incorporating digital ads into your marketing strategy. It’s cost-effective and can increase your brand’s visibility and engagement. It also allows you to tap into markets that are otherwise is difficult to crack.

There are many types of digital ads to choose from ranging from pay-per-click (PPC), social media advertising to mobile advertising, and more. In this blog post, we’ll review their use cases and discuss some of the most popular and effective digital ad types you can use to grow your business.

1. PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is very different from traditional advertising. Traditional ads are based on the concept of “pushing” consumers towards products, while PPC ads pull or draw consumers to your products.

PPC ads are shown to people who are searching for services or products similar to yours. Thus, viewers are already qualified leads – meaning the chances of them converting are higher. PPC ads are great for companies that offer services or products that many people on the internet search for.

The cost of PPC ads mostly depends on the competitiveness of the keywords you choose, but can also fluctuate due to other factors. For a PPC campaign to be successful, you need to select the best keywords that your audience is searching for(?)…

To find these keywords, there are tools available that can help you. Sites like Google Keyword PlannerMoz Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush can all make your job much easier.

While there are many different types of PPC ads such as display advertising, paid search marketing, and retargeting PPC advertising, one of the most common is paid search advertising. In a paid search strategy, advertisers bid for a position on search results pages where their ad would be placed.

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a. Google Adwords

Google AdWords is the most popular PPC advertising service. It allows you to create online ads that will appear in Google search results.

It helps you target audiences who are actively looking for services or products that are similar to yours. For example, when I search for “coffee table in California,” I see the following ads.

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Image Source – Google

b. Bing

Did you know that the Bing network captures 33.5% of the desktop search market in the US? This includes Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL sites. This means when you post your ad on Bing, it will show up on Yahoo too.

Bing provides advertisers better control over their campaigns. They allow advertisers to assign specific time zones to their campaigns. 

You can see some of the filters and options your content can come up for in more specific searches by consumers below.  digital-ads-bing.jpg

Image Source – Bing

Are PPC Ads Right for You?

Generally, PPC ads are best suited for local businesses. If you’d like your business to show up in “Near Me” searches, you should absolutely consider PPC ads. Usually, people who search for local businesses have greater purchase intent. So if they are ready to buy, and your business is the closest to them that’s advertised – you just might have a sale.

2. Social Media Advertising

In the age of the internet, social media is the best way to reach, connect, and engage with your audience. Social media advertising can benefit your business in many ways. In fact, the percentage of ad spending on social media platforms has increased year over year in the US, with marketers spending $22 billion last year, a 2.8% increase from last year.

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Social media advertising uses today’s most popular platforms to get the attention of audiences. Marketers use  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to target messages to their audience. Most of the time, these ads include visual and interactive content like videos or pictures.

a. Instagram Advertising

Instagram is a completely visual platform, and now has more than 1 billion monthly users.. If your brand can create attractive and engaging pictures or videos, Instagram might be the best platform for you.

Instagram has CTA buttons like “Sign Up,” “Shop Now,” and “Install Now” in their ads. These features are great for encouraging and driving your potential customers to your website.

Here’s an example of an ad from Green Chef that uses a CTA button.

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Image Source – Instagram

Instagram allows you to run ads using the following formats:

Photo Ads – Photo ads enable you to create a story about your brand using photography. You can also use photos to r feature your products. Make sure that your images are high-quality and visually appealing..

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Image Source – Instagram

Video Ads – Video ads enable you to create engaging videos (of up to 60 seconds) about your products or brand. Video can also also be a better option to show your product in use, like the video of the app below.  Create “thumb-stopping” moments through powerful visuals and audio with video ads.

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Image Source – Instagram

Ads on Instagram Stories – Convert your Instagram Stories into ads that will appear alongside other Stories from people your audience follows.

Also, if you have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can add a link to your website in your Stories. Then when viewers use the swipe up feature on your Stories ads, you can lead them to your website directly.

For example, Gap uses Instagram Stories ads to promote their products and drive consumers to their website.

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Image Source – Instagram

Carousel Ads – Carousel ads are created by combining multiple images or videos in a single ad unit. Viewers can swipe right to view each video or photo.

Here’s an example from Audible, an audiobook website.

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Image Source – Instagram

b. Facebook

In terms of monthly users, Facebook holds the top position with 2 billion users per month. This gives businesses a big opportunity in reaching new customers and expanding their business, especially with Facebook, letting you target specific groups of audiences.

When posting an ad on Facebook, you can use a combination of images, slideshows, and videos. Regardless of the format you use, make sure to use attractive and engaging content.

Take a look at the ad for LendingClub, for example. uses simple and powerful statements that describe their product

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Image Source – Facebook

c. Twitter Advertising

Twitter offers advertisers some unique features such as  precise keyword targeting, pay-for-performance, and creating tailored audiences. This makes it one of the most preferred social media platforms among marketers.

One of the best features of Twitter ads is that you pay after you’ve achieved your advertising goals. These could be high engagement, website conversions, follower growth, and app installs. For this reason, you could be getting more band for your buck with Twitter ads.

You can promote your tweets, which you can choose to display to people who are not following you but are likely to be interested. This will help raise great brand awareness.

Here is example of a tweet from Stitch Fix.

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Image Source – Twitter

d. Influencer-Generated Content in Digital Ads

You can also use influencer-generated content in your digital ads.

Influencers can act like bridges connecting your brand to your potential customers. They can help increase traffic to your website, increase your engagement rate on your digital ad content and ultimately, boost your brand’s revenue.

In fact, when one brand used influencer content in a YouTube pre-roll ad campaign they did with Reelio, they saw a 7x increase in watch time than their typical YouTube pre-roll ads without influencers.

But how are you going to use influencer-generated content in ads? You can use the Facebook Branded Content tool. This will allow you to see how your influencer-generated post performs.

There’s a similar tool available on Instagram as well, the only difference is that it it doesn’t provide you the option to run ads on influencer-generated content.

In these cases, you can opt for whitelisting, which involves you promoting an influencer’s post on their behalf through their account. To do so, see if influencers would be open to letting you get access to their social media accounts so you can run ads on sponsored content. You can keep an eye on the performance of sponsored content, add strong CTAs, or modify captions.

Before using influencer content in an ad campaign however, make sure you team up with an influencer who is relevant for your brand.

Are Social Media Ads Right for You?

With social media platforms reaching millions and billions of users, Businesses across every industry can have great opportunities to gain awareness from their desired audiences.

Be it a small or large business, product or service, when done correctly, it can take your business to newer heights. No matter which industry you belong to, it’s worth exploring social media advertising.

3. Mobile Advertising

Did you know that more than 90% of Google’s search traffic is generated from mobile devices?

If you’re not targeting mobile users, you may be losing out on some serious opportunities.

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Image Source – netmarketshare.com

The best part about mobile advertising is that you can run almost any kind of advertising as long as those platforms are available on mobile – for example, Instagram or Facebook mobile ads.

In mobile advertising, there are a few prerequisites. You must have a website which is mobile-friendly, or a mobile app.

Apps enable your potential customers to directly visit or contact you, which can have a great impact on your conversions.

In-app advertising is also quite a popular strategy in which brands display their ads on other apps. You can even advertise over text messages. Through text messages, you can send notifications about offers and discounts to your followers.

There are many tools you can use to implement mobile advertising, Adjust, AppsFlyer, and Kiip are some of the best tools out there.

Are Mobile Ads Right for You?

Not every business is mobile-ready and prepared to create content for mobile. However, businesses in beauty, fashion, or gaming can benefit greatly from mobile advertising.

Final Thoughts

No matter which industry you belong to, digital advertising can help your business grow. The variety of advertising options we talked about above can be effective at driving a number of different marketing goals, helping you promote your business and products more efficiently.

Technology will continue to evolve, and so will the habits of your potential customers. Stay on top of new platform changes, and new ways of advertising –  you’ll need to adapt accordingly in order to stay in the game.

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Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.