The Power of Digital Advertising

By: Amanda Fischer

As a small business, we understand the struggle companies are facing amid COVID-19. We know that the future of our nation’s economy is uncertain, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to position ourselves for success. Digital advertising is a huge opportunity to increase sales despite social distancing policies.

Follow the Money

With most of the country under stay home orders, people are spending more time on the internet. According to Global Web Index, more than 80% of consumers in the U.S. and UK said their media consumption has increased since the pandemic started. Additionally, the New York Times found traffic on popular social media like Facebook, Netflix and YouTube has increased by 27%, 16% and 15.3%, respectively. Since people aren’t out and about, advertisers need to meet customers where they are.

Digital advertising also has a bigger timeframe to reach your audience than some forms of traditional advertising. Digital ads run 24 hours a day and only bill based on who sees it. Whether it’s 3 a.m. or 3 p.m., all a person has to do is open an app to see your ad. With traditional ads (radio, TV, billboards, etc.), people are likely to just see your ad at certain times during the day, and you pay based on a pre-established price, not actual viewers like digital.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Compared to other mediums, digital advertisements are relatively inexpensive. When advertising online, you can spend a minimum of $1-$10, based on which platform you choose, and up to millions of dollars. No matter how big or how small your budget is, you can make large impacts online. For example, on average, you can reach 1,000 people on Facebook for less than $10.

Comparatively, it will cost you a few thousand dollars for a billboard or prime-time TV spot. Not to mention, these mediums won’t guarantee you reach your target audience.

Reaching your Audiences

Digital advertising allows you to strategically target specific audiences. This is a big advantage over traditional advertising mediums. Although you can place ads on radio or television stations that your target audience tends to tune into, there is no way to guarantee you will reach the people you want.

Digital advertising gives you the opportunity to identify and narrow your audience to ensure you reach the right people. You can choose the location, gender, age range, interests and other identifying characteristics to determine who your ad will appear to. By narrowing the audience, you can ensure more qualified leads, or those already interested in your products and services, see your ads. Another key selling point to advertising online is that you can track who sees your ad and if they interacted with it.

Traditional mediums can give you some estimates as to how many people saw your advertisements (also known as impressions) and who those people are, but they can’t give you exact analytics like digital ads can. To that extent, mediums like billboards can’t tell you anything about the exact impressions or viewer demographics. Using analytics from social media platforms, Google analytics or third-party analytic trackers, you could see exactly how many people viewed your ad, the demographics of your viewers, if they interacted with it and more. These insights will let you know if you are reaching the right people and how affective your ad really is.

Flexibility like Never Before

Speaking of ad effectiveness, digital advertising offers the flexibility to tweak and adjust ads as you go. In traditional advertising, if the ad doesn’t speak to your audience like you thought it would, you most likely don’t know for a few weeks to a month, and there isn’t much you can do about the poor ad.

Through online analytics, you get feedback on how your ad is performing almost instantly. Although you should give your ad a day or two to determine its effectiveness, you can go into poorly performing ads and adjust the design, verbiage, audience, keywords and more to help it perform better.

The fast feedback gives you the ability to experiment with certain ad styles and approaches to see what resonates best with your audience. Using the analytics, you can see what verbiage catches your customers’ eyes, see what media assets encourage viewers to click into your ad and develop a better understanding of your audience. This can all be done at a smaller cost and with little risk compared to traditional advertising.

You also have the option to stop the ad all together if it becomes obsolete or you’re investing money with no results. Finally, if the ad is performing well, you can run additional ads or increase the budget to maximize your outcomes.

Control Over Your Budget

We already talked a little about the budget of digital ads, but it’s important to reiterate the fact that you have complete control over your budget. Whether your ad is on a platform that charges using a CPM or CPC bidding process or sets a daily budget, you can establish a budget ceiling so you never spend more than you want to. Additionally, you aren’t married to the maximum budget you originally set. Advertisers are free to lower or increase budgets at any time in the ad lifecycle.

Although there are many advantages and reasons to use traditional advertising, digital ads offer a lot of unique opportunities – especially during the craziness we’re experiencing right now.

At M3 Group, our top priority is to help businesses see success well beyond what they knew was possible. Our staff’s expertise combined with a strategic partnership with Idea Applications, makes us a one-stop-shop for all your media buying and digital advertising needs. If you want to maximize your reach and increase sales, give us a call!