As a small business, we understand the struggle companies have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel the anxiety of economic uncertainty, 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 still slowly opening up to business that is a new normal, people are spending more time on the internet. According to Global Web Index, more than 80% of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. 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 provides a unique flexibility to reach your audience more easily than traditional advertising. Digital ads run 24 hours a day and you are only billed when someone relates to the message and click into the ad. 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 number of possible impressions, not actual viewers who engage with your ad.
A Little Goes a Long Way
Compared to other media, digital advertisements are relatively inexpensive. When advertising online, you can set a daily budget based on what you can afford. No matter how big or how small your budget is, you are paying for engagement, not a mysterious group of people who may or may not have paid attention to your ad. In social media advertising, you can reach 1,000 people on Facebook for less than $10. These campaigns help your organic Facebook campaigns because engagement with your ads triggers Facebook to serve your organic content to more people in their newsfeeds too.
Comparatively, it will cost you a few thousand dollars for a billboard or prime-time TV spot. Not to mention, these mediums may deliver impressions if your audience is paying attention, but there’s no any easy way to measure actual attention and engagement. Digital advertising is easily tracked to your website analytics, including all the way through your customers’ journeys.
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 in to, 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 (all the way to a ZIP code, an address or a convention center where you know your target audience is gathered), 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 media 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 an ad that isn’t performing the way you wanted it to.
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 altogether 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 digital advertising cost, 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!