Updated: Sep 28
Up until the previous blog “What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM) and how to use It effectively?”, we talked about organic ways of using the internet to showcase your product / service. The organic methods consisted of presence on social media, proliferation through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and also maintaining Online Reputation through reviews & feedback (ORM). But in this blog, we will discuss how to effectively use Digital Ads to circulate the same message through automated channels by investing money in them.
Why pay for ads if organic is working?
While organic in the long term does make sense but to broaden your audience in a short duration, a brand must use paid ads. Let us take an example of a person “X” to talk about this. X might have 50 people in their sphere of influence who could be their potential audience but, the known people are spread across the country and might not be in immediate need of the product or service offered. Now, to reach out to more such potential audiences in their servicing area, X needs to use digital advertising through either search engines, social media, or other platforms relevant to their area and domain.
Think of Digital advertisements like Pamphlets & Hoardings in real life.
You put up hoardings and distribute pamphlets in areas where people are not yet aware of your product or are not able to be reached via word of mouth. Similarly, you show Digital Ads to potential customers who are not being reached through organic SEO & social media, but the advantage with Digital Ads is that you can target your audience by selecting different parameters like Age, Gender, Nationality, Income, Parental Status, Marital Status, Education, Occupation and much more.
With Digital Ads, you can choose What, to Whom, Where & When do you want to show your branded message and then you let Artificial intelligence do the heavy lifting for you. In addition to that, you can also generate reports & see how many of the audiences have seen the ad, have engaged with your brand, or have reached out by filling a lead form. You could start a customer purchase journey for someone & track them at a much faster pace through ads than through organic media.
When should you start Ads?
The most common mistake people make with Digital Ads is getting the timing wrong. You might think starting ads from Day 1 is the best way to go but that might not be it.
If you start Ads from the first day of the campaign, the customer might become aware of you as a service provider but when they start the customer purchase journey & compare you with competitors, they will not be able to find any more information about you to compare your services with a competitor which they are considering along.
Imagine that you are planning a vacation and are considering 4 hotels at the destination with identical offerings in product and services. When you go on the internet and research further about the hotels, you find that 1 hotel looks glamorous on social media advertisements but has no website and no feedback on any of the platforms. The other 3 hotels have all the prerequisites and additionally have blogs on their website which speak about the nightlife of the area, and free itineraries to tour the city.
Any tourist would neglect the hotel with the lower half of the pyramid missing from the UpwardsKV Model-1 for Communications, which this whole series is about. Consumers spend their money wisely and before doing so, they compare all the available options. For standing a chance to be in the list of eligible options being considered, a brand needs to build the base of the pyramid (Website, Organic Social Media Activities, SEO & ORM) before they start running digital ads on any Social Media Platform or on Search Engines like Google.
Else, where will your potential customer go to know more about your product or service to support their decision? That is why it’s important to follow the process and work on each step rather than jumping to the end.
Be wary of Digital Marketers who talk about putting money into Ads on Day 1 of the campaign, and make sure you lay emphasis on building a strong brand which consumers can trust.
A commonly overlooked but important fact is that paid advertising is not instant noodles. Running digital ads does not give instant results in terms of money and sales. In fact, International standards or benchmarks of social media are pretty low for all industries. Check out these graphs from 2021’s research across industries.
As per this research by unbounce.com, the top five industries with the highest website conversion rate are:
Catering and Restaurants (6.1%)
Media and Entertainment (4.8%)
Events and Leisure, Fitness and Nutrition (4.2%)
This simply implies that out of 100 people who see the ad (if run on the correct target audience) only less than 6 people will actually visit your website. And it is not implied that these 6 people will make a purchase immediately. The ad might lead to the beginning of the purchase journey for them or they might just be casually looking for information. Please read the whole blog to know more about other trackable indices.
Is such a low conversion rate not useless?
Even though the conversion rate is low, but ads work in bulk, they reach out to millions of people in a comparatively lesser amount of money, hence the conversion rate of 6% as mentioned above is also out of millions. Due to this reason of mass reach, digital advertising still excels in creating brand awareness. Once someone sees the ad, there are high chances they will remember the name of the brand for some time. If the ad is served on a regular basis in a particular serviceable area, the brand will remain on top of the customer’s psyche and that is the exact purpose of advertising, isn’t it?
Brands rely on their Digital Marketing Consultants to make them aware of both the ups and downs of the trade. While few consultants work like an ad agency trying to upsell the client everything they have to offer or like an online course seller trying to trap the audience in a vicious circle, transparent firms like The Unfinished Business hand-hold their partners and guide them through their branding and advertising journey. Be cautious of any digital advertisement on social media, making tall claims of "becoming a millionaire or even self-reliant overnight". Real brands are built over time.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it
Digital Marketers also use SQL & Python to do Post-Ad Campaign Analysis and dive deeper into what went well, what did not, and how to improve in the next campaign. While, as a Business Owner, you may hire Communication Experts like The Unfinished Business Co. who are trained professionals and experts in Digital Advertising, or you can always spend some time learning the skills from Youtube which is a free source with remarkable content.
If you are interested to know how professionals from the leading international organizations like Merkle handle their digital marketing campaigns for clients, then the below video is for you. The video contains an interview with Mr. Paras Bansal who is a seasoned digital marketing practitioner. Do check it out.👇🏽
Now that we know all about Paid Ads, when to use them, and how to analyze the results, we will discuss the top of the Pyramid of the UpwardsKV Model-1 for Communications i.e. Mass Reach through Public Relations in the next blog. So, stay tuned, keep reading our blogs, and let us know in the comments the difficulties you are facing with your digital marketing requirements.
Partner & Content Creator
The Unfinished Business
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