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Online Advertising. What platform should I use, when and why?

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Nowadays, online advertising is a must have for any kind of organization. However, there is no such thing as two identical organizations, and while some might need brand awareness, some others might need direct selling.

Based on the marketing strategy, your product type and your budget, you can chose which approach best suits your advertising needs.

Cost per click, thousand or acquisition?

When it comes to online advertising, there are 3 models that have gained notoriety, and the difference is basically made by the type of payment you consider the most suitable for you. The pricing structure chosen often reflects who has the bargaining power, and it is an indicator of the products’ quality as well.

The 3 online advertising models available at this moment on the market are:

  • Cost per click (CPC);
  • Cost per thousand (CPM);
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA).

Nowadays, it is clear that CPC and CPM dominate the online advertising market. CPC, in particular, is preeminent for major internet players such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, while CPM is often preferred by other sites, especially those ones oriented towards a more specialized content, which have a clearly defined target audience.

CPC is mostly used with text-oriented ads that appear on search engines, while CPM is used for image-oriented banner / display ads. Even the emphasis is different on these two models of advertising. CPC is mostly used for getting a response from the market, while CPM is mostly used for branding purposes.

CPA is the best deal of all for Advertisers, as they only pay for media when it results either in a sale or in a conversion. Because it is very hard to measure the actual conversion if you, as an advertiser, do not have a clear framework in place, CPA is mostly used as a Key ROI and optimization metric and rarely as a pricing option.

What is the best platform for your advertising needs?

Advertising on the inappropriate platform can make you start off on the wrong foot and it can represent the failure of the entire campaign even before the beginning.

Now let’s have an analytic look at the most popular platforms available on the market for applying the above-listed models, and discover their advantages!

1. Facebook

From my experience as a digital marketer, Facebook Ads can be used for both brand awareness (if you are selling premium products) and for selling per se, especially for short use consumables with a low price.

When selling premium products, Facebook Ads can only prove to be efficient if you are willing to offer valuable resources for your target audience in order to create engagement. Only after this engagement is created, you can start using it as a selling funnel. I would not recommend a percentage higher than 10% for selling posts, only after your audience is engaged to the Facebook page.

If you are in the situation of selling short term use products with a low value, Facebook can be used as a selling funnel and the way you can create engagement is through the usage of special offers or announcements that are only available through your Facebook page, so people will be engaged with it in order to keep up with all these promotional options.

After you start such a campaign, you can boost your performance by adding a timer to your promotional announcements on Facebook in order to rush people to have a reaction/response to your promotion. Timers can always be used in online promotion as a trigger of a response.

Be careful! The number of Likes is not a good indicator for measuring engagement towards your Facebook page!

2. Google AdWords

Numerous digital marketers might say that the online advertising giant, mostly known by advertisers, can drive qualitative traffic to your business site, but in fact Google AdWords cannot be used for all types of businesses. The platform is highly dependent on the type of product you are selling and, as for Facebook ads, I would highly recommend it for selling short term use products with a low value.

If you have both a lot of patience and a considerable budget, Google AdWords can be used for premium products too, if you are willing to include it in a well-developed, inbound marketing strategy. However, patience and considerable budget are something quite rare in today’s business environment.

Why do I make these statements about Google AdWords? In this platform, you are bidding for a keyword, so you are unable to target your audience based on different indicators, such as the budget available, their current occupation, their professional needs and their age.

A solution for this problem is to use long tail keywords and, as mentioned above, to constantly optimize your AdWords campaign until you find a version of it that works for your business. However, never think there is a final version of an Ad, there will be always different possible ways to improve your AdWords campaign.

3. LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn started as a professional network based on resource and knowledge sharing on specialized topics. In other words, on this platform most of the users are professionally determined and are looking for resources and knowledge across the internet. They are not speeding time on LinkedIn in leisure purposes.

From this point of view, LinkedIn can be the platform on which you can sell premium products and the so-called niche products for the high society. Another big advantage of LinkedIn is that you are able to target your audience based on their occupation, their age, the education degree, the certifications obtained and so on. In other words, there are numerous options for targeting your audience based on their profile.

I would not recommend LinkedIn Ads for short term use products / low value products and for products that do not require such a targeted audience, because the minimum cost per click is 2$. This can be considered expensive in comparison with Google AdWords and Facebook, especially if your product has a low value.

In comparison with Google AdWords, on LinkedIn you do not bid for a keyword, you bid for an audience. So basically, the cost of your LinkedIn Ad is highly dependent on the amount of Ads that are targeting the same audience as yours.

Professionally speaking, LinkedIn offers a hyper-targeting option for any advertiser based on the audience profile or the so-called demographics, which is a unique option in the advertising market.

Choosing the best model, as well as the best platform, will undoubtedly determine the success of your campaign! However, keep in mind the main advantage of online marketing: it is easily measurable and you can always optimize the way your ads perform!

Make informed decisions, learn from your mistakes and continuously improve your strategy in order to succeed!

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