We’ve gone over the basics of why digital advertising matters in part one of this series. Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty details. What are the best digital advertising tactics to implement for your business? When considering the plethora of tactics, some niche and others extremely technical, start with the fundamentals. The basics are pay-per-click (PPC), display and social media advertising. Understanding these strategies will help you discover what is most profitable for your digital goals.

Is PPC still profitable?

The PPC advertising model is about as old as the internet. However, there are still billions of searches per day on Google, and the number is growing exponentially. Using PPC search ads ensures you’ll reach your digital audience. Specifically, PPC ads target your audience as they are searching for topics, products or questions related to your business. Earning organic visits through SEO-friendly content is still a priority, but paid search gives marketers the autonomy to reach the right people at the right time, which is crucial to making that sale, capturing leads or driving traffic to more content.

Keeping PPC a profitable advertising tactic begins and ends with research. You may already use an advertising platform like Google Ads to run search campaigns, but are you benchmarking against competitors? Evaluating keyword difficulty and finding the gaps help your advertising stay relevant and ensure you’re not underserving of any key audiences. Additionally, are you validating your goals against tangible metrics? We often have an overarching goal with our search campaigns; for instance, we want to drive more clicks to our website. Hold your goals to finite measurable actions. Instead of only measuring total website traffic, validate against a specific goal. For example, target an increase of users by 100 total new users each month for the duration of the campaign. Don’t be deterred by starting small. Try concentrating on creating realistic, measurable goals and hold yourself accountable.

Is display advertising too expensive?

There is a conception that running digital ads on websites is expensive. This is no longer the case. Digital advertising combines algorithms and big data to not only simplify audience targeting but aid in optimizing your ad budget while not overspending. For instance, the capability to monitor which webpages run your ads, which ads deliver the most clicks and which sites give you the most value for the lowest cost all help you maintain and execute profitable strategies.

With the Google Display Network, you can reach customers on their most visited websites, on a video from YouTube, while they are checking an email in their Gmail account or when they are using their favorite app. That being said, make sure you build your ads right the first time so they are optimized for their specific platforms, such as developing ads that function responsively on a publisher’s site. If you run display ads currently, try focusing on retargeting to people who have previously visited your site or app. Retargeting campaigns take some knowledge with tracking and analytics. They are, however, an excellent tactic to subsequently send users through your conversion funnel. Ultimately, putting relevant ads in front of your customers while they surf the internet is essential to creating sales, while making the cost to serve display ads worthwhile.

Should you pay for social media advertising?

Using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or even Snapchat ads is how you can engage in conversations that matter most to your customers. Social referral traffic can be a major asset to your website. As users spend more time on social media than any other application, you can meet them where they are most and help direct users to your website or relevant content.

Similarly, to other display or search networks, you’ll be able to leverage data and select audiences that are most interested in your content. High-performing social campaigns design ads to fit the platforms natively, which translates to more authentic engagement and doesn’t violate the trust of your customers. Create brand awareness for your products and services around relevant conversations or messages to your target audience. Over 2 billion people are using social media at all hours of the day. If you are not using paid social media advertising, then you could be missing out on opportune times to reach your customers.

What’s the most cost-effective advertising tactic?

There is not one digital advertising tactic to rule them all. Likewise, focusing on paid advertising while ignoring organic issues is not a wise way to spend your budget. Find an ideal mix of organic and paid advertising that provides results for your digital goals. When you do choose an advertising tactic, don’t be afraid to test and experiment. Collecting qualified data is the best way to analyze if you are truly receiving ROI on your digital marketing efforts. Once you’re ready to implement a new tactic, keep in mind the best practices to optimize your advertising.