A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Advertising

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Digital advertising is becoming an increasingly complex industry, with new platforms and strategies popping up.Digital advertising is becoming an increasingly complex industry, with new platforms and strategies popping up.

Google ads, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on and on.

If an audience exists, there are ads to meet them.

And as a digital marketer, you want the right clicks going to your business.

Background Information

We are exploring various ad networks, starting with Google ads, and will continue to flesh out this article as we make our way across the multiple platforms.

Feel free to weigh in with your lessons learned and advice.

Before we dive into our current lessons, let’s level set on key terms.

What is Targeted Advertising?

If you want to succeed with digital advertising, you want the right people to click on your ads.

And by right people, I mean those who have a problem that your solutions can help them overcome. They have money to spend and a clear timeline to solve their challenge.

Clicks that don’t convert into revenue are simply money down the drain.

What are the different types of targeting?

The three primary types of targeting are:

  • Demographic targeting
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Retargeting.

Let’s briefly explain each.

Demographic targeting focuses on age, gender, location, and interests.

Behavioral targeting goes further, looking at past online behavior as an indicator.

Retargeting targets people who have already shown interest in your solutions.

What are Ad Networks

An ad network controls where the ads will be displayed.

Display networks will show ads on websites that display advertisements.

Search networks show ads on search engine result pages — think Google and Bing.

Social media networks show ads to users of various social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Important Metrics

The most commonly tracked digital advertising metrics include:

  • Clicks – the number of times the ad was clicked on.
  • Cost per Click (CPC) – the amount of money spent by the advertiser, on average, per click.
  • Impressions – the number of times your ad was displayed on the ad network
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – the amount of money spent on the ad, on average, per one thousand impressions.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) – the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.
  • Cost per action (CPA) – the amount of money spent on the ad, on average, per conversion.
  • Conversions – the number of times people took the desired action on your ad.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – the amount of revenue generated by the ad divided by the amount spent on the ad.

What is Click Fraud?

Click fraud occurs when ad clicks are made by anyone other than an actual potential buyer.

You can do this manually or through automated scripts run by so-called click farms.

Click fraud is a big problem that costs everyone a great deal of money.

Tools like Clickcease are focused on keeping bots away from your ads, definitely worth evaluating in most cases.

Our Digital Advertising Process

Trust Enablement had largely avoided digital advertising until the beginning of May 2022.

Not because we had any issues with it, but simply because we have focused on growth through search engine optimization.

However, it was time to move forward with our advertising efforts and document them along the way.

What Is Our Approach?

Let’s walk through our approach to digital advertising.

Note: We’ll then run through this process on various ad networks so you can see how it’s done.

Determine What You Are Selling

Sounds obvious, right?

Are you selling access to a new white paper or webinar and looking for email addresses?

Are you selling a product or service and trying to complete a sale or generate a meeting as a result?

Defining Your ROAS Target

Industry averages for ROAS, according to Nielsen research in 2016, vary based on several factors, but 2.5-2.7 is the approximate average.

It is always worthwhile to find an average for your specific industry, but the 2.5 number can be used, on average, to determine how well your ads are performing.

As you’ll see, however, digital advertising requires patience, close measurement, and regular adjustments to the ad, your landing page/funnel/blog post, the offer, and more.

The key is to define your goal; ours is simply a ROAS greater than one.

If your ads are focused on lead generation, determine the actual value of a lead for your business, and use that to define your ROAS target.

Identify your ICP

Targeting.

You want the right people, as we said earlier, to see your ad.

What demographic or behavioral information do you have about these potential buyers?

Determine Where Your ICP Hangs Out, Digitally

Do you need to reach them on social networks? Search? Elsewhere?

This will define if you want to use display, search, social media ad networks, or all.

Build the Offer

Create the landing page, downloadable content, and any other assets to bring the buyer to your site.

Create the Ad Copy

Copy/text/messaging is critical — what will inspire your prospects to click on your ad and buy from you.

Launch and Test

I mentioned this already; digital advertising requires constant tweaks and adjustments. Maximize ROAS and your profits, and either move on or let it run forever.

Running our Process on Google Ads – Search Ads

We are consistently running approximately 10 Google search engine ads at a time.

Our ads focus on driving traffic to specific landing pages for affiliate products we know we can make a solid ROAS when we promote.

Determine What You Are Selling

For this walkthrough, we will simply walk through setting up an ad for Vendasta’s white-label product.

With the potential revenue of 40% of the subscription revenue for the first two years of a customer’s subscription, there is great potential for positive gain (this averages to $230 per month for two years = $5520).

A question, of course, is how many of these solutions do we feel we could sell each month.

We open our favorite SEO tool and enter a few keywords related to Vendasta to gauge if there is sufficient monthly traffic.

In this scenario, we evaluated the following keywords we felt were related to Vendasta.

  • White label
  • White label software
  • White label solutions
  • White label tools
  • White label marketing software
  • Local business consulting software
  • Small business consulting software
  • And so forth

We ended up focusing on this type of data to decide how to focus our messaging:

  • Volume – Monthly searches in your region (in my case, the USA)
  • GV – Global monthly search volume
  • TP – Traffic Potential if you could rank #1 for this keyword.
  • CPC – Cost per click to gauge the potential cost
  • CPS – Clicks per session, roughly how many pages are opened for this search.

After analyzing the data, I decided to focus on “white-label marketing tools” as our primary and secondary ad testing for local business consulting software.

Defining Your ROAS Target

Developing ads requires patience and a lot of testing, so ROAS over the first week can often be poor.

However, my goal over the first two weeks of a new ad is to iterate ad copy, targeting, landing page copy, design, flow, and so forth until we reach an ongoing ROAS of at least 3.

Does this always happen?

Honestly, it’s too early for me to report on our results, but I’m sure the answer will be no.

Identify your ICP

In this case, Vendasta has excellent information on their ICP.

Determine Where Your ICP Hangs Out, Digitally

Again, in this case, we know we can reach them on Google search, so feeling positive on this front.

Build the Offer

In our case, we used Landingi for our landing pages and built out this sales page for selling Vendasta as our favorite white label marketing tool — which it is.

This followed our standard approach with three sections, each with CTAs, to lead buyers to make the right choice — to navigate to the website and hopefully buy the solution.

Create the Ad Copy

We often use solutions like Jasper, WriteSonic, Rytr, neuroflash, or QuillBot to develop the initial drafts of our ad copy.

I’ll come back to this article shortly to share more on developing your ad copy and details on using Google Ads.

Launch and Test

Yes, self-explanatory.

How Is The Campaign Running?

After the first couple of days, I ran the report for this campaign in Google Ads (Campaign Report) and saw this.

I only look at two things in this report:

  • CTR. Nearly 6%.
  • Cost. With 76 clicks, I’ve paid $137.59.

According to industry data, 1.9% is the industry average, so I’m okay with this CTR for now.

Okay, so I don’t need to tweak the ad copy for now; how effective is the landing page? In other words, am I making money and hitting my ROAS target?

Remember, this is only a couple of days into the ad execution, so I don’t expect to be hitting ROAS yet; I’ll be happy for a sale and to learn any areas of improvement to maximize my investment in this ad.

Note: I’ll add information on setting up conversion tracking in a future update.

A couple of days in, I have a CTR rate on the landing page of 40.6%. In other words, almost 41% of the people landing on the page navigate through the page and click on my “Start Free Today” button.

That’s 13 clicks over to the Vendasta site.

I’m expecting to make a sale within the first fifty clicks. This isn’t my ultimate target but is my initial target as the first few days are focused on learning and improving.

We have also loaded the ad account into our free Adzooma account to allow it to do the busy work of monitoring and tweaking the ads for us.    It saves us some time each week while also keeping us from constantly refreshing the ad screens. 

Let’s see.

No sales yet.

Next Steps With This Ad

I am happy with the various conversion rates.

I have invested less than my average return for a single sale (by $100 right now).

I’ll re-evaluate the ad in a couple of days in hopes of making a sale with a positive ROAS and plans to make adjustments to some part of this funnel to improve ROAS.

Stay tuned.

 

Common Questions With Digital Advertising

 

If you bid $2 for a click and the next highest bid is $1.25, how much will you pay?

Ad networks, like Google, for example, will charge you one cent more than the next highest bid, not your bid amount. In this example, you would be charged $1.26, or one cent more, to win the bid.

Which best describes the relationship between maximum cost-per-click (max. cpc) bids and ad rank?

CPC bid is one factor that affects Ad Rank.

Which bidding option is best suited for an advertiser focused on direct response marketing goals?

Google AdWords will likely be the best choice because it will help them meet their goals.

Which bidding option is best suited for an advertiser focused on branding goals?

Which bidding option is best suited for an advertiser focused on branding goals?

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