Do You Think Digital Advertising is Creepy?

Even when we’re adults and out on our own, we still call our moms for everything, especially when we don’t feel well. Just last night I called my mom to tell her I had a sore throat and a headache. She gave the typical mom answer and said “gargle with warm salt water and go to bed early and get some rest.” The next morning I woke up and was browsing the internet catching up on what was going on in “Bachelor Nation”, and I kept seeing ads for Dayquil. Coincidence?

Now, what I didn’t tell you before, was that that afternoon I went to Walgreens to buy some Dayquil, cough drops, and tissues, and when I purchased them, I did so with my Walgreens card. Before I went to Walgreens, I also looked up symptoms of strep throat and symptoms of the common cold. Just by doing these simple things, I was targeted because of what online behaviors I showed (behavioral targeting and/or keyword targeting) and where I had recently been (mobile conquesting). Digital advertising allows us to get so targeted, that some people might think it is “creepy”.

It is safe to say that in today’s digital world, ads aren’t going anywhere, so wouldn’t you rather be served ads that are relevant to what you like or enjoy, or are interested in? Personalized ads have a higher click through rate (CTR) than their counterparts ,and they reduce wasted ads spend. Advertisers can get super targeted with their messaging to consumers based on what they look for online, what they search for, what they buy, what they click on, where they frequently visit, where they’ve recently been, and so many other factors. A study done by Epsilion found that four-fifths of consumers are more likely to make purchases when a brand gives them a personalized experience.

As customers, we expect to be treated the way customers should be treated; we all want a personalized experience. If you are out to dinner and the waiter or waitress remembers your name at the end of the meal, you feel special because it was a customized experience. If you check into a hotel and the front desk says to “enjoy your stay Ms. Jones”, you feel special because it is now a personalized experience. Why wouldn’t digital advertisers want to send customized ads to potential customers as well? Seventy five percent of consumers said they prefer a world with fewer, but more personalized ads, with 71% preferring ads that are tailored to their interests and shopping habits.

When you hear about the different ways that we can target people with digital advertising, you might start to feel a bit uneasy, but you are feeling that way as a consumer. Flip that around, it is a way to reach highly qualified potential customers! Your competitors are taking advantage of the advanced technology when it comes to serving ads to a targeted audience, don’t have the “fear of missing out”.

See, digital advertising isn’t creepy; it’s hyper targeted based on individual behaviors to create a customized experience, so go ahead and embrace the ads for those gadgets, gizmos, and trinkets.

8 Things to Know About Digital Advertising

There’s a lot to know about Digital.  In fact, there’s a TON of information out there.   However, it doesn’t need to be complicated.

What is Digital Advertising?  This is when you buy advertising space across websites, mobile apps, and even social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, where audiences are targeted with the help of specific information about their online behaviors, interests, and purchasing habits.  What you might not know, is that digital advertising doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

If you’re looking into adding digital advertising into your media mix, here are 8 things you should know before getting started (in no particular order):

  1. Your competitors are already doing it.  You are not alone when it comes to digital advertising.  Take Facebook for example.  There are over 5 million businesses on Facebook that are spending money each month on advertising to their specific users.  Most of these are small to medium sized businesses.  Facebook is a monster (in a good way) tool to use for your business.  There are thousands of ways you can target your specific audience.   How do you do that? That’s just Facebook!  2019 is going to hit a milestone.  It’s going to be the first year that advertisers are spending more money on digital than on traditional advertising.  We expect digital ad spending to reach over $129 billion dollars this year.

2. Make your advertising mobile.  According to emarketer, time spent with smartphones and tablets increasingly skews towards mobile apps, rather than mobile website.   In fact, app usage accounted for almost 90% of smartphone time, and over 75% of tablet time in 2017.   That’s a lot of time for the 81% of adults in the US that own a mobile device and the 52% that own a tablet.  In addition to that, businesses have spent, in total, more than $58 billion on mobile.  We know people are spending money on mobile, and we know that people spend a lot of time on mobile.  What exactly is it?  Mobile Advertising, what we refer to as Mobile Conquesting is using location based, demographic, and behavioral targeting to reach consumers with digital ads (display and video) on their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).  There is so much versatility with Mobile Conquesting, one of the major reasons a lot of local advertisers turn to this product to advertise.  From specifically targeting competitors and events to promoting your business only during the time it rains are just some of the capabilities of Mobile Conquesting.   ROI is important to everyone, and one way to do that with mobile is to track in-store visits, for those of you with brick and mortar locations.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people are walking into your store because of your digital campaign?

3. Hyperlocal advertising is the new black.  Local advertisers have the ability to determine the geographical area where your ads are served.  We refer to this as geo-targeting.  This can be done in many ways.  You could start with targeting a specific mile radius around your business.  You could target your ads to be displayed only in certain zip codes.  You can also target the city in which your business is located.  There are ways to scale larger too, but for small and medium size businesses, those are the best ways to start.  Focus on your local area, one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing.  Then, as you grow, you can expand your targeting area.  Being able to focus on your community, on your neighborhood, and in only the areas that matter for your business is one of the reasons advertisers love digital.  You can zero in on what’s most important to you.

4. You can track metrics with digital.  With digital advertising, you have access to so much data.  It just depends on what you want to see.  For starters, Google Analytics is a great, free, tool that Google has that can be installed on your website.  It’s easy to learn as they have free classes.  It’s straight forward and you can go at your own pace.  

We provide monthly reports that include impressions, clicks, conversions, and view throughs on all reports.  In addition, for certain products we are also able to provide website/app breakout, creative performance, device performance, and top keywords. View-throughs are when someone sees your ad online, they don’t click on it, but venture to your site at a later time.  Those are important because not everyone clicks on ads.  They may see the ad and come to your site later, or they may just open up a new tab on their browser so they don’t lose their spot.  Either way, we track those.  Conversions, mentioned above, are key.  This is what you want someone to do when they come to your website.  Do you want them to fill out a contact form?  Apply for financing? Start a live chat with one of our agents?  Tracking conversions tells you what people are doing when they come to your website after being served your ad.

5. Use video when you can   Not every business has video they can use as part of their creative.  However, you can create video easily.  With apps like Ripl and Legend, making video ads has become a lot easier, especially for the small to medium size business that can’t pay outrageous production fees.  Some of the best performing video ads we have run were actually “homemade” video ads shot by clients on their smartphones. 

Why should you use video in your marketing when possible?  80% of internet users can remember a video ad they have seen in the last 30 days. Also, 90% of consumers claim that video will help them make a purchasing decision.  Video can be King, as long as it’s a good video.

6. Diversify. One of the best abilities that digital advertising has is the ability to utilize many digital platforms/products at the same time. One of the newest forms of digital advertising out there is OTT or “Over The Top” video advertising. With the ability to target the “cord cutters”, this new platform can serve ads on Roku, Slingbox and even TV apps like Fox and CBS. There are 168.1 million people watching content through services like these. That’s a lot of people that you can be advertising to and send in your direction that you might not be able to reach if you are only doing broadcast TV and cable.

7. Ad spending is affordable.  We all have marketing budgets.  With Digital Advertising, though, it is so streamlined.  With services starting as low as a penny per impression, digital can be purchased by any company.  Here’s the kicker… you get to target a much more specific audience of users: Those most likely to be interested in your product or service.  There is so much data out there that allows us access to it so businesses like yours can target effectively.  Some companies will have a Digital Buyer or hire a company to do the ad buying for them.  This accomplishes a few things.  One, it cuts down the amount of time you need to spend researching how to accomplish everything we’ve talked about above.  It allows you to focus on running the business that you own.  Lastly, it allows you to be provided with reporting on how well your campaign is performing. 

8. It can be easy to understand. The key here is to find yourself an expert.  That may be your local radio station, TV station, newspaper publishing company or ad agency.  We’ve all learned the information inside and out, and can break it down in a very simple, clear manner that allows you to understand it.  Just because you don’t know the world of digital advertising doesn’t mean it’s complicated.  It’s not.  Find yourself the right partner that can explain it to you, one that you trust, and that is truly interested in helping your company grow.

Digital advertising is growing.  More and more businesses are spending more and more money because it works.  We are all spending more time online, which means you have more opportunity to reach your targeting  audience while they browse on their favorite device.  Invest in yourself. Invest in your company. Invest in Digital Advertising.  It has become a must have as part of your marketing mix.