Advertising in the digital age
Anyone in marketing will be well familiar with the dramatic way in which the advertising landscape has changed in recent years. Whereas traditionally media buyers would have concentrated on print, radio and TV, the last decade has seen increasing proportions of ad spend make its way online.
The rapid pace of change may be staggering, but it is unsurprising. The digital age has created more advertising channels for marketers to exploit. It has enabled the industry to find new ways to reach the end consumer.
Crucially for marketers, online advertising has introduced the potential for measurement of how their ads are performing. Whereas it is near impossible to get an accurate idea of the impact of advertisements that appeared in print, or on the radio or TV, digital advertising can be measured and analysed in a quantitative manner.
This has made marketers' lives much easier, as this measurement is a valuable tool for teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of their promotional efforts. It also helps to provide insight into what type of content is popular with their audience, and the type of tactics that should be avoided.
Social media, display advertising and search engine marketing are all examples of the different ways in which marketers can reach clients through online mediums.
What is PPC advertising?
Search engine marketing or PPC (pay per click) involves promoting a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results page. While there are different types of PPC ads, the most common types are paid search ads that appear when people search for products online.
Today, search engine marketing is becoming increasingly important due to the sheer number of people who use search engines. Research suggests that there are 3.5 billion searches a day on Google. This equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide.
Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to rank highly on search results. A clear illustration of this importance is the more than $10 billion that over 7 million advertisers have invested in PPC ads - just in 2017.
Many marketers believe that search engine marketing is the most effective advertising channel due to the brand awareness factor. PPC advertising immediately pushes your brand to the top of the search results, even if you are usually on the last page. This means that a business with no existing awareness can instantly gain traction by moving to the top of the search engine results page.
Secondly, it reaches the intended target audience using keywords, meaning ads will only appear to customers searching for relative products. Very importantly for marketers battling for budget: it is also less expensive than traditional advertising mediums. Instead of paying £500,000 to (potentially) reach 100,000 people watching a TV programme, PPC allows you to control how much you spend and adjust it depending on performance.
Given the growth we have already seen for this advertising medium, we anticipate that digital advertising will continue to rise in popularity for the foreseeable future. The key challenges then, are ensuring your PPC campaigns are as impactful as possible - within the parameters - and that your message is engaging enough to convince your audience not just to click on your ad, but to follow through with a transaction.