Instagram and Facebook and AdWords…Oh My!

July 12, 2017

Chris Devona

Deciding where to put your digital marketing dollars is a dilemma that many businesses, both big and small, struggle with. Some will choose top players like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Facebook. Others may opt for the latest and greatest, like Pinterest or Snapchat, and you can’t forget Twitter and LinkedIn. With all the buzz surrounding these platforms, how do you pick the right one?

It’s a good question, and one we’ve helped clients answer many times. Below, we’ve listed a few questions that you should first ask yourself, followed by insight relating to each of the major advertising platforms. Let these be your guide in choosing the right platform for your business. 

What Does My Potential Audience Look Like?

Before starting any sort of advertising, you should have a good idea of the demographics, interests and behaviors of your intended audience. Company A selling surfboards and Company B selling designer snow boots will likely have vastly different audiences.

Company A will want to know that the average surfer is 90% male, 34 years-old, usually goes surfing around 8:30 a.m. and lives along the coast. Therefore, Company A may be looking for an advertising platform that allows them to target a specific gender, age range, geography and time of the day.

Company B will want to know that the large majority of their clients live in up-scale areas, with an income of $100,000+ per year and have an interest in designer winter jackets. For this type of consumer, you’ll want to use a platform that can target based on income, cities, behaviors and interests.

The more information you can gather about your consumer the better. Knowing your audience and choosing an ad platform that incorporates the right targeting options is very powerful.

Should I Push or Pull?

Identifying your marketing goals will determine whether you should be participating in push or pull marketing.

Push marketing works well for unique products, expanding your brand, remarketing and driving traffic to your site. Many types of push marketing appear in the form of display banners, YouTube video ads, email promotions and more. They can be thought of as the billboards of digital marketing. These kinds of ads work well for consumers that are not actively searching for your product or brand, but may be interested based on previous behaviors.

Pull marketing allows you to appear in front of your perspective consumer when they are actively searching for your product, service or brand. Google AdWords is the most well-known pull marketing platform. When a user searches “pet supplies” in Google, they will receive up to four ads related to pet supplies. This allows the advertiser to be present in front of their prospective consumer at the perfect time. This extends to Google Shopping and Google Maps, making pull marketing a great option for ecommerce and local businesses.

What Does the Competition Look Like?

Taking time to research your competitive landscape will allow you to set realistic goals. A divorce lawyer looking to show up on the top results of Google will have to be prepared to shell out some major cash. On the other hand, a retailer selling hamster leashes may find the competitive landscape rather barren. Research your competitors and find out where and how they’re advertising. Ask yourself, “can I compete with what they have?” Depending on your resources, the answer may be no. If that’s the case, take advantage of alternate advertising platforms and different mediums to stand out.

After answering the questions above, you should have an idea of which platforms you might like to target. We’ve laid out some of the ad platforms that we work with every day. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us!

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is the largest platform for Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Whether you choose to use text ads, images, videos, or email, AdWords has what you need. There is a bit of a learning curve, and seeking professional consultation is highly recommended before entering your credit card information. Google AdWords is one of the most robust advertising platforms available, but it can get expensive. Understanding your goals, budget and the platform are crucial before getting started.

Pros:

  • Extensive Targeting Options
  • Large Audience Pool
  • Comprehensive Reporting

Cons:

  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Can Be Expensive
  • Fierce Competition

Bings Ads

Bing Ads is similar to Google AdWords as it also uses its search engine to serve ads. Although Bing has a much smaller audience than Google, their cost-per-click also tends to be lower. Many advertisers look to Bing Ads when they have maxed out there Google AdWords audience. Others choose to use it for the lower costs, which can lead to a better return on your investment.

Pros:

  • Lower CPC (than AdWords)
  • Extensive Targeting Options
  • Still a Relatively Large Audience Pool

Cons:

  • Not as Robust
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Can Be Expensive

Facebook/Instagram Ads

Advertising on Facebook and Instagram provides you with an incredible amount of detailed targeting options to reach your audience. However, it’s rare to see an advertiser get it right on the first try. These ads require a lot of testing, monitoring and time. Playing with the different call-to-actions, copy, images and targeting are all part of the process. These ads can lead to huge gains, but it may take a bit to get there.

Pros:

  • Unmatched Targeting Options
  • Extensive Reporting
  • Lower Cost/Click

Cons:

  • Complex Setup (Although Getting Much Better)
  • Relatively Low Conversion Rates
  • Not “Set it and Forget it”

Twitter Ads

While not as robust as the rest of the platforms, Twitter Ads can help build your social media audience and brand. They have a cheaper cost-per-click and allow decent targeting options to reach your audience. Twitter ads probably won’t be the only form of advertising you’re doing, but it can help bolster your social media presence.

Pros:

  • Good Targeting Options
  • Multiple Ad Types
  • Lower CPCs

Cons:

  • Ads Can Be Missed Easily
  • Limited Tracking & Reporting
  • Limited Account Service

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Advertising provides a great opportunity for business-to-business and professional services. LinkedIn is another platform that you need to be hands on. Just like Facebook, you’re going to need to test different audiences, images, and copy. Unfortunately, you do not receive the benefit of lower costs-per-clicks that Facebook offers. LinkedIn offers access to a unique audience that may not be present on other social media platforms.

Pros:

  • Extensive Ad Targeting
  • Reach High-Value Audiences
  • Easy Setup

Cons:

  • High CPCs
  • App for IOS Only
  • Limited Tracking

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest can build brand awareness, engage your audience, drive traffic to your website or increase app installs. Pinterest ads have generated a lot of mixed opinions from its users and we tend to see better returns with ecommerce websites. Pinterest draws many users looking for recipes, home ideas, and style inspiration. Making sure you’ve correctly identified your audience is critical before investing in Pinterest.

Pros:

  • Easy to Use
  • Great for Generating Traffic
  • Market Research

Cons:

  • Copyright Issues
  • Requires Active Management
  • Not Business Oriented
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