Online Advertising – Part of the Online Marketing Mix

An online marketing strategy should include various tactics that work seamlessly together to increase an organization’s visibility and credibility. Online advertising is a piece of the online marketing puzzle that would benefit most businesses.

Online advertising complements other online activities, and can be especially helpful in filling a void while search engine optimization efforts are initially being undertaken. It can also provide valuable analytics and insights to improve overall online performance and results.

There are many online advertising opportunities available to increase an organization’s reach and to generate inbound leads.

Different advertising vehicles are appropriate for different business situations – selecting the right approach is key. Three distinct online advertising approaches are:

  1. Pay per Click (PPC)
  2. Advertising on Social Networks
  3. Banner Advertising

Pay per click is a type of advertising available through search engine providers such as Google (Google AdWords) and Bing/Yahoo (AdCenter). In simple terms, pay per click is based on a keyword bidding system. Advertisers agree to pay a “per click” cost per keyword. The ad is displayed (an impression) on the top or sidebar of search engine results pages and ads are ranked based on a number of factors. Costs are only incurred when the ad is actually clicked.

The strengths of pay per click advertising are results can be closely monitored, and budgets can be adjusted in real-time based on how the advertising campaign is performing. If the advertiser does a good job with developing its ads and having well-structured and compelling landing pages, conversion (inbound leads) results can be very positive.

Advertising on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn allows advertisers to take advantage of demographic information to target specific communities of interest. This form of advertising is typically based on a pay per impression model – costs are incurred each time the ad is actually displayed.

The strength of social networking advertising is that it can be targeted to precise demographics, and will only be seen by those who fit the specific profile.

A banner ad is a form of advertising that entails embedding an advertisement onto a web page – typically on a frequently visited site such as a news site. Banner ads drive traffic to the advertiser’s web site.

The strengths of banner ads are they are relatively low cost, based on impressions. They can be viewed by a large audience depending on the popularity of the site on which the ad is displayed.

As with all things related to online marketing, online advertising must be approached strategically. Understanding the target audience, competition, the appropriate advertising vehicles, how to optimize conversion and how to measure results must be considered before money gets spent.

However, with the right approach, online advertising will generate a positive return on invest and contribute to online marketing success.

Need to learn the basics of developing an online marketing strategy? We offer a free online marketing seminar for small to mid-sized businesses in the Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, and Toronto areas. Click here to book your seat for our upcoming seminar.

Ben Molfetta
Latest posts by Ben Molfetta (see all)