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Digital Marketing Insights: How to Get Started with Paid Digital

illustration of digital marketing tools and resources

Are you ready to incorporate paid digital into your marketing strategy? Great. You’ve come to the right place. Paid digital, such as online ads, is an important part of an integrated marketing strategy. It works in conjunction with your company’s print ads, social media posts and email marketing to help reinforce your brand, showcase products and services, and drive your target audience to your website.

Running digital ads opens your brand up to connect with customers you may not be able to reach organically. It can also provide a cost-effective option compared to print, allowing you to be very targeted about who you want your audience to be, and gives you tools to see how your ads are performing in real-time so you can optimize your budget and spend it smartly. One of its greatest benefits is that it’s a responsive process. Digital ads are not set in stone once they launch but can evolve over the course of the campaign.

There are several options available when it comes to paid digital — more on that later — but no matter what platforms you decide to use, these five steps are important to take before you get started.

Clarify Goals

First, define your goals. This will help determine the best platform to choose and will help you measure success, identify areas for improvement and optimize for improved return on investment (ROI). For example, if your company’s goal is to raise brand awareness, social and Google display ads may be a good fit because they can help increase visibility and reach.

Determine KPIs

Now that you have clear goals, you’ll need a way to measure them. That’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in. KPIs provide you with insight into paid ad performance, so you can track what’s working well and what needs to be improved. Let’s look at another example. If your company wanted to grow your email list, your KPI would focus on conversions, tracking how many users filled out a form to sign up for your mailing list.

Research the Competition

Learn what other leaders in your market are doing and find the “white space,” or the gaps. You can analyze competitors’ pay-per-click (PPC) ads and keywords for Google ads with tools like Semrush to see what they’re targeting. By getting an inside look at what’s working well for them, along with what isn’t, will give you an advantage when developing your own digital strategy.

Define Your Audience

Take time to identify who you want your ads to reach. Paid digital gives you the opportunity to set attributes around who you would like to target, including — but not limited to — age, gender, profession, location and income. This helps make sure your ads are being served up to the right users. You can also further refine your attributes while ads are running based on results, allowing you to hone in on your target audience.

Identify Ad Types and Platforms

You’re almost there. Now that you’ve determined the why (goals) and who (audience), all that is left is the “what” (the platform) — search engine ads or social ads. The main difference between the two is how they target. Search engine ads, such as Google, targets users who are actively searching for services and products, while social ads target users who are casually browsing their feeds. You can run similar campaigns at the same time, but the content may vary between ad types as they each offer something unique and have different requirements.

Digital ads can play a key role in your integrated marketing strategy. They provide flexibility when it comes to advertising channels, targeted audiences and total spend, but it’s important to do your homework before launching a new campaign. Taking the time to map out a clear strategy with measurable goals will make sure your campaign starts off on a solid foundation, which can be further refined and optimized over time. If you would like help determining the best strategy for your business, we’re here to help. Drop us a line and let’s get to optimizing.