digital advertising example pic

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Advertising In 2021

Sam Carr

Sam Carr

December 24th, 2020

Sam Carr is a content marketer at PPC Protect with 10 years of digital marketing experience. With a keen interest in ad fraud, Sam shares all his insights on the PPC Protect blog.

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If you’re looking to boost your sales and increase your online awareness, then nothing will help more than digital advertising. With so many active daily users online, there is an almost endless supply of users to target and turn into paying customers.

Yet, in this day and age, some businesses are still not advertising online, which could be costing them thousands in lost revenue. If all the big companies are doing it, then you should know that it works and it’s worth your time.

To make sure you understand what digital advertising is and how you can make the most out of it, we’re taking a look at the most popular digital advertising strategies out there today.

Digital advertising, also referred to as digital marketing and internet marketing, is when businesses use online marketing strategies to advertise to consumers. As digital advertising is a broad term for the topic, there are plenty of sub-topics that we can also explore.

Let’s start by exploring all the various types of digital advertising and what they involve.

Types of Digital Advertising

As digital advertising is such a broad topic, there are many sub-categories that make up the overall digital marketing industry. Each strategy is unique in the way it works and how it helps promote your business. Here are some of the most popular types of digital advertising and what they involve.

PPC Marketing
ppc protect marketing in google

Arguably one of the most popular digital advertising strategies out there, pay per click marketing (PPC) has exploded in recent years due to the likes of Facebook and Google.

To give you an idea of how big PPC marketing is, in 2018 Google raked in over $116 billion just from their ads department. This accounted for 78% of all US search ad revenues making them the go-to place for PPC advertising.

PPC marketing itself involves businesses running advertising campaigns on different platforms in which they pay for every click they receive. Unlike other marketing strategies where advertisers pay a fixed fee for an ad or placement, PPC ads and their pricing can be quite volatile.

This is because the number of people competing and bidding on a keyword can change drastically over time. Moreover, since there is usually only 1 or 2 placements up for grabs, the system works off the highest bidder.

Although that might be off-putting for many business owners, the upside is if you get your bids and ads right then you can expect a vast amount of visitors. With Google getting over 3.5 billion searches a day and Facebook having over 2.23 billion monthly users, if you want to reach your target audience, then PPC marketing is an excellent strategy.

SEO Marketing

seo marketing example

One of the oldest strategies out there is SEO marketing, or search engine optimization for those of you that have never come across that acronym before. This type of marketing has been around since the late 1990s but only really took off during the late 2000s as more and more businesses discovered it.

As you probably well know, billions of people visit search engines every single day. If you need advice or an answer to a question, then there’s a good chance you’ll type it into your favourite search engine. Since we’re all busy people and want answers fast, it’s likely we’ll only pay attention to the top 3 to 5 results. So if your business isn’t on page 1, then you might as well not have a website.

But how do people get to the top positions in the first place? This is where SEO comes in. SEO marketing is the art of getting your website into those top positions.

We won’t cover all the different SEO factors search engines look at or else this could easily be a 10,000-word post! However, to summarise SEO, search engines want to see trust, authority, backlinks and good user experience metrics.

Once you get all of them covered and hit the top spot, you’ll be receiving the majority of the traffic for that specific search term. And with the average CTR for branded keywords in the number 1 spot being 43.26%, all this traffic can quickly add up.

This translates into a solid and predictable stream of visitors to your website every single month.

Content Marketing

content marketing example

When it comes to marketing, sometimes a single ad isn’t enough to convince someone to buy a product. Instead, readers often need convincing through facts, evidence, and storytelling. A type of digital advertising that has seen a recent boost in popularity over the last few years is content marketing.

The name itself might sound a bit confusing, but the concept is fairly straightforward. It’s using the art of storytelling to market and sell your product or service to users. The most common form of content marketing by far are articles and blog posts.

Unlike traditional advertising methods, articles and posts allow you to tackle and break down many of the barriers a potential customer might have about buying your product. Using your story, you can engage the reader and include the benefits of your product which the reader can relate to.

In addition to this, blog articles and posts usually rank incredibly well on Google so by using content marketing you’re taking advantage of 2 great marketing strategies.

Even if you’re not the best writer in the world, you’d be amazed at how much traffic a simple blog post can bring in. All it takes is a few hours and a cup of coffee to secure a monthly stream of organic visitors to your site.

Influencer Marketing

An influencer is someone who has a large social media following on a particular or many social media platforms. They’re usually already famous in some way which is how they get their followers in the first place, but there have been plenty of new stars being born in recent years.

With millions of followers on social media, it’s not long until the sponsors and advertisers come knocking. If you have a product to sell then getting an influencer to tell their followers how good it is can be a great idea.

influencer marketing example

In this example, MMA fighter Connor McGregor has received sponsors from several companies over the years including Beats by Dre and Hi Smile Teeth. Based on the nearly 29 million followers McGregor has, it wouldn’t be surprising if it cost over 6 figures just for a post or mention.

Other popular influencer platforms include YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter. With so many different influencers in so many different niches, the chances are if you sell a product then there’s an influencer out there that has the right followers for you. Just one post or mention of your product could see your sales skyrocket overnight.

Be warned though; there are plenty of fake influencers out there who buy their followers which result in low engagement on their posts and over-exaggerated metrics. You can imagine the disappointment of buying a placement from someone with a million followers only to receive the engagement of 10,000 followers. But with the right due diligence, spotting these fake influencers is easier than it sounds.

Video Marketing

Moving on from static advertising such as banners, content and ads, we have a familiar marketing strategy that has been around for decades.

Almost everyone can recall some type of ad they’ve seen while watching a sports game, series, or movie on TV. They might have been around for a long time on TV, but it’s only recently they’ve started to make a move to the web.

With plenty of online platforms for video marketing such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, online video ads are now reaching more users than ever before. Unlike other forms of media, video marketing is great at playing with viewers emotions by throwing them into a story. In fact, in a recent survey, 96% of shoppers said they found videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.

If you’ve seen the Sainsburys advert above, you’ll see just how effective video marketing can be at telling stories and triggering plenty of emotions along the way.

Viral Marketing

One of the newest digital advertising strategies on this list has to be viral marketing. For many advertisers, just the term itself raises a few eyebrows. You may have heard of a viral infection, but the only differences between the two are the rate at which they spread.

Viral marketing comes in many forms but it’s usually videos that get the most attention. The funnier or peculiar the video, the faster it spreads online. A great example of viral video marketing done right is a funny viral video by Netto, a Danish supermarket.

As of writing this article, the video has over 20 million views and has been shared countless times across social media and news sites. It’s a funny and cat-themed story that was a clear success and helped to increase the brand’s awareness significantly. The cute cats probably also played an important role in the ad’s quick growth.

Creating Your Digital Advertising Strategy

Now you have a good understanding of all the popular digital advertising strategies out there, which should you be using for your business?

There’s a good chance you might be using some kind of online marketing strategy already, but is it really giving you the best return? To find out, here are some simple steps to working out which is the best digital advertising strategy for you.

Define Your Target Audience

The most crucial step of any successful online marketing campaign is defining your ideal target audience. Without an audience in mind, it’s impossible to work out where you’ll find them online, which can result in a lot of advertising budget wasted.

When thinking about your target audience, you need to picture your ideal customer. How old are they? What is their income? What hobbies are they most likely to do? Once you start to answer these questions, you can quickly build up a persona of the person you are trying to target which will help you tackle step 2.

Decide On Your Platform

Now you have a crystal clear picture of the type of person you want to target; it’s time to think about their daily life. When do they use the internet? What websites are they most likely to visit? Are they social media addicts or not?

All of these questions will help you determine which websites they are most likely to visit and which strategy you should use.

If you have a younger audience in mind, then social media and influencer advertising could work really well. Many youngsters are ditching TV for the likes of Twitch and YouTube, so if you want to grab their attention influencer marketing and video ads are an excellent choice.

Get Creative

Now you’ve settled on your target audience and the best platforms to reach them; it’s time to brainstorm some ad ideas.

Designing ads isn’t for everyone, so if you lack creative thinking and design skills like most of us, then you might want to get a professional involved. However, you can still think up some pretty basic ideas that your target audience will be interested in.

In our example above, youngsters are usually impressed by sleek designs and dark colors that have an “epic” look. That’s why most computer and gaming companies go for darker color schemes. Depending on your target audience will affect a lot of things in your ads such as the colors, font and message.

Be sure to do some market research to see what your competitors are doing and anyone else targeting the same audience as you.

Review Results

Once you’ve launched your digital advertising campaign, it’s time to monitor and review the results. Most campaigns don’t hit the big time straight away. Instead, they usually require tweaking and modifications based on the statistics they produce.

You might have discovered the perfect platform for advertising, but it’s easy to have underperforming ads. Creating new ads and A/B testing them is a great way to determine how good your ads really are. Most of the time you can always find a way to improve them based on minor changes such as the font, color, call to action, title and button.

With just a few tweaks here and there, you can have some big impacts on your numbers and ROI.

Digital Advertising Examples

To give you some inspiration and help you come up with some great ad campaigns, here are some of our favourite digital advertising examples.

Ninja/Travis Scott – Samsung

A recent example of digital advertising done right is an online ad campaign by Samsung. To celebrate the launch of their Galaxy Note 9 and S9+, Samsung teamed up with both Fortnite and Fortnite superstar Ninja (Tyler Bevins) to create a promotional ad showing off the new phone.

The ad also features an appearance from Travis Scott and shows lots of hectic Fortnite action with the grand finale of teaming up with Ninja. Considering Samsung where likely targeting younger audiences with this ad, they did an excellent job. Not only is Ninja a well-known figure to many youngsters, but anyone keeping up with the latest music will have also heard of Travis Scott. With both of them together and a sprinkle of Fortnite, this ad really appeals to the younger generation.

As of writing the ad has around 9.7 million views and has also been shown in primetime slots including sporting events.

Facebook – Kay Jewelers

Facebook ads can be very hit and miss in the real world. Many ads merely blend into people’s news feeds without them ever noticing or taking action. A good example of a Facebook ad that really stands out is this excellent campaign by Kay Jewelers.

There much to examine in this ad, except for the fact that it includes a dog! And everyone loves dogs, right?

The ad is clearly aimed at the 30 – 45 age range as this generation typically has a good amount of money to spend on items such as rings. Compared to a static picture, this ad really pops out from a user’s newsfeed and is almost guaranteed to get a good interaction from their target audience.

Digital Advertising Trends 2021

The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and new trends pop up all the time. 10 years ago, influencer marketing was practically unheard of, yet today it’s an extremely popular advertising method. Here are our top digital advertising trends to look out for in 2021.

Influencer Marketing is More Popular Than Ever

With the huge increase in social media, the number of new influences popping up only seems to be increasing. Throughout 2021 influencer marketing is looking like it’s going to be bigger than ever with brands splashing out serious money on sponsored posts and paid ads.

Live Streaming Sponsoring

2018 was a massive year for live streaming in general. With new games such as Fortnite creating live streaming giants almost overnight, 2018 was also the year that advertiser’s recognised what a powerful platform it can be.

One of the biggest live streaming sponsorships from 2018 was when the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull partnered with Ninja to sponsor his stream. Not only did this include brand placement on his actual stream, but they also made him his own headband to wear.

twitch advertising example

With his average daily viewer count regularly hitting 6 figures and boasting over 19 million subscribers on YouTube, Red Bull is certainly taking advantage of the live streaming phenomenon. In 2021, you can expect to see even more big sponsorship deals for streamers from large corporations looking to cash in on this growing trend.

Hopefully, by now, you understand the power of digital advertising and just how popular it has become over the past decade. With new digital platforms being created every year, the industry is only going to grow.

If you’ve not ventured into the world of online advertising yet, then you should really consider it. Not only is it considerably cheaper than traditional advertising methods, but it also offers excellent ROI’s. What are you waiting for? Join the digital revolution today!

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