Print and Digital Advertising are two exciting parts of the advertising mix. Many similar principles apply when it comes to planning your campaigns with these two mediums, so let’s take a look at an overview of both and then delve into some more specific areas, particularly of Digital Advertising…
What is Print Advertising?
Print Advertising remains a much-loved medium for many businesses whose customer base would just as happily turn the pages of a well designed magazine as spend their time looking at a screen. Although not as popular as it used to be, Print Advertising still remains a great support medium alongside Digital Advertising.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital Advertising brings together a number of digital marketing technologies, enabling you to promote your brand through text, images, video and more. The huge advantage of Digital Advertising is that it can be very focussed, monitored and targeted by making use of metrics gathered from user activities online (it is much easier to find out who is looking at your content and what they are most interested in).
There’s a lot of noise in the digital landscape, a lot of competitors and completely unrelated businesses to contend with for screen space/time. So let’s take a look at a few key things to consider when embracing Digital Advertising – and we’ll also touch on some of the avenues to get started.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
When creating any advertising campaign, it’s best to begin with a strategy. Whenever you form a new campaign, there are useful core principles to remember each time.
• What are you hoping to achieve from digital advertising?
- Increased brand awareness/exposure?
- Increased sales of your product/service?
- Customer retention? (It is natural to want to spend time gaining new customers, but it’s essential to remember that customer retention is key to company growth and stability).
- Data gathering? (Data is very useful for targeting purposes. Digital advertising provides endless data that can be excellently utilised when effectively analysed).
Once you know what you want to achieve from the advertising, you will be able to begin planning an effective advert with a clear focus.
• Who is your target audience?
Who is most likely to be interested in your product or service? This will help you to create more focussed advertising which will ultimately provide you with a greater ROI. Digital Advertising in particular can provide you with extremely targeted advertising. Narrow your demographic down by age-group, location, tastes and spending habits.
• Who are your competitors?
Competitors are a great thing to study; they tell you a lot about your market. Discover what your competitors are doing well, what styles of campaign they are creating, which print publications they are using, which digital advertising platforms they are using, who their main demographic is, and how much engagement they seem to be getting from customers. At the same time as looking at what they are doing, you should also analyse whether there may be any gaps within the market that they haven’t utilised yet.
• What is your budget?
Your budget should be largely determined by your target audience and how much it will cost to effectively target them. You will then need to select an advertising mix which you believe will make the most of your budget – this will generally be determined by your type of product or service. Always remember that your aim is to reach your target audience… there’s little point in reaching thousands of people if none of them are likely to buy what you’re selling.
Digital Advertising in particular can provide you with extremely targeted advertising. Narrow your demographic down by age-group, location, tastes, spending habits, and so much more.
Choosing Where to Advertise
It is essential that your adverts appear in places that your target demographic will be viewing. For Print Advertising, begin by contacting the publications you are interested in and asking each for a Media Pack. The Media Pack will include key information such as the publication readership figures, typical demographics and advert pricing. Advert pricing will vary across a broad range of publications and should reflect the coverage, readership, demographic etc.
Once you have the prices from different publications, you will be able to decide which are best for your company – remembering to always bear in mind that you want to reach the correct demographic. Depending on your budget you will be able to choose the size and placement of your advert (Full-page, Half-page, Editorial, etc). You should also consider again at this stage what the aim of the advert is – for example, if you need to include images of multiple products, it is important to buy enough page space for your campaign.
The online world is vast and full of opportunities, but it is also busy, so it’s worth remembering the core principles and finding the best ways to strategically reach your demographic. Digital provides many options for advertising:
• Pay Per Click (PPC) / Cost Per Click (CPC) / Cost Per Action (CPA)
These are adverts which are placed on search engines such as Google and Bing. Your ad appears as a sponsored listing at the top or bottom of the organic/natural search listings. These ads can be cleverly targeted. Pricing completely depends on how competitive the market is.
• Web Banners / Display Network
These appear on various websites which offer advertising space. You can either purchase web banner space directly from a particular website or by using the Google Display Network.
• Social Media
Most Social Media platforms now have advertising features – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn. Each of the platforms offer something slightly different and cater to different types of receptive audiences. It is best to do some research into which platform you think would work best for your audience and begin with some test campaigns. It is a essential to have a budget for Social Media advertising in order to reach your audience. This is where platforms such as Facebook have become incredibly effective, with their continually advancing algorithms, and ad targeting with features such as the Facebook Pixel.
The key to all social digital advertising ads is to have them fit seamlessly into the user’s regular online activities, such as their news feeds. If your ads are well targeted and relevant to the user, you should begin to see increased results, even with modest budgets.
Print Advertising is rarely cheap, so it’s best to plan well so that your graphic designer has enough time to create a design that makes the most of your ad space. Once again, your design should be focussed on reaching your target demographic as effectively as possible.
All adverts, both Print and Digital, should be well-designed and engaging, with a clear message for the audience. Ideally you should try and include a call-to-action to inspire your audience to do something (i.e.register their interest for upcoming special offers). When creating your ads it’s easy to miss something, so here is a simple tick-list of things to check before your advert goes live.
• Print Adverts
- Include your website address so that your customers can visit you online. Make your advertising part of a bigger campaign, inspiring call-to-action.
- Include your contact details: primary email address and phone number.
- If you have active Social Media pages, you should consider including these links. Especially if one of your advertising targets is to get customers to share your campaign (i.e. If you are advertising the “Biggest SALE of the year”, you want people talking about it).
- Make sure your copy is well written and has been proof-read multiple times. Ideally, it is best for a few people to check every piece of copy, as mistakes are easily missed if one person is reading something again and again. Spelling and grammar mistakes should be avoided at all costs – particularly if your demographic are the type to notice any ‘slip in quality’.
- Keep your key message simple and quick to digest.
- Make sure all text is legible and clear at a glance.
- Social Media content should be useful, entertaining and easy to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’.
- Inspire people to click your ads – and if they click through, make sure to keep them engaged by linking to relevant content.
- Track your data for later analysis and campaign refinement.
Both Print and Digital Advertising can be a great addition to your advertising mix. The secret to all advertising is to know your audience, form a strategy, and then create focussed campaigns, further refining your targeting each time. Digital Advertising offers so many opportunities which are constantly growing and changing. With dedication and a small ad budget, you can begin learning, setting up test campaigns, seeing results and working towards becoming a master of Digital Marketing.
Looking for further advice? Get in touch to discuss your Graphic Design, Branding and Advertising.