Which areas of advertising are booming?
The face of advertising has altered dramatically over the last decade, and digital has become a crucial area of investment for any business looking to achieve success in this new and ever evolving market.
As the consumer audience continues to embrace smart devices as a platform to communicate, discover and purchase, brands that have arrived at this particular party late have suffered the consequences. Many companies have quickly found that the impact of traditional offline advertising has dwindled in comparison to competitors who have made combined efforts online and offline.
Where should SMEs channel their advertising efforts?
Start ups and SMEs are unlikely to have the same scale of budget to plough into an advertising campaign as the goliath brands that dominate their industry. However, digital offers the perfect opportunity for these businesses to boost their visibility to their target audience at a fraction of the cost.
As we hurtle towards the end of 2014, many of us in marketing recognise and fully understand the importance of the digital sector. Its significance is also becoming apparent in the wider world, particularly to those businesses who are seeking to increase brand awareness in the modern, social media and app dominated environment. Platforms available via smart devices have become increasingly important in marketing, making traditional advertising less relevant to young consumers in particular.
Top 5 digital advertising techniques of 2014
- Content Marketing
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content that is considered of interest and value to a particular audience.
Businesses use content marketing to create engaging resources that impart their unique expertise on a subject, such as infographics and whitepapers. This content can then be distributed to industry relevant blogs, websites and thought leaders on social media.
In order to provide their target customers with informative content that will be significant and appropriate, many brands have become increasingly aware of the importance of having a content plan in place.
By creating a content plan or strategy the brand is better equipped to target customers, while also creating a trusting relationship between the business and consumer as they are able to produce consistently high quality and useful content on a regular basis.
- SEO Campaigns
Search engines use complex algorithms to determine where sites should rank. These algorithms are frequently updated and the secrets to which are often kept under lock and key. Search engine optimisation (SEO) professionals work to help businesses follow the strict rules set out by search engines to climb higher up the rankings ahead of competitors.
Successful SEO strategies require both onsite and offsite optimisation. The key metric used to measure a site by search engines is the user experience which encompasses: site speed, the code used to build the site, site navigation and the quality and reliability of the content available. It is therefore essential that businesses invest in the creation and maintenance of their websites in order to achieve long term success in this area.
- Retargeting ads
Retargeting ad campaigns utilise browser cookies to track a website’s visitors. Once the user has left the site, products or services of the site will be shown to them in advertisements as they browse the web. Retargeting ads aim to increase the online visibility of a brand and in turn, increase the overall conversion rate by reminding users of the business and keeping it at the forefront of their mind.
- Social Media Marketing
The number of promoted posts on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter has rocketed in 2014, indicating that businesses have discovered the value of this area of marketing.
These platforms provide businesses with a unique opportunity to produce engaging and relevant content for a researched target audience in a variety of mediums.
Social sharing has also risen in significance over the last 12 to 18 months, as social signals have become a small consideration for search engines when indexing content in the search results.
- Mobile Advertising
Businesses have long been urged their desktop site responsive and therefore suitable for mobile use. The information provided and the usability of a site should be equally as efficient regardless of how it is being accessed. Emphasis on the importance of mobile sites has arisen due to the increasing number of people who use their mobile devices to browse the web.
It is therefore equally vital to consider marketing techniques that take the mobile users into consideration, through the incorporation of ads created for this specific purpose. This should include how mobile users browse – they are more likely to be using their device on the go and will therefore only consume information in short, sharp bursts so it is imperative that mobile ads are clear and concise.
What does this mean for SMEs?
The accessibility of digital tools and platforms make it vastly simpler for SMEs to increase their visibility without breaking the bank. Although each of the five digital advertising techniques discussed requires a degree of investment, this is often at the discretion of the business and is substantially less costly than traditional techniques while similarly effective at boosting a brand’s visibility online.
Ben Martin is a digital content writer for Peppermint Soda, a creative and digital agency based in Manchester. Peppermint Soda works closely with clients to create campaigns that are tailored to meet their specific needs.