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We Answer the 5 Questions We Hear Most About Digital Advertising

Digital advertising can be confusing to those who have never used it.

Just recently, a major cosmetic brand was in hot water because one of their ads (running on the Google Display Network) appeared on a somewhat unsavory website. While this is unfortunate ad placement, it’s hard to explain to people that Google Display ads run depending on the individual, not the website.

We are used to brands being able to choose exactly where their ads appear, especially in traditional marketing. With digital advertising, there are extra levels of control, as well as plenty of data—but anything new always comes with lots of misunderstanding and lots of questions.

We’ve gathered the top 5 questions we hear from clients and potential clients. In answering these questions, we hope to demystify digital advertising, from setup to management, so brands can get the most from their marketing.

1. Do I need to spend a ton of money on digital advertising?

Questions about budget are one of the most common we hear at Lunar HQ, especially when it comes to digital advertising. With digital advertising, you pay depending on a variety of factors. You can set daily budgets, but sometimes those budgets can constrict your campaign, especially if your targeting (that is, keywords, audience, and more) is broader.

There is no one way to set a budget for digital advertising. But you also don’t need to commit to spending a ton of money, especially at first. Keeping your daily budget small at first can better help you understand how far your money can go—and then how to better target your campaigns to get the exact results you want (whether that is impressions, conversions, or anything else).

2. What platforms are best?

The tried-and-true digital advertising platform is, of course, Google AdWords. Nearly everyone knows what Google AdWords is, even if they perhaps haven’t used it. Google AdWords covers everything from Search ads (those ads that appear at the very top when you perform a Google Search) to ads that show up on websites you frequent. They’ve also expanded to include Shopping ads (which places individual products in front of consumers when they search for specific products), video ads, and more.

The other top contender is Facebook Ads. Facebook has grown as an ad platform and, luckily, they have some of the best data in terms of targeting people with specific interests. If you sell dried fruit, and your brand’s voice is all about being outdoors, eating healthy, and trying new things, you’ll be able to target to a demographic that is interested in those exact same things, in a specific location. Through Facebook Ads, you can also use Instagram Ads, which can be effective if you’re trying to reach a younger demographic.

So when it comes to choosing platforms, which is best?

Just like with budget, that answer depends on the brand, their goal, and their desired demographic. Some campaigns will be more effective than others, just like some platforms will be more effective than others. There is no one easy answer to this question, but by developing a plan, you can better determine which platform is most effective for your goals.

3. What do all the acronyms and words mean?

There is a lot of terminology when it comes to digital advertising, including acronyms that can get confusing. (Even for me, someone who has been working with Google AdWords since 2011!) Here’s a basic rundown of all the terms and what they mean:

  • Conversion: In this instance, conversion means that the desired action took place. Traditional, conversion refers to a consumer buying a product—but in digital advertising, that may not always be the goal. It could mean clicking, signing up, Liking a Facebook page, purchasing a product, or more.
  • CPM: CPM refers to “cost per thousand impressions.” This is a specific way of running a campaign, especially if you’re aiming for brand awareness over conversions.
  • CPC: CPC refers to “cost per click.”
  • CPA: CPA refers to “cost per action” or “acquisition,” which can mean basically paying for each conversion. This refers to the cost is takes to acquire one customer or fan (if the desired goal isn’t about purchasing product).
  • CTR: CTR refers to “clickthrough rate,” a rough measure of the success of a campaign in terms of clicks.
Impression: An impression refers to an individual seeing your ad. If your analytics say you have 1,000 impressions that means your ad has been seen 1,000 times.
  • CTA: CTA refers to “call to action.” In digital advertising, this can mean anything from “sign up” to “purchase now.” There is some data surrounding the best CTAs to use, as well as CTAs that are considered spammy.

4. How long does setup take?

Another difficult question. Setting up digital advertising can feel like an exhausting process—but it’s not something you want to jump into without a plan in place! You don’t want to waste money tinkering on a campaign as it happens.

Before we start a campaign, we typically like to know the specific goal of starting digital advertising. From there, we can better assess what platform is best to run ads on, what kind of ads to run, and what kind of assets are needed. If the campaign will require a landing page and graphic design, that can add setup time. In the end, the setup period for each client is going to be specific to them and their goal, as well as how long it takes to get approval for assets.

5. Why do my ads need management after setup?

Sometimes, problems arise after setting up and implementing an ad campaign. This may be that they aren’t deploying as they should (which would mean the targeting would need adjusting) or that the ads themselves get disapproved for some reason (such as a destination link not working or content itself being flagged by Google). Managing ads and performing on-going optimizations takes a not-insignificant amount of time. Factoring this management into the budget for your digital advertising is important.

Phew! That’s it. Every tricky question about digital advertising. Well, not every question—but the questions that seem to linger for brands even after launching digital ad campaigns. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to send them our way.
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