Every brand wants impressions, but few step back and take a strategic approach to their digital ad spend. In today’s digital ad marketplace, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are the immediate go-to platforms for most advertisers, as they offer dynamic opportunities to tell brand stories with beautiful imagery, videos and maybe even the occasional cat GIF. And let’s not forget that Instagram has a billion active users and one of the highest engagement rates of any digital ad platform.
With so many options for ad spends, it can become overwhelming for media buyers – hence the popularity of Instagram and Facebook. They are familiar platforms that anyone can use to advertise their product, and those advertisers usually find some sort of success. But we are here to show you that you can have added success across the internet, gaining valuable impressions outside the world of influencers, adventure photos and the Kardashians. Using recent campaign examples, we’ll give you a closer look at how we can help make various platforms work for you and not against you – providing better impact, more impressions and enhanced customer connections.
Google Ads – Search Only
This is a great option for digital advertisers, as your ad spend can push your product to the top of many searches. And it allows you flexibility for your audience targeting in a way that’s not as obtrusive as social media. For our recent campaign, we targeted California and a range of buckets that included keywords for various types of savings accounts. The keywords centered on higher-interest or higher-yield parameters.
Some call them the kings of the castle, but it all depends on your industry and KPI goals. Your potential reach is near limitless with these monster platforms, as Instagram alone has one billion monthly active users and some 500 million using the platform every day. With one of the most robust advertising systems, you can target users based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors and more. Unfortunately, organic posts often get lost in the mix, which means that if you want impressions, you’re going to have to pay to play.
But with so much to offer, advertising on Facebook and Instagram can feel overwhelming. There’s also a lot to that goes into understanding the Facebook Ad costs – everything from your bidding proposal to the ranking Facebook gives you directly influences the amount you’re going to pay for your ads.
Unlike Google Search, which uses user-intent matching and keyword identification, Facebook and Instagram utilize photos and videos in user feeds to stop their scrolling and get them to click on the ad. This may seem like a small difference between the silicon juggernauts, but the use of high-quality photos and video has exponentially stronger results for advertisers in 2019 – especially if your brand is highly visual (like beauty, apparel and auto).
Let’s take a quick moment to compare and contrast Facebook Ads and Google Search.
1. Click-Through Rates (CTR)
Many advertisers experience lower CTRs on their search engine results pages (SERPs), while they have the highest CTRs on Facebook, around 1.61%. But for some industries (like dating and travel), their SERP ads can have results as high as 6%, and maybe even higher in certain cases!
On average, CTR for Facebook ads across all ad categories and industries is around 0.90%.
Google AdWords CTR is around 3.17% for search and 0.46% for display.
2. Cost Per Click (CPC)
Many will initially say Facebook has a high CPC, especially in financial advertising, which is around $3.77 per click. This may seem steep, but not when compared to Google Search’s big-selling key terms “insurance,” “loans,” and “mortgage,” which fall in at around $50 per click.
Across all industries, the average cost per click for Facebook ads is about $1.72, with apparel coming in the cheapest at $0.45 per click.
The average cost per click in Google Ad Words? $2.69.
3. Average Conversion Rate (ACR)
This is where the rubber meets the road. Facebook and Instagram can have powerful conversion results for brands, and remarketing on Facebook can take the conversion rates even higher (thank you, cookies!).
While the ACR for Google AdWords across all industries is 3.75%, Facebook and Instagram ads fall in at around 9.21%.
The Other Players
Now that we’ve analyzed Facebook Ads and Google Search, let’s take a deeper look at some of the other options available to your marketing team. While a couple are still technically owned by Google, there’s plenty of other ways to grab your audience’s eyes and ears, generating more buzz than you ever thought possible.
Google Display Network
The Google Display Network (GDN) can be your secret weapon if done correctly. With the GDN, you can tap into predefined affinity audiences that, like TV audiences, are designed to help connect advertisers with their ideal customers online at scale. Google in-market audiences also opens up a new realm of possibilities, as it allows you to connect with consumers who are actively researching or comparing products and services across GDN publisher, partner sites and YouTube. When you leverage the most appropriate affinity and in-market audiences predefined by Google, there is an available audience size of over two billion users.
YouTube can provide exponential impressions when used correctly, especially when you tap into the predefined affinity audiences on the Google Display Network. With in-market audiences and keyword targeting, you can hone in on those most interested in your product, eventually creating better brand awareness and a stockpile of impressions.
Podcasts are still kind of under the radar when it comes to digital advertising. But they shouldn’t be. Hearing a podcast host read a 30-second recommendation for a site can have much more valuable impressions than a banner ad or search ad. More than 90 million Americans listen to a podcast monthly, with a slightly higher percentage (55%) of men than women in the audience. The big advantage of podcasts versus other outlets is that podcast sponsorships are read and often personalized by the host so that they seem more like a sincere recommendation. Once you figure out your key audience and targeting goals, you can turn podcast advertising into an impression-driving machine.
If you’re looking for the most value, streaming radio is where it’s at. For our recent client campaign, we strategically targeted Spotify listeners in the Los Angeles area (18+ age group), which came in at a cost of $0.016 per ad served. Yes, just a little over a penny for every ad served! The platform estimates that an ad run with a $6,000 budget spread over two months would serve between 380,000 and 390,000 ads, reaching more than 100,000 individual listeners. If that’s not music to your ears, we don’t know what is.
Radio is still alive and well, and it’s a great place to dial up your impressions. Once you figure out a core demographic and listening format, you can target stations that will perk up your listeners’ ears and rack up impressions. When you think outside the realm of traditional 30-second radio ads, you can generate exponential brand awareness with announcer mentions, giveaways and spots on Radio.com. And yes, you can do it all on a reasonable budget.
Optimized for You
With the exception of podcasts and broadcast radio, all the platforms we’ve discussed can be dynamically optimized throughout your campaign. We hope these insights and ideas provide more value to your ad spend, giving you a range of advertising mobility that fits your needs and goals. With so many platforms, there’s more than enough opportunity to learn about your audience’s habits and desires. And with a little patience and strategic thinking you’ll generate more clicks, drive more purchases and ignite the revenue that every CMO dreams about.