Are you online? Can people find you? Are enough people finding you? If your answer is three resounding yells of “YES”, then move on to the next really helpful article. However, if you could benefit from having a few more people know about what it is you do online, then read on.
What Is Internet Advertising?
Let’s start with the basics, although presumably you already understand what both internet and advertising are, but while most people do understand the concepts, when it comes to advertising online things start to get a little confusing. Advertising online is a very different ballgame that advertising on any other form of media. While you may have video content in the same way as broadcast television, the way people watch online video content is very different.
Likewise comparing advertising in a print media with a static ad on social media is near impossible, as they are such different areas with different focus and different ways that people interact with them. When you are talking to people from places like International Internet Advertising Services they are able to offer you remarkable insights into how very different this type of way to reach an audience is and why the things we think about for print do not work for online audiences.
However, the term internet advertising covers a very broad range of areas, including:
- Google Adwords
- Sponsored & Boosted Facebook posts
- Webpage banners
- Instagram Promoted
- LinkedIn sponsored articles
- Promoted Twitter Tweets
- YouTube video ads
You also may find paid advertorials, payments to influencers (both in terms of products or in terms of actual financial exchange), guest blog spots or featured articles.
What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?
A marketing agency is going to work with you to help create a clear brand identity that is going to reach your audience. This isn’t like advertising agencies of the Mad Men days with gin fuelled inspiration. A marketing agency is not about using gimmicks to manipulate your customers into buying your products, but about helping you reach your audience.
One of the issues that businesses often discover once they’ve brought a professional marketing person onboard is that they are targeting the wrong audience! Look at the incredible reach of unboxing videos on YouTube. These shows where adults and children alike just open a new toy, describe what they’ve found, and then play with it for 20 minutes keep the under 7-year age bracket completely transfixed. There is no need to try and convince parents or grandparents that these are the best toys through evening television sales spots, the kids themselves already know exactly what the toy does, how it works, and why they want one.
While these styles of video have come about organically, it should be no surprise that clever marketers realised the potential, sending the creators of the videos various toys that they could review freely.
Of course, there is a degree of risk with giving your product to any influencer, not only may they simply not mention your product at all, but they may actually dislike it and offer an unfavourable review. However, if this does happen, and you have a marketing agency that is well versed in public relations in the digital sphere, then they will have a response ready for you.
Using Social Media On-Brand
Although it may seem that many social media accounts are completely organic, you will regularly find that each brand has a strong sense of style and branding, which ensures that any comment which is made online fits within that brand. Just look at the banter between Wendy’s and Domino’s or the National History Museum & Science Museum. While this seems completely spontaneous, and often starts because the two social media managers actual know each other in real life, if a brand doesn’t have a set style for interactions then it can quickly turn ugly.
Look at the amusing banter that Wendy’s brand dishes out and compare it to more critical commentary offered by high powered individuals. While the first is mostly calling out people who are complaining about the brand in a harmless, even amusing manner, the latter is more often a call to arms against the people they have taken a dislike to.
This is why it is important to not only consult with a digital agency if you are wanting to grow your business with a focus on an online strategy, but to actual listen to their advice.
SEO v SMO v SEM
The internet positively thrives on abbreviations and shorthand. While you may feel confident throwing a causal LOL into a conversation, navigating the terms which are useful on a professional level are often more difficult.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is probably one of the better known about terms, if not one that is actually well understood. Yes, it does mean making sure that any content you have online has been optimized for search engines, through the use of appropriate meta tags, descriptions, file types and, of course, key words. What it does not mean is using your brand’s top five keywords in every paragraph of every page.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
There is the theory that the internet is divided into two very distinct habits, “search” or “social”. While we can certainly see the truth in this idea, SMO really comes down to ensuring that you aren’t just throwing content into the void. You need an actual plan and strategy to ensure that you are using your platforms effectively.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Where SEO is about creating content designed to be found, SEM is about hitting search engines over the head with your content. They will often include things like Google Adwords or other forms on online advertising that has the direct purpose of pushing a website up the search engine result ranking. It is a well-known idea that most people don’t go further than the second page when they are searching for something, in fact, few actually go beyond the first five results. So, SEM is about making sure your website is absolutely on that first page, and as high up the ranking as it can go.