The State of Paid Digital Advertising and Beyond
In recent years, paid search and social advertising has proved itself as an important and advantageous marketing channel. Specifically pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, in which a company pays a network every time its ad is clicked, has bolstered a marketer’s ability to reach its target audience in a greater way than ever before.
“Marketing should be a revenue channel and not a cost center,” said Collin Stewart, Executive Director of Consumer Marketing for Active Interest Media. “There is an adage in print marketing that you are losing half your investment, but don’t know where it’s going. With paid search or social advertising, we now have a greater ability to understand where those marketing dollars are going.”
When it comes to paid advertising, there are two key players: Google and Facebook. Each has improved its platform in terms of targeting, tracking, and testing to greatly enhance a marketer’s ability to utilize ads more effectively, albeit through different paths.
“I say Google is like building and Facebook is like gardening,” said Stewart. “Google has a structure and frame, and you tack on different pieces to make your ad work. Facebook, on the other hand, has a lifecycle. You plant it and it buds, but what actually blooms is more random.”
According to Stewart, a few years ago ads primarily revolved around what was trending: Is it viral or not? That meant ads were difficult to budget, manage, and maintain. Now with new improvements made by Google and Facebook, marketers can better plan, optimize, and track their ads.
“We used to refresh an ad every week or two and it was hard to set expectations about how it was going to perform,” said Stewart. “Now, we change an ad on average about every 2 months, which means it has a longer lifespan and can last in the market.”
Because of this, there has been a massive adoption in paid advertising by companies and brands. Stewart believes there will be a lot more movement in this space. For now, he looks forward to seeing a greater focus on optimization and segmentation so that paid advertising becomes an even more powerful driver of sales.
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