When it comes to ‘Digital Advertising’, there have been ongoing debates on whether this is simply a bubble that will soon burst, or, a sound that will have a resounding effect in the market and the way in which people advertise. Even though traditional advertising mediums like television & newspapers have retained their positions as the most preferred mode of advertising, the online advertising industry has been increasing its share of the advertising spend pie year on year.
Needless to say, given such aggressive growth rates, more and more brands are ready to jump onto the online advertising bandwagon. But, is online advertising only that? Brands jumping into the bandwagon to get a lion’s share of the most sought after “first mover advantage”? Well, let’s have a look.
What constitutes Digital?
Digital advertising is similar to any advertising strategy – encompassing multiple means of communicating with a consumer. The beauty of digital advertising as a singular advertising medium lays in the fact that you can promote audio – video ads, static image ads, interactive image ads and audio ads – all on the same platform. On digital media, you could have a video ad and an image ad running on the same page, at the same time! Ever imagined seeing a print ad on TV?
Digital advertising has too many options for brands to explore and get into. Let’s have a look at some of the broad vehicles that the digital medium offers:
- Website – Your brand’s website is the equivalent of your physical stores, and, in the digital space, it represents what you are. Your website is what your target audience will get exposed to and relate to in terms of your brand positioning and identity. Getting your website right is essential – be it in terms of the look & feel or they way the content is written, the products that you choose to display or even the way you present those products.
Your digital presence should be an extension of what your brand looks like on conventional mediums. In this day and age, when users want to “read online” about anything and everything, having a website is just like a basic advertising thumb-rule, no matter what industry you belong to.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO is a process you employ to enhance the visibility of a website or a web page on a search engine’s ‘natural’ or organic search results. SEO is a “zero cost” marketing activity for a brand that in-turn helps you reap immense benefits. The higher a website ranks on Google’s organic search engine, the more the number of visitors the website receives. According to research figures, 90% of users searching for something on Google click only the first 3 listings and don’t look beyond that.
A rock solid SEO strategy helps direct your target audience directly to your digital store. Think of SEO as a strategic way of making all prospective buyers in the market to come to your store!
- Search Engine Marketing – Search Engine marketing is, essentially, promoting your website on a search engine’s ‘paid’ search results. Often, making SEO work becomes a time consuming process, especially in a competitive environment, ranking on #1 takes a solid strategy and time. However, with SEM, you can plan your advertising in such a way that your website appears on the top of search engines results all the time. The primary difference between SEO & SEM is that the former is a zero cost activity while SEM is paid advertising. And this little detail makes all the difference in the way both forms of advertising are executed.
In the online space, it is easy to gauge which users are what stage in the purchase cycle by analyzing their online behavior and search queries. In paid search advertising, you can target the users who are ready to purchase by being present whenever they come looking for a product on search engines.
- Display advertising – Display advertising is a means communicating your message visually, using text, animations, pictures, logos or even graphics. Display advertising comprises of all possible properties on the digital space where you can advertise (except search engines) – be it an image ad on a blog or a full page ad on the Yahoo home page, a video ad on YouTube or an ad that appears right in the middle of a user’s “newsfeed” on Facebook.
A great advantage of display advertising is that you have the complete freedom of choosing how big or small your ad should be and run all of them all at the same time and even on the same page. The other advantage of display advertising is that, to a large extent, you can choose and target only those people who you want to expose to your communication. Even though in some cases the targeting maynot be definitive, a targeted campaign helps you achieve your objectives sooner. Whether you want to show your ad on a popular property and get huge number of clicks or just to a niche audience on a premium website, is a decision you can make.
- Social Media –Social media is arguably the most sought after digital medium in India today. Open any social networking website and you will see brands running helter – skelter trying to establish a “connect” with users. Well, yes, that is the point of social media – trying to make a “connect” with users and build relationships. However, the first step isn’t to ask, “How do I increase “Likes” on my page?”
At Foolish, we firmly believe the first step for any brand is to take a step back and ask, “Is having a social media presence relevant to your business / industry / brand?” Only when the answer to this is an obvious yes, should you get into to social media promotion.
Social media & blogs, again, are zero cost activities where brands can have “casual conversation” with users and talk about what the brand has been up to. Say for example, a celebrity bought your brand of yellow umbrellas and you want your users to know about it without sounding too “sales-y”, what do you do? You use social media to talk about it! These platforms are best used to increase brand perception and recall in the mind of consumers. If you are an e-commerce website, strategic and intelligent use of social media platforms will contribute to increased traffic, hence sales on your website. All you have to do is replace hard selling by building a relationship, keeping your ultimate objective in close view.
Digital advertising lets a brand communicate with their TG via multiple touch points. Be it interactive direct communication with consumers or simply exposing them to your brand message in the middle of their purchase cycle –digital advertising offers brands a targeted medium that can be used to achieve exactly what you intend to do.
The “hows” and “whys”
Brands often get lured into investing in digital advertising owing to the accuracy with which ROI can be measured. But that’s just a linear way of looking at the medium. At Foolish, we take delivering ROI a step ahead. Our focus is on delivering incremental revenue along with building your brand in the digital space.
The biggest difference between digital and conventional advertising is that the digital media industry moves at a rapid pace and is highly dynamic. What may seem to be a fool – proof strategy today may not perform well a week from now. After all, users’ attention span in the digital space is highly restricted and they tend to get distracted easily. Each digital medium has something different to offer a brand and helps achieve multiple objectives.
With the growth of e-commerce and e-tail stores in India, the strategy with which digital marketing is planned has evolved with time. Digital advertising results are highly measurable and can be analyzed to the “T”, and this is why we love it! Once your marketing objective is in place, you can pick and choose what form of digital advertising to adopt.
How to make it work?
There are usually conflicting views on whether or not digital advertising is rocket science!
The reason why digital advertising is considered to be rocket science is the free use of jargon such as Click Through Rates, Cost per Mile, Cost per Lead, Bounce Rate, Average Ticket Size, Impressions, Cost per Acquisition, phew! Yes, all these details do get a little too confusing and intimidating at times. However, trust us when we say, somewhere behind all these scary looking definitions, there is a lot of rhyme to reason in Digital Marketing.
The jargon, right from CTR to CPL, CPA to CPM, Bounce rate to revenue – translate into how well your campaign is doing. But it’s just not all about looking at numbers and admiring a day – on – day increase in your CTR. Your clicks may as well be increasing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the increased clicks are turning into sales. Maybe all the increased clicks you got were a waste, and nothing else.
Rocket science much? Thought so! Let’s try looking at things from a different perspective. Minute measurement details apart, at Foolish we are completely ROI driven and measure the success of your campaign based on two parameters:
- Cost per contact – Digital advertising’s claim to fame was the accuracy with which its performance can be measured. Right from the number of people reached to the cost per contact, digital advertising lets us measure every little detail to the “T”.
- Return on Investment– Yes, after all, it’s all about the money, isn’t it? Okay, maybe not always, but it mostly is. Impressions, CTR, CPM etc are fancy figures to look at, but what does that deliver? At Foolish we believe in keeping our eyes firmly on the final goal – generating more revenue for your brand. Be it designing a creative or building a brand strategy, Foolish keeps your primary business objective in sight and then plans every other activity around it. And same is the case with digital. The greatest parameter to judge the success of your campaign is – what is the incremental benefit that the brand got.
But with numerous measurement metrics and data to be analyzed, what do you look at? And how do you make sense of all the numbers that analytics throws at you? This is where Foolish brings in their expertise. We evaluate the performance of each activity based on what it cost the brand to acquire one consumer. This is where a strategy’s efficiency comes in to play. The more the consumers and lesser the CPC, better the campaign, right? What about the quality of leads then?
To us, that is what makes all the difference to your brand. And this is what we set out to achieve – to be able to deliver not just low CPCs in the digital space, but to get you the type of consumers that you want.
Be it increased sales for an e-commerce website, or an increased number of TG interaction on a brand’s social media page, success is measured as how much closer the brand got to achieve its marketing objective.
“Foolish” Our Way
Digital advertising and its execution might look like a cake walk at times. After all, it’s just all about putting together a couple of blogs / social media posts and articles that make your website visible right? Well, if that’s all that you want – making your website visible, irrespective of your brand message being communicated, then yes, to an extent this approach might work.
At Foolish, we build aggressive digital strategies based on research from brands across industries. Digital is the perfect medium to combine art & creativity with science and methodology. Using research tools such as split testing (A/B testing) lets us measure the performance of creative ideas and gives us the opportunity to increasingly deliver better results.
Digital may as well be picking up in the market, but the key is to identify how well it will work for your brand. Our vision goes beyond simple ‘Click Through’ numbers. We have our eyes set at increasing revenue along with building a brand in the digital space.