Advertising and the Internet

by G on June 19, 2013

advertThe degree of measurement and demographic filters possible when advertising online is quite astonishing when compared to the more historic forms of communications messaging such as a full page spread in a newspaper or magazine. As I have a strong non-profit element to both my work and my personal interests, I wanted to use the case of such an organization and what internet advertising opens up as a potential for measurable return on investment, when compared to the edi/advertorial in a magazine.

Search Engine Advertising

The paid advertising models offered by the major search engines, make it possible for an organization to be in position #1 in Google for the keyphrase “charities for children” (budgets permitting) in an almost instantaneous fashion. At the time of writing, an organization can expect to pay Google €2.25 each time a person clicks on an advert in its search listing. When tracking is properly implemented what a user does when they click on the advertisement can be followed from the search engine, right they way through to the organizational website. In the case of advertising that seeks to generate donations for causes, advertising managers can to easily see the money they spent on the advertising and the revenue/donations that were received as a result of this spend.
That’s very clear and very transparent. Try and get that from a full-page newspaper spread.

Social Network Site (SNS) Advertising

With SNS advertising it is possible for organizations to target their messages to users based on a range of traditional filters such as age, sex, gender, relationship status and education level.  In addition however there are a number of advanced targeting and profiling options which simply have not been available to advertisers in such “self-managed” format at any time in past history.

At the time of writing, it is possible for a campaign manager to structure a Facebook advertising campaign using the following types of advertising filters (I have provided just three examples).

  • Show my advertisement to women aged between 30 and 45, based in the USA, with a college education, that speak Spanish:
    Estimated reach 459,700, with a cost per click of €0.23-0.82.
  • Show my advertisement to all people that are also friends of this organization (where this organization might refer to a competitor or other organization that has a target audience that matches the demographic of the advertising campaign).
  • Show my advertisement to all people that like the television programme Sex in the City, and live in New York:
    Estimated reach 178,460, with a  cost per click of €0.36-0.92

Just as with search-based advertising the same tracking model can be applied to SNS campaigns so that the moment a user clicks an advertisement in Facebook, through to the conversion goal of making a donation or completing a form, all activity is logged and can then be analyzed after the campaign has finished.

A quick note on the differences between search and social media advertising
Search engines typically have a higher propensity to drive people that will result in a transaction. That’s because people still tend to associate the internet with “cheap” and “special offer”, and the search engines is where historically people went first. It is also the preferred choice for those wanting to satisfy an immediate shopping desire because the internet never sleeps (countrywide censorship policies excluded).  Because SNS platforms are new and started from being essentially domains to  ‘socially hang-out” it is no surprise that research has shown that people are conflicted when they are presented with sales messages in these social spaces. As SNS sites develop – and particularly as these domains are populated by future generations that do not have the same “search engine” history ingrained on their brain, the shopping trend might move from search to an SNS context.

Another great feature of online advertising is that campaigns are not static. Because data is fed-back immediately about the campaign to campaign managers via real-time statistics, online advertising campaigns can be changed on the fly, reacting and reinvesting knowledge gleaned during the campaign process.

The key message for organizations is that the Internet allows marketing in immediate and measurable ways, that was previously not possible.

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Author Information
Glyn S. H. has been online marketing since 1999 and has developed campaigns for leading luxury brands that have included Nestlè and Interflora . He works primarily in for the Travel and Tourism sector, helping hotels beat-down OTA paychecks. He has a web-marketing company, a Masters in Professional Communication, speaks fluent Italian, and is married with two kids. He also has a good sense of humour – essential for survival in web-marketing. He is not employed by Google. To contact via email: glyn@ (this domain).

 

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