A Beginner's Guide to Online Advertising Schemes

PPC (or pay-per-click) and CPM (or cost-per-mille) advertising can be effective ways of bringing in traffic to your website. Most schemes have extensive customisation tools that you can use to directly target a very specific demographic - which can be great for improving conversion rates. But the thing with these schemes is that they need constant attention, analysis and most importantly - experimentation. If Google AdWords hasn’t worked for you in the past, maybe Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads will. Luckily for you, the Statement team have provided a brief summary of each of the major advertising schemes so you can see which might be best for you!

What is PPC and CPM?

Pay-per-click is a model used by many online advertising schemes where you pay every time your online advertisement receives a click through to your website. You only pay for engagement. Cost-per-mille is a scheme where you pay for impressions (this literally means you pay for your advert to be shown), usually in the thousands (as mille is Latin for thousand). CPM is used mainly by businesses who want to improve their brand awareness, as it results in lots of visibility and PPC is generally used by those who wish to focus on their conversions and pay exclusively for these.

Google AdWords

Of course you will have heard of Google. Most of their revenue comes from their advertising schemes and their AdWords programme is often a starting point for businesses when they begin in their marketing strategy.

Google Ads will appear either as a ‘Sponsored Ad’ to the right-hand side of a Google search page or at the top of the list when users search. You can target specific keywords so that when users search for a word or phrase related to your industry, your ad will appear on their results page. For instance, if you are a local bakery you may want to target the phrase ‘cakes in yorkshire’. The more popular the term, the more expensive it will be. The less popular terms will be cheaper and you may get less clicks, but they will be more specific to the user and there is a higher chance of the user actually purchasing your product or service.

The good thing about Google is that it’s very user-friendly and they have clear and concise guidelines and tips to help you improve your AdWords campaign. They can also provide an AdWords contact for you to discuss your campaign settings with.

You decide on a daily budget and this will be the maximum amount that you pay. Once your daily budget is reached then your campaign stops for the day so you’re not overcharged. There’s no contract, so you can easily pause or stop your campaign and then move onto another scheme if it’s not working for you, or if you decide to experiment with other marketing strategies.

According to Google, most businesses begin their AdWords campaigns with a daily budget of around £10-£20, although we know from working with our own clients that this figure varies significantly, depending on the business’ objectives. Obviously, the more budget you invest in AdWords, the better your results will be. However, AdWords does not come with any guarantees, so you should never invest more in this type of advertising than you could stand to lose. On the upside, AdWords is a fantastic tool to help you reach prospective customers if your website is new and hasn’t yet climbed the Google ranks!

Facebook Ads

If you have a Facebook page for your business, Facebook Ads can be a great way to drive prospective customers into your page or directly to your website. There are a range of different Facebook Ad types to explore so it’s worth having a good think about what will be most beneficial to your business.

With Facebook Ads, you can choose whether you want to have a pay-per-click campaign or a pay-per-impression campaign. Each has different benefits and disadvantages so it depends whether you want to advertise to drive traffic and conversions or whether you’re just aiming for brand awareness. As with Google advertising, you can set a daily budget, but you can also determine a lifetime budget where you can decide on a more long-term spend, over 10 days, for instance. Here are the types of campaigns you can run and what Facebook has to say about each:

  • Cost per Mille (CPM): This bid type is best for getting people to view your ad
  • Cost per Click (CPC): This bid type is best for getting people to click your ad
  • Optimized Cost per Mille (oCPM): This bid type is best for showing your ad to the people who are most likely to take action on your ad.
  • Cost per Action (CPA): When available, this bid type is best for getting people to take action on your ad. For example, liking your page or clicking a link.

Facebook stores lots of information about its users, such as their age, gender, sexual orientation, work history, interests and hobbies, political affiliation, films they’ve watched, music they like etc. (as you’ll know if you have a Facebook account). Most of this is available to your Facebook Ads campaign so that you can specifically target a certain demographic within Facebook and run an optimised campaign.

You can promote an ad so that will appear amongst a user’s news feed just like a normal post. Or you can set an ad that will appear in the right hand column of Facebook. The news-feed option has much more scope for post type, as you can promote status announcements, photos or videos, which will ultimately result in more engagement.

Twitter Ads

Twitter has recently made its ad schemes more available to smaller businesses and due to the rising popularity of Twitter, this is definitely a programme to keep an eye on.

With Twitter Ads, you can run three different types of campaigns:

  • Promoted Account
  • Promoted Tweets
  • Promoted Trend

With a Promoted Account, you are directing traffic to your Twitter profile. If your profile is updated regularly and is optimised, this can be a useful way of raising brand awareness whilst giving prospective customers a direct channel of contact with your business. You only pay for this campaign when somebody follows your account and you can target prospects by their interests, gender or location.

Promoted Tweets are great for producing a ‘super tweet’ that will reach your followers and non-followers. This can appear in the news feeds of targeted users or in search results. Placing these ads in Twitter search results is a valuable campaign approach because people are prepared and ready to take action.

Promoted Trends are where you can choose a custom hashtag and promote it as a trend in the ‘Trending Topics’ section of the news feed. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, a trend is a phrase, topic or event that is being talked about frequently on Twitter. When enough people in an area is talking about it, it will appear in the Trending Topic column. If you promote a trend here, it will appear next to a user’s news feed and hopefully provide mass exposure.

Twitter Ads can be worthwhile but you have to invest not only money, but time because, for the most part, you are directing traffic to your Twitter profile and not directly to your website. These campaigns are more for brand awareness and establishing relationships rather than providing immediate conversions.

Bing Ads

Bing is a search engine, just like Google, but under the Yahoo! umbrella of services. When you visit the Bing Ads website, it is very clear that they provide a great support system to help you manage your campaign. On May 12th this year, they established a 24 hour live chat service for any queries and questions and new customers can sign up to a free coaching session to give you further assistance. The Bing schemes are naturally similar to Google AdWords because they are both primarily search engines. If you don’t have a professional who can manage your campaigns, it may be best to use Bing because of its helpful guides and one-to-one assistance.

There are many other advertising schemes out there, but these are the ones which will most likely provide results for businesses. Again, it is important to stress that the concept of online advertising is that you have to explore and experiment with your campaign. You should always be tweaking and adjusting your campaign and budget to provide better results. If you don’t feel that one is working for you, either adjust it in some way or try a different ad scheme. They can be highly valuable in a company’s marketing strategy, if you have the budget and the know-how.

At Statement, we help a lot of our clients with online advertising schemes like Google Adwords. If you've tried to give it a go but you're still struggling, send us a message and we may be able to help you to use the schemes effectively for your business.

Image Credits: Sumall

By entering your email above, you consent for Statement to store and process your data for email marketing purposes. We will always store your data in a safe and secure manner and we will never share your data with any third parties.

Download Your Free 2019 eCommerce Calendar

Start your planning now with our free, comprehensive 2019 eCommerce Calendar.

2019 eCommerce Calendar
Download Now

Our Insights

Book your free place for Shopify Meetup Manchester on Wednesday 18th September

Read More…

Book your free place for Shopify Meetup Leeds on Wednesday 11th September

Read More…

Going Global on Shopify Plus

Read More…

Let's Talk

We’d love to chat about how we can work with you on your next eCommerce project and help your business grow