How To Use Different Advertising Products For Maximum Effect

When you hear advertising, what comes to mind?

Do you think of print inserts or website ads? Those emotional John Lewis videos at Christmas? Or billboards and posters you see on the tube or at the train station? 

The average person is exposed to well over 5,000 ads every day, so we all have a pretty good idea what advertising looks like. What is a little harder is understanding how different advertising media can help your business. 

Advertising formats each have their own particular use in appealing to different target audiences or conveying certain kinds of messages. That means you need to think hard about choosing the right advertising media for your business’s goals. 

To help give you an idea of what different media can do for you, we’ve put together a list of some of their specific benefits and applications. 

Video advertising

We think video should be at the core of every brand’s marketing strategy. When it comes to building your brand’s visual identity, video has clear and inherent advantages over other formats in terms of impact and memorability. 

Beyond your branding elements, video lets you demonstrate your products to a receptive audience. Even a short demo video allows you to quickly show off how your product looks and works, and what makes it unique in a crowded marketplace. 

You also have the strongest chance of cementing in someone’s memory with video. Viewers claim they retain 95% of a message conveyed to them via video. With the average attention span now down to 8 seconds, it’s no longer enough to capture a customer’s attention; you really have to hold it.

Digital display advertising

Display advertising - the boxes and banners you see on sites across the internet - is pretty much the default mode of advertising online. 

While your display ads will help you generate sales, that's not what they're best at! Instead, their primary function is raising brand awareness. This means building up name recognition among your target audience by placing them on sites where your (future) customers are most likely to spend their time. 

Digital display is an indispensable part of any advertising strategy. So whether you’re new in town and building a customer base, well-established but keen you keep your name out there, or if you have recently rebranded, this is a key tool in your advertising toolbox. 

Social display

Social media matters a great deal for businesses these days. But algorithmic changes, problems with trust, and the inherently distraction-packed environments of social platforms can all limit the impact of the average company’s marketing posts. 

Social display takes your social posts out of their original, noisy habitats and places them on our news websites where people actually pay attention to what they’re reading. 

Social display helps you engage a new audience with your social media posts without needing to worry about battling for attention on those social platforms themselves. 

Reach the right audience with the right advertising media

In order to be successful and grow your business, you want to reach your target audience and choosing the right advertising product is the way to do that. Some platforms offer an affordable way to mix and manage your online strategies, like our own self serve ad manager.

Marketing your products or services is an ongoing process. Knowing which product to utilise will be a challenge, but don’t be afraid to mix things up. There are things that certain products can do that you may not have even thought of, so if you have been sticking to one advertising type for ages, it may be the time to try something new.

Still not sure which format is right for you? Download our in-depth guide for a more detailed overview.

DIY advertising: how self-service platforms can boost your digital advertising campaigns

‘Doing it yourself’ has been part of the British lifestyle since Joseph Moxon coined the idea in his book Mechanik Exercises back in 1677. And while that book may have sparked a sudden rise in hospital visits for the common man, DIY is a mantra that can be applied to slightly less harmful activities as well such as the growing phenomenon of DIY marketing.

So why do we do it? And how can you learn to do it well?

Taking full ownership of a project gives us more control, agility and freedom. That’s just as true for digital advertising today as it was for constructing a sundial back in 1677.

Self-service has made it easier to market your company, levelling out the playing field for start-ups and industry giants. It allows you to call the shots. Here are our top tips on how to make the most of this popular way to reach your audience.

1. Targeting the right audience

Before advertising anything, you should have a good idea of who you want to reach. It’s no use promoting your new range of dog toys to cat owners. This could not only risk making a bad first impression for your brand, but also every ad served to the owner of Mittens and her kittens, is money wasted.

Self-serve display advertising allows you to filter and refine the audience, making sure your message is delivered to the people most likely to engage with it. Geographic targeting gives you the option to hone in on specific areas. Certain platforms even include targeting by postcode, so you can find the exact audience for your needs.

To avoid your ads running when you’re not open, you can often schedule them to make sure that they only run at a time that suits you and your audience.

If you have a particular type of person in mind, many self-serve platforms can filter by gender, age, household income, employment status, education, family, even what phone they’re using, as well as other hobbies or interests.

For example, if you own a gym, you might want to run an ad campaign at the start of the year, when people are looking to burn off a few Christmas pounds. You could advertise your gym or fitness classes to anyone aged 18+, who’s shown an interest in getting more active, within 5 miles of your gym.

If you need help with creating the perfect ads that will help engage your target audience, why not read our 7 tips for creating impactful ads.

2. Giving you control

When circumstances change, the ability to react quickly is crucial. Who can forget KFC’s quick response to running out of chicken? Or CV Library’s reaction to prime ministerial changes? If you think about it, most marketing campaigns go viral because of one word… Timing. It’s not always down to the highest quality, but about being relevant.

A self-service platform offers you flexibility when you need it. You can change your message, image or target audience, even while your campaign is running. Use this flexibility to test different ads and find out what performs best for your campaign goals.

3. Save money

Money, or lack of it, is always a struggle when it comes to marketing your business. Advertising online with a self-serve platform means you don’t need the super-sized budget of McDonald’s. Unlike other forms of traditional advertising, there’s no set price, you have full control.

Having the ability to target your audience, as mentioned above, also means that your ad spend works harder for you. With audience targeting, more of your money goes towards advertising to the people who are interested in your goods and services, and it puts your company in their mind once they’re ready to make a purchase.

For help working out your budget, check out our tips on how to decide your marketing spend.

4. Report in real time

It goes without saying that learning a campaign’s successes and failures is achieving your long term business goals. It can be frustrating to put so much effort into designing an ad, only to find it didn’t impact your target audience the way you thought it would.

Real-time reporting on your ads tells you what’s working well and what isn’t. Finding out as early as possible, gives you time to make changes before it’s too late. You can monitor campaign progress regularly, meaning you don’t miss anything.

If you’d prefer to use your own analytics tools, most platforms allow you to add your own tracking methods when setting up your display ads.

5. Gain useable insights

What do you do when people don’t know your company exists? Although digital display advertising is a great way to raise awareness of your company, some self-serve platforms are limited in feeding that information back. And learning what people think of you is crucial in guiding strategy for how you attract future customers.

When choosing which platform to use, pick one that uses first-party data (e.g. feedback directly from customers). It is a higher quality way of knowing how your campaign has influenced people. Whether they recognise your brand or if they’re more likely to buy from you.

Avoid ad platforms powered by artificial intelligence or algorithms. The data they gather and report back on isn’t as high-quality and often no better than a ‘best guess’ prediction. They are also increasingly unreliable as changes in technology and privacy have made it harder to collect and use data.

Read more about how to understand the true impact of your marketing campaigns.

Give it a try

A do it yourself advertising platform is a great way to lift your campaign at a low cost. It is quick to set up, easy to run and a strong addition to your marketing mix. If you think it's the right choice for your next campaign, check out National World Ad Manager.

Understanding The Real Effectiveness Of Online Advertising

Even if you don’t know the term, you’ve definitely seen digital display advertising - probably multiple times already today. In its most common form, it’s all those boxes and banners you see scattered across almost every website on the internet.

Many of these ads will beg you to ‘find out more’ or ‘click here’. But of course you won’t; few people do. The average click-through rate (the ratio of clicks on an ad to the total number of people who have seen it) for an online display ad is just 0.05%.

Yet for many years, clicks and click-through rates have been used as the primary metric for understanding the effectiveness of online advertising. It seems like a hard sell. Indeed, if other mediums, such as email, outperform digital display ads in click-through rate, it may seem like a no-brainer. But, if 60% of SMEs still use paid digital advertising, there must be more to it.

When developing our self-service ad platform, we found that a common and frustrating issue advertisers had was with performance being solely judged by click-through rate.

Thankfully, the industry has started to wake up to this too. In 2019, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) declared a National Anti-Click-Through Rate Day, with the memorable tagline ‘Don’t be a clickhead’. The IAB argues (and we agree) that conducting brand studies - measuring the holistic impact of your advertising on your business’s name recognition and reputation - should be advertisers’ new priority.

Click-centric campaign measurement has ended up missing most of the actual effects of digital advertising. This is because it ignores the marketing funnel - the journey a customer makes in 4 stages towards a sale.

This journey starts with customers’ becoming aware of your company when they first hear about it; then they consider whether they are interested in what you sell. Eventually those customers will prefer your business over your competitors, before finally taking action with a purchase.

Click-through rate doesn’t map onto any of these stages, telling you very little about whether you’re achieving results in any of them. Display advertising’s real strength lies in getting people into the top of the funnel: generating awareness of your business. You can then build your brand through repeated exposure and clever retargeting.

Let’s be honest - you probably don’t remember the last ad you clicked on, but you probably do remember seeing advertising from various specific brands whose marketing you can recognise instantly.

Here are just a few ways of understanding the real effectiveness of online advertising across each stage of the funnel, and how it builds your brand in ways clicks could never tell you.

Awareness

Logo recognition

There are a few company logos that almost everyone on Earth is familiar with - McDonalds, Coca Cola, Ikea, Google, Nike, Apple, Microsoft.

These graphics are part of the fabric of our lives, and many of us will see several in the space of a day, from putting our shoes on in the morning to turning off our phones at night.

Their instant recognisability is a result of a whole mix of factors - great design, longevity, mass production, market capture and effective saturation.

Of course, some of these factors aren’t really relevant or achievable for some of the largest companies in the UK, let alone a small or local business. But whatever your size, a great logo remains a deeply powerful asset that speaks for itself.

Online advertising allows you to serve your logo at scale to a targeted audience, eventually imprinting it in people’s heads. Clicks really don’t matter in this context - what matters is getting the logo seen by the right audience in the right place.

Hosting your advertising in quality environments like your local news website is proven to boost its effect on brand awareness by over 10%. Check out how to get your ads up and running in a place people will pay attention.

Consideration & Preference

Say more with less

Decent display advertising should give people an instant impression of your business as a brand: not just who you are and what you sell, but your core qualities, quirks and values too.

Rather than dispassionately informing people that you exist, your advertising should communicate something essential about you; something that makes you qualitatively different from competitors.

All the elements of your branding - your colour scheme, your tone of voice, your use of imagery - must cohere within a small space to communicate exactly what you want to put across about yourself. Even more importantly, your branding must be used consistently from one campaign to the next, building and reinforcing recognition over time.

It’s very hard to make a big impact on a viewer from a single exposure. Repeatedly putting your material in front of your target audience in a premium context, across a number of campaigns, is the only way to get those essential messages across. Eventually, people won’t just be thinking about who your business is; they’ll already know, and will have moved on to wondering what you could do for them and whether to give you a try.

Action

Get your name out there to prepare the ground for sales

Name recognition is a factor in advertising that we’d most naturally associate with the top of the funnel; making people aware of your brand as a prelude to their journey towards a sale.

However, this fundamental task of marketing is hugely important at later stages of the funnel too. While people do make impulse or emergency purchases from businesses they’ve not previously heard of, it’s not that common.

As mobile marketing guru Larry Kim writes, “The single biggest predictor of whether people will purchase is whether they've heard of you before.” A brand awareness campaign, targeted at a responsive audience, lays the vital groundwork of name recall that you can then build on with a campaign on a more sales-oriented platform like Google Ads.

Whatever your click rate, a brand awareness campaign creates the conditions that make people more likely to go through the whole sales funnel (and back down it again later).

Brand awareness can still be measured

Discover the true impact of your campaigns

It’s not even as if turning your attention away from clicks will leave you without tangible data on how your ads are performing. It’s now possible and affordable for businesses of all sizes to prove the value of their awareness campaigns with brand studies.

Until recently, brand studies were not a realistic option for most SMEs, with the likes of Facebook only offering them for campaigns over £20K in ad spend. However, we now offer a comprehensive brand study as standard to our advertising partners, courtesy of our independent analytics providers Brand Metrics. Making that vital brand lift data accessible to everyone, with more marketers than ever able to answer that crucial question, “did my campaign work?”.

Whatever your click rate actually is, don’t get too hung up on it. There’s so much more happening when you get your brand out there than simple taps of the mouse button. You’re embedding your name and visual identity in people’s heads, making them think through what you offer and pushing them closer to the cash register.

For more advice on understanding the real effectiveness of online advertising, check out some more of our content

5 reasons advertisers are choosing local media over social media 

William Shakespeare once said, "Don't believe everything you read on Facebook."

Okay, maybe it wasn't the great bard, but the idea rings true. For businesses it poses the question: If trust is an issue, is social media the best place to market your brand?

Will social media marketing become obsolete?

The short answer is no. It's still an integral part of the marketing toolkit, and will continue to be so for some time.

But, there are growing concerns among media experts - 77% think that falling trust in social platforms will negatively impact media spend.

For many businesses, there is the added dilemma of knowing which platform to dedicate money, time and resources to. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where your target audience is and how to reach them.

How is local media different?

In the light of growing scepticism of social media advertising, traditional media platforms like local news, radio and TV, offer an alternative way to advertise your business.

For many SMEs, regional news offers an effective way of advertising vs. the pricier options of TV and radio. And, thanks to self-serve advertising, it’s accessible to those with even the most modest of marketing budgets.

In fact, there are some strong reasons why your local news title could be the right choice to advertise online with.

1. A more trusted platform

Social media platforms encourage users to share personal information, but at the same time they need to prove they can keep it safe. Unfortunately, there have been a number of high profile data breaches in the last decade. Leading to people placing less stock in these platforms.

As Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (This one's a genuine quote)

Local news brands, on the other hand, are highly regarded by readers. In fact, consumers trust local print and online media three times more than social media*. Part of that is because traditional media is held to a higher level of scrutiny and accountability, thanks to being regulated by organisations like IPSO and ASA.

By picking a trustworthy platform to advertise on, a brand can build credibility and confidence, increasing the chance of potential leads becoming paying customers.

2. Quality over quantity

Advertising with a regional news platform offers a better experience, thanks to first-party data. Users tend to stay on a news page for longer, as they actively click to view the topics that interest them. This can extend the time they view your ad, making it more likely that they'll recognise and recall your brand when they're ready to buy.

In contrast, the average social media user spends just 0.7 seconds viewing an ad, as they scroll past enough content to scale the height of the empire state building every day. Making it significantly harder for your ad to get noticed.

High-quality data allows you to target the desired audience, letting you reach the right people for your business. Knowing who you're talking to, also means you can personalise your ads, making them appeal to your ideal customer.

3. A higher level of privacy

You don’t need to look for long to find stories of intrusion of privacy or misuse of data on social media. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is just one such example. It highlights the conflict of interest for social networks to keep both users and advertisers happy, while not falling foul of complex regulations.

In contrast, local news sites typically have clear privacy policies in place, explaining exactly how they record data and keep it safe. You can read ours here.

Privacy being a primary customer concern, brands should think seriously about their digital presence. 52% of social media users say protecting their privacy and data is incredibly impactful on their decision to interact with ads. And 43% say they’d switch from their preferred brand to a second-choice brand if the latter provided a good privacy experience.

4. Build awareness of your brand

Developing awareness of your brand on social media can be effective and rewarding, but it’s also a challenge. It’s crowded with other brands trying to grab people’s attention, making it hard to stand out. And it's hard for brands with small budgets or fewer followers to be able to make a splash big enough to make a return on their investment.

Advertising with a local news title is a great and cost-effective way for new customers to discover your brand. Allowing you to build brand awareness, so that when potential customers are looking to make a purchase, they’re more likely to think of you.

With self-serve advertising you can give people who’ve never come across your brand a strong first impression, no matter your marketing budget.

Discover more about the effectiveness of online advertising.

5. Puts your message in the right place

Advertising on social media doesn't allow you to control the kind of content your ad is seen next to. Meaning there’s a risk your brand will appear next to content you wouldn’t want to be associated with.

One method that National World Ad Manager offers, and is growing in popularity, is contextual advertising. This places your ads alongside content that’s relevant to your products.

For example, placing an ad for athletic clothing next to an article about running. It’s already a safe bet that the people reading the content are interested in the subject, so you have a better chance of being a brand they think of, when they’re considering buying.

Is local media advertising right for my business?

Good advertising strategy calls for a mix of marketing channels to be most effective. It’s important to think about what’s right for the goals you want to achieve.

Social media platforms have always been popular because of their advertising platforms. But now, local news brands provide a strong alternative - a self-serve model, on a more trusted platform, with better privacy and higher-quality data. It’s also a cost-effective way to build your brand awareness with the right audience beside relevant content.

*YouGov/Local Media Works, 2018

How to Use Online Advertising to Increase Local Sales

Targeted online advertising has truly revolutionised modern marketing, and it’s become especially useful for small businesses looking to increase local sales. With the click of a button you can get your adverts in front of the right people when they’re most ready to buy, saving you time spent hunting customers by bringing them straight to you.

Whether this is your first venture into online advertising or you're just looking to refresh your knowledge of this game-changing marketing method, there are some useful and easy principles that can help you speed to success.

Use Local News Sites As Your First Port of Call

A great way to directly reach our local community is to place your ads on local news sites. This is an essential but simple method of targeting, as these sites will overwhelmingly be read by people all around your area. A study carried out by Newsworks into the effects of advertising on newsbrands concluded that ads placed on newsbrand sites are:

Advertising on newsbrands doesn't only boost your visibility; it awards you a degree of trust that can only result from being placed alongside the credible content that local communities rely on to keep them connected to their area. For more tips about building confidence in your brand, check out our article How To Build Trust In Your Company Name.

Easily promote specific products or deals

If you’re looking to increase local sales of a specific product, then targeted advertising is your secret weapon. Even if the same product is available from other sources all over the internet, a well-crafted targeted ad can still draw in nearby customers looking for the most convenient solution.

You can easily advertise on search engines using Google Ads, refining your target audience by location, demographic and interests. You simply set which search terms you would like to trigger your ad, and a bespoke segment of customers in your area will see your ad whenever they type these keywords into Google. 9 out of 10 consumers use search engines when they are looking for a local company or business, and 95% of these already motivated buyers will not look past the first page of search results when choosing a merchant.

With a minimum of effort and expense, you can use intelligent advertising to appeal to local customers at the crucial moment when they want to spend their money. You can learn more about Google Ads in this handy explainer.

Work Across a Range of Channels

Newsbrands and search engines are certainly not the only means of increasing local sales. The most effective campaigns will advertise in print and across a range of digital channels to reach potential customers whatever their choice of media. For instance, businesses that use social networks to reach out to their local customer base can see spikes in sales, as these personalised attempts to engage with customers, when done right, help to build customer loyalty.

Mixing your marketing both widens and intensifies your visibility. Research shows that spreading your campaigns across various formats has a positive knock-on effect on the success of each individual channel. Here’s a pretty amazing example - running a banner ad campaign on your local news site is proven to double the effectiveness of your campaign efforts on social media. This multiplier effect should be reason enough to get your ads out there wherever you can.

Measure Religiously, Optimise Scientifically

If you don’t develop the habit of recording and studying your campaign’s performance, then your marketing will never deliver the mighty increase in local sales that’s well within your grasp. Smart marketers carefully measure the impact of their ads and use this data to improve their strategy going forwards, focusing time and resources on honing the most successful methods while eliminating mistakes.

The beauty of online advertising is the sheer scale and depth of the feedback it gives you in real-time. For instance, if you are selling a specific product, you might choose to market it both via punchy copy on search engines and also with eye-catching visual material on pre-selected websites. You would be easily able to track and compare the performance of each advert in each location, showing you the difference in view figures and clicks. Even while your campaign is live, you can obtain a more developed picture of which modes of advertising are most prone to increase local sales in the future and give you the ultimate return on your spend.

There’s an abundance of customers right on your doorstep waiting to hear about the killer product or service that you’re ready to sell them. Getting through to those most ready to buy has previously been a game of chance and hope, but with such sophisticated targeting methods available to even the most cash-strapped, time-poor businesses, there’s no excuse not to get your ads up and running in front of local people who want to see them. Remember, your competitors are definitely doing it already!

If you want to read more about the sensational potentials of online advertising for increasing your local sales, why not check out some of our other quick and easy guides?

5 reasons why more advertisers are choosing local media over social media marketing

William Shakespeare once said, "Don't believe everything you read on Facebook."

Okay, maybe it wasn't the great bard, but the idea rings true. For businesses it poses the question: If trust is an issue, is social media the best place to market your brand?

Will social media marketing become obsolete?

The short answer is no. It's still an integral part of the marketing toolkit, and will continue to be so for some time.

But, there are growing concerns among media experts - 77% think that falling trust in social platforms will negatively impact media spend.

For many businesses, there is the added dilemma of knowing which platform to dedicate money, time and resources to. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where your target audience is and how to reach them.

How is local media different?

In the light of growing scepticism of social media advertising, traditional media platforms like local news, radio and TV, offer an alternative way to advertise your business.

For many SMEs, regional news offers an effective way of advertising vs. the pricier options of TV and radio. And, thanks to self-serve advertising, it’s accessible to those with even the most modest of marketing budgets.

In fact, there are some strong reasons why your local news title could be the right choice to advertise online with.

1. A more trusted platform

Social media platforms encourage users to share personal information, but at the same time they need to prove they can keep it safe. Unfortunately, there have been a number of high profile data breaches in the last decade. Leading to people placing less stock in these platforms.

As Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (This one's a genuine quote)

Local news brands, on the other hand, are highly regarded by readers. In fact, consumers trust local print and online media three times more than social media*. Part of that is because traditional media is held to a higher level of scrutiny and accountability, thanks to being regulated by organisations like IPSO and ASA.

By picking a trustworthy platform to advertise on, a brand can build credibility and confidence, increasing the chance of potential leads becoming paying customers.

2. Quality over quantity

Advertising with a regional news platform offers a better experience, thanks to first-party data. Users tend to stay on a news page for longer, as they actively click to view the topics that interest them. This can extend the time they view your ad, making it more likely that they'll recognise and recall your brand when they're ready to buy.

In contrast, the average social media user spends just 0.7 seconds viewing an ad, as they scroll past enough content to scale the height of the empire state building every day. Making it significantly harder for your ad to get noticed.

High-quality data allows you to target the desired audience, letting you reach the right people for your business. Knowing who you're talking to, also means you can personalise your ads, making them appeal to your ideal customer.

3. A higher level of privacy

You don’t need to look for long to find stories of intrusion of privacy or misuse of data on social media. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is just one such example. It highlights the conflict of interest for social networks to keep both users and advertisers happy, while not falling foul of complex regulations.

In contrast, local news sites typically have clear privacy policies in place, explaining exactly how they record data and keep it safe. You can read ours here.

Privacy being a primary customer concern, brands should think seriously about their digital presence. 52% of social media users say protecting their privacy and data is incredibly impactful on their decision to interact with ads. And 43% say they’d switch from their preferred brand to a second-choice brand if the latter provided a good privacy experience.

4. Build awareness of your brand

Developing awareness of your brand on social media can be effective and rewarding, but it’s also a challenge. It’s crowded with other brands trying to grab people’s attention, making it hard to stand out. And it's hard for brands with small budgets or fewer followers to be able to make a splash big enough to make a return on their investment.

Advertising with a local news title is a great and cost-effective way for new customers to discover your brand. Allowing you to build brand awareness, so that when potential customers are looking to make a purchase, they’re more likely to think of you.

With self-serve advertising you can give people who’ve never come across your brand a strong first impression, no matter your marketing budget.

Discover more about the effectiveness of online advertising.

5. Puts your message in the right place

Advertising on social media doesn't allow you to control the kind of content your ad is seen next to. Meaning there’s a risk your brand will appear next to content you wouldn’t want to be associated with.

One method that National World Ad Manager offers, and is growing in popularity, is contextual advertising. This places your ads alongside content that’s relevant to your products.

For example, placing an ad for athletic clothing next to an article about running. It’s already a safe bet that the people reading the content are interested in the subject, so you have a better chance of being a brand they think of, when they’re considering buying.

Is local media advertising right for my business?

Good advertising strategy calls for a mix of marketing channels to be most effective. It’s important to think about what’s right for the goals you want to achieve.

Social media platforms have always been popular because of their advertising platforms. But now, local news brands provide a strong alternative - a self-serve model, on a more trusted platform, with better privacy and higher-quality data. It’s also a cost-effective way to build your brand awareness with the right audience beside relevant content.

*YouGov/Local Media Works, 2018