How is an effective online advertising campaign structured? With the right tools and knowing the main mechanisms that regulate its functioning. Find out what they are and how to put them to good use to achieve your goals.
Planning an online advertising campaign is a must for all companies that want to keep up with the competition. Search engines and social networks represent means that, when well exploited, allow to achieve results superior to those of traditional advertising . Let’s see how to do it and how to start correctly.
- Web advertising: basic concepts and vocabulary
- What are the benefits of online advertising?
- What are the main platforms for online advertising?
- How to calculate the cost of an online advertising campaign?
Web advertising: basic concepts and vocabulary
The real innovation of online advertising, before being in the characteristics linked to the technological medium, lies in the underlying philosophy. No other tool like the Internet is not only capable of contextualizing the promotion , making it targeted to each individual user, but also of making the online promotional campaign relevant and useful. Advertising on the web means being able to build promotional content tailored to the target, very similar to what the user finds when looking for information or entertainment.
To get to design a promotional campaign that is appreciated, desired and in some way ‘expected’ by the target audience, however, you need to know the basics. Starting with the various commonly used technical terms . Probably many of these will not sound new to you, being the ABC of digital marketing, nevertheless – also to make our guide more usable – we believe that a quick review cannot hurt:
Click : the action that the user performs by clicking on the ad and that leads him to the landing page , or the ‘landing page’.
Impressions : the number of times the ad is shown to the user.
CTR ( Click-Through Rate ): is the percentage of clicks made by users on the displayed ad and the consequent use of the content of the landing page , be it a video, an image, a form etc. To calculate it, divide the number of clicks received on the ad by the number of views.
CTA ( Call To Action ): it is the completion by the user of the action programmed by the advertiser, for example the download of a podcast, the sale of a product, the subscription to the newsletter etc.
Conversion rate : The Conversion Rate (CR) is the percentage of users who entered the funnel conversion and have completed the action.
What are the benefits of online advertising?
But is learning how to advertise online really so essential? If the examples of small and medium-sized companies, among which most likely also your direct competitors, have not yet convinced you, try to consider these advantages:
You can control the investment : not only can the budget be planned based on the objectives to be achieved and the audience to be intercepted, but you will always have the possibility of knowing how much the ROI ( Return on Investment ) is. Nothing is left to chance in a good advertising campaign on the web, because – thanks to the monitoring tools – you can read the data and check the performance in real time, increasing or decreasing the budget according to the progress of the promotion.
You can reach the right audience : the chances of targeting the target audience are maximum, using the platforms for online advertising. This distinctive feature allows you to create virtually bespoke messages based on age, geographic location, gender, life aspirations, professional interests, personal tastes, and so on.
You can amplify word of mouth : people through the network share opinions, express interest, express dissent, exchange advice. And this is also true of products and services that have been purchased, or are in the process of purchasing. An effective online promotional campaign is able to amplify this noise and turn it into engagement, aimed at making people talk about your brand and transforming each user into your personal brand ambassador .
You can measure the data – this is the most obvious benefit that online advertising offers. This is why it is essential to be able to make the most of it, perhaps even with the advice of a professional specialized in data analysis . If you will be able to define the number of users reached, the average duration of the visit, their geographical origin, the behavior they have had on the website, you will be able to track and manage any type of information about your potential customers. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data is therefore fundamental both to identify the weaknesses and strengths of the current campaign, and to plan the strategies aimed at increasing the conversion rate.
What are the main platforms for online advertising?
Advertising online is an increasingly specialized activity that requires a perfect balance between planning and technical approach , on the one hand, and perfect knowledge of the product / service to be promoted, on the other.
Nobody prevents entrepreneurs and freelancers from devoting themselves to the design and implementation of the online promotion campaign in person, but we must do it with due caution. If you don’t exactly handle the tools and if you don’t spend time (a lot!) And adequate resources, the project risks failure. To prevent this possibility, you could ask for the advice of an expert partner in the sector, which will allow you to create effective and professional promotional content , to measure the results and correct any errors.
Regardless of how you decide to move, independently or by relying on web professionals, the steps to create an online advertising campaign can only be these:
Business analysis : necessary for identifying the objectives to be achieved.
Budget quantification : to determine how much you intend to invest in the online promotional campaign. A fundamental step to understand how to optimize the investment on the basis of available resources.
Target profiling : to define ‘personas’, i.e. individuals – organized by age group, gender, areas of interest, geolocation etc. – that make up the audience of your online campaign.
Choice of promotional channels : it is a consequence of the target and budget. This is a phase in which skills in the sector and experience in the field count a lot. Having already had the opportunity to test the tools made available by search engines (such as Google Ads), or by social networks (eg Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Linkedin Ads), can facilitate the choice. In general, we suggest using Google Ads to reach people who are already oriented towards purchasing a product / service; while Facebook Ads, as well as campaigns with Instagram Stories , are very effective for lead generation .
Analysis and monitoring of results : if you fail to verify the data of the online advertising campaign, you will defeat all efforts. If, on the other hand, you will be able to handle data relating to the number of downloads made, forms filled in, requests sent, sales completed etc. you will be able to adjust the shot in progress and optimize the performance of the online advertising campaign. The platforms mentioned above provide you with control panels to consult and download constantly updated reports.
How to calculate the cost of an online advertising campaign?
To calculate the cost of promotional campaigns on the web you will need to refer to some payment models, based on different parameters. Below we list the main ones:
Cost per Click (CPC): means that you will be charged for the cost each time a user clicks on your advertisement. The CPC is calculated by dividing the cost of the advertising campaign by the number of clicks generated.
Cost per Mille (CPM): the cost is charged for every thousand unique views, i.e. when the ad reaches a thousand users who viewed it. To calculate it, you will need to divide the cost of the ad, or campaign, by the total number of impressions and then multiply the result by 1000.
Cost per acquisition (CPA): it is the unit cost for each conversion obtained with the promotional campaign. In practice, the advertiser pays when the user takes the action requested on the ‘landing page’, for example ” Request a quote “, or ” Fill out the form for more information “. To count it you will need to divide the cost of the advertising campaign by the number of conversions generated.
Cost per Lead (CPL): when trying to expand the customer base, for example by creating a profiled database, you can set up a campaign with a lead generation objective and use the CPL as a cost metric. In this case, the unit cost is charged when the generic user performs an action that transforms him into a lead, such as filling in a detailed form, or subscribing to the company newsletter . To calculate the CPL you will need to divide the total cost by the number of leads generated.
Cost per Sale (CPS): the cost per sale is counted only if the sale has been successfully concluded and is related to each single sale generated through the online advertisement. It is calculated by dividing the cost of the promotional campaign by the total number of sales.