Paid digital media

In traditional media we think of paid ads as a way to grow awareness via broadcast TV, print and outdoor ads. Online, we have the equivalent of these options via banner and video ads.

Additionally, individual targeting enables us to target audiences online through the customer lifecycle to remind prospects and customers about our brands and products through retargeting.

This visual from Venn Digital nicely summarizes the options for using online media to target across the Smart Insights RACE lifecycle.

As well as summarizing techniques for gaining top-of-funnel awareness this visual reminds us that  individual targeting enables us to target audiences online via ad retargeting and remarketing throughout the customer lifecycle to remind prospects and customers about our brands and products through retargeting.

Options for digital media placements

It’s no surprise that the main digital platforms like Facebook, Amazon, Google and LinkedIn and other social networks are keen to monetise their massive global audiences.

This means that if you want to gain awareness on these platforms, it’s likely you will be missing out unless you pay, although there are still good opportunities to drive free ‘organic traffic’ via owned digital media.

To reach your audience, you have to be where your audience are, you have to apply the old axiom that you need to “fish where the fish are”.

One indication of ‘where the fish are’ is available from Currents which monitors the source of visits to major publishers, analysing 3 Billion Page views / month in the US across 400+ publishers with 3,000+ Sites & Apps across 10 Million Articles viewed / month. You can see a limited view of their data set at their ‘Currents’ data set which show the importance of Facebook and Google, so these are key sources of both organic and paid traffic.

Online publishers of all sizes also provide options to reach your audience through Programmatic display, but also through Google. Paid media on Google is often thought of as through Google Ads keyword targeting when consumers search, but there are also options to gain visits through the Google Display Network too – this accounts for over one fifth of Google’s ad revenue.

SaaS platforms for buying ads

Ad guides for the main platforms


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About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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